by Miles Nicholson
At the time of writing, many people are working from home remotely due to COVID-19. AutoCAD 2021 has a new function called DWG History. This function is available in all vertical versions of AutoCAD (i.e. AutoCAD Architectural, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD MAP 3D, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD MEP & AutoCAD Plant 3D (AutoCAD P&ID)) on subscription.
You may need the requirement to have multiple engineers working on the same drawing at different times. If you access a file saved in OneDrive, Dropbox or Box, then you can easily compare a drawing with previous versions of that drawing.
Drawing files saved to OneDrive, Dropbox and Box cloud storage maintain previous versions of DWG files that can now be accessed in the new Drawing History palette. In the Drawing History palette, you can choose which version to compare your current drawing with filtering by date, user or selected time between versions of the DWG.
The Compare button automatically opens the DWG Compare feature and the differences are displayed in the current drawing. You can also import changes from your previous version into the current drawing in real time.
When saving a new drawing or when wishing to collaborate, save the drawing within your selected cloud storage.
Select the Collaborate ribbon tab > History panel >
The Drawing History palette will automatically recognise where the drawing has been saved e.g. Dropbox.
Sign into your cloud storage when prompted.
The drawing within the cloud storage will then appear in the Drawing History palette:
When changes are made to the drawing and the drawing is saved, the drawings history will then be shown:
You can alter the filtered view by:
If a drawing is being edited at different times by multiple users, the drawing history will state the user who has made the change:
You can compare between the drawing that you have open in comparison with a drawing from the Version History.
Your current drawing will then show the differences between the two versions using the DWG Compare command:
Note: If you receive the following message, the drawing is not saved within one of the supported cloud storages:
For Microsoft Office documents, there is a Dropbox badge that advises when others open the same file that you’re working on, but this feature doesn’t exist for AutoCAD. The reason is because you are opening your own copy of the file. However when both engineers save, one of the files will be saved as a conflicting copy so as to not overwrite any changes made by the other person.