Introducing AutoCAD 2018

Product News

Another year has gone by, and we’ve been working hard to bring you innovative CAD features to help you design the next aerodynamic bike, energy-efficient building, high-speed railway, or anything else you can dream up. That’s why we’re excited to bring you AutoCAD 2018.

In this latest release of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, you’re able to:

  • Create and share precise drawings with innovative productivity tools.
  • Save time and minimize frustration with simple tools to fix broken paths for externally referenced files.
  • Use the SHX text recognition tool to quickly convert imported PDF geometry to text objects.
  • See significant improvements in the performance of AutoCAD—including in 3D navigation when zooming and panning.
  • Take the power of AutoCAD with you wherever you go with an easy-to-use mobile app (included when you subscribe to any AutoCAD product).

Allyn Tidball, owner of Allyn C. Tidball, P.E. and a beta tester, said, “I tend to value most changes to AutoCAD which improve my day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute use and production efficiency. AutoCAD 2018 has many (what I would call) high-value, low-profile improvements. Several are the type which are invisible during the ‘heat of battle,’ but will improve my production. Flashy new features are probably great for marketing, but I want to thank the Autodesk team for providing many improvements that I value much, much more in this release.”

Check out our AutoCAD LT 2018 overview video here.

If you’re on an AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT 2017 subscription license or maintenance plan, you’ll get all your updates as they become available, right in the Autodesk Desktop App. Just accept the update, and you’ll be up and running with the new features immediately.

With this release, there are a host of new features that I’ve outlined in detail in the AutoCAD 2018 Preview Guide. Some key updates include:

PDF Import Enhancements

“The fact that PDF import has come to be something that I feel that I can trust saved me several hundred dollars this week,” Tidball elaborated. The team has continued to make enhancements to this feature.

With AutoCAD 2018, you can use the SHX text recognition tool to quickly convert imported PDF geometry to text and Mtext objects. Add to that the enhanced Text to Mtext tool, enabling you to convert a combination of single- and multi- line text objects to a one multi-line text object, automatically inferring formatting.

PDF Import enhancements in AutoCAD 2018

External Reference Path Enhancements

Enhancements in AutoCAD 2018 help reduce the problems created by broken reference paths by saving time and minimizing frustration. Integrated tools enable you to easily replace the paths of one or more missing references with a new path.

Don’t just take our word for it. Senior drafter at BHB Engineers, Larrissa Anderton, explained, “I am so excited for this feature. We do ‘repeat’ projects and this will cut relinking time in half if not by more.”

External Reference enhancements in AutoCAD 2018

Object Selection

In AutoCAD 2018, you can begin a selection window in one part of your drawing and then pan and zoom to another part while maintaining selection of the off-screen objects!

Offscreen Selection in AutoCAD 2018

High-Resolution (4K) Monitor Support

AutoCAD 2018 supports high-resolution monitors to ensure the best possible viewing experience on 4K displays and higher. Commonly used user interface elements, such as the Start tab, Command line, palettes, dialog boxes, toolbars, ViewCube, pick pox, and grips, are appropriately scaled and displayed as per the Windows setting.

AutoCAD 2018 continues to improve graphics and performance while ensuring the TrustedDWG technology you rely on.

The DWG format has been updated to provide improvements in the efficiency of open and save operations, especially for drawings that contain many annotative objects and viewports. Additionally, 3D solid and surface creation is now using the newest geometric modeler which has improved security and stability.

Subscribe Now

When you subscribe to AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT, you get the AutoCAD mobile app at no additional cost. Be more productive by easily viewing, creating, editing, and sharing CAD drawings on your tablet or smartphone—no need to bring printed drawings to job sites or client visits. Download the AutoCAD mobile app from the Apple App StoreGoogle Play Store, or Windows App Store and take your drawings on the go now.

So, what are you waiting for? Download a trial of AutoCAD 2018 right now. If you are a Maintenance Plan or Subscription customer, simply open the Autodesk Desktop App and install it now or visit Autodesk Account for other download and install options. An architectural designer from MG2, Paul Vorapanich, enthusiastically explained, “Transitioning from the previous release to the new release is very easy. Within 30 minutes and a few clicks, I was up and running.”

Don’t forget to check out the full AutoCAD 2018 Preview Guide to learn more about the new features, how to access them, and why we think you’ll love them.

Try AutoCAD free for 30 days


  1. heleads

    Overview ends by saying, "We think AutoCAD 2018 is the best version of AutoCAD we have ever released." Really?? It is perhaps the most underwhelming release ever. Nothing new and innovative, just minor fixes and improvements. Not sure about everyone else, but I certainly am not excited about improved PDF recognition, being able to select the gaps in complex line types, and off screen selection. Way to go AutoCAD! Yet another year of not listening to user's requests.

    1. Heidi Hewett
      Heidi Hewett

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. As a long-time AutoCAD user and member of the AutoCAD team, I appreciate your perspective and desire for innovation. AutoCAD is a huge application that is capable of so much…3D modeling, visualization, point clouds, 3D printing, dynamic blocks, sheet sets… the list goes on and on. But, the reality is that most AutoCAD customers use 2D drawing and editing tools. They annotate with dimensions and text and they collaborate with external references and PDF data. While those aren’t the most exciting features in AutoCAD, for millions of our customers, they’re the most necessary. During all my years (and releases) at Autodesk the most common and consistent feedback I’ve heard from AutoCAD customers is “make it work right and make it work faster.” AutoCAD 2018 (and other recent releases) isn’t a result of not listening to user requests. Just the opposite, it’s the direct result of listening to them: improved performance, improved PDF support, improved support for high-res monitors, and improved support for broken reference paths. Those are things that nearly every AutoCAD customer uses every day.

    2. mcicognani

      I agree! .. and it's not just this last version... in my opinion it's since 2014 that improvements are few and of little importance. They justify this saying the major work is under the hood, to allow for greater improvements in the future. Too bad this work is taking so long.. years!

  2. Avatar

    What about improvement in rendering? The workflow with artificial lights are obsolet, very slow to move, rotate and change the direction. About hdri and ibl... in this new version its possible to add new HDRI ? And what about the shadows that cast the floors? we need some matte shadow material.

  3. cbennettEM

    Does AutoCAD 2018 work any better on Windows 10 v1607 than AutoCAD 2017 did? Or do we still need to use Windows 10 v1511 for AutoCAD to work properly?

    1. Heidi Hewett
      Heidi Hewett

      Good question and yes it does. There were two crash bugs specific to the Windows Anniversary Edition that are addressed in AutoCAD 2018 including a common one that was related to using the F8 key.

  4. memory_leak

    Darn, have you missed a year? My computer says march 25. 2017. Is this too early april 1st?

  5. nobleaaliyah00

    any tips for a beginner using autocad 2018

  6. mark@marquess

    The F8 fix and off-screen selection are worth the price of admission alone. Those issues have a huge effect on production because they disrupt the users workflow. Bravo.

  7. giovanabittencourt1982

    Amo AutoCAD! Foi meu ganha pão por mais de 20 anos, versão atrás de versão... Mas aposentei e fiquei desatualizada.... kkkk Ainda tenho a versão 10. Maravilhosa! Usem e abusem desse software, seu potencial é muito maior do que podemos imaginar!!

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