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. 

AutoCAD 2009 Menu Browser

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

AutoCAD 2009 Quick Properties

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. 
AutoCAD 2009 Quick View Drawings

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. 

AutoCAD 2009 Quick View Layouts

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. 

AutoCAD 2009 Layer Manager

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. 

AutoCAD 2009 Large Tooltips

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. 
AutoCAD 2009 Action Recorder

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

AutoCAD 2009 Steering Wheel


AutoCAD 2009 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 

Comments

And I can´t put it back again.....even doing all the steps and going to CUI menu....nothing happens.
Can U explain this?

Thanks
Eliana

Make sure QP is enabled in the status bar.

 


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