ARES Commander


World’s Number 1 DWG Alternative

Windows®, Mac-OS®, Linux®, Web/Cloud, iOS, Android 

The ARES® Trinity of CAD Software

ARES Commander is traditional desktop CAD for Windows®, MacOS® and Linux®

ARES Touch is for DWG revision and editing on your mobile devices on both Android® and iOS® smartphones and tablets.

ARES Kudo is a full browser-based solution for DWG creation and editing in the Cloud, no additional software required! 

Trinity becomes a unique CAD ecosystem for working with DWG. With ARES Commander, you keep the ability to work offline on your main computers as usual. With ARES Kudo and ARES Touch you further add the agility of Cloud and Mobile CAD.

ARES Commander

Experience the agility of ARES Commander to create and modify DWG drawings in 2D and 3D on your computers. Leverage the drafting and design features that you've come to expect for your DWG files, at a significant cost savings. ARES Commander brings your productivity to the next level with smart productivity tools and a unique concept: The Trinity of CAD™

ARES Kudo – Online CAD

ARES Kudo is included in the subscription of ARES Commander as part of the ARES Trinity of CAD software. Alternatively, you can buy ARES Kudo without ARES Commander if you only want our Cloud version.

ARES Kudo is aiming at no compromises in features to create and modify DWG drawings in the cloud. Most of the 2D CAD features of ARES Commander are available in the editing features of ARES Kudo. ARES Kudo will offer a great solution for the users looking for an agile solution to create and modify technical drawings online, directly from their Internet browser.

ARES Touch – Mobile CAD

ARES Touch is the most complete CAD solution ever seen for your mobile device. Create and modify your DWG drawings on tablets and smartphones with a complete set of 2d drafting and annotation commands at hand. Its a full-featured Mobile CAD App that fits into your pocket and the perfect companion to quickly review a drawing shared in the cloud or received by email while on the go.

Seamless CAD Alternative

ARES Commander is familiar DWG-based CAD designed to completely replace your need for AutoCAD and get additional benefits not available in other software.

The ARES Trinity of CAD

Modern DWG Editing Across All Your Devices

ARES One Ecosystem

ARES Commander™


Windows®, macOS® and Linux® computers

ARES One Ecosystem

ARES Touch™


Android® and iOS® smartphones and tablets

ARES One Ecosystem

ARES Kudo™


Nothing to install, runs in your Internet browser

Key Benefits

ARES One Ecosystem

One Ecosystem

Coherent Look & Feel across all platforms: Desktop, Mobile and Cloud
ARES Native DWG Support

Native .DWG Support

Supporting latest DWG-Standard file formats and previous versions
ARES Highly Cost Effective

Highly Cost-Effective

Full-featured and all-inclusive, our pricing makes it easy to deploy CAD to a large audience


ARES Commander System Requirements

Windows 11, 10 or 8.1 (64bit)
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU or later, or AMD Athlon x2 Dual-Core processor or later
8GB RAM (more preferred)
1.5GB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
Mouse with scroll wheel
NVIDIA graphics card with 2GB (4GB or more recommended) supporting OpenGL
1920 x 1080 screen resolution or higher recommended
4k screens are supported
Mac OSX Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or Apple M1 (only supported for ARM Processors with Rosetta 2 transition layer and Big Sur v11.2)
8GB RAM (more preferred)
1.5GB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
Standard 2-button mouse with scroll wheel (Magic Mouse not supported)
NVIDIA graphics card with 2GB (4GB or more recommended) supporting OpenGL
1920 x 1080 screen resolution or higher recommended
4k screens are supported
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS, Fedora 33
Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Processor or better
8GB RAM (more preferred)
1.5GB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
Standard 2-button mouse with scroll wheel (Magic Mouse not supported)
NVIDIA graphics card with 2GB (4GB or more recommended) supporting OpenGL
1920 x 1080 screen resolution or higher recommended
4k screens are supported

Looking for a new computer? To be certain you are getting the right machine, you can purchase our CAD-tuned laptops directly from us.

Which operating systems can ARES be installed on?

ARES Commander can be installed on Windows, MacOS or several Linux distributions. ARES Touch can be installed on Apple iOS or Android.

How many computers can I work from?

While using a single license, the same user can work from up to 2 computers; You can have one in the office and one at home for instance without switching licenses on or off. You can even load the software on multiple computers then log in and out of any machine as desired. Brilliant.

I already have CAD, can I switch to ARES Commander?

Yes. For a short time there is an opportunity to upgrade from your current CAD software to the latest ARES Commander. You will need to provide an email with proof that you own a competing product and confirm that you will unlicense your old competing software within the required period of time.

How do upgrades work?

In your first 12 months you receive all upgrades free. Beyond that time you have a choice.

  1. Pay a very low annual fee to always receive the latest upgrades as they are released, and if you have Trinity you’ll be keeping this active too or…
  2. Wait until the features you want appear in the software then pay a single upgrade fee to get the latest version. It’s the same price to upgrade this way no matter how many versions behind you are.

How do ARES® Commander CAD features compare with AutoCAD® or other alternatives?

How to compare ARES Commander with AutoCAD or other CAD software?

You will frequently find comparison tables listing features and shiny green ticks that compare one product to another, but the truth is that such tables do a poor job of answering efficiently the fundamental questions that customers are asking.

Such benchmarks were probably useful ten or twenty years ago when AutoCAD alternatives were still significantly behind AutoCAD. Nowadays, leading AutoCAD alternatives such as ARES Commander are able to fully replace AutoCAD. So the question is no longer “what I could be missing?” but “how does ARES Commander differentiate from AutoCAD and the other AutoCAD alternatives?“.

Any benchmark you see over only one or two pages cannot be more than an advertising flyer ignoring most of the commands and emphasizing only the sales pitch of the CAD vendor. You will find instead below an article emphasizing the strengths and weaknesses of each solution in a more comprehensive and detailed way. We hope it will help you to make a more educated choice.

1. Maximum compatibility with AutoCAD files and easy transition

Before getting into the pros and cons, the fundamental points to feel safe about the migration from AutoCAD to ARES Commander are:

1.1 ARES Commander is offering the highest compatibility with AutoCAD

Indeed, both products are simply using the same DWG file format. There is no conversion and therefore no loss of data when files are shared between ARES Commander and AutoCAD users.

Other file formats supported by both software include DXF, DWF and configuration files such as .ctb, .stb, .shx, .mln, .dim or .pcx (aka .pc3 in AutoCAD)
Both software are also able to import or attach DGN files, export to PDF and convert PDF back to DWG.

The N°1 alternative to AutoCAD

Graebert’s CAD technology represents the second largest installed base after AutoCAD. Millions of professionals are working with CAD software powered by ARES. This includes, for example, three of the top 5 construction groups in Japan (Obayashi, Takenaka and Taisei). Besides, ARES Commander is available in 14 languages.

Easy switch

Users who are familiar with AutoCAD can instantly switch to ARES Commander without additional training.

Users transitioning from AutoCAD can even use the same keyboard shortcuts and commands given that aliases have been defined to match the ARES commands when they are different. The user interface is also significantly the same and we recently added an alternative ribbon workspace named “CAD General” to facilitate the switch for users coming from AutoCAD. We also provide a manual for beginners who have no experience with CAD.

2. What full AutoCAD has better?

NB: These arguments are true only for the full AutoCAD, not for AutoCAD LT

2.1 Full AutoCAD has a larger ecosystem of third-party add-ons

If you have developed your own routines in Lisp, Visual Lisp, or C++ they can easily be migrated to ARES with few or no modifications to your source code, however if you are using someone elses plugin you will need to check if that has been ported to ARES Commander.

Graebert is also offering a number of third-party plugins for a variety of needs such as real-time rendering, 3D point clouds, architecture, electrical, HVAC… etc.

2.2 AutoCAD has more advanced 3D features

ARES Commander includes a full set of 3D Solid Modeling features powered by the ACIS 3D solid modeler of Dassault Systèmes yet AutoCAD has a few more. For example, the ability to import and export IGES and STEP files. Generally however, users working frequently in 3D wouldn’t use AutoCAD or ARES but prefer working with other solutions such as IronCAD, Inventor, Solidworks, Rhino, Revit, ARCHLine.XP, ArchiCAD… because efficient 3D modeling calls for a different approach with assemblies, smart 3D objects, and parametric tools. DWG format and AutoCAD are mostly aiming at 2D drafting.

3. Finally, the key question is also how ARES Commander is better than AutoCAD or other AutoCAD alternatives?

3.1 The business model and licensing

AutoCAD is only sold as a subscription (term licenses of 1 year, to be renewed every year). Autodesk stopped selling perpetual licenses and even decided recently to stop selling network licenses.

ARES Commander offers a very flexible approach and a cost significantly less than AutoCAD (frequently 6 times cheaper depending on the region):

a) License types: You can buy Perpetual licenses, Network licenses and even term licenses (subscriptions) of 1 or 3 years

b) Upgrades and subscription renewals: Each Perpetual license includes 1 year of subscription (maintenance) for free. In case you don’t want to renew the subscription every year you can always buy an upgrade later, even if it is many years after.

c) Work from multiple computers: Each user gets a Graebert account with a login and password that allows him to work virtually from any computer. The license is following the user and there is a tolerance for up to two simultaneous computers for the same user (eg one PC at the office and one laptop on the go) to avoid constant log in / log out from each device. Of course, the user can work on a third or more computers if he logs out from one of the first computers he used.

3.2 ARES offers Modern DWG Editing with significantly better collaboration

In addition to the features traditionally replacing the AutoCAD features, Graebert has massively invested in R&D to significantly improve productivity and collaboration.

a) Additional productivity features that don’t exist in AutoCAD
Work faster and easier with the most frequently used commands. Click on the links below to see some videos:
Power Trim, Dimensions palette, Quick Modify, Mouse gestures, Heads up toolbar

b) Other advanced features that don’t exist in AutoCAD
BIM features: ARES Commander ambitions to be the best solution to document BIM projects with best-in-class DWG drawings. Click on the links below to see some videos:
BIM Navigator: to import and filter IFC and RVT filesRead BIM Object propertiesExtract BIM data to tables or Excel
Maps features: Professional Maps including satellite images and street maps with geo-referencing (requires to stay on subscription)

c) Modern DWG editing leveraging mobile and cloud to improve collaboration workflows between users at the office and the users working remotely or on-site.

See also these other videos:
Share Drawing as a view-only link URL
Synchronize files with One Drive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox or private Internet servers via WebDAV
Markups and commenting collaboration features

LEARN MORE – Read how cloud-based CAD systems from Graebert and Autodesk compare:

3.3 Possibility to customize for large accounts

If you are considering having 100 users or more you could be interested to learn about our ARES for Enterprise features. Even more than our innovations what makes the difference with large accounts is our ability to customize ARES. Some examples include:

a) Authenticate users with a third-party single sign-on (SSO) technology such as the Microsoft Active Directory Federation services – Users would log in to our products with this solution instead of using a Graebert Account.

b) Integration with your file storage systems: Admins can define which storage their users should use including local file servers (via WebDAV protocol) or secure access to Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive for Business… etc.

c) Restrict user rights on specific features to increase security according to your organization requirements: some features can be disabled

In hopes this helps to clarify,

Kind regards,

Cédric Desbordes
(Minor additions by Nigel Varley, CAD International)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

ARES®, ARES Commander™, ARES Touch™, ARES Kudo™, ARES Map™, ARES Mechanical™, ARES Sketch™ and SiteMaster™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Graebert GmbH. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

    Which file formats does ARES support?

    ARES can import DWG, DXF, DGN, PDF, ACIS SAT, IFC (BIM) and STL files.

    What is Trinity?

    ‘Trinity’ is the name used to describe the use of all three products, ARES Commander (desktop CAD) ARES Touch (mobile device CAD) and ARES Kudo (Web based DWG editing and sharing) When you have Trinity you also get extra tools for working with digital Maps.

    What does the trial include?

    Access to ARES Commander (desktop software), ARES Touch (phone and tablet software) and ARES Kudo (Web based Cloud software).

    Can I get support?

    Absolutely. We support all the software we supply. You can add this local support to at any time by selecting ‘Support’ from the options at the top of this web site.

    What Others Are Saying

    User-friendly environment, how easy and clearly arranged functions are

    Possibility to have “Flex license” on which working with remote desktops becomes easy and convenient

    Support – no matter if you are an active user or not, support is always ready to help on any issue occurred

    Darius P, Production Manager

    “ARES is remarkably easy to learn and use. Sometimes software can be frustrating but not with Lumion!'
    Erik Varvel, Clart Patterson Lee

     “If you have ever used the other major CAD platform you will be right at home using ARES Commander. I have been 100% satisfied with the performance and ease of use. The major plus is one can actually own the application vs. paying for a subscription
    Edward C, Sales Engineer

    “I love the program overall, the layout and options rival other products in the same category if not exceeding them. It’s a very stable product with all the features that one would expect from a cad program along with some that you would not”.
    DeAnne Gaylen M, Contract Draftsman/ Architectural Designer/Project Manager

    “It took me just a couple of hours to completely adapt to ARES Commander from the way I used to use AutoCAD. I can’t believe how familiar it is.”

    Great service, First class software, Fair price, Extremely easy to learn, Licensing is unique ,Mobile use possible (mobile phone / tablet etc.), Cloud storage is very easy to integrate, Excellent compatibility with DWG files.
    Damian Grey

    “Our entire office need to use our CAD drawings. Having up-to-date access on any device from anywhere has been a real bonus to productivity. Project managers,… well everyone really, is super happy.”
    Ken Jones

    Trusted by millions of professionals including

    ARES Essential Training PDF

    ARES Commander Essential Training

    If you have very little experience with AutoCAD, you’ll find this e-book very useful. It contains lessons and exercises to learn the fundamentals, including the user interface, layers, blocks, properties, most frequently used drawing features, dimensions, printing features, etc. The exercises will guide you step by step with clear instructions and sample drawings.

    Technical Support

    Get full support every year, for whenever you may need it.

    Buy ARES Online

    ARES Trinity


    ARES Commander Perpetual license +

    12 months ARES Touch + ARES Kudos


    Single payment.

    ARES Trinity


    ARES Commander + Touch + Kudos

    Annual Subscription License

    $450 / year

    Per year

    ARES Mobility Pack


    ARES Touch + ARES Kudos

    Annual Subscription License

    $290 / year

    Per year

    ARES Cloud Only


    ARES Kudos

    Annual Subscription License

    $150 / year

    Per year

    Prices shown in AUD. Australian buyers add 10% GST


    Try ARES Commander for Free

    Choose your ARES Commander version (Windows or Mac) and submit the form