AutoCAD Once Again Available For Mac Computers

After a nearly two-decade absence, Autodesk is once again selling a version of its popular AutoCAD design and engineering application for Apple's Macintosh computers.

Late last week Autodesk said that AutoCAD for Mac is available for purchase and that the company is offering a free 30-day trial of the application. The application, with a $3,995 price tag, is available from, as well as through resellers and online retailers.

Some see Autodesk's move as evidence that Macintosh computers, after all but disappearing from corporate desktops as Windows-based PCs proliferated, are once again being seen as a viable alternative for mainstream business applications.

Autodesk hasn't offered a native version of AutoCAD for Macs since 1992 and the company stopped supporting the Mac in 1994.

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Apple Macs generally hold a 10 percent share of the worldwide PC market, more than double what they had shortly after the turn of the century, and Mac sales have been growing faster than the overall market. In July market-research firm Gartner released a report showing Apple in fourth place in its share (9.8 percent) of the U.S. market for desktop computers.

NEXT: AutoCAD For Mac's New Capabilities

AutoCAD for Mac is a version of the computer-aided design and engineering software that runs natively on Mac OS X. Autodesk also now offers AutoCAD WS, a mobile application for Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices that allows users to edit and share AutoCAD designs while in the field.

The new software takes full advantage of the capabilities in Mac OS X, according to AutoCAD, including graphical browsing of design files with Cover Flow and use of Multi-Touch gestures on Mac notebooks, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad for intuitive pan and zoom features.

Macintosh-specific design patterns, such as its visual approach to drawing and layout management, also have been incorporated into AutoCAD for Mac. The new product supports native creation and editing files in the DWG file format and files created in previous versions of AutoCAD can be opened in the new application.