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12 February 2008
AutoCAD 2009 in 2 minutes          

Well, it's that time again. Another 12 months, another version of AutoCAD, whether you are ready or not. You will find all sorts of detailed reviews at various websites. This is not meant to be a detailed review. This is simply a quick look at some of the highlights in AutoCAD 2009.

AutoCAD 2009 is going to blow you away at first, not because of any spectacular new features, but because the UI has changed in such a dramatic way. So where to start...?

First off, there is the Ribbon, copied from the latest Office versions. You might think of it as a sort of meshing of toolbars and the Dashboard (in fact the Dashboard is gone). So you are probably looking at the image below thinking "where are the pull-down menus???"... Well, hang on a minute. While you are looking at that image, notice that the Communication Center is buried in the Title Bar now, which saves a bit of space.
(Note: Image below is broken horizontally so it will fit on this page)
AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon


AutoCAD 2009 Ribbon


Ok, where are the pull-down menus? Do you see that Big Red "A" in the upper left corner? Click on that to expose the Menu Browser. This is sort of like the Windows Start Menu, except it's in the upper left hand corner. Judge for yourself, if you want the old style pull-down menus, set MENUBAR to 1. 
menubrow

Quick Properties is a mini version of the properties palette that automatically appears when you select one of more objects. It is customizable. 
qprops

Quick View Drawings is basically a version "Drawing Tabs" on steroids... Rather than just a set of tabs with drawing names, you get a preview of the drawing and a preview of the layouts in the drawing. Click on a drawing or a layout and you are taken directly there. 
qview

Quick View Layouts is similar to Quick View Drawings, except that this shows you are preview of the layouts in the current drawing. Click on one to switch to it. 
qvlayout

The Layer Properties Manager is now a floating palette. You can leave it open while working. Changes are applied immediately which sounds like a good thing, but if you are manipulating many layers at once it could slow things down - as opposed to making all your layer changes and then pressing Apply. CLASSICLAYER will open the 2008 and earlier version of the Layer Manager. 
laymgr

Regular and super-sized ToolTips are everywhere. Hover over a button in the Ribbon and a regular tooltip appears, wait a second and the larger one appears. This may be helpful for new users, but thankfully you can disable this feature. 
tooltip

Action Recorder is a tool that you can use to record drawing and editing activities, and play these back later. It does not write VBA code like the Macro Recorder in MS Office. Editing capabilities are limited. 
acrecord

There are some new 3D visualization tools such as the Steering Wheel and ViewCube
 
sterwhel

viewcube

By default the buttons in the status bar for things like ORTHO, SNAP, and OTRACK are now icons. You can revert back to "text" buttons if you want to. 
cmdbutt

XCLIPFRAMEs now include grips for on the fly editing and a "flip" grip to switch from a regular clip to an inverted clip.

What should have been a bug fix in 2008 is now available, and that it the ability to suppress XREF scales from the Scale List. Set HIDEXREFSCALES to 1.

That is it for now. The big change is the UI for this release.  The DWG format is unchanged (still 2007). On the programming side, nothing major has changed from 2008. VBA is still available. The VLIDE is unchanged.

Below are the new and changed commands and system variables.

***NEW COMMANDS***
ACTRECORD
ACTSTOP
-ACTSTOP
ACTUSERINPUT
ACTUSERMESSAGE
-ACTUSERMESSAGE
ALLPLAY
BACKGROUND
CLASSICLAYER
-DGNEXPORT
-DGNIMPORT
DGNLAYERS
DGNMAPPING
DWFFORMAT
EDITSHOT
EXPORTLAYOUT
HIDEPALETTES
IMPRESSION
LAYERCLOSE
NAVSMOTION
NAVSMOTIONCLOSE
NAVSWHEEL
NAVVCUBE
NEWSHOT
QVDRAWING
QVDRAWINGCLOSE
QVLAYOUT
QVLAYOUTCLOSE
RIBBON
RIBBONCLOSE
SEQUENCEPLAY
SHOWPALETTES
VIEWGO
VIEWPLAY
***CHANGED COMMANDS***
DASHBOARD
DASHBOARDCLOSE
DGNATTACH
-DGNATTACH
DGNEXPORT
DGNIMPORT
GEOPGRAPHICLOCATION
LAYER
NEWVIEW
QUICKCUI
VPLAYER
***NEW SYSTEM VARIABLES***
ACTPATH
ACTRECORDSTATE
ACTRECPATH
ACTUI
CAPTURETHUMBNAILS
DGNIMPORTMAX
DGNMAPPINGPATH
GEOLATLONGFORMAT
GEOMARKERVISIBILITY
HIDEXREFSCALES
LAYERDLGMODE
MENUBAR
MTEXTTOOLBAR
NAVSWHEELMODE
NAVSWHEELOPACITYBIG
NAVSWHEELOPACITYMINI
NAVSWHEELSIZEBIG
NAVSWHEELSIZEMINI
NAVSWHEELWALKSPEED
NAVVCUBEDISPLAY
NAVVCUBELOCATION
NAVVCUBEORIENT
NAVVCUBESIZE
NAVVCUBOPACITY
OPENPARTIAL
PREVIEWTYPE
PUBLISHHATCH
QPLOCATION
QPMODE
QVDRAWINGPIN
QVLAYOUTPIN
RIBBONSTATE
ROLLOVERTIPS
SHOWMOTIONPIN
SHOWPALETTE
STATUSBAR
THUMBSIZE
*** CHANGED SYSTEM VARIABLES***
CROSSINGAREACOLOR
GRIPCOLOR
GRIPHOT
GRIPHOVER
OSMODE
TABLETOOLBAR
WINDOWAREACOLOR

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PermaLink       Posted 2/12/2008 10:39:00 AM     
16 COMMENTS!


Comment from: Blogger Ekim Remrihcs
Date: February 13, 2008 at 9:11:00 AM CST  

I've got to say....It isn't winning me over. Autocad should come out only every two years.


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: March 12, 2008 at 12:13:00 PM CDT  

RK, do you know if the Dyn Blk "issues" of 2008 have been resolved? i.e.: MATTS not working properly, Tables from DB's not working well (if at all)?
CN


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: April 8, 2008 at 11:20:00 AM CDT  

yeha, I'm getting mad with the never fixed xref-scalelist bug.
Am I supposed to spend more money to have this fixed? seriously thinking to switch cad - autodesk has no respect for its clients


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: April 9, 2008 at 4:10:00 AM CDT  

In 2008 version, sp1 was supposed to fix the xref scale list bug but didn't fix it fully.

So has the xref scale list bug been fully resolved in autocad 2009?


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: April 21, 2008 at 10:46:00 AM CDT  

3d modeling was miserable compared to 2006, the view styles were all equally unhelpful no matter what options i chose to edit. I am fairly good at modeling and i am not using Sketch Up, so I hope something changed with the 3d modeling system. Also the rendering and its options were totally bogus.


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: May 7, 2008 at 7:47:00 AM CDT  

still "area" is rubish you have to click every point or an object. maybe autodesk have to learn from graphisoft archicad where you click a boundary and automatic gives you the area


Comment from: Blogger R.K. McSwain
Date: May 7, 2008 at 11:56:00 AM CDT  

To "Anonymous" from April 9.

SP1 *did* fix the scale list entry problem. But this "fix" has no effect on existing, "infected" drawings.

2009 has no additional "fixes" for this other than the ability to "hide" xref scale list entries.


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: May 8, 2008 at 12:53:00 PM CDT  

does anybody know if Acad2009 still accepts the command line?
I type EVERYTHING, and NEVER use icons. It's much, much faster.

Will I still be able to function in Acad2009?


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: May 13, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM CDT  

Yes, it still accepts it


Comment from: Anonymous Chris V
Date: July 17, 2008 at 1:14:00 PM CDT  

What about the trailing that occurs when inserting blocks while zoomed in? Also, as I have experienced in 2008: When you double-click on a block from the tool pallet, the program takes some time to recognize that action. But when I am "in the zone", sometimes my impatience gets the best of me as I attempt to drag the block which then causes a 'fatal error' forcing autocad to back-up my drawing and terminate the program. Is Autodesk aware of these issues? If so, have they been fixed?


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: August 18, 2008 at 12:41:00 PM CDT  

We've just moved up to 2009 from 2006. I'm not impressed at all with the performance. It is very slow and the files that we generate are not small. Resizing or moving them is irritating at best. Plotting solids such as a cone is garbage at best. The facets of the curves can only be hidden up to a certain point while taking forever to plot. These are a minute portion of what most of our users are talking about.


Comment from: Anonymous nahed
Date: September 7, 2008 at 2:53:00 PM CDT  

a good website thanks
http://www.max4object.com


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: September 24, 2008 at 11:15:00 PM CDT  

I have been Autodesk Certified since 1994,
I think Autodesk stock will go down now with the 2009 release.
I guess it is time to move on to Revit and become immersed in BLM.
Have fun people.


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: October 29, 2008 at 10:20:00 PM CDT  

I agree with the previous poster, and even two years is too short.
Autodesk has become a worst case example of the arrogance and total disregard for customers that permeates the software industry.
$4000 for ACAD 2009 is a crime by every definition of the word. This latest version is downright silly. Right now I'm using it in classic mode. To hell with all the ribbon crap.


Comment from: Anonymous scott
Date: November 12, 2008 at 4:35:00 PM CST  

Does anyone know how and where i can get autocad 2009


Comment from: Anonymous Anonymous
Date: January 17, 2009 at 12:09:00 PM CST  

BI'm glad our company decided not to upgrade to 2009. We stay at 2007. We tried 2009 and it appears to be so slow. Even with 2Gb of RAM it's slower than 2007 on machine with 500Mb of RAM. On computer with 500Mb of ram it starts 6 minutes and crashes on opening drawings.

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