What has been the best version of AutoCAD?

We often see the question over there, about which version is better or why we defend it; then when a new one arrives, it is usually said that it is only makeup. AutocadFinally, as a starting point We consulted on Facebook, Where Geofumadas has 18,000 followers, and see what there was to answer:

  • AutoCAD 2012 excels, we understand the novelty, and Facebook is a space where new generations predominate.
  • But what draws attention is that in second place stands out AutoCAD 2007, despite being a version of 6 years ago.
  • Then in third place, AutoCAD 2013 sounds again, we also understand the novelty and, if we ask the question two years later the same will be said of the latest version.
  • It appears as fourth AutoCAD 2010, with lower score but heading a list that includes almost unique votes of all the other versions.

What makes people value AutoCAD versions 2012, 2007 and 2010?

The objective of this article is to make an analysis of the latest 10 versions of AutoCAD, to try to explain the launch patterns by AutoDesk and also the evolution that has had the consumer public now that Internet traffic and social networks play a role essential in the diffusion of novelties.

Autocad comparisonWe will use for analysis the following table that summarizes the changes that have happened to AutoCAD in the last 10 years. It includes the new commands that arose per year (excluding 2004 that we do not apply this consideration), commands available in the version, commands that were changed, not available due to the total of current commands and discontinued commands (This does not include the 2013 version) but in that cell all those that were discontinued in the 10 years are added). We also only review basic versions, not the vertical ones (eg AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoDesk Maya, etc.)

1 The cycle of new formats dwg

AutoDesk maintained a dwg format for each version From 1.0 in 1980 to 1998 year with AutoCAD R14. After AutoCAD 2000 onwards, an approximate cycle of three years is reached, a practice that many people questioned as unnecessary.

There is much before the 2004 version however the milestone is that from this format onwards the dwg is no longer shared with the Open Design Alliance (ODA) as it had been until the 2000 format.

From now on we see that the versions when there was a change in format, came to stand out because they represented a supposed better use of the resource but also because it forced the user to get rid of the previous version to stay compatible in the new format. It is a curious fact, that the years in which AutoCAD got rid of commands were precisely the year 2006 when 36 commands were abandoned and the year 2010 other 17 commands; The rest of the years the abandonment was minuscule between 1 and 3 commands.

Hence our first conclusion:

The milestones of AutoCAD are usually marked by the years in which the dwg format had a change: AutoCAD 2000, AutoCAD 2004, AutoCAD 2007, AutoCAD 2010.

From that we also concluded that the 2013 version should have a similar pattern because the dwg format changed. Although we do not think so possible because of the disproportionate popularity AutoCAD 2012 And the tiny amount of AutoCAD 2013 enhancements.

Although, clarifying that the change of format is not necessarily associated with a version is better than a previous one. But it plays a role that could not be applied to other platforms where this change does not happen periodically and unnecessarily.

2 The amount of improvements

To analyze this I want to use the graph shown below. See that the yellow line represents the improvements made to existing commands, while the blue line represents new commands implemented. The 2007 version stands out as the year when more commands were improved (116), added to nothing less than 89 new commands. The changes had much to do with a new face of the 3D visualization, improvements in texture management, rendering and animated deployment. The 3D design stops being from primitive objects and the 3D models concept is inserted.


The following graph taken from AutoCAD query traffic, reflects how AutoCAD 2007 is the version that has lasted the longest (dark blue line), to the extent that at the end (to July of 2012) it is consulted as much as AutoCAD 2011 (red line), and of course it exceeds the 2009 versions (line green) and 2008 that does not appear in the graph. It is understandable why people remember the 2007 version as one of the best, because the impact of the command upgrade is on existing users who decided to stay in that version despite the changes of the following years.

  • These felt that AutoCAD 2008 only involved slight adjustments, and that the 2009 version just had a new interface that rather caused them resistance.
  • It would be overcome until the 2010 version came with 93 enhanced commands and a greater use of the new interface. It also coincides with the 2007 version, which is when it starts a series of improvements in the handling of three-dimensional models and support for Windows 7 in 32 and 64 bits.

Autocad comparison

AutoCAD 2007: The improvement of existing commands favors the fidelity of users to an AutoCAD version. But it also generates resistance to change for later versions.

It can also be seen that AutoCAD 2010 exceeds AutoCAD 2012 despite the novelty of the latter, but in query volume is higher than accumulating the years. Although AutoCAD 2007 is a very satisfying experience for users, AutoDesk would do the opposite in new versions since it does not favor sales. That's why we see that the next milestone, AutoCAD 2010 repeat it but avoid it in 2012 that has more news than improvements.

3 The number of innovations

The innovation is important, it is a subject that has had greater emphasis in the version 2007 where 89 had new commands and the 2012 where it arrives at 139.

Although it is somewhat strange the impact it has on users regarding the improvement of existing commands. Viewing the previous graphic, it is seen that the popularity of a version of AutoCAD reaches its peak in the first months of the year following its launch, just when the new version appears. AutoCAD does that in the month of April, and from there starts the descent because there is something more novel. The precipitous fall depends on whether it achieved fidelity in previous users, not in new ones.

But see how AutoCAD 2010 achieved the highest point that all the versions have had, the 2012 barely reached an 80% of this before starting its descent. We should understand that this 2012 version will have a greater impact than the previous ones due to the degree of innovation, but this is not the case. And the reason is that the 2010 version has more improvements to existing commands (93) against 46 of the 2012 version although there is more innovation in the latter. The 2010 version is still in greater use than the 2011 version and it could be that it survives more than the 2012 over the next three years. Meanwhile AutoCAD 2013 will be just a step version, because its improvements and developments are minimal despite the change of dwg format, like the 2011 version despite it brought back The Mac version.

The first love that is only given once in a lifetime with computer tools, we were all shocked with one of the first versions we saw, and we still believe that this was the best version "even if it is old" and even after we move to the new we continue admiring that version. That version is usually the one that impacts us with its news. We can see this in users who after many versions found that the R14 was impressive, others were the 2000 that surprised them with the use of the 32 bits, and we saw few great news until the 2007 version that we thought did not need much more . The milestone of news has caused 2012, although I clarify, first love with the new generations.

But the advantage that innovation has is to be in the minds of new users. The students of the university, although their teacher teaches them AutoCAD 2010, they will be accommodated to use the last one; is what has happened to AutoCAD 2012 with the new generation. This version is in the minds of new users, the survey we did on Facebook proves it. But closing the section, this is our conclusion:

AutoCAD 2012: The greater amount of innovations entails greater popularity of a version with the new generations. Not necessarily long-term fidelity.

4 The accumulation of improvements

Perhaps this is a somewhat complex issue to handle, but we will consider it since it emulates what evolution supposes and something of the difference in how things happen with other programs such as the case of Microstation.

As time has passed, AutoCAD has kept unused or abandoned commands. Little by little have been discarded, improved or new commands have been incorporated:

  • Up to the 2006 version there were 674 commands in use.
  • Before that 97 and 2013 had been discarded 68 was discontinued.
  • At 2013 there are a total of 1047 commands in use and just 86 not available from those that existed in those 10 years.
  • 2006 and 2010 excel when there was an unnecessary command sweep, 53 in total.

This cleaning is perhaps not very noticeable but it represents an internal job to recover commands that were there with little use. While more command denotes more functionalities, in practice a smaller amount of that total is used. AutoCAD came to solve our lives in what we did with many vigils in the drawing board, that has not changed much in all these years, but in the management of 3D models where although evolution has been slow compared to other verticals of AutoDesk, has been well-suited by users.

The count of the number of commands stopped being important long ago, because now the commands used are the ones seen in the buttons. But in previous years, if we did not know the command ... it did not exist. And if it was on the list, we wanted to see what it was for.

Best versions of AutoCAD

In conclusion, these are the best versions of AutoCAD:

  • AutoCAD 2007 has been the version that more fidelity has achieved in the time, product of the amount of commands improved more than by its novelties.
  • AutoCAD 2012 follows you as a product of the greatest amount of improvements and great acceptance of the new generations.
  • AutoCAD 2010 has been an important version since it was when the generations began to accept the potentialities of the Ribbon, and many capacities were integrated in the parameterized modeling and 3D with more simplicity.

  • AutoCAD 2013 ... will not be a version that reaches the shadow of the 2012. To wait for another one, it will be necessary to wait a couple of years.

And for you, what was your best version?

9 Replies to "What has been the best version of AutoCAD?"

  1. Although I am unemployed, I have done work in AutoCAD '11 which is the one I use the most.
    I recognize that AutoCAD '08 gives me faster tasks without much difference.
    My only problems are in the application in the Renders, task that I am currently trying to solve.

  2. R14 was definitely a great release.
    Maybe because for the first time we had something that we thought was the best, for Windows

  3. Version R14, lasted several years, they were still releasing versions and we continued using it.

  4. I think the best version of autocad is undoubtedly that of the 2007, it has many improvements in the commands and interfaces, as well as its versatility, the improvements of the autocad 2010 more than improvements are versions that include many unnecessary attributes and that only confuse the user, In my opinion, the 2007 version is the one that fits all design needs.

  5. The one that expresses that the Autocad 2012 version is the best one seems to have not realized that it presents a serious error, in that it refers to Measures (when making a measured equidistance (x) and then measuring that distance with the respective command It is very different, if you have not realized what a pity, then how they work with this version, that's why I had to install the 2013 that corrected this error, but instead this version sneaks up asking for more memory even if I have 8 or 16 Gigas when the files that are working are many in the same window. Hopefully the next version doesn't have these errors anymore, that's my modest opinion.


  7. How about, on your question I think the best version of Autocad so far is the 2012 without any doubt, with saying that I'm not even interested in installing the 2013 version or has caught my attention, I think the best 3 versions would be: 1. - AutoCad 2012, 2.- AutoCad 2007 and 3.- AutoCad 2010
    Conclusion: AutoDesk should not be excited to get a version of AutoCad every year being the only years that do not take versions from the 2000 in the 2001 and 2003 years, so when they have a well-developed AutoCad is when they should take it not to keep the record in update the AutoCad to that of Awe ... litas canelitas every year. Greetings Friends of Geofumadas.

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