Learn more about the difference between these two popular CAD tools.

Differences between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

The differences between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT go beyond 2D vs. 3D. Discover the other benefits offered by AutoCAD.

Robust CAD capabilities

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT both provide best in class 2D CAD, an ability to customize the interface, and import data from files types including PDF and DGN. AutoCAD provides additional enhancements including access to seven industry-specific toolsets, 3D capabilities, CAD standards, and simplified data extraction. A recent study showed that AutoCAD had an overall productivity gain of 86% when compared with AutoCAD LT.

Price variations

Based on the features available, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are priced differently with AutoCAD LT costing $440 /year and AutoCAD costing $1,775 /year. AutoCAD provides additional enhancements which allow some users to save time. A recent study showed that AutoCAD could allow a user to generate designs up to 7.1 times quicker* compared with AutoCAD LT.

Access to mobile and web apps

Every subscription to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT includes access to the AutoCAD web app and the AutoCAD mobile app. A subscription to AutoCAD also provides access to the Autodesk App Store.

What's new in AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2021?

Starting with the AutoCAD 2019 release, subscription members will have access to the AutoCAD Industry Toolset (formerly AutoCAD Industry Products) as a benefit. With multi-platform support such as AutoCAD web app and mobile app, you can carry out design work anytime, anywhere. The new Drawing History feature makes it easier to track changes, and the proven drawing comparison feature can be applied to externally referenced drawings to make AutoCAD even easier to use.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

Learn more about AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT including pricing, which software to buy, and what they can do.

Buy AutoCAD if:

  • you want to save time or improve productivity even if you work with 2D only.
  • you want to standardize plot styles and practices to meet with company standards.
  • you need to edit scanned drawings and convert raster images to DWG™ objects.
  • you present to your client with 3D visualization.

Buy AutoCAD LT if:

  • your focus is editing drawings.
  • your focus is to collaborate or review drawings with drafting teams.

AutoCAD includes several features not available in AutoCAD LT including:

  • Seven industry specific toolsets: Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical, MEP, Map 3D, Plant 3D, and Raster Design
  • 3D functionality
  • CAD standards monitoring
  • Ability to extract object data into a table
  • Automation and customization through AutoLISP and API
  • Access to add-ons through the Autodesk App Store

AutoCAD includes hundreds of commands not available in AutoCAD LT. Some of them relate to the 3D functionality within AutoCAD. For example, EXTRUDECHAMFEREDGE, and 3DALIGN. Others relate to the additional fuctionality offered by AutoCAD like CAD standards alignment and AutoLISP. For example, STANDARDSCHECKSTANDARDSLAYTRANS, and LSP.

AutoCAD LT is able to open, edit, and create DWG files.

A subscription to AutoCAD LT includes access to the AutoCAD mobile app and the AutoCAD web app.

AutoCAD LT is available for a yearly subscription cost of $440 /year. Learn more.

A yearly subscription to AutoCAD costs $1,775 /year. A yearly subscription to AutoCAD LT costs $440 /year. Learn more.

See how customers are using AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT


    Making the switch from AutoCAD LT to AutoCAD

    Martz Technologies switched from AutoCAD LT to AutoCAD (with the Electrical toolset) and saw greater efficiency with the additional features.


    Creating incredible spaces with AutoCAD

    With AutoCAD, a designer can translate her passion for both building and interior design into dynamic, personalized projects for her clients.


    Moxy Hotel blends fun and interior design with AutoCAD LT

    Discover how Tokyo-based Wise Labo blends fun, inspiration, and AutoCAD LT for the design of the Moxy Hotel in Osaka.

AutoCAD including specialized toolsets

Every subscription to AutoCAD includes access to AutoCAD and seven industry-specific toolsets. Across seven different studies, the average productivity gain was about 63% for tasks completing using a specialized toolset.*

Choose the AutoCAD that works for your business

Learn more

* Productivity data based on a series of studies commissioned by Autodesk to an outside consultant. The seven toolset studies compared basic AutoCAD to the specialized toolsets within AutoCAD when performing tasks commonly done by experienced AutoCAD users. Overall productivity gain calculation based on adding the completion times of specific tasks in the toolset and also in basic AutoCAD and then calculating the percent difference between the two totals across seven studies. Additionally, Autodesk commissioned a study that explored the productivity and commercial differentiations between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT when performing tasks ranging from creating geometry to creating plans and elevations, extracting object data, and applying and monitoring CAD standards. As with all performance tests, results may vary based on machine, operating system, filters, and even source material. While every effort has been made to make the tests as fair and objective as possible, your results may differ. Product information and specifications are subject to change without notice. Autodesk provides this information “as is”, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

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