March 03, 2023

5 min

Why You Should Upgrade to AutoCAD 2023

Here are some of the newest features in AutoCAD® 2023 software, including new automations and seamless connections across devices and Autodesk products.

CDW Expert

People working at an engineering firm using autodesk autocad to create architectural visualisations.

Did you know that AutoCAD 2023 provided an average productivity gain of up to 57 percent for key collaboration tasks compared to the 2019 edition? If you’re an existing AutoCAD user, you can upgrade to AutoCAD 2023 through your existing AutoCAD subscription in your Autodesk account management portal. Here’s why you should upgrade now.

What’s new in AutoCAD 2023

Here are some of the newest features in AutoCAD® 2023 software, including new automations and seamless connections across devices and Autodesk products.

  • Markup Import and Markup Assist: Rapidly send and incorporate feedback into your designs. Import feedback from printed paper or PDFs and add changes to your drawings automatically, without additional drawing steps.
  • My Insights: Learn helpful tips and valuable information at the right time and in the right context to help you complete your projects faster.
  • AutoCAD web APIs: The AutoCAD LISP API is now available in the AutoCAD web app, exclusively for AutoCAD subscribers. Whether you are on the go, at a job site or anywhere else, create your own customizations to automate sequences with LISP in the AutoCAD web app.
  • Sheet Set Manager: Open sheet sets quicker than ever before. Using the Autodesk cloud platform, sending and opening sheet sets to and from teammates is quicker and safer.
  • Enhanced Count command: Automate the counting of blocks or objects within a selected area or throughout your entire drawing with a menu to identify errors and navigate through your counted objects.

3 ways that AutoCAD 2023 increases productivity over AutoCAD 2019

Designed by Autodesk and commissioned to an independent consultant, this study explores common tasks required when preparing designs and documents in AutoCAD 2019 and the subsequent productivity gains by using AutoCAD 2023.

A set of designs and documents were used with both AutoCAD 2019 and AutoCAD 2023. Tasks ranged from counting blocks in a DWG file to comparing DWG files with DWG Compare and saving to AutoCAD Web and Mobile folders to work with designs in the cloud.

Collaborating on design changes in a DWG file

Changes in a DWG file need to be shared clearly and effectively so that design intent is understood and implemented accurately. AutoCAD has always provided reliable drafting tools, but it is the need to make changes to a design that often causes a roadblock to productivity.

In AutoCAD 2019, the optimal way to collaborate was using the DWF file format. A drawing would be exported as a DWF file (like a PDF file), and the recipient could use Autodesk Design Review with no need for an installation of AutoCAD to view, check and redline markup the DWF file. With a licence to Autodesk Design Review and the management of DWF files – in addition to DWGs – this was seen as an effective process for AutoCAD 2019.

AutoCAD 2023 gives you the ability to access DWG files through the AutoCAD Web and Mobile folders, Autodesk Docs, Autodesk Drive or other cloud storage providers such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. This allows recipients to seamlessly use their own licence to AutoCAD on the web and mobile devices to collaborate directly on the original DWG files where the markup information is added using the Trace functionality in AutoCAD 2023.

Importing markups into drawing files

AutoCAD has long been able to import raster images and PDFs using commands such as PDFIMPORT and ATTACH. This required time to assess and scale the raster images and copy the text annotation across. Instead, it was often easier to manually type out annotations directly into AutoCAD and copy it from the raster images.

In AutoCAD 2019, the workflow described was still applicable. A raster image was attached or imported, but valuable project time was spent making sure the appropriate annotation ended up in the DWG file and presented accurately. Certain Express Tools could be used but these also took up valuable time.

In AutoCAD 2023, the Markup Import and Markup Assist features utilize machine learning to take text annotation from a raster image or PDF and bring it directly into the DWG file as AutoCAD text.

Comparing external reference files (XREFs)

External reference files (XREFs) in AutoCAD are an effective method of using other DWG files to display and highlight design information. They also allow for concurrent work, where other AutoCAD users can work on the XREF files, which will then be updated to show the most current information in the host drawing.

In AutoCAD 2019, there is no way of checking or comparing XREFs that are attached to the host DWG file automatically. The only way to do this would be to open each individual XREF and check the design content. Not only is this time-consuming, but it can also leave the XREF workflow open to error if the wrong XREF is used.

AutoCAD 2023 now has XREF comparison features that notify users of updates to XREFs automatically and check iterations of the files to confirm that the appropriate XREF is being used with the correct design information. The XREF palette can also be used to reload XREFs to automatically compare or by using the XCOMPARE command.