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- 143,857 since May 2016
- Total Stats
- 630 Posts
- 772 Tags
- 4,153 Comments
- 1,250 Comment Posters
- 85 Post Categories
- 50 Most Commented Posts
- AutoCAD 2013 – An Autodesk Help writer responds - 164 comments
- AutoCAD 2012 – Putting things back to “normal” - 161 comments
- AutoCAD 2011 – Putting things back to “normal” - 136 comments
- AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to “normal” - 121 comments
- AutoCAD 2010 – Putting things back to “normal” - 106 comments
- AutoCAD 2018 – why did the DWG format change? - 97 comments
- AutoCAD 2009 – Why do you hate the Ribbon? - 81 comments
- Why AutoCAD for Mac is a bad idea - 76 comments
- Let’s critique AutoCAD’s parametric constraints - 63 comments
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD explained - 47 comments
- How will you react to Autodesk’s new upgrade pricing? - 41 comments
- Restoring Hatch double-click in AutoCAD 2011 - 41 comments
- Is AutoCAD stability getting better or worse? - 41 comments
- AutoCAD 2012 – Missing a few things? - 38 comments
- AutoCAD WS Contest - 36 comments
- (Don’t) Ask Autodesk a question - 32 comments
- Any Bricscad users out there? - 32 comments
- Olympic Fencing – Mythbusting the Shin v Heidemann Controversy - 31 comments
- Autodesk perpetual license owners to get screwed big-time - 31 comments
- Why Autodesk’s Cloud push will fail, part 1 – failure defined - 30 comments
- AutoCAD for Linux – another bad idea - 27 comments
- AutoCAD 2012 – ClassicArray Beta - 27 comments
- Why don’t you trust Autodesk? - 27 comments
- AutoCAD 2013 – Autodesk pulls off a miracle with Help - 27 comments
- What are the best and worst features ever added to AutoCAD? - 26 comments
- Older AutoCAD loses (part of) the plot - 25 comments
- Trebling upgrade prices was not enough for Autodesk - 25 comments
- Autodesk license costs options – summary 2 - 25 comments
- AutoCAD 2009 – How do you use the Ribbon? - 24 comments
- Ribbon acceptance in AutoCAD and Revit - 24 comments
- What is loaded at AutoCAD startup, and when? - 23 comments
- AutoCAD 2013 – What’s new? - 23 comments
- AutoCAD 2009 – Do you use the menu bar? - 22 comments
- AutoCAD 2009 & 2010 users – out of memory errors? - 22 comments
- AutoCAD 2012 – Downloading the trial is a trial - 22 comments
- AutoCAD 2013 Service Pack 1 – Now you see it, now you don’t - 22 comments
- AutoCAD 2018 – 2/10, would not rent - 22 comments
- Dissecting Dieter’s perpetual points - 22 comments
- Vernor v Autodesk – why I think Autodesk is right - 21 comments
- Cloud concerns – terms and conditions - 21 comments
- AutoCAD 2013 for Mac – the holes live on - 20 comments
- Is there anybody out there? - 20 comments
- AutoCAD 2018 – bear this in mind - 20 comments
- Advertising, ethics and editorial freedom - 19 comments
- Bug watch – identify this insect - 19 comments
- Downloading AutoCAD 2011 - 19 comments
- Autodesk for Mac – the hole story - 19 comments
- AutoCAD 2012 – Array has good and bad points - 19 comments
- AutoCAD 2013 – Download the trial without Akamai - 19 comments
- Autodesk license costs options – summary - 19 comments
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As announced by Shaan Hurley, Autodesk has made some changes to the AutoCAD 2011 online Help system. Please check it out and see what you think. After a short time with it, here are my experiences using IE6 (yes, I know). As this is a dynamic system and dependent on browser characteristics, Internet connectivity and any changes Autodesk may make between me writing this and you reading it, your mileage will vary.
There are some cosmetic changes, including a fixup of the Autodesk logo in IE6 that was done a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, my pink Comic Sans logo has not been adopted. As I can’t do a direct side-by-side comparison with the pre-change setup under identical conditions, I can’t make a definitive statement about performance. I can say that it does appear to have improved somewhat. It now takes about 3.5 seconds from hitting F1 to seeing …
In AutoCAD 2011, the default action when double-clicking on a hatch object is to invoke the Properties palette for that object. In previous releases, it would invoke the Hatch Edit dialog box. In my AutoCAD 2011 – Putting things back to “normal” post, I briefly described how to restore the old double-click action. I have since seen some incorrect advice being given out about how to do this, so this post describes the correct process in full detail.
What to do
It was good to see Autodesk react to criticism of AutoCAD 2011’s browser-based Help with an acknowledgement of the problems and an attempt to provide a workaround by making a zip file of CHM files available for download. That’s much better than ignoring people’s concerns, denying the validity of those concerns or shooting the messenger, which has been known to happen in the past.
However, there are some holes in the workaround, only some of which can be filled.
- Under 64-bit Windows 7, the Search pane is blank, as it is in the CHM Help for earlier releases on that platform. This is stated on the download page. Index works well, but Search doesn’t. As Search is one of the worst aspects of the browser-based Help, this is a rather unfortunate.
- There is no obvious way of making the CHMs provide contextual help. Don’t bother pointing at acad181.chm …
Hatching is the poster child for AutoCAD 2011’s 2D drafting feature changes (although there are several other significant ones), and also for demonstrating the advantages of providing a contextual interface via the Ribbon. It looks great at first glance when working with simple demo drawings, but how are things going in the real world? I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences.
- Is the hatch Ribbon tab snapping into place and going away quickly enough, both the first time it is used in a session and subsequently?
- Is the Ribbon interface easy to use, efficient and complete?
- Does the hatch preview always match what’s actually hatched when you accept the preview? If not, how often is it wrong?
- Are you happy with the new default double-click hatch action? (If not, see the Hatch double-click section of my AutoCAD 2011 …
In a comment in response to my AutoCAD 2011 Help system is not popular post, Autodesk’s Diane Serda acknowledged the problems, offered apologies and posted a link to a CHM version of the Help. From Diane’s comment:
We have posted the zip file for download here: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?id=15068206&siteID=123112&linkID=9240618
1. Download the AutoCAD2011CHMHelp.zip to your local drive (such as My Documents\AutoCAD2011Help).
2. Extract the zip file to this same folder.
3. To access the CHM Help, you’ll need to click on acad181.chm or create a desktop shortcut.
You can also point to the locally installed HTML help by turning on the local help checkbox under Options, System. You can also access the PDF’s from the Online Help Home page under Online Resources. http://docs.autodesk.com/ACD/2011/ENU
Thanks, Diane! That saves people from having to do inconvenient and dodgy things like downloading a demo version of an AutoCAD …
My poll on this subject is still running (see right), but so far about 2/3 of respondents rate AutoCAD 2011’s new browser-based Help system as 0, 1 or 2 stars out of 5 (total fail, very poor or poor). Frankly, I’m surprised it’s doing as well as that. Have a look at this discussion group thread to get an idea of the sort of reaction I was expecting it to receive. (Kudos to Autodesk’s moderators for allowing the discussion to continue with relatively little obvious censorship, at least so far).
There are many good new things in AutoCAD 2011, but Help isn’t one of them. Even if you like the concept of online help, this implementation of that concept is a failure. Even when used offline, this release’s browser-based Help is manifestly inferior to its CHM-based predecessor. Yet another victim of the 12-month release cycle, this feature is horribly …
Despite it being A Bad Idea, it look like Autodesk is going ahead with making some kind of OS X variant of AutoCAD, as has been hinted at for a while now. Owen Wengerd has pointed out a few dead giveaways in the AutoCAD API.
Another giveaway is the move to the browser-based Help system. OK, it may perform hopelessly and have terrible functionality, but hey, it’s platform-independent! If you still doubt my assertion that the development of AutoCAD for Mac would be a bad thing for AutoCAD, just go and search for a few things in the new AutoCAD 2011 Help system. Then go back to an earlier release (one that uses Windows-specific Help) for a comparison. Once you’ve seen how platform-independence has “improved” Help, just imagine that level of “improvement” applied to the rest of AutoCAD.
Congratulations to Brian Benton from CAD-a-Blog. His alternative name for AutoCAD 2011, R.E.A.L. (Real Expensive AutoCAD License) was clearly the most popular among those who voted in the pin the name on the product competition. Brian is now the proud (or otherwise) owner of a virtual album, uniVers by Voyager:
I’m not sure what Brian will make of the opening moments of the album, where accordion music leads into part-grunty vocals. Maybe it would be best to start with track 8, Falling, instead.
In a shock move, Autodesk’s general design product for this year was named AutoCAD 2011. I thought AutoCAD Banana or Generic CADD 7 stood a chance, but it was not to be. Maybe next year?
Over on the right is a poll to allow you to choose who of the 14 entrants wins the prize in the pin the name on the product competition to come up with an alternative name. I’ll leave the poll open for about a week. Entrants can vote for themselves, but only once. Please vote for the entry you like the best!
With all this talk of clouds in the air, it is interesting to note that Autodesk has moved AutoCAD’s Help system to a browser-based format, with online access as the default. So, how has Autodesk done with this first dipping of its toes into the cloudy waters with its primary mainstream product? I’ve already had a couple of unsolicited comments on the subject, and I’d like to hear from you. How do you rate the following, compared with previous releases?
- Performance (online)
- Performance (offline)
- Search results
- Content completeness and accuracy
- Ease of manual browsing
- Efficiency of user interface
- Concept of online Help
- Anything else you want to mention
Please comment to express your views and use the poll on the right to provide an overall rating of the new system.
According to David Cohn, at yesterday’s blogger event in San Fransisco prior to the 2011 launch, Autodesk provided the following figures:
- 76,000 man hours spent on Q/A of the new release
- 6,000 total code reviews of new release
- 2,000 commands tested
- 4,600 Beta customers involved in AutoCAD 2011
- 1.4M lines of old code were removed
Well, that’s all very nice, but those numbers are completely meaningless without context. Autodesk may as well have just published the equivalent numbers for Release 13; I’m sure they would have looked impressive in isolation.
Did anybody in the blogger audience ask the obvious question?
How do these numbers compare with previous releases?
If so, I’d be interested to see the answer.
If not, why not? I’d like to think that I would have asked such a question rather than sitting there unquestionably accepting whatever was being presented.
I’d like to think …
No, I haven’t written a post containing a summary of AutoCAD 2011 features. I won’t be doing so, either. Instead, I’ll just point you at R.K. McSwain’s excellent AutoCAD 2011 in 3 minutes post on his CAD Panacea blog.
I won’t be ignoring the new release; I will be covering selected AutoCAD 2011 features in more detail in future posts. I just don’t see much point in doing a “me too” post when somebody else has already done such a fine job of it.
Apparently, AutoCAD 2011 has been available for download for the best part of a day.
Here’s my experience so far. As a Subscription customer, I can see a bright new Get Your Upgrade button, and if I click on that I get an AutoCAD 2011 English link to click on. So far so good. If I click on that link, I get only this:
You are currently not authorized to download from this Account.
I have contacted my reseller to try to work out what is going on. In the meantime, I’d be interested to know if any of you are having the same problem.
What has your download experience been like? Did it work? If so, how long did it take? Any issues with Autodesk download manager or your own? Did you do a Subscription download or the trial version? Did you choose to …
Edit: If you’re running a more recent release of AutoCAD, have a look at the post AutoCAD 2017 – Putting things back to “normal” instead.
Easily the most popular post on this blog, in terms of both hits and comments, is AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to “normal”. Not too far behind it is AutoCAD 2010 – Putting things back to “normal”. Apparently, lots of people find these posts useful, so here’s an updated version for the latest release. Some of this post is based on the originals, but there are significant additions and differences in this year’s Luddite post.
Note: there is an updated version of this post for AutoCAD 2012.
One thing that’s regularly asked whenever a new AutoCAD release hits the streets is how to make it work like earlier releases. As I stated in my original post, I think you …
My name the product competition has only a short time left to run, so please enter soon if you want to be in the running. With only 12 entries so far, new entrants still have a pretty decent chance of winning.
This post is announcing a real competition with a real prize (well, nearly real). The prize will be the album uniVers by my favourite Australian band, Voyager. This will be provided to the winner in the form of a virtual download card which will be emailed to the winner, providing legal access to 320 kbps mp3 files of all the album tracks.
In my previous post, I stated that Autodesk’s 25 March product launch is for AutoCAD 2011 (and other products that I’m not that interested in). I just want to make it clear that that’s a guess and not based on inside information. It’s actually speculation on two levels; first, that the “general design” mentioned in the link means AutoCAD, and second, that the next AutoCAD is going to be called AutoCAD 2011. OK, maybe that looks like a pretty safe bet. After all, the last few …
Busy on the final details for a special Autodesk event next week in San Francisco with some bloggers. http://www.autodesk.com/webcast
Follow the link and you will find this:
Start Time: 9:00 SF/12:00 New York/16:00 UK/17:00 CET
Register today to join Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and Senior Vice President Amar Hanspal for an exclusive live webcast to learn about updates to Autodesk’s portfolio of design software for the AEC, manufacturing and general design industries.
In Autodeskspeak, “general design” means AutoCAD (AEC = Revit, manufacturing = Inventor), so you can expect this to be the same kind of thing as the AutoCAD 2010 launch I attended last year. (Note: ‘launch’ does not mean ‘release’). At this event, selected bloggers will probably get to see the big production effort that goes into the launch webcast (no, it’s …