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March 27, 2014

AutoCAD 2015 - What's New

Here is the full list of What's New for AutoCAD 2015.

User Interaction

New Tab

 One of the first things you'll notice in AutoCAD 2015 is the New Tab. It displays as a file tab when you launch AutoCAD, when there are no drawings open, and when you create a new tab. The New Tab contains two sliding content frames - Learn and Create.
  • Create
    • The Create page is displayed by default and serves as a launch pad where you can access sample files, recent files, templates, product updates, and the online community. It's divided into 3 columns: Get Started, Recent Documents, and Connect.
      • Get Started column you can use the Start Drawing tool to quickly begin a new drawing from a default template or choose from the list of available drawing templates organized by groups. The last template you use becomes the new default. Other tools enable you to open existing drawings and sheet sets, get more templates online, and explore sample drawings.
      • Recent Documents column you can view and open your recent drawings. You can pin them to ensure they remain on the list. Icons at the bottom of the column enable you to change how you preview the recent drawings: thumbnail view, thumbnail and text view, or just text view.
      • Connect column displays notifications such as hardware acceleration, trial period, and where to download offline help. It also enables you to sign into Autodesk 360 and send feedback directly to Autodesk.
  • Learn
    • The Learn page provides tools to help you learn AutoCAD 2015. It's also divided in 3 columns: What's New, Getting Started Videos, and Tip/Online Resources.


The AutoCAD Help system includes a new way to help locate tools in the AutoCAD user interface directly from the relevant Help content. In the Help window, click the tool you want to use or the Find link next to it. An animated arrow points you directly to that tool in the AutoCAD ribbon. If the tool is not accessible from the current workspace or is located in a hidden tab or panel, a tooltip in the Help window tells you on which ribbon tab and panel you can find it.

Color Schemes

AutoCAD 2015 offers a modern dark-themed interface that includes the ribbon, status bar, and palettes. The new dark-themed interface combined with the traditional dark model space minimizes the contrast between the drawing space and surrounding tools to help reduce eye strain.


The workspace dropdown has been turned off in the Quick Access toolbar. You can turn it on or switch workspace using the control on the status bar. The Option for classic workspace has been removed.


AutoCAD 2015 offers new block galleries to view and insert blocks directly from the ribbon for block definitions that are stored in the current drawing. Galleries are also available for styles that are defined in the current drawing including: dimensions, mleaders, text, tables, and table cells.

View Ribbon

Tools on the reorganized ribbon tab make it easier to control the visibility of UI elements such as the USC icon, ViewCube, navigation bar, and layout tabs.

Improved Graphics

  • Line Smoothing - The LINESMOOTHING variable enables you to turn on anti-aliasing of drawings in viewports configured with the 2D wireframe visual style. When enables, 2D objects such as lines, arcs, circles, and drawings aids like grid lines, look smoother especially when drawn at an angle. You can enable Smooth Line Display in the Graphics Performance dialog box. It does not affect plotting.
  • Create and Edit Enhancements - AutoCAD 2015 offers improved visual feedback when creating and editing objects. During a move operation, the selected objects are displayed in their original position with a faded deletion effect instead of a dashed selection effect. Complex linetypes display as you draw, move, copy, or rotate them enabling you to more easily place them. You can control this behavior with the new COMPLEXLTPREVIEW system variable. AutoCAD 2015 displays color, linetype, and lineweight for lines and polylines as you draw them.
  • Selection Enhancements
    • Lasso Selection - In AutoCAD 2015 you can click the cursor in a blank area of the drawing and then drag around objects to create a lasso selection. For a traditional rectangular window or crossing selection, click and release to pick each corner of the rectangle. A new control in the Options dialog box on the Selection tab enables you to specify lasso selection.
    • Selection Effects - AutoCAD 2015 offers modern and clear feedback when you preselect and select objects. As you pass the cursor over an object in the drawing the line geometry appears thicker and darker or lighter depending on the background color.
    • Visual Effect Settings - Improved graphics and performance in AutoCAD 2015 reduces the need to individually control line and face highlighting. Those controls and associated system variable (PREVIEWEFFECT and PREVIEWFACEEFFECT) have been removed from the Visual Effect Settings dialog box which is accessible from the Selection tab of the Options dialog box. The Advanced Options have been added to the dialog box eliminating the extra click for accessing the former Advanced Preview Setting dialog.
    • Tolerance Object - Double-clicking on a tolerance object opens the Geometric Tolerance dialog box instead of Quick Properties.
  • Command Preview
    • A new Command Preview control on the Selection tab of the Options dialog box enables you to preview the results of Trim, Extend, Lengthen, Break and MatchProp operations prior to actually selecting the objects. The new Command Preview control also affects preview for Fillet, Chamfer, and Offset operations. The Trim and Extend tools are enhanced in AutoCAD 2015 to provide a preview of the results before you commit to the selection. After you select the cutting or boundary edges, you simply pass the cursor over the object you want to trim or extent. A preview of the resulting object is displayed.
      • When trimming, the segment to be removed is dimly displayed and a cursor badge indicates that it will be deleted.
      • When selecting an object to extend, it is clearly identified and temporarily extended.
      • The Lengthen tool also supports command preview. It has been further enhanced in AutoCAD 2015 to default to the last lengthen option (delta, percent, total, dynamic) so you are no longer required to specify an option each time you launch the command.
      • The Break tool displays the results of the break operation prior to specifying the second break point.
      • After selecting a source object from which to match properties, the MatchProp tool temporarily displays those properties on the destination objects as you pass the cursor over them to select.
  • Cursor Enhancements
    • The cursor is enhanced in AutoCAD 2015 to provide contextual feedback. It includes badges to reflect the state of many operations.
      • The crosshairs have been removed from the inside of the pick box to make it easier to see what you're picking.
      • An Inspection badge is displayed when using inquiry tools such as Distance, Radius, Angle, Area, Volume, List, and ID.
      • Rotation badges are displayed when specifying the angle of rotation during a Rotate operation.
      • The badge displays a clockwise or counter-clockwise arrow according to the direction specified by the Drawing Units.
      • Relevant badges are displayed for other editing command including Copy, Move, and Scale.
      • Zoom and Erase/Delete also display relevant badges.

Model Space Viewports

Model space viewports have been significantly enhanced in AutoCAD 2015 offering more flexibility and greater ease-of-use. After creating multiple viewports in model space, a bright blue boundary clearly identifies the active viewport. You can easily resize any of the viewports by dragging the horizontal or vertical viewport boundaries. Drag the intersection to resize viewports both horizontally and vertically at the same time. New "+" icons on the viewport boundaries enable you to easily add more viewports by simply clicking on the icon and dragging to size the new viewport. You can also hold the 'Ctrl' key while dragging the boundary to split a model space viewport. Model space viewports can be joined or removed by dragging a boundary to the edge.

Layer Sort

 Layer lists are now displayed using natural ordered sort. For example, the layer names 1, 4, 25, 6, 21, 2, 10 are sorted as 1, 2, 4, 6, 10, 21, 25 instead of 1, 10, 2, 25, 21, 4, 6. Natural ordered sort applies to all layer lists including the Hatch Editor ribbon tab and Quick Select just to name a few. You can restore the ASCII sort used in previous releases by changing the new SORTORDER system variable to 0.

Isometric Drafting Environment

A new tool on the status bar provides one-click access to set an isometric drafting environment. Turn on isometric drafting by selecting one of the options from the status bar flyout menu: Isoplane Left, Isoplane Top, Isoplane Right. The status bar tool displays colored axes indicating it's in iso drafting mode. Click the icon to quickly turn off iso drafting mode as indicated by the icon with white axes.


Mtext Enhancements

The Mtext editor is updated in AutoCAD 2015 offering better visibility and control. The background is now transparent when hardware acceleration is enabled so you can see drawing geometry even when the editor opens on top of it. A corner resizer offers more obvious and intuitive resizing of columns allowing you to adjust both the height and width at the same time. If you pass the cursor over the bottom or right edges of the text editor, you can change either the height or width individually.
  • Auto bullets & numbering - When you create Mtext in AutoCAD 2015, it automatically applies bullets or numbering. In the Text Editor ribbon tab, enable the option to Allow Auto Bullets and Numbering. Then when you begin a line with a symbol or with a number or letter followed by one of these characters and a space or tab, AutoCAD automatically creates a bullet or numbered list: ".", ")", ">", "}", ",", "]". An icon indicates that automatic bullets or numbering has started. You can click on the icon to access relevant controls including an option to remove bullets or numbering. Pressing Backspace immediately after pressing the space or tab also removes automatic bullets and numbering.
  • Caps Lock - When you enter text in the Mtext editor, AutoCAD recognizes if Caps Lock is turned on while you're also pressing the Shift key. When you press Enter or the spacebar after typing the first word, AutoCAD automatically corrects the text and turns off Caps Lock so that you can continue typing without interruption. Subscript and superscript text is easy to create in AutoCAD 2015. Now you can simply highlight the text and use the new Superscript and Subscript tools on the Text Editor ribbon. They're available anywhere you use Mtext including tables, leaders and dimensions.
  • Autostack - Autostacking of fractions is simplified in AutoCAD 2015. When you enter numbers with a forward slash, for example 1/20, AutoCAD automatically treats it as a fraction and displays it as such. An icon indicates that the has been stacked. You can click on the icon to access relevant controls for the stacked fraction. For example, you can change between diagonal and horizontal stacking, unstack the characters, or access the Stack Properties. The Stack Properties enable you to change additional properties of the current fraction and as well as AutoStack behavior in the enhanced AutoStack Properties dialog box.
  • Paragraph Tabs - Tooltips have been added to the tab tool and markers in the text editor to assist you in creating and editing paragraph tabs. A new Modify button in the Paragraph dialog box enables you to easily modify the values of existing tabs.
  • Match Properties - A Match Properties tool has been added to the Text Editor ribbon tab and toolbar enabling you to apply properties between selected text within an Mtext object. It's available for all objects that use Mtext including dimensions and tables. When you choose Match Properties in the Mtext editor, a paintbrush icon is displayed at the cursor.
  • Text Alignment - The new TEXTALIGN command enables you to quickly align single and multi-text as well as attribute text by selecting the text objects to align and then picking the text you want them to align with or selecting points to manually define the alignment line. You can also choose from a variety of spacing options including the ability to distribute them evenly, set a spacing value, maintain the current vertical spacing, or maintain the current horizontal spacing.

Dimension Enhancements

AutoCAD 2015 offers more intelligent object snap behavior when creating dimensions. When you place dimensions, existing dimension extension lines are ignored to prevent them from being inadvertently snapped to while attempting to pick nearby geometry. You can control object snap behavior for dimension extension lines with a new option on the Drafting tab of the Options dialog box. When you create continuous or baseline dimensions with the DIMCONTINUEMODE system variable set to 1, AutoCAD inherits the layer in addition to the dimension style of the dimension that is being continued or used as a baseline.

Polyline Enhancements

You can now fillet polyline arc segments. You can press the Ctrl key while creating a polyline arc to draw it in the opposite direction.

You can see the full list of What's New when I post the What's New document when it is available.


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