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.


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.


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.


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

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


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


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

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


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


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.



  • 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

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.


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


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

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


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?


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


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

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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