AutoCAD 2013 for Mac. Better Less, But of Higher Quality?

Everyone knew that this day is close, and now it is here – AutoCAD 2013 for Mac!

Now then we have a new release of AutoCAD for Mac and, of course, the first point of interest is about new features of this release. First of all let me say that there is not too many innovations in this version of AutoCAD (at least at first glance). Nevertheless those new features enables AutoCAD for Mac users to work more efficiently.

To begin with new features overview, I want to say, that according to the current results of three short polls that I posted half a year ago in my “Let’s Turn Considerations Into Roadmap” post, the three most wanted features in new release of AutoCAD for Mac are:

– in Part I “CAD Management”: 1-st place – “Sheet Set Manager” – 20% votes

– in Part II “3D Modeling & Rendering”: 6-th place – “Model Documentation” – 12% votes (first place “Advanced Rendering Settings” with 21%)

– in Part III “Miscellaneous”: 2-nd place – “PDF & DWF Underlay” – 16% votes (first place “Express Tools” with 17%)

Unfortunately there is no “Advanced Rendering Settings”, nor “Express Tools” among new features, but now we have:

Project Manager

AutoCAD for Mac 2013 includes the new Project Manager, equivalent to the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD 2012. Although the names are different, the files are the same. DST files, regardless of where they were created, can be used on either Mac or Windows systems. Using the Project Manager (that comes in a form of Palette)  you can efficiently create, manage, and share your entire set of sheets from one convenient location.

With the Project Manager, you can manage drawings as projects. A project is an organized and named collection of layouts, or sheets, from several drawing files. You can import a layout from any drawing into a project or create new sheets from a the Project Manager which creates a new drawing with a named layout.

Layouts can be arranged into collections called groups. Groups can also contain sub-groups which is a nested group. The use of groups can make it easier to locate a layout in a project and publish a small set of layouts that are in a project.

Layouts can contain viewports that show named model space views. Project (DST) files created with the Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD for Windows can contain sheet views that are named model space views. Views that are placed on a layout are displayed represented by a node in the Project Manager below the layout they are placed on. Named model space views cannot be placed on a layout with the Project Manager. However, you can edit the properties of a view and place view label blocks for a view on a layout that has already been placed.

Model Documentation

AutoCAD 2013 for Mac includes object enablers for model documentation functionality to accurately view layouts containing drawing views and annotations created from Model Documentation tools on the AutoCAD Windows platform.

So, looks like we are one step from introducing Model Documentation feature in AutoCAD for Mac.

PDF Underlay

AutoCAD 2013 for Mac now supports PDF files as underlays in addition to image files and the traditional DWG external references.
You can access this functionality in the Insert menu and with the Attach Reference button in the Reference Manager.
Selecting a PDF underlay brings up a contextual visor with options including scale, fading, and the ability to control snapping, clipping, and the display of layers in the underlay, if layer information was published with the PDF file.

Other enhancements

In fact, all other new features that comes with AutoCAD 2013 for Mac correspond to new features and improvements in AutoCAD 2013 for Windows (with exception of Command Line enhancements, In-canvas editing and Cloud features), and they are:

  • Hatch editing. You now can edit multiple hatch objects at the same time, much as you can edit the properties of multiple entities. The expanded hatch-editing ribbon is now automatically invoked upon hatch selection.
  • Offsetting previews. The venerable old Offset command has been upgraded to offer preview control to clarify side of offset and distance results.
  • Press-pull controls. The Presspull tool, available in the Modeling toolset tab, is enhanced in AutoCAD 2013 for Mac to be more flexible and context sensitive. You can easily extrude or offset planar faces by simply picking the face or pressing the Ctrl key as you pick it. Now you can use the PressPull tool to select and extrude 2D and 3D curves, creating surfaces and solids. A new Multiple option in the PressPull tool enables you to select multiple objects within a single PressPull operation. Alternatively, you can press the Shift key while picking objects.
  • Surface Curve Extraction. The new Extract Isolines tool, available at the command line, extracts isoline curves from an existing surface or face of a solid.
  • Array changes. After selecting objects for a rectangular array, they are immediately displayed in a 3 row by 4 column grid. When creating a polar array, the selected objects are displayed immediately after you specify a center point, in a full circular pattern of 6. After selecting objects and a path for a path array, the objects are immediately displayed evenly along the entire length of the path. For each type of array; rectangular, polar, and path, multifunctional grips and a contextual visor enable you to dynamically edit relevant properties as you create the array. You can use the Ctrl key to cycle through grips with multiple options.
  • Strike‐through Text. A new strikethrough style is provided for Mtext, Mleaders, Dimensions, and Tables.
  • Wipeout. The Wipeout tool is updated to include an option for displaying but not plotting the wipeout frame.
  • New Drawing File Format. AutoCAD 2013 for Mac introduces a new file format that enables improved performance and reduced file size. When you save a drawing containing 3D Solids in the new AutoCAD 2013 file format a graphics cache file is automatically stored in a folder named “GraphicsCache” under your user local folder. If the drawing contains many or complex 3D solids, reopening the drawing can be noticeably faster as AutoCAD 2013 uses the cached data.
  • Two Layer Tools available in Windows version was added in this release of AutoCAD for Mac: LAYON and LAYTHW command now are standard “internal” commands, no need for workarounds with Lisp routines.
  • ARRAYCLASSIC command. As in Windows version old-style dialog for creating non-associative Rectangular and Polar arrays was “returned” to AutoCAD for mac users.


Worth to add that AutoCAD 2013 for Mac has improved graphics performance, besides the developers have solved long-standing problem with DWG file sharing when working with External references.

And also do not miss “What’s New in This Release: AutoCAD 2013 for Mac” on YouTube:


9 Responses to “AutoCAD 2013 for Mac. Better Less, But of Higher Quality?”

  1. Wedding Djs adelaide Says:

    A work mate referred me to this resource. Thank you for the details.

  2. as always thanks for the precious infos you share with us!

  3. Thank you for any other great post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

  4. anyone knows if Superhatch is available?

  5. hi,
    is the camera creation available in this version?

    • maximka2010 Says:

      No, but I think there is a way to “simulate” this process.

      • Would you advice to buy the mac version or better still instal windows and a parallel?

      • maximka2010 Says:

        According to this article Windows and Mac Cross-Platform Licensing for the moment you can buy either Mac or Windows version of AutoCAD 2013 and activate it on Windows or Mac OS X with the same serial number and product keys two times in a 12-month period. So you wouldn’t have any problems – you can use Windows and Mac version of AutoCAD 2013 simultaneously.

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