What is AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design-CAD and drafting software application for desktops and smartphones. The software is developed and marketed by Autodesk. AutoCAD was first released in December as a desktop app running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers. AutoCAD is now available as mobile and web apps.

AutoCAD is used by engineers, graphic designers, architects, project managers, city planners, and other professionals.

AutoCAD software 2022 – an overview

AutoCAD® is computer-aided design (CAD) software that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings.

  • Draft, annotate and design 2D geometry and 3D models with solids, surfaces, and mesh objects
  • Automate tasks such as comparing drawings, counting, adding blocks, creating schedules, and more
  • Customize with add-on apps and APIs

 Features of AutoCAD

 Compatibility feature with other software

ESRI ArcMap 10 software permits export as AutoCAD drawing files. Civil 3D allows export as AutoCAD objects and as LandXML. Third-party file converters also exist for specific formats such as Bentley MX GENIO Extension, PISTE Extension-France, ISYBAU-Germany, OKSTRA, and Micro drainage (UK); also, conversion or .pdf format files is feasible. However, the accuracy of the results by this feature may be unpredictable or distorted. For example, some jagged edges may appear. Several vendors also provide online conversions for free such as Cometdocs.

 Language feature

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT variants are also available for English, German, French, Italian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Hungarian (also through additional language packs). The extent of localization varies from the complete translation of the product to documentation only. The AutoCAD command set is localized explicitly as a part of the software localization.

Extensions of the software

AutoCAD supports several APIs for customization and automation. These include the list as-

  • AutoLISP
  • Visual LISP
  • VBA
  • .NET
  • ObjectARX

ObjectARX APIs is a C++ class library, which was also the base for:

  • products extending as AutoCAD functionality to specific fields
  • creating products such as AutoCAD Architecture and engineer, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3D designs
  • third-party AutoCAD-based application

 Vertical integration

Autodesk has also developed several vertical programs for discipline-specific enhancements such as:

  • Advance Steel
  • AutoCAD Architecture
  • AutoCAD Electrical
  • AutoCAD Map 3D
  • AutoCAD Mechanical
  • AutoCAD MEP
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D
  • Autodesk Civil 3D