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Author: David Haynes Autodesk

Ideate, Inc. gets many questions about the use of Mac operating system (OS) and Autodesk products. There are Autodesk products, like AutoCAD for the Mac, which run natively on the Mac OS. However, many Autodesk products, including Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Navisworks, run only in a Windows OS environment. There seems to me an ever increasing number of Ideate customers with Mac laptop and desktop hardware.

PROBLEM: What are the ways to use Autodesk products in a Mac environment? What workflow does Autodesk support? 

ANSWER: There are two ways to use Autodesk Products on a Mac.

Apple Boot Camp This is free for Mac users. This provides for a ‘boot’ level decision for the user. You either boot into Windows or you boot into a MAC operating system. The total RAM on the computer is available to either Windows or Mac. Some users have found boot level decision problematic if they are using both Mac and Windows programs (because you have to reboot to go between Mac and Windows). 

Virtual Machine The two most popular products are Parallels and VM Ware. Either of these two programs cost under $100. The virtual machine approach allows you to run Windows ‘inside’ of the Mac OS. You can get about 75% of the RAM allocated to Windows, so having enough RAM is important. Users are able to run both Mac and Windows programs at the same time. 

What Workflow Does Autodesk Support? 

In the post ‘Parallels + Fusion + Boot camp + Autodesk Products’ from Autodesk, Autodesk Technical Support outlines the three ways to implement and which methodology is supported. Also note the work-around for those who prefer to point the virtual machine to the Mac Boot Camp partition

Ideate will continue to monitor this situation and will keep you informed.  

Don’t forget to look through the great features our Ideate Technical Team has found in the new 2014 releases for Revit Structure, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Navisworks, Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and more.

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


       David Haynes
David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design–build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, data integration, and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and construction industry. Follow David on Twitter.