What's New in Toolbox 2020

What's New in Toolbox 2020 (OEM)

Toolbox 2020, OEM, is packed with new features and enhancements to help you streamline your design, drafting, and engineering. With an OEM Subscription, you’ll gain access to the latest toolsets and innovative features of Toolbox 2020. 

Improved Dark Theme Appearance

  • Modified “dark theme.”
    • Reduce eye strain with contrast improvements, sharper icons, and a modern dark blue interface.

Fig. 01 - Dark Theme Sample

Faster Performance

  • Overall performance of Toolbox 2020 improved
  • Most obvious when saving drawings. Most saves now take less than half a second, compared to 1.5 seconds on average in the previous release.
  • Installing the software is faster for solid-state hard drives (could find no actual data).

Fig. 02 - Improved Performance When Saving Drawings

Quick Measurements

Display all nearby measurements in a drawing dynamically, simply by hovering your mouse.
  • MEASUREGEOM command now includes a “Quick” mode.
  • Dimensions, distances, and angles are dynamically displayed as you move your mouse over and between objects in a drawing.
    • The cursor displays all nearby measurements, inside & outside the nearest geometry.
  • Orange square indications 90-degree angle.
  • Axis lines indicate locations of dimensions that are being displayed.
The Quick option is designed to work on 2D geometry in a plan view with the UCS set to World and the visual style set to 2D Wireframe. Objects that aren't measured include annotations such as dimensions, hatches, and custom objects.

Fig. 03 - MEASURE Command "Quick" Option

Significantly Improved Block Insertion

Insert blocks efficiently from a most recently used list, and includes visual galleries.
  • This new Block palette replaces the old Insert dialog. Both are accessible using the INSERT command.
  • It contains all the former abilities, plus the power of block visualization.
  • Extremely simple to select and insert any block at any location, scale, or rotation angle.
    • Gallery of blocks in the Current Drawing, also Recent Blocks or Blocks from Other Drawings.
  • Drag and Drop for speed, click to select a block, and click to select a location in the drawing to place it for accuracy.
  • Also, an option for “Repeat Block Placement” to place multiple copies of the block quickly.

Fig. 04 - Comparison of New Block Palette and Old Insert Interface

A More Intuitive Way to Remove Unused Items

Remove multiple unneeded objects at once with easy selection and object preview.
  • Redesigned Purge command and interface for easier drawing cleanup.
  • Helps to better understand why some items can’t be purged.
    • Options very similar to the previous version, but the appearance and layout of the Purge dialog are all new.
    • It provides feedback for more intuitive use.
      • For example, you can now view purgeable or non-purgeable items, with a resizable preview area.
      • Checkboxes in the Named Items Not Used panel provide a way to select purgeable items by category or by individual items.
      • You can also now purge zero-length geometry without also purging empty text objects.                   

Fig. 05 - Comparison Between the New and Old PURGE Interfaces

Better Drawing Comparisons

Compare two versions of a drawing without leaving your current window.
  • Enhanced DWG Compare when evaluated with the original in 2019 release.             
    • Any changes you make in either the current drawing or in the compared drawing are dynamically compared and highlighted.
      • Open and pin the Settings box where convenient.
    • Import changes from the second drawing into the current drawing, in real-time, without leaving that drawing.
      • Turn OFF changes in the Settings box, stretch the existing door 18” right, turn ON again.
    • Compare toolbar review
      • Settings
      • Comparison Display Toggle
      • Zoom to Next or Previous Change
      • Import Changes from one drawing into the current drawing, delete existing objects
      • Export Snapshot
        • Export both drawings into a new “snapshot drawing.”
        • This drawing combines the similarities and changes between both drawings.
        • This provides the same result as performing a drawing comparison in Toolbox 2019.
      • Exit Compare – takes you back to the original drawing.
The limitations for the DWG Compare feature include the following.
  • Operates in model space only. If a drawing selected for comparison was saved in a layout, DWG Compare automatically switches to the Model tab.
  • Supports DWG files only.
  • Does not support all object types. (See AutoCAD documentation for types.)
  • Comparison graphics are displayed only in the 2D Wireframe visual style.
  • Revision clouds cannot enclose changes in a 3D isometric view.

Fig. 06 - New Drawing COMPARE Interface


Fig. 07 - New Drawing Compare Toolbar

Q & A

Question: Using the Toolbox 2020 drawing comparison tool, does the origin point of both drawings be identical to compare successfully?

Answer: No. The objects with different origins in the second drawing are considered to be revisions of the original drawing. They are highlighted in a different color and enclosed with a revision cloud. You may then use the DWG Comparison tools to delete selected objects in the original and import the revised drawing objects.

Question: Does the Toolbox 2020 drawing comparison tool successfully compare 3D drawings?

Answer: Yes, depending on the object type. (Exceptions include OLE objects, cameras, geographic data, GIS objects from Map 3D, non-DWG underlays, images, coordination models, and point clouds.) The comparison must be in 2D Wireframe style and will be switched to that style.

Question: Does the drawing comparison tool work with only DWG files, or is it possible to open drawing files of other types, such as PDF?

Answer: DWG files are the only file type supported. If you receive your files in another type of format, you must find a way to convert them before comparing them. If in PDF format, convert the file into CAD lines in a DWG file and then compare.

See AutoCAD 2020 New Features Overview for more information.

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