PowerCADD 6

About the PowerCADD 6 Learning Center

This section of our PowerCADD Learning Center is dedicated to PowerCADD version 6 by Engineered Software. We have a variety of articles broken out into various sections listed at the bottom of this article.

Engineered Software has done a remarkable job in maintaining the consistency of the interface and core feature set across all versions of PowerDRAW and PowerCADD so it's quite likely a solution or method described for PowerCADD 7 also applies for PowerCADD 6 and vice versa. As such, we have moved most of the content related to PowerCADD v6 into our PowerCADD v7 (premium content) section of the website.

Note:If you are looking for a technique, tip, or trick, related to PowerCADD 6 and don't find it in this section, please check out all other PowerCADD sections (newer versions) of our website. The consistency in user interface often means we may have covered a topic in a new version that also applies to an older version of PowerCADD. You can also use the search feature of this website to try and find what you're looking for.

If our PowerCADD 7 Learning Center doesn't have what you're looking for we have a lot of information on our old website in the PowerCADD 6 learning center ( email us and we'll do our best to get you access to that legacy information.

We hope that helps
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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support by buying us coffee, lunch, or dinner. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Interface

About the PowerCADD 6 Interface Section

This section of the PowerCADD learning center is dedicated to helping you understand and maximize the use of some of the human interface features in PowerCADD version 6. Due to the similarities between PowerCADD v6 and PowerCADD v7 we have moved most of the content related to PowerCADD v6 into our PowerCADD v7 (premium content) section of the website.

Note: Premium content on this site is restricted to registered users only. If you are looking for information on PowerCADD version 7 please register or login.

Getting started is easy; just click a link below.

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"Modifiable" warning dialog

Question

Sometimes when I open files I see a dialog box warning me the file is marked as "modifiable" (see picture below). It usually appears when I try to open a file after my Mac or PowerCADD has unexpectedly quit. Why does that happen and should I be concerned about the integrity of the file?

Requirements

Any version of Mac OS? X, any version of PowerCADD 6 (Mac OS 10.3.6 and PowerCADD 6.2 or better recommended)



Background

Prior to version 6 of PowerCADD (and Mac OS X), the Finder provided a locked file status flag for each file that an application opened. In essence the Finder said this file is busy (open). In Mac OS X, that feature is no longer available to developers. To get around the problem, and ensure that two people don't accidentally open the same file without a warning, Engineered Software creates an invisible lock file in the same folder (directory) as the file you originally open. It's that locked file that allows you to see this warning dialog if you or someone else tries to open the same file:

[inline:ModifiableWarningDialog.jpg]



We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Selecting Values in Edit Window Fields :: PowerCADD

Question:
In versions of PowerCADD prior to v6, I could click my mouse an Edit Window field and use Apple+A (Edit menu -> Select All) to select the fields contents. In PowerCADD v6, when try the Command + A keys nothing happens. How can I select all the values in an Edit Window Field?

Requirements:
PowerCADD v6 (6.0.8 or newer recommended)



Background

Being able to Cut, Copy, or Paste data into, or out of, an Edit Window field is a great shortcut and one we use often. With PowerCADD v6, the old method of having to press Command + A (Select All) to select the contents of the an Edit Window field is no longer necessary. Instead, there are two methods which are much faster and easier!

What To Do

Option A: Press the Tab Key
When an object is selected, pressing Tab will automatically cycle through each field in the Edit Window and select the entire contents of that field. With the field selected, simply press Command + C (keyboard shortcut for Edit menu > Copy) and the data is copied to the Mac OS? Clipboard?.

The next time you choose Edit menu > Paste (Command + V), the value copied from the Edit Window field is inserted where you specify. Remember, you can Copy and Paste between fields in the Edit Window, into other dialog boxes, or into a new text block. This is the most efficient method as it does not require any 'mousing around' to select and drag or click into an Edit Window field. As far as we're concerned, anything that saves us mouse movement is a good thing and makes us more productive!

Option B: Triple Click
If you have gone to the effort of moving mouse and clicking into an Edit Window field, simply triple clicking (three mouse clicks in rapid succession) will select the contents of that Edit Window field. Then press Command + C to copy the selected information to the Mac OS Clipboard.

A triple click is a Mac OS standard technique for selecting paragraphs of text. The technique can also be used to select text in a PowerCADD text block or to select paragraphs of text in your favorite word processor such as Appleworks, Word or Text Edit.

There you have it - two simple techniques that are faster and simpler than pressing Command + A to try and select the contents of an Edit Window field.

We hope that helps
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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support by buying us coffee, lunch, or dinner. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Known Issues

About PowerCADD 6 Known Issues

Call them what you will: bugs, problems, nuances, glitches, whatever. Bottom line is there are going to be issues with any software. Anything we've confirmed as known issues with PowerCADD 6 would normally be posted here.

However, as we've brought all our content over to the new content management system, you'll want to send us an email and we'll do our best to try and get you access to those old archives for a list of known issues and what version they were fixed in. Typically, if you are running the most recent version of PowerCADD 6 as described in related articles on this website, you should be in good shape. However -- if you're having a problem it can't hurt to double check our archives.

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PowerCADD v6 not compatible with OS X Leopard

Issue

I'm having general problems and crashes with PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X 10.5 (Leopard).

Affects

PowerCADD v6 all versions and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x)



Description

There are various small idiosyncrasies (missing dialogs or disables buttons, etc.) and random major problems (PowerCADD v6 hangs requiring a force quit or crashes) when running under Mac OS X Leopard (10.5).

Work Around

To the best our knowledge there is no update planned for PowerCADD v6 to address OS X Leopard compatibility (and in fairness there likely should not be given there is a new version out there for a few years already). The fix is to upgrade to PowerCADD v7 by contacting Engineered Software XTNL URL in the United States or your International PowerCADD Distributor XTNL URL

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Making Drop Shadows for Text

Question

How to I make a drop shadow effect for text or other objects?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X
PowerCADD v7 makes adding shadows to any objects MUCH easier and you have a LOT more flexibility. Check out the PowerCADD 7 section of our Learning Center to find out more! The results are remarkable.



Background

Making drop shadows for any PowerCADD object is easy when you remember one simple rule. Every object is it's own unique acetate overlay (independent of what layer it is on). Put another way, objects have a unique order and can be order one in-front or behind another. PowerCADD knows and remembers the order those objects are drawn in and the order can be adjusted.

After that it's easy, simply assign the desired color to the 'shadow' object.

What to do:

Making a drop shadow for text is easy, do this:

  1. type the text
  2. assign it the desired pen color, for example black
  3. select the text
  4. choose Edit menu -> Duplicate (a copy will be made in exactly the same place and automatically selected)
  5. with the duplicate text block selected, assign it the desired shadow pen color (you may choose Attr menu -> pen color or control+click on the item and choose a pen color from the contextual menu)
  6. with the duplicate text block still selected, choose Arrange menu -> Send to Back (note, the item will seem to 'disappear' but it's still selected)
  7. use the arrow keys to nudge the selected text block (the shadow) into the desired position

It's really very easy to do and the same technique would apply for creating a drop shadow on a box or any other PowerCADD object.

quicktime Click here to see a demo movie (658KB download) of the steps in action. (need movie help?)

Reminder: If you change the main text block (e.g. changed the text from BOB to SUE), you'll also need to edit the shadow text otherwise the shadow won't match the original object.

Hints:

  • in some drawing situations you may find it easier to keep the shadow text on it's own layer
  • use PowerCADD's Find and Replace text feature (Text menu -> Find...) to globally change text. This technique has the advantage of finding and replacing text in both the main text and the shadow text which can be a real time saver!

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Preference File Locations :: PowerCADD6

Question

Where are all the preference files stored for PowerCADD and WIldTools in Mac OS? X?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 (version 6.0.5 or newer recommended) Mac OS X ( version 10.2.8 or newer recommended)



Background

Because Mac OS X is a multi-user operating system, application preferences are unique to each user not specific to the core operating system. In Mac OS 9, application preferences were part of the core operating system folder (assuming multi-user mode was not used).

There is one core set of PowerCADD preferences which holds both the PowerCADD and WIldTOOLs application level preferences.

When trouble shooting possible problems, it can often be helpful Quit PowerCADD and remove the PowerCADD Defaults file or remove the com.engsw.PowerCADD.plist from their current locations to the desktop. The next time you launch PowerCADD new files are created with clean factory defaults. If the problem goes away, you can trash the old files you removed.

The PowerCADD preferences folder contains the following items:
- custom color palettes (your personal color palettes)
- dwg templates (your personal color to line weight and line weight to color templates)
- custom templates (your personal gradients)
- custom tool palettes (your personal tool palettes)
- PowerCADD defaults (the default locations for windows, tool palettes, etc)
- PowerCADD key commands (your personal key command assignments)
- Data Templates (your personal database entry templates)

What to Do:

Your PowerCADD Preferences are stored in this path:
Startup Disk/Users/UsersHomeFolder/Library folder/Preferences folder /PowerCADD folder/...

The PowerCADD folder will contain all the application level preferences, custom color palettes, etc, for PowerCADD and WIldTools.

There is a second file stored in this location:
StartupDisk/User/UsersHomeFolder/Library/Preferences/com.engsw.PowerCADD.plist

If you'd like to examine or remove files for testing or trouble shooting you can follow paths noted above to open each successive folder. If you'd like a short cut to the PowerCADD folder, do this:

1_Switch to the Finder
2_Choose the Go Menu -> Go To Folder...
3_In the dialog box type or better still copy/paste the following (include the ~)
~/Library/Preferences/PowerCADD/
4_The PowerCADD Preferences folder will open

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Printing :: OS X, PDF Error "not reading shading dictionary"

Question

When I print my PowerCADD 6 drawings using Mac OS? X built in Print to PDF? feature I get an error "not reading shading dictionary" when the PDF file is opened on a Mac or Windows computer. Sometimes the error is "error reading postscript" What's wrong?

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.2.x (10.2.8 or newer recommended), PowerCADD v6 (6.0.4 or newer recommended)

Update
This article was updated Nov.20, 2003. Apple appears to have fixed their Print to PDF model and shading dictionary error with the introduction of Panther!



Background

Update
Results thus far in Mac OS X 10.3.1 (Panther) indicate the problem with Apple's Print to PDF may be fixed. Drawings using PowerCADD 6.0.6 in OS 10.3.1 with both linear and circular gradients have been successful. The PDF created using Apple's Print to PDF feature no longer displays the "not reading shading dictionary" error when opened on a Mac or PC. If you are experiencing the problem described in this article an upgrade to Panther is advised (we recommend testing your particular drawings on a machine running Panther in advance if at all possible to confirm you work does not contain other nuances which may be contributing to a problem).

The specifications on how to print to PDF files was written by Adobe and is, frankly, several thousand pages long. In those pages there is 'room for interpretation' and that's what's happened in this case with Apple's implementation when printing to a PDF File?.

In the case of "not reading shading dictionary" errors, the drawing being printed contains gradient fills. Those gradient fills contain enough color shading information that it causes Apple's print to PDF to 'choke'. (Fixed in Panther OS 10.3.1)

There are also known problems with some fonts not being correctly embedded (included) with the PDF file which don't typically produce an error message but can in some cases. In all cases, when a font embedding problem occurs, the file looks fine on the Mac OS X machine that created the PDF but doesn't render properly to screen or print when opened on a Windows machine. (Testing is underway to determine if this issue is fixed in Panther OS 10.3.1, this article will be updated as new information uncovered)

What to do

There are couple of choices in how to fix the problem.

Option A: don't use gradient fills

This isn't a pretty option and may not be practical in all cases. However, if you only have a small number of gradient fills in a drawing and don't have access to the tools mentioned in Option B then it may be worth considering to get you past this deadline.

Option B: don't use Apple's Print to PDF feature in Mac OS X 10.2.x

Rather than using Apple's Print to PDF feature (which is the essence of the problem), use Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Standard for Mac OS X to create your PDF Files. All your gradient fills will print correctly. Not only does it address the "not reading shading dictionary" problem but it also provides a great deal more flexibility and addresses potential problems with embedding fonts which can also occur when using Apple's Print to PDF Feature.

Option C: (added Nov20, 2003) : upgrade to Mac OS X 10.3.1 (Panther)

Tests thus far indicate gradient fills print fine when using apple's Print to PDF feature. We are current testing the embedded font issue and will post our findings here as they become available.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support by buying us coffee, lunch, or dinner. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Table Tool Overview

Question

What's the purpose of PowerCADD's Table Tool? How do I adjust the rows and columns after is drawn? How do I edit the text in the Table?

Requirements

PowerCADD version 4 or newer and Mac OS? 9.2.2 (PowerCADD 6.0.4 and Mac OS X 10.2.8 or newer recommended)

Background

The Table Tool is a text tool that provides the user with the ability to make a matrix grid quickly and easily. The intent of the resulting table is to provide the user with ability to create general tables of typed data.

The PowerCADD Table Tool is sufficient for what it’s intended and should not be looked upon as an overall scheduling capability. After all, it is just a text tool that provides a different text formatting capability with the ability to tab from field to field.

What To Do

To adjust the rows and columns:

  1. ensure the Table Tool is selected using your Pointer tool.
  2. press Apple+R (or choose Edit Menu > Reshape).
  3. position the cursor over a row line or column line.
  4. Mouse down on the target line and drag.

To edit the text of a Table created, use the Text tool or the Table Tool.

To change the text Font, use normal "select and change" editing - by selecting the Table or by cell.
Note: If you use bold for Column or Row headings, a change of the text Font by selecting the Table will not undo the Bold style.

To change the text Style, use normal "select and change" editing - by cell or by selecting the Table.

You can change the Pen and Fill color and pattern of Table as a whole using normal "select and change" editing and change the text Pen color individually cell by cell.

Hint: To change text Font, Style, or Pen Color cell by cell, use Tab to navigate from cell to cell.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support by buying us coffee, lunch, or dinner. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Tinting Bitmaps with Transparent Backgrounds

Abstract

I'd like bitmaps to maintain their transparent backgrounds after applying certain QuickTime Effects such as Tinting. PowerCADD 6.0.4 makes them opaque (solid white), how do I get around that.

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 (v6.0.4 or newer recommended), QuickTime 6.x (6.4 or newer recommended), Mac OS? X 10.2.x (10.2.8 or newer recommended)



Background

It's important to remember what's really going on here. Once a bitmap is selected, and Apply Bitmap Effect is chosen, Apple's QuickTime takes over for everything including interface, previews, etc. In the current context there really isn't a way for EngSW to create a one button solution. However, that's not to say it's not possible given QuickTime is what's being accessed and there are likely a number of ways to set those hooks.

Just having the ability to call QuickTime and have transparent background and pixels that don't bleed and ,and , and... are all huge strides in the right direction. The current tools are certainly a quantum leap from what we have had in the past +12 years!

Versions of PowerCADD 6 prior to v6.0.4 maintained transparent (nil filled) bits after applying a Bitmap Effect (that is a QuickTime Effect). However, changes in v6.0.4 now renders the previously nil (transparent) bits as solid white but it's an easy fix to correct the problem.

What to do

Following is a picture of our understanding of the problem. Essentially you need to use the Apply Bitmap Effect a second time (i.e. once to apply a Tint or desired effect, another to restore the transparent background).

[inline:PCD6_X_NilBckGrnd.jpg]


There are few methods to achieve the transparent background. Brightness and Contrast is one but it has the unfortunate effect of only being able to adjust in 1 unit steps and can, if not used carefully, lighten or blow out the entire image.

There are other Apply Bitmap Effects options (QuickTime Effects) which are worth exploring which can create a nil/transparent background without compromising the foreground image. Assuming you have already applied your desired Bitmap Effect (perhaps you applied a tint as shown in the example above), you then need to do this to clean up the background:

  1. select the bitmap
  2. choose Tool Menu > Apply Bitmap Effect
  3. choose Filter > General Convolution
  4. enter a value of 0.025 in the Field 1 (leave all other fields untouched)
    • (note: we recommend a starting with a small value of 0.025, your particular image may require a larger value, it will depend on the specifics of your case. Generally, always start with a very small amount and work up.)
  5. Press OKAY and the image is now rendered with a transparent background (see our earlier screen shot for an example of the results)


[inline:Convolution.jpg]



Here's a simple example of how the effects can be combined to integrate hand drawn graphics (e.g. Pencil strokes), then tint them using Apply Bitmap Effects in PowerCADD v6. The results can be fun.

[inline:TintedHandGraphics.jpg]



Remember, start with small increments and if you are going to try and use the brightness and contrast settings to adjust the image be careful you don't 'blow out' your main image. Work in very small increments like +1 or +2 and look at the results carefully. While there may be cases when the color shift is minor or won't matter (after all the printer will adjusted the colors too), it's best to be careful. We recommend Convolution but it can be a bit daunting to look at that numbered dialog and figure out what it all means!

Enjoy and remember this is fun so treat it like that. Experiment!

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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