AutoCAD 2005 is barely out the door, and now I'm wanting more? There are things in AutoCAD that bug me, some that I've asked Autodesk to fix for years now. Other bug-things are new in AutoCAD 2005. Here's what I'd like to see fixed; feel free to contribute ideas.
The ImageAttach command is limited to opening raster data from files. It should access the TWAIN driver, so that images can be imported from devices, such as scanners and digital cameras, directly into the drawing.
The TaskBar system variable is a weak substitute for true MDI tabs. (Each additional drawing in AutoCAD displays a button on the taskbar.) I find lots of buttons on the taskbar annoying. To switch quickly betwen drawings, I'd prefer to see tabs inside AutoCAD, similar to the existing tabs for switching between layouts.
WMF, a relic from Windows v3.1, needs to be updated to EMF.And better contols over the quality of the enhanced metafile when pasting in other applications. How hard can it be to crop the image to its extents?
The Rectang command doesn't draw rectangles at an angle -- not even when Snap Rotate is turned on.
Anyone notice how slowly the Layer dialog box loads? Autodesk rewrote it using the .Net programming interface. Microsoft "Innovation": how we must we continue to suffer under it.
I dislike icons. Intensely. Most of them make no sense to me. I recognize icons only by color and outline shape; all the muddled pixels inside the outline are meaningless mush to me. I was thus unimpressed with Autodesk changing clearly-labled text buttons to cryptic icon buttons scrunched together in a tight row in the redesigned Publish command. My time is too valuable to have to pause the cursor over a button, and then wait for the tooltip to slowly appear.
A disturbing trend in AutoCAD 2005 is shoving many commands and options onto shortcut menus. Tthe idea is, I suppose, to clean up the interface by "hidding" less-used commands. Not a good idea. I've found four problems with this approach:
1. Shortcut menus tend to be context-sensitive. This means I see a different set of commands -- or none at all -- depending on where I right-click. It is very confusing to know where to click in order to get the command I need.
2. Shortcut menus take an extra step: (1) Right-click, and then (2) select the command. I don't like layers of interface. On my desk, papers are spread out and not in folders; when papers are in folders, I don't know they exist.
3. I cannot create custom toolbars and menus with commands found only on shortcut menus. There goes AutoCAD's much-vaunted customization ability :<
4. Online help is unavailable. I can't press F1 to find out the purpose of commands on shortcut menus. For example, what is the By Row option of the Merge Cells command? Even supposed-to-be-realtime Active Assistance (aka Info Palette) is of no help.
Speaking of help, the online help provided with AutoCAD2004 and 2005 have significant numbers of errors and ommisions. The two biggest problems are incorrect cross-references, and overly general cross-references. But there are also many minor yet irritating errors. I've written software documentation in the past, and so I can understand the frustation of tech writers forced to work with incomplete software, but Autodesk needs to now ship cleaned-up, post-shipping-AutoCAD help files.