Are you curious about the MAC version of AutoCAD/LT? Or a current user looking for basic answers? This blog post will attempt to answer the most common questions you might have about this Apple OS based software (This is not an April Fools post).
- Where is the Ribbon?
The MAC version of AutoCAD/LT has an Apple-base user interface that reflects Autodesk's complete rewrite of the program from the ground up. They chose not to implement a Microsoft Windows interface for this new variant: they probably still remember the backlash when, back in the day, AutoCAD for DOS' interface was used on Mac, Unix and Sun workstations much to the dismay of core users of those systems. Other visual differences:
- All toolbars are accumulated in Tool Sets palette with the ability to switch between tabs with sets of icons.
- All UI elements could be either floating or docked to the sides of the screen (Tool Sets to the left or to the right: Layers, Properties, Content, References, Projects, Materials palettes to the left or to the right side; Command window and Status Bar to the bottom side).
- Will I be able to share DWG and DXF files between the Windows and Mac versions of AutoCAD?
Yes. And it requires no special effort or any change. Just send and receive your files freely.
- I want to import my custom CUIx file from AutoCAD for Windows to the MAC version, how do I do that?
Unfortunately there is no such feature in AutoCAD for Mac. You cannot import personal CUI file from PC to Mac.
If you want to transfer your custom commands or macros from PC to Mac, you need to do this manually with the CUI editor. Note: not all functions are available in the Mac versions and some custom commands (macros) may not work in AutoCAD/LT for Mac.
- Can I import and use plot style tables (STB or CTB) from AutoCAD in Windows?
Yes you can: place your plot style table file in the "~/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/roaming/AutoCADversion/Rxx.x/enu/Plotters/Plot Styles" (Library folder in your Home folder); after that it should appear in "Advanced" dialog box of "Page Setup" dialog (or "Print" dialog). You can also try this method HERE.
- How do I create a new plot style table file in the MAC versions of AutoCAD/LT?Not an option yet: AutoCAD/LT for Mac has no plot style creator/editor available.
Either ask a Windows version user to create/edit one for you, or use THIS free cad software for mac that allows you to edit CTB and STB.
- How do I change my DWG file from using STB to using CTB (or vice versa) plot style tables?
Unlike AutoCAD/LT in Windows, AutoCAD/LT for MAC have no CONVERTPSTYLES or CONVERTCTB commands to convert named plot styles to color plot styles (or vice versa) "on the fly".
But there is workaround - if you want to convert STB-based DWG to CTB-based:
1. Create new drawing using CTB-based template
2. Copy all objects from your STB-based file and paste it into this new file.
3. Reverse the process for moving from CTB to STB.
- How do I add custom or extra fonts to AutoCAD/LT for MAC?
If these are AutoCAD SHX fonts, than you need to place them inside AutoCAD application folder: find the AutoCAD/LT application in Applications folder on your Mac, right-click on it, select "Show package contents" from context menu. Now type SHX in the Spotlight search field of the current Finder window, then look for the SHX folder in search results, double click to open it. Here you can copy your font files. Restart AutoCAD and now you can use fonts.
If your fonts are TTF, than you need to place them to the ~/Library/Fonts folder, and don't forget to restart AutoCAD/LT.
- Can I create PDF files in AutoCAD/LT for MAC? There is no AutoCAD driver installed.
Yes, you can save (plot) or export to PDF without adding any drivers: the MAC OS is equipped with it by default and is available to all MAC OS programs, explore HERE. Note that there are currently no options to include Layer lists into the PDF.
- Where are the Express Tools in AutoCAD for MAC?
There are no Express Tools in AutoCAD for MAC, nor in LT for MAC.
- How do I change command shortcuts in the MAC version? Is there a PGP file to edit?
Click the Tools menu > Customize > Edit Command Aliases (PGP). Note: The default PGP file can also be opened by launching Finder, pressing and holding Option, and clicking Go Library. In the Finder window, navigate to Application Support/Autodesk/Roaming////Support and double-click acad.pgp (or acadlt.pgp for AutoCAD LT) to edit the file. If prompted for an application to use, select TextEdit.
In the text editor, add your new command aliases to the bottom of the file. Save the PGP file after you make the desired edits.
In AutoCAD or the AutoCAD LT, click Tools menu Customize Reload Command Aliases (PGP).
Alternate Method: Find the acadlt.pgp file on your Mac: it is in ~/Library/Application Support/Autodesk/roaming/AutoCAD LT Standdalone/Rxx.0/enu/Support folder, then edit it in Textedit.app as described in Help documentation (Help->Customization Guide->Basic Customization->Create Command Aliases.
- Pressing the F-Keys like F3 and F8 don't work? Delete key doesn't work?
On a MAC you have to press and hold the fn key first to activate those keys: fn+F3, fn+F8, fn+DELETE activate these keyboard keys while in AutoCAD/LT for MAC.
For a permanent fix, go to the MAC OS System Preferences > Keyboard >Keyboard and check "Use all F1, F2, etc keys as standard . . . ". You can check the other box for "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar" so you can jump right to this preferences pane from the Menu bar and change it. While Standard F1 keys is checked, you can hold fn to go back to the special functions (volume control, brightness, etc).
- I can't find any option for Layer States in my AutoCAD/LT for MAC, why?
You need to upgrade to AutoCAD/LT2015 for MAC for that ability: older versions offer an older subset using -LAYER command (there is a dash in the name) that is not quite as advanced.
- Can I create and use Dynamic Blocks in AutoCAD/LT for MAC?
Yes, starting with the 2015 versions you can create and edit Dynamic Blocks. In earlier versions, creating them was not an option.
- Does AutoCAD/LT for MAC support Retina Displays?
According to Autodesk, Retina support works as designed only if you set resolution in Mac OS System preferences to "Best for display", which means effective desktop resolution of the standard 15-inch MacBook Pro's 1440 x 900 panel, but with four physical pixels driving every single pixel represented on the screen.
- There is no eTransmit command: how do I send drawing files to others from the MAC version?
While that is true for older MAC versions of AutoCAD/LT, you can set up a free AutoCAD360 web account and ships it like THIS to solve it. eTransmit is available in current versions.
- Where can I download language packs for AutoCAD/LT for MAC?
To date there are no language packs for any version of AutoCAD/LT for MAC 2015 and lower versions. MAC versions of AutoCAD/LT are only available in English and French.
- Can I set the mouse middle button in the MAC versions to behave like the Windows version?
Yes you can, read this AutoCAD Forum thread on the topic HERE.
- What other commands are missing from AutoCAD/LT for MAC that are found in the Windows versions?
The following core commands do not exist on the MAC versions as of this blog date: CHSPACE, Geolocation and ADCENTER (Content Palette has some similar, but not all, abilities) are a few of the differences, for more details explore these links for AUTOCAD and LT.
- Ready to get started? Still not sure?
Visit this Lynda.com webpage for quick short tutorials to help your Migration From Windows To MAC with AutoCAD/LT. You can also review the AutoCAD/LT Shortcuts Guide ONLINE or as a downloadable PDF.
I would like to thank my fellow Autodesk Expert Elite Maxim Kanaev
for his many posts at the Autodesk Forums
that made this blog post possible.
AutoCAD/LT for MAC: FAQ