With 2015 Autodesk products now available AutoCAD users are starting to download and install the latest version to get a peek at what’s new in the latest and greatest release. Here are some of the more noticeable changes that Autodesk has made to overall appearance of AutoCAD 2015.
New Start Screen
Instead of the Welcome Screen that we’ve all gotten used to over the past few years, AutoCAD 2015 now has a new Start Screen that opens when the application is launched. The new Start Screen looks like a blank drawing tab, and is divided into two sections.
The Create page is set up for all things drawing related. From the Create page, you can start a new drawing, select from a list of template files (DWT) to create drawings, open existing drawings, sign-in to your Autodesk 360 account, and see Program Notifications for updates and performance related information.
The Learn page contains links and videos to references and resources related to AutoCAD 2015. Here you can find videos on Getting Started with AutoCAD, New Features, Tips, and Online Resources.
Switching from page to page is as easy as clicking on the links at the bottom of the screen.
New Dark Themed Ribbon and Customizable Status Bar
The Ribbon in AutoCAD 2015 has been updated to support a dark gray theme. In past releases, the Ribbon was a consistent lighter color regardless of the dark or light theme selected. The new darker theme provides a more consistent appearance when used with a dark Model Space background color.
The old format Status bar with icons lined along the bottom of the drawing area has also been updated in the 2015 release. We now have control over which status options are displayed at the bottom of the screen via the customize pop up list in the bottom right corner. The list includes all status options from Coordinate display to Clean Screen options. This pop up does not control the on/off functionality of the particular feature; just the display of the icon.
Check marks indicate which icons will appear on the Status bar for easy one-click on/off control. Common hotkey shortcuts also work, regardless of the icon being visible or not. This can make it somewhat confusing, so it is a good idea to keep the icons you intend to use visible on the status bar. Unfortunately, the option of displaying Text versions of the Status Icons is no longer available in 2015 through the right-click “Use Icons” option that was there in the past.
The standard blue/gray color scheme still indicates the on/off status of the icons, and they are displayed based on which items you check in the customization pop up.
So what do you think about the new dark theme and customizable status bar?
When you’re getting started with AutoCAD 2015, spend some time digging through the new user interface and see what other cool updates you can find.
Check out the video: AutoCAD 2015: User Interface Updates
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ENI Manager & Senior Application Specialist
Matt is an ENI Manager and Senior Application Specialist in Ideate, Inc.’s Seattle office. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Civil Engineer. Prior to joining Ideate, Matt worked as a civil engineer, using Civil 3D on a variety of projects including site development, roadway improvements and infrastructure design. With over 10 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt now provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is and Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. Find Matt on Twitter.