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ILEXSOFT of Italy releases new HighDesign 2015–Mac OS X Only Professional CAD Software

Ilexsoft delivers a stunning new update in HighDesign 2015, in both Professional and Standard editions, the Italian and OS X only CAD program features a new radial menu system plus a “responsive” UI design, a first in the CAD industry to our knowledge.


ILEXSOFT has announced the latest version of its professional CAD software for Mac OS X, HighDesign 2015. The new release delivers a new, responsive user interface and over 80 new features. The latest version is also file compatible with the latest 2015 release of AutoCAD.

New in HighDesign 2015

The new release of HighDesign 2015 features a stunning new user-interface, cast in dark gray tones and contrasting color accents. It also features a unique new Radial Menu system.

The new UI is designed to be “responsive” and adjust to different screen sizes and configuration, maximizing the use of display space and focusing on the project. There is support for multiple documents and multiple displays, the new sidebar and input bar, the Inspector, dark and light themes, and many new customization options allow the software to adjust to the needs and context of the user.

The new Radial Menu is the biggest UI change in the evolution of this Italian-born, OS X native (OS X exclusive) CAD package. The new menu system brings together all the relevant tools and functions into one, convenient visual menu. (see image 02).

01 - Ilexsoft's latest--HighDesign 2015 offers a stunning new UI with a new Radial Menu feature.

01 – Ilexsoft’s latest–HighDesign 2015 offers a stunning new UI with a new Radial Menu feature. (image: courtesy Ilexsoft Sas. All rights reserved.)

The tools are presented where they are needed according to the current context, allowing the user to stay focused on the drawing. The drafting tools also now offer many more new features, such as:

  • Smart snap alignments that automatically recognize perpendicular and parallel directions between alignments
  • The polyline tool with line segments and arcs by three points or by center, and automatic tangent alignments.
  • The Bezier Path with smart definition points and mirrored, asymmetric and disconnected control points.
  • The Spline tool creates smooth curves that pass through a set of points.
  • The ability to add fill colors and gradients with any number of colors to all closed shapes.
  • Texts with support for multiple styles and writing directions
  • The new smart Annotation tool that automatically extracts the information for the label content from parametric objects.
  • Hatching now offers the ability to open islands inside the hatch region and create vector patterns to represent virtually any surface and material
  • New ordinate dimensions

As mentioned earlier HighDesign 2015 has file compatibility with 2015 versions of Autodesk’s popular DWG file format for export/import.

Professional Edition and Sheets Features

Beyond the features thus far mentioned, HighDesign 2015 now has templates for its Professional Edition, making it easier for the user to create reusable sheets and comply with international and company CAD standards. Walls, columns, doors, and windows are now even more powerful with new parameters that define the exterior face of the wall, its shape, joints and construction system. Doors and windows automatically adjust their level of detail to the current scale.

02 - Perhaps the most intriguing new UI feature, the context-sensitive Radial Menu brings tools to the cursor in a different kind of way than most programs.

02 – Perhaps the most intriguing new UI feature, the context-sensitive Radial Menu brings tools to the cursor in a different kind of way than most programs. (image: courtesy Ilexsoft Sas. All rights reserved).


Sheets now support the ability to mix and match units of scale. This means a site plan from a surveyor may use one unit of measure while other sheets use other units. This allows a single document to include multiple drawings with different units and scale. Lastly, the Photogrammetry tools have been enhanced with a simpler setup process and the new option to correct the perspective of the image in addition to tracing the original image.

Availability and Pricing

HighDesign 2015 runs on Macs with OS X 10.10, 10.9 and 10.8 and is available in two main editions—Standard for 299.USD and Professional for 499.USD. A third option, Professional Plus, offers two professional licenses at the convenient price of 699.USD.

Registered users of any previous version are eligible for an upgrade price of 149.USD for HighDesign Standard and 249.USD for HighDesign Professional. Additionally, there is a one-year educational license option available for free to qualified students and teachers.

To learn more about HighDesign 2015 visit here.

Architosh Analysis

Ilexsoft seems to have really crafted a well thought-out major upgrade in HighDesign 2015, a program that, much like its OS X only sister-in-spirit Cheetah 3D, eschews the world of Windows software in order to be all about the Mac, and to do a Mac product really well. What’s truly impressive in this latest release, from the looks of it, is the user-interface improvements. Seeing a program like a CAD tool have a “responsive” interface is both new and exciting. This leads this author to believe perhaps the UI is coded using pure Javascript. Perhaps? The new radial menu system is just the icing on the cake.


Editors Note [added 19 Feb 2015, 1:40 pm]

A reader who is a beta tester of this application wrote to us to correct a misunderstanding we had on HighDesign 2015. In our original post we stated that “sheets now have their own scale, in essence a paper-space modality.” That was a bit incorrect. In fact, the program already supported sheets having their own scale, what is now new is users can combine different units on different sheets. What this allows for example, is a user combining a survey’s plan in one unit of measure while the architectural sheets use another.




Reader Comments

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  7. The new #UI in @HighDesignCAD 2015 is “stunning” and “a first in the CAD industry”. Read about us on Architosh

  8. The new #UI in @HighDesignCAD 2015 is “stunning” and “a first in the CAD industry”. Read about us on Architosh

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