AutoCAD is CAD software – computer aided design or computer aided design – created and marketed by Autodesk, Inc. since 1982. It is mainly used for the elaboration of technical drawing parts in two dimensions (2D) and for the creation of three-dimensional models (3D). In addition to the technical drawings, the software has been making available, in its most recent versions, several resources for visualization in different formats. It is widely used in architecture, interior design, civil engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, geographic engineering, electrical engineering, and various other branches of industry. AutoMAP is currently available in versions for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS operating system, although versions for UNIX have already been commercialized.

technical drawing

From version R14 (published in 1997) it enhances the expansion of its functionality through the addition of specific modules for architectural design, GIS, material control, etc.

Another striking feature of AutoCAD is the use of consolidated programming in an interpreted language, known as AutoLISP (derived from LISP language) or a variation of Visual Basic that allows customizing routines and commands.

It also interprets sequences of common commands written in text files, usually with the extension .scr loaded through the script command, these are not related to the lisp language, although they may also contain this code. //

Its peristaphic commands are Osnap and Ortho, although centerings in osnap are added with each update, it was noticed that when we draw a circle or arc with the ortho command on, there may be unevenness in the circumference line, causing the circumference to not be smooth . This bug has been noticeable since the K29 version released in 2010.

AutoCAD versions

AutoCAD Version 1.0 (Release 1.0) - December 1982

December 82 Autodesk Releases AutoCAD v.1.0 (R1). The R1 specification did not exist, it serves only as a reference.

AutoCAD Version 1.2 (Release 2.0) - April 1983
AutoCAD Version 1.3 (Release 3.0) - August 1983
AutoCAD Version 1.4 (Release 4.0) - October 1983
AutoCAD Version 2.0 (Release 5.0) - October 1984
AutoCAD Version 2.1 (Release 6.0) - May 1985

May 85 Autodesk Releases AutoCAD v.2.1 (R6) the changes in AutoCAD start to be remarkable, because in this version the commands E-LEV, VPOINT, HIDE appeared, allowing extrusions and plot visualization. It is in this version that AutoCAD starts working in 3D.

AutoCAD Version 2.5 (Release 7.0) - June 1986

June 86 Autodesk Releases AutoCAD v.2.5 (R7) the spacing between updates is offset by the evolutions in the program.

AutoCAD Version 2.6 (Release 8.0) - April 1987

April 87 Autodesk Releases AutoCAD v.2.6 (R8) 3DLINE (3D line), 3DFACE (3D plane) commands arrive.

AutoCAD Release 9.0 - September 1987

September 87 AutoCAD Release 9 appears, very similar to version 2.6, but with the pull-down menu, AutoCAD starts to be more interactive.

AutoCAD Release 10.0 - October 1988

October 88 AutoCAD Release 10 appears, AutoCAD becomes more professional, a new coordinate system UCS (User Coordinates System) new features in 3D commands like: 3DPOLY, 3DMESH, RULE-SURF, VIEWPORTS, etc.

AutoCAD Release 11.0 - October 1990

October 90 comes AutoCAD Release 11 for MS-DOS or UNIX, it offered network support, greater control of dimensioning variables. AutoCAD was beginning to impose itself as a platform.

AutoCAD Release 12.0 - June 1992

June 92, AutoCAD Release 12 for MS-DOS or UNIX appears. With more resources in 2D, it establishes itself as a very popular platform all over the world. 3D features become a module sold separately as 3D AME, the adoption of dialog boxes for functions previously accessible only by the command line makes it easier to work with

AutoCAD Release 12.1 - March 1993

March 93, AutoCAD Release 12 For Windows appears, easier to customize, with a floating box of icons for accessing the most used commands.

AutoCAD Release 12.2 - November 1993

November 93, AutoCAD LT For Windows appears, which is basically the same as AutoCAD R12, but with fewer features, aimed at small users looking for a low-cost CAD program.

AutoCAD Release 13.0 - December 1994

December 94 AutoCAD Release 13 appears. Initially it was for both MS-DOS, Windows and UNIX, but what was supposed to be a multipurpose program caused a big headache for users, as it was the most unstable AutoCAD of all, but with great advancements such as the toolbar with quick access functions, layer functions (such as on/off), which used to be just a dialog box or command line, the long-awaited feature of importing pictures in GIF, TIFF, BMP formats and JPG and being able to work with vector and raster images at the same time, the use of complete texts and not just individual lines (MTEXT), and TrueType fonts increased the options and spell check were some of the innovations. Autodesk decides to unify the release of its major version with that of its simplest program AutoCAD LT R13.

AutoCAD Release 13.1 - October 1995

October 95 AutoCAD Release 13 for Windows appears, with a specific version for Windows 95 it became more stable. But many users still preferred the R12.

AutoCAD Release 14.0 - March 1997

March 97 AutoCAD Release 14 for Windows appears. The DOS and UNIX version ends. Powerful, offering the stability of R12 and the facilities of R13, it is the most used platform in the world, dominating close to 70% of the world CAD market. Although 3D resources have evolved a lot, Autodesk begins to direct 3D users to more specific tools such as Autodesk Mechanical Desktop already in its version 3, but the evolution of 2D work tools does not stop evolving, selection modes are simplified, new commands such as: Autotrack (Osnap becomes more interactive) the use of the F3 key to turn OSNAP on/off, the plotting system also improves. It is possible to store the plot settings in an external file facilitating standardization. A single dialog box appears to configure the system and preferences among other improvements.

AutoCAD Release 14.1 - June 1998

In June 98, AutoCAD Release 14 appeared in Portuguese. But experienced AutoCAD users were not interested in the version, as they were already used to the commands in English, adding to that a dubious translation, such as: the OFFSET command, which makes parallel copies, had the name: COPPAR; the ARRAY command, which makes multiple copies, was called ARRAY. For starters it would be a good option, but very few companies were willing to buy it.

AutoCAD 2000 (Release 15.0) - March 1999

March 1999 Autodesk releases AutoCAD 2000 (Release 15) as a natural evolution of the most powerful R14 of all versions, but the previous version of AutoCAD is so efficient that most companies did not upgrade, the main highlights are on account of the plot where the parameters are recorded in the drawing itself, the option to create as many layouts as necessary with different parameters, the DDMODIFY command disappears and the PROPERTIES command appears, much more complete, being able to change all the parameters in the same place , the DESIGN CENTER also appears, which allows searching and importing STYLE’s, BLOCK’s and LAYER’s of the drawings without opening them. And the possibility to open several drawings at the same time.

AutoCAD 2000i (Release 15.1) - July 2000

In July 2000 AutoCAD 2000i (Release 15.1) was released. This was an internet based version, to get the most out of these essential business tools. As the web design platform, AutoCAD 2000i provided the foundation for Autodesk solutions serving the architecture, engineering, construction, communications, government, utilities, surveying and manufacturing industries. Combining the power of design and the internet in one efficient software.

AutoCAD 2002 (Release 15.2) - June 2001

In June 2001 AutoCAD 2002 (Release 15.2) was released. As highlights we can mention the associative dimension, the new management of blocks with attributes, the ARRAY command gained a dialog box, the ability to manipulate the geometry of the drawing and visualize the corresponding immediate change in the dimension or annotation. New layer, text and attribute tools, among others.

AutoCAD 2004 (Release 16.0) - March 2003

In March 2003 AutoCAD 2004 (Release 16.0) was released. It’s a reimagining of AutoCAD 2002, offering new and improved functionality that lets you create quickly, share easily, and manage efficiently. AutoCAD 2004 offers new features like productivity tools, a modernized interface, and presentation graphics for faster and more productive data creation. It offers password protection, standard CAD tooling and a multi-sheet DWF format, making it easy to share information.

AutoCAD 2005 (Release 16.1) - March 2004

In March 2004 AutoCAD 2005 (Release 16.1) was released. Among the novelties we highlight the command to create tables. Another innovation is support for an unlimited number of Layers. The new Field command simplifies the tasks of creating, placing and editing texts. A field can be used as a placeholder for content that may change during the project.

AutoCAD 2006 (Release 16.2) - March 2005

In March 2005 AutoCAD 2006 (Release 16.2) was released. The interface has been improved. Added functionality that allows for a migration of customizations between previous versions of AutoCAD and the new one. Color selection mode. Dynamic Input is designed to replace the Command window. Calculator with numerous functions. Improvements to the Text command. Table with possibility of calculation. Improved “Hatch” command. Dynamic Blocks. Improved Tool Palettes.

AutoCAD 2007 (Release 17.0) - March 2006

In March 2006, AutoCAD 2007 was released. The new AutoCAD 2007 offers new ways of working: a new way of combining the 2D drawing with the 3D model, a new way of designing, visualizing, presenting and documenting. Briefly, it is about the conceptual project, which will allow us to foresee possible failures and, in one way or another, to become faster and more productive. Now with the possibility to publish the drawing files in PDF format. This release is oriented towards improving the ability of designers to create, navigate and edit a conceptual design, present the design clearly to a non-technical audience, and then easily document the design using all of AutoCAD’s powerful drawing tools. Some of the new features in AutoCAD 2007: Advanced conceptual design tools that help the user to design more easily; Advanced commands for project visualization; Commands to create sections and facades, dynamic blocks and advanced tables; Export DWG files from previous versions; Import DWF files and Generate PDF files among other features. Introduction of the DWG 2007 file format.

AutoCAD 2008 (Release 17.1) - March 2007

In March 2007, Autodesk released AutoCAD 2008. It brings innovation to drawing productivity with new tools to manage dimension scales, texts and objects as design annotation elements.

AutoCAD 2009 (Release 17.2) - March 2008

In March 2008, Autodesk released AutoCAD 2009. New visuals and improved 3D navigation are the highlights of this release. There is also an improvement in compatibility with Windows Vista, after some problems generated in the 2008 version

AutoCAD 2010 (Release 18.0) - March 2009

This new version of AutoCad brings great news, the interface in relation to the previous version has not changed. Parametric drawing tools were added, work system definition, command location, hatch improvement, dynamic blocks property table, Autodesk Seek, Free-form, Attach PDF files and 3D printing were added. Another important novelty is that AutoCad 2010 performs better than its 2007 – 2009 versions. Introduction of the DWG 2010 file format.

AutoCAD 2011 (Release 18.1) - March 2010
AutoCAD 2012 (Release 18.2) - March 2011
AutoCAD 2013 (Release 19.0) - March 2012

Introduction of the DWG 2013 file format.

This new version of AutoCad brings new features, the interface in relation to the previous version has not changed. Parametric drawing tools were added, work system definition, command location, hatch improvement, dynamic blocks property table, Autodesk Seek, Free-form, Attach PDF files and 3D printing were added.

AutoCAD 2014 (Release 19.1) - April 2013
AutoCAD 2015 (Release 19.2) - July 2014
AutoCAD 2016 (Release 20.0) - March 2015
AutoCAD 2017 (Release 21.0) - March 2016
AutoCAD 2018 (Release 22.0) - March 2017
AutoCAD 2019 (Release 23.0) - March 2018
AutoCAD 2020 (Release 23.1) - March 2019
AutoCAD 2021 (Release 24.0) - March 2020

AutoCAD LT versions

There are also versions of AutoCAD LT, LT stands for “LimiTed”, which are more simplified. To assess the cost of one of these versions it is approximately between 700 to 800 US dollars compared to the 3000 US dollar value of the full version of AutoCAD.


AutoCAD allows you to add new features through several languages, of which the following stand out:

AutoLISP - An adaptation of LISP to AutoCad.
Visual LISP - New version of AutoLISP for the latest versions of AutoCAD, with more functions and an integrated IDE.
VBA - Programming with Visual Basic.
.NET - Access to several functionalities through libraries. Allows any supported language.
ObjectARX - Allows you to create new commands and graphical entities with C++.

Summary of Exported File Types

Export Command Options:

 Metafile (.wmf)
 ACIS (*.sat)
 Lithography (*.stl)
 Encapsulated PS (*.eps)
 DXX Extract (*.dxx)
 Bitmap (*.bmp)
 3D Studio (*.3ds)
 Block (*.dwg)

See also

 Architectural design
 CAD Standard