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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A 2007 Hidden Secret

I believe that the most appreciated little secret in the 2007 release will not be the improvements on the walls, AEC Dimensions, the ability to create custom stairs from linework, or the one click space creation with room tags. There is one feature that has not been discussed very much. I bet most of my readers have not heard about it. In my mind it goes against what Autodesk has been pushing on us for the last several years.

All right. Enough already. The little known feature is the improvement to electronic plotting. Autodesk e-plot format is the dwf. With the download of the dwf viewer, one can view AutoCAD drawings without having AutoCAD installed. The ability to view 3D dwf's was added in release 2006. With this, one might think they were trying to monolopize the market on electronic files.

As neat as the dwf is, users for some reason or another kept trying to figure out the best way not to create dwf's but pdf's. It has almost been like a small battle between dwf's and pdf's. But to my amazement, Autodesk has added the ability to create pdf's inside of AutoCAD.

There is a new "dwg to pdf.pc3" file that comes with AutoCAD 2007. No more having to purchase Adobe Writer or some other knock off program to create pdfs within AutoCAD. I think most users will appreciate this more then Autodesk knows.

So where does this position Autodesk in the dwf vs. pdf battle? We will have to wait and see. But while we are waiting, I am going to enjoy the new plot to pdf feature.

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