AutoCAD is used across a wide range of industries, by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, town planners and many other professionals. It was supported by 750 training centers worldwide in 1994.
AutoCAD was derived from a program begun in 1977 and released in 1979 called Interact CAD, also referred to in early Autodesk documents as MicroCAD, which was written prior to Autodesk's (then Marinchip Software Partners) formation by Autodesk cofounder Michael Riddle.
The first version by Autodesk was demonstrated at the 1982 Comdex and released that December.As Autodesk's flagship product, by March 1986 AutoCAD had become the most ubiquitous CAD program worldwide. The 2019 release marked the 33rd major release of AutoCAD for Windows. The 2014 release marked the fourth consecutive year of AutoCAD for Mac.
The native file format of AutoCAD is .dwg. This and, to a lesser extent, its interchange file format DXF, have become de facto, if proprietary, standards for CAD data interoperability, particularly for 2D drawing exchange. AutoCAD has included support for .dwf, a format developed and promoted by Autodesk, for publishing CAD data.
ESRI ArcMap 10 permits export as AutoCAD drawing files. Civil 3D permits export as AutoCAD objects and as LandXML. Third-party file convertersexist for specific formats such as Bentley MX GENIO Extension, PISTE Extension (France), ISYBAU (Germany), OKSTRA and Microdrainage(UK); also, conversion of .pdf files is feasible, however, the accuracy of the results may be unpredictable or distorted. For example, jagged edges may appear. Several vendors provide online conversions for free such as Cometdocs.autoCAD commonly use in all purposes.
Auto CAD and AutoCAD LT are available forEnglish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean,Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Polish and Hungarian,Albanian (also through additional language packs).The extent of localization varies from full translation of the product to documentation only. The AutoCAD command set is localized as a part of the software localization.
AutoCAD supports a number of APIs for customization and automation. These includeAutoLISP, Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and ObjectARX. ObjectARX is a C++ class library, which was also the base for:
products extending AutoCAD functionality to specific fieldscreating products such as AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Civil 3Dthird-party AutoCAD-based application
There are a large number of AutoCAD plugins (add-on applications) available on the application store Autodesk Exchange Apps . AutoCAD's DXF, drawing exchange format, allows importing and exporting drawing information.
Autodesk has also developed a few vertical programs:
AutoCAD Advance SteelAutoCAD ArchitectureAutoCAD CivilAutoCAD ElectricalAutoCAD ecscadAutoCAD Map 3DAutoCAD MechAutoCAD MEPAutoCAD Structural DetailingAutoCAD Utility DesignAutoCAD P&IDAutoCAD Plant 3D
for discipline-specific enhancements.
For example, AutoCAD Architecture (formerly Architectural Desktop) permits architectural designers to draw 3D objects, such as walls, doors, and windows, with more intelligent data associated with them rather than simple objects, such as lines and circles. The data can be programmed to represent specific architectural products sold in the construction industry, or extracted into a data file for pricing, materials estimation, and other values related to the objects represented.
Additional tools generate standard 2D drawings, such as elevations and sections, from a 3D architectural model. Similarly, Civil Design, Civil Design 3D, and Civil Design Professional support data-specific objects facilitating easy standard civil engineering calculations and representations.
Civil 3D was originally developed as an AutoCAD add-on by a company in New Hampshire called Softdesk (originally DCA). Softdesk was acquired by Autodesk, and Civil 3D was further evolved.