Monday, October 18, 2010

What's Missing from AutoCAD MAC?

Autodesk has released a native version of AutoCAD for MAC OS.  This release costs about the same as AutoCAD for PC.  Both versions can open the same files and do basically the same things, but AutoCAD for MAC is the first version, so it is missing a few things.  I have mixed emotions about AutoCAD MAC, but that's ok.  I'll be the first to admit that I am not a MAC fan.  Every time I think about getting a MAC and actually price them out I can't bring myself to getting one.  You have to pay more for less hardware.  In fact, it's Intell hardware now so it isn't even a different option.  So why pay more for less?  I don't know, maybe some day.

When I first discovered that Autodesk was working on AutoCAD for MAC I was a bit disappointed.  I didn't want Autodesk to be distracted from their work on AutoCAD.  I'm not sure that's a valid argument considering how many products Autodesk currently produces and maintains.  What's one more right?

I completely understand why Autodesk chose to start this new product.  Their clients that use Apple computers want it.  Once that user base is large enough to support their own product why not?  Autodesk already has several products that can be used on a MAC.  That also means that Autodesk has the experience needed to get into a new market.

So, I have to admit that I have changed my mind about AutoCAD on MAC.  I'm ok with it now.  I'm not going to run out and get a MAC or AutoCAD for MAC just because it's there.  Nope, not me.  There are a few reasons for this.  As I stated earlier, MACs cost too much for too little hardware that I can get in a PC for less cost.  Also, AutoCAD for MAC cost about the same as AutoCAD for PC, but there is less there.

Autodesk recently released a list of features that re in AutoCAD for PC that are not in AutoCAD for MAC.
This is a great thing for Autodesk to do.  I really appreciate it.  How many companies release a brand new product and list its shortcomings?  Not many.  Doing this could keep some users form purchasing their new product.  However, I feel that those that were considering buying AutoCAD for MAC are still going to purchase it, regardless of this list.

Many of the times on the "what's missing" list are not that big of a deal, but, for me, there are enough key features missing that I would not purchase it, even if I already had a MAC.  In all fairness, if I had a MAC I might buy it even with these features missing.  I don't know.

Here is my "short list" of key features that I would miss in production:


  • CAD Manager Tools
  • Custom dictionaries
  • Data Extraction Wizard (this is one of my favorite commands. i would really miss it)
  • DesignCenter
  • DWF support (this is a huge feature that is missing)
  • Dynamic block authoring (I can't believe this is missing)
  • Editable drawing properties [DWGPROPS]
  • eTransmit and Archive
  • Express Tools
  • Filter and Quick Select (I use Quick Select every day)
  • In-place editing of blocks or xrefs [REFEDIT]
  • Layer filters
  • Layer notification
  • Layer State Manager
  • Markup Set Manage (Really? How do you mark up drawings?)
  • OLE objects (I constantly link Spread Sheets to my CAD Files)
  • PDF underlay
  • Sheet Set Manager(Oh My! Lacking this feature alone might be a deal breaker for me)
  • Tool palettes
  • There is only one workspace
  • Rendering options are limited
  • CUI editor may include commands that are not actually available
WOW!!  That's just the short list.  I know, it's a rather long short list.  Keep in mind that this version of AutoCAD for MAC is version 1.  I'll bet that many of these missing features will be added in release 2.  For now, this list would keep me from switching to MAC and AutoCAD for MAC.  But, if I already had a MAC, loved it, and needed a license of AutoCAD, I would consider it, especially if I already used MAC based software.

How about you?  Knowing what was missing from AutoCAD for MAC would you get it?  Why or why not?  Have I totally missed the mark on this?  
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