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March 27, 2012

AutoCAD 2013 – What’s New – Full Breakdown

A little while ago AutoCAD 2013 was released in Japan and now it is the US release. Before we were only able to reveal some of the details.Now here is the full list of What's New for AutoCAD 2013.
User Interaction
  • Welcome Screen
A Welcome Screen is automatically displayed when you launch AutoCAD 2013. It provides easy access to drawings, learning tools and online content.
In the Work panel of the Welcome Screen, you can create new drawings as well as open your existing drawings and sample files. A Recent Files list provides easy access to your most recently used drawings.

The Learn panel offers an overview of functionality new to AutoCAD 2013, provides links to videos to help you get started in AutoCAD 2013, and it includes additional learning resources.

In the Extend panel, you can easily download apps from the Autodesk Exchange and connect to Autodesk 360 and social media resources including Facebook and Twitter.
You can choose not to display the Welcome screen during startup using a control in the lower left corner. It will still be accessible from the Help menu.

  • AutoCAD Help
The online Help system for AutoCAD has been significantly restructured to provide faster, search based results. You can access the AutoCAD Help system from the Help icon on the InfoCenter. The Online help window is displayed by default.
  • Command Line Enhancements
The Command line interface has been modernized in AutoCAD 2013 to include color, transparency, and increased flexibility for displaying history and accessing recent commands. You can dock the command line at the top or bottom of the AutoCAD window or let it float to maximize the drawing area.

The undocked command line is displayed in a single row that floats above the AutoCAD window. It includes a semi-transparent prompt history enabling you to display up to 50 lines of history without affecting the drawing area. A new tool on the command line provides easy access to the number of lines of prompt history as well as Autocomplete, Transparency, and Options controls.

You can press the F2 key or the flyout at the right end of the floating command line to display additional lines of command history.

When the command line is undocked, you can snap it to the edge of the AutoCAD window or a docked palette by moving it near the edge. When you resize or move the AutoCAD window or docked palette the Command line moves accordingly to maintain its position relative to the edge. If you undock the adjacent palette, the command line automatically snaps to the next palette or AutoCAD window.

You can dock the Command line at the top or bottom of the AutoCAD window by clicking and holding on the dragging area at the left end of the Command line while you move it. If you want to place the Command line on the edge of a frame without snapping, simply press the Ctrl key while moving it. Whether the command line is floating or docked, a command icon helps identify the command line and indicates when AutoCAD is awaiting a command. You can click on the command icon to quickly view and launch the most recently used commands.

When a command is active, the command name is always displayed on the command line. Clickable options, displayed in blue, offer easy access to options within the active command.
  • In-Canvas Property Preview
In AutoCAD 2013 you can dynamically preview changes to object properties before applying the change. For example, if you select objects and then use the Properties palette to change the color, the selected objects dynamically change color as you pass the cursor over each color in the list or within the Select Color dialog box.

Object transparency is also dynamically applied as you change the transparency.

You can control the property preview behavior using the Property Preview option on the Selection tab of the Options dialog.
  • Array Enhancements
Enhanced Array functionality in AutoCAD 2013 helps you create objects in a pattern faster and easier than ever before.

After selecting objects for a rectangular array, they are immediately displayed in a 3 row by 4 column grid. When creating a polar array, the selected objects are displayed immediately after you specify a center point, in a full circular pattern of 6. After selecting objects and a path for a path array, the objects are immediately displayed evenly along the entire length of the path. For each type of array; rectangular, polar, and path, multifunctional grips on the array objects enable you to dynamically edit relevant properties. You can use the Ctrl key to cycle through grips with multiple options. In addition to using multifunctional grips, you can modify array values in the contextual ribbon tabs as well as at the command line.

Path arrays offer more flexibility and control in AutoCAD 2013 when using the measure method. It is easier to specify the orientation of the arrayed objects relative to the path using the Tangent Direction option during creation.

The item count toggle allows the count to be based on the spacing and curve length (to fill the path) or you can explicitly control the count. As you increase or decrease spacing the item, the number of items automatically decreases pr increases to fit on the specified path. Likewise, when the path length changes, the number of items automatically increase or decrease to fill the path.
  • Layout and Model Viewports
The Viewports panel on the ribbon is renamed to be specific to Model Viewports or Layout Viewports. Model Viewports are accessible from the View ribbon tab and are relevant when creating viewports in model space. Standard model space viewport configurations are easily accessible from a drop-down menu.
  • Quick View Drawings
Bold texts and colorful borders in the Quick View Drawings thumbnails help emphasize the current active view.
  • Hatch Editor
AutoCAD 2013 is enhanced to make editing multiple hatch objects faster and easier. The contextual Hatch Editor ribbon tab is automatically displayed even when you select more than one hatch object. Similarly, when using the command line version of the hatch editor (-HATCHEDIT), you can now select multiple hatch objects for simultaneous editing.
  • Raster Images
The bitonal resampling algorithm has been updated to improve the display quality of the wide range of supported images.
  • Extrenal References
External Reference functionality has been updated. Now you can edit the Saved Path directly in the External References palette and the Found path is displayed as read-only.The right-click menu includes some additional updates. In the dialog boxes, the default type is changed to Relative Path unless the relative path is not available. For example, if the drawing has not yet been saved or the host drawing and external file are located in different disk partitions.
  • Snap Behavior
A new Legacy option in the Snap tool enables you to enforce snap behavior during point acquisition which was the standard snap behavior prior to AutoCAD 2012.

Design Exploration
  • Point Cloud Support
Point cloud functionality is significantly enhanced in AutoCAD 2013. Point cloud tools are available on the new Point Cloud toolbar and in the Point Cloud panel on the Insert ribbon tab.

You can attach and manage point cloud files similar to working with xrefs, images, and other externally referenced files.

The Attach Point Cloud dialog box has been updated to provide a preview image and detailed information about the selected point cloud.

Selecting an attached point cloud displays a bounding box around the data to help you visualize its
position in 3D space and relative to other 3D objects. In addition to displaying a bounding box, selecting a point cloud automatically displays the Point Cloud ribbon tab with easy access to relevant tools.

You can to adjust the point cloud density and, if intensity data is included with the point cloud, you can use the analysis tools to view point intensity with different color schemes including gray scale or spectrum.

New clipping tools enable you to create and modify clipping boundaries for the selected point cloud. Additional options allow you to specify whether the bounding box is displayed and provide easy access to the External Reference manager.

The Properties palette is updated to include new point cloud properties such as intensity and clipping.

Point cloud indexing is significantly enhanced in AutoCAD 2013 to provide a smoother and more efficient workflow when working with raw scan files. You can index scan files from major industrial scanner companies including Leica and Topcon in addition to Faro.

The new Create Point Cloud File dialog box provides an intuitive and flexible interface to select and index raw point scan files. You can select multiple files to batch index and even merge them into a single point cloud file. When creating PCG files, you can specify various Index settings including RGB, Intensity, normals, and custom attributes.

When you save from AutoCAD 2013 to an older version DWG file, a message alerts you that the
attached PCG file will be re-indexed and degraded to be compatible with the previous version of the
drawing file format. The new file is renamed to a corresponding incremental file name.
  • PressPull
The PressPull tool, available on the Modeling panel of the Home ribbon tab, is enhanced in AutoCAD 2013 to be more flexible and context sensitive.

You can use the new Multiple option or the Shift key to press or pull multiple objects in a single operation.

And, you are no longer limited to clicking inside a bounded area. Now you can select 2D and 3D curves as well.

When selecting a face with the Presspull tool, the default behavior extrudes the face straight out. If you press the Ctrl key when you select a planar face, you can offset it as it extrudes to follow the taper angles of adjacent sides.
  • Surface Curve Extraction
The new Extract Isolines tool, available from the Curves panel of the Surface ribbon tab, enables you to easily extract isoline curves from an existing surface or face of a solid.
Options within the Extract Isolines tool enable you to change the direction of the isolines, select a chain of isolines, and draw a spline on the curved surface by specifying spline points.
  • Import Inventor Files
In AutoCAD 2013 you can import Inventor models directly into the AutoCAD model space environment using the standard Import tool.
  • Model Documentation
Model Documentation functionality has been greatly enhanced in AutoCAD 2013. You’ll find model documentation tools on the new Layout tab alongside common tools for creating and managing drawing layouts and views. On the Create View panel you can access new and enhanced tools for creating Drawing views.
  • Drawing Views
The Base View tool includes a new Select option that enables you to specify which 3D objects are represented in the base view. The Select option is also available when editing the base view after it’s been created.

When using the Select option AutoCAD temporarily switches to model space enabling you to add or remove objects for the base view selection set.

You can also start in Model Space and select the objects for which you want to create a view. Then, using the Base View tool, choose From Model Space. You can specify the name of an existing layout or enter a new layout name. AutoCAD automatically creates the new layout if necessary and makes it active.

When you create drawings views using the model documentation tools in AutoCAD, relevant layers with an MD_prefix are automatically added to the drawing. If you rename the layers or change layer properties, those changes are automatically applied to existing as well as subsequent drawing views created in the same drawing.
  • Section Views
Create a section view from an existing drawing view by picking points to define the section line. A context sensitive ribbon tab provides easy access to Section View Creation tools including depth and hatch controls.

A section identifier is automatically applied and incremented as you create subsequent section views or you can override it with your own identifier. And, you can choose to display a view label identifying the section and scale.

You can control whether individual model components participate in the section using the Edit Components tool on the Layout ribbon tab. If the selected components are set to None, the components display without being sectioned. The participation of components is passed to child views projected from the section view.

You can also specify if the section view should include the full depth or just a slice.

The appearance of the Section view label is determined by the Section View Style which is accessible from the Model Documentation ribbon tab. You can select from predefined Section View Styles or define your own using the Section View Style Manager.

In the Section View Style Manager, you can create new section view styles as well as modify or delete existing ones. When creating or modifying a section view style you have access to a variety of controls to specify the appearance of the section identifier and arrows, cutting plane, view label, and hatch.
You can easily modify a section view after it’s been created. Multifunctional grips on the section line enable you to move the section line, add and remove vertices, flip the direction, and reposition the identifiers.

Grips on the section view and section view label allow you to modify the view position or scale as well as change the label location, width, and height. If the section view includes hatches, you can edit properties of the hatch pattern using a multifunctional grip. It still remains associated with the section view.

Additional editing tools are available in the Section View Editor which is accessible from the right-click menu and the ribbon tab (Edit View/VIEWEDIT button) when a section view is selected.
  • Detail Views
Create detail views from existing drawing views. A context sensitive ribbon tab provides easy access to Detail View Creation tools which enable you to specify a circular or rectangular boundary, control if the boundary is displayed, and choose smooth or jagged edges.

A detail identifier is automatically applied and incremented as you create subsequent detail views or you can override it with your own identifier. And, a view label identifying the detail view and scale is automatically inserted.

The appearance of the detail view label is determined by the Detail view style which is accessible from the Model Documentation ribbon tab. You can select from predefined detail view styles or define your own using the Detail View Style Manager.

In the Detail View Style Manager, you can create new detail view styles as well as modify or delete existing ones.

When creating or modifying a detail view style you can specify a variety of options to control the detail boundary, view label, and detail view.

You can easily modify a detail view after it’s been created. Grips on the detail symbol enable you to modify the position of the boundary and the identifier.

Grips on the detail view and detail view label allow you to modify the view position or scale as well as change the label location, width, and height.

Additional editing tools are available in the Detail View Editor which you can access via the right-click menu and ribbon tab when a detail view is selected.
  • View Symbol Sketch
Use the Symbol Sketch tool to constrain section lines and detail boundaries to key points in the drawing views; helping ensure accuracy even as the model or layout changes.
  • Automatic View Update
The Auto Update tool controls whether drawing views are updated automatically when the source model changes.
  • Export Layout
The Export Layout to Model tool has been updated so when you export a layout with drawing views
containing circular objects, those objects are represented in the exported drawing as circles and arcs
instead of polylines.
Text and Leaders
  • Strike-through Textimage
A new strikethrough style is provided for Mtext, Mleaders, Dimensions, and Tables.

  • Font Lists
The number of display rows for the Font dropdown list has been increased in the Text Style dialog, the Text Editor ribbon tab, and the ArcAlignedText dialog.
  • Leaders
Leaders are now included in the TextToFront tool. The Mleader text box has been updated to include a margin between the text and the frame and to provide a minimum width for the mtext in order to prevent text overflow.
  • Wipeout
The Wipeout tool is updated to include an option for displaying but not plotting the wipeout frame. You can set this new control from the Frames option within the Wipeout command or by directly accessing the new WIPEOUTFRAME system variable.
  • Polylines
A new PLINEREVERSEWIDTHS system variable provides more flexibility when reversing the direction of polylines. When using the REVERSE tool or the Reverse option of PEDIT with the PLINEREVERSEWIDTHS variable set to 0, the start and end of the polyline is reversed. However, segments with varying widths are unaffected. If the variable is set to 1, the start and end of the polyline is reversed and widths of the segments are applied to the vertices starting in the opposite direction.
  • Offset Preview
Now when you use the Offset command, a preview of the offset result is automatically displayed before you end the command. For example, after you specify an offset distance the offset object is displayed as you drag the cursor to either side of the original object. Similarly, when using the Through option, the resulting object is dynamically displayed as you drag the cursor to specify the through point.

  • Autodesk Cloud Connectivityimage
In AutoCAD 2013 you can connect directly to the Autodesk Cloud for online file sharing, customized file syncing and more. You can sign into the Autodesk Cloud from the InfoCenter toolbar using your Autodesk single sign‐on account. If you do not yet have an account, you can create one.

After signing in, your user name is displayed and additional tools are displayed in the drop‐down menu including the option to sync your settings with the cloud, specify online options, access Autodesk Cloud documents, sign out, and manage account settings.

The first time you access the Autodesk Cloud, you have the opportunity to specify Default Cloud Settings to control when your design data and custom settings are synced with the cloud. You can choose to automatically store encrypted copies of your local design data in your cloud account each time you save, or only for specified documents. In either case, you can override the default behavior for individual drawings. When you upload drawings directly from AutoCAD to the cloud, external references and other dependent files are automatically included with the upload.

You can also chose to automatically sync your program appearance, profiles, workspaces, options and support files so that you can restore them on any computer. If you wish to modify the default cloud settings after closing the dialog box, you can access them via Online Options in the drop‐down menu and the Online ribbon tab.
Additional tools for working with Autodesk Cloud functionality are available in the Online ribbon tab.

  • CAD Manager Control Utility
The CAD Manager Control Utility is updated to include controls for Autodesk Cloud. You can install the CAD Manager Control Utility from the Install Tools & Utilities option of the AutoCAD Installer.
New Online tab in the CAD Manager Control Utility allows CAD managers to control their users’ access to Autodesk Cloud documents and customization synchronization.
  • Render Online
New tools for Online Rendering enable you to render your 3D AutoCAD models in the cloud using Autodesk rendering service. Materials have been assigned, lights and the environment setup and you are ready to create a high‐res rendering of 4 different views of the model. Sends the 4 views to the cloud for rendering while you continue to work on your computer; you’re notified when the renderings are ready.

Browse your online render gallery. You can access the Online rendering tools from the Render ribbon tab.
  • Language Packsimage
New language packs in AutoCAD 2013 help simplify the process of downloading and using multiple languages of AutoCAD. Now, rather than installing a full version of AutoCAD for each language, you install one full product and then add subsequent languages via Language Packs resulting in smaller download and installs for the secondary languages. You can download Language Packs from the Help menu in upper right corner of application. A launch icon and menu item for each installed language pack is added to the Windows desktop and Start menu.
  • Drawing File Format
AutoCAD 2013 introduces a new file format that includes changes to the thumbnail preview file format as well as new controls for graphics caching.

Thumbnail previews in the new AutoCAD 2013 DWG file format are now stored as PNG images providing higher quality thumbnail previews in a smaller file size. Image resolution is still controlled by the THUMBSIZE system variable. However, the maximum valid value has increased from 2 to 8. If you do not wish to include thumbnail previews in the drawing you can still use the RASTERPREVIEW system variable to disable them. The UPDDATETHUMBSNOW and UPDATETHUMBNAIL system variables are no longer needed and have been removed from AutoCAD 2013.

When you save a drawing containing 3D Solids in the new AutoCAD 2013 file format a graphics cache file is automatically stored in a folder named “GraphicsCache” under your user app data folder. Two new system variables, CACHEMAXTOTALSIZE and CACHEMAXFILES, allow you manage the cache files.

  • Double-Click Actionsimage
In the Customize User Interface dialog box, the double-click action for dimension objects has been updated to launch TEXTEDIT rather than the alias TEDIT.

  • Autodesk Exchange Apps
Autodesk Exchange is updated to provide direct access to downloadable applications and content that can help increase your productivity and the power of AutoCAD. You can choose from a wide variety of tools; some for free and some for purchase. Access Autodesk Exchange from the Exchange button on InfoCenter, the Welcome screen, or the Featured Apps ribbon tab.
The featured apps ribbon tab is a dynamic panel that displays apps and content that will help you be more productive. Roll over an app tile to see its description, and click to visit its page on Exchange Apps. Choose Connect to Exchange to access hundreds of additional AutoCAD extensions and tools from Autodesk Exchange.

Well, there it is. Keep checking back as I will be posting some short videos on how the new functionality works in the coming weeks. You can also follow me on alot of the social networks included in the following post. Different Ways to Follow Inventor Topix


  1. Autocad is a very good software to learn because once you learned the fundamental concepts or commands, you can just easily use all versions from oldest to the latest. Autocad is very consistent in drawing commands functions.

  2. Thanks for the information,, its very helpful and help me out..

    AutoCAD Tutorial


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