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Emailing revisions back and forth can be a time-consuming way to collaborate on a project. Fortunately, AutoCAD WS allows simultaneous collaboration, where multiple users can collectively edit the same drawing at the same time. In this lesson we're going to simulate the real-time collaboration. On my screen is a conceptual design of some landscaping. Let's say that I'm a landscape architect, and I'm working on this design for a homeowner. Currently, I'm at a point where I'd like to get some feedback from the customer before I go any further.
Using AutoCAD WS, I can engage in a live meeting with the customer such that we can both review and make changes to this design. I'll start by clicking the Share button. I will then enter the customer's email address. Next, I'll click Set Permissions, and since the customer doesn't need the actual file, I'm going to remove the Download permission. I would like to keep the Edit setting now because I want the customer to be able to make changes to this drawing. I'll click Apply and Close when finished.
I will then enter a message for the customer, and I'll click the Share button. I will then click OK to acknowledge that an email has been sent. At this point, let's view the email from the customer's perspective. After reading my message, the customer would then click the View online link. And even though they don't have an AutoCAD WS account, we are both able to work on this landscaping drawing at the same time.
I'm going to click OK to acknowledge the meeting, I will then zoom out a little, I'll pan the drawing over to the left side, then I'll press F11 to drop my browser down into a window, and I'll drag this over such that it fills up the right side of the screen. I will then click over in my browser and acknowledge the meeting. Note that the collaboration is in real time. As I move the cursor in my drawing, the homeowner can see my movements on their screen.
Likewise, I can see their movements on mine. Now, maybe the customer decides they would like to exchange one of the sugar maples with a blue sedge. They could simply select one of these trees and press Delete to remove it. They could then select a blue sedge and use the Copy command to copy one of these over to fill the space. As they work, I can instantly see their changes on my screen. Maybe I can then suggest eliminating one of the hostas and adding a few of the blackberry lilies to fill up space.
In the event we'd like to discuss things, AutoCAD WS also includes a chat feature. I'm going to drag the homeowner's browser over, and I'll click chat. I can then enter a message. When can I get a proposal for the work, and I'll click Send. I'll drag this back over, and then on my screen I'll reply, I can have it for you on Friday morning.
When the meeting is finished, the homeowner can simply close the drawing to exit. I'm going to click back in my browser, and I'll press F11 to maximize it on screen. I will then acknowledge that the meeting is over, and I'll do a Zoom Extents. If sharing this drawing is no longer necessary, I can also visit the Share tab, open the homeowner's Share, and remove it. Then I'm free to continue working on the landscaping plan and my proposal.
Real-time Collaboration is one of the most powerful features of AutoCAD WS. Using this tool, we can collectively work on drawings with anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
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