PowerCADD and Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite

Will PowerCADD Run in Mac OS? X 10.10 Yosemite?

  • Yes However PowerCADD version 9 (9.1.3 or older is NOT recommended)
  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
  • See this formal page on Engineered Softwares website for additional information (link)

Dec 15 2015: A Free Update to PowerCADD 9.1.4 is available for full compliance/compatibility with Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) and Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11). See comments below for details


Any version of PowerCADD version 1 through version 8 will not work with Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10). While PowerCADD 9.1.3 will currently run under Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite we currently recommend waiting to upgrade to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) until a maintenance release for PowerCADD is provided by Engineered Software.

If you have already upgraded to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) there are some nuances you should be aware of that cause some significant inconvenience to your workflow.

Please note this type of situation isn't historically unusual for any major Apple Mac OS release. As always we recommend PowerCADD (or any Mac user who relies on their computer for business), wait before implementing any major Mac OS system software until at least a ".1" version is released (e.g. 10.10.1) as that gives Apple time to sort any last minute nuances. It also provides time for business users to contact their mission critical software vendors to ensure the products either work 100% or have at least been updated (typically for free) for compliance with the upgraded operating system. In essence we believe in a measure twice, cut once approach and the follow the golden rule of never mess with billing.

To find out what version of PowerCADD you are using:

  1. With PowerCADD running, choose PowerCADD menu → PowerCADD Profile
  2. A dialog will open listing the version and build numbers

To find out what version of Mac OS X you are using:

  1. Choose Apple menu → About This Mac. A dialog opens and the version number is listed there.

What To Watch Out For

Please see comments below for any additions or critical followups to this list

If you pulled the trigger on upgrading to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) then keep an eye out for these items that have been reported to Engineered Software for their review:

  • Cosmetic Issue: When choosing File? menu → Place... you will see a copy of the file to be placed open behind your primary drawing window. The file will place correctly.
  • Cosmetic Issue: When choosing PowerCADD menu → Preferences... → General, the text label for Save Prompt is cut off and clipped due to text wrap. The setting entered in the Save Prompt time field will work correctly
  • Functional Cosmetic Issue - IMPORTANT: The selection cursor icon (that is the cursor that appears when any selection tool is activated) rendered as transparent on the drawing window. Normally that cursor renders as a (+) type icon. However the cursor renders as transparent and is virtually impossible to see on screen. This impedes user functionality as the icon disappears over both a white drawing page, a solid filled object, or on a black background drawing page. Solution: Choose PowerCADD menu → Preferences... → Tools and enable Long Cross Hairs and Snap Crosshair. This will allow for visual tracking of the selection cursor in the main drawing window. The normal system arrow cursor is not affected and appears normally when interacting with menu items or the drawing window features. Tool icons behave normally. That is - this problem affects the selection cursors only. As an OPTION if you prefer to leave long crosshairs off you can enable black background instead (we recommend using Drawing Setup → Show → Black Background as opposed to PowerCADD menu → Preferences → View → Background Color).
  • Cosmetic Issue: The dialog box that appears when a custom tool palette is missing an external when PowerCADD loads is truncated. The custom tool palette is missing that tool which is expected, only the dialog box is truncated
  • Cosmetic Issue: Hatch Origin icons don't render with a red dot denoting the point of origin for a specific hatch. The menu item itself work correctly.
  • Functional Cosmetic Issue - IMPORTANT: When accessing the Mac OS X System Color Picker ( ATTR menu → Fill Color... or ATTR menu → Pen Color... or any location that access the Mac OS X System Color Picker) there is no way to display ALL of the system color swatches. That is - the system color swatches normally displayed at the bottom of the dialog can't be resized to show the full number of swatches. As such there's no way to access more than the first 24 color swatch positions (normally there is a maximum of 140 possible color swatch positions at the bottom of a system color picker window).

While other minor issues also exist, those have been the bigger ones we've seen thus far in production work. As noted earlier we've reported these (and other) items to Engineered Software and can report (within the confines of non-disclosure agreements and professional courtesy), that some items are fixed and others are forth coming.

What To Do

If you are an existing PowerCADD user (any version) there are few different options depending on which version of PowerCADD you currently have. Here's a general breakdown:

Paid Upgrades
Current registered PowerCADD users can upgrade from an earlier version of PowerCADD (e.g. PowerCADD 8 to PowerCADD 9) and should review the information on this page of our website. Please note these are paid upgrades (not free updates). For pricing contact your International Distributor or if you're in the U.S. contact Engineered Software.

Free Updates
To make sure you receive emails and all relevant information on keeping your copy of PowerCADD v9 up to date please make sure you've registered your product. In the United States, contact Engineered Software directly (click here for link XTNL URL). In other countries please contact your regional distributor (click here for link XTNL URL). If you have not received an update notice from Engineered Software (or your regional international distributor) contact them directly from the links previously provided.

New PowerCADD Users
If you are buying a new version of PowerCADD (from Engineered Software in the U.S. or an International Distributor), you will receive the latest version with that purchase. However, we encourage all new purchasers to confirm with the respective seller that PowerCADD version 9.1.3 (or newer) it what will be provided on the master install CD. If the version is older than that (i.e. PowerCADD v9.1.0 verses v9.1.3) then please confirm the update process you'll have to follow or have the seller provide the most current version for your new purchase.

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, www.caddpower.com - www.powercadduser.com - www.powercadd.guru - www.wildtools.guru

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Fill Patterns Don't Preview Correctly When Printing to PDF

Custom Fill Patterns in PDF? Files Don't Preview Correctly when printed from PowerCADD 9.1.3 in Mac OS? X 10.10 Yosemite

  • PowerCADD version 9 (9.1.3)
  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
  • Using Mac OS X 10.10 Save As PDF print option
  • Preview.app Version 8.0 (859)


With the introduction of Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) there is now a problem with some custom color fill patterns after using the Mac OS X Save As PDF feature available when printing. Since we wrote and use the custom color fill patterns from the ColorPortfolio libraries we saw the problem there first. However the problem could occur with other custom fill patterns so we encourage folks to review this article to understand what to look for and for the work arounds.

This cosmetic on screen problem is specific to Preview.app provided by Apple in Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The original PowerCADD data, the fill pattern object, and the data sent to the print queue is not at fault.

It's important to note the problem is essentially a cosmetic on screen issue only. That is, even though lines will appear in the custom fill patterns when rendered to screen the PDF file prints correctly (without the lines through the pattern). The fundamental problem is many PowerCADD users rely on PDF for on screen review and nobody wants the screen preview to look wrong when issuing files to clients or service providers. After all we're Mac user and WYSIWYG? is part of our DNA!

How do we know this is a problem with Mac OS X 10.10 and it's version of Preview.app Version 8.0 (859)?

  1. We used the same test file in PowerCADD 9.1.3 running both Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite and Mac OS X 10.7.5
  2. We created a PDF File from OS X 10.10, and from OS X 10.7.5 using File menu > Print > Save AS PDF which is controlled by the Mac OS
  3. We opened the files in the respective versions of Preview.app for the appropriate version of Mac OS X
  4. In all cases, the PDF files opened in Preview.app in OS X 10.10 Yosemite displayed the problem
  5. In all cases, the PDF files opened in Preview.app in OS X 10.7.5 displayed prefect (i.e. no problem)
  6. As an additional cross check we opened the files on a different computer running Mac OS X 10.10 and Preview.app 8.0 (859). We did that so we could rule out the possibility that the graphics board or monitor resolutions might be impacting the tests. In all cases the problem was consistent across three computers running Mac OS X 10.10 (a MacBook Air circa 2013, a MacBook Pro circa 2010, and an iMac 5K 2014).
  7. And finally to find the smoking gun we opened all the PDF Files in OS X 10.10 Yosemite using Adobe Acobat Pro v10 along side Preview.app Version 8.0 (859). In all cases the files rendered perfect (no problems., no lines) in Acrobat Pro but exhibited a problem in Preview.app Version 8.0 (859) as pictured here (Preview.app is on top, Acrobat Pro is on bottom):

What To Watch Out For

The condition will not present itself until you choose File menu > Print... > Save As PDF from PowerCADD's File menu and you open the resulting PDF in Preview.app version 8.0 (859) as issued by Apple with Mac OS X 10.10.0 Yosemite.

Here is an example of what the custom fill pattern object will look like in PowerCADD 9.1.3 running on Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) or in any other version of Mac OS X and PowerCADD 9.1.3:

Here is an example of how that same custom fill pattern object will look after choosing File menu > Print... > Save As PDF from PowerCADD's File Menu and opening the file in Preview.app in Mac OS X 10.10. What's important to note are the black vertical and horizontal lines that now cover the fill pattern. This grid of lines will change as you zoom in or out of the image. As noted earlier these lines will NOT print but look horrible and confusing on screen.

HINT: If you're not familiar with creating PDF Files from PowerCADD check out our related articles:

What To Do

Fortunately there are a few choices to get around this problem which we'll cover here. Which one is best will depend on what solutions (hardware and software) you have available to you. For us, we prefer the solution below which uses Saving to Postscript and then making the PDF - but use the solution that makes the most sense for you.

Option 1: Do Nothing and Live With It with Preview.app Version 8.0 (859) in Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Okay, this is a cosmetic issue as we described at the start of this article. So if you can live with it just open the PDF file in Preview.app and know that the problem is cosmetic. If will still print fine but may look odd on screen for some users

Option 2: Use A Different Application to View your PDF Files in OS X 10.10 Yosemite
As pictured earlier, Acrobat Pro version 10 renders the same content correctly. So use that application instead. Other app's that display PDF may also render the data correctly so try a few others if you don't have a copy of Acrobat Pro on hand.

Option 3: Use an older operation system
As noted earlier, we used Mac OS X 10.7.5 when first trying to find the source of the problem. Older versions of Mac OS X use a different version of Preview.app so the problem doesn't present itself.

Option 4: Create a Postscript File instead of PDF
This option requires more work but yields a file that renders to screen correctly in Preview.app that ships with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. To create the Postscript file and then distill it to PDF do this:

  1. Open your file in PowerCADD 9.1.3 running Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
  2. Having done a page setup, choose File menu > Print...
  3. From the bottom left of the Print Dialog choose Save As Postscript... from the pop-up menu as pictured here:
  4. From the Save As... dialog specify a location to save the file. (e.g. the Desktop)
  5. Drag and Drop the file created in (4) above (e.g. MyFile.ps) onto the Preview.app application icon in the Dock (or wherever you've kept the application).
  6. Result: The file is converted to PDF. The resulting PDF will have a preview that's correct (no lines running through the fill pattern)


To wrap it all up - the problem is specific to the version of Preview.app version 8.0 (859) that Apple shipped with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It's entirely possible that version of Preview will get an update as Apple moves forward with rolling updates to Yosemite (as of this writing Mac OS 10.10.1 has been released to developers as a beta for testing). Until Apple provides a fix just know that the data in the PowerCADD file is fine and you have a few choices to address this cosmetic issue. The truth of the matter is it took significantly longer to find the actual source of the problem - and type up the summary - than we would have liked. However, the bottom line is the look and feel of our product (design and drawings) is critical and we only want the best possible product being seen by our clients. When we see something as serious as this looked we chase it to ground so we know why it happened and how to fix it.

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, www.caddpower.com - www.powercadduser.com - www.powercadd.guru - www.wildtools.guru

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