Architosh reviews AutoCAD for Mac 2013: Full-featured, industrial-grade 2D/3D CAD application

“In version 2011 – it’s debut version – the program lacked a few items that made it a deal-breaker for many users. Chief among these were enterprise-level customization capabilities and support for the vast array of 3rd-party AutoCAD extensions,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo reports for Architosh. “Although AutoCAD for Mac was entirely written from scratch (versus a Windows port) for the advanced OS X platform, Autodesk states that AutoCAD in its present state was based on much of the same source code as the Windows version. As such there is true compatibility between both the Mac and Windows versions. And AutoCAD for Mac 2013 can open (read) files from AutoCAD version 14 to the present.”

“One of the nice things about AutoCAD for Mac 2013 is that it can play nice in a mixed AutoCAD setting,” Frausto-Robledo reports. “The program supports both network and standalone licensing as well as cross-platform licensing. This makes it easy for IT and CAD managers to try to mix in a blend of Mac-based AutoCAD workstations into a design or engineering studio. Of course, while other Windows-only issues may still prevail, the licensing simplification is a headache eliminated.”

Frausto-Robledo reports, ” AutoCAD for Mac 2013 is a very worthy full-featured, industrial-grade 2D/3D CAD application, capable of competing with many of its rivals on the Mac platform. While many architects have moved on to full BIM (Building Information Modeling) programs, which AutoCAD for Mac 2013 is not, many are still primarily using AutoCAD as its primary 2D production drafting package while relying on other programs for conceptual or final 3D modeling. AutoCAD for Mac 2013 does not have the third-party eco-system of apps and extensions that exist on the Windows side. Until that time comes some users will have limits in its adoption. But many will not. If you are a veteran AutoCAD user and a new Mac convert, this program is likely for you. If you are new to CAD in general and perhaps new to Mac as well, you will likely want to compare this program alongside veteran Mac CAD stalwarts.”

Read much, much more in the extensive full review here.

Related articles:
Autodesk announces AutoCAD 2013 for Mac and Windows – March 29, 2012
Prodigal son Autodesk all smiles with its revived Mac software business – January 26, 2012
How Autodesk disrupted itself with an iPhone and iPad app – December 7, 2011
Autodesk brings AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD WS to Apple’s Mac App Store – August 16, 2011
AutoCAD for Mac now available – October 15, 2010
Autodesk on AutoCAD for Mac: ‘We could no longer ignore Mac’s comeback’ – August 31, 2010


  1. “While many architects have moved on to full BIM (Building Information Modeling) programs, which AutoCAD for Mac 2013 is not…”
    Exactly. Too little, too late. ArchiCad is better.

    1. I guess it depends on what you are designing. AutoCAD is a perfect fit for my industry and despite trying alternatives, we always go back.
      Looking forward to AutoCAD 2014 for Mac!

    2. Gerry is absolutely correct. It depends on what you are designing. Solidworks does many things well, but certainly not all of them. And simply put, a lot of people don’t like the workflow of it. Ashlar-Vellum seems to excel in workflow, IMHO.

      Better to have industry standards for file reading & sharing, but tools optimized for different purposes. Not everyone needs detailed mechanical and structural analysis, not everyone needs BIM. Thankfully the Mac is finally getting a good array of developers supporting it again. Now if Apple would only demonstrate commitment to productivity users instead of dumming down the Mac OS with social media & icloud crap…

    3. When Solidworks steps up and makes a Macintosh version of their software and not just the viewer, it will become a player for Mac users.

      They still got attitude and remain a Windows application only.

  2. You have to give AutoDesk credit. After abandoning the Mac in the dark days, they came back and actually rewrote the AutoCAD program to run on the Mac and be true to the Mac user interface.

    Too bad other software giants (cough– Intuit–cough) are not as progressive.

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