AutoCAD Release History

Shaan Hurley has always been my reference for AutoCAD history and has an excellent page on this. So the question came up the other day "What was the first version of AutoCAD for Windows". My memory told me it was Release 12, but I was not quite sure. A little searching turned up this document which confirms that R12c3 (Release 12, patch c3) was the first major release for Windows (see first comment below regarding R11 for Windows). Since Windows itself taxed most affordable computer systems back then, most people probably stayed on DOS, Solaris, or one of the other platforms for AutoCAD at that time.

If you have a DWG file and are not sure about its version, drop it into Notepad or some other ASCII/Hex editor and look at the first 6 bytes and compare to the table below.

DWG file header
6 byte header AutoCAD Version
AC1027 AutoCAD 2013, 2014
AC1024 AutoCAD 2010,2011,2012
AC1021 AutoCAD 2007, 2008, 2009
AC1018 AutoCAD 2004, 2005, 2006
AC1015 AutoCAD 2000, 2000i, 2002
AC1014 AutoCAD Release 14
AC1013 AutoCAD Release 13
AC1009 AutoCAD Release 11, 12
AC1006 AutoCAD Release 10
AC1004 AutoCAD Release 9
AC1003 AutoCAD 2.6
AC1002 AutoCAD 2.5


Below is a Release 13 installation floppy disc. You needed this to go along with the CD-ROM, also shown below.

Release 13 installation floppy disc

Release 13c4a installation CD-ROM




Did you forget about the AutoCAD Windows Extension for Release 11? See e.g.

I did not forget about it, I just never knew that. Thanks for the information! Post updated.


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