(formerly known as Autodesk Architectural Desktop or ADT)

See also what's new in AutoCAD 2008 since this will also more or less be included in AutoCAD Architecture 2008 and I'll try to not duplicate the information.

No DWG file format change between ADT 2007 and ACA 2008.

New and/or enhanced functions


Annotation scaling

Automatic scaling of drawing production allows users to simply change the scale of the design, and the annotations including dimensions, tags and leaders are automatically updated.


- Auto-Generate Spaces User Interface. Ability to generate spaces automatically from objects & linework has now been integrated into the Space Tool. No longer is it necessary to utilize the previously separate dialog box. This also provides the advantage of pre-specifying various options, such as style, to help streamline space creation.

- Automatic Associative Spaces. Ability for spaces to be associative to the objects (walls, slabs, curtain walls, etc) which surround them, eliminating tedious steps of updating space objects when boundaries change.

- Surface Opening Improvements. You can add openings to the surfaces of extruded 3D spaces and 3D freeform spaces. You can manually add openings to non-associative spaces while openings in an associative space are automatically determined by the openings in the bounding objects.

- Area Calculation Standards. Support for area calculation standards, such as BOMA (US), SIS and DIN 277(German). Built-in rules automatically offset the gross, usable and net boundaries during object creation and editing based on spatial adjacencies.

MasterFormat 2004 Content

Content, detail components and keynote databases that are configured for The Construction Specifications Institute’s MasterFormat 2004.

Graphical Editing

Object Display User Interface

Changing building elements and components display (such as a door and its swing) is now as easy as modifying AutoCAD linework.

Global Drawing Cut Plane Discoverability

The current cut plane setting is displayed heads-up on the drawing window status bar. By simply clicking on the value, you can quickly change the height without having to open the Display Manager.

Project Workflow

Drawing Compare

New Drawing Compare feature, available through the Autodesk Subscription program (separately downloaded executable), uses color-coded displays to show items on a drawing that have been changed, added or deleted by other members of the design team. Changes to items such as styles, fire ratings or other non-graphical properties also can be tracked.

View-to-Sheet Synchronization

By selecting an option in the Project Setup dialog, changes in a View drawing’s layer display carry over to its corresponding Sheet View layer display. The Sheet View layer states will resolve to and display the same as the layer states in the View drawing.

Project Navigator (new features)

You can now launch a Project Navigator project by double clicking on the .APJ file from within Windows Explorer or a shortcut created on you desktop.


Photometric lighting

Sun/Sky Systems

Procedural Materials

Material Editing Interface

Additional Improvements

Startup Experience

Performance Enhancements

File Open, File Open when using Project Standards, Plot Preview with Project-based Callouts, Zoom, Object Selection, Editing a tread/riser of a custom stair, Open Style Manager and Versioning Styles in Style
Manager, Drag a view to a sheet in project navigator when the project is located on a slow network, Change the Display Configuration in a single viewport on a Layout tab with multiple VPs, Section and Elevation Generation.

Structural Member Trip Plane

Member Auto-trim Setting

This feature provides a member style setting to control the automatic updating of trim planes after grip editing members. This feature shall also provide an object level setting such that the individual members can override the member style automatically trim setting.

Content Packs

Regional content packs DACH/DAN/FIN/NOR/SVE/UK


Layer Snapshots are now combined with Layer States from the AutoCAD platform, simplifying the overall toolset.

System requirements

Operating System Windows?? XP© Professional, SP 2 (Recommended); Windows XP Home, and Professional, SP 2; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Business; Windows Vista Ultimate; Windows Vista Home Premium; Windows Vista Home Basic; Windows 2000, SP 4 (only support for 32-bit Vista versions)
Web Browser Microsoft© Internet Explorer 6.0, SP 1 (or later)
Processor AMD Athlon, 3.0 GHz or greater (Recommended) or Intel© Pentium© IV
RAM 3 GB (Recommended); 2 GB (Minimum)
Video 256 meg or greater, 1280 x 1024 32-bit color video display adaptor, True Color (Recommended); 128 meg 1024 x 768 VGA, True Color (Minimum)
Hard Disk 3.1 GB, depending on installation options (Minimum)
Pointing Device MS-Mouse compliant
DVD Any speed (for installation only)
Optional Hardware Open GL©-compatible 3D video card; Printer or plotter; Digitizer; Modem or access to an internet connection; Network interface card

Bug fixes


New commands

AecChangeDisplayTabStatus - Hides/Shows the Display Tab in the Property palette.
AecIFCexport - Converts current drawing to IFC format.
AecIFCimport -Converts the contents of a selected IFC file into an AutoCAD drawing file, on disk.
AnnoAllVisible - Displays Annotative objects regardless of current annotation scale.
AnnoAutoScale - Adds the current scale to Annotative objects that participate in the current scale.
AnnoReset - Co-locates scale-dependent locations of Annotative objects.
AnnotativeDwg - Marks the drawing as Annotative in the case that the whole drawing is used as a block.
AnnoUpdate - Updates selected Annotative objects to participate in the current scale.
DisplayTabWarning - Restores all warning messages that were turned off.
DwgCompare - Starts the Drawing Compare palette.
ObjectScale - Access Scale List for selected objects so that the user can manage participatory scales.
SelectComponent - Allows for the selection of a single component within an object.

Still missing. Wish list for the next time. 

Multi-Line attributes and background masks does not work in view blocks of Multi-View Block Schedule Tags.

Existing bugs, feature limitation or other issues.

There is a known defect that limits the character limit in the file path to 128 characters in AutoCAD Architecture 2008. If you're using
ADT2007 or 2006 the character limit on the path will be 184.

One day I run the command AecMvBlockDefEdit and for some reason I could not exit the dialog box. I was so stuck that I had to kill ACA using the Task Manager.

Read me

Installing AutoCAD Architecture 2008


Installing AutoCAD Architecture 2008

  • When installing AutoCAD Architecture 2008 on a system with a version of Flash newer than 9.0.16, the message "Error 1904.Module C:\Windows\system32\Macrodmed\Flash\Flash9.ocx failed to register" may be observed. This error is benign and does not affect the main install. Press OK, and proceed as normal.
  • On Windows Vista, you may encounter a situation with Shared Configurable Folders where you are not able to use the mode 'Shared' with a UNC path due to its not accepting the shared location. Browsing to that UNC location through Windows Explorer, while prompting for user credentials, also does not work. This error can be resolved by disabling the User Account Control. Please refer to Microsoft Help for directions on making this change.

    Locate Customized Files

  • Since Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2004, the locations of some customized files has changed. More information can be found in the AutoCAD Architecture Stand-Alone Installation Guide > Locating Customized Files for AutoCAD Architecture 2008 > Locate Customized Files


  • If AutoCAD Architecture 2008 is installed on a network that uses roaming profiles, you may receive an error message on logoff when the computer is synchronizing the user account to the server. During synchronize the user data folder to the server you may get an error message saying:
    "Offline Files: Unable to make '2008 AEC-Keynotes-Assemblies (Imperial).mdb' available offline on<\\servername\home\user name\autodesk\my projects\sample project\> Files of this type cannot be made available offline."
    This occurs because the Sample Project in My Documents contains a Microsoft Access database. The warning can be safely ignored.
  • When creating a deployment, it is recommended that the installation files are first copied to a local drive. Creating a deployment from the install media will work, but has been seen to take several hours to complete.
  • When creating a deployment through Windows Vista, it is recommended that the installation files are first copied to a location on the destination server. This is to circumvent authentication issues you may encounter.

Add/Remove, Repair and Reinstall:

  • If Shared Configurable Folders on Vista are part of the product configuration, it is recommended to disable the User Account Control prior to running any of these processes. This is to prevent authentication issues you may encounter. Please refer to Microsoft Help for directions on making this change.

Uninstalling AutoCAD Architecture 2008 or Content Packs

  • The uninstaller will not remove files that were added or modified after the product was initially installed. You may manually delete any of these remaining files once you are sure they are no longer needed.
  • If the product is installed with Shared Configurable Folders on Vista, on a machine that is bound to a different domain than the Shared location, then the uninstall may halt when it tries to establish access to them. This error can be resolved by disabling the User Account Control. Please refer to Microsoft Help for directions on making this change.

Side-By-Side Installation

  • Ensure all previous versions of Autodesk products are up to date on their service packs before installing the latest products, such as AutoCAD Architecture 2008.
  • Uninstalling a previous version of Architectural Desktop after AutoCAD Architecture 2008 has been installed will cause problems with tools and project behavior in the remaining AutoCAD Architecture 2008 installation. Running a "Repair my AutoCAD Architecture 2008 installation" will restore the proper functionality of AutoCAD Architecture 2008.


Express Tools

  • After performing a reinstall on an existing installation of AutoCAD Architecture 2008, the Express Tools pulldown menu may not be visible. The menu file itself should still be loaded, in which case the command Expressmenu will restore the pulldown menu.

Compatibility with Previous Releases

AutoCAD 2007 File Format

  • For best results, it is recommended that drawings in a previous to 2007 format be opened and saved in the 2007 format before attempting to combine them, through Block Insert or Xref, with 2007 format drawings.

    Issues in Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007

  • To be able to reference edit drawings saved from AutoCAD Architecture 2008 in Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007, the variable LayerEval needs to be set to 0 in AutoCAD Architecture 2008. This is a per drawing setting.

    Issues from Previous Version Drawings

  • Previous version drawings that include slabs or roof slabs with boolean additions will need to have the appropriate shrink wrap component turned on in order to display the full volume of the object.
  • Slabs that contain boolean operations will be converted to interference conditions with additive interferences being applied to the slab's shrink wrap body display component. By default, slab and roof slabs in AutoCAD Architecture 2008 have the model shrink wrap body display component turned off, so this option will need to be turned on in order to see additive interferences from legacy slabs.
  • Project Standards in AutoCAD Architecture 2008 will not operate when either the standards drawings or project drawings have not been promoted to the 2007 format. When a project is promoted from a previous version to the current drawing and project format, Projects Standards automatically assigns new versions to many objects and it will be necessary to synchronize the project again. Prior to this action, the standards drawings should be opened, a new version comment should be added through either Style Manager or Display Manager and then the standards drawings should be saved in 2007 format.

    If an entire project remains unpromoted, the analyzing project drawings dialog will appear blank with an empty progress meter. This condition will clear once the entire project has been processed.

    Promoting a Project for AutoCAD Architecture 2008

  • When previous version drawings are opened, a dialog is displayed with a warning that saving this drawing will upgrade AEC objects to 2007 format. If a previous version drawing is opened by double-clicking the file in Windows Explorer, this dialog may be hidden behind the drawing making AutoCAD Architecture 2008 appear to have hung; clicking anywhere on the application to give it focus will make the dialog come to the foreground.

    The promotion of previous version drawings to 2007 format can be automated through the use of the following process, which starts with the creation of a batch (bat) file. Running the batch file makes a complete copy of the project (or folder that contains previous version drawings), then recursively searches for all dwg, dwt and dws files contained in this location and finally generates a script (scr) file. Running the script file results in each of the copied dwg and dwt files being opened, saved and closed, which results in these files being promoted to 2007 format. If any dws files are contained in the designated folder, their paths are displayed. These files will need to be manually opened and saved in 2007 format.

See the readme file for further details.

Feature Comments:

Annotation Content

  • Updating legacy annotative content is outlined in the AutoCAD Architecture 2008 Help. Browse the AutoCAD Architecture User's Guide to
    Documentation > Annotation and Keynoting Tools > Annotation Scaling > Updating Legacy Annotative Objects
    NOTE: To ensure proper scaling, set the current annoation scale to 1:1 prior to updating legacy annotative content.


  • AutoCAD Architecture 2008 has MsLtScale is set to 1 by default. When opening a drawing that uses this value, in a previous release, the LtScale will need to be manually set to maintain linetype scale visual fidelity.
  • Aec Dimensions in AutoCAD Architecture 2008 use a DimScale value of 96 by default. If opened in a previous release and viewed at a scale other than 1/8” = 1’-0” the DimScale will need to be changed to the appropriate scale.

    Multi-View Blocks

  • Stretching tags that incorporate Multi-View Blocks with leaders, using a crossing window, will cause the leaders to become disconnected from the Multi-View Blocks. The leader may be grip edited back to the correct location.
  • Multi-View Blocks do not respect the block setting “Match block orientation to layout”.
  • If a Multi-View Block with more than one Annotation Scale Representation is opened in a previous release and is moved, all of its Annotation Scale Representations will be moved when the drawing is reopened in AutoCAD Architecture 2008.

IFC Export

  • IFC Export will only export only the components of objects that are On in the Model Display Set. IFC Export does not use the current display when exporting the file. To verify the visibility of an object open the Display Manager and browse Sets and Representations by Object to control what will be exported.
  • Elements within a larger entity, such as a Mullion in a Curtainwall, with zero width dimensions may cause the entire entity to fail to be exported.
  • Both wall and slab objects that have overlapping components will be exported without their named components. The components are combined into one called "Unnamed." The overall wall or slab geometry is maintained to the shrinkwrap or outline extents only.


AutoCAD 2008 Layer State functionality replaces Layer Snapshots, from Architectural Desktop, in AutoCAD Architectural 2008.

To Prevent the Replacement of Layer Snapshots with Layer States

  • If you need to prevent AutoCAD Architecture from replacing Layer Snapshots with Layer States, you will need to edit the registry.
    Note:You should back up the registry before making any changes to it.
    • In the Registry Editor, browse to
      ACAD-6004:409\Profiles\Current Profile\General\
    • In the right pane, right click and choose New > DWORD Value
      • Name = BypassSnapshotConversion
    • Right click on the new key and select Modify
      • Value data = 1

    Viewport Overrride

  • It is not possible to create a viewport override for the lineweight of a block set to ByLayer, whose components are set to ByBlock.

    External References
  • Entities in xrefs that have components which use ByLayer linetypes, may not display overridden linetypes per viewport.

MasterFormat 2004

Detail Component/Keynote Database Migration utility

  • Beginning with AutoCAD Architecture 2008, the US detail component and keynote databases supplied with the software use the CSI MasterFormat 2004 standard. Using the Detail Component/Keynote Database Migration utility to migrate your database customizations from a database that uses the CSI MasterFormat 95 standard (as in Architectural Desktop 2007 and previous releases) is not supported. The migration utility will not properly migrate custom records from the older databases and may errantly overwrite records in the new databases with CSI MasterFormat 95 data.

    The Detail Component/Keynote Database Migration utility can still be used to migrate records from one CSI MasterFormat 95 database to another. Note also that using the Database Migration utility to update an older database with data from the new CSI Masterformat 2004 database is not supported.

    Using CSI Masterformat 95 Databases in AutoCAD Architecture 2008

  • If you want to use a database from Architectural Desktop 2007 or previous releases with the current release of AutoCAD Architecture 2008, you can load it as described under Adding a Detail Component Database to Available Databases or Adding a Keynote Database in the Help. Note that the older database must be located with its corresponding content, maintaining the folder structure, to function properly. A details database will not function with the new 2008 US details content. Likewise, the previous version keynote database will not function to automatically keynote 2008 US details content, but only detail components inserted using previous version details or details in previous version drawings.


AutoCAD 2008 can now produce renderings using photometric lighting.

Legacy datasets

    • To take advantage of this two settings will need to be changed, in legacy datasets, opened in AutoCAD Architecture 2008.
In the Drawing Setup dialog, change the Lighting Units variable from Generic to American or International.
At the command line; LIGHTINGUNITS from 0 to 1, or 2, respectively.
This will enable the use of photometric lights in the drawing.
In the Environment Settings, of the current Visual Style set Shadow Display and Backgrounds to On.
This will allow the Sky background to display in the rendering and produce the softer Sky shadowing.
  • Cameras

  • When creating cameras, it is recommended that they are not snapped to geometry. This is to avoid a system error that may otherwise occur.

Drawing Management


  • Projects that are located far from the root of a drive, i.e. several folders deep, might not publish correctly. This can be resolved by moving the project closer to the root of the drive.


Property Set Definitions

    • New automatic property set definitions have been added for spaces.
Base Perimeter Including Interferences
Gross Area Minus Interferences
Gross Perimeter Including Interferences
Net Area Minus Interferences
Net Perimeter Including Interferences
Usable Area Minus Interferences
Usable Perimeter Including Interferences
    • Generate Spaces

    • When using the Generate all option for adding spaces, the following may be observed:
some spaces may not generated.
spaces may be created inside walls with wall body/plan modifiers.
    • To resolve this, manually pick points to generate the spaces.
    • Spaces created with the Space Generate tool will be associative, whether or not the Associative property is set to No in the tool. The space can be set as non-associative after its creation via the properties palette.

      Associative Spaces

    • Associative extrusion spaces do not automatically update when a wall sweep is added or edited.

      Calculation Standard

    • The boundary offset for curtain walls will be generated according to the following rules:
The net, usable and gross boundaries will be generated as one segment, offset to the base boundary of the curtain wall. In order to produce the correct offset results, the boundaries may need to be manually offset to the preferred location.
The boundaries for net, usable and gross area may not be offset correctly for curtain walls which reference a base curve.
    • When spaces are generated using a calculation standard, the boundaries for usable and gross area may not be offset correctly for walls with sweeps. To resolve this, use the manual offset boundary type and manually edit the boundaries to the correct location.
    • When associative spaces, with offset boundary set to By Standard, are mirrored the boundary offset for the net, usable, and gross boundary will be incorrect. To resolve this, the space needs to be regenerated or the offset boundaries need to be edit manual.
    • A space object will display a defect marker when the base boundary for an associative space object is out of date, or does not match its bounding objects. When space boundary offsets are generated by an area calculation standard, the space objects need to be up to date with the bounding objects to calculate the correct offset. This means that when an associative space objects base boundary is out of date, any adjacent space objects whose boundary offsets are generated by an area calculation standard will display an out of date defect marker as well.
      To resolve this, edit the bounding objects so that all associative spaces are up to date.
    • SIS Standard
The usable offset boundary may fail to offset correctly when columns or mass element are located in the corner of a wall connection. To workaround this issue, use the manual offset boundary type and manually edit the boundaries to the correct location.

  • Legacy datasets
  • In drawings from a previous version, it is possible for spaces to disappear or display a defect marker after turning on the 'Automatically update associative spaces' in the Options dialog. This may happen for spaces that have been generated from collinear surfaces, to fix this, select all the associative spaces in the drawing and update them, using the command ‘Update Space Geometry’. Now turn on the 'Automatically update associative spaces' setting in the Options dialog.



  • Adding a height value to the text style changes the height of text within AEC Dimensions but not AutoCAD dimensions.
  • It is not possible to summon the Dimension Style Manager dialog via the Display Properties dialog, if accessed through the Display tab of the Properties Palette. To access this dialog, from the Format pulldown menu, select Dimension Style.


  • Cells in a Sheet Keynote Legend containing sheet keynote blocks may become invalid after using the Block Editor or the Block command to change to one of the block definitions. To correct this problem, save and reopen the drawing.
  • Updating Keynote Legends in Previous Version Drawings.
      Care must be exercised when updating keynote legends that exist in previous version drawings.
    • If the keynote database that was used to create the Legend is not present when the legend is updated, all data in the legend will change to pound symbols (#). To repair this, load the previous version database in the Aec Content tab of the Options dialog, and then update the legend again. The keynotes will be restored.

    Object Viewer

  • On multi-monitor systems, using Hardware Acceleration and different display settings, dialogs that include the Object Viewer should be kept on the primary display. This is to guard against various system errors that may otherwise occur.


  • When switching between different profiles in the Options dialog, within AutoCAD Architecture 2008, toolbars and pull down menus may not be reloaded correctly. This can be caused by the profile not having been used previously. To prevent this issue from occuring, launch AutoCAD Architecture 2008 from each desktop shortcut once. After that, switching between the profiles in the Options dialog should present all the expected toolbars and pulldown menus.


  • When attempting use CTRL-select to zoom to an object in a schedule table, the Selection Preview Cycling panel may display instead.
    Selecting "Don't show me this again" restores the Zoom to functionality.


  • When 'Automatically Save Workspace Changes' is set, the following will be true:
    • It will not possible to customize the current workspace in the Customize User Interface dialog.
      This can be avoided by setting a different workspace current before starting to customize the intended workspace.
    • Switching between workspaces with the Dashboard closed may result in the Dashboard losing its list of assigned Control panels. To restore them, right click on the Dashboard, and select the desired control panels.

New Commands Glossary

There are a number of new commands added to AutoCAD Architecture 2008.
The following table lists the new commands along with a brief description.

Annotation Scaling




Displays Annotative objects regardless of current annotation scale.


Adds the current scale to Annotative objects that participate in the current scale.


Co-locates scale-dependent locations of Annotative objects.


Updates selected Annotative objects to participate in the current scale.


Marks the drawing as Annotative in the case that the whole drawing is used as a block.


Access Scale List for selected objects so that the user can manage participatory scales.





Converts current drawing to IFC format.


Converts the contents of a selected IFC file into an AutoCAD drawing file, on disk.

Display Modification




Allows for the selection of a single component within an object.


Hides/Shows the Display Tab in the Property palette.


Restores all warning messages that were turned off.

Tips & Trix

VIZ Render (VIZR) is no longer included with AutoCAD Architecture. Use AutoCAD's rendering functionality instead as the mental ray engine is included.

Updates & Service Packs.

  • Open Failure from Windows Explorer Hotfix
  • Certified Hardware XML Database Update
  • Raster issues after installing Service Pack 1
  • Project Browser Startup Hotfix Readme - English Only
  • Hotfix - Linetype display
  • Hotfix - Redundant License Server
  • AutoCAD® Architecture 2008 Service Pack 1
  • Autodesk Data Management Server 2008 Service Pack 1
  • Hotfix - AecDtlComponents
  • Hotfix - DWF Package Not Viewable in Autodesk Design Review 2008
  • Hotfix - Hungarian Layout Switching
  • Hotfix - Vista Group Policy Objects
  • Hotfix - Live Update
  • UK Content Creation Guide
  • Unexpected Stop of the Creating Schedules Video
  • Hotfix - Autodesk Activation Update
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