AutoCAD for Mac 2014. Long awaited, it is here


This spring, architosh ™ (the leading Internet magazine dedicated to Mac & iOS CAD and 3D professionals and students worldwide) published an interview with Micah Dickerson, AutoCAD for Mac 2013 Product manager. In this in interview he spoke about the present and the future of AutoCAD for Mac, talking about the future, he noted that “With AutoCAD for Mac we want to be more aligned with Apple’s OS X roadmap. We want to take better advantage of their software and hardware advances.

As you probably know the new release of Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks was launched today at Apple October event. So it is a time for new AutoCAD for Mac release. And it is here now!

You may be curious of new features of AutoCAD 2014 for Mac, so let me tell about them. But at first I want to note that there aren’t a lot of new features in the new release, but a lot of “old” bugs are corrected. So I begin with new set of features:

– Long awaiting support for Retina display. AutoCAD now fully supports this high definition experience. If you owned one of MacBooks with Retina display, you will find high-definition graphics throughout the AutoCAD UI – desktop application icon, toolbars and tool icons, in-canvas transient graphics (UCS, View Cube, etc.), in-canvas line rendering.

Package Drawing (aka eTransmit) – Similar to eTransmit in AutoCAD for Windows, Package Drawing allows you to quickly collect related files into a compressed folder for easy distribution or storage. AutoCAD now includes Package Drawing settings dialog, where you can adjust settings for creation of drawing archive.Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 15.25.32

Drawing Sync – AutoCAD 2014 for Mac allows you to directly access your files from Autodesk 360 and synchronize them between your computer and the cloud. To use Drawing Sync, you’ll first need to be signed into Autodesk 360. You can Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 15.27.49sign-in from within AutoCAD using the “Connect” Menu or when AutoCAD isn’t running, you can also sign in from the OS X Menu Bar by clicking on the A360 icon. Once you’ve successfully signed in, you can access your Autodesk 360 cloud drive from: the AutoCAD menu bar (Connect > Open Autodesk 360 Drive), the AutoCAD Menu bar (File> New Drawing…/Open… > Autodesk 360), the OS X Finder Sidebar (“Autodesk 360”), the OS X Menu Bar (“Open Autodesk 360 Drive”). You can also enable automatic sync in application Preferences.

New redesigned Welcome Screen – Now it’s easier to work with files when creating a new drawing or working on an existing one. The new Welcome Screen also gives you quick access to learning materials, your cloud storage, and helps you connect with other AutoCAD for Mac users so you collaborate, share information, and solve problems. One of the cool features of new Welcome Screen is that it pop-ups automatically if AutoCAD is running, but all drawings are closed and you pick AutoCAD icon in the Dock.Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 16.15.19

New Preview Button in Print dialog allows you to open Preview application with PDF preview of the Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 16.30.46drawing file you want to print.

Default Save-as-Previous Version drop-down list now added to AutoCAD Preferences dialog. You can forget about Terminal commands and AutoLISP expressions that you used to change default format for save.Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 16.20.18

Software Security Enhancements – AutoCAD 2014 for Mac enhances software security and helps prevent loading and running of unauthorized or malicious AutoLISP applications. You can allow executable files to be loaded from all search paths or only from the trusted locations, specified by TRUSTEDPATH system variable. And you can choose to display a warning before loading executable files outside the trusted locations via SECURELOAD system variable. AutoCAD also renames ’-nolisp’ startup switch to ‘-safemode’, and expand ‘safemode’ startup switch to block all executable code (vs. just LISP)

New Find Dialog behavior – when you search a text in a drawing, the view will not switch back and will remain after the text found and located. It is more convenient to search a text in a big drawing.

New Online Help – you can press F1 from anywhere within the AutoCAD for Mac application to be directed to relevant help topics. The new Online Help homepage is less cluttered and thereby easier to search and find relevant information. The new Online Help gives you focused search-based access to the information you need. You can refine your search results by choosing the following topic types: Documentation, Installation & Deployment, Developer’s documentation.

And now – about “old” bugs that was corrected with tis release:

– During your work with AutoCAD you may be noticed that when the number of layers in a drawing is higher than 10 (or slightly more) Layers drop-down list on Layers palette become extremely slow responsive. Now Layers drop-down flies as a rocket, even with dozens of Layers!

– In all previous releases of AutoCAD for Mac if you have viewport locked in a drawing and are trying to zoom with mouse wheel inside this viewport with Status Bar opened, zooming works with significant delays. Now this have been fixed – no more ZOOM delays!

– Crashes when user trying to render drawings with image assigned to background Image (in Windows version of AutoCAD) now doesn’t occur in most cases.

– When you change default Printer in Page Setup Manager (by selecting it from Printer drop-down list) Paper Size list now updates automatically to reflect selected Printer.

– When you have a lot of Custom Hatch patterns files on Support Files Search Path noticeable delays when switching between opened drawings now doesn’t occur anymore!

And now about Operating Systems compatible with AutoCAD 2014 for Mac:

The following versions of Apple Mac OS X are supported:

■ Mac OS X Mountain Lion – 10.8 or later

■ Mac OS X Mavericks – 10.9 or later

Now you are faced with having to decide – whether to upgrade or not.


20 Responses to “AutoCAD for Mac 2014. Long awaited, it is here”

  1. yeahhh.

  2. Does anyone know whether the current AutoCAD for Mac 2013 is compatible with Mac OS X Mavericks? Thanks in advance.

    • maximka2010 Says:

      Hi Rick,

      AutoCAD 2013 for Mac is not compatible with Mavericks now, so please avoid upgrading OS on your Mac if you want to use AutoCAD on it. Wait for new Service Pack for AC 2013, which I think will be released soon.


    • Autocad 2013 for Mac IS compatible with Mavericks. I use it everyday.

      • maximka2010 Says:

        You need to install SP2 in order to make AC 2013 fully compatible with Mavericks. Without it you will have problems with Dim Styles and Print dialogs plus there are a lot of “hidden” bugs under Mavericks without SP2.


  3. jsergeant81 Says:

    Any thoughts on AutoCAD 2012 for Mac being compatible with OSX 10.9?

    • maximka2010 Says:

      Can not say anything certain, but it seems that 2012 wouldn’t get update to run on Mavericks, not sure really – maybe I’m not right.


  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post

  5. just wondering if anyone has played around with the new 2014 version for mac and can comment on the few issues that have prevented me using autocad for mac as the main machine:
    1. pdf file size way too large. I typically issue sets of about 30 sheets, and so the pdf size is nice to keep down in size so that we can access the drawings on mobile devices. I’ve done side by side tests between windows and mac versions and the time to create the pdf files is about the same, but the mac version makes way larger files that of course when zoomed in are much more detailed, but simply too large to use in a combined pdf set. I caught in the video a small mention that might have been improved.
    2. general panning speed. When drawings get big, windows version is much faster for everything. For example, when editing a large door schedule that was created with a table, mac version takes forever to click on a cell and highlight the text, takes several clicks, it does seem to be working, but takes it’s time to highlight and allow you to edit, this is much faster on the windows version.
    3. dynamic block creation. I tend to like to combine different views of symbols in one symbol which is nice with the dynamic blocks, was disappointed when it didn’t make it into the mac version, but when I just read the comparison matrix for this new 2014 version, seems to be a feature that has been added.
    4. finally the etransmit feature, nice that has been added back, wondering how well that works.

    so if those main things were all working just like the pc, then it’s done, and I can finally rely on the mac version even when the pressure is on, so any input would be appreciated.

    • maximka2010 Says:

      Hi Don,

      Here are my comments on your comment:
      1. PDF output was improved only in case you are using “plotstyles with Milter/Bevel/Round Line join style”. All other issues with PDF output (including “font outlining”) are still here 😦
      2. Agree, there are still a lot of work for developers to improve graphics performance.
      3. Yes, it marked as a feature (as in previous releases) but have a footnote: “Dynamic blocks created in Windows® can be inserted and used on a Mac, but authoring and editing of these blocks is not currently supported.”
      4. E-transmit seems work fine for me.


  6. Hi Maxim,
    thanks for your answers, helps quite a bit. So if the pdf is sort of fixed but maybe not (I have to check if my plotstyle had miter /bevel / round line join style on or not, worried that I didn’t and it’s not improved), and the dynamic block allows you to insert and select dynamic blocks created in the windows version (which is the way it is now), seems like only point 4 of my list really got fixed with this version, leaving aside the retina support. So did the retina support improve any graphic speed? If the pdf gets fixed for 2013 version, is there a compelling reason to get 2014? I would if it makes it really stable and fast all around, and I can get the pdf size tolerable. By the way on that note, I’ve done the quartz trick in preview to reduce the file size, but not as desirable as the output from the pc version to be honest.

    • maximka2010 Says:

      Retina support, I think, did not improve graphic speed, it just make everything in the interface sharper. To say true, I did not have an opportunity to check Retina improvements myself, as I don’t have Retina MacBook 😦
      And yes, quartz tricks doesn’t reduce PDF files from AutoCAD, because they can not affect vector data.
      Overall stability of AutoCAD 2014 is slightly better, than 2013 release. (in my private opinion).


      • Hi Maxim,
        one follow up comment / question. I looked into the plot style, and on all the settings I have the following:
        linetype: use object line type
        adaptive is selective
        lineweight: use object line weight
        line end style: use object end style
        line join style: use object join style
        fill style: use object fill style

        so I think this is the correct setting to get the smallest pdf output, let me know if I have that right.



      • maximka2010 Says:

        Hi Don,

        Yes, this is the default settings for getting smallest PDF output.


  7. Thank you for the good writeup. It in truth was once a leisure account it.
    Look complex to more delivered agreeable from you!
    However, how could we keep in touch?

  8. cad2014 can’t read other lang fonts(shx)

    • maximka2010 Says:


      Could you clarify? Which language do you mean? And what SHX file? I personally don’t have any issues with Cyrillic letters in AC for Mac.


  9. Hi Maxim, It seems like AutoCAD keeps trying to push us away from using layer states manager. I wish they would integrate that into all versions. The only work around was the LMAN routine you developed for the 2011 version.

  10. Kym Anderson Says:

    Hi downloaded the educational version on this and do not have the toolsets available at the top of my screen when in drawing mode. is there a way to get those?

    • maximka2010 Says:

      Hi Kym,

      do you mean Ribbon when you mention about “toolsets at the top of the screeen”? If so – than the Ribbon is not a feature in AutoCAD for Mac, in Mac version there is only ToolSets palette which is not at the top of the drawing window, has vertical position and can be docked at the left or at the right sides of the screen, and contextual Visors – the interface elements which appears at the top of the drawing window when you use some commands – HATCH, MTEXT, ARRAY, etc.


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