5 Features of HighDesign R6.5 that will improve your design experience.
HighDesign R6.5 has been released earlier this June and it includes over 40 new features and improvements and dozens of fixes. Here we’ll highlight some of the features of this release.
Improved Windows Support
This release offers a much better support and performance on Windows and adds full compatibility with Windows 11. The feature list is now the same on both Mac and Windows and much attention was devoted to the user interface to make sure that the Windows version does not feel like a Mac port. R6.5 now feels at home on Windows.
We also improved support for high-resolution displays and updated icons and cursors specifically for the Windows platform.
User Experience and Workflow
We believe that the best tools are those that help us achieve our goal without getting in the way. That is why in this release we focused on all those items, processes and tools that together help you product more with less effort. In short, the user experience.
First, the user interface has been updated with new, clearer icons, larger cursors, more consistency and better user of the space. This translates into a quicker identification of the available options and the meaning of the different items on a dialog. When you work on a project on a tight schedule —that is, in essence the life experience of architects, engineers and designers— all those seconds spent on an interface item do count at the end of the day.
Another important aspect of the overall experience is speed: we increased the refresh speed by 10% on average, optimised hatches, patterns and textures so that they redraw up to 50% faster than before. Many other windows and commands were equally optimised for speed and efficiency.
In terms of workflow, we continued the process of removing constraints and making the use of tools more consistent: we made sure that pressing the Esc key, double-clicking and right-clicking now work in the same way across all tools. The Selection tool can now be used more broadly to edit objects, especially multi-item objects like poly-lines, hatches and curves.
An item that was much requested was the slider to control the opacity of a colour directly on the Colours & Gradients palette.
Printing and File Sharing
Being able to print and effectively share your drawings is critical in CAD project. HighDesign R6.5 includes improved printing capabilities with better support for the generic printer driver on macOS: margins and alignments are now correct even when no physical printer is plugged in and the system uses the generic driver to produce PDF files.
Construction objects, such as points and guides, are now printed according to the selected option of the Print dialogue and the current view preferences: if guides are hidden they won’t print.
The Publish to PDF command now creates higher-quality PDF drawings and includes support for guides and points.
The Resource Manager is an important part of HighDesign: it is the tool you use to manage and add line types, hatches, styles and other resources to your project. In previous versions, resources added to the project where loaded from the libraries directly and any changes to that resource were immediately applied to the original resource. While this method had the benefit of being straightforward, it also presented the downside that the changes made to a resource would apply to all the other projects where that resource was used.
In HighDesign R6.5 we opted to preserve the integrity of previous projects, so we changed the way resources are loaded: now, when you add a resource to the project it is copied into the project and any subsequent edits only affect the local copy unless you explicitly decide to edit the original. With this new method, the original resource file acts as a template: projects import copies of it so each project can store its own version of the resource. When you want to update a particular resource in a project that is older than the original file, you simply reload it and all the objects using that resource will be updated automatically.
With this redesign, your projects are protected from unintended changes and can be updates very easily.
Drafting, annotation & presentation
Many new features and enhancements are aimed at making the whole drafting, annotating and presenting process smoother and straightforward. Here are some of the most notable features:
- Points can now be rendered in a number of styles and support adjustable scale.
- Layers have a new Opacity property that controls the overall transparency of all their objects.
- The Edit Group command has been rewritten and it now allows to edit a group in its context.
- Rotated text blocks now retain their character styles.
- Tags and annotations now provide more flexibility.
- A new Insert menu lets you insert DXF/DWG drawings into the current project.
- Editing a title block is now easier.
- Viewports can have a transparent colour overlay.
Finally, we would like to express our appreciation to all our customers who identified the issues in previous versions of HighDesign and were so kind to report them to us. Your contribution is very important to us as it allows us to continually improve the quality of the product.
HighDesign R6.5 is the alternative CAD and architectural design software for Mac (Intel & ARM) and for Windows. HighDesign is a complete solution for design and features drawing, annotation and architectural tools that help you outline, draw and present your projects with ease. For more info and to download a free trial, visit ilexsoft.com/highdesign