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First Look at AutoCAD for Mac 2017

CADD MicrosystemsDecember 14th, 2016

AutoCAD 2017 for Mac was just released. As the self-proclaimed connoisseur of all things AutoCAD I simply had to take the new version for a test drive, and I'm glad I did!

If you're among the group of people who thought AutoCAD 2017 had already been released - you wouldn't be entirely wrong. The Windows version of AutoCAD was indeed released back in the spring. What I'm here to share is the newly released Mac version of AutoCAD.

My first impressions of the new release are very positive. The experience is absolutely Mac-centric, but is also introduces many familiar workflows from the Windows version. In fact one of the most obvious updates is the user interface itself.

More Intuitive and Customizable Interface Autodesk

From the new File Tabs to the redesigned Tool Sets, things are simply easier to find in AutoCAD for Mac 2017. While I've eventually found the tool I needed in earlier versions, I often found myself searching for tools during even the simplest tasks. Completing a mix of drafting tasks in 2017 I rarely found myself searching for tools/commands.

Beyond the overall update of the interface, I was very excited to see how much easier it was to customize it. A small gear next to every tool set panel makes it easy to add or remove tools. Beyond the default panels, it's also extremely easy to create your own panels with just a few clicks.

PDF Functionality

Among the signature features added to AutoCAD 2017 for Windows was the ability to convert PDFs into AutoCAD DWGs. This functionality is now mirrored in the Mac version. Testing the Mac version of this feature, I found the drawings it created from PDF matched what the Windows version created. In essence, any vector-based PDF (like those created by AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Visio, etc) are easily converted to DWG files.

macOS Sierra Support

It's likely assumed, but AutoCAD 2017 for Mac supports Apple's latest macOS Sierra. Beyond basic support for the latest operating system release, we also get support for some of its newest features like split view.

Wrapping Up

AutoCAD 2017 for Mac and AutoCAD LT 2017 for Mac is available now. Active subscribers to AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT can download and install the Mac version today. The same serial number or Autodesk Account used to install AutoCAD on your Windows PC can be used to install AutoCAD on your Mac. For users with a single-user subscription to AutoCAD, getting started with AutoCAD for Mac is as simple as signing into the software with your Autodesk ID.

Though just released, my first impressions of AutoCAD 2017 for Mac have been positive. The alignment between the Windows and Mac versions is stronger than ever, and the experience is far more intuitive than earlier versions.

Have you had a chance to try AutoCAD 2017 for Mac or AutoCAD LT 2017 for Mac? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

If you're wondering why the gap between the Windows and Mac versions. The reason is simply because Apple typically updates the macOS operating system in the fall, and Autodesk strives to align the release of AutoCAD for Mac with the release of macOS.

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