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AutoCAD returns to the Mac, mobile app offered

Autodesk is bringing its popular engineering program back to the Mac after long absence and is launching mobile versions for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

AutoCAD is returning to the Mac.
AutoCAD is returning to the Mac. Autodesk

After an absence of more than 15 years, AutoCAD is finally back on the Mac.

Autodesk announced Tuesday the launch of AutoCAD for Mac, a new version of its popular design and engineering tool that will run natively on Mac OS X.

AutoCAD for Mac will offer many of the features familiar to users of the software but will also take advantage of Mac OS X, said Autodesk. The program's Cover Flow interface will help users browse through graphical previews of each file, while the Mac's multitouch gestures will allow for panning and zooming of each drawing. Users of AutoCAD for Mac will be able to create and edit files in the software's popular DWG format and open up files created in previous versions, added Autodesk.

"The release of AutoCAD for Mac marks the return of professional design and engineering software to the Mac platform and an important convergence of power and design," Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business, said in a statement. "Over 5,000 customers have helped develop this product through our beta program and they are delighted to have the choice of a native Mac version of AutoCAD."

AutoCAD for Mac will retail for $3,995. Available for presale on September 1, the software will hit the market sometime this fall in North America and Europe. AutoCAD for Mac will also be available free for download to qualifying full-time students and teachers through the company's Autodesk Education Community.

To complement the new Mac product, Autodesk is also introducing AutoCAD WS, a free version designed for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Launching this fall in Apple's App Store, the mobile app will let AutoCAD users view, edit, and share their files. By signing up for a free account, users on the go will be able to tap into DWG files stored online.

"The AutoCAD WS app is a bold new idea, a mobile version of industry-leading design software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch..." Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement.