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February 20, 2007



I truly believe this move could bring an revolution :)

From my point of view there are mainly two main groups that are in need for such a program. One is internal (people that work on an project), the other one is external (mostly project investors/clients).

Why I see this two as the two mayor groups? Mainly because of the technical knowledge using such a program.

I don't have much to say about the use of Autodesk Design Review 2008 in first group, they had such solutions in the past that they ware able to use and they need to have the technical knowledge to use them, hey, it is their job, right? :)

But it could be IMO a real revolution for the second group. One just can not expect from them to agree on buying a program just for one project you make for them. And DWF Viewer simple had some limitations that ware not allowing DWF file to really replace the paper (or PDF?).

By making some reviews/tests I found out that the two mayor problems, from my point of view, with DWF Viewer ware mostly the measuring and printing.

People just love to check and measure by them self once they have some blueprints in their hands (or PCs) to make sure their designer did it right :) no big science needed, just some very basic and simple option need that would allow to measure the lines and spaces in the drawing...

People also love to take the pencil and a little bit sketch by them self on the drawing. Most of them however only have small A4 printers. Not a big problem since most of the time they would like to print just a small part (area) of the whole drawing. It is possible to print the whole drawing on several sheets of paper, but we will probably all agree that this really makes not allot of sense (if one need the whole big plot one can ask for it). The missing option IMO was (is?) to be able to select an area and print just this area it in an correct scale (for example 1:100).

So this was my research and comments on DWF Viewer... With the above announcement however, I think now you are really able to proudly say that you go "beyond the paper" :)

There is one thing however I am a bit "afraid". And it is again based n the second of the above two groups. I am afraid that Design Review 2008 might be to complex (to many options and tools) for them. Imagine sending a drawing to your mom (ok it is just an old example, maybe some moms are pro with DWFs :) ) or someone that is less computer literate...

Maybe a two mode interface (simple and expert and simple beaning the default after install) or something like "hide advance options by default" (like in MS office) should be seriously consider to make this a real revolution and truly go beyond the paper on all fronts (and save some garbage for the good of the nature ;) )

One more question. Why would one want/need to have installed both Design Review 2008 and DWF Viewer?

Best regards, Saso

Scott Sheppard

Thank you for your insightful comments. You are correct in that the Autodesk Design Review 2007 UI can be daunting for the novice. For example, adding the UI for animation really complicated things. We have taken steps to simplify the UI for Autodesk Design Review 2008. Autodesk Design Review has the ability to modify a DWF file by adding markup at the end. The original DWF content is unaltered. Hence, it opens a DWF file as read-write. On the other hand, Autodesk DWF Viewer has no markup or measure capabilities. Hence it opens a DWF file as read-only. Until some document management systems take this difference into account, some of our users may elect to stick with the DWF Viewer. In addition, some Autodesk products automatically install Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 as part of their installs. For example, Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 SP1 is included with the release of products such as AutoCAD 2008 that shipped earlier than Autodesk Design Review 2008.

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