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AutoCAD is a popular computer-aided drafting (CAD) software package for 2D and 3D design and drafting, and is developed and sold by a company named Autodesk. Initially autocad was a general-purpose 2D drafting program, AutoCAD has been extended into a wide family of products, used by land developers, architects, mechanical engineers, and many other design professionals. The AutoCAD family of products, taken as a whole, is by far the most widely used CAD software in the world.

Like other CAD programs, AutoCAD is a vector graphics drawing program. It uses primitive entities, such as lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text as the foundation for blocks (groups of entities which can be referenced and reused), and more complex objects.AutoCAD supports a number of Application programming interface (API) for customization and automation, including AutoLISP, Visual LISP, and VBA. For advanced tasks, AutoCAD's license-based API, ARX, can be used; a C++ class library, which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fields, to create products such as Autodesk Architectural Desktop, AutoCAD Electrical, or third-party AutoCAD based applications.

AutoCAD is a package (Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting, matured and oversubscribed by Autodesk, Inc. Initially free in late 1982, AutoCAD was one of the first package programs to separate on personal computers, and notably the IBM PC. Most package software at the instance ran on graphics terminals connected to mainframe computers or mini-computers.

In early releases, AutoCAD used primitive entities — much as lines, polylines, circles, arcs, and text — as the foundation for more Byzantine objects. Since the mid-1990s, AutoCAD has supported custom objects through its C++ API. Modern AutoCAD includes a full set of base solid moulding and 3D tools. With the release of AutoCAD 2007 came improved 3D moulding functionality, which meant better navigation when working in 3D. Moreover, it became easier to edit 3D models. The mental ray engine was included in rendering, it was now possible to do quality renderings. AutoCAD 2010 introduced parametric functionality and mesh modeling.

AutoCAD supports a sort of application planning interfaces (APIs) for customization and automation. These include AutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and ObjectARX. ObjectARX is a C++ class library, which was also the base for products extending AutoCAD functionality to limited fields, to create products much as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D, or third-party AutoCAD-based applications.

AutoCAD currently runs exclusive on Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems. It is acquirable in 32-bit and in autochthonous 64-bit versions. Versions for Unix and Mac OS were free in the 1980s and 1990s, but these were later dropped. AutoCAD can separate on an emulator or compatibility layer like VMware Workstation or Wine, albeit subject to various performance issues that can often arise when working with 3D objects or large drawings.

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are acquirable for English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Vietnamese. The extent of localization varies from full translation of the product to documentation only. The AutoCAD command set is localized as a part of the software localization.


AutoCAD LT is a edition of AutoCAD with more limited capabilities. It costs less (approx. US$1200 versus around US$4,000 for the full AutoCAD). In addition to being oversubscribed directly by Autodesk, it is also acquirable for acquire at computer stores, unlike the full edition of AutoCAD which must be purchased from an official Autodesk dealer. It was matured so that Autodesk could hit an entry-level package package acquirable to compete in that price class. AutoCAD LT is marketed as a package package for those who exclusive need 2D functionality.

Compared to the full edition of AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT lacks several features: most notably, it has no 3D moulding capabilities (although it has several 3D watch functions for looking at 3D models created in other package packages) and blocks the use of any planning interfaces, much as support for most third party programs and does not allow AutoLISP programs. Also, the Autodesk Raster Design 2010 Object Enabler cannot be installed in the LT edition of AutoCAD, therefore images much as ECW or SID cannot be viewed in this edition of AutoCAD. A full listing of differences is on the Autodesk website.AutoCAD LT originated by taking the codebase of AutoCAD and commenting discover substantial portions, which allowed AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT to be matured simultaneously.

Student versions

AutoCAD is licensed at a significant discount over commercial retail pricing to qualifying students and teachers, with both a 14 month and perpetual license available. The enrollee edition of AutoCAD is functionally same to the full commercial version, with one exception: DWG files created or edited by a enrollee edition hit an internal bit-flag set (the \"educational flag\"). When much a DWG enter is printed by any edition of AutoCAD (commercial or student), the output will include a plot stamp / banner on all four sides. Objects created in the Student Version cannot be used for commercial use. These Student Version objects will 'infect' a commercial edition DWG enter if imported

Much work on the enrollee versions of AutoCAD was carried discover by Andrew Myers (1988-2009) and the updates will added to the upcoming 2011 information posthumously in his honour.

The Autodesk enrollee community provides registered students with free access to assorted Autodesk applications.

Vertical programs

Autodesk has also matured a few vertical programs, for discipline-specific enhancements. AutoCAD Architecture (formerly Architectural Desktop), for example, permits architectural designers to draw 3D objects much as walls, doors and windows, with more intelligent data associated with them, rather than simple objects much as lines and circles. The data can be programmed to represent limited architectural products oversubscribed in the construction industry, or extracted into a data enter for pricing, materials estimation, and other values related to the objects represented. Additional tools allow designers to generate standard 2D drawings, much as elevations and sections, from a 3D architectural model. Similarly, Civil Design, Civil Design 3D, and Civil Design Professional allow data-specific objects to be used, allowing standard civil engineering calculations to be made and represented easily. AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D and AutoCAD Structural Detailing are other examples of industry-specific package applications built on the AutoCAD platform.

File formats

AutoCAD's autochthonous enter format, DWG, and to a lesser extent, its interchange enter format, DXF, hit become de facto standards for package data interoperability. AutoCAD in recent years has included support for DWF, a info matured and promoted by Autodesk for publishing package data. In 2006, Autodesk estimated the sort of active DWG files to be in excess of one billion.

The current AutoCAD enter info (.dwfx) is supported on ISO/IEC 29500-2:2008 Open Packaging Convention.[3]

In the past, Autodesk has estimated the total sort of DWG files in existence to be more than three billion.

Version history

Official name version Douche date of release comments
AutoCAD Version 1.0 1.0 1 1982, December DWG R1.0 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Version 1.2 1.2 2 1983, April DWG R1.2 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Version 1.3 1.3 3 1983, August
AutoCAD Version 1.4 1.4 4 1983, Oct DWG R1.4 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Version 2.0 2.0 5 1984, Oct DWG R2.05 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Version 2.1 2.1 6 1985, May DWG R2.1 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Version 2.5 2.5 7 1986, June DWG R2.5 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Version 2.6 2.6 8 1987, April DWG R2.6 enter info introduced; last edition to separate without a math co-processor
AutoCAD Release 9 N/A 9 1987, September DWG R9 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Release 10 N/A 10 1988, Oct DWG R10 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Release 11 N/A 11 1990, Oct DWG R11 enter info introduced
AutoCAD Release 12 N/A 12 1992, June DWG R11/R12 enter info introduced; last release for Apple Macintosh
AutoCAD Release 13 N/A 13 1994, November DWG R13 enter info introduced; last release for Unix, MS-DOS and Windows 3.11
AutoCAD Release 14 N/A 14 1997, February DWG R14 enter info introduced
AutoCAD 2000 15.0 15 1999, March DWG 2000 enter info introduced
AutoCAD 2000i 15.1 16 2000, July
AutoCAD 2002 15.6 17 2001, June
AutoCAD 2004 16.0 18 2003, March DWG 2004 enter info introduced
AutoCAD 2005 16.1 19 2004, March
AutoCAD 2006 16.2 20 2005, March
AutoCAD 2007 17.0 21 2006, March DWG 2007 enter info introduced
AutoCAD 2008 17.1 22 2007, March first release acquirable for the x86-64 windows edition of XP and Vista
AutoCAD 2009 17.2 23 2008, March
AutoCAD 2010 18.0 24 2009, March 24 DWG 2010 enter info introduced; launching of parametrics and two 3D moulding topologies: mesh supported and solid modeling

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Autocad Article by Svetlana Lozovenko
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