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Many of the changes to AutoCAD 2014 are fixes and improvements that the average user might not notice. So here it is my incomplete list of new features.

  1. New Autodesk Recap (ships with AutoCAD) is Photogrammetry software allows a user to automatically convert multiple photographs into a 3d model mesh and use the photographs as texture maps. Available on 360 accounts.
  2. Updated: Security features to combat the growing list of AutoCAD targeted malware.
  3. New: Geo-Location allowing the drawing to be linked to maps like Google earth. However this is only available to 360 accounts.
  4. Design Feed, is a way to communicate with people about your drawings by tagging the drawing and posting comments. It allows real time chatting, this feature was adding from ACAD-WS. It also allows including images from your mobile device, but to use this you must be logged in to 360 and have the drawing shared on the cloud.
  5. Command prompt update: Customizable Auto Correct. Spell a command wrong and it offers alternatives. These command line improvements will slow down the response time, so if you tend to type your commands you may find this annoying and want to turn this feature off. I was typing PU and hitting for the purge command, and it keep going into the pan command, because it couldn’t keep up.
  6. Command prompt update: Synonym Lookup. So If you type a command it doesn’t recognize it provides some alternatives. Like “round” will return “Fillet”, or “Transmit” would return “Etransmit”.
  7. Command prompt update: Find user layer names and block names. While typing the name of layer, a the command prompt will try to set that layer current.
  8. A New File Tab which resides under the ribbon menu allows easy opening, closing and switching of drawings. Making this more like Internet Explorer 9, Firefox or Chrome browsers.
  9. A new “Merge selected layer(s) to…” Option now appears as a right click in the layer properties dialog box. Allowing merging of layers to combine into other layers.
  10. Some Xref enhancements such as being able to right click on the attach button and change pathing options.
  11. Windows 8 is now supported so touch screen ribbon menu has been added.
  12. Update: The Arc Command now allows you to force the arc in the CW direction. So a Start, Center, End Arc can be drawn clockwise by holding down the CTRL key.
  13. I’m told that enhancements to the screen graphics, viewport improvements have been made but I haven’t really noticed much change. Perhaps if I was doing graphic intensive 3d or rendering in AutoCAD I’d notice.
  14. Hatch methods are remembered so if you use the select object method to define your boundary, it will use the previous method next time you hatch.
  15. Single line text justification is now “sticky”. Your previous justification is remembered and becomes the default next time you use single line text.

Now admittedly this is not a complete list of new options, but I have covered the biggies. The Recap software that now ships with AutoCAD is the one thing that I found to be very cool. The technology is the amalgamation of a few technologies, and software ought and developed by Autodesk.

A few years ago Autodesk acquired a company named Real Viz. RealViz had 2 products that were particularly good. The first was Stitcher which allowed multiple overlapping photographs to be merged into one large panoramic view with the perspective fixed, and the color corrected across all of the stitched photos.

After a release or two under the AutoDesk label Stitcher disappeared and a similar software appeared named PhotoFly on Autodesk Labs. The second software was named RealViz imageModeler and also disappeared and re-appeared on AutoDesk labs as Catch 123. This “Photogrammetry” software allowed a user to take multiple photographs of a 3d object and it converted it into a mesh model and took the photographs and applied them as a texture map back onto the model. Now Recap allows this same kind of functionality plus the addition of point cloud captures from a variety of 3d scanning devices.

System Requirements for 32-bit AutoCAD 2014

Note: AutoCAD 2014 is the final version of AutoCAD software that will be supported on the Microsoft® Windows® XP operating system.

  • Windows® 8 and Windows® 8.1 Standard, Enterprise, or Professional edition, Windows® 7 Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, or Home Premium edition (compare Windows versions), or Windows XP® Professional or Home edition (SP3 or later) operating system
  • For Windows® 8, Windows® 8.1, and Windows 7: Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon™ dual-core processor, 3.0 GHz or higher with SSE2 technology
  • For Windows XP: Pentium 4 or Athlon dual-core processor, 1.6 GHz or higher with SSE2 technology
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 6 GB free disk space for installation
  • 1,024 x 768 display resolution with true color (1,600 x 1,050 recommended)
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7 or later web browser

System Requirements for 64-bit AutoCAD 2014

  • Windows® 8 and Windows® 8.1 (requires installation of the Model Documentation hotfix) Standard, Enterprise, or Professional edition, Windows 7 Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, or Home Premium edition (compare Windows versions), or Windows XP Professional (SP2 or later)
  • Athlon 64 with SSE2 technology, AMD Opteron™ processor with SSE2 technology, Intel® Xeon® processor with Intel EM64T support and SSE2 technology, or Pentium 4 with Intel EM64T support and SSE2 technology
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 6 GB free space for installation
  • 1,024 x 768 display resolution with true color (1,600 x 1,050 recommended)
  • Internet Explorer 7 or later

Additional requirements for large datasets, point clouds, and 3D modeling (all configurations)

  • Pentium 4 or Athlon processor, 3 GHz or greater, or Intel or AMD dual-core processor, 2 GHz or greater
  • 4 GB RAM or more
  • 6 GB hard disk space available in addition to free space required for installation
  • 1,280 x 1,024 true color video display adapter 128 MB or greater, Pixel Shader 3.0 or greater, Microsoft® Direct3D®-capable workstation-class graphics card