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What Does Real-Time Collaboration Look Like?
7:57 pm  .   March 15, 2011  .   admin

Real-time collaboration is one of the great step forwards that AutoCAD WS has enabled, but I know that some of you have still not experienced this cross platform feature that allows you to work with anybody else on a computer, iPhone or iPad.

This post will try to show you exactly what real-time collaboration looks like and how it can help you. If you understand the importance of collaboration in your work, you’ll also know that you can’t always be in the same place as the people you’re working with. Whether you’re working from home, visiting a building site or just conducting a phone meeting you can look at the same drawing as you colleague or client and share changes in real time.

To start collaborating, share a drawing with one or more people. Then arrange for you and your collaborators to have the shared drawing open at the same time. To learn more about sharing, read our tutorial here: http://www.autocadws.com/tutorials/sharing-drawings/

The first thing to understand is that there are some differences depending on the platform each side is using.


Let’s investigate:

PC to PC (or Mac to Mac)

If both collaborators are using the web interface by connecting to www.autocadws.com through their PC or Mac’s browser then they will experience the highest level of real-time collaboration.

  • View Cursor – You will see each other’s cursor in real time and see objects as they are drawn and markups as they are added.
  • Synced View – You can pan and zoom in sync so that if one person changes the in-screen view it will also change for the other in real time.
  • Hide Others – If it’s too distracting to have someone else control the pan and zoom while you are both working on the same drawing, you can click Hide Others which will disengage your views while retaining the real-time updates from each side.
  • Real-time Chat – You can also chat in real time using the AutoCAD WS in-app chat feature.

PC to Mobile and Mobile to Mobile

The main difference when collaborating with someone on a mobile device is that there is no cursor to see.

Changes and updates are still made in real time, but the view is not synced so you can each pan and zoom independently.

Provided you have internet access, you will still be able to collaborate in real time with your colleagues or clients to make and record decisions together.


At the end of every collaborative session, all participants receive an email detailing the changes that were made. You can read more about Documenting your meetings here: http://www.autocadws.com/blog/documenting-your-meetings-with-autocad-ws/