R5, the fifth major release, marks a turning point: thanks to an extensive internal redesign, HighDesign offers a flexible solution with more powerful tools for traditional CAD, as well as features and workflow found in Building Information Modeling (BIM) processes.

New in HighDesign 5.3

custom block insertion points

Custom Insertion Points in Symbols

Often, when using a symbol, the actual insertion point does not correspond to a corner of its bounding box. Adjusting the position after insertion could be time consuming.

Now, when creating or editing a symbol, you can define as many custom insertion points as you want: with the new tool in the Edit Symbol palette you can click anywhere in the drawing to set a new insertion point.

Redesigned Image tool

Images are now treated as project resources: that means that common operations like resizing and rotating no longer modify the original image. You can return the image to its original size and resolution at any time.

We've also simplified the Image Settings panel while at the same time making it more powerful: you can see information related to the file, replace an image, adjust the resolution in both horizontal and vertical directions.

new insert image tool
HighDesign CAD text box

Enhanced Texts and Dimensions

The Text tool now provides three options for the definition of the box: fixed size, as defined by the user; fit height, in which the width of the box is defined by the user and the height by the content; fit content, in which both width and height adjust automatically to fit the content.

The Text Style toolbar now includes a menu for the quick insertion of special characters.

Linear dimensions now include a new label position "Top/Left" so that the label is always placed above and to the left of the line (as per ISO 129).

Revised Curves and Paths

The Bezier Path tool now lets you define the control points and tangents during construction, by dragging the pointer after defining a node. Editing is also easier with the new contextual menu to add or delete a node, or change its shape from sharp to smooth and vice-versa.

Splines have been enhanced too with improved construction, editing and DWG support.

HighDesign CAD Bezier Path
HighDesign CAD Layouts

Improved Layouts

The underlay of detail sheets is now visible in viewports and PDF documents. This streamlines the integration of detail areas, detail sheets and layouts.

It is now possible to snap to the elements inside a viewport with the enhanced Snap Inside option. This allows the easy alignment of viewports placed on the layout.

Read the complete HighDesign R5.3 release notes.

New in HighDesign 5.2

New Apply Hatch Method

New in HighDesign R5.2 is the Apply Hatch method of the Hatch tool.

With this method, you can insert a hatch with a click inside a closed geometric shape or inside a room enclosed by walls.

Watch the video to see it in action!

Read the complete HighDesign R5.2 release notes.

New in HighDesign 5.1

HighDesign R5 new UI

Updated User Interface

HighDesign R5 fully supports macOS Mojave and newer system themes and integrates with the light and dark interfaces in Windows 10.

Every interface element has been redesigned for clarity, effectiveness and OS integration, and many new icons have been added.

The Sidebar is now fully customizable: you can drag and arrange panes, mix floating palettes and sidebar panels, minimize the whole sidebar as a dock and access the panes via pop-overs. The Object Info pane was completely rewritten and now provides access to even more functions and utilities.

Tool methods can now be accessed via a popup menu. Advanced element tools now have their own Settings window.

Design tools like Walls, Columns, Doors and Windows are now separate tools in the Design section.

Project Hierarchy and Project Browser

HighDesign Pro introduces Details and Layouts, new specialized sheet types used to add callout views and present the project with title blocks and viewports.

The brand new Project Browser of HighDesign R5 (Standard and Pro) displays the logical hierarchy of the project. It lists all the Drafting Sheets and, in the Pro edition, Details and Layouts. By using this panel you can quickly navigate, create and manage sheets to best organize your project.

The project settings, including defaults, units, scales, paper formats and project resources are more clearly accessible through menus and icons.

HighDesign R5 Project Browser
HighDesign R5 Layout, Viewports and Title Block

Layouts, Title Blocks and Viewports

Presenting a project has never been smoother!

Layouts are now available in HighDesign Pro. Layouts are special sheets used to present the views of the project and add Title Blocks. You can create as many layout sheets as you need in your project and re-use recurring elements.

Title Blocks are descriptive preset formats for layouts and include information about the author or design firm, about the project, client and site location. The title block can also show information about the specific sheet like layout number or issue date.

Viewports are scaled representations of the project, acting as windows that show views of selected sheets or specific areas of sheets, and providing basic information about the views.

Callouts and Details

HighDesign R5 Pro introduces Details, specialized drafting sheets used to add detailed views of the project.

By default, detail sheets are linked to a selected Callout of the project. The part of the project enclosed by the callout can be displayed as a transparent underlay that serves as a base for a more detailed view.

You can easily move between a callout and its associated Detail with a simple double-click. Once completed, detail sheets can be added to layouts through viewports.

HighDesign R5 Callout
HighDesign R5 Building Element Types
HighDesign R5 project styles and types

Object Styles and Element Types

HighDesign R5 Pro features a completely redesigned Object Styles system.

A Style is a named, predefined set of information, properties and behaviors that you can apply to graphic objects. Applied to architectural elements, styles gain information properties and become Building Element Types.

Styles and Types are an essential part of the BIM workflow. They allow a rational and effective organization of recurring project elements. The specifications defined by a style or type are applied to all the instances of that class in the project, so you can modify and update information of an entire class of elements in one, quick operation.

Redesigned, Powerful Object Info

The new Object Info panel now provides access to even more functions for geometric modifications and offers fine control over shape and position of the selection.

The new organization in collapsible sections makes it easier to inspect the selected object. When no item is selected, the Object Info displays all the information and settings of the current Sheet or Layout.

In HighDesign Pro, the ID section allows you to associate textual information to complex elements and sheets.

HighDesign R5 Object Info

Building Elements with Information

The tools for building elements such as walls, columns and openings are now distinct, offer more advanced options and an accurate representation.

Doors and windows provide more control over reveal types, frame sizes and casing.

All building elements now include non-graphical information such as name, instance tag, description that can be displayed by tag annotations. These special annotations can also display the "tag" value from the instance's parent Type.

  • Interoperability
    With the support of the DWG 2018-2020 file format and with the introduction of Attributes of Blocks, Layouts, Title Blocks and Viewports HighDesign R5 Pro is now more compatible than ever and is the perfect choice for design firms and professionals.
  • Project Information
    The new Project Information panel of the Project Settings window allows you to add non graphic information to a project, such as author, project name, description, client name, etc., that can be displayed in the Title Blocks or exported as CSV files.
  • Symbol Attributes
    Symbols in HighDesign R5 Pro can now store attributes. Attributes are information added to the current view of the symbol: these information are defined by an ID, a prompt, showing on screen, and a default value which will be displayed in the project.
  • color_lens
    Color Filters
    The new Filter menu allows you to apply a rendering filter to the drawing: you can render with colors by project, by layer, sepia, flat or interpolated monochromatic, and more. These options are available in the Print window, in the Drawing Mode menu, Export to PDF and in the Viewport settings.
  • layers
    Export and import Layer sets
    New commands in the Layer Manager allow you to export the current layer set as XML file that can be shared with other projects or included in spreadsheet documents.
  • Verbal Drawing Scales
    Drawing scales can now be entered and displayed both as fraction ("1:100") or as verbal scales ("1/2'' = 1'-0'').

Read the complete HighDesign R5 release notes.