Blog Published: 25/03/2020

Blogger - Terry Dean

What's New in AutoCAD 2021?

An overview of the new features and updates in AutoCAD 2021

Based upon customer feedback and other surveys, AutoCAD 2021 contains streamlined and modernised versions of some existing tools in addition to the introduction of some new tools. In this blog, we'll outline 5 of the new features and updates in AutoCAD 2021:

Trim and Extend

Trim and ExtendThe TRIM and EXTEND commands have been changed to make the workflow quicker. It utilises a previously optional method which has now been made the default way of operating.

At first, I wasn’t sure if this `new look’ was quicker but after awhile it does begin to feel more efficient. What I like, is if the new method isn’t to your liking, both TRIM and EXTEND can be reconfigured to the original way of operating which is, `Standard’ as opposed to `Quick’. The trimming of lines across hatch patterns to their boundaries is a real time saver. Again, this can be reconfigured to the original method with the addition of a new system variable called `TRIMEDGES’.

Rev Cloud

Rev CloudREVCLOUD has been given a long overdue update. For those who use this command frequently it’s always been frustrating. Arc lengths are nearly always the wrong size. Now, this shouldn’t be the case anymore. It uses the size of the drawing area to automatically set the arc length to a more appropriate size. Of course, it might not always be perfect, but the change required should only be minimal.

To help make changes much easier than previous versions, REVCLOUD's are now recognised as such and no longer as a Polyline. So, how is that beneficial? There is a setting within the Object Properties Palette, ‘Arc Length’, which enables changes to be made to the REVCLOUD quicker than in previous releases.

Break At Point

BREAKATPOINT is a new command which enables a break to be made at a specific point along a Line, Arc or open Polyline.

BREAKATPOINT has two major enhancements. Firstly, it works, both accurately, reliably and far better than the previous method of doing this using the Break command. Secondly, it’s a repeatable command by either pressing Enter, Return or Spacebar. I was always hesitant to teach the old method owing to its unreliability and quirky way of not operating as expected. Not any longer!

Quick Measure

When I first saw QUICK MEASURE within AutoCAD 2020, I was very impressed. Well it just got better. I’m even more impressed. It now has the capability, to very quickly, display area and perimeter information.

Simply clicking within a closed boundary, area and perimeter information instantly appears. If these enclosed areas include further closed areas (Islands) these will be automatically detected and removed from the calculation. Pressing the Shift Key enables multiple closed boundaries to be selected and cumulative area and perimeter data displayed. The same key removes already selected areas and the data updated accordingly.

DWG History

DWG HistoryDWG HISTORY utilises the drawing history benefits of the following cloud storage providers, ONE DRIVE, DROP BOX and BOX. The cloud storage provider sets the number of versions stored and manages when they will expire.

When signed into your Autodesk account and opening a drawing for the first time, from the cloud storage area, a balloon notification appears in the lower right corner indicating previous versions of that drawing can be compared using the DRAWING HISTORY palette. The DRAWING HISTORY palette lists previous versions and when each is selected uses the DWG COMPARE utility to show the differences between that and the current drawing.

So, in summary, AutoCAD 2021 has introduced some long overdue enhancements and new tools to make some previously cumbersome tasks a lot easier to achieve.

TRIM and EXTEND have a new feel to them which takes a little bit of getting used to and REVCLOUD has a much better feel to it.

BREAKATPOINT brings more reliability, repeatability and accuracy which is long overdue.
Drawing History is going to be very popular. It’s easy to use and makes the most of cloud storage providers ability to store a drawings history.

Quick Measure just got better. It doesn’t fail to impress. 

Watch our video below to see these new features in action:
To learn more about AutoCAD, please visit our product page or call us on 01992 807 444 or email

About the author

  • Terry Dean

Terry Dean

Application Specialist

Terry has been providing training for over 31 years, and is an Autodesk Certified Professional in AutoCAD and Revit Architecture, as well as an Autodesk Certified Instructor. With a wealth of background knowledge and experience, Terry has delivered projects for a large number of clients across the UK, including Arup, BAA, Redrow Homes, Fosters and Gensler. His training delegates often praise his patience in ensuring that they have absorbed the knowledge needed to develop the necessary skills on their chosen platform.

Terry is the back bone of the training team, and is responsible for training his fellow Excitech trainers to ensure consistency in quality.

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