Many within the CAD industry (myself included) coined AutoCAD 2008 the “Wish List Release”. After many years of asking, we were finally given things like annotative scaling and multileaders. AutoCAD 2009 seems to continue that to some degree, but it’s true focus is the UI (User Interface) itself. Looking back, the last time we have seen a major UI overhaul was with Release 13 when AutoCAD said goodbye to MS DOS and hello to MS Windows. Just the other day I was reading a post at Civil3D.com by James Wedding titled “Death, Taxes, and the Annual Release Cycle“. While his post was mostly about the upcoming AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009, he did make a quote I think embodies what AutoCAD 2009 is all about. He said “2009 isn’t the revolution, it’s the evolution, and to me that’s a good sign”.
Packed within AutoCAD 2009 you’re not going to find the next Annotative Scaling or Sheet Set Manager. Instead what you’re going to see is an all new UI that Autodesk will certainly harness in future releases. While getting used to the new UI will be a paradigm shift in-and-of-itself; I think the true power of the new UI will be seen in the future. Starting with AutoCAD 2009 we’re no longer trapped within a static interface. Instead we start seeing some dynamic UI elements. Among these is the new Quick View Layout, and Quick View Drawing feature.
In the past switching between drawings or layout tabs was a blind operation. We would have no clue what a given drawing or layout tab would look like until we switched to it. This is where the Quick View Layout and Quick View Drawing feature comes in. Using this feature we are now able to see a thumbnail for both drawings and layout tabs before we switch to them. Making this feature even more appealing is the inclusion of additional functions such as plotting.