The new AutoCAD is here, the new AutoCAD is here! It really is the best time of the year. Spring is slowly starting to show itself. Major League Baseball is in spring training, the NHL is wrapping up its season and getting ready for the playoffs, and Autodesk starts releasing its new software.

What’s new?

The new features and improvements fall into five categories

  1. User Interface
  2. Documentation (this post)
  3. Design
  4. BIM
  5. Installation and Configuration

In our previous post we looked at installation and the user interface, now let us take a look at the documentation enhancements.

Revision Clouds

Revision Clouds can be created in one of three options: Rectangular, Polygonal, and Freehand. AutoCAD remembers the previous method used, Meaning hit the enter key and just keep going..

AutoCAD 2016 Revision Cloud Types

Making changes to existing Revision Clouds is significantly different now, significantly for the better. The number of grips displayed when the Revision Cloud is selected has been greatly reduced. The location and the behaviour of the grips is based on the shape of the revision cloud, making it easier to make changes to the revision cloud.

AutoCAD 2016 Rev Cloud Grip Options

The new modify option enables the removal of existing portions and the addition of new segments. More Polyline like, which is a good thing.

AutoCAD 2016 Rev Cloud Stretching Grip

DIM Command Enhancements

Actually classify this one as a complete rework. When using DIM, the type of dimension created is automatically determined by the object selected. A preview appears as you roll the course over the object.

AutoCAD 2016 Dim Preview

Take for example a line. By selecting the line DIM will allow for the creation of a horizontal, vertical, or aligned dimension…. all by how you move the mouse. After picking the line if you continue and pick another object DIM will create the appropriate dimension between the two objects.

AutoCAD 2016 Dim Preview 2

When using DIM watch the right-click options as you can flip into various options like radius opposed to diameter, center jogged, continuous, baseline, etc.

#8 AUGI Wishlist Request – Text Wrap in Dimensions!

When editing dimensions you can use the new width sizing control to set the width for text wrapping

Don’t worry about the Layer!

A new dimension layer is automatically added to the drawing as the first dimension is created and will be set active with each subsequent dimension addition. Use DIMLAYER to set this layer.

#2 AUGI Wishlist Request – Closed Polyline Snapping!

Hip, Hip, Hooray! What a great new feature! The Center OSNAP has been enhanced to snap to the geometric center of a closed polygon / polyline.

AutoCAD 2016 Geometric Center OSNAP

AutoCAD 2016 Snapping to Geometric Center

Command Preview Extensions

The Command Preview functionality introduced in 2015 has been extended to include blend, erase, stretch, rotate, and scale. This means it is easier to predict the results without clicking and praying that you’ve picked everything correctly.

AutoCAD 2016 Erase Preview

Xref Enhancements

Xref Layers no longer display in the Properties Palette as they cannot be adjusted within the host drawing. They will still appear in the Ribbon layer drop-down but appear as grey text

New system variable XREFOVERRIDE that when set to 1 means the xref objects behave as if their properties are set to ByLayer


If truetype fonts are used with MText and Text they will be searchable within the published PDF. This also includes Polygonized text (TTF font plotted as geometry), SHX text, and unicode characters.

For drawings containing a large amount of text, polylines, and fill patterns the PDF creation process is significantly quicker

Export has been split into two separate dialogs, DWF and PDF. PDF’s now have their own publishing options including controls for quality, font handling, hyperlinks and bookmarks.

AutoCAD 2016 Export to PDF Options

Four predefined plotters appear within the Plot dialog providing a quick way to create PDF’s with different output options.

What Else?

  • Much improved performance with Property Previews
  • Move / Copy enhancements – With a large amount of objects selected the preview is generated much quicker than previous versions, meaning moving objects with much less lag.
  • #5 AUGI Wishlist Request: MText Border Property – Quickly add a border to the MTEXT object via the properties
  • Selection Highlighting Color option on the Selection tab of the options, requires Hardware Acceleration