Wednesday, May 18, 2011

LT2012, AutoCADWS, your Phone and Tablet

AutoCADWS is a web and mobile app that lets you view, edit, and collaborate (share files with others outside your office) virtually to review and mark up your DWG files in real-time using a webbrowser on your PC, Laptop, iPhone/Droid Phones or new string of Tablets like the iPAD/2 and Droid-based devices. It is free to use, collaborate and share, you just need to set up a free account before you can use it.

What does this mean to you, the LT user?
  • Imagine sharing, and waking through a DWG file with a customer, with you in total control (and still in possession of the DWG file(s), and they never having to install any software to see it. You can set it so that they only have read-only access with no download ability (an alternative to a stack of PDFs through email).
  • Imagine coordinating with a consultant on a DWG file, without a string of Emails and clouded areas just to explain a change.
  • Imagine being in the field on-site at a project, without a paper roll of drawings, but the actual CAD files on your mobile device, marking up as you go along and your team in the office picking up the information in real-time. Sync back with your DWG file at your desktop too.
  • And just in case your imagination hit a wall, note that the AutoCADWS sit also keeps a timeline history of online changes so that at any point you can recall something you did earlier in a session (what client doesn't ever want to go-back to an earlier change?).
The webbrowser version has many recently added feature (list below is from the AWS website):
  • Anywhere Storage: Connect your AutoCAD WS web and mobile account to a variety of storage sites: Buzzsaw,, Dropbox (via DropDAV), MobileMe, Egnyte and even your own Fille server or SharePoint site.
  • Upload files to AutoCAD WS is real easy and available using many options. Markup, measure, basic drawing, text and snapping to objects are key abilities of this online program.
  • Plot-to-PDF/DWFx: Create PDF or DWFx files from your DWG files for plotting or sharing with others.
  • PDF Support: Open markup and share a PDF in AutoCAD WS in the same way as a DWG file.
To find out even more about AutoCADWS, explore their site at and this introduction HERE from Lynn Allen.

Are you worried about file security? Read this WHITE PAPER on the topic.

There are many AutoCADWS (online account required) exclusive commands built into LT2012 (command names are linked for more information):
  • GETLINK Generates a URL to the AutoCAD WS online copy of the current drawing.
  • MANAGEUPLOADS Manages the uploading of files stored on the AutoCAD WS server.
  • MESSAGES Displays messages from your AutoCAD WS account.
  • ONLINEDRAWINGS Opens AutoCAD WS in a web browser and lists the available online files.
  • OPENONLINE Opens the AutoCAD WS Editor in a web browser and displays an online copy of the current drawing for online editing and sharing.
  • SHARE Shares the AutoCAD WS online copy of the current drawing with other users.
  • TIMELINE Provides access to previous versions of the AutoCAD WS online copy of the current drawing.
  • UPLOAD Uploads the current drawing to AutoCAD WS and controls whether to automatically upload changes.
  • UPLOADFILES Uploads selected files to AutoCAD WS.
If you are using a version AutoCAD/LT 2010, or AutoCAD/LT 2011, you can still get the appropriate downloadable plugin from here:
Note: many of the commands listed above are not available if you use these lower LT versions, they are exclusive to AutoCAD/LT 2012.

Will AutoCADWS be developed for other mobile devices? While that is not clear (Autodesk never shares development news) it is not a secret that iOS and Droid enjoy a 40% higher focus/visibility rating with software developers of applications than Microsoft, RIM/Blackberry and HP. Explore this recent topic HERE. ◦