Password Protecting Drawings, Is It A Good Idea?

A new feature of AutoCAD 2004 is the ability to password protect drawings.  This is a feature that some users have asked for for a long time, but it may fall into the category of “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”.  The idea at first might sound great, and I’m sure that it does have places that it may be very useful.  But after spending years as a CAD Manager I can think of too many reasons why I would not want the majority of my users to have access to this feature.  These range from someone password protecting a drawing and getting run over by a bus on the way home to the disgruntled employee who password protects a series of important drawings the day he quits or is fired.  You can come up with countless scenarios where you could be locked out of drawings because the password is not available.

So if you do not want this feature to be available there are two ways to remove it.

  1. When you install AutoCAD do a Custom Install and disable the option for “Drawing Encryption”.
  2. If AutoCAD is already installed you can remove it by inserting the installation CD and running the install program.  Use the option to Add/Remove Features and then remove the “Drawing Encryption” feature.

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