Author: Gaurav Bagga Sketchbook Designer, Sketchbook Pro

If you bought any Autodesk Suites product, and I mean, any: Building, Infrastructure, Product , Plant, Factory, Entertainment or General Design. And any flavor: Standard, Premium or Ultimate - you own SketchBook Designer 2013. Ideate has been reviewing what Sketchbook Designer can do.
So again, if you bought any suite from Autodesk you have a copy of SketchBook Designer.

Now the question is: What is it? And how do you use it? Read on to find out.

What It Is and How It Helps

In simplest terms, SketchBook Designer gives you tools to create conceptual not-to-scale freehand sketches on top of your AutoCAD plans/linework or photographs.

Click here for more information from the Autodesk SketchBook Designer product page on

That was simple! Right. So let’s delve deeper.
What is SketchBook Designer Ribbon Tab Within AutoCAD?



You will see a SketchBook Designer tab within AutoCAD if you installed the standalone product or via any of the suites. And you guessed it, it’s that simple - SketchBook Designer LT embedded in AutoCAD. Well, sort of! The Sketchbook Designer tab actually gives you tools to create and edit a canvas and that’s it. For any further conceptual sketches you would need to open the drawing file (.DWG) in standalone SketchBook Designer. Here is an extract verbatim from SketchBook Designer Help:
Welcome to SketchBook Designer for AutoCAD, an AutoCAD add-in application. Create canvases in AutoCAD, bring them into SketchBook Designer, to create sketches and creative concepts. Eventually, bring your content back into the AutoCAD environment, where you can interact with it.

SketchBook Designer and SketchBook Pro

Yes! There are two flavors - what are they and which one to use? When you open the SketchBook Designer 2013 you are given an option to choose between the two flavors as below.



SketchBook Designer 2013 has the option to import a drawing file as you can see from the image below. Think of SketchBook Designer at Autodesk SketchBook Pro LT.

Autodesk SketchBook Pro opens image files as below. It is a full blown image editing software - actually more for illustrations and conceptual sketching. For the purpose of understanding, an example of similar image editing software is Adobe Photoshop.


Where Autodesk SketchBook Pro delivers a powerful toolset and fluid freehand drawing experience for professional artists, designers and illustrators helping them sketch, paint, draw and unleash their creativity, SketchBook Designer is a hybrid paint and vector environment, helping enable greater precision and powerful modification capabilities that are ideal both for mouse-based interactions as well as freehand pen-based input.

SketchBook Mobile and Sketchbook Mobile Express for iPad, iPhone and Android

SketchBook Mobile is a paint and drawing application offering a full set of sketching tools and a streamlined and intuitive user interface for your iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Click here to get more information. Sketchbook Mobile Express is a Free app giving you a small subset of the Sketchbook Pro functionality.



In Summary:

Sketchbook Pro is a full-blown image editing software.

Sketchbook Pro is available on iPad, iPhone and Android in 2 flavors - Sketchbook Mobile and the free version Sketchbook Mobile Express. 

Sketchbook Designer 2013 is “similar” to Sketchbook Pro LT.
Sketchbook Designer 2013 is embedded ribbon tab within AutoCAD 2013 lets you create/edit a canvas.
Now remember the reason we are talking about this is because if you own any Autodesk Suite product you have Sketchbook Designer 2013. Now click here to find out more about it and Use it.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.

     Gaurav Bagga
Gaurav Bagga
Senior Application Specialist Infrastructure

Gaurav is a Senior Application Specialist for Infrastructure Solutions at Ideate based out of San Francisco. He has over 18 years of experience in construction and related software industry. With this extensive design technology background he helps engineering and surveying companies, federal and state government agencies, and ENR 500 firms critically analyze and improve their construction drawing production process. He implements Civil infrastructure design technology led by InfraWorks and Civil 3D and has helped Ideate grow Civil Infrastructure Services. Being an industry recognized speaker he has presented cutting edge design technology at several industry conferences such as Autodesk University. Find Gaurav on Twitter.