Summer 2017: HighDesign 2017 Update 2

The first half of 2017 is behind us, and this is a good time to sum up what we’ve been working on.

March: Release 2017.1

In March, we released HighDesign 2017.1, the first update to the 2017 product line. The updated focused on dimensions, texts and annotations by expanding the range of associable dimensions, improving text blocks and enhancing the overall documentation features. In HighDesign Pro, the PDF export tool now supports project views, so that you can choose to export a specific view, and provides more filters. With these new filters, it is now possible to export for example in greyscale, monochromatic with a custom color, or sepia.

June: Release 2017.2

Continuing the focus on project documentation, the newly released HighDesign 2017 Release 2 greatly enhances annotations and other documentation tools. The main toolbar now features a new, dedicated Annotation tool with its own Properties panel to accomodate all the new features:

HighDesign 2017 Annotation settings
The new Annotation settings panel


  • In the Standard and Pro editions, annotations can be associated to a host element. Supported elements are basic shapes like polylines, polygons and curves, and architectural design elements like walls, columns, windows, doors. Moving or modifying the host element will affect the associated annotation.
  • The leader line can now be a segmented line, a spline, an arc, or be suppressed altogether. When suppressed, the annotation is centered on the first point that was clicked during construction.
  • The label can be rotated freely, independently of the leader line and the orientation of the landing segment or tangent.
  • Frame styles have been expanded and sorted. The triangle shape is new.
  • The size of frame can be set automatically on the content, or to fixed dimensions.
  • The padding property controls the distance between the frame and the text inside.

Editing has also been enhanced with the ability to adjust any point of the annotation and align the middle point to form a single line. Annotations can now be rotated and moved just like any other object.

Other features include new options for suppressing zeros in units, more powerful alignments, a unified and improved interface for option dialogs and improved DXF/DWG support. The full list of improvements and changes is available here.

Another important change, especially in the light of future developments, is the reorganization of the main tool bar in groups. The tools are now listed by purpose, with a clear separation between groups and, in the Pro edition, group names. The groups are:

  • Selection: Arrow tool
  • Sketch: all the tools used to create 2D drawings
  • Documentation: Text, Annotations, Dimensions, Print Areas
  • Design [Pro]: walls, doors, windows, columns
  • View: zoom, pan, measure
HighDesign 2017.2 main window UI
The new organization of the main toolbar in HighDesign 2017.2


HighDesign for Windows

The development of the Windows version has progressed and the feature set is almost the same as the Mac version. Given our aim to have the same UI and features on both platforms, we had to work a little longer on a number of features that behaved differently because of the different technologies behind. There may be an initial delay in the implementation of gradients, but we are satisfied with the way HighDesign runs on Windows 10, especially on the latest Creators Update.

HighDesign for Windows is now in its last stage of internal beta testing. We have received a huge interest in this edition, and we will open the beta to all who subscribed. The beta will run as a fully functional trial with a fixed date expiration. All active beta testers will receive a discount coupon code on the final release.


That’s all for this recap. We are implementing a number of cool, foundational features that will open the way to the new developments we have been secretely working on during the last year. Enjoy the summer break – if you have one – and we’ll be back very soon with new updates!


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