AutoCAD 2021 is Here
Michael Alba posted on March 25, 2020 |
But unfortunately, the year 2021 is not.
Screenshot of AutoCAD 2021. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Screenshot of AutoCAD 2021. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

We’re all eager for 2020 to be over already, and Autodesk is helping us all pretend by announcing the release of AutoCAD 2021. The latest version of AutoCAD adds a few new tools, enhancements, and integrations that Autodesk claims will immediately boost productivity.

Let’s take a look at what’s new in AutoCAD 2021.

New Features in AutoCAD 2021

One of the highlights of AutoCAD 2021 is the new Drawing History feature, which shows users all the changes made to their drawings over time. Users can also compare two versions in the context of the current drawing.

The new Drawing History feature in AutoCAD 2021. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
The new Drawing History feature in AutoCAD 2021. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

The other big addition to AutoCAD 2021 is a new integration with Google Drive. This allows users to open DWG files from Google Drive directly in the AutoCAD web or mobile app, and save the DWGs back to Google Drive once they’re finished. Users can do the same directly from DWG attachments in Gmail.

Enhancements in AutoCAD 2021

Autodesk has also improved several existing features for the new version of AutoCAD. The DWG Compare feature now supports external references (Xrefs) attached to drawings. Xref Compare will automatically notify users if a referenced drawing has changed, and users can compare the changes in the context of their current drawing.

DWG Compare now supports Xrefs in AutoCAD 2021. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
DWG Compare now supports Xrefs in AutoCAD 2021. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

AutoCAD 2021 also improves the Blocks palette, letting users sync recent blocks to cloud storage for access from web or desktop. The new Libraries tab (formerly the Other Drawings tab) shows users their five most recently used block libraries for quick access.

AutoCAD 2021 improves the Blocks palette. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
AutoCAD 2021 improves the Blocks palette. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Finally, Autodesk says that AutoCAD 2021 boosts graphics performance with multi-core processors providing faster pan, zoom, and orbit in both 2D and 3D.

AutoCAD subscribers can download AutoCAD 2021 as of today. On April 3, Autodesk will release AutoCAD 2021 for Mac with Xref Compare, Purge improvements, a floating command line, and Simplified Chinese language support. You can read more about AutoCAD 2021 in the Autodesk blog post.

Autodesk Responds to COVID-19

Autodesk also recently announced that it will help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., all businesses) with a temporary Extended Access Program for select cloud products including AutoCAD web and mobile.


--Update (March 26, 2020): See below for Autodesk's response to this article.

As a company we’re keeping a close eye on COVID-19 and how it’s affecting communities, families and people around the world.

Would you mind considering removing or revising this subhead:  

But unfortunately, the year 2021 is not.

And this sentence:

We’re all eager for 2020 to be over already, and Autodesk is helping us all pretend by announcing the release of AutoCAD 2021.

[We're] concerned that it makes Autodesk come across as a bit insensitive, and we certainly aren’t trying to pretend or make light of the situation at hand. As Andrew [Anagnost, Autodesk CEO] recently mentioned in his ADSK News post, our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and partners.

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