I need to correct some misconceptions about the new AutoCad ADT 2006
upgrade. I wrote about the problems I was having and suddenly I was the
poster boy for ADT 2006 review - if it didn't work for me, it won't work
for you. The fault turned out not to be with the software but with my
video graphics card in my laptop that ultimately failed and is still off
line waiting for the in-house Dell technician to arrive in a few minutes.
I'm not sure if the differences between 2005 and 2006 are dramatically
different although some of the features in 2006 are very slick. The zoom
controls enlarge the view like the zoom controls on a camera rather than
window in and simply redraw the screen. I'm not sure how much this is
worth to you, but it does impress me as a smooth and polished software.
The text features are no longer as obvious as they were in the past.
Autodesk has tried to make them more intuitive, but the majority of
users who wrote comments about it on the ADT forum miss having the
commands on a pull-down menu (which it still might be) or on a toolbar.
The commands are still there, but you have to customize your system or
rely on catalogs (or creating your own custom catelog as I have done) to
use the features. Still, once you grow accustom to the changes, you
begin to understand the expanded power of the context sensitive right
This verson does more to explain and integrate the features of ADT with
Sheetsets which were incompatible in prior versions. Sheetsets were
predomently used by generic Autocad users while ADT relied on Concepts,
Views and Sheets to assemble your production set. The newer version
keeps better track of your work and is more user-friendly when working
in 3D drawings.
I've added on a few custom menu's including one from our List member
Mark Johnson who has created a few lisp based structural shapes. The
reason for this is that I believe there are fewer choices on the
Structural Shapes library than in past ADT choices - there certainly are
less choices for joist hangers and here I downloaded and use the Simpson
Autocad menu that works just fine in 2006.
The underlying truth is that Autodesk wants to protect their proprietary
format and this version of Autocad is a rewrite from prior versions that
does a better job of protecting their work. I am not an admirer of this
because there should be an open source or DWG compatibility between
software packages from the practical aspect that not everyone wants to
own Autocad but that most of us must work together professionally and
need a compatible format that is not as basic as DXF and retains a
higher level of formating. DWF is fine, but does not allow modifications
and can not be integrated into another CAD package used by your client.
Unfortunately Autodesk is not getting the revenue in new sales that they
expect for a publically traded stock and their value is dependent upon
an annual subscription fee which now requires at least one major upgrade
per year. Whether this one is worth is or not is not even relevent
because if you choose to skip over it, the next one will cost you twice
what your subscription fee is. Moving from 2005 to 2006 is $600.00 for
the year. Moving from 2004 to 2006 is $1,200.00 - you pay for it one way
or the other and at some point, you must upgrade or return to purchase
the next set for full retail (somewhere in the $5,000.00).
So, take the reviews that we write with a grain of salt - the problems
we point out are not tested and proven to be the fault of the software
developer - they are based on our own frustration and desire to find a
reasonable solution. What I've read made me feel like an embarrased
Autocad guru who was wrong and now will have some companies blaming me
for putting them on the wrong track - this is not the case and you need
to do more research into this matter than one man's opinion.
I'll stick to the upgrades for now - at least until I retire and don't
need to draft another line.
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