PowerCADD 8

About PowerCADD 8

March 2008:Engineered Software has released PowerCADD version 8

Visit this link on our website to learn more about Buying PowerCADD for the first time or to learn how to Upgrade from a previous version of PowerCADD to version 8. This PDF file link on Engineered Softwares website also has information on what's new in PowerCADD 8.

About this section of our website

This section of our PowerCADD User Learning Center is dedicated to the latest version of PowerCADD, version 8. Premium content on this site is restricted to registered users only. To search for content, post comments, vote in online polls, and access other features on this website please register or login.

Basic System Requirements:

PowerCADD 8 supports Intel only Apple Macintosh Computers. We strongly recommend reading the front page of Engineered Softwares website for an important message from Bill Stanley (President of Engineered Software):

caddpower.com Recommended System Requirements for PowerCADD 8:

While the minimum system requirements will do the job with respect to PowerCADD, here are a few additional or modifications to those requirements well worth considering:

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PowerCADD 8 Known Issues

About PowerCADD 8 Known Issues

Call them what you will: bugs, problems, nuances, glitches, whatever. Bottom line is there are going to be issues with any software. Sometimes it's a bug, sometimes is a change that affects existing users who upgrade. Anything we've confirmed as known issues with PowerCADD 8 is posted in this section of our PowerCADD 8 Learning Center

We post what version of PowerCADD and Mac OS? X are affected, a complete description of the problem, and any work arounds that can be used. When an issue is fixed we update the article with that critical information.

New in this version of our Known Issues section is the Priority ranking we've assigned. We have attempted to place a general ranking of low, medium, or high to each known issue. It's important to remember these are our own (caddpower.com) rankings of the issues, and they do not constitute a formal priority ranking by Engineered Software. Ultimately determining the priority of items to address falls to Engineered Software but we've included a relative ranking to help you (our readers) gauge the possible impact to your work flow.

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PowerCADD 8: ACAD Translator: Black on Black hidden objects

Issue: Black Hole: When writing a DWG? from PCD8, objects with a black pen color in PCD8 seem to disappear against the black background of ACAD's model space.

Affects:

  • PowerCADD 8.0.0, ACAD Translator External
  • Priority: High
  • This issue has been reported to Engineered Software



Description

Saving a PowerCADD 8 drawing a dwg will result in objects with a black pen color in PCD8 to render as black when opened in ACAD model space. If the ACAD user has a model space background of black, the objects will seem to 'disappear into a black hole'. When the ACAD users switches to Paper Space, all the objects will be there because paper space layouts use a white background. By default, all PCD8 dwg files open into a paper space layout in ACAD so the content will appear correct; the ACAD user will have to switch to model space to see the problem.

Here is a screen shot of a simple example created in PowerCADD 8 and saved as dwg. When opened in ACAD, paper space, all the objects (two, one black one yellow) are visible.

Here is how the same content looks when the ACAD user switches to model space. We have selected both objects for illustration, note the select handle bars immediately above the yellow line appear to be selecting 'nothing'. That 'nothing' is the black line shown in paper space above.

Work Around

If your drawing does not contain Advanced Text blocks (new and specific to PCD8), the fastest work around is to open the file in PowerCADD 7 and write/save the dwg file from there. If your PCD8 drawing contains advanced text blocks (for example from a previous inbound translation), then opening and saving in PowerCADD 7 will not work as Advanced Text from PCD8 is rendered as PDF? in PCD7, and PDF content is not written when saving as dwg.

If you drawing contains Advanced Text then consider some of these possible work around solutions. Prior to attempting any work around operations make sure to perform a Save As... and work on a copy of your original drawing file.

Getting around the problem involves changing objects in PCD8 with a black pen color attribute to something other than black. The fastest way to do that is using Edit menu → Select Special... feature or the new PCD8 Magic Wand tool (reference your PCD8 printed or PDF manual for details). That allows you to globally select all objects with a pen color of black and change them to something else. Please make sure you have turned Edit All Layers : ON from the Layers Window to speed up that process.

The down side to using Select Special is it will not look in side of Groups or Symbols. In those cases you can assign a Layer Color Attribute to those layers containing Groups or Symbols to change their pen color attributes. (see comment below for clarification of this deletion)

Please remember, when writing a DWG file, all layers (whether turned on or off) are included in the translated file. If you do not want to include hidden layers, and they contain black objects which might be confusing to the ACAD user, delete those layers in your copy of the original drawing prior to saving as dwg.

Other solutions in ACAD may exist but are beyond the scope of this article. For example, an ACAD user could select the black objects while they are visible in paper space and change them to another contrasting color like yellow.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

PowerCADD 8: ACAD Translator: Layer Color Attributes don't stick

Issue: Layer Color Attributes assigned in PowerCADD 8 (PCD8) don't stick when opened in ACAD.

Affects:

  • PowerCADD 8.0.0, ACAD Translator External
  • Priority: Medium
  • This issue has been reported to Engineered Software



Description

When writing a dwg file from PCD8, Layer Color Attribute settings assigned in PCD8 are not assigned by default when the file is opened in ACAD (the objects do retain the assigned layer color). In PowerCADD 7 (PCD7), Layer Color Attribute settings were/are correctly assigned when the dwg file is opened in ACAD.

To see the incorrect condition, do this:

  1. Assign a Layer Color Attribute in PCD8. An example is pictured below.
  2. Write (save) as dwg.
  3. Open the dwg from (2) in ACAD.
  4. Results: The objects retain their correct color attributes but the layer in ACAD does not have the correct layer color attribute assigned. The screen shot below illustrates the results:

To see the correct condition, do this:

  1. Assign a Layer Color Attribute in PCD7 (or open the same file created in PCD8).
  2. Write (save) as dwg.
  3. Open the dwg from (2) in ACAD.
  4. Results: The objects retain their correct color attributes and the layer in ACAD has the correct layer color attribute assigned. The screen shot below illustrates the results:

Work Around

There is no work around directly in PowerCADD 8 other than turning off the layer color attribute and performing a select all on the layer and changing the object color attributes; a potentially destructive technique if we accidentally save over the original file.. If the PCD8 file doesn't contain Advanced Text blocks then the file can be opened in PowerCADD v7 and the dwg file can be saved from there. The alternative is to re-assign the correct layer color attribute setting in ACAD.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8: ACAD Translator: Rotated Arcs

Issue: Sometimes when translating a dwg file arcs are rotated out of position

Affects:

  • PowerCADD 8.0.0, ACAD Translator External
  • Priority: High
  • This issue has been reported to Engineered Software



Description

When reading a DWG? file, in some cases (but not all) arcs are rendered correctly in the Tranlator Preview window but are rotated incorrectly when opened in PCD8. The two screen shots below show the condition of the correct preview, and the incorrect result -- note that not all arcs are affected. The DWG file used to create this example is attached below for additional testing if necessary.

powercadd 8 acad translation preview correct.

rotated arcs in wrong position

Work Around

There is no direct work around to correct the problem during the translation process. Obviously after the file has been opened in PCD8 the arcs can be rotated to their correct position and snapped into place. Another alternative would be to convert the arcs to polygons in ACAD prior to opening the file in PCD8 but this is less than elegant. We understand from conversations with EngSW this issue is on the list of items to be addressed in a rolling update to PCD8 and the ACAD Translator XTNL.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

AttachmentSize
DOWNLOAD 04.dwg_.zip167.98 KB
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PowerCADD 8: ACAD Translator: mis-assigned fonts

Issue: The font specified in the ACAD Translator → Text Settings dialog for Editable fonts is not what is assigned when the file is opened in PowerCADD 8.

Affects

  • PowerCADD v8.0.0, ACAD Translator External
  • Priority: High
  • This item has been reported to Engineered Software



Description

When translating a DWG? or DXF? file, you can specify which font is used in the resulting PCD8 drawing as an editable font. However the font specified is ignored and all text appears as Helvetica.

To see the condition, do this:

  1. Drag and drop a DWG file onto the PCD8 application icon (or use any means you like to open the file in PCD8).
  2. In the Translator Settings dialog, click the Text button to display the Text Settings dialog as pictured here:
  3. powercadd 8 translator text settings dialog

  4. Choose the Editable radio button and specify a font from the pop up list (Arial Black in our example shown above.
  5. Press Ok and complete the translation process. The file will open in PCD8, each piece of text will be a new Advanced Text block.
  6. Double click any of the text blocks to open the Advanced Text Edit Window.
  7. In the Advanced Text Edit Window, open the Fonts window.
  8. As pictured below, the selected text is described as being Helvetica Regular rather the specified font Arial Black.
  9. powercadd 8 edit advanced text dialog

    Work Around

    The easiest work around is, after translating the file and opening it in PCD8, choose Text Menu → Replace Font to change Helvetica to your font of choice. For more on working with Replace Font see this related article on our site which applies to PowerCADD 7.0.5 or newer and PowerCADD 8.

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

    ------
    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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8: ACAD Translator: status of font popup menu

Issue: The status of the font selection popup menu in the Text Settings of the translator external is confusing.

Affects:

  • PowerCADD 8.0.0, ACAD Translator External
  • Priority: Low
  • This issue has been reported to Engineered Software



Description

There is a minor cosmetic issue regarding the Font Popup menu when selecting between Editabel and Visually Accurate radio buttons in the Text Settings dialog.

When the Visually Accurate radio button is selected, PowerCADD 8's ACAD Translator automatically converts all fonts to polygon outlines. As such, the status of the Font Popup menu should be dimmed (unavailable) since any selection made in that menu is irrelevant.

When the Editable radio button is selected, the Font Popup menu should be enabled. Currently it is enabled all the time which is incorrect as selections made in this menu only apply when the Editable radio button is selected.

This illustration shows the incorrect status. If Visually Accurate (blue) is selected, the menu (red) should be dimmed.

Work Around

This is a cosmetic issue and no work around is required. Simply realize the status of the menu is incorrect as described above.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8: Submit Diagnostic Report Typo

Issue: Typo in the Submit Diagnostic Report... dialog.

Affects:

  • PowerCADD 8.0.0
  • Priority: Low
  • This issue has been reported to Engineered Software



Description

When choosing Help menu → Submit Diagnostic Report..., the static text in the dialog currently reads:

  • Please enter your name and telephone number so can contact you if necessary.

It should read:

  • Please enter your name and telephone number so we can contact you if necessary.

Work Around

No work around is required, this is a cosmetic issue.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8: Text Attributes Window displays incorrect font

Issue: After translating a DWG? or DXF? file, the Text Attributes Floating Window always displays the selected text block as being Geneva when in fact it is some other font.

Affects

  • PowerCADD 8.0.0
  • Priority: Low
  • This item as been reported to Engineered Software



Description

After translating a DWG or DXF file, and choosing Editable Text in the Text Settings dialog, the text blocks in the new PCD8 drawing are always described as Geneva when in fact their font is something else.

To recreate the condition:

  1. Translate a DWG file and choose Editable in the Text Settings dialog and choose any font other than Geneva from the pop up list.
  2. Choose Windows menu → Text Attributes.
  3. Select any Advanced Text Block.
  4. Observe; as pictured below, the selected text block is described as being Geneva when in fact it is not.

Text Attributes floating window

Work Around

There is no known work around to what is essentially a cosmetic condition. When editing the text block in the Advanced Text Edit Window the Fonts panel will render the correct font and you may still change it to whatever you like.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8 Translator External

About This Section of our Site
This section of our PowerCADD User Learning Center is dedicated to the discussion of the PowerCADD v8 translator external. The translator external is used to read (open) and write (saves) drawings using the AutoCAD *.DWG? and *.DXF? file formats for use in PowerCADD. Review links at the bottom of this page for all related articles.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

PowerCADD 8 ACAD Translator: What's different when saving

What's different between the PowerCADD v7 and v8 translator when I'm saving my PowerCADD 8 drawings as .dwg or .dxf files?

Requirements:

  • PowerCADD version 8.0.0 or newer
  • ACAD Translator External must be loaded



Background

With the release of PowerCADD 8 (PCD8) there were some changes to options available when saving PowerCADD drawings as ACAD dwg or dxf files. We'll cover the basics of what's different here. If you previously used PowerCADD v7 (PCD7), you may want to keep a copy of that version hanging around if some of the following translation options were critical to your work flow. If you cannot open (read) or save (write) dwg or dxf files, choose PowerCADD menu → Preferences → Loader and make sure ACAD Translator is checked at the top of the list as pictured here:

PowerCADD 8 Load Externals dialog

Remember: If your PCD8 drawings uses Advanced Text, those objects will become PDF? objects when opened in PCD7. PDF objects do not translate (are omitted) when saving drawings as dxf or dwg.

What's Different
The following optional settings dialog from (PCD7) is no longer available when saving dwg or dxf files from PCD8. Here's a summary of the changes:

  • Versions: The versions you save back to have changed.
  • Line Weights to Colors has been deleted. You can no longer map your PowerCADD line weights to specific ACAD pen color numbers.
  • Visible Layers Only has been deleted. In PCD8 all visible and hidden layers are saved.
  • Use Line Weights has been deleted. You can no longer convert line weights to poly-lines when saving a drawing.
  • Write Arrows has been deleted. In PCD8 arrow attributes are always written when saving the dwg or dxf file. When the file is opened in AutoCAD, the arrow heads are polygons which are separate from the line. For example, a line in PowerCADD with arrow heads at both ends would be three objects in AutoCAD. A line and two polygons representing the arrow heads.
  • Write Guidelines has been deleted. In PCD8 guideline are never written when saving the dwg or dxf file.
  • Font has been deleted. You can no longer specify which font is used when saving the dwg or dxf file.

Screen shot of Save As, Optional Settings, dialog from PowerCADD 7
powercadd 7 translator save as options dialog

Here's an example of the new dialog that appears in PCD8 when you press Options. Note you can now specify versions as far back as ACAD 2000. If a format is shown as a range, for example 2000-2002, it simply means that all versions of ACAD in that range support the same file format. For example, if you save as drawing as version 2002 it can be opened by ACAD2000.

What versions of ACAD does PCD8 support when saving? Well, as you can see from the pop-up menu below, it's release 2000 through release 2007. The same holds true for the versions PCD8 can open.

powercadd 8 translator save as options dialog

Please review the translator section of the PCD8 manual for additional information on working with reference files and fonts when reading dwg files. There are significant improvements to automatically binding x-refs when reading dwg files and some new changes to font management.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

------
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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8 Wish List

About the PowerCADD 8 Wish List
This section of our web site contains a list of current wish list ideas for the currently in development release of PowerCADD version 8. Registered visitors are welcome and encouraged to vote on items and share their comments. We've started this list after the official release of PowerCADD version 7.

With the release of PowerCADD v8 we're have start a new PowerCADD 9 Wish List. If a wish list item from PowerCADD v8 was granted, we've left it in this section and added an appropriate comment. If a wish wasn't granted we've moved it to the PoweCADD 9 Wish List where you can comment or vote in an online poll.

The objective is simple:
To gather relevant, real world, user feedback on what features are most desirable for the next release of PowerCADD. Ultimately we're hopeful the results will prove to be a reasonable guide to assist Engineered Software in their planning and development process.

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

To vote, simply read a wish list idea and cast your vote in the polling box using the link at the end of the article. You're invited to post comments on any wish list item or comment on the poll itself.

Duration of the voting on Wish List items:
There is currently no official end date since there is no official notice of when PowerCADD 8 might be released. A logical end date will be determined and announced on this web site.

Results of the Polls:
The results of the polls are unofficial and do not guarantee any wish list idea will make it into the next release of PowerCADD. The poll is intended to collect information which can be passed onto Engineered Software for consideration in their planning and development process.

A reminder:
caddpower.com is an independently owned and operated website and is not affiliated with any software or hardware vendor or manufacturer.

Let the games begin!

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Ability to automatically lock and unlock objects

Feature Overview

It would be great if PCD? remembered which items were previously locked and prompted me to lock them again after completing an operation.

Feature Description:

Currently, when performing a select all, and the selection set contains locked items, I get a prompt allowing me to Unlock items. This makes perfect sense, for example I may be selecting all the content to perform a move by drag operation and adjust the layout of my drawing. Great -- makes sense but after I perform my operation I don't know which objects I had previously locked, which was likely done for good reason, and now I have to manually go back and try to recall what they were and lock them again. This operation is time consuming and can be confusing since in a large object count drawing I may well not recall which items I had locked.

Feature Request:
After completing my operation (e.g. moving all the objects) , I should be prompted for something like "would like me to relock previously locked items". Put another way, it would be great if PCD remembered which items were previously locked and prompted me to lock them again after my operation.

Given I get a prompt to unlock items, that seems to be a flag at the object level. If that flag/status can be remembered then it seems possible to know the items should also be locked again. Of course this is all subject to my inability to program squat Laughing out loud

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Import Tabbed Text Files as a Table

Feature Overview

Ability to import a tabbed delimited text files and have PowerCADD create a table. The resulting table would be editable like tables created with the Table Tool are now.

Feature Description:

A tabbed text file refers to a text file which is generic in nature where items are separated by tab's and carriage returns and saved in a plain text format which may be opened in a variety of applications - a PowerCADD symbol report is an example of a Tabbed text file, sometimes referred to as a tab delimited text file.

We'd like some mechanism to import a tabbed text file back into PowerCADD is important to routine work flow. The imported tabbed text file would be a table (vs. a text block with Indents and tab's).

For example: when a symbol report is saved, it cannot be imported back into PowerCADD in an editable format. Rather it must be opened in another application (Excel, AppleWorks, FileMaker, etc) and brought back into PCadd using Place (e.g. Placed PDF?) to retain formatting. If the table is pasted in then all formatting is lost.

If PowerCADD could import the tabbed text file as a table, simple editing could be done directly in PowerCADD.

Cast your vote using the link below
Don't see the voting link? Log in to vote.

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
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

No votes yet

Vote Here: Import Tabbed Text File as Table

Very Important Feature
33% (1 vote)
Important Feature
67% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

PowerDWG 8 Wish List

A subset to the PowerCADD 8 Wish List
To keep things organized, we've collected our PowerDWG v8 Translator wish list items together as a subset to our main PowerCADD 8 wish list.

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Combine Paper & Model Space

Feature Overview

The ability to combine AutoCAD model space and paper space when reading DWG? files.

Feature Description:

Currently, the PowerDWG Translator has unofficial support for combining AutoCAD Model Space and Paper Space entities with translating a file as noted in this article. We'd like to see support for that unofficial feature formalized and automatically combine Model Space and Paper Space entities (or give us the choice) when reading (opening) a DWG file.

On the surface the feature request may seem simple. However, among the various technical hurdles this request has, one of the biggest issues we can see is what happens when there are multiple view ports in the AutoCAD DWG file, where each one might contain distinct Paper Space elements? How should the PowerDWG Translator handle that condition?

  • Should it it create one new PowerCADD file for each viewport?
  • Should each view port become a distinct sheet setup in PowerCADD, thereby allowing the common Model Space data to be used and a distinct layer (or layers) be made for the Paper Spaceentities?
  • Are there other practical alternatives?

Cast your vote using the link below

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
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

No votes yet

Vote Here: PowerDWG 8 Paper & Model Space Combined

Very Important Feature
33% (1 vote)
Important Feature
67% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

Support for AutoCAD Associative Hatches

Feature Overview

The ability for the PowerDWG Translator to automatically translate Associative Hatches from AutoCAD into PowerCADD Hatch patterns..

Feature Description:

Currently, the PowerDWG Translator shipping with PowerCADD v7 does not translate Associative Hatch patterns from AutoCAD. If the objects in AutoCAD have an Associative Hatch assigned, the resulting object in PowerCADD has no hatch pattern at all. The feature request is essentially broken into two parts:

Part 1: Minimum Requested Functionality
At a minimum, the PowerDWG Translator should translate the AutoCAD Associative Hatch into basic PowerCADD Objects. Currently the Associative Hatches from AutoCAD are simply ignored increasing editing time to recreate the drawing look and feel.

Part 2: Ideal Functionality
In a perfect world the AutoCAD Associative Hatches should be translated into PowerCADD Associative Hatches. The new (AutoCAD) hatch pattern would be appended to the PowerCADD Document's Hatch Palette. These Hatch patterns should be translatable round trip; they would be maintained when saving PowerCADD drawings as DWG and when importing DWG drawings from AutoCAD.

Current Work Arounds
In order to have AutoCAD DWG file Associative Hatches translate into PowerCADD:

  1. Open the drawing in AutoCAD
  2. Explode the Associative Hatches
  3. Save a copy of the AutoCAD DWG file
  4. Open the file from (3) in PowerCADD
  5. Result: the AutoCAD hatch pattern becomes basic objects in PowerCADD

The work around can be time consuming and does require additional steps which can only be carried out in AutoCAD. However, in those cases where it's important to maintain the same look and feel between AutoCAD and PowerCADD, the fix works and may be worth the additional effort.

Cast your vote using the link below
Don't see the voting link? Log in to vote.

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
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

No votes yet

Vote Here: Support AutoCAD Associative Hatches

Very Important Feature
100% (3 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

Support for AutoCAD Xrefs

Feature Overview

The ability for the PowerDWG Translator to automatically bind AutoCAD Xrefs when translating a file

Feature Description:

Currently, the PowerDWG Translator External provides a warning dialog if the DWG file being translated contains Xref's. While this is a helpful warning, advising us that the translation will be incomplete, it requires translating each referenced drawing separately. The resulting individual files have to manually reassembled which can be difficult, or in some cases impossible due to a lack of common reference points in each file.

The only current work around is to have the original AutoCAD drawing author use the Bind Xref to make a single file for translation. In some cases, particularly on large scale projects with multiple consultants, this level of coordination is difficult as it requires additional steps by the coordinating consultant.

The fact PowerCADD knows which Xref drawing is missing is a big steps and tells us it knows the content exists... now the next logical step is to just include in the translation. A simple thing to say and we're sure quite a difficult thing to achieve but one that would be a significant step in cross platform coordination on large and small projects.

Cast your vote using the link below
Don't see the voting link? Log in to vote.

Poll Choices are:

  • Very Important Feature: you think the feature is a big deal and has a big impact to your workflow
  • Important Feature: not critical to your workflow but something you'd find useful or would explore more deeply if it was there
  • Not an Important Feature: this feature wouldn't impact your workflow at all and you're not interested or don't see value in exploring it

------
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

No votes yet

Vote Here: PCadd 8 DWG support for Xrefs

Very Important Feature
100% (5 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 5
No votes yet

PowerCADD 8: Menu Items

About this section of the PowerCADD User: PowerCADD 8: Learning Center
This section contains information related to using menu items in PowerCADD 8. Getting started is easy, just click on a link below to read an article. If there is more than one article related to a given item you'll be taken to a page with those related, detailed, article links.

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PowerCADD8:Help Menu: Submit Trouble Shooting Report

New feature in PowerCADD 8: Submit Trouble Shooting Report

Question: When I choose Submit Trouble Shooting Report I'm prompted for access to my keychain; why and what should I do?

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 8 (8.0.0 or newer recommended)
  • Mac OS? X (Leopard version 10.5.2 or newer recommended)



Background

This new feature has been added to help assist both you and Engineered Software when trying to trouble shoot a technical support problem. Basic information about your PowerCADD 8 drawing and some general hardware and system information is sent to make it easier for technical support staff to understand your particular circumstances. Here is an example of what's sent taken from an empty untitled drawing; your actual content will vary:

Current System Settings:

CPU Type: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T7600 @ 2.33GHz
Number of Processors: 2
OS System Version: 10.5.2
System Memory: 3072 MB
Display Size: 1920 x 1200

Current PowerCADD Information:

PowerCADD Version: 8.0.0
PowerCADD Build Number: HC14
Current Exterenals Loaded:
Loader , ACAD Translator , Arc Functions , Attach , Bitmap Utils , Blend Objects , BlossomingCursor , Cleanup Drawing , Convert Outlines , Custom Tool Palettes , Date Time Stamp , Dimension Window , Fence Cut , Gradient Fill , Graphics Export , Guide Grid , Layer Window , MacPaint Reader , Magic Wand , Mechanical Tools , Move Object , Move Points , Move Window , Multi Trim , Notations , Object Text , Objects Along Path , Pan Tool , Place , Postscript Translator , Read HPGL? , Reference Files , Replace Symbol , Select Adjoining , Select Special , Selection Filter , Set Symbol Fields , Smart Layers , Snap Window , Status Window , Survey Dimensions , Symbol Data , Symbol Palette , Symbol Report , Wall Tools

Drawing Information:

Drawings Open: 1

Individual Drawing Information:

Untitled - 2
Drawing Size: 0 KB
Number of Layers: 1
Number of Objects: 0

Clipboard?
Drawing Size: 0 KB
Number of Layers: 1
Number of Objects: 0

Unsent Crash Logs:

Recently Used Items:

Items Used Time Since Used (sec)
-------------------------------------------------------------
Close 751.119
Selection 751.619
Close 1108.67
Paste 1119.92
Text 1121.17

Additional Comments:

What To Do

Submitting the trouble ticket is as straight forward as filling in the form field and pressing submit:

  1. Choose Help menu → Submit Trouble Shooting Ticket
  2. The Submit Diagonistic Reportdialog appears as pictured here:
  3. PowerCADD 8 submit trouble shooting ticket report dialog.

  4. Fill in the required fields and press Submit.

It's at this stage that the majority of users will see the prompt to access your Mac OS X Keychain. When you pressed Submit PCD8 wanted to use the Mac OS X to send an email message. In order to send the message it needs access to the send email information that is typically saved in your Mac OS X Keychain. Typically you'll see a prompt similar to this (we've expanded the Show Detail tab for illustration here). You can safely press Allow and PCD8 will send the email message to Engineered Software technical support staff.

PowerCADD 8 Submit help ticket keychain access prompt dialog.

Remember, if you are dealing with an international distributor (or private consultant) who provides separate technical support, the trouble ticket is going to Engineered Software - not your international distributor. It's worth contacting your international distributor prior to using this feature as they may have a different procedure they prefer you use. At a minimum, it can be helpful to simply access the Submit Trouble Shooting Ticket menu and copy the content that appears in the top most (first) field so you can email that directly to your preferred technical support contact.

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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8: WildTools 9

This section of our PowerCADD Learning Center covers hints, tips, techniques related to using WildTools which is a third party add-on to PowerCADD. Items covered here will, in almost all cases, apply to previous versions of WildTools (provided the feature exists in that older/previous version)

Click a link at the bottom of this page to view a specific article.

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Using PowerCADD and WildTools to add a Guideline

How do I add a Guideline that matches a object already in my drawing?

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 7, or 8 (8.1.2 or newer recommended)
  • Mac OS? X (Leopard or Snow Leopard)
  • WildTools version 8 or 9 (version 9 recommended



Background:

Guidelines are non-printing construction lines that aid in placing, creating, or aligning objects in your drawing. While PowerCADD has numerous options for working with Guidelines including choosing from various options in Layout menu → Guidelines, WildTools also has tools which allow you to create a guideline in your drawing. In this article we'll outline the steps to use the WildTools Offset Line Tool and Surface Snapping to create a guideline that matches the angle of an existing object in your drawing. We also recommend your review INTL URL this related caddpower.com article on how to perform the same task by dragging a Guideline off of a drawing ruler.

What To Do:

To use WildTools to insert a guideline into your drawing which matches the angle of an existing object, do this:

  1. Press Option and click on the WildTools Offset Line Tool. The following dialog box will appear:
    WildTools Offset Line Dialog
  2. Set your dialog box preferences as shown above. Specifically set the offset to Interactive (the bold arrow type symbol) and check the Place Guidelines box
  3. Click OK. You'll be returned to the drawing window and the cursor will change to a Target Cursor
  4. Place the Target Cursor over the object in the drawing you want the guideline to match (e.g. a Line)
  5. Start to drag away from that object. Note you'll see a guideline appear; now we need to snap that guideline back onto the object
  6. Press the S key (to invoke Surface Snapping) and drag your cursor back onto the object in (4) above.
  7. Observe: A red snap indicator appears to confirm you are snapping to the surface of the object.
  8. While continuing to press the S key, release the mouse button
  9. Result: a new guideline is inserted into the drawing which is precisely snapped to the surface of your source object

Note that this technique may used to create a guideline that matches the angle of any line or surface of an object such as the face of a polygon, rectangle or rotated rectangle.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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What's New in PowerCADD 8

This section of the PowerCADD User Learning Center contains information on what's new in PowerCADD v8.

Some items are described in full, some are simply notes we prepared during beta testing which we need to revisit and fully expand upon.

Reminder: The PowerCADD User: PowerCADD 8: Menu Items section of our site also contains information on using some of the new, and long time, features of PowerCADD 8.

Hardware Requirements

PowerCADD version 8 requires Mac OS? X running on Apple Intel based hardware. This is not a Universal Binary; PowerCADD 8 cannot be installed on PowerPC based Apple hardware. If you are working in a mixed PowerPC and Intel Apple hardware environment, use PowerCADD 7 on your PowerPC hardware and PowerCADD 8 on your Intel hardware: no translation (save as) is required to work between those versions.

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PowerCADD 8: Overview of what's new or changed

What's New in PowerCADD™ version 8 (PCD8)

Release date: March 2008
Operating System: Mac OS? X (OS X Leopard v10.5.2 or newer recommended)
Hardware: Apple Computer Intel based Mac Hardware

While an extensive list of changes for PowerCADD v8 with detailed descriptions would be helpful to many it would simply be too time consuming to write all in one go. So, we decided a general list might be helpful as a quick overview for many of our visitors. We have related articles in our PowerCADD User: PowerCADD 8 section of our website and as time permits we'll be adding additional content there addressing new features, techniques, known issues, and feature requests for PowerCADD 9. We haven't described everything in detail here but, for now, here's our take on things to get the ball rolling.

Introduction:

Intel Only:

Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software (EngSW), posted an open letter to customers on December 21, 2007 XTNL URL , giving everyone a heads up that PowerCADD v8 was going to run on Intel only Macs. We applaud that decision both for it's intent to keep customers informed so they could plan for hardware changes, and to keep their development cycle efficient and predictable. After all, Apple made it clear Intel was their engine of choice and trying to serve two masters (PowerPC and Intel) serves neither the developer nor the end user. Going Intel only with PowerCADD v8 made it possible to get some massive performance improvements today, and lays the ground work to take advantage of things Apple might do with further hardware and software enhancements in the future. Overall it's a win - win for both the customer and developer.

Given the Intel only decision for PowerCADD v8, EngSW did their customers another service by realizing there will be offices running on a mix of PowerPC and Intel based Mac hardware. With that in mind they have kept the file format the same between PowerCADD v7 and v8. Simply put, you don't have to perform a translation or Save As... operation to work with a PowerCADD v8 file in v7, or vice versa. When considering many offices still run mixed hardware we tip our hat to EngSW for their customer service consideration. The only minor hiccup occurs with the new Advanced Text feature of PowerCADD 8; Advanced Text from PowerCADD 8 is rendered as a PDF? image when opened in PowerCADD 7. The content looks correct but you can't edit it which doesn't seem unreasonable when considering the significant change that Advanced Text brings to the table.




Performance:

PowerCADD v8 is fast -- really fast! There's no question EngSW dedicated a lot of resources (read: time and money) to give PowerCADD v8 major performance enhancements by tapping into OpenGL XTNL URL and other advanced features of Apple's 64 bit Mac OS X Leopard XTNL URL operating system. In fact, EngSW has provided two methods of rendering your content to screen to help you go from fast to turbo fast in a single click (we'll cover the details of those two viewing modes in detail later).

The degree of performance increase will depend on a few different factors including the speed and number of processors you chose when purchasing hardware. The amount of RAM? installed continues to be important to helping overall system performance and our old rule of thumb still applies; take whatever Apple ships standard with a system and double it (that doubling rule may not be applicable for some models of laptops in which case max. it out). The speed of the graphics processor (video card) and amount of VRAM? it has will also have a direct impact on the degree of performance increase you'll see in PowerCADD 8. With Apple moving more tasks to the video boards your choice is becoming more important when trying to maximize performance with PowerCADD 8 and many of Apple's Pro Applications including Aperture or Final Cut Pro. Point being you get what you pay for so take the time to plan your hardware purchases accordingly.

General:

When we examine the new features and general improvements to old features there some that just don't fit nicely into the Tools or Menu categories we'll list later. Here are some thoughts on those changes, and what we think is a reasonably comprehensive list, in no particular order:

Improved Items:

Global Attributes: While the basic method of using Global Attributes hasn't changed, there have been improvements to how items are added to menus to try and prevent their lists from becoming too long. If you were having problem or frustrations with Global Attributes in the past you may want to take another at them in PCD8.

Stationery: This likely is a big change that will affect long time users, and it's a change that is for the better (see our related article here for details). In previous versions of PowerCADD you created a new drawing, added any elements, styles, or attributes, then performed a Save As... → Stationery. That worked for a lot of years as EngSW was actually ahead of Apple in that context. However, with the introduction of Mac OS X Apple changed the rules a bit and the old PowerCADD Stationery model was looking long in the tooth. The new Stationery model is elegantly simple; put any drawing into the PowerCADD Application folder → Stationery folder which contains those items you'd like to use for every drawing. Remember, stationery (or templates if you prefer) drawings can include attributes, styles, objects like title blocks, drawing scale and layers. The next time you choose File? menu → New, you'll see a new dialog presenting your list of stationery files to choose from. If you prefer to keep your stationery (template) files on a remote server or someplace else on your hard drive, no problem -- simply make an Alias of the file in the aforementioned Stationery Folder. We see this new Stationery model as a leap forward and is very consistent with other applications such as Apple's Pages, Keynote, and Numbers which provide a list of templates to choose from when starting a new drawing. Overall it appears to be an excellent change and we look forward to seeing how it might progress.

The number of changes, general and otherwise, is extensive so here's a basic running list of items. Don't forget you can check the PowerCADD PDF or Printed manual and look for the 'new' icon which flags these items (and possibly more).

List of General changes:

  1. Change Export Data external has been deleted.
  2. Change Status Window has been deleted, it's basic features described here have been deleted or moved to new locations. Nudge and Selected Number of Objects Display Field has moved to the new drawing window Toolbar. Layer Name of selected object has been moved to the Edit Window. Go To Layer is available as a contextual menu now and in PCD7. Zoom Percentage Field and it's Zoom Icons are deleted and not replaced but all oyher methods of zooming are still available. Scale Field and Pop-up is deleted and not replaced; scale is still adjusted from the Layout menu → Drawing Setup → Units dialog.
  3. Behavior change: A contextual menu no longer appears when you Control + Clicking on a bitmap.
  4. New Edit Window: Number of fields it displays can be changed. Displays the layer name a selected object is on.
  5. New Toolbar in main drawing window.
  6. New Overview Window with integrated Toolbar and significantly improved performance including support for mouse wheel zooming.
  7. Improved dwg drawing translator. Improved X-ref? imports, fonts, one click translation of all paper space layout content, improved preview and navigation interface. All translated drawings open in users specified custom stationery (when custom stationery has been added to Stationery folder) as described earlier.
  8. Improved interface in Layers Window for creating and renaming sheet setups.
  9. Improved behavior in Layers Window when assigning Layer Color Attributes (related link).
  10. Improved method of handling Layer Color Attributes. Color attribute settings are now saved with the object. Assigning a Layer Color Attribute will temporarily over ride the object color attribute for as long as the Layer Color Attribute box is checked. Turning off Layer Color Attributes will revert the object to it's original color.
  11. Change in drawing translator external: The old feature to Map Line Weights to Color when writing a dwg or dxf file has been removed. The old feature to Map Colors to Line Weights when reading a dwg or dxf file has been removed.
  12. Change in drawing translator external: The old feature to Save Visible Layers Only when writing a dwg or dxf file has been removed.
  13. New drawing translator external: You can now specify your own custom stationery pad when reading a dxf or dwg file.

List of Tool changes:

  1. Improved Fence Cut: now supports Layers when used in conjunction with the Paste Special menu item
  2. New Advanced Text: OS Level spelling and grammar checker. Multiple text options including kerning, ligatures, superscript, and subscript. Now supports Tables (replaced old Table Tool)
  3. Changed Table Tool: Deleted and replaced with Advanced Text Tool. Formatted tables can be copied/pasted from Excel.
  4. Improved Parallel Line: Can save multiple offsets.
  5. Improved Parallel Offset: Can save multiple offsets.
  6. Improved Eye Droopper: Optional settings for which attributes it should pickup and apply.
  7. New Sticky Notes: Leave non-printing yellow sticky type post-it notes in a drawing.
  8. New Move Points: New tool to dynamically move selected vertices in a drawing by dragging or press Tab to specify an offset distance and/or direction.
  9. New Single and Multi Trim: Both tools allow Guidelines to be a specified trim or extend target.
  10. New Move Tool: Automatically selects objects you click on for a move by drag operation. Hovering the tool over a default snap location will automatically select that snap point as the handle to start the move from. Old method from all previous versions of PowerDraw and PowerCADD still exist to perform a move by drag operation.
  11. New Objects On Line: Distribute objects in the Clipboard? or from a Symbol Library along a linear path. User definable optional settings for points and offset behavior.
  12. New Objects On Path: Distribute objects in the Clipboard or from a Symbol Library along any contiguous path defined by a single object. User definable optional settings for points and offset behavior.
  13. New Magic Wand: Optional setting to specify object attributes to be used to discriminate which objects in the drawing are selected. Click on an object in the drawing and all objects with the specified attributes are selected.
  14. Changed Arc Trim: Now a stand alone tool for trimming and extending arcs. This feature was integrated with the Trim/Extend tool in PCD7. Logic/behavior of the tool is improved.
  15. Changed Trim/Extend: Now works on lines only. Improved logic/behavior for finding intersections to trim/extend. Improved interface in optional settings dialog.
  16. New Attach: Optional settings to specify what type of object is created when the tool is applied. Click and drag between objects in the drawing to attach them.
  17. Improved Leader Line: Improved behavior to change justification of text when reshaping a leader line left or right.

List of Menu item changes:

  1. Change File Menu → Save As... → Symbol Report: Now moved to File menu → Export...
  2. Change File Menu → Save As... → Data Report: Now moved to File menu → Export...
  3. Change File Menu → Save As... → Objects Notes Report: Now moved to File menu → Export...
  4. Change File Menu → Save As... → Stationery: Deleted and replaced with new Stationery folder as described earlier in this article. See our related article here for details.
  5. New Print Dialog: New options for flatting files with Layer Attributes > Transparency? settings applied. This was also added in a free update to PCD7.0.6, please see this related article for details.
  6. Improved Lock/Unlock: Warning dialog appears when the selected objects contain locked items. Now you can choose to permanently unlock, or temporarily unlock items. If you choose to temporarily unlock objects, affected objects are automatically locked again when the operation is complete.
  7. New Edit Menu → Scale...: Now supports scaling line weights
  8. New Edit Menu → Paste Special...: Now supports scaling line weights and supports layers when using the Fence Cut tool.
  9. Improved Help menu: Ability to search for menu items by name in OS X Leopard only.
  10. New Help menu → Safe Mode Instructions: Steps on how to restart PowerCADD in safe mode to assist in troubleshooting problems.
  11. New Help menu → Reset PowerCADD: Resets PowerCADD settings to assist in troubleshooting problems.
  12. New Help menu → Submit Troubleshooting Report: Submits an email and drawing report to Engineered Software to assist technical support in troubleshooting problems.
  13. Change View Menu → Hide Text: Now reads Greek text. Text that is greeked now displays as a grey box, in previous versions choosing Hide Text would physically shut off all text in the drawing which was confusing.
  14. New View Menu → High Performance/Print Preview: Allows you to change the display modes of PowerCADD. This feature is also an icon in the new drawing window Toolbar.
  15. Change Preferences: Attach convert to polygons: This preferences is deleted and replaced with optional settings for the Attach menu item
  16. New Tool menu → Attach...: Allows you to specify the type of object created (Group, Bezier, Polygon) and to specify the distance between objects the command should automatically bridge.
  17. Change View menu → Hide Hatches: If hatches are hidden, assigning a hatch to a new object will now automatically toggle the display to show all hatches. Previously, assigning a new hatch would then automatically hide it which was confusing.
  18. New Preferences → View → Adjust Handle Size: Slider to adjust the size of edit handle bars displayed when objects are selected or in reshape mode.
  19. New Preferences → Commands → Multiple Commands: You can now assign multiple steps to a single command key.
  20. New Preferences → Loader → PowerCADD: There is now a default set of externals for the default set of PowerCADD features.
  21. New Preferences → Tools → Mouse Wheel Options: Settings to customize the acceleration of the scroll wheel and whether it should be used for zooming in/out or scrolling left/right.
  22. Changed and New Tool menu → Polygon → multiple submenu items: When reshaping or editing polygons, menu items previously located in Edit menu > Reshape have been moved. You can now perform a Fillet, Open, or Close simply by selecting the polygon (in previous versions you had to be in polygon / reshape mode to perform those operations).
  23. New Arrange menu → Rotate by Centers: Allows multiple selected objects to be rotated a specified amount about their individual center points. The Arrange menu → Rotoate... menu item will rotate all selected objects about a common center point.
  24. New Print Dialog → Save Settings for Standard: Check the box to have all your PowerCADD custom print settings such Fit to Page and other items remembered between printing sessions.
  25. New Arrange menu → Hatch Settings → Rotate Hatch: After applying a linear hatch pattern to an object you can adjust the patterns rotation angle assigned to that object. Subsequently, a new custom hatch pattern can be made from the custom rotated hatch.
  26. New File menu → Recent Items → Clear Selected...: Choose that new menu item to manually select items to be deleted from the Open Recent Items submenu.
  27. New Text menu → Replace Font...: This was also added to PowerCADD 7.0.5 and is described in detail in this article on our site.

Well, that's about all we can think of for now. It's a pretty substantial list of changes. In many cases, what appears to be a simple item in the list above is often a major step forward when you consider the implications to the drawing and design work flow! Have fun!

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, Managing Editor, caddpower.com.

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Hatch Pattern Stacking Order

Description

The object stacking order of hatch pattern has been changed from previous versions.

Requirements

PowerCADD 8.0.0 or more recent



Old object stacking order (top to bottom):

  • Hatched Pattern (top most object)
  • Object Line Weight and Pen Pattern (middle object)
  • Fill Pattern (bottom most object)

This old stacking order resulted in hatch patterns that covered up the object's line weight.

New object stacking order (top to bottom):

  • Object Line Weight and Pen Pattern (top most object)
  • Hatched Pattern (middle object)
  • Fill Pattern (bottom most object)

This new stacking order results in the objects outline (perimeter line weight) correctly covering the hatched items and creates a cleaner edge to the hatched object. Note: See known issues for additional information regarding hard clipping of hatch patterns.

Demo Movie
quicktime Click here to watch a demo movie (28MB) which illustrates the concepts described above (click here for movie help).

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, Managing Editor, caddpower.com.

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Layer Window and Layer Color Attributes Display

Description

The method of displaying a Layer Color Attribute in the Layer Window has been changed.

Requirements

PowerCADD 8.0.0 or more recent



Previous versions of PowerCADD: When a Layer Color Attribute was assigned, the display of the Layer Name in the Layer Window was changed to display in the specified layer color. This made the names of layers difficult to read for some layer color settings.

The Change: When a Layer Color Attribute is assigned, the color of the Layer Status Bullet is changed to display in the specified layer color. The name of the layer is not change; it's still displayed as black, easy to read, text.

[inline:beta8layercolorstatus.jpg]

Notes:

  • There is no visible change in the color of the Layer Status Bullet when a Layer Color Attribute of black is specified.
  • There is a new Preferences setting (pictured below) that allows you to toggle the display so the Layer Name also changes color (i.e. so it works like PowerCADD 7). When Show Layer Color In Name is checked on, the Layers Window changes as pictured below and to the right. When it's unchecked the Layers Window appears as shown earlier in this article.

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, Managing Editor, caddpower.com.

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PowerCADD 8: Rotate Hatches

New to PowerCADD 8 is the Rotate Hatches... menu item.

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 8 (8.0.0 or newer recommended)
  • Mac OS? X (Leopard version 10.5.2 or newer recommended)



Background

Among the various other Hatch Settings features in PowerCADD for adjusting line weight, scale, and other hatch attributes is the new ability to rotate a hatch pattern. In previous versions custom hatch patterns were often created to specify the same pattern, but at different rotation angles. Each new custom hatch pattern (one for each rotation angle) took up an additional space in the Hatch Palette. Over time, finding the correct pattern took longer than desired. Well, no more, now you can rotate any hatch pattern with one easy operation.

What To Do

To rotate a hatch in PowerCADD 8, do this:

  1. Select the object with the hatch pattern assigned.
  2. Choose Attr menu → Hatch Settings → Rotate....
  3. The Rotation Angle dialog will appear.
  4. Enter the desired angle and press Ok.
  5. The hatch pattern is rotated to the specified angle.

If you change your mind and want the hatch pattern returned to it's original angle simply reapply the original hatch pattern from the palette. Of course Undo also if you change your mind too. However, reapplying the original hatch pattern works at any time as opposed to being restricted by the number of steps you've specified in Undo Options or if you have perhaps quit PCD8 and are opening the same file again in a different session.

Demo Movie
quicktime Click here to watch a demo movie (17MB) which illustrates the concepts described above (click here for movie help).

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, Co-founder and Managing Editor, caddpower.com - powercadduser.com

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PowerCADD 8: Working with Stationery Drawings

Question:

What's changed in PCD8 with respect to how I work with stationery pad drawings (template drawings)? I've never used stationery pad drawings before, how do I get started?

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 8 (8.0.0 or newer recommended)
  • Mac OS? X (Leopard version 10.5.2 or newer recommended)



Background

In versions of PowerCADD prior to 8, you needed to choose File? menu → Save As and save your drawing as a special Stationery Pad drawing. This model worked very well for over 20 years, but with changes Apple started to make in Mac OS X, it was time for a face lift. That means things have a changed a bit for long time users of PCD, but it's a change for the better Smile Please reference the PCD8 printed or PDF? manual for important information about working with Stationery.

What To Do

This section starts, oddly enough, at the beginning. We cover a few key points which are important for veteran and novice PCD users. We then cover information important to new or novice users, specifically what types of things you can put in your stationery pad drawing and how to save a new one in PCD8. Finally, we'll cover how veteran PCD users can reuse their existing stationery pad drawings in PCD8, and how to work with that content if it's on a network volume. For good measure we wrap things up with steps on how you can use Apple's standard Mac OS X feature set to create stationery files. Let's get started.

Key points to remember when working with Stationery in PCD8 are:

  1. To use a file as Stationery in PCD8 you do not need to perform a File menu → Save AS (which was the case in previous versions)
  2. Any item you'd like to use as Stationery needs to be in the Applications folder → PowerCADD 8 Application folder → Stationery folder
  3. The items you put in the Stationery folder may be any type of file that PCD8 can open. This includes a typical PowerCADD drawing file, a PowerCADD Library, or any other file type it can Import or Open including *.jpg and other file types.
  4. Opening a Stationery drawing always be opening a copy of the file. Your original (master) stationery file is never affected.
  5. Items added to the Stationery folder are available immediately. It is not necessary to Quit and relaunch PCD for the changes to take effect.
  6. If you have only one custom stationery drawing in the Stationery folder, that custom file will open each time you choose File menu → New. If you have more than one custom stationery in the Stationery folder you can choose which one to use from the New Document dialog.
  7. You can adjust the sort order of items in the list by clicking on the column names. For example, to see your items displayed based on file size, click the Size column title.
  8. Alias's are supported for files in the Stationery folder. PowerCADD ignores alias's of the Stationery folder, and alias's or real folders nested inside the Stationery folder

Example of multiple stationery items in the PowerCADD 8 New Document dialog.
Alias's to original files have a file size of zero and have a custom icon.

powercadd 8 new document multiple stationery dialog

Working with PowerCADD 8 Stationery for the first time.

While there are no hard and fast rules as to what type of content should go in your Stationery drawings, here are few suggestions for the types of objects you could include. In this example we'll start from an empty, factory default, drawing, and we'll assume you have not added any items to the PowerCADD 8 Application folder → Stationery folder. A good rule of thumb to remember is: If it's something you use in every drawing on a regular basis, it's a likely candidate to be included in a stationery drawing. There's no limit to how many stationery drawings you can have so you can create them for different types of draw conditions.

To make a custom stationery drawing for the first time:

  1. Choose File menu → New and a standard 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper opens.
  2. Choose File menu → Page Setup to specify your preferred sheet size and orientation.
  3. Choose Layout menu → Drawing Setup and specify your drawing settings including:
    • Units (metric, or imperial)
    • Scale
    • Snap settings including preset snap angles.
    • Any other drawing level settings.
  4. Choose Attr menu → Lines... to specify your standard drawing line weights. Repeat that process for Attr menu → Arrows..., Attr menu → Dashes..., and any other standard attributes you like to use on a regular basis.
  5. Choose Window menu → Layers Window and create any standard drawings layers you normally work with. For example, you may want to setup a Title Block layer to contain your standard drawing title block content.
  6. Use the standard drawing tools to create objects you have in every drawing. For example, you might draw your title block content, including standard place holder text.
  7. Choose Attr menu → Styles → New to create custom styles. Custom Styles are an efficient way to apply multiple object attributes (e.g. pen color, line weight, and dash pattern) using a single menu item. That single menu item may also be a custom key command.
  8. When you've setup your preferred drawing, choose File menu → Save. The standard Save As... dialog opens.
  9. Navigate to your Applications folder → PowerCADD 8 Application folder → Stationery folder and press Save.

Location of the new PowerCADD 8 Stationery folder
powercadd 8 stationery folder location

Using your new custom stationery to begin drawings is easy:

  1. File menu → New, the New Document dialog opens listing all your custom stationery as pictured here:
  2. Double click on the custom stationery you created earlier.
  3. A copy of that file opens and you may begin drawing.

Remember: In order to see the New Document dialog you must have two or more custom stationery drawings in the Stationery folder. If you have only one custom stationery drawing in there, then that file is used every time you choose File menu → New.

You no doubt noticed a special file at the top of the list named Blank. That file is the factory default file that is always available to you and it cannot be removed from the list. If you need to create another custom stationery drawing you could start from that blank file, or start from one of your own custom ones.

To change a custom stationery drawing:
There may be times when it's necessary to go back and make a change to one of your custom stationery drawings. The process is simple:

  1. Open the custom stationery drawing to be changed. You can do this by choosing File menu → New or by opening the PowerCADD Application folder → Stationery folder and double clicking on the file in the Finder.
  2. Make the desired changes and choose File menu &rarr: Save.
  3. Navigate to the PowerCADD Application folder → Stationery folder
  4. To replace the old stationery with the new one, keep the same file name. Press Replace in the warning dialog to overwrite the old file
  5. To keep the old stationery and add a new variation simply give the file a different name and press Save. The new and old stationery will both appear in the New Document dialog.

Using Stationery drawings from earlier versions of PowerCADD

If you're a veteran PCD users you no doubt have numerous stationery drawings which have saved you time and money over the years. No worries, you can reuse those in PCD8 and it's as easy as opening the file and choosing Save. The key point to remember is your legacy PCD stationery files were saved in a special format and that format is no longer required. That means you have two choices -- we recommend option two below.

Option 1: Move your legacy stationery drawings:

  1. Locate your legacy PCD stationery drawings.
  2. Move (or Copy) them into the Applications folder → PowerCADD 8 Application folder → Stationery folder.
  3. The files will appear in the New Document dialog when choosing File menu → New.

We're not recommending this option simply because it maintains the old stationery pad drawing format. One of the problem is, in Mac OS X, the legacy PCD stationery drawings don't appear with custom icons and it gets confusing to distinguish them from regular documents. Because of that confusion we recommend option 2 below which requires a few extra steps but sets you up for the future. We believe it's more efficient to do this type of housekeeping sooner rather than later!

Option 2: Open your legacy stationery and Save them into the Stationery folder:

  1. Open your legacy PCD stationery drawings in PCD8
  2. Choose File menu → Save. Since this file has never been saved the Save As... process is automatically invoked by Mac OS X.
  3. Navigate to the Applications folder → PowerCADD 8 Application folder → Stationery folder and press Save
  4. Repeat this process for each legacy PCD stationery drawing. Hint: you could open all your legacy stationery files at the same time (provided you have sufficient memory) and simply

Remember that Mac OS X will always default to the folder you last used when performing a Save As... operation. As such we recommend converting all the legacy stationery pads at the same time (or in logical groups) to take advantage of that OS X level feature and make efficient use of your time.

Working with stationery on a network or external volume

Not all PCD users are alike -- thank goodness Smile Some of keep all their files on a single internal hard drive, some use a combination of internal and external hard drives, and still others use a combination of local and networked volumes to store drawings. Stationery drawings are no different and depending on your particular filing needs it may be necessary to use one or all of the above choices to keep things organized. Fortunately there is a simple technique that works for all of those conditions - alias's.

If you want to keep the original stationery drawings in a location other than the PowerCADD Stationery folder, do this:

  1. Open the folder containing the PCD file to be used as stationery. This folder might be on an external hard drive, on a network server volume, or simply in a folder someplace on your local internal hard drive.
  2. Open the Applications folder → PowerCADD Application folder → Stationery folder and adjust the window positions so you can see them both on the screen (this makes life easier but isn't essential).
  3. Press Command + Option as you drag the files from the folder noted in (1) to the folder noted in (2). This will automatically create an alias.
  4. You can perform that operation for each file or you may select multiple files at the same time. The results are an alias to the file with same name as the original but the icon contains a small arrow. Here's an example of what an alias icon might look like:
  5. powercadd 8 alias to stationery files icon

Caution: For files stored on a network volume, remember that multiple users might have the ability to replace a file. If the original stationery file stored on the server is replaced with a new file of the same name, everyone will see the new file the next time it's chosen from the New Document dialog. Network administrators who want to have tight control over that content may want to consider modifying the read/write access privileges to either the specific stationery file, or to the entire volume users are connected to when making their alias's to the stationery file.

Mac OS X System support for stationery

We'll wrap up this article with a discussion on a standard Mac OS X feature that exists for handling stationery. While the internal model that PCD uses for stationery makes a whole of sense, we're including this discussion primarily for completeness as there might be a case where it helps you work around a particular situation in your office for managing stationery for any of your applications.

To create use any type of drawing as a stationery drawing, do this:

  1. Save a file from your application of choice.
  2. Select that file in the Finder and choose File menu → Get Info.
  3. Check the box that reads Stationery Pad and close the Get Info window. We've shown an example in the screen shot below.
  4. Every time you open the file modified in (3) you get a copy of that file to begin working on.

Mac OS X Get Info Stationery Pad check box

While most applications these days provide some internal method of creating stationery or template files, you might come across one that doesn't and the above trick is the work around.

So there you have it. Working with stationery in PowerCADD v8 has changed a little bit but overall it's a well integrated system that supports your new or legacy stationery drawings.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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