PowerCADD Guru Content

About PowerCADD Guru Content

If you're looking for a PowerCADD Guru or WildTOOLs Guru you're in the right place Smile Our PowerCADD Guru section contains content on what we consider to be the best 2D design and drafting product available on the Macintosh. What you'll find here isn't available any place else on the web and is based on over two decades of real world design and product use with the Macintosh and PowerCADD. Being part of the Alpha and Beta testing process for this release (and previous ones for almost two decades), also gives us important insights about the product and how new features are integrated into the design and production process.

Developers (United States): PowerCADD is authored by Engineered Software
PowerCADD Distributors are available around the globe including PowerCADD Canada XTNL URL and other International Distributors.

Getting Started is easy, just click a link below.

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Buying PowerCADD

Purchasing or Upgrading PowerCADD

There are a few choices on where or how to purchase PowerCADD depending on where you are and what you're looking for.

Current PowerCADD users who want to upgrade to the most current version:

PowerDWG Translator News
The PowerDWG Translator is bundled (included) with your purchase of PowerCADD. The PowerDWG Translator has a vastly improved, interactive, interface making for more accurate and efficient translations. Best of all, the translators now support file formats through AutoCAD 2010!.


New users purchasing PowerCADD for the first time:



Third party Libraries or other add-ons for PowerCADD:

Any third party add-ons or Libraries may be purchased from the same source as your new or upgraded version of PowerCADD. In some cases the authors may offer discounted prices for users upgrading from previous versions, and they may also offer free updates to current releases. Please check with the specific vendor, or your local reseller or distributor, for full details.

Definitions:

Do I buy an upgrade, update, or new version? We receive this question a lot so we'll clarify the terms here. Please reference the descriptions and links above for the appropriate contact information.

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Important Poll - should we keep this site going

We've added an important poll and we'd appreciate your feedback

Please take a moment to log in (Click here to Log In or create an account) INTL URL and vote on our most recent poll. You can view the poll in the right hand sidebar of any page. You can also click here INTL URL to view, vote, and post comments regarding that poll.

The question is obvious from the subject of this note. There comes a time when every endeavor needs have a serious evaluation to determine if it's worth continuing. We've hit that mark.

Your input is appreciated and remember, not voting is pretty much the same as saying "I don't care" which tells us a lot too! Feel free to log in and post your comments on that poll page if you have any additional thoughts on the subject.

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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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Getting Help!

Where or how do I get training and support help for PowerCADD?

You've come to a very good place to get started Cool

PowerCADD has a very large worldwide community of professionals in a broad range of design fields. As a PowerCADD user, you are part of this community, and are invited to enjoys its benefits. You should never feel you are alone and have no place to turn for help. This section describes some of the options available to you on how to get help or training in PowerCADD. Please review the links below for some of your choices.

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Free PowerCADD Technical Support

Your PowerCADD purchase includes free technical support

Depending on where you purchased your product, your local distributor typically offers free technical support.

Free PowerCADD support from Engineered Software: If you purchased PowerCADD in the United States then you have access to free PowerCADD support from Engineered Software, authors of PowerCADD; contact them via their website XTNL URL for voice and email contact information.

Free PowerCADD support from Evoy & Associates: If you purchased PowerCADD in Canada then you have access to first rate free support from Evoy & Associates. Please visit the PowerCADD Canada website XTNL URL for additional information.

If you purchased PowerCADD in another country you can contact your PowerCADD internal distributor XTNL URL to see if they offer free technical support.

While we provide personalized training and support services we also try to provide free help wherever practical. After all, we're all Mac folks and trying to help each other has been at the grass roots of our business for almost two decades. Please feel free to drop us an email and we'll see what we can do to get you over that rough patch.

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Personalized Support and Training

We offer personalized Mac OS? and PowerCADD support

In addition to having used PowerCADD (and PowerDraw) products for over 20 years we've also:

  • Started out designing and drafting by hand -- we understand how to bridge that gap and explain processes in real world design terms.
  • Been on the beta testing team for approximately 20 years.
  • Given numerous public presentations detailing PowerCADD and the Mac at Apple stores and for professional organizations
  • Written the PowerCADD application manuals for versions 6, 7, 8 and 9.
  • Been responsible for in-house network development, staff training, and server administration. Basically we pulled every cable, wired every desk, setup the server, developed the data management systems and trained all in-house staff; all that in addition to carrying out our traditional professional design responsibilities.

We know PowerCADD and the Mac OS and how it affects business!

Our Personalized CADDcare services is a fee based support and education system we offer for all versions of PowerCADD or PowerDraw (and other applications, just ask) in the United States and Canada (we're prepared to visit other countries upon request).

As a CADDcare preferred client you have access to all the information on this website, plus direct email and telephone support available 12 hours per day weekdays and 6 hours per day on Saturdays; on site training is also available.

Our education and support services don't just end with PowerCADD -- we offer full coverage of PowerCADD and related Mac OS X services and devices that you use in daily production.

Getting started is easy -- just drop us an email.

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New Help in PowerCADD 8

There are some new tricks to get help in PowerCADD 8

We recommend reading all the links in our Getting Help section here to get started. However, there are some neat new features in PowerCADD 8 which you can also use to ask for help or assist in trouble shooting.

Please review your PowerCADD printed or PDF? manual for information on these subjects.

  1. Help menu → Submit Trouble Shooting Report (see our related article here)
  2. Help menu → Safe Mode Instructions
  3. Help menu → Reset PowerCADD

In particular, try item (2) and item (3) if you are seeing odd or inconsistent behavior in PowerCADD 8 that you do not normally see. When you submit your Trouble Shooting Report mention you tried those steps.

Note: as of the date of this article we have not covered the above topics in detail on our website. However as time permits we'll be adding content so please check again or search our site for those terms.

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Asking for Help

Here are some things to make it easier when asking for help

There can be a few reasons why you are having a problem and there are almost always solutions to smooth that out. As you can imagine we receive a large number requests for help with incomplete problem descriptions. Clear, definitive descriptions are mandatory for us to try and provide some sort of reasonable analysis and assistance.

Whether you're taking advantage of the free technical support that's included with PowerCADD, or using our fee based services, or just posting a general question, here are some things to keep in mind when asking for help:

Try this first:
If you are experiencing some odd behavior try these things first:

  1. Restart your computer and try the task again with only PowerCADD running. Sometimes a restart can fix things and it's an easy thing to try.
  2. Use Apple's Disk Utility Application to Repair Permissions, Restart the computer and try the task again.

Some tips for sending help requests:
We'd be foolish to try and answer a question without at least a few basic facts. In some cases we may need to know more but at least some basic information helps put the problem/question in context. Here are some basic points to include in any email that describes your problem. Don't forget you can perform a Search to see if your question has been previously covered on this website.

  1. Include the version of PowerCADD, build number, and serial number.
  2. Include the version of Mac OS? X you are using.
    • Some issues may be specific to either or both of those items.
  3. What computer hardware are you using (model, processor, memory, etc.).
  4. Be reasonably descriptive as to where in your process a problem is occurring.
    • For example, state the nature of the problem ("I can't do 'this'...") along with the steps you perform to create the problem and in what order. A simple point form list is often the easiest way to present that type of information. That allows others to better understand the context of your problem and what steps they should take when trying to recreate it.
    • When appropriate, include a screen shot of what you are seeing when a problem occurs.
  5. If things were working normally, when did the new problem occur? For example, did you recently run a system software update or PowerCADD update just before the problem occurred?
  6. Remember, others can't see your screen. Taking the time to post a simple point form list of relevant information which helps others clearly visualize and recreate the condition will go a long way to solving the problem quicker.

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 appropriate information.

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.
  2. To find additional information about your system click the more information button in the above noted dialog.
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Free Discussion Forums & Related Sites

Other websites offer free information too

If you're looking for additional information you can also try some of the other free websites out there. We provide various related links in the resources link found in your primary navigation area. That content includes PowerCADD links and Mac OS X links which are also helpful.

Please note the free discussion forums noted below (and in our Resources | PowerCADD section) are not official technical support sites. While we are advocates of public forums and openly particulate in them, it's important to remember the purpose of those forums. As their name suggests these forums are places for peer-to-peer discussion of PowerCADD related subjects. Information posted in discussion forums can sometimes be helpful in solving a technical problem or getting general information but if you are looking for official technical support help in a timely manner please visit this link on our site for details.

In general, we like to think of discussion forums (as opposed to official technical support forums) much like do when chatting at the coffee maker or water cooler in the office. It's a nice place to hang out, chit chat, get caught up, but we don't spend a lot of time there 'cos we have more important (read: billable!) things to do. Sometimes we find tidbits that are really helpful but more likely we're just looking to gossip, vent, or maybe find a lead to some better information on a subject Smile

Free Discussion Forums and Related Sites:
XTNL URL Design Community.com PowerCADD forum
XTNL URL Architosh Forums
XTNL URL The Bull Pen Note: it appears the authors of the Bull Pen have elected to let that domain expire. We have included it here for completeness as its unknown if this is a temporary or permanent situation.

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Free content on this Website

This website has a lot of free information

We have a wealth of information on versions of PowerCADD as far back as release 5 (PowerCADD 2000) up to the most recent shipping versions. We also provide Mac OS? articles on this site and recommend searching this site for an answer to your question. If you've registered to use this site then you may also post comments or followup questions to many articles or booklets. We do our best to answer as many questions as possible in a timely fashion but if you're looking for immediate results please consider our CADDcare services.

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New User Info

Information for New PowerCADD Users

Welcome to the world of PowerCADD! Whether you are an experienced PowerCADD user, or just beginning, there are a myriad of resources at your disposal that will help you learn the software, and help you express your creativity and communicate your ideas.

If you've spent any time on this website, you already know we're all about training and education and helping novice and expert PowerCADD users get the most out what we consider to be the best 2D CAD program on the market. There are a variety of resources available to you and the PowerCADD Learning Center section of this website is a great place to get started. We don't have all the answers but with almost two decades of experience we think we have a pretty good idea which end of the mouse to click Cool

In addition to the various bits and pieces on this website, here's an overview of how to get started quickly, easily and shorten the learning curve as much as possible:



Read and do every exercise in Chapter Two of the User Manual

We're serious! Chapter two is also a great refresher for veteran users as it often covers new features that are introduced with a new release of PowerCADD. Chapter two covers the fundamental interface and key components to get you up to speed quickly. We recommend having Chapter two open and PowerCADD running as you work through the step by step examples.

User Manual

The PowerCADD user manual is provided by Engineered Software in printed hard copy and digital PDF? formats and it contains a wealth of information on getting the most out of PowerCADD. If you have PowerCADD installed, check your Applications folder > PowerCADD folder for the file Manual.pdf . You can also download a copy of the PDF manual from Engineered Software's PowerCADD Demo Page XTNL URL or from the PowerCADD Canada Updates page XTNL URL

To help you put things in context, here is what Lloyd Evoy, President of Evoy & Associates and national PowerCADD distributor in Canada said about the manual in his press release to Canadian users describing the new features of PowerCADD 7:

The Physical Manual
A new manual better provides detailed explanations including an accurate table of default key commands and firewall ports that must be open for the software updater to work. The manual is abundant with Tips, Hints, graphics, and explanations of Advanced features that many may have missed in previous versions.
[inline:pcdWhatsNew.jpg] The manual displays this icon beside every NEW feature to ensure that you do not miss any of the numerous NEW features in v7.

caddpower.com responds: We consider that high praise from the first International Distributor of PowerCADD (then known as PowerDRAW) and one who has offered technical support services to Apple Computer and PowerCADD users since 1987. We take personal pride in those remarks given we were commissioned by Engineered Software to edit the old user manual and write all the new content for PowerCADD version 6. We continued that relationship with our work on the PowerCADD version 7 user manual; again writing about over 100 new features and fine tuning older content. To Mr. E we say 'thank you for the kind words'.

To get the most out of the printed manual we recommend having the PDF version handy as well. Use the search feature of the PDF file to locate the desired material quickly, then cross reference that with the printed documentation for one-two punch.

Software Updates

When you purchase PowerCADD, you get more than just your master CD and installation code. You also get access to any software updates for free.

You can also use the automated Software Update checking built into PowerCADD which can be enabled by choosing PowerCADD menu > Prefereces... > General tab > Check for Software Updates or by choosing Help menu > Updates.... This information is covered in detail in the PowerCADD user manual.

Ask Questions and Have Fun!

We'd be remiss if we didn't say that it's okay to have fun at work and PowerCADD can make that possible. Just visit any of the discussion boards listed in related articles in this section of our PowerCADD Learning Center to get a sense of what people think. Also make sure to check out the Drawing Room XTNL URL on Engineered Software's website where you'll find a wealth of information and real world examples posted by professionals just like you! It's okay to have fun at work and be productive -- just try not to smile to much or the boss may wonder what you're up to; if you are the boss -- go ahead and smile all you want Cool

Ask the question how do I do this... rather than can I do this.... PowerCADD is robust enough that there are typically several ways to perform a given task.

Ask the question how would I approach drawing this by hand on my drafting board. PowerCADD is based on concrete metaphors from the real world and builds directly upon the traditional manual overlay drafting process. Apple computers also follow that same principle so if you're lost, just try going back to your roots and look for a solution that would follow that same logic.

To put things in context, if we learn something new we've had a good day, and we often consider this thought as learn new techniques or are presented with new and interesting questions by new and veteran PowerCADD owners:

I know I'm making progress when I look at the questions I have asked in the past and think to myself... how stupid was that Cool

Enjoy your PowerCADD experience and please explore the rest of this website for more information. Don't forget that to see premium content you will need to log in (or signup if you haven't already done so) -- what you are reading hear is only a small portion of our site content.

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

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

PowerCADD Demo

Topic

The latest version of the PowerCADD Demo, which includes PowerCADD and PowerDWG, is available for Mac OS? X.

Basic System Requirements for PowerCADD 7 Demo:

  • a PowerPC / Power Macintosh G3, G4 or G5 computer
  • at least 256MB (megabytes) of physical RAM? installed is required for Mac OS X. We recommended 1 GB? (gigabyte) of RAM for optional performance. MORE than 1GB of RAM may be required if you are running multiple applications in Mac OS X
  • a CD-ROM drive
  • a hard disk drive
  • Mac OS 10.3 Panther or newer (Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger recommended)
  • 160MB (megabytes) of free hard drive space for the PowerCADD application, documentation, related example files and related third party external add-on's
  • optional: an output device and related software drivers of your choice which is Mac OS X compatible to print your drawings



Where to get the PowerCADD Demo

We encourage everyone to always take a test drive. We all do that when before we buy a new car or motorcycle and why should software be any different! In software speak -- download the demo Smile Obviously we encourage new users to check things out before jumping on board with a new product. We also recommend veteran users download the PowerCADD demo and check things out first hand before upgrading or while you're waiting for your upgrade to arrive so you can get a leg up on things.

Caution: Current PowerCADD v6 users installing the PowerCADD v7 Demo should read this related Known Issues Article before installing and running the PowerCADD v7 Demo.

Remember to download the user manual too as it contains a lot of helpful information for new users. Veteran users should look for the new icon that flags over 100 new items in the latest version (yes, that's a new 'feature' in the manual and one we're pretty proud and fond of).

In Canada visit the PowerCADD Canada Demo Page XTNL URL for download links and instructions. Don't forget to download and review Chapter 2 of the PDF? manual too!

In the United States and Other Countries visit Engineered Software's Demo Download Page XTNL URL Don't forget to download and review Chapter 2 of the PDF manual too!

If you're new to PowerCADD please take a moment to review the various topic areas in our PowerCADD Resources Center for some helpful hints and tips on getting started.

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

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

AutoCAD Convert & PowerCADD Demo Questions

Question

I'm an AutoCAD users evaluating the PowerCADD Demo and I have a few questions. Does PowerCADD support scripting? Can Sheet setups include changes to Layer Attributes such as Color? Can I can assign a line weight to a particular layer? Are there any read me files which explain the differences in approach between PowerCADD on the Mac and AutoCAD in Windows?

Requirements

Mimimun: PowerCADD Demo
Recommended: PowerCADD full version running in Mac OS? X



Background & What To Do

Those are all excellent questions and observations, here a few general points to help in getting started:

Explain in a short document the new way to "think" or "draw" for Windows/autocad users

The latest version of the PowerCADD demo (and all full installations of PowerCADD) includes a copy of the manual in Acrobat PDF? format. It's worth exploring Chapter Two as it covers some of the basic's which will be helpful in providing an overview to getting started. You should also review the PowerCADD Resources secton on this website as there are plenty of posts with text and demo movies describing numerous features and techniques of PowerCADD and how they work.

One of the primary differences/concepts of PowerCADD and the Mac OS is the paper paradigm. You draw 'to scale' on a preset sheet size in PowerCADD just like you did by hand. Don't be fooled by the elegant simplicity of that concept (again Chapter Two of the PDF manual discusses the steps).

quicktime Page Setup Demonstration [1.1MB]: A quick review of the Drawing Setup dialog and how to perform a Page Setup and choose a sheet size -- in this case up to 200 x 200 inches! The movie features menus and dialogs from PowerCADD v6 but the same process applies to the most recent version of PowerCADD.

Does PowerCADD support scripting?
While PowerCADD does support External Plug-in's, they require a high level of C programming knowledge and are not typically tackled by almost 100% of users. It's worth noting the Mac OS in general does have a feature called AppleScript XTNL URL which allows automation of many task but PowerCADD currently only supports a very basic AppleScript Dictionary so scripting within PowerCADD or using AppleScript to control PowerCADD isn't practical in a real world sense.

While scripting is currently not supported, it's very easy to assign key commands to any menu item or tool which may help in some instances. Assigning menu commands it is a point and click operation and explained well in the PDF manual included with both the demo and full versions of PowerCADD. You can also find discussions on assigning key commands in other articles here at caddpower.com

Can sheets have layer properties such as colors?

Sheet setups support layer order and layer status (on, off, dimmed), layer color, and layer opacity! Layers may contain various attributes which would apply to every object on the specified layer including color, locked or unlocked and scale. You can change the layer attributes of multiple selected layers quickly and easily to suit any specific drawing circumstances:

  1. Select the layer(Drunk in the Layer Window
  2. double click any selected layer, and the Layer Attributes dialog will open
  3. Change the desired layer color to say 'red' and all selected layers will now use that specified color attribute. (The same holds true for other Layer Attributes such as locked/unlocked and layer scale.)

It's also worth mentioning one of the primary reasons to have layer colors in AutoCAD was/is for printed output. However, the Macintosh Operating System, and PowerCADD, support a WYSIWYG? (What You See Is What You Get) environment. As such, it's very simple to assign a line weight to the objects on the screen and the printed output uses those specified line weights. The method is quite different from AutoCAD and we believe much more intuitive than what's used in AutoCAD (for completeness, we do note WYSIWYG line weights are becoming more popular in recent releases of ACad but it's currently not common place among most users and old habits die hard with respect to plotting techniques used from legacy versions of ACad)

quicktime You can click here to see a demonstration movie (300KB downnload) of how Layer Attributes can be assigned to multiple selected layers. In this demo movie, we pressed the Command key as we clicked on each layer as it allowed us to select layers at random (i.e. the layers were not all in the same order) ( need movie help?) The movie features menus and dialogs from PowerCADD v6 but the same process applies to the most recent version of PowerCADD.

Can I assign a line weight to a particular layer?
There is no method to assign a line weight attribute to a specific layer. However, given the nature of how PowerCADD and the Mac OS behave in general, there really isn't a need for one. One of the greatest strengths of PowerCADD (and the mac OS) is its WYSIWYG interface and the great deal of flexibility you have over working with objects and attributes regardless of layer.

For example, if all objects are on Layer 1, then you can simply:

  1. perform a Select All (Choose Edit Menu -> Select ALL or press Command + A on the keyboard)
  2. choose the desired line weight attribute from the Attr Menu -> Line -> 3 point (or whatever line weight you like) (alternatively, you can press Control+Click on one of the selected objects and choose the desired line weight from the Contextual menu)

The same technique will work for dash types, arrows, colors, line weights, fill patterns, etc. The visual feedback will be 'instant' which confirms the operation.

Essentially, PowerCADD will allow you to draw much as you did by hand in that you can put any object type on any layer with any attributes (i,e. a red 3 point line with dash type 3 can be on the same layer as a green 4 point line with dash type 5). There are several mechanisms to easily set tool attributes to make the transition fairly simple and it's made the transition for AutoCAD converts we've trained over the years fairly seamless.

Good luck, have fun, and don't hesitate to ask lots of questions.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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File Loading Times

Question

PowerCADD seems to take a little longer to open files compared to other applications, why?

Requirements

PowerCADD demo or full version



Background

PowerCADD performs several types of error checking when opening files. This error checking is there to ensure the integrity of the drawing database and includes, among other things, checking for small objects which can cause problems with the file. There are also other factors outside of PowerCADD which can contribute to slow performance when opening a drawing including :

  • type and amount of drawing content: for example drawings which make heavy use of Shadow Attributes can slow down opening times as the preview is built off screen before presenting the drawing window
  • processor speed
  • bus speed
  • hard drive speed
  • file fragmentation on the hard drive
  • amount and type of Cache (e.g. L1 or L2 cache)
  • applications which may be running the background (grabbing processor time)
  • RAM? fragmentation (particularly in OS? 9 and to lesser degree in Mac OS X)
  • excessive amounts of Virtual Memory allocated in OS 9
  • the amount and type of RAM installed (relative to age/type of processor / system architecture)
  • speed of video board processor and amount of VRAM?

If files are being opened over a network then there are many other considerations which come into play ranging from how the network is configured to the type and configuration of the server and how many users are simultaneously accessing the server.

Another consideration is the type of data in the PowerCADD drawing, in particular when comparing loading speed with an AutoCAD file on a WinTel box. To generate a relative “head to head” comparison, the total file size needs to be considered and the types of objects in a file. An example would be a PowerCADD file containing raster graphics which will increase the loading time of a PowerCADD file. Translating the same AutoCAD drawing into PowerCADD, then performing a comparison may yield a closer relative comparison but factors noted earlier must also be considered.

Comparing PowerCADD drawing loading times to MS Excel or Word files is like comparing apples and oranges. The higher level object geometry contained in a PowerCADD file is more file overhead (larger file sizes) than basic text associated with an Excel or Word File?. In this case, the physical difference in file size is likely enough to reflect a considerable difference in file loading times.

What To Do?

Nothing can be (nor should be) done to reduce the error checking PowerCADD performs and in the long term a few extra seconds in opening is offset in increased data safety and overall faster drawing production.

Opening a file which is in one contiguous location on a drive verses fragmented over multiple locations will not only decrease file loading times but also increase overall system performance. Running disk utilities such as Disk Warrior, Tech Tool Pro or Drive X (for OS X systems) to de fragmenting the hard drive can help (note we don't recommend Norton Utilities).

Mac OS X users may also find performance increases by running the Disk Utility Application : Repair Permissions routine. Problems with the Permissions File can adversely affect overall system performance including file loading times.

In both Mac OS X and OS 9.x systems, a system restart will address RAM fragmentation and can increase performance (decrease file load times). This is not unique to PowerCADD but rather is an OS level Memory Management issue.

Clearly faster processors, more cache, faster hard drives, faster bus speeds and other hardware improvements are more costly but can increase performance. Still, looking at simple systems maintenance such as hard drive de-fragmentation and RAM management are less expensive and easy methods to tweak any system.

We hope you found this helpful and if you're looking for more tips on how to tweak performance in PowerCADD 7 check out this section of our PowerCADD 7 Learning Center.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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PowerCADD Software Updates

Staying Up To Date

From time to time Engineered Software, authors of PowerCADD, issue free software updates to address any important issues that may have developed after release of the software. If you also use the WildTOOLs add-on, that External also includes free updates. Here's the low down on how to check which version of PowerCADD you have installed, how to check for updates and how to install them. Staying current is easy and always the best way to make sure you're getting the most out of your PowerCADD investment.



Where to Download Updates

If you are in the United States:

If you are in Canada:

If you are someplace other than Canada or the United States contact your local distributor for the latest versions of PowerCADD and WildTOOLs.

Read the related articles below for important additional information on how to check your version or build numbers and how to install the various updates.

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

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

PowerCADD 9 Free Updates

Engineered Software (authors of PowerCADD) distribute free incremental updates to all registered users.

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).

List of what's been updated

With every free PowerCADD update, Engineered Software includes a written list of what's been changed. To see that list of changes, do this:

  1. Launch PowerCADD
  2. Choose Help menu → Update Notes
  3. A PDF? file will open describing the specifics of each rolling update

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 Free Updates - What's Changed Notes

Engineered Software issues free updates to PowerCADD 8; here is the list of what's new or fixed as noted by Engineered Software in their email issued to users who update.

What's Changes in PowerCADD 8.0.1

Fixed a crash when quitting with the Move window out.
Saving a .dwg file sets the pen color for black lines.
The .dwg font substitution menu sets correct font.
The font substitution menu is gray when visually accurate text is chosen.
Dimension text to .dwg is correct.
Arcs are at the correct rotation and position in .dwg
Arcs with arrows save to .dwg properly.
Opening .dwg files applies stationery units to model space.
Fixed a crash on some .dwg files in the preview window.
Protected against bad objects in .dwg.
Sometimes metric units crashed .dwg preview
Can tab into the Edit Window with a locked object selected.
Corrected Drawing Setup Units dialog from Gradient to Gradian.
Added the divider lines in the Attributes menu.
Fixed a problem in using commands for line weights, arrows and dashes in languages other than English.
Advanced text tool does not insert empty text blocks.
Demo will not write over a file.
Fixed a crash updating the Nudge value when closing drawing window.
Nudge values are now being applied at correct scale.
Fixed a crash when opening Power CADD 4 files with layers.
Warning when converting hatches to object when they are far away from the drawing origin.
Rotated text copied from PowerCADD 7 and pasted into PowerCADD 8 is the correct angle.
PowerCADD 8 and PowerCADD 7 will exchange accurate data when copy and pasting between versions.
Fixed performance issue with the help menu under 10.5.
Fixed performance issue when making objects (Mouse location was delayed).
New .dwg libraries put into place.
Line thickness in Attributes window displays points, Inches or Metric.
Arc direction on incoming files correct.
Elliptical arcs were simply wrong and now are correct.
Nudge value is remembered.
The Symbol Data browser has button to bring out the Set Data dialog.

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PowerCADD 7.0.6 Update

Issue

PowerCADD v7.0.6 free update released. Apple's latest Operating Systems make the 7.0.6 update Mandatory.

Affects

  • PowerCADD 7.0.x (all versions) in Mac OS? X (in particular Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.x)



Description

On Wednesday, March 5th, 2008, Engineered Software released a free update to PowerCADD bringing it to 7.0.6. Here is the content of the read me file they included summarizing the changes:

Apple's latest Operating Systems make the 7.0.6 update Mandatory.

PowerCADD 7.0.6 Changes

Added an optional setting in the Print Dialog under PowerCADD settings to print dimmed layers using a gray pen pattern instead of using transparency. This feature may be of assistance when printing to Postscript devices that have quality or time issues when using transparency.

Stability and compatibility with System 10.5.x (Leopard's) "Spaces" feature improved.

Attribute menus will no longer grow as objects are pasted into to a drawing with the "Global Attributes" feature is enabled.

Compatibility with certain older hatch definitions has been improved. Crash fixed.

Some of the attribute menus (lines, arrows, dashes) could under some circumstances grow incorrectly and beyond their allowable range causing command problems and in some cases instability. This issue has been addressed.

Drawing that have acquired too many dashes experienced a problem where the dash editor would crash with no method to remove the excess dashes. The dash edit dialog will always allow removal of dashes.

Please pay particular attention to the first line of the read me file

This update is mandatory if you are running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x)

After a successful update, choose PowerCADD menu > PowerCADD profile.... Your build number of PowerCADD will be Application Version: 7.0.6, Build HC05.

Related Links

You can learn more about updating your copy of PowerCADD from this article on our website, or learn more about PowerCADD software updates in general here.

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

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PowerCADD 6: Most Recent Version

Still Using PowerCADD 6?

As of January 2006, Engineered Software (authors of PowerCADD) shipped PowerCADD version 7 which is Mac OS? X only. If you are continuing to run PowerCADD version 6 in Mac OS X or Mac OS 9, you should double check your version and build numbers to make sure you have the latest, and last, officially released version of PowerCADD 6. We highly recommend downloading and keeping the latest installers in a safe place along with your master install codes which were included with your master CD.

Revision: March 2008:

  • PowerCADD v6 is not compatible with Apple Mac OS X Leopard (10.5). Please review this caddpower.com article for important additional information.
  • Updates for PowerCADD v6 is no longer officially supported and updaters for that application have been pulled from official websites (Engineered Software, the Canadian Distributor, etc.).



Checking your PowerCADD 6, PowerDWG or WildTOOLs version and build number

The last official release and build numbers for PowerCADD version 6 are:

  • version: 6.2.1
  • build: EE17
  • released: May 26, 2005

The last official release for PowerDWG is:

  • version: 6.1.1
  • released: May 25, 2003

The last official release for WildTOOLs is:

  • version: 7.1.3
  • released: May 23, 2005

To check your version and build number of PowerCADD, do this:

  1. Launch PowerCADD v6
  2. Choose PowerCADD menu → PowerCADD Profile...
  3. the following dialog box will appear listing your version and build number:




To check your version of PowerDWG, do this:

  1. Click on your Desktop to make the Finder the active application
  2. Open Applications folder → PowerCADD folder → Plug-Ins folder → Translators folder
  3. Click once on the DWG Translator icon to select it
  4. Choose File? menu → Get Info...
  5. In the General section, Version should read 6.1.1

To check your version of WildTOOLs, do this:

  1. Click on your Desktop to make the Finder the active application
  2. Open Applications folder → PowerCADD folder → Plug-Ins folder →WildTools folder
  3. Click once on the WildThing icon to select it
  4. Choose File menu → Get Info...
  5. In the General section, Version should read 7.1.3







What to do:

If your version numbers do not match:

  • PowerCADD version 6.2.1 and build EE17
  • PowerDWG version 6.1.1
  • WildTOOLs, WildTHING version 7.1.3

Then you should download the appropriate update(Drunk as noted below. Even if you have the most current version installed, we highly recommend you download all the latest updates (including PDF? manual) from the links noted below. Now that PowerCADD v7 has been released, it's not known how long the download links for PowerCADD v6 will remain available so please act quickly to make sure you always have the latest versions available locally on your hard drive or on a backup CD.

March 2008: Updates for PowerCADD v6 is no longer officially supported and updaters for that application have been pulled from official websites (Engineered Software, the Canadian Distributor, etc.)

If you are in the United States:

  • visit the download page at Engineered Software XTNL URL for the most recent version
  • if you use WildTOOLs, don't forget to download the latest version of that too
  • if you use PowerDWG, don't forget to download the latest version of that too
  • while you're there, you might as well grab a PDF version of the PowerCADD 6 manual

If you are in Canada:

  • visit the Software Update page at PowerCADD Canada XTNL URL for the most recent version
  • they have both French and English Versions
  • don't forget to download the latest version of WildTOOLs and PowerDWG if you use those External Add-on's
  • a PDF download of the manual is also available there

If you are someplace other than Canada or the United States contact your local distributor for the latest versions of PowerCADD, PowerDWG and WildTOOLs.

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

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Changing your PowerCADD Serial Number

Question

Is there a way I can reset the serial number I'm using for PowerCADD (and/or WildTOOLs) without having to reinstall it? I have a site license of several copies and it get's confusing to administer if I have to reinstall PowerCADD when I swap computers or perform other administration tasks in the office.

Requirements

PowerCADD version 7 or newer



Background

Administrators who have to maintain multiple installations of PowerCADD know it's important to keep a record of which serial number is installed on a given computer. However, when computers get moved around in an office, it's easy to forget which serial number is installed where, leading to conflicts when multiple users inadvertently launch the same serial number copy of PowerCADD or WildTOOLs.

Every copy of PowerCADD and WildTOOLs have a distinct serial number, which corresponds to a designated installation key code. In earlier versions, changing serial numbers meant deleting the old installation and doing a clean, fresh, install. However, in PowerCADD there's a new, hidden, feature that lets system administrators change the serial number by simply entering a new install code.

What To Do

We'll explore two conditions, one if you have only PowerCADD installed and one where both PowerCADD and WildTOOLs are installed. For sake of context for these examples, we'll presume you have a site license for multiple installations of PowerCADD in your office and have moved computers around and installed new software. Now, there's a conflict and you'd like to change the installed serial number for one user to eliminate that conflict.

Changing the PowerCADD installation code and serial number
If you have multiple installation codes and want to change the serial number of a particular installation of PowerCADD, do this:

  1. Quit PowerCADD if it's running
  2. Open the PowerCADD Application folder (likely on your Startup Disk > Applications > PowerCADD)
  3. Press the Shift + Control + Command keys at the same time and double click the PowerCADD Application icon
  4. PowerCADD will launch and you'll see the dialog box prompting you for the PowerCADD Installation Code
  5. Enter the NEW Installation code that matches the serial number you'd like this copy to have and press OK
  6. Result: PowerCADD will continue to launch and will now use the new serial number thereby correcting your serial number conflict on the network

Changing the WildTOOLs installation code and serial number
If you have multiple installation codes and want to change the serial number of a particular installation of WildTOOLs, do this:

  1. Quit PowerCADD if it's running
  2. Open the PowerCADD Application folder (likely on your Startup Disk > Applications > PowerCADD)
  3. Double click the PowerCADD Application Icon
  4. When you see the PowerCADD Splash Screen immediately press the Shift + Control + Command keys at the same time
  5. You'll see the dialog box prompting you for the WildTOOLs Installation Code
  6. Enter the NEW Installation code that matches the serial number you'd like this copy to have and press OK
  7. Result: PowerCADD will continue to launch and WildTOOLs will now use the new serial number thereby correcting your serial number conflict on the network

Hints
If you using both PowerCADD and WildTOOLs and are having a difficult time getting the dialog to appear to change the PowerCADD installation code, here's an easy fix:

  1. Open the PowerCADD folder > PlugIns folder and move the WildTOOLS folder to the desktop
  2. Complete the steps noted above for resetting the PowerCADD installation code and serial number
  3. QuitPowerCADD and put the WildTOOLs folder from step (1) back into the PowerCADD folder > PlugIns folder
  4. Complete the steps noted above for resetting the WildTOOLs installation code and serial number

Overall, the process is fast, easy, and real time saver for those who have to manage multiple installations of PowerCADD.

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

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Checking Version and Build Numbers

Question

How do I know what version of PowerCADD or WildTOOLs I'm using and how do I know when to update?

Requirements

PowerCADD and Mac OS? X Tiger
optional: WildTOOLs



Background

While PowerCADD has the ability to automatically check for updates, knowing which version and build number you're running is important for both technical support requests and for comparing against current updates. WildTOOLs does not support the automated update checking so you'll need to manually check the version number you have installed against any updates posted on Engineered Software's website.

Unlike previous versions of PowerCADD where you had to manually check the version number and update PowerDWG, that's not the case in PowerCADD 7. The PowerDWG Translator External is included with PowerCADD 7 and automatically updated, if necessary, as part of the PowerCADD update process.

What To Do

To manually check your version and build number of PowerCADD, do this:

  1. Launch PowerCADD
  2. Choose PowerCADD menu → PowerCADD Profile...
  3. the following dialog box will appear listing your version and build number:

Note: This image is simply an example of where to look in the dialog box for the build number. As of the time of this writing the most recent versions numbers for PowerCADD 8.0.0, PowerCADD 7.0.6 and PowerCADD 6.2.1. It's in your best interest to take advantage of free software updates! You can review specifics on how update here on our website.



To check if there is an update available for PowerCADD, do this:

  1. Choose Help menu... → Updates...
  2. A dialog appears describing if an update is available or if your software is up to date
  3. Alternative: You can also tell PowerCADD to check for updates on a preset interval by choosing PowerCADD menu → Preferences... → General tab → Check for Updates pop-up menu. Set the menu for the desired interval and when PowerCADD is launched it checks to see if an update is avaialble for download

Understanding PowerCADD Build Numbers
The Build Number is important as it tells us what specific day the version we're using was built (compiled). A build number is composed of a two letter and two number set. For example: FA23

F = the year 2006 (6th letter of the alphabet for the year 2006)
A = the month of January (1st letter of the alphabet = first month = January)
23 = the day of the month (example: the twenty-third day)

Checking your version of WildTOOLs v8
Currently, there is no manual or automatic method to check which version of WildTOOLs you have installed. The steps noted below are how it worked in PowerCADD v6 / WildTOOLs v7 and how we hope it will work in PowerCADD v7 / WildTOOLs v8. Until the method below (or some other way) is in place, we recommend keeping a written record of what version number you have installed and what version number you may have downloaded from Engineered Software's Download Page XTNL URL

To check your version of WildTOOLs, do this:

  1. Click on your Desktop to make the Finder the active application
  2. Open Applications folder → PowerCADD folder → Plug-Ins folder → WildTools folder
  3. Click once on the WildThing plug-in icon to select it
  4. Choose File? menu → Get Info...
  5. The current version number is displayed in the General section, Version of that dialog as shown below.
  6. Compare the version number displayed in step 5 with the version number listed on Engineered Software's Update page XTNL URL

For information on how to install the various updates, please review the related articles in this section of our website.

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

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How Do I Update PowerCADD

Question

How to I install the latest update for PowerCADD

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 only, Mac OS? X, and an Internet connection



What To Do

PowerCADD uses an special updater application to automatically install the latest updates, in the correct location, on your computer.

Stage One: To check if an update is available, do this:

  1. Launch PowerCADD by double clicking the application icon
  2. Choose Help menu → Updates...
  3. If you see this dialog box, you have the most recent update. Simply press OK. You have the latest version and do no need to do anything at this time


  4. If you see this dialog box, you should click Download and proceed to stage two described below.



Stage Two: To Install a PowerCADD update, do this:

  1. after pressing Download at the end of Stage 1 described above, the PowerCADD updater application will appear:
  2. [inline:pcd7update01.gif]


  3. press Update to automatically update any PowerCADD modules with the most current versions.
    • Caution: This automatically replaces the current version with the most current one. A backup is not preformed unless you follow the steps noted below
  4. PowerCADD will automatically Quit and the updater application will provide a progress dialog as to the current state of the update
  5. the next time you launch PowerCADD, you'll see the License Agreement dialog. Press Agree to begin using the most current version of PowerCADD

Recommended step: Backup as part of the update process

As noted in Stage 2 above, the PowerCADD Update Application provides you the option to backup your current installation of PowerCADD before proceeding with the update. We strongly recommend using the automated backup process as it allows you revert back to a previous installation of PowerCADD in the event of a problem.

To backup PowerCADD as part of the automatic update process, do this:

  1. In Stage Two, step 2, press Settings instead of Update. The updater applications, settings panel will appear as shown here:
  2. check the Backup Before Update box
    • optional: press choose if you installed PowerCADD someplace other than your Applications folder and select it's location on your hard drive.
  3. do not adjust any settings in the upper portion of the dialog box
  4. Press OK to proceed with the automated update as described in Stage Two above.
  5. A new folder named PowerCADD 7 is created with the most up to date files. Your previous copy of PowerCADD will be in backup folder with a date and time stamp. For example, the backup version will be here: Startup Disk → Applications folder →PowerCADD 7 backup 1.24.06, 4.32.24 PM folder. The text backup along with a month.date.year date stamp (example: 1.24.06) and a hour.minute.second time stamp (example: 4.32.24 PM) is appended to the end of the old PowerCADD 7 application folder name

Also updating WildTOOLs?

If you are also updating WildTOOLs, always perform your PowerCADD update first. The WildTools update is a manual process and requires you to replace a specific folder inside the PowerCADD application folder as described in a related article in this section of our website.

What to do with your backup copy of PowerCADD

If you opted to backup your old copy of PowerCADD as part of the update process (and we're sure you did), we recommend compressing the backup copy. Why compress it? By compressing the folder it will not only take up less space on your hard drive, but it will also prevent that old version of PowerCADD from accidentially launching. That one simple step can save you a lot of confusion later if you don't realize which version you may have launched.

How many backup versions should you keep? Well, that's up to you but at a minimum we recommend keeping at least one version back. For example, if you have been using PowerCADD v7.01 with success for quite some time, and there's an update to 7.02, we recommend keeping 7.01 until 7.03 is released. After updating to 7.03, and being confident all is well, we would keep 7.02 and get ride of 7.01. That's a minimum -- it's not a bad idea to keep two versions back as a safety net. In our case we confess to keeping ALL versions on an external drive for regression testing but we confess to being a bit over the top when it comes that sort of thing Cool

Additional Recommendations

In addition to keeping a backup of earlier PowerCADD versions as described earlier, we also recommend a few Mac OS X house keeping chores at the same time as you perform an update. Here are a few house keeping recommendations:

  • Take the time to back your PowerCADD preferences and related customized files. Simply back the entire PowerCADD Preferences folder located at UserID → Library → Preferences → PowerCADD folder.
  • After updating PowerCADD, Quit ALL open applications then launch Apple's Disk Utility.app (Applications folder → Utilities → Disk Utility) and Repair Permissions on your Startup Disk. Mac OS X is Unix and file and folder permissions are important for optimal system and application performance.
  • Use an application like YASU XTNL URL to cleanup your system cache files and perform other general system maintenance.
  • Restart your computer after doing all the system house keeping chores noted above
  • If it's been a while since you did any hard disk or directory maintenance, now might be a good time to do that too using an application like Disk Warrior or Tech Tools Pro. (see our related articles in the Mac OX Learning Center on this website).
  • If you don't regularly backup your hard drive and data files, now would be a very good time to backup if for no other reason that it's good practice to do so on a regular basis

The above recommendations aren't required as part of a PowerCADD update, they're simply good house keeping tips that are worth taking the time to do on a regular basis. Since you're already taking the time to update PowerCADD, why not take the time to make sure the rest of your system is in top working order too. It doesn't take that long and it's a lot like doing motorcycle maintenance -- since we're already greasy and dirty from changing the oil we might as well clean and lube the chain and do all those other little chores to feel confident when we head out on our next ride.

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

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How Do I Update WildTOOLs

Question

How do I update the WildTOOLs External add-on to PowerCADD?

Requirements

PowerCADD v7, WildTOOLs v8, Mac OS? X



What To Do

Prior to updating WildTOOLs, you should Quit PowerCADD (choose PowerCADD menu > Quit) and make a backup copy of the WildTools folder located at Startup Disk > Applications folder > PowerCADD 7 folder > Plug-Ins folder > WildTools folder. This is a safety precaution in case you have problems with the updated version of WildTOOLs or need to revert to a backup of the previous version for some other reason.

The update process basically involves replacing the currently installed WildTools folder with a new WildTools folder that you will download from Engineered Software. Replacing the WildTools folder updates all the related plug-ins necessary for WildTools to run correctly.

To Install the latest update to WildTOOLs, do this:

  1. Visit Engineered Software's Downnload Page XTNL URL and download the latest copy of WildTOOLs
  2. A .DMG? file is downloaded to your hard drive (Example: WildTools8.dmg) . This disk image contains the update files
  3. Double click the .DMG downloaded in Step 2. A CD Icon appears on your desktop with the PowerCADD logo
  4. Double click the icon in step 3 to see the files to be udpated. You will see a number of files including a WildTools folder which contains the critical files for updating
  5. Open the PowerCADD Plug-Ins folder that was automatically included with your installation of PowerCADD and which holds the WildTOOLs External modules.. It should be located at Startup Disk > Applications folder > PowerCADD 7 folder > Plug-Ins folder. If you had previously installed WildTOOLs correctly, you should see a folder named WildTools
  6. Drag the WildTools folder from step 4 into the Plug-Ins folder in step 5.
  7. You will see a screen prompt asking you to confirm the operation. Click Replace to complete the update process

The next time you launch PowerCADD, the latest version of WildTOOLs will load.

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

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About WildTOOls Guru Content

About WidTOOLs Guru Content

If you're looking for a WildTOOLs Guru you're in the right place Smile Our WildTOOLs Guru section contains content on what we consider to be an excellent third party plug-in that runs inside of PowerCADD.

Developer (United States): WildTOOLs is authored by Alfred Scott and is available through these channels:

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Suspending Updates to PowerCADD/WildTOOLs Content

General Public Service Announcement

Effective today, January 30, 2015, we will no longer be updating existing, or adding new, content to the PowerCADD Guru section of our website. As WildTOOLs is a plug-in/add-on to PowerCADD this decision also applies to the WildTOOLs Guru section of our website. It's been a great 15 year run with caddpower.com (and 25 years with PowerCADD/PowerDraw) and we're disappointed to see it coming to an end.

We certainly would like to continue to provide new information to the PowerCADD community. However, given we can't determine Engineered Software's timeline or direction for PowerCADD, we feel the professional course of action is to inform our visitors as to our current position. If Engineered Software provides an upgrade or update to PowerCADD 9 for Mac OS? Yosemite (and future Apple Mac OS X releases), or shows some other definitive action or communication as to PowerCADD's future, we will certainly revisit our position and announce any changes here on our website.

As a courtesy to our readers we will be leaving the PowerCADD Guru and WildTOOLs Guru content on this site active.

Our CADDcare and Translation services are not affected and will continue to be offered. ColorPortfolio Libraries will also continue to be offered for sale as they work with all versions of PowerCADD up to and including PowerCADD 9.

We will continue to monitor Engineered Software's activity with PowerCADD in the hopes we can once again add new PowerCADD and WildTOOLs content to our website.

Again, thank you for your support.

Sincerely
Huc
Brian Huculak
Managing Editor
caddpower.com

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PowerCADD 9

About PowerCADD 9

August 26 2010:Engineered Software has released PowerCADD 9

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 9. Engineered Softwares website also has information on what's new in PowerCADD 9 and we have information here in our PowerCADD 9 Learning Center. We also suggest readers visit PowerCADD Canada to read this release announcement for PowerCADD 9.

About this section of our website

This section of our PowerCADD User Learning Center is dedicated to the latest version of PowerCADD, version 9. Premium content on this site is restricted to registered users only. To post comments, vote in online polls, and access other features on this website please register or login.

Basic System Requirements:

PowerCADD 9 supports Intel only Apple Macintosh Computers.

Recommended System Requirements for PowerCADD 9:

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:

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

PowerCADD 9.1.5 update - help for folks running OS X Sierra

PowerCADD 9.1.5 - Help for Mac OS? X Sierra users!

  • As of March 5, 2017 PowerCADD 9.1.5 was issued as a free update for existing PowerCADD 9 users
  • PowerCADD version 9 (9.1.5 Build QC06) is the most current version
  • This should provide some help for PowerCADD users running Mac OX Sierra 10.12.x




Background

PowerCADD users running Mac OS X Sierra (10.12.x) are finally getting a little help. Engineered Software (authors of PowerCADD) have posted a free update link on the front page of their website at www.engsw.com XTNL URL

For a full list of what's new and update you should install PowerCADD 9.1.5 and then choose Help menu > Update Notes. Here's a copy of what's in those release notes:


PowerCADD 9.1.5

  • Release 1
  • Resolve Gatekeeper issue where WildTools failed to load on Sierra.
  • Simplify PowerCADD install code recognition and resetting.
  • Restore drag-reorder capability to the layer window.
  • Due to customer confusion and technical support load, enable legacy PowerCADD 4 translators. Note: Please save all PowerCADD 4 files you wish to retain access, in the current PowerCADD 9 format.
  • Remove use of legacy GetKeys and KeyMap, which are unreliable on some systems.
  • Force batch-printing to false when PowerCADD starts. Several users have crashed whilst printing, which left batch printing set to false. This suppresses the AskPrintJob dialog.
  • Display print dialogs in freestanding mode to work around error in legacy printing system where the sheets remain attached to the window.
  • Properly open double clicked-files upon starting PowerCADD.
  • Add menu to explicitly reset installation codes to save on technical support.
  • Additional logging added for registration issues.
  • Fix crash with advanced text editing window.
  • Enable legacy translators
  • Sign PowerCADD with new certs.

While Engineered Software's update notes do not specifically state full compliance with Mac OS Sierra this update is important step to that end. As always, take a measured approach to implementing the updated software into your workflow and send any issues you find to Engineered Software by email so they can better improve their product. If you're a Mac OS Sierra (10.12.x) user we highly recommend updating.

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:

As usual we recommend making a backup of your current PowerCADD application folder before updating.

Free Updates for Current PowerCADD 9 Users:
Current PowerCADD 9 users can update for free by downloading the update from the home page of Engineered Software. Please visit Engineered Software's website at www.engsw.com XTNL URL and use the links on the front page to download your free update. You can also download updates for your registered third party xtnl plug-in's including WildTOOLs from that location. Here is a direct link to the downloads page www.engsw.com PowerCADD 9.1.5 Update XTNL URL Simply go there to download the update - then follow the screen prompts to install the software on your hard drive.

Paid Upgrades from versions of PowerCADD prior to PowerCADD 9:
Current registered PowerCADD users can upgrade from an earlier version of PowerCADD (e.g. PowerCADD 6,7, or 8 to PowerCADD 9) will need to pay for their upgrade to PowerCADD 9.1.5 and should contact Engineered Software or your International Distributor for pricing. Please note these are paid upgrades (not free updates). Please visit Engineered Software's website at www.engsw.com XTNL URL for details on how to upgrade.

New PowerCADD Users:
If you are buying a new version of PowerCADD (from Engineered Software in the U.S., Canada, 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 9.1.5 (or newer) it what will be provided.

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

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What Changed in PowerCADD 9

What's different in PowerCADD 9 from previous versions?

In PowerCADD 9 Engineered Software added a special Help Menu item which brings up a list of the new features of PowerCADD 9 ( Help menu → What's New ). To further assist we've added to that with lists and general description of changes in no particular order, grouped by function. We have listed the PowerCADD 8 feature first, and how it has changed in PowerCADD 9, new items unique to PowerCADD 9 have been noted as NEW and did not appear in earlier versions.

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 9 (9.0.0 or newer recommended)
  • Mac OS? X 10.5 or 10.6 (Snow Leopard version 10.6.4 or newer recommended)



General:

  • Consistency: The change is --- there was once again no change to the general look, feel, behavior of the application.
  • Performance: Faster execution of menu items, saving & opening files, and just about every other aspect of the application. In general it's been optimized to take advantage of what Mac OS X Snow Leopard has to offer with it's new architecture. The rendering, storing, and management of raster images is improved; reducing files sizes and once again increasing performance.
  • Backwards Compatibility: Opens legacy drawings from PowerDRAW6, and PowerCADD 1 through PowerCADD 9.
  • Cosmetics: Improved rendering of font sizes on high resolution monitors for various floating windows including Edit and Layer Windows, and larger Tool palette icons.


  • Preferences:

    • General → Convert Incoming PICT? Data to Objects: Deleted.
    • General → Interpret PICT Bitmaps as Placed Objects: Deleted. By default any such items may be cropped or modified using various PowerCADD 9 features and techniques.
    • General → Check for Software Updates: Deleted.
    • General → Drag and Drop Enabled: Deleted. This works on an incoming basis only from Picture Clipping Files on the Desktop into a PowerCADD 9 document.
    • View → Hilite Color, Snap Color, Background Color, Construction Line Color: Interface change from buttons to Mac OS X Color Wheel icons. Behavior is the same, interface is cleaner.
    • View → Scale Patterns: Deleted. By default patterns do not scale when zoomed in or out.
    • View → End Caps: Deleted. End Caps are now an object level attribute as opposed to a global Application Level Preference.
    • View → Palette Size: Moved to Preferences → Tools.
    • View → High Quality Drags: Deleted. By default all drag operations render a high quality live preview. To display a low quality preview press Control while performing the drag operation.
    • View → Save Window Positions: Moved to Preferences → General.
    • Tools → Scale Points on Zoom Out: Moved to Preferences → View.



    Drawing Setup:

    • Show → Simulate Thin Lines: This item no longer has a check box setting; to disable the feature (the same as Unchecking this feature in PowerCADD 8 ) simply drag the slider all the way to the right to turn it off.
    • Snap → Nudge Amounts: Nudge amounts now respect drawing scale and layer scale. Example, a nudge value of 12" will always be 12" even with switching between layers with unique layer scale settings.
    • Print → Registration Marks: Deleted.



    Menu Items:

    • File Menu → Open: Legacy files are automatically converted to PowerCADD 9, a copy of the file is saved in the same location as the original.
    • File Menu → Open, Import: Support for additional file formats including AutoCAD r2010, EPSF, Illustrator, and Postscript.
    • File Menu → Open → *.dwg: Improved translator performance and stream lined interface, support for *dwg r2010, improved text support for special characters.
    • File Menu → Save: Drawings saved as PowerCADD 9 contain a QuickLook Preview accessible in Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6)
    • [inline:PCD9QuickLookPreviewNew.jpg]

    • File Menu → Place... Cropping: Behavior of Cropping Placed, Imported or Opened raster images and PDF?'s has changed. To crop from a mid point handle bar press Shift + Cmd as illustrated below. Attempts to crop from mid point handle bars without pressing those keys will not crop the object.
    • [inline:PCD9CropShift.jpg]

    • Edit Menu → Edit... Polygon Edit Dialog: This feature has been deleted. The polygon edit dialog pictured below no longer appears when choosing the aforementioned menu item with a polygon selected.
    • [inline:PCD9NoPolyEditDialog.jpg]

    • Edit Menu → Exit Group: Behavior changed when existing nested groups. By default it now steps out one level at a time instead of existing to the root drawing (previously required a custom key command). To exit to the root drawing assign a custom key command. See the PowerCADD User Manual for additional information.
    • Edit Menu → Select Special: Updated to support new End Cap object attribute.
    • Tool menu → Live Area: New. Allows you to insert a smart text object in the drawing display the area and/or perimeter of an object. Resizing or reshaping the object will dynamically update the displayed value.
    • Tool menu → Auto Alpha: New. Allows you to remove a specified color from a raster (bitmap) image. Once removed the previously colored pixels become transparent (see through).
    • Tool menu → Objects to Bitmap: Choosing this menu item will always display a dialog to specify the DPI to be used for conversion. In PowerCADD 8 and earlier it was necessary to press Option to set the DPI for conversion.
    • Tool menu → PDF To Objects: New. Allows you to converted postscript based object files such as PDF, EPSF, Illustrator and Postscript in PowerCADD to editable bézier curves and text.
    • [inline:PCD9NewToolMenu.jpg]

    • Tool menu → Set Data: Deleted. Note this was also deleted as part of a rolling change in PowerCADD version 8.
    • View menu → Greek Text, Hide/Show Hatch, Hide/Show Transparency?, Hide/Show Dimensions: These menu items have been deleted.
    • Attr menu → End Caps: New. Allows you to assign the style of end cap used for lines and other open ended geometry for each object. In previous versions this was an application level Preference setting which assigned to the same end cap style to all open ended geometry.
    • [inline:PCD9AttrMenuEndCapsNew.jpg]

    • Window menu → Object (Obj.) Notes: Deleted.
    • Window menu → Date Browse: Deleted. Note this was also deleted as part of a rolling change in PowerCADD version 8.
    • Window menu → Edit: Will also display the DPI and Bit Depth (number of colors) of a selected raster image.
    • [inline:PCD9EditMenuDPINew.jpg]

    • Window menu → Layer Window: Layer Attributes for Scale and Color may be accessed by double clicking a layer name, pressing the Edit button, or pressing the new Scale or Color buttons at the bottom of the Floating Layer Window.
    • [inline:PCD9LayerWindowNew.jpg]

    • Window menu → References: Interface and behavior completely reworked. Reference the PowerCADD User Manual for additional information (Help menu → PowerCADD Manual).
    • Window menu → Overview: Increased redraw performance.
    • [inline:PCD9ReferenceWindowNew.jpg]

    • Help menu → What's New: New. Opens a PDF file outline new features for this release.
    • Help menu → Tutorial: New. Opens a PDF file for Chapter 2 of the manual, getting started with PowerCADD.
    • Help menu → PowerCADD Manual: New. Opens a searchable PDF file of the complete PowerCADD User Manual.
    • Help menu → PowerCADD Tool Guide: Deleted (link pointed to third party content related to PowerCADD version 7 which was out of date).



    Tool Palettes:

    • Magic Wand: Updated to support new End Cap object attribute.
    • Advanced Text, Text, Sticky Notes, Leader Lines: Text is indexed for Spotlight searching in Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard.
    • Round Rectangles: Rotating a Round Rectangle will retain that object type (previously they became polygons).
    • Place Symbol: Options for Setting Data tags was deleted as a function of removing the Set Data External described earlier. This was also a rolling change to PowerCADD 8.
    • Offset Line: Optional Setting added for Multiple Increments (see PowerCADD user Manual for additional information (Help menu → PowerCADD Manual).
    • Parallel Offset: Optional Setting added for Multiple Increments (see PowerCADD user Manual for additional information (Help menu → PowerCADD Manual).
    • Eye Dropper: Updated to support new End Cap object attribute.
    • [inline:PCD9UpdatedTools.jpg]



      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 9 Free Updates

PowerCADD 9 Free Updates

From time to time Engineered Software, authors of PowerCADD, issue free software updates to address any important issues that may have developed after release of the software. If you also use the WildTOOLs add-on, that External also includes free updates. Staying current is easy and always the best way to make sure you're getting the most out of your PowerCADD investment. This section of our PowerCADD User: PowerCADD 9 Learning Center is dedicated to documenting those rolling changes.

Whats the difference between an Update and an Upgrade?

We receive this question a lot so we'll clarify the terms here:

  • Updates: These are incremental changes made to a release of PowerCADD and are free from Engineered Software either directly or through your regional distributor. For example, an update would be from PowerCADD version 9.0.0 to PowerCADD 9.0.1
  • Upgrades: A product upgrade is from one full version of PowerCADD to another. For example you would upgrade from PowerCADD 8 to PowerCADD 9. Upgrades are not free; but they are purchased at a discounted price as compared to purchasing a full new copy for the first time.
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PowerCADD 9 Known Issues

About PowerCADD 9 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 9 is posted in this section of our PowerCADD 9 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 and Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks

Will PowerCADD Run in Mac OS? X 10.9 Mavericks?

  • PowerCADD version 9 (9.1.3 or newer required)
  • Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks (10.9.2 or newer recommended)




Background

Any version of PowerCADD version 1 through version 8 will not work with Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9). The only version of PowerCADD approved to run in Mac OS X 10.9 is PowerCADD version 9.1.3 or newer.

If you are experiencing problems with your version PowerCADD not working at all, or being overly problematic (various symptoms might exist) then check your version of PowerCADD and Mac OS X as there is quite possibly a mismatch that is causing the problem.

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 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.

In general, it's highly recommended you update your version of PowerCADD 9.x to 9.1.3 before upgrading your current version of Mac OS X to 10.9 Mavericks. If you have already upgraded your copy of Mac OS X to Mavericks before updating your copy of PowerCADD 9 contact technical support at Engineered Software (in the U.S.), or technical support for your international distributor at the links noted earlier. We also have a related article at this link you may find useful.

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

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PowerCADD 9.1.3 Drawing Window Goes Blank After Printing

Issue: After printing the drawing windows looks blank (all white)

Affects:

  • PowerCADD 9.1.3 and Mac OS? X 10.9 Mavericks
  • Priority: Low
  • This issue has been reported to Engineered Software and has been reported as corrected but update has been released


Description

After choosing File? menu → Print..., the drawing window goes all white / appears blank as opposed to showing the original drawing window contents prior to printing. See screen shots here for before and after examples:

[inline:PCD913_ScreenOK-PRIORtoPrint.jpg]

Before choosing File menu → Print...

[inline:PCD913_screenblank-AFTERprint.jpg]

After choosing File menu → Print...

Work Around

The fix is easy: Press the 0 key (that's the zero number key) to force a screen redraw. The original drawing content is rendered correctly to screen. This is essentially 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, www.caddpower.com - www.powercadduser.com - www.powercadd.guru - www.wildtools.guru

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Problem updating PowerCADD 9.1.2 under Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9

I updated to Mac OS? X Mavericks 10.9 before I updated my copy of PowerCADD to 9.1.3. Now what?

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 9.1.2
  • Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9 (10.9.2 or newer recommended)



Background

Okay, so you missed our related article about updating your copy of PowerCADD 9.1.2 before you upgraded to Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. You've read the instructions in the update email you received from Engineered Software Technical Support about how to update your version of PowerCADD - problem is you tried going to Help menu → Updates... but the ES Updater.app won't work and you can't enter in the detailed information provided in the official update email. It's okay, all is not lost.

Please note, update instructions are provided by Engineered Software (or your regional International Distributor) that include very specific steps along with passwords and log in identification information. Our note here does NOT include that information, rather it's just a summary on how to get the updater application to work. You should reference the PowerCADD update email that you received for the specific log in information and any specific instructions not covered here.

What To Do:

You can get direct access to the ES Updater.app which is what makes the update process happen. Now, this method can appear to be a bit daunting as it requires you to dig into some of the inner workings of PowerCADD. Rest assured if you follow these steps precisely there's nothing to worry about.

Caution: As is typical before running any software application update or upgrade - always make a backup - of your current copy of PowerCADD before performing any update.

To Run the ES Updater.app from Inside the PowerCADD Application Package, do this:

  1. Quit PowerCADD 9.1.2 if it's already running
  2. Open the PowerCADD Application folder. It should be located at: Applications Folder → PowerCADD
  3. Locate the item named PowerCADD.app
  4. Right+Click (or press Control key + click) on the item named PowerCADD.app
  5. Choose Show Package Contents from the Contextual Menu
  6. Click to navigate to the following folder Contents → Mac OS
  7. In there you'll see an application titled ES Updater.app - Double click that application
  8. Follow the update instructions you received via email to correctly log in and update your copy of PowerCADD 9.1.2

Good News Shortcut for Canadian users: If you're a registered PowerCADD user in Canada just contact Evoy and Associates (www.evoy.com) and they have a terrific email that gives you a one click solution with no need to fiddle around with the steps noted above!

Summary:

So, in short even if you jumped the gun and upgraded to Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks before updating PowerCADD from 9.1.2 to 9.1.3, all isn't lost Smile Just follow the steps and you'll be up and running faster than it took us to write this article!

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


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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




Background

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

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

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)




Background

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)

Summary

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

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PowerCADD 9 Techniques, Tips, & Tricks General Information

Looking for information on Tips and Techniques with PowerCADD 9?

Don't forget to check out the PowerCADD 6, 7 and 8 sections of our PowerCADD Learning Center. Why? Well the general techniques applicable to those versions of PowerCADD in almost every case also apply in PowerCADD 9. This section (PowerCADD 9) of our PowerCADD Learning Center contains information unique to PowerCADD 9 that is either not in the manual, or unique to some aspect of Mac OS? X and PowerCADD that is beyond the scope of the manual, or simply content in the manual that may need further clarification.

You can get access to the searchable PDF? version of the PowerCADD 9 manual by simply launching PowerCADD and choosing Help Menu → PowerCADD Manual. If you're new to PowerCADD 9 don't forget to review all the content in the Tutorial which can be found again by launching PowerCADD and choosing Help Menu → Tutorial.

If there's something specific you'd like us to address on this website for the PowerCADD 9 Learning Center feel free to email us -- while can't make any promises we'll do our best to try and accommodate your requests and questions.

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Attach Menu didn't create the type of object I expected

When I choose Tool menu → Attach the resulting object isn't what I expected. Why?

Requirements

  • PowerCADD version 9 (9.1.3 or newer recommended)
  • Mac OS? X (Mavericks version 10.9.2 or newer recommended)


Background

To fully address this condition the history of the Tool menu → Attach is important.

What does Attach do? It allows you to you to physically join the end points of lines, arcs, béziers, and polygons to form a new, single object. The result of the operation can be a Polygon, a Bézier, or a Group depending on the settings of the menu item and the type of object geometry selected.

Originally (way back in PowerDraw 2 or 3? circa 1989ish?) Attach always yielded a polygon unless the selected path (objects to be attached) contained higher level geometry such as an arc or elliptical arc. In that case a Group was always created which traced the selected path with a new Polygon. In effect always keeping the higher level geometry. This made a lot of sense - and that's still the case today. Why? Because a higher level geometric object (e.g. an arc ) can always be converted to lower level geometry (e.g. lines or a polygon) -- but -- lower level geometry can never be converted to higher level geometry (e.g. we can't convert a polygon to a circle but we can convert a circle to a polygon). That's a critical distinction.

Starting in PowerCADD 8 and continuing into PowerCADD 9, we've been given a lot more control and the manual does a great job of describing those optional settings for Attach. There in effect three distinct optional settings for the Attach command and they are fully explained in the PowerCADD 9 PDF? manual (choose Help menu → PowerCADD Manual and search for the term "attach" - page 252).

What To Do:

There are optional settings for the Attach menu item that let you control what the resulting geometry should be. As noted above they're described in the manual but in general:

Do This:

  1. Hold the Option key and choose Tool menu
  2. Observe: The menu display changes and Attach now appears at Attach... (note the three dots)
  3. Move the mouse and release on the Attach... menu item and a dialog will appear giving you three choices.
  4. Select the desired option and click on ok button
  5. Select the objects to be attached
  6. Choose Tool menu → Attach
  7. Result: The selected objects are attached and converted as specified in 4 above

What's critical to understand is the distinction we outlined earlier about higher level and lower level geometry conversion and potentially destructive results. Remember that higher level geometry like an arc, or elliptical arc, have unique properties. For example an Arc is defined by a specific center point (defined by an XY position) and a radius, a starting arc angle, and an ending arc angle. Those are unique and geometrically advanced properties that let us do all kinds of other things such as dimension all those attributes.

Why is that important?

Well, imagine we were drawing a road center line - we need to be able to dimension that information to get it built. Unless we're building a drag strip, or a highway through Kansas, it's a pretty sure bet the road alignment will contain arc and tangent line geometry.

[inline:PCD913-AttachOptionalSettingsDialog.jpg]

In the above dialog (optional settings that appears from step 3 described earlier), two of these conversion options destroy the advanced higher level arc geometry in our road example. Specifically the no conversion check box retains the high level geometry and gives us a new traced polygon with which we can do other things. (hint: read the manual for details: the traced polygon is part of a group with a pen pattern of nil which can easily be found and changed).

Why would we want that traced polygon? Well we can do all sorts of things like get a total road length with one click. Or use the polygon and then apply the Parallel Polygon menu item to create a filled version of the entire road alignment for renderings or cost analysis. There is a whole host of choices - but - we always have the real arc geometry to go back and dimension! Had we chosen to convert it all to a polygon or bézier curve we'd have no high level arc geometry left to dimension or edit - making more work for ourselves.

Summary

There is no single best choice for what optional settings to use for Attach. Rather, the fact we have the choices is what's critical as every drawing situation is different. Pick the one that's right for you - just remember the optional settings are remembered until you go back and change them.

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

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

PowerCADD 9 Top 10

My Top 10 Favorite Things About PowerCADD 9

It always seems unfair to try and rate ones favorite things about a new software release. After all, we all have different needs, desires, and workflows. In all fairness I'll even admit that my own list of favorites is to a certain degree situational depending on the task or deadline at hand.

The task of creating a top 10 list gets even trickier when you put into the context the amount of time and effort programmers put into all the little things that make such a big difference. Often it's those little things that get overlooked during the months of beta testing as we get accustomed to them -- sadly they become just a one line sound byte (sorry for the pun) that never does them justice.

Still, for what it's worth, at the time of this writing here are my top 10 favorite things about PowerCADD 9, most favorite listed first.



PowerCADD 9 Top 10:

  1. Performance: It's just really fast in everything it does from opening and saving files to working with objects and menu items. Those guys at Engineered Software know how to write some fast code.
  2. Consistency: It never ceases to amaze me how, looking back over 20 years of using this product, just how consistent the behavior and interface has been. It really makes it easy for veterans to get the most out of new features quickly while making it easy for rookies too.
  3. Spotlight: The ability to search basically anything that's text in PowerCADD 9 is just a great productivity boost in locating and managing files in the Mac OS? X Finder.
  4. QuickLook: Again another Mac OS X Finder level efficiency tool. Select a file, or several files, tap the space bar, and see a preview of the drawing right at your finger tips! Designers and illustrators are visual folks and we appreciate being able to find files by looking rather than remembering file names.
  5. Backward Compatibility: The fact I can open drawings up from PowerDRAW 6 or PowerCADD 1 thru 8 (and my legacy symbol libraries) is great and makes it a breeze to bring all my legacy files forward. They've made it dead easy to upgrade those old drawings by automatically updating them when opened and saving a copy of the new file for me!
  6. References: Managing and manipulating referenced drawings just got a whole lot faster and easier. How they're able to track the movement and renaming of referenced drawings is truly impressive. The only way I've been able to break a link was by deleting the referenced drawing or moving it off my server (or local hard drive if that's where I made the link). Even with a broken link I still see the last saved state which is a nice way to be treated after shooting myself in the foot!
  7. Alpha Channel Support: See through, transparency, opacity, call it what you want. If you have a bit image with a see through background, those bits will still be see thru in your PowerCADD 9 drawing. A great way to integrate entourage elements like trees, cars, shrubs, and people into your renderings from must about any source you can imagine!
  8. DWG? 2010: Because no application is an island -- support for *.dwg release 2010 is a great feature. The translator external is faster, easier to use, and has improved support for various subtle but important things. I can't wait to see where this goes in the future.
  9. PDF? To Objects: Bring in those EPSF, PDF, Illustrator, or Postscript files and the convert them to editable bézier curve objects. Lots of neat uses for that ranging from creative to technical.
  10. Live Area: Sure the Edit Window always displayed the area and perimeter of objects (and still does), or you could (and still can) insert the area and perimeter of objects into the drawing. But having that information displayed and linked to the object in the drawing is a great productivity boost! If you've ever done land use or area planning you'll really appreciate seeing the area of the smart labeled object update immediately it's reshaped.

As a reminder I reserve the right to change my mind and modify or reorder the above list based on a whim or what I'm doing to meet a deadline Cool

Feel to share your favorite things about PowerCADD 9 by posting a comment.
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

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

PowerCADD 9 for El Capitan and Yosemite

PowerCADD 9.1.4 For Mac OS? X 10.10 Yosemite and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan

  • Yes PowerCADD version 9 (9.1.4 Build 14 Dec 2015 or newer) is fully compatible with Mac OS 10.10 and 10.11
  • Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. We recommend OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • As of Dec 15, 2015 PowerCADD 9.1.4 was issued as a free update for existing PowerCADD 9 users




Background

PowerCADD has been updated for full compatibility for Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.x) and El Capitan (10.11.x). In addition, third party external plug-ins, including WildTOOLs, have also been updated.

This is much more than an simple incremental update. PowerCADD 9.1.4 is a complete rework of PowerCADD code from the ground up, yielding significant performance increases and setting the groundwork for faster and easier changes going forward for PowerCADD 10 and beyond. To paraphrase from what Apple so eloquently said with the release of iPhone 6s:

The only thing that's changed is everything -- inside. However, PowerCADD 9.1.4 still looks and feels like the product we've used for decades: elegantly simple and intuitive.

For a full list of what's new and update you should install PowerCADD 9.1.4 and then choose Help menu > Update Notes. In general here's a partial list of key items that have changed.

  • Performance: Numerous changes to the foundation yield better overall performance in opening and saving files including a marked improvement in files containing large bitmap images. In general, performance increases are in the range of 30%. A lot of legacy code and routines depreciated by Apple have been removed thereby improving the serviceability of PowerCADD moving into the future.
  • Advanced Text Editing in Place: Previous versions of PowerCADD using Advanced Text required editing that text in a dedicated edit dialog. Advanced Text can now be edited in place simply by clicking on the text block with the advanced text tool. Selecting Advanced Text and pressing CMD+E will still open the Advanced Text Edit Dialog and allow full access to the advanced text special features and formatting.
  • Code Signed for OS X Gatekeeper: You can re-enable GateKeeper in Mac OS X Preferences... and set it to Allow apps downloaded from: Mac App Store and identified developers, and PowerCADD will behave correctly
  • Legacy File? Support Has Changed: Due to the difficulty for supporting legacy file formats, PowerDCADD 9.1.4 does not contain translators for PowerDraw (.PD6) and PowerCADD 4(.PC4, .LIB) files. Users who need access to old files should bring them forward with 9.1.3 in order to maintain access. NOTE: Press and hold the Option will load the legacy translators for that session, allowing you to open legacy file formats from PowerDRAW 6 and earlier versions of PowerCADD.
  • Miscellaneous: There are an assortment of subtle changes including full support for long file names, better importing of legacy PowerCADD key commands, and commands like Place... returning to the last folder you've used (instead of defaulting to the Documents folder). In addition all the niggly issues we mentioned in this post on our website INTL URL are all addressed!

Overall the simple fact PowerCADD 9.1.4 is fully compliant with the latest versions of Apple's Yosemite and El Capitan operating systems will be a big deal for multi-seat installations. You can now plan and move forward to get everyone on a common operating system.

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:

Free Updates for Current PowerCADD 9 Users:
Current PowerCADD 9 users can update for free by downloading the update from the home page of Engineered Software. Please visit Engineered Software's website at www.engsw.com XTNL URL and use the links on that page to download your free update. You can also download updates for your registered third party xtnl plug-in's including WildTOOLs from that location.

Paid Upgrades from versions of PowerCADD prior to PowerCADD 9:
Current registered PowerCADD users can upgrade from an earlier version of PowerCADD (e.g. PowerCADD 6,7, or 8 to PowerCADD 9) will need to pay for their upgrade to PowerCADD 9.1.4 and should contact Engineered Software if your in the U.S. or Canada, or your International Distributor for pricing. Please note these are paid upgrades (not free updates). Please visit Engineered Software's website at www.engsw.com XTNL URL for details on how to upgrade.

New PowerCADD Users:
If you are buying a new version of PowerCADD (from Engineered Software in the U.S., Canada, 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 9.1.4 (or newer) it what will be provided.

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

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PowerCADD 9 Wish Lists

PowerCADD v8 was released March 2008 and we've already started our PowerCADD v9 wish lists. Who said the life of a software developer was easy Smile

Feel free to cast your vote or contribute a comment (must be logged in to vote or post comments). If you have something you'd like to add drop us a note and we'll get a new page and poll started.

No votes yet

Spotlight Search Support

feature request -- not sure how easy -- but given the move to X Code this one might be practical and reasonably painless

The ability to have PowerCADD drawing text content indexed by Apple Spotlight search engine.

Right now we have to use the comments field (or an automator action to set comments) to add important date or search criteria. For example, drawing title blocks typically contain important info on the project name, project number, and key dates and descriptions of when a drawing was issued. For example I might need to find all my drawings that were 'issued for construction' or 'issued for tender' on project 'x' ; content which appears in the drawing titleblock as matter of standard drawing practice in virtually every office I've seen drawings from.

A little thing that could be helpful; until then we do have a work around that's pretty easy

No votes yet

Control Click to Remove a GuideLine

Feature Overview

While there are quick ways to remove all guidelines from a drawing or turn them on or off, there's no short cut to removing a single guideline from a drawing.

Feature Description:

Currently, removing a single guideline from a drawing requires dragging it onto the ruler. While this is a very easy task, it does require a lot of mouse movement, particularly on large monitors. It's also somewhat disruptive to the workflow in that it requires we remove our attention from the object at hand to drag things onto the ruler. Given we can currently control+click on an item to bring up a contextual menu to object attributes, why not also have the ability to control+click on a guideline to remove it. Since one of the underlying reasons behind contextual menu's is to make the drawing process more efficient by reducing mouse movement in and out of palettes and menu's, this seems like a logical extension to the process.

We realize it's a little thing - but it just seems like it's the little things that make life easier Smile

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

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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

No votes yet

Vote Here: Control Click to Remove Guideline

Very Important Feature
60% (3 votes)
Important Feature
40% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 5
No votes yet

Cropping Referenced Drawings

Feature Overview

The ability to crop and un-crop Referenced drawings similar to how we can currently crop and un-crop Placed items.

Feature Description:

Even though Referenced drawings span multiple layers, they are in essence treated as a single entity in that they can be selected and rotated, scaled, bound, etc, all from the References menu. If we can see the References bounding box, it would be helpful to treat that bounding box the same as we do with Placed items; cropping and un-cropping the referenced content; all layers associated with the referenced item would be affected.

Cast your vote using the link below
Click here to vote (must 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

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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

No votes yet

Vote Here: Cropping of Referenced Drawings

Very Important Feature
100% (4 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Drawing Preview when Editing Groups

Feature Overview

An application level preference to enable/disable seeing a preview of the drawing when in Edit Groups mode (Edit menu -> Edit Groups).

Feature Description:

Currently when editing a group, all other drawing data is hidden and only the group is displayed. However, when editing groups, it's often important to see other drawing data for reference. The preview, if enabled, could be a reduced opacity version (i.e. dimmed) of the layers that were visible when the Edit Groups command was chosen from the Edit menu.

Example: If the user needs to rotate one element in a group relative to some other general drawing reference point, it's important to see that contextual data from the main drawing.

Current model requires users to either:

  1. Guess where the other drawing data is when editing the group. This can result in having to edit the group multiple times to get things right
    • or
  2. Copy data from the general drawing, then choose Edit Menu > Edit Groups, then Paste the general drawing data for reference. After completing the Edit Group operation the pasted reference objects need to be deleted

The problems are fairly apparent with both models. Option (1) in particular may get even more cumbersome if Edit All Layers is OFF and the object needing to be copied is on a different layer, or if the object needing to be copied is part of different group or symbol.

The ability to enable/disable preview when editing groups would speed up the drawing editing / production cycle. An application level preference seems reasonable since it's presumed most users would want this feature 'on or off' ( much like Hide Reshape Fills is a logical Preference choice for general application behavior across all drawings).

We think the new feature in PowerCADD 7, which displays static text Editing Group in the Layers Window during an Edit Group operation is a significant first step and we think being able to choose to see (or not see) a drawing preview that is faded (reduced opacity) would be a welcome feature and logical next step.

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

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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

No votes yet

Vote Here: Edit Groups Drawing Preview

Very Important Feature
40% (2 votes)
Important Feature
40% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
20% (1 vote)
Total votes: 5
No votes yet

Improved Previews for Bitmap Effects

Feature Overview

The preview presented when using the Apply Bitmap Effects... menu item is too small (note, it's acknowledged this is an Apple limitation since the menu item calls Apple's QuickTime). An improved preview where the entire drawing window acts as the preview would provide better visual feedback.

Feature Description:

Any QuickTime or similar effect should be previewed in the main drawing window. The dialog box for the QuickTime effect should also be moveable. The current model makes it difficult to get predictable results.

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

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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

No votes yet

Vote Here: Improved Bitmap Effects Previews

Very Important Feature
33% (1 vote)
Important Feature
67% (2 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 3
No votes yet

Optional Tool Settings Append as Sheet

Feature Overview

When pressing Option and clicking on a tool with two dots, the Optional Tool Settings dialog should append as a sheet to the associated tool palette.

Feature Description:

Currently, tools with optional settings (two dots in their icon), pressing Option and clicking on a tool opens a new floating window. In the case of PowerCADD Tools, those windows float and can be moved around. In the case of WildTOOLs, those windows don't float (a long standing HIGs? violation and pet peeve) and are stuck to the center of the screen area.

The proposed feature for tools with optional settings; their settings should open as sheet appended to the tool palette instead of a floating dialog.

Why

The user already knows where the tool palette is; it's my work flow anchor for production. I've had to move my mouse around just to press option and click on the tool to open the dialog. I then have to go through more mousing around to get to the dialog to either move the dialog (in the case of PowerCADD tools) and enter the data.

It would more convenient if the optional settings just appended to the Tools Palette as a sheet. It would behave in principle just like the see-through / auto-fade settings work now for floating windows or the primary tool palette. In case you missed it, here is how you can adjust the auto-fade settings in PowerCADD 7: Control+Click on any tool palette and choose Palette Settings... from the contextual menu to see this sheet append to the selected tool palette:

Having all the user interface elements grouped together around the tool palette would be more efficient for production and provide a smoother user interface. While it's possible to assign a key command to a tool which includes the Option key to force the dialog, having it all associated with the tool palette as a sheet just seems like a nice logical extension of the Mac OS? X interface.

Special Note: If the optional settings were appended to the tool palettes, it would also mean that WildTOOLs would follow the same standard (or at least one would hope so), thereby unsticking their optional tool settings from the center of the screen and making for a more fluid and consistent work flow.

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

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Vote Here: PCadd8 Optional Tool Settings Sheet

Very Important Feature
75% (3 votes)
Important Feature
25% (1 vote)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Wish List: PowerCADD 9 ACAD Translator

Some of the items here are carry overs from our PowerCADD v8 translator wish list. Some items are new.

Feel free to cast a vote or post a comment (must be registered and logged in).

If an item was carried over from PowerCADD v8 we've left the poll question and topic the same so we didn't loose any votes!

No votes yet

Batch Processing

Feature Overview

Reintroduce the ability to Batch process reading (opening) DWG? or DXF? files and writing (saving) PowerCADD to DWG or DXF.

Feature Description:

The old PowerDRAW translator, a stand alone application, had the ability to batch process files. We'd like to see that feature integrated into the PowerDWG Translator External. Key elements would include:

  1. The ability to open (read) multiple DWG or DXF files by pointing the translator to a folder full of files
  2. The ability to save (write) multiple PowerCADD files to DWG or DXF by pointing the translator to a folder full of files
  3. The ability to save presets of translator settings that could be applied to reading or writing DXF or DWG files
  4. The presets noted in (3) would include the ability to link to the Line Weight to Color or Color to Line Weight settings and other existing optional translation settings

Optionally, we'd also like to see the translator let us save the preset settings a droplet. Dropping a folder full of files onto the droplet would tell PowerCADD to automatically process the files (either read or write) with the saved settings.

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 v8 Batch Processing

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

Clip Filled Objects when Writing DWG

Feature Overview

The ability for PowerDWG to automatically clip objects when writing (saving) a PowerCADD drawing as a DWG file.

Feature Description:

In PowerCADD, and on the Mac in general, we can create objects that are filled white; for example a rectangle that is filled white. If that filled rectangle is on top of another object, for example a line, the white fill hides the line (or portion of a line) below it as shown here:

That technique, which could loosely be referred to as masking, is a common one used in PowerCADD drawings and on the Mac OS?. When a PowerCADD drawing using that technique is saved as a DWG file, the fill pattern is ignored (not a surprise) and in AutoCAD the user sees through the rectangle to the line below. As shown here, that is clearly not the same condition as we drew in PowerCADD (illustrated above).

[inline:PCD8_Wish_DWGClip_02.jpg]

So, what do we mean by clipping when writing a DWG file?
In the old days, PowerCADD has a Plot Driver built in -- that plot driver would cut or clip overlapping objects when creating the HPGL? files necessary for output. In the example we're describing above, the results would be that the section of the line, hidden by the white fill, would be clipped where it intersects the sides of the rectangle. In effect, producing new line segments where they intersected. As shown here, if the PowerCADD PowerDWG Translator supported clipping, like it's old Plot Driver did, we'd see a result in AutoCAD that looked like this:

The result in AutoCAD would look like they did in the original PowerCADD drawing
[inline:PCD8_Wish_DWGClip_03.jpg]

A short trip in the way back machine, back to the roots of Engineered Software and their experience with writing Plot Drivers, would yield a valulable addition to the PowerDWG Translator that would bring us one step closer to WYSIWYG? translation between the Mac (PowerCADD) and Windows (AutoCAD) worlds.

Of course, we'd like the clip filled objects feature to be a radio button optional setting so we can choose to turn it on or off. Yes -- we'd like it all, thank you very much Cool

Work Around

Currently, the only work around is to manually trim the types of intersections illustrated earlier. Clearly, in a complex drawing, that can be an extensive (and expensive!) task, particularly where smart objects such as doors or windows are used to mask wall lines to create openings. The only other choice is to start the PowerCADD drawing, from the start, with the plan that is going to be exported via DWG to AutoCAD and draw down to that standard. While this is a reasonable approach, it negates many of the advantages we have by drawing on a Mac and with PowerCADD.

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: PCADD 8 PowerDWG Clip Filled Objects

Very Important Feature
83% (5 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
17% (1 vote)
Total votes: 6
No votes yet

Map Fill to Hatch Patterns

Feature Overview

The ability for the PowerDWG Translator to automatically map PowerCADD fill patterns in a drawing to hatch patterns when saving (writing) out a DWG file.

Feature Description:

Those of us who have been around the block and using PowerCADD (and PowerDRAW) might remember a feature in the PowerDRAW Translator application. This was a separate application used to translate PowerDRAW files to DXF? in those days but it had a great feature: the ability let the user map their Mac OS? X fill patterns to any hatch pattern they liked.

The feature was actually part of the plot driver technology and it worked great, except for one flaw: it wouldn't look inside of groups.

We'd like to see that feature brought back and improved upon. Let the user map their PowerCADD fill pattern to a hatch pattern when writing a DXF or DWG File?. The objects fill pattern, whether in a group or symbol or an independent entity in the drawing, would be converted when saving the DWG file so it opens in AutoCAD with a hatch pattern instead.

There is some discussion here about the AutoCAD Wipeout feature that could also apply in this case. But our thought in bring this old feature back to the future is the technology is already there and maybe that will make for an easier start point and lay the foundation to build upon. Were also going to more digging into that AutoCAD feature since there may be silver lining in there too!

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

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Vote Here: Map Fills to Hatches

Very Important Feature
50% (2 votes)
Important Feature
50% (2 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Save Setups for Translation Settings

Feature Overview

The ability to save the settings used to translate a drawing as a preset setup that could be recalled again later and applied to different files.

Feature Description:

When a file is opened for translation, the user has to make a variety of choices for the translation settings such as scale, sheet size, limits, extents, whether to use a specific pen color to line weight lookup table, delete off page objects, etc.. There are in fact several settings which must be set.

Currently the translator remembers the last used settings, which is helpful but limiting. Ideally it would be great if all the settings and optional settings assigned in the Incoming Settings Window could be saved as setup. In principle this is similar to how Gradient settings, Sheet Setups, or how Color To Line Weight and Line Weight to Color translation settings are saved and may be applied quickly by selecting them from a menu.

Given most AutoCAD shops are consistent in how they setup files, or at a minimum are consistent with how files in a given project are setup, the proposed new feature would make it considerably more efficient when multiple translations are required on a project (which is typicall the case). The time savings also become even more significant when we realize there are typically multiple consultants on a given project, each with their own AutoCAD to PowerCADD translation setting requirements. In addition, those user who work with multiple consultants on multiple projects would see an even greater benefit for the proposed feature.

Cast your vote using the link below
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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

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Vote Here: PCadd 8 DWG support for Translation Setups

Very Important Feature
100% (4 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4
No votes yet

Write Global Origin with DWG

Feature Overview

The ability to specify the Global Origin for a DWG? file written from PowerCADD is critical to cross platform consultant coordination. The differing coordinate spaces requires additional effort on the part of WinTel/Acad users receiving the PCadd DWG file which is often unacceptable in terms of a 'delivered product'.

Feature Description:

Writing DWG with a user specified global origin would simply speed up cross platform coordination with AutoCAD and other 1:1 Coordinate system applications on both Mac's and PC's (for example, FormZ, a Mac and Windows 3D modeling application using a 1:1 coordinate system, or AutoCAD which is also a 3D and 2D application using a 1:1 coordinate system)

This would seem a logical extension of the current Global Origin feature allowing me to work with large coordinate values with in PowerCADD.

Work Around

Currently, the only work around is to have a copy of AutoCAD on hand (running on a dedicated Windows computer or on an Apple computer running Windows in some type of emulation environment), open the translated PowerCADD file and move it manually to the required coordinate location. If Global Origins were written with the DWG file when saved from PowerCADD, the anchor point and appropriate XY insertion point could be included in the file, thereby saving this step and simplifying the cross platform translation process.

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

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Vote Here: PowerDWG8 Write Global Origin

Very Important Feature
100% (2 votes)
Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Not an Important Feature
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2
No votes yet

XML Database Support

Feature Overview:
Write the user defined database attributes assigned in PowerCADD as an external XML? resource file for the current suite of database file options.

Feature Description:

XML is at the core of numerous aspects of Mac OS? X and various internet technologies. In it's simplest definition, an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file is a cross platform, smart , text file which formats data which can be more readily used by other applications. XML support would make the entire database process more seamless and set the stage for future interopability of the user defined PowerCADD database attributes. Two common examples of similar implementations include:

  • Apple iLife'04: XML allows the database for items such as playlists defined in iTunes to be read in iPhoto. Chapter marks in iMovie can be used/read by iDvd, etc.
  • Apple's Addressbook application publishes it's contents in XML allowing the data to be read and repurposed by various third party authors. There are several examples of third party applications which take advantage of the XML format of Addressbook including iWork and YouControl. There are other third party applications which read the Addressbook XML formated data for printing address labels and envelopes.

PowerCADD currently provides several methods for users to assign database attributes to objects (see our two related links here and here for additional information on the currently available methods).

In the current scheme, the database attributes are assigned to objects within PowerCADD and are saved with the core PowerCADD drawing. in order to extract the database attributes, users must perform a Save As... and select the appropriate report option which results in a text file saved to disk. The text file can then be manually integrated into various third party applications for additional value added analysis. However, changes made to the drawing require saving a new report and reimporting that file. The cycle can become cumbersome and tends to slow down the work flow.

Maintaining a proprietary drawing object database is important for the core PowerCADD drawing objects and that should not change with support for XML. However, opening up the user defined database attributes as defined using Object text, Symbol Tags, Set Data, Export Data would make the data more usable without compromising the proprietary drawing file database/format.

The basic methodology for this feature request is:

  1. A unique XML file is written to disk when a user assigns a database tag using any of the existing methods.
  2. The XML file is live linked to the drawing database: that is, if the user makes a change to the drawing (for example deleting a symbol), the appropriate XML file is updated when the PowerCADD drawing file is saved.
  3. The user could then link to the XML file saved to disk in their database application of choice which would reflect the last saved state of the XML File?

Support for XML should not compromise the internal, proprietary, PowerCADD drawing database. However, making the user defined database tags from Symbol Tags, Object Text, Export Data and Set Data accessible via XML would help stream line the work flow. Using an open, cross platform standard, also helps set the stage for future database development.

Click Here to Cast your Vote on this PowerCADD 8 Wish List Item
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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: PCadd8 XML Dbase Support

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

arc by chord niggly issue

this is an old and ongoing niggly thing

when I'm drawing Arc by Chord, I can't press TAB to activate the Edit Window and specify the chord length.

Why not? I can use Tab for direct entry of the length and angle but not the chord length which arguably the most important part.

I think it compromises the effectiveness of the tool.

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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

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

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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

------
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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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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If you find these 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: 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

------
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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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 7

About PowerCADD 7

This section of the PowerCADD User Learning Center is dedicated to PowerCADD version 7, released in January 2006, by Engineered Software.

Basic System Requirements for PowerCADD 7 as noted by Engineered Software XTNL URL

Recommended System Requirements for PowerCADD 7:
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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Sneak Peaks

PoweCADD version 7 Sneak Peaks

Here they are! Sneak Peaks of the soon to be release version of PowerCADD 7. For the record, no, we're violating any non-disclosure agreements Cool ; we're simply posting followup tidbits here after they've been officially leaked by Engineered Software.

Have fun with these teasers. When will PowerCADD 7 be released? There's been no official date but we're speculating early first quarter 2006. Check with your local reseller or distributor for specifics.

PowerCADD v7 was released in January 2006 and we have numerous tutorials and articles covering a wide range of content on PowerCADD v7. To view this Premium Content you need to register and log in: please see the link in the right hand navigation area on where to log in or for links on creating an account.

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Attribute Styles

Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software XTNL URL, posted a sneak peak publicly XTNL URL of the new Object Attributes Window in the soon to be released update for PowerCADD 7. Here's our take on things.

The new feature refers to Styles, specifically creating new Attribute Styles. Styles is a time saving feature allowing you to save specific attribute setting combinations as an Attribute Style. These Attribute Styles can then be applied by selecting them from Attribute menu > Styles or from a Contextual Menu when you Control+Click on an object.

Choosing Attribute menu > Styles > New... (a new menu command) brings up a new Attribute Style dialog. The new, Styles, feature appears to support saving various object attributes including Opacity? (new!) among many other attribute options. You be the judge of just what all these neat new features can bring to your work flow!



[inline:AttrStyles-1.jpg]




We're looking forward to talking more about the new features of PowerCADD 7 as soon as the product is available.

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Attributes Window

Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software XTNL URL, posted a sneak peak publicly XTNL URL of the new Object Attributes Window in the soon to be released update for PowerCADD 7. Here's our take on things.

The Attributes Window (Window menu > Attributes) is a floating window which allows you to change the drawing attributes of specific tools or all tools available in the Tool palette quickly and easily. You may also use the Attributes Window to change the characteristics of existing objects just as you do using the Attribute menu. If you're a veteran PowerCADD or PowerDRAW user, think of this as the old Defaults Window on steroids.


Examine the diagram carefully; from the look of the new Attributes Window it appears we have some existing new features in store for PowerCADD 7!

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Layer Opacity

Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software XTNL URL, posted a sneak peak publicly XTNL URL of the new Layer Opacity? Attribute in the soon to be released update for PowerCADD 7. Read the rest of this article to get our take on things.

The new feature refers to Layer Attributes, and specifically being able to globally adjust the opacity of a layer. Layer Opacity allows you to specify to what degree information is hidden or revealed below the layer. For example, a layer opacity of 100% hides all information below the layer. A layer set to 10% opacity would appear almost transparent, allowing you to see through to objects below. Adjusting layer opacity affects the Pen and Fill opacity of all objects on a layer, as compared to adjusting an objects Pen or Fill opacity attributes separately using the Attributes window. It may be helpful to consider Layer Opacity as Global to everything on a layer, and cumulative with respect object opacity attributes.

To adjust the Opacity Attribute of a specific Layer (or selected Layers), do this:

  1. open the Layers Window by choosing Window menu > Layers Window (or press the L)
  2. click on a layer name in the layer list
  3. double click the layer name or click Edit
  4. the Layer Attributes dialog appears as shown below
  5. drag the opacity slider left or right to change the layers opacity or enter a value in the Layer Opacity field
  6. click OK to see the results

Keep in mind the effects of adjusting opacity at the object and layer levels are going to be combined as shown below. It's also important to remember that when a layer status is set to dimmed (it may be on, off or dimmed) the layer is rendered as transparent and that effect will be combined as well. In this example all the circles have a pen opacity of 100% (solid) and a fill opacity as noted. The horizontal line is on the bottom most layer and all opacity settings are 100% (solid). Observe how the circles show more or less of the line as the opacity settings are combined.

[inline:LayerOpacityDiagramD.JPG.jpg]

As you can see, Layer Opacity can be a great way to globally change all the opacity attributes of objects on the same layer, and it can be combined with other opacity attributes to create a variety of effects. Just how important will Layer Opacity be in your work flow? Well, consider things like existing verses proposed conditions of a building or site plan. Perhaps a demolition plan. Perhaps you need to illustrate another consultants imported layers for context while emphasizing your particular component of the work. The usefulness of Layer Opacity exceeds just illustration work; have fun and experiment!

We hope that helps
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PowerDWG Translator

Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software XTNL URL, posted a sneak peak publicly XTNL URL of the new PowerDWG Translator in the soon to be released update for PowerCADD 7. Here's our take on things.

Part 1: File? formats
Yes! PowerDWG will read AutoCAD DWG release 10 through release 2006 file formats.

While we can't discuss the particulars of the translation process until the product is released, suffice to say part 1 is some pretty big news that will be welcome by many long time PowerCADD users.

Part 2: Improved Translator interface
If a picture is really worth a thousand words then the new DWG Incoming Settings dialog is War and Piece condensed into a single window!

Remember the old way? Well, as James Caan said in Mickey Blue Eyes XTNL URL "Fuhgeddaboutit" (forget about it) Cool No more guess work thanks to an improved interface that includes a live preview! Every change made in the Incoming Settings dialog is updated in the Preview Pane and the suggested drawing scale and page size update too! Here's a general breakdown of the new interface:







We can't wait to talk more about this new suite of features; these should be a time and money saver.

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

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Scale Hatch Patterns

Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software XTNL URL, posted a sneak peak publicly XTNL URL of the new ability to Scale Hatch Patterns in the soon to be released update for PowerCADD 7. Read the rest of this article to get our take on things.

There is a new Hatch Settings submenu in the Attributes menu! Among the new options available for Hatch Settings is the ability to specify a scale factor ( Hatch Settings > Scale... ) to enlarge or reduce the size of a hatch pattern! Look closely folks, because while the new feature sneak peak deals specifically with Scale... there are some other new items in the menu that warrant careful consideration which we're not at liberty to openly discuss. Cool


[inline:H1.jpg]



What does this mean? Well, it's a pretty big deal really. Remember that hatch patterns in PowerCADD 6 and PowerCADD 7 are associative and behave much like fill patterns in that they reflow when objects are resized or reshaped. In PowerCADD 6, a hatch pattern had to be converted to objects (hardened) before it could be rescaled, thereby breaking the association with the source object. With Hatch Settings > Scale... the pattern can be rescaled so it can be tweaked to suit a particular drawing scale, and still maintain it's association with the source object.


[inline:Hatches2.jpg]



No more having to play around trying to get the hatch scale right! Just draw the object, hatch it, and choose Hatch Settings > Scale... to make it larger or smaller. That has to be a productivity increase and time/money saver for anyone who deals with hatches in their drawings. Don't forget, hatches also translate via DWG? and DXF? and with the associative nature of hatches and other features you have to wonder if they might supplant fill patterns for a lot of users. Particularly those who need to maximize DWG compatibility but still want all the benefits of Macintosh fill patterns.



We hope that helps
caddpower.com

P.S.: Did you notice the New Hatch menu item has an arrow which represents a new submenu too. Makes a person wonder just what's behind that curtain! |:)

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WildTOOLs 8

About WildTOOLs 8

This section of the PowerCADD Learning Center is dedicated to the WildTOOLs version 8 add-on for PowerCADD released in January 2006.

System Requirements:
WildTOOLs version 8 requires PowerCADD version 7 and Mac OS? X. For detailed system requirements of PowerCADD 7 visit our PowerCADD 7 section of the PowerCADD Learning Center

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Interface

About the PowerCADD 7 Interface Chapter

This chapter discusses hints, tips, techniques and hidden gems of the PowerCADD 7 interface that doesn't fit neatly into the Menu, Tool or Technique chapters.

Getting started it easy: just click a link below.

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A Few Interface Basics

Topic

Sometimes we just can't get around to writing a whole article addressing a particular topic. However, we often toss together quick demonstration movies to help folks out. This article has some demonstration movies and slide shows for various bits related some of the basics of the PowerCADD Interface... they're not perfect but until we get around to dotting the i's and crossing the t's, these will have to suffice Cool

Requirements

Minimum: PowerCADD v6, Mac OS? 9 or OS X (movies illustrate PowerCADD 6 interface in Mac OS X)
Recommended: PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X
Need Movie Help?



quicktime Tangent Snapping [290KB]: This movie shows how Tangent Snapping works. Simply press the T key before starting the drawing process. Remember to watch the Snap Indicator Window at the top of the screen and look for the red dot on the circle -- this confirms Tangent Snapping is enabled.

quicktime Snap Indicator Window Settings [275KB]: Press the Control Key and click on the Snap Indicator Window to change it's font preferences.

quicktime Drawing Setup / Size Dialog [250KB]: You should review the PowerCADD Manual for a complete description of all the features of the Drawing Setup / Size settings but this quick flick shows you some of the neat features like the drawing preview, zooming and setting sheet sizes.

quicktime Page Setup Demonstration [1.1MB]: A quick review on how preform a page setup and choose a sheet size -- in this case up to 200 x 200 inches!

quicktime Layer Attributes (300KB downnload) Layer Attributes can be assigned to multiple selected layers. In this demo movie, we pressed the Command key as we clicked on each layer as it allowed us to select layers at random (i.e. the layers were not all in the same order)

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Arrow Heads on Rounded Rectangles

Question

When I draw a Round Rectangle in PowerCADD on the X, Y axis it looks correct. However, when I rotate the Round Rectangle it now renders to screen with arrow heads. Why did this happen and how do I fix it?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X Panther
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Background

It is possible to assign an arrow style to a Round Rectangle after it's drawn. You can also assign arrow attributes to the Round Rectangle Tool itself. The same rules hold true for Rotated Rectangles and other PowerCADD objects.

Round Rectangles typically do not render to screen with arrow styles. There is, however, a unique condition that occurs when a Round Rectangles is rotated -- it becomes a Polygon. The Polygon is composed of numerous vertices which follow the shape of the original Round Rectangle. Like all closed polygons, there is a start point and an end point which are in the same X, Y position (obviously required to close the shape).

How could this happen?

There are two typical situations which can cause this condition. First, the Round Rectangle was accidentally assigned an arrow attribute after it was created. This might happen by using the PowerCADD Eye Dropper Tool, or WildTOOLs Needle Tool and you accidentally clicked on the Round Rectangle in the drawing. Another common situation is the object may have been accidentally selected as part of other objects to which the arrow style needed to be applied. Second, arrow attributes could have been assigned to the Round Rectangle Tool before drawing. In either case, you will not see the problem when a Round Rectangle is drawn on the X,Y axis since, when on axis, it is not described with the start and end points like a Polygon.

What to do

The fix is easy and there are two choices:

  1. Select the Round Rectangle object that was rotated and exhibits the problem (which is now a Polygon) and assign an Arrow pattern of none.
  2. Double click on the Round Rectangle Tool in the Tool Palette (this will deselect all objects) and make sure the tool is assigned an arrow style of none.

quicktime We've prepared this quick demonstration movie (1.7MB download) which shows many of the various conditions and the fixes. In this demonstration movie we are pressing the Control key and clicking on the objects or tool palette to assign attributes but you can also use the Default Window, Attributes Window or Attributes menu. In the end, it comes down to PowerCADD showing you exactly what attributes were assigned for the type of object created. (need 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

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Bitmaps and Highlight Selection

Question

Should bitmaps be treated as a special condition when Highlight Selection (Choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences > View > Highlight Selection) is enabled?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X Panther
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Discussion

A special condition doesn't seem necessary since the there are only a few conditions where a bitmap alone would want to be selected and the behavior now seems predictable when Highlight Selection is Enabled. Note that while the specific points below mention bitmaps, the same condition is true for PICT? or PDF? objects -- they all react in the same, consistent, fashion as noted here.

In looking at whether a special case exists for treating bitmaps uniquely when Highlight Selection is Enabled, it seems to a good start point is to evaluate how bitmaps are treated now in various common drawing conditions. A few of those conditions are discussed below.

multiple selections: A related article on this site describes that multiple selections (a bitmap plus an object/s above it) behave correctly in that objects on layers above the bitmap will render to screen when selected. There is a nuance where objects on the same layer as the bitmap become obscured -- however for drawing management reasons large bitmaps are typically always on their own layer so this seems to be a non-issue in that context.

move by drag: These articles (here and here ) describe how to make the selected bitmap/s transparent in that condition without turning off Highlight Selection.

resize: bitmaps becomes transparent during a drag to resize operation. This presumes PowerCADD menu > Preferences > View > Transparent Drawing is enabled which seems like a reasonable presumption since we can't have a discussion of Transparency? of bitmaps or any object if those preferences are disabled.

crop: bitmaps becomes transparent during a crop operation

deleting: clearly not an issue for transparency -- select the item and delete it.

apply bitmap effect: (choose Tool menu > Apply Bitmap Effect...) Transparency when selected doesn't seem important in this condition since only the bitmap is selected for the effect and the preview is specific to the QuickTime window, not the entire drawing window. After applying the QT Effect the item is rendered to screen normally when deselected

applying bitmap transition tools: (Bitmap Effect Tool and Bitmap Transformation Tool) Transparency of the selected bitmap might be important if the 4 sided polygon it's being mapped to is above it. However it seems more likely the polygon being mapped to is either adjacent it or can be easily moved for this single condition

Print Selection: This is a bit of an odd one. Selecting only a bitmap to define the region to be printed (for example for Selected Object/Fit to Page) will obscure other data above it which will in fact be printed. One could argue it's not consistent with a WYSIWYG? printing environment but this seems like a case where having a unique print region layer (with a rectangle or 2 snap points) fixes the condition and has other management benefits.

Consistency: This might be an issue as being a case for a special condition. A filled object (e.g. rectangle solid red) does not obscure data when selected and Highlight Selection is enabled. Then again, the rectangle can be edited (e.g. to change fill pattern or color) so one needs to see it in context. Since bitmaps become transparent when edited as described in other points above perhaps things are consistent in that context and the need for a special condition isn't necessary after all.

Other conditions may apply that aren't described above but it seems those are the majority of conditions which seem to work even if Highlight Selection is enabled.

The other part of the question

For the sake of discussion, let's presume a case can be made to treat bitmaps as a special condition. How should the bitmap be treated if not as described above?

Some immediate thoughts are:

Make the bitmap transparent: This already seems to be happening now but the bitmap could automatically be rendered as transparent when selected and Highlight Selection preference is enabled. The down side to this might be a significant performance hit since that transparent preview needs to be 'built' before it can be rendered to screen. In light of the fact many users now are running Mac OS X and PowerCADD 6 on legacy machines, this may not be a practical solution. In PowerCADD 7 running in OS X on newer hardware might not be adversly affected.

Show only a bounding box: When a bitmap is selected, a bounding box could be shown instead of the content of the bitmap. This solution has the potential of being very fast with respect to performance and could benefit users on new and legacy hardware. Further, it seems this could be an application level preference which is not directly related to Highlight Selection. That is, the preference would be a View preference which could allows users to always render selected bitmaps as 'bounding boxes only' (verses showing transparent content). This might have more merit that attempting to link things with the current Highlight Selection Preference. Clearly, if this feature were enabled, then one needs to go back and consider the implications of what happens when bitmaps are cropped or resized --a condition where a full verses bounding box only preview is essential to performing the task.

Low Rez Preview: Rather than a simple empty bounding box (which is potentially scary for a user to see) a low resolution preview might be the other model to consider. When a bitmap is selected, rather the rendering a high quality preview (currently the case), a low resolution - pixelated - preview may be faster to render. Of course this is also a potentially scary notion for many users since they click on an item and it changes on screen and they may think it's potentially destructive. Still, it might be worth considering - look at Apple's iPhoto for example which generates pixelated previews which become sharper after scrolling or loading has completed.

Similar to Hide Dimensions/Hatches/Text: (PowerCADD menu > Preferences > View // or // View menu > Hide Text / Hide Hatch / Hide Dimensions). The existing feature to hide Text, Dimensions and Hatching is currently in place to help tweak performance. Given this precedent, is the concept of a "Hide Bitmap" which would still render the bounding box (or some other mode of visual feedback) when selected any different? It seems they are all related at a conceptual level as they hide information from the user which is intended to help improve performance.

Summary

Based on the current behavior of bitmaps when Highlight Selection is enabled, there does not appear to be a case for treating them as special under those conditions. However, for general performance reasons, having a user preference which allows bitmaps to be displayed as transparent (currently the case) or as bounding box only or low resolution preview may be a direction worth pursing which would benefit system and application performance in general for every user rather than only those users who work with Highlight Selection enabled. Give we already have the ability to Hide Hatch/Text/Dimensions perhaps a logical precedent has been set and users would be comfortable (not surprised or shocked) with the idea of a 'hidden bitmap' which somehow shows only an outline.

Ultimately it comes down to clarity of communication with the user. The current model is very communicative and clear -- essentially not broken or lack of a better description. Still, there's always room for improvement and discussion is the only way to test ideas.

We hope that helps
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Dragging or Selecting Bitmaps Obscures Data

Question

When I drag or select a bitmap, it obscures all other data in my drawing. This is true even when the bitmap is on the bottom most layer of the layer stack. How do we correct the problem?

Requirements:

PowerCADD v6.0.8 and Mac OS? 10.3.2
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS 10.4.4 recommended



Background

This related article in our Answer Archives : Preview When Dragging Objects : may also contain helpful information

To allow users to optimize their work environment, PowerCADD has several application level preferences allowing you to fine tune performance, particularly with respect to working with Quartz in Mac OS X.

What to Do

There are three options to address the screen redraw condition being described

Option 1: read this related article in our Answer Archives: Preview When Dragging Objects

Option 2: Adjust the Transparent Drawing Preference:

  1. Choose PowerCADD menu → Preferences... → View Tab → Use Transparent Drawing settings
  2. when Transparent Drawing = ON (checked), bitmaps render semi transparent and all data is visible when dragging
  3. When Transparent Drawing = OFF (unchecked), bitmaps render 100% opaque (solid) and all data is obscured when dragging with the exception of the selected object







If you prefer to work with Transparent Drawing = OFF, then Option 1 may well contain the better solution.

Option 3: Highlight Selection Preference:

When Highlight Selection is turned on (checked), a selected bitmap will obscure all other data even when that bitmap is the bottom most object or on the on the bottom most layer. Disabling Highlight Selection corrects the condition, do this:

  1. Choose PowerCADD menu → Preferences...
  2. Click the View tab
  3. Uncheck Highlight Selection
  4. Result: When a bitmap is selected it will no longer obscure other data in the drawing above it

Note, if Highlight Selection = On (checked), and the bitmap is on the bottom most layer, selecting multiple objects which include the bitmap will still render all objects. That is, objects above the bitmap will be highlighted (grayed out) thereby allowing all objects to be seen. Objects on the same layer but on top of the bitmap will be obscured when they're all selected which is somewhat of an anomaly but may not be an issue as large bitmaps are typically always on their own layer for drawing management purposes.

The combination of preference settings noted above become important as they interact with each other during drag and selection operations. If you work with large bitmaps in drawings, looking carefully at how each combination works together will be important to find the best fit for your particular work flow. Don't forget to read the article described in Option 1 for additional information.

We hope that helps
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Drawing with a Touch Pad Feels Jumpy

Question

When I use the touch pad on my PowerBook to draw in PowerCADD the cursor feels jumpy and imprecise. This makes it very difficult or almost impossible to use snapping effectively, perform simple drag to move operations, or navigate using the interactive Pan Tool. How to do fix the problem?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X Panther or Mac OS 9
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Background

The nature of drawing with a computer requires fine control in tracking the position of the mouse and cursor to achieve smooth and accurate results. Tracking accuracy with external mice or a tablet and stylus will typically provide better accuracy and improve the feel of drawing in any application. However, there are times when using the trackpad on a laptop is necessary.

Ignore Accidental Trackpad Input (a System Level Preference) is often checked ON to avoid those frustrating moments when the trackpad is accidentally touched during a typing or scrolling operation in traditional word processing or general use applications. The accidental touches cause significant frustration as the cursor moves or jumps to a new insertion point without the user recognizing what happened. However, PowerCADD (and other drawing applications) don't see those minor touches of the trackpad as accidental. Rather, the minor mouse movements are important nuances to how a drawing applications provides important visual feedback and is critical to the feel of the drawing process.

What to do

The fix for improving the tracking and feel of drawing with a trackpad is simple:

  1. Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences > Mouse & Keyboard > Trackpad
  2. Uncheck Ignore Accidental Trackpad Input (unchecked = Off)
  3. Choose System Preferences > Quit System Preferences

Now, when you return to PowerCADD, the cursor should feel much smoother and more responsive.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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How do Key Commands Work

Question

I have key commands assigned to specific Line Weights, Dash Patterns and Arrow Styles. How does PowerCADD assign key commands to Line Weights and other object attributes?

Requirements

PowerCADD any version (version 7.0 or newer recommended)

Background

For a complete description on how to assign your own Custom Key commands to any PowerCADD menu item or tool, please reference the PowerCADD manual.

PowerCADD allows you to assign your own key commands to any tool or menu item in the application (PowerCADD menu > Preferences > Commands Tab), including Line Weights, Dash Patterns, Colors, and Arrow Styles, and so on. A printed list of these key commands is saved in the PowerCADD Key Defaults file (User Directory/Library/Preferences/PowerCADD/PowerCADD Key Defaults) that may be opened and printed for general reference.

Note: The PowerCADD Key Defaults is created when you add your first custom key command. If you never add your own custom commands, then the PowerCADD Key Defaults will not be created. In that case, for a complete listing of the default key commands reference the PowerCADD user manual.

Assigning a key command to a Line Weight, Arrow Style, Dash Pattern, or Colors actually assigns the key command to a unique position in the menu, not the actual value itself. For example, assigning the key command Shift + 1 to the 0.25 point Line Weight (Attr menu > Lines > 0.25 point) actually assign the key command to the first position of the Line Weight sub-menu.

But wait! You may have noticed, if you usually work in millimetres, the PowerCADD Key Defaults file lists your Line Weight key commands by numeric value (e.g. .18, .25, .35, etc). If the Line Weight key command were actually assigned by Position, shouldn't they read Line 1, Line 2, etc.?

In this case it's important to remember PowerCADD is putting a polite, user friendly, face on the database which actually makes up the Key Command lookup table. Since PowerCADD permits multiple Line Weights (and other object attributes) in a single drawing, and those Line Weights can be in any order with any unit (mm, inches, points), assigning values by name would quickly create an database list which would become impractical to manage.

What's Happening?

Behind every menu item name is a number. The text displayed in the PowerCADD Key Defaults file is all just a fascade for the database. To see physical proof of this, do this:

  1. create two new, untitled drawings
  2. in drawing one, adjust the Line Weight attributes to be in mm (millimetres)
  3. in drawing two, leave the Line Weight attributes in points
  4. with drawing two active, assign a key command to the 0.25 point line weight (first position in the Line submenu)
  5. draw a line in drawing two and use the key command assigned in (4)
  6. note the object is assigned a line weight of 0.25 point (first line weight position)
  7. make drawing one active and draw a line
  8. use the key command assigned in (4)
  9. note the object is assigned the mm line weight value specified in the first position for that drawing

The same rules applies for Dash Patterns, Colors, Arrow Styles and other object attributes.

How does this work?

The entire menu structure could be likened to a cascading waterfall. For example, in OS? X, to navigate to the First Line weight in the Attribute menu the waterfall, from highest level to lowest level, would look like (apologies to the programmers reading this - we realize the summary here is quite general in it's description) :

-application "PowerCADD" or any app. and this isn't even the top of the waterfall
---menu bar 1
-----menu title "Attr" (9) {Attr menu is the 9th position over counting the Apple menu}
--------menu "Attr" (1)
----------menu item "Line" (1) {First item in the Attr menu}
------------menu "Line" (1)
--------------menu item "0.25 point" (1) {1st item in the Line submenu}
--------------menu item "1 point" (2) {2nd item in the Line submenu}
--------------repeats for each item in the list

The same basic structure holds true for dash patterns, arrows, etc.

The Key Command is assigned to the specific part of the waterfall - whatever is in that position is what the Key Command goes and gets.

Imagine how complex the path would become if it was called by name - there would be a unique name for every possible size for each of the three units (points,mm,inches) - scary stuff!

Having said that - there can be times when it's advantgeous to call items by menu name instead of number. For example some items change position in the menus when an external is or isn't loaded. But that's starting to get a bit carried away.

We hoped that help lay the foundation for a more complete understanding as to some of the nuances with assigning key commands to Line Weights and other object attributes.

caddpower.com

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Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

Question

What are my options for keeping everyone in my office on the same page with respect to using the same line weights, colors, layers, etc.?

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X ( OS 10.4.4 recommended)

Background

PowerCADD 6 used Stationery Pads as the primary method for keeping everyone on the same page. In PowerCADD 7, Engineered Software introduced a new feature, Global Attributes which can also be used (note: Stationery Pads still exist in PowerCADD 6)

The distinction between Global Attributes and Stationery Pads for keeping folks on the same page is distinct.

The Differences

Global Attributes (accessed by choosing PowerCADD menu > Preferences... > General tab > Global Attributes check box )allows you to create common attribute menu items for Line weights, Pen and Fill Color, Fill Patterns, hatch patterns, Dashes, Arrows and Attribute Styles. The settings are saved in a dedicated default file named Default Table which is stored in user directory > Library > Preferences > PowerCADD folder > Default Table file.

It would be possible for a user to seed the Default Table file, put that on a server, and let others copy that file to their location to see the same attributes.

If everybody does not have the Default Table then they will NOT all see the same menu choices for the above note attributes.

That could be an issue so proceed carefully to really understand what Global Attributes is doing before going whole hog. It's a great feature -- just move carefully is my advice

What Global Attributes doesn't do is allow you to setup standard Layers, Sheet Setups, source objects like Title Blocks, Drawing scales, etc. -- that's where Stationery Pads still have their place as they can contain custom Attributes and all the other items listed above. In the case of a single Stationery used in an office, it could be saved on a server and PowerCADD can be told to grab that file on launch. In the case of multiple stationery pads, an alias to that folder on a server can be used locally to link to the various files. Both of those methods can, in some circumstances, make it easier to keep multiple people on the same page.

The PowerCADD 7 manual has several pages on Global Attributes and it's worth reviewing that and playing with it at the same time to see the implications. I recommend starting with a single custom attribute (something obvious like a huge fat line weight or custom fill pattern) first to see how that works then build up from there.

There is no right or wrong answer with respect to which to use -- Global Attributes or Stationery Pads. Each have strengths and weakness. Best advice it to experiment and see what works best for your particular conditions.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Maximum Number of Layers

Question

Is there a maximum number of layers I can have in my PowerCADD drawings?

Requirements

Any version of PowerCADD and Mac OS? (PowerCADD 7 or newer recommended, Mac OS X 10.4.3 or newer recommended)

Background

PowerCADD (and it's predecessor PowerDRAW) allow you create multiple layers in a single drawing (think of them as sheets of mylar or acetate for those of us old enough to remember manual overlay drafting).

In practical terms, there is no limit to the number of layers you can have in a drawing. Just how many are too many or too few layers is a matter of personal organization preference and the type of drawing one does.

In physical terms - sure, there is a limit. According to Engineered Software (authors of PowerCADD) that limit is 32,000 layers. Now, that's a lot of layers and we've been unwilling to take the time to try and physically test that limit.

Suffice to say that maximum of 32,000 layers , even if empty, would create a pretty darn large and incredibly slow drawing in terms of performance. We're also not sure how many monitors would be required to navigate that type of layer structure. Smile

What to do

Take a common sense approach and create as many layers as necessary to organize your work for maximum flexibility. It's unlikely you'll ever hit that 32,000 layer limit - at least we hope you never hit it ! Cool

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Methods of Panning/Scrolling :: PowerCADD

Question

How can I pan or scroll in the drawing window?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Discussion

Panning or Scrolling in a drawing window is the other side of the general drawing navigation coin (zooming in or out being the flip side of that coin). Here, in no particular order, are the methods available for panning (or scrolling) in a PowerCADD drawing (please reference the PDF? or printed manuals for specific, step by step, instructions on using these methods):

(1) Pan Tool:
In the first row of the tool palette, choose the Pan Tool then press and drag in the drawing window to 'move the paper' so you can see the desired area. This has been a Mac OS standard for decades and is available in various drawing applications.

(2) Interactive Pan:
Similar to the Pan Tool only it goes to the next logical level! With any drawing tool selected, simply press the Space Bar. The cursor will change to the 'grab hand' - press and drag to pan - release the Space Bar and you're drawing tool is still active - how cool is that!

(3) Scroll Arrows:
Click on a scroll arrow will move you up, down, left or right one line depending on which arrow you press (again, this is a Mac OS standard but it's so common sense it's too easy to miss, especially for new users or Windows / AutoCad converts). Of course there are some creative twists that make this feature even more useful. If you'd like to tweak performance, choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences > View and specify a smaller or larger number in the Line Scroll field. The Mac OS typically allows users to put scroll arrows at the top or grouped together at only the bottom - however - did you know you can also specify 'double scroll arrows' at both the top/bottom/left/right of the drawing window? That's right - here's a screen shot of how they look. The amount of mousing around this saves is significant!







(4) Scroll Up/Down/Left/Right
You can assign custom key commands which perform the same task as clicking on an up/down/left/right scroll arrow. Choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences > Commands > Miscellaneous and assign a key command to Scroll Up, Scroll Down, Scroll Left or Scroll Right.

5) Scroll Bars
Press and drag on a scroll bar (vertical or horizontal) to reveal a different portion of the drawing area. Again this is a Mac OS standard which can be customized in PowerCADD to help you optimize performance for your particular hardware configuration. Choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences > View and specify a smaller or larger number in the Page Scroll field. (see previous image)

(6) Area Between Scroll Bars and Scroll Arrows
Here is yet another Mac OS golden oldie method of navigation. If you click in the grey area between a scroll bar and a scroll arrow, you will advance height or width of the drawing window. This can be a great way to surf around a drawing, one drawing window 'tile' at a time. Think of this as moving 'one page' at a time where a page is defined as what you can see in the drawing window (remember, the drawing window can be any size and this feature will behave consistently with respect to that size).



[inline:Scroll02.jpg]




(7) Page Up/Down/Left/Right arrows
There are key commands which are also available to move one drawing window at time in the direction specified by the arrow. This has the same effect as clicking in the grey area between scroll bars and scroll arrows described earlier. The default key commands assigned are Shift + [the arrow key] where [the arrow key] is left, right, up or down as shown on the keyboard. Like all other PowerCADD key commands, you may also assign your own custom values by choosing PowerCADD menu > Preferences > Commands > Miscellaneous and choosing Page Up, Page Down, Page Left or Page Right.

(8 ) Auto Scroll
When dragging to draw or move an object, the screen will automatically scroll when your mouse collides with an invisible barrier on all sides of the drawing window. If you are having a difficult time getting this feature to work correctly, choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences > General and uncheck the box next to Drag and Drop Enabled. There is a fine line between wanting to drag and drop information out of the drawing window and wanting to enable auto scroll and early versions of PowerCADD v6 had a smaller 'sweet spot'. We recommend making sure you have the latest version of PowerCADD v6 to ensure the drag and drop verses auto scroll interface is working correctly.

(9) Overview Window
Press and drag on the red zoom rectangle in the Overview Window to move it. As the red zoom rectangle moves the main drawing window is updated.

In addition to the zooming techniques described in our related article and panning/scrolling, Sheet Setups (Layout menu > Sheets) and Saved Views (View menu > Views and View menu > Store Views) are also excellent means of further optimizing your drawing navigation. We hope that's helpful and gives you a few ideas on how you can navigate your drawings quickly and easily. Remember, there isn't any single method that will work for every drawing situation so practice them all and before you know it they'll become second nature.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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New Quick Pan Feature

New Feature in 7.0.2

The ability to Pan has been improved in PowerCADD v7.02 with the addition Quick Pan.

Requirements

PowerCADD v7.0.2 or newer



Background

PowerCADD v7.0.2 builds on the previous Pan tool to now allow for Quick Pan. In effect, Quick Pan temporarily disables or modified the redraw the following items to screen:

  • Hatch Patterns
  • Opacity? effects
  • Shadows
  • Text is Greeked (turned to gray boxes)

What To Do

There are two methods to enable Quick Pan which we'll describe here.

Option 1: Selecting the Pan Tool.
To enable Quick Pan do this:

  1. Choose the Pan tool from the Tool Palette
  2. Press Option as you drag the Pan icon on the screen
  3. Observe: some items are not rendered to screen as you pan through the drawing but all primary drawing objects are there for navigation context
  4. Release Option to restore the screen redraw to it's normal state

Option 2: Interactive Pan when another tool is selected
To enable Quick Pan do this:

  1. With any drawing tool selected, press Option + Space Bar
  2. The Pan tool is temporarily activated.
  3. Drag the mouse to pan in the drawing
  4. Observe: some items are not rendered to screen as you pan through the drawing but all primary drawing objects are there for navigation context
  5. Release Option to restore the screen redraw to it's normal state and your previous tool selection is restored

What we'd like to see:
We'd like to see this same Quick Pan technology applied to all the various methods of Panning and Scrolling available in PowerCADD as described in the manual and in this article on our website.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Opacity verses Transparency

Question

With the introduction of PowerCADD 7, Engineered Software has introduced a new opacity feature which allows us to independently adjust pen, fill and layer opacity . Well, what is it and how does that compare to transparency?

Requirements

PowerCADD version 7.0 or newer and Mac OS? X (v 10.4.4 or newer recommended)

Background

If you're already familiar with other applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, or if you've used Apple's Pages or Keynote applications, then you may already be familiar with the concept of opacity. However, the feature is new to PowerCADD 7 so let's begin with two simple definitions which lay the foundation for understanding the principles of opacity in PowerCADD 7

Opacity?: The condition of lacking transparency or translucence. We cannot see through objects which are 100% opaque.

Transparency?: The condition of being transparent or see through. An object which is 100% transparent is invisible.

In simple terms, transparency is the result of changing an objects opacity.

What does this mean?

In all versions of PowerCADD, prior to version 7, objects had two states. 100% opaque (we could not see through them) or 0% opaque (they were totally transparent). Think of a circle with a solid fill pattern. It obscured everything below it; the fill pattern was opaque. If that same circle had a fill pattern of Nil, we could see all objects below it; the fill pattern was invisible.





So, why is the new opacity feature in PowerCADD 7 referred to as opacity and not transparency?
In physical terms, we adjust opacity thereby determining to what degree information is hidden or revealed below. For example, an opacity of 100% hides all information below an object or layer . An opacity of 10% would appear almost totally transparent, allowing you to see through to objects below. In the example shown below, we adjusted the objects fill opacity from 100% (solid) to 0% (invisible); notice how we see more of the line below as the circles fill pattern becomes more transparent.





Why do the objects appear to fade to white?
In the above examples, the objects appear to fade to white because the background (in this case the PowerCADD drawing page) is white. However, if the objects below the transparent objects are colored, then the color tint will be different. Here's a simple example where the same solid blue fill object with a 40% or 20% fill opacity is overlaid on different colors and patterns. When compared to the white or black background on the far left, adjusting the objects opacity does not specifically fade to white. Rather, the color is a mix between the foreground (transparent) objects and background (opaque) objects.










While it's easy to confuse transparency and opacity, they are essentially opposite sides of the same coin. We change opacity to make something more see through, in effect making something more or less transparent. Put another way, adjusting opacity is like fading in or out. We fade in to solid, we fade out to invisible by adjusting an objects opacity.

We hope that helps
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Preference File Locations :: PowerCADD7

Question

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

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger or newer recommended



Background

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

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

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

The PowerCADD Preferences folder, located at User/Library/Preferences/PowerCADD, contains the following folders and files the first time PowerCADD launches. If you are upgrading from PowerCADD 6 and used Mac OS X your folder may contain additional custom items from PowerCADD 6.

  • Custom Tool Palettes folder: Your personal Custom Tool palettes.
  • DWG? Templates folder: Your personal Line Weight to Color or Color to Line Weight templates saved when using the PowerDWG Translator.
  • Gradient Templates folder: Your personal Gradient Templates you save using the Gradient Tool
  • Data Templates file: Your personal Database Templates you save using the Set Data command.
  • Default Tables file: Your personal Global Attribute values.
  • PowerCADD 7 Defaults file: Settings related to general application level defaults such as tool palette and floating window positions.
  • PowerCADD 7 Key Commands file: contains internal information used by PowerCADD to allow key command shortcuts.
  • Custom Color Palettes file: Your personal PowerCADD color palette information
  • Custom.Dict file: any words you add using the PowerCADD spell checker.
  • PowerCADD Key Defaults file: Your personal key commands. If you do not assign any custom key commands this file is not created.

What To Do

Your PowerCADD Preferences are stored in this path:
Startup Disk/Users/UsersHomeFolder/Library folder/Preferences folder /PowerCADD folder/. The PowerCADD folder will contain all the application level preferences, custom color palettes, etc, for PowerCADD and WIldTools as described earlier.

There is a second file stored in this location:
StartupDisk/User/UsersHomeFolder/Library/Preferences/com.engsw.PowerCADD7.plist. This file stores a variety of application level preferences such as layer names used for the Layer Tools function.

We hope that helps
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Preview when dragging objects

Question:

How can I see a preview of objects I'm moving when dragging them in PowerCADD v6?

Requirements:

Mac OS? X 10.2.x and PowerCADD v6.0.4
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS 10.4.4 recommended

Background

Prior to version 6 of PowerCADD (and Mac OS X), you could press the Option key when dragging to move objects. With the Option key pressed you saw a preview of all the selected objects. When the Option key wasn't pressed you saw only a dimmed bounding box defining the extents of the objects selected.

With the introduction of Mac OS X and PowerCADD v6, pressing the Option key when dragging an object will now duplicate the selected object(Drunk.

When you have multiple objects selected in PCadd v6 and you begin a drag to move operation, the object you immediately moused down on will be previewed and a dimmed bounding box defining the extents of the remaining selected objects is displayed.

Note:in PowerCADD v6 you also have a preference allowing you to enable or disable High Quality Drags. Typically, High Quality Drags is disabled (unchecked as shown in this screen shot) to help increase application performance by simplifying the image redrawn to screen when moving objects.






What to do

If you'd like to see a preview of all selected objects when performing a move by dragging operation, press the Control Key. When the Control key is pressed, all objects are previewed. When the Control key is released, only the object you immediately pressed the mouse button down upon will be previewed.

quicktime This demo movie (296KB download) shows the differences when we did this: (need movie help?)

  1. selected all the items to be moved
  2. pressed the mouse button down on one of the selected objects and started to drag
  3. notice the move cursor appears and only the object we moused down upon is previewed as we drag. All other objects are described by a dimmed rectangle defining the extents of the selected objects.
  4. observe that pressing the cmd>Control Key as we drag the item causes all selected objects to be previewed as we perform our move by dragging operation

A special note regarding bitmaps:
If the selection set contains a bitmap then there are two important nuances to remember:

  1. If a bitmap is part of the selection set and you mouse down on the bitmap to drag and move objects, then all objects are obscured by the bitmap. This is normal behavior. Simply press the Control key as described above and all objects will be previewed in the correct order.
  2. If a bitmap is part of a select set and you mouse down on an object other than the bitmap to drag and move objects then only the selected object is previewed as described earlier. Simply press the cmd>Control key and all objects, including the bitmap, will be previewed in the correct order.

We hope that helps
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Show Location and Grid Snap Settings

Question

How can Show Location and Grid Snap settings assist me in my drawing and design process?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X Panther
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Background

There are a wide range of conditions where Show Location and Grid Snap Settings can make the creation of accurate geometry quick and easy. The PowerCADD manual (Printed or PDF?) has excellent descriptions of these core features and should be referenced for additional information. This article will provide some general information to spark your imagination and give you a sense of how the information might help speed up your drawing process.

Show Location: can be useful as it tells you where you are on the drawing page. This information can be useful for measuring distances without using drawing or dimension tools or to help create geometry in a particular location. (see Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Show tab > Location check box)

Grid Snap Settings: are useful as the set the incremental value by which an object's size will increase when it's drawn, resized or reshaped. To be of value, Grid Snap must be turned on. Note, we ALWAYS recommend having Grid Snap turned on when drawing, this is just one of the many reasons. (see Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Snap tab > Grid check box). This becomes particularly valuable when you need to create fast, accurate, design layout diagrams. For example, if you are drawing a floor plan or elevation to a scale of 1/2"=1'-0" , setting a grid snap value of 3" means objects are be snapped in 3" increments when drawn. Drawing a line, for example, would see it's length increase from 3" to 6" to 9", etc., as the mouse is dragged to define the objects length.

What To Do

In the following example we demonstrate how you could use the Show Location (when set to Delta X, Delta Y) and Grid Snapping can be used to draw a line which starts from the corner of a building and ends at a particular delta X,Y location. Grid Snapping allows us to draw the object simply by reading the values in the Edit Window and Show Location indicator. Please note, we are using this example for illustration purposes only of how the techniques might be applied together. If you are wanting to draw objects a specific offset distance, there are other techniques including using Offset Snapping discussed in this section of our website which are likely more efficient.

quicktime Demo Movie (500KB download) (need movie help?) As you watch the above demonstration movie, please pay particular attention to the following:

  1. Show Location: We turn this on using the Drawing Setup settings and click on it to toggle between display states. Notice when we begin the drawing operation how the Edit Window and Show Location both tell us where we are in space and the objects size (in this case line length)
  2. Snap Window: We have opened the snap window (top left) which provides visual feedback as to the current object snap state. Notice as we mouse over the Vertex snap is automatic. We could have also forced an End snap by pressing E on the keyboard
  3. Drawing Setup Grid Snap: note we have set the grid snap to 3". As we draw, notice the Edit Window shows the object length jumping in 3" increments. Setting the value to 1" would jump object dimensions in 1" increments. For illustration we've shown a drawing setup scale of 1/2" =1'-0"
  4. Visual Feedback: notice as we draw the Show Location zeroed the Delta X, Delta Y when we started to draw. Notice it displays the values on the fly as we drag the mouse to draw. We can simply read the values in the Show Status location and release the mouse when we have reached the desired location

This is one way - there are easier ways to achieve a similar effect but this should give you a sense on how the Grid Snap Settings and Show Location can provide important visual feedback and assist in data entry.

quicktime Demo Movie (180KB download) to start drawing a line from a specified delta x, delta y offset. (need movie help?) In this example we did this:

  1. turned on show status as per pervious example
  2. clicked the mouse at the corner of the building (notice delta x, delta y were zeroed in the show status field, bottom left of screen)
  3. we positioned the mouse on screen where delta x, delta y were at the desired spot and clicked the mouse
  4. we choose the Continuous Line tool
  5. notice were we put the curser - far away from the spot we clicked in step (3)
  6. we mouse down and drag to start to draw - the line automatically started from the x,y location specified in step (3)

Since the Continuous Line tool starts drawing from the last place we clicked (the last mouse down location), setting the start point was as simple as reading the values in the Show Location indicator and clicking the mouse (again, an Offset Snap is likely the better choice for this type of operation but it does allows us to demonstrate the Continuous Line tool which is rare).

We hope that helps provide you with a few options on how to Show Location might be useful. We also suggest you experiment with the different Show Location states. For example how setting Show Location to length and angle could be used, in conjunction with Object Snapping, to accurately measure distances in a drawing without drawing objects. We also suggest you try different Grid Snap settings to see just what a huge time saver they can be in creating modular geometry --this feature alone is a valuable timesaver once you understand the implications!

We hope that helps
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Simulate Thin Lines :: PowerCADD

Question

My coworker doesn't like the Simulate Thin Lines feature and I do. Is there any way to have my Simulate Thin Lines setting override someone else's when I open their drawing?

Requirements:

PowerCADD v6 or PowerCADD v7
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? 10.4.4 recommended

Background

The short answer to the question is No. The same answer would also apply to any setting that is part of Drawing Setup and here's why.

With the introduction of PowerCADD 6, Engineered Software introduced the Simulate Thin Lines feature to take advantage of how Quartz graphics in Mac OS X can render objects to screen. That feature is still there in PowerCADD 7 (for specifics about this feature review your PowerCADD user manual).

It's important to remember Preferences and Drawing Setup settings are fundamentally different in where they are stored and how they affect a drawing. Understanding the fundamental differences between the two tells us why the simple No answer to the question is what it is:

Preferences:
Settings assigned in PowerCADD menu > Preferences... are saved at the application level and are stored locally with a specific Mac OS X user ID on your computer (User/Library/Preferences/PowerCADD/PowerCADD 7 Defaults). Those settings are applied to every drawing opened under that Mac OS X user ID.
Drawing Setup:
Settings assigned in Layout menu > Drawing Setup... are saved at the drawing file level. These values are retained when the file is opened by anyone else, on any computer or under any Mac OS X user ID.

What To Do

In this particular set of circumstances, the Simulate Thin Lines option is a Drawing Setup setting in both PowerCADD 6 and PowerCADD 7. As such, there is no way to automatically replace your Simulate Thin Lines setting with someone else's.

For example: If you coworker opens a drawing and changes Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Show tab > Simulate Thin Lines to Off and Saves the drawing. Then the next time you open that same drawing, the settings are remembered. You will physically have to turn Simulate Thin Lines back On again if that's how you like to work.

The only work around we can offer is chatting amongst yourselves, and agreeing on a standard. Hopefully understanding why the situation is the way it is will be of some help. Aside from using Applescript and GUI? scripting tools to automate the process (which we don't think is practical), unless Engineered Software physically moves the Simulate Thin Lines settings from Drawing Setup to Preferences there's no way to automatically change that settings once a drawing is saved.

Hint: There have been some big improvements with respect to the saving of Window positions being OS X user ID smart in PowerCADD 7 that are worth exploring in the manual.

We hope that helps
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Switching between Open Drawings

Question

Is there a shortcut I can use to switch between the drawings I have open in PowerCADD?

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger or newer recommended



Background

PowerCADD let's you switch between open drawings by choosing a drawing from the Window menu. However, there is an even easier way!

Mac OS X has several hidden gems that apply to every application. Using a key command shortcut to switch between open files in any application is one of those hidden gems. What we'll describe here is an easy way to toggle (switch) between the open drawing windows in PowerCADD, but the same technique also works with other applications in Mac OS X; give it a go Smile

What To Do

When you have multiple drawings open in PowerCADD, do this:

  1. Press Command + Tilde
  2. The Tilde key is that funny squiggly symbol that is just above the Tab key and just below the Esc key in the upper left corner of your keyboard.

  3. Result: The next drawing in the list is made active. The previous drawing window remains open.
  4. Repeat the key sequence in step (1) to toggle/switch/cycle through each open drawing

As simple as that is; it's easy to miss and is real time saver if you need to work with multiple drawings open at the same time.

We hope that helps
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Known Issues

About PowerCADD 7 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 7 is posted in this section of our PowerCADD 7 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.

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Can't Import Sheet Setups when Referencing Drawings

Issue

When Referencing other PowerCADD drawings you can no longer choose to reference/import the Sheets Setups after upgrading your copy of PowerCADD 7.

Affects

PowerCADD v7.03 in Mac OS? X



Description

In versions of PowerCADD prior to version 7.03, it was possible to also import Sheets Setups that were associated with the Referenced drawing. The manual describes the condition and the dialog box used to look like this:

After updating your version of PowerCADD v7 to PowerCADD v7.03 that feature is no longer available. The dialog box now looks like this:

[inline:PCD703References.jpg]

Work Around

There is no work around for this condition; Sheet Setups are simply ignored when Referencing a drawing which is how they were treated in versions of PowerCADD prior to release 7. After Referencing the file you will have to manually recreate the Sheets Setups in the master drawing.

This was a rolling design change implemented by Engineered Software.

We hope that helps
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Can't Tab into Edit Window

Issue

When I select an object in my PowerCADD drawing and press Tab the Edit Window doesn't activate. Instead the controls for Sheets, Layers, etc., in the bottom left of the drawing window activate. How do I fix the problem?

Affects

PowerCADD all versions in Mac OS? X



Description

Apple Mac OS X takes control of various key command assignments which affect all applications. In this case the Keyboard & Mouse settings have been setup on your system to use All Controls as shown below:

If things were working fine in PowerCADD (that is you could press Tab to get into the Edit Window) then the most likely cause of the problem is either the setting shown above was changed by clicking in the dialog, or perhaps you were in the Finder and pressed Control+F7 which would automatically changed the setting between the two available options. Regardless of the cause, the fix is easy.

The Fix

To restore PowerCADD's normal behavior of being able to press Tab to access and/or activate the Edit Window, do this:

  1. choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse
  2. press the Keyboard Shortcuts Tab
  3. press the Text Boxes and Lists Only radio button
  4. close the System Preferences dialog

The results should look the same as this JPG file:

We hope that helps
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Can't insert a window or door into a wall from Symbol Library

Issue

When using Wall Tools > Window Insertion Tool or Wall Tools > Door Insertion Tool to insert a window/door into a drawing from a Symbol Library, the resulting object is not inserted into the wall correctly and the wall is incorrectly trimmed.

Affects

PowerCADD v7 in Mac OS? X



Description

In previous versions of PowerCADD (that is prior to PowerCADD v7), the user could use the Window Insertion Tool and Door Insertion Toolto insert a objects from a Symbol Library into a plan and have the walls automatically trimmed.

In PowerCADD v7, attempting that operation does not insert the objects correctly, nor is the wall trimmed correctly.

Note: This problem ONLY affects using the Window Insertion Tool and Door Insertion Toolwhen the tools are set to accept objects from a Symbol Library. If the tool is set to Window or Door the operation works correctly.

Reminder: You can press Option when clicking on either of these tools to specify whether it is set to Window (inserts a generic PowerCADD Window or Door object) or to Symbol (inserts a custom, user defined, window or door object from a custom Symbol Library

To See the Correct Condition

We'll illustrate the condition using the Window Insertion Tool, however the same problem exists with the Door Insertion Tool
In PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Set the drawing scale to 1/4" =1'-0" (or your scale and units of choice)
  3. Draw a series of lines which represent the walls in plan view
  4. Open the Wall Tools floating tool palette
  5. Press Option and click on the Window Insertion Tool
  6. Click on the Window radio button, set the desired window values and press OK
  7. Click and drag between two wall lines to insert the window
  8. Observe: The window is inserted between the wall lines and the wall is correctly trimmed
  9. This is a correct result as shown below

To See the Incorrect Condition

In PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Create a file and select the tools as described in the steped noted above
  2. Create a custom window and put it into a Symbol Library
  3. Press Option and click on the Window Insertion Tool
  4. Click on the Symbol radio button and press OK
  5. Click and drag between two wall lines to insert the window
  6. Observe: The window is not inserted between the wall lines and the wall is notcorrectly trimmed
  7. This is an incorrect result as shown below

Note: the position of the incorrectly inserted window will vary depending on the position of the wall you tried to insert it into. In the example shown below it barely on page (top right). In some cases it's possible the inserted window will be entirely off page.

[inline:WindowInsertBroken.jpg]

Work Around

There is currently no direct work around to correctly insert a window from a Symbol Library into a drawing. One option to consider is to insert the symbol using the Symbol Tool and manually trip the wall lines; however this can be time consuming. If you have purchased and installed WildTOOLs, another option is to consider using the WildTOOLs Door and Window Tools for inserting windows as that tool allows a high degree of customization and you may find one that closely matches your personalized symbol library or you may find a suitable substitute which inserts and trims the walls correctly.

This issue has been reported to and confirmed by Engineered Software.

We hope that helps
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Compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard

Issue

I'm having problems with PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Leopard (10.5.x).

Affects

PowerCADD v7.04 or older and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x)



Description

Here is a recent listing of issues that Engineered Software has addressed with respect to PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Leopard

Many users have stated that after updating to Leopard 10.5 PowerCADD 7 is substituting fonts unnecessarily. Engineered Software has listened to those comments and updated PowerCADD to address several reported Leopard 15 issues.

Font names will be used to locate the correct fonts in drawings instead of font numbers. OS 10.5 Leopard changed the font numbers on many common fonts and PowerCADD was substituting fonts unnecessarily.

Several dialogs were not displaying their graphic elements under OS 10.5 Leopard and are now displaying correctly in their respective dialogs.

The Export dialog for Bit image exports was not updating at all. The Advanced dialog for Export was virtually a blank dialog. Both of these issues have been corrected.

We have added a user-selectable font replacement dialog for missing fonts when a file is read.

We have added a Find and Replace Font item to the Text menu.

We have fixed a crash condition when reading some PowerDraw 6 files containing symbols.

We have fixed a number of memory leaks when PowerCADD was idle and the active application.

Please report any other issues that you might find with System 10.5.x and PowerCADD to Engineered Software at engsw.com.

Work Around

The fix is to update PowerCADD to version 7.0.5. Visit this link at Engineered Software XTNL URL for update details. You can also choose Help menu > Update... from within PowerCADD v7. For details on how to update you can also visit this page on our website or review all the articles on our site related to updating PowerCADD from this page and it's related links.

We hope that helps
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Dynamic Snap with Object Snap off

Issue

Dynamic Snapping does not work if Object Snap is turned off in the Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Snap Tab. This condition is the opposite to how things worked in PowerCADD 6 and earlier.

Affects

PowerCADD v7.00, v7.0.1 in Mac OS? X



Description

In previous versions of PowerCADD (that is prior to PowerCADD v7), the user could force an object snap to occur by pressing the associated key command, even when Object Snap had been turned Off in the Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Snap Tab. This was a helpful feature since it allowed automatic snapping (which is what occurs when Object Snap is On to be turned off in crowded drawings but still gave the user complete manual control over the dynamic snapping process.

In PowerCADD v7, turning Object Snap off completely disables object snapping entirely for the specified drawing. This condition is contrary to how it worked in PowerCADD v6 and earlier

To See the Correct Condition

In PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Draw an object
  3. Choose Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Snap tab, uncheck the Object snap box, and click Ok
  4. select the Line tool and try to perform an End snap by pressing the E key and putting the mouse over the End Point of the object drawin in (1)
  5. Observe: the new line is drawn and snapped precisely to the end point of the existing object
  6. This is a correct result

To See the Incorrect Condition

In PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Draw an object
  3. Choose Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Snap tab, uncheck the Object snap box, and click Ok
  4. select the Line tool and try to perform an End snap by pressing the E key and putting the mouse over the End Point of the object drawin in (1)
  5. Observe: the new line is not drawn from the precise end point of the existing object
  6. This is an incorrect result

Work Around

One work around is to keep object snap on for all drawing situations. While this is typically the default condition for the vast majority of drawings and users out there, it could be a production slow down for some users who typically ran with object snap off in previous versions of PowerCADD.

The second option is to use a new PowerCADD v7 feature and turning Layer Snap Off for the desired layer[s] thereby reducing the number of objects that PowerCADD will automatically snap to in a crowded drawing.

This issue has been reported to Engineered Software by PowerCADD Canada.

We hope that helps
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Key Command Conflict with Show/Hide OS X Dock

Issue

The default key command assigned to Duplicate... in PowerCADD conflicts with the Mac OS? X preset key command Option + Command + D which is used to Show/Hide the Mac OS X Dock.

Affects

PowerCADD v7.00, v7.0.1 in Mac OS X



Description

Mac OS X has pre-assigned the key command sequence of Option + Command + D to Show/Hide the Mac OS X Dock. PowerCADD has also pre-assigned the same key command sequence to bring up the Optional Settings dialog for the Duplicate... command.

In this instance, the Mac OS X, system level, key command over-rides PowerCADD's internal key commands and pressing Option + Command + D will not open the Optional Settings dialog for the Duplicate... command. Rather, the Mac OS X Dock is hidden or shown. Another example of Apple grabbing yet another key command sequence at the system level which creates a conflict with any applications (not just PowerCADD) that wants to use that same key command sequence.

To See the Condition

In PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Draw an object and select it
  3. Press the default key commands Option + Command + D
  4. Observe: the Mac OS X Dock is hidden or shown (depending on it's previous status)
  5. This is an incorrect result, the Duplicate.. settings dialog should have opened

Recommended Fix: The default key command for Duplicate... should be changed from
Option + Command + D to Shift + Option + D or some other non-conflicting sequence such as Control + Command + D.

Screen shot updated below to show how the dialog would look after making the recommended change to Shift + Option + D

Work Around

Fortunately PowerCADD makes it easy to fix the condition. To get around the conflict, do this:

  1. Choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences... > Commands tab
  2. Scroll down the list to locate Duplicate...
  3. Click on Duplicate... and the current key command is listed on the right of the dialog
  4. Select the current key command and press Delete
  5. With Duplicate... still selected in the left hand scroll panel, press Add
  6. Press the desired key command sequence on the keyboard. To assign multiple key strokes press the keys at the same time. In our example, press Shift + Option + D
  7. The new command appears in the list on the right (see image above for an example of what the dialog should look like). Press OK to accept the changes.
  8. Result: now, when you select an object in the drawing and press Shift + Option + D the Duplicate.. settings dialog open allowing you to customize the Duplication operation.

Remember: When assigning a custom key command sequence, the sequence must include the Option key in order to open the optional settings dialog.

For more information on assigning custom key commands, review the PowerCADD user manual.

This issue has been reported to Engineered Software.

We hope that helps
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Layer Color Attributes and Move To Layer Cmd

Issue

When I use Move To Layer (a new feature in PowerCADD), and the destination Layer has a Layer Color Attribute, the relocated object does not adopt the Layer Color.

Affects

PowerCADD v7.00, v7.0.1



Description

The Move To Layer command let's me move objects from one layer to another. However, when the destination layer (layer I'm moving the object(Drunk) to has a layer color, the moved object doesn't adopt the layer color. If I use Cut or Copy and Paste to move the object between layers, the object I Pasted (i.e. Moved) correctly adopts the destination Layer Color.

To See the Condition

In PowerCADD v7, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Create a new layer, Layer 1. Do not assign any attributes to that layer
  3. Create a new layer, Layer 2 and assign a Layer Color Attribute of red
  4. Draw a Line on Layer 1
  5. Press Control and click on the Line in step 4 and choose Move to Layer 2 from the Contextual menu
  6. Observe: The Line does not adopt the red Layer Color Attribute assigned to Layer 2
  7. This is an incorrect result, the Line should have changed color

To see the correct results use Copy or Cut and Paste:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Create a new layer, Layer 1. No not assign any attributes to that layer
  3. Create a new layer, Layer 2 and assign a Layer Color Attribute of red
  4. Draw a Line on Layer 1
  5. Select the line in step 4 and choose Edit menu > Cut
  6. Make Layer 2 active and choose Edit menu > Paste
  7. Observe: The Line does adopt the red Layer Color Attribute assigned to Layer 2
  8. This is a correct result, the Line changed color

Work Arounds

Unfortunately, even forcing a redraw (pressing the 0 (that's zero) key) doesn't force the object to adopt the correct layer color if the Move to Layer command was used. The best method is to use Cut or Copy and Paste or Paste Special to move the objects between layers if the destination layer uses a Layer Color Attribute.

The issue has been reported to Engineered Software for action.

We hope that helps
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Magnetic Window Preference not shutting off

Issue

Floating windows are still stuck together after I shut off PowerCADD menu > Preferences... General Tab > Magnetic Windows.

Affects

PowerCADD v7.00 and v7.01



Description

Turning off PowerCADD menu > Preferences... General Tab > Magnetic Windows does not automatically 'unstick' or 'free up' all the floating windows and tool palettes that were previously stuck together.

What To Do

After turning off the Magnetic Windows Preference, press Command while dragging the floating windows apart. The window will not stick to other floating windows on subsequent moves.

Alternatively, leave Magnetic Windows Preference On, Control+click on a specific floating window to shut off Magnetic Windows for that specific window. While you'll still have to press Command while moving the floating window the first time, it will not stick to other windows on subsequent moves.

This issue has been reported to and confirmed by Engineered Software and we understand a fix is in progress.

We hope that helps
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Nil Pen Patterns Change Color

Issue

Objects with a Nil Pen Pattern change color when they are copied from their source layer and pasted onto a new layer that has a Layer Color Attribute assigned. This did not occur in PowerCADD v6.

Affects

PowerCADD 7 all versions



Description

The Pen Pattern and Pen Color of objects with a Nil (No) Pen Pattern are changed when pasted onto a new Layer with a Layer Color Attribute assigned. This has the net affect of making it appear as if the Nil Pen Pattern object is now assigned a color. In fact it appears the Pen Pattern attribute is being overwritten when the object is pasted onto the New Layer with a Layer Color Attribute assigned.

To See the Condition

In PowerCADD v6, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Layer 1: no layer attributes assigned
  3. Layer 2: assign red as the Layer Color attribute
  4. Draw a Circle on Layer 1 and assign it a Pen Pattern = Nil and a solid fill color of your choosing
  5. Copy or Cut the object drawn in step four onto Layer 2
  6. Note the Pen Pattern is still Nil. That is , it did not change
  7. This is correct behavior

In PowerCADD v7, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. Layer 1: no layer attributes assigned
  3. Layer 2: assign red as the Layer Color attribute
  4. Draw a Circle on Layer 1 and assign it a Pen Pattern = Nil and solid fill color of your choosing
  5. Copy or Cut the object drawn in step four onto Layer 2
  6. Note the Pen Pattern is still no longer Nil. That is , the object now has a pen color and pen pattern assigned
  7. This is incorrect behavior

The issue can be a subtle but important one with some smart object tools such as the WildTOOLs door and window tools which give you the option to use white filled objects (with Nil Pen Patterns) to mask out other objects such as wall lines.

The bottom line is the object Pen Pattern Attribute is being modified and thereby adopting the color assigned to the destination layer.

Work Arounds

Unfortunately, there isn't an elegant work around other than resetting the pen pattern of the copied/pasted objects back to Nil. That work around clearly has a problem in that if the object being moved between layers is composed of groups, every object in the group would then have a Nil pen pattern which is clearly not the desired intent. Bottom line at this stage is to be careful.

The issue has been reported to Engineered Software for action.

We hope that helps
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No Support for Spotlight

Issue

The text content of PowerCADD drawings cannot be indexed (searched) by the Mac OS? X Tiger Spotlight search engine.

Affects

PowerCADD v6 or 7 in Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x)



Description

PowerCADD v7 does not have direct plug-in support for Apple's Spotlight XTNL URL search technology. While you can still use Spotlight to search for PowerCADD documents based on file name, creation and modification date, and similar functions, the physical text based content of the PowerCADD drawing is not indexed for spotlight searching.

Work Around

Fortunately there is a work around which, while not perfect, does allow you to create additional keywords and comments that be added to any PowerCADD drawing which are indexed for Spotlight searches.

To add comments to any PowerCADD drawing, do this:

  1. Click once on the PowerCADD drawing in the Finder to select it
  2. Choose File? menu → Get info (or press Command+I)
  3. Enter your keywords in the Comments at the top of the Get Info Window
  4. Press the Close button in the top left corner of the Get Info Window or press Command+W
  5. The comments are saved with the PowerCADD drawing and are indexed by Spotlight

The work around can be time consuming if you have more than one file you'd like to apply the same comments to; for example you might have a dozen drawings for a particular project that need the same comments applied to. While it is possible to use Copy & Paste to apply the same comments to each file, even that is time consuming.

A fast solution for single or multiple files:
Fortunately, Apple has a solution for that too; it's called Automator. Rather than get into the specifics on how to make the Automator workflow, we've done the work for you, do this:

  1. Click here to download our AddSpotlightComments Automator Workflow Action
  2. That will download a zipped archive to your desktop; double click the archive AddSpotlightComments.zip to extract the contents
  3. File the extracted item someplace handy on your computer

To use the AddSpotlightComments workflow, do this:

  1. Drag and Drop a PowerCADD file onto the AddSpotlightComments icon
  2. Enter the comments in the dialog and press Continue
  3. To add new comments to existing comments, check the box Append to Existing Comments (recommended)
  4. The comments are appended to the file
  5. this operation cannot be undone

[inline:AddSpotLightComments.jpg]

Hint: If you'd like to add the same comments to multiple files, just select all the files and drag and drop them onto the AddSpotlightComments Icon. Enter your comments as described above and that content is added to all the files at the same time -- a true time saver! For example, you might want to add a note to multiple files that were "Issued for Construction" with a specific date and project number or other important keyword or date criteria.

We hope that helps
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PCadd7 Demo re-writes PCadd6 Custom Tool Palettes

Issue

Launching the PowerCADD 7 Demo on a machine with PowerCADD v6 already installed modifies the Custom Tool Palette resources. The Custom Tool Palettes originally created in PowerCADD v6 will not load the next time you launch PowerCADD v6.

Affects

  • Mac OS? X Tiger
  • PowerCADD v6 (any version)
  • PowerCADD v7.00 Demo as described here
  • PowerCADD v7.00 Shipping version



Description

Launching the PowerCADD v7 Demo or PowerCADD v7 Shipping version re-writes Custom Tool Palettes such that they can not be opened in PowerCADD v6. This condition may also be true for other resources such as Custom Color Palettes, Dictionaries DWG? Templates, Gradient Templates and Data Templates which are also stored in the PowerCADD Preferences folder but we have not tested those specific additional conditions. The PowerCADD v6 Key commands file is not affected as a copy of that resource is made when PowerCADD v7 Demo or Shipping is first launched.

To See the Condition

In PowerCADD v6 and PowerCADD v7 Demo or Shipping, do this:

  1. Launch PowerCADD v6make a new custom tool palette
  2. Quit PowerCADD v6
  3. launch PowerCADD v7 Demo
  4. Observe: In PowerCADD v7 Demo the custom tool palette created in step (1) appears in the Windows menu and can be opened and displayed normally.
  5. This is Correct behavior
  6. Quit PowerCADD v7 Demo
  7. Launch PowerCADD v6
  8. Observe: In PowerCADD v6 the original custom tool palette created in step (1) will not appear in the Windows menu and cannot be opened and displayed normally.
  9. This is incorrect behavior. The Custom Tool Palette has been modified by the launching of the PowerCADD v7 Demo and cannot be displayed

What To Do

PowerCADD v6 users should follow the following procedure to backup their PowerCADD Preferences before running the PowerCADD v7 Demo or PowerCADD v7 Shipping versions:

To backup your PowerCADD v6 Preferences, do this:

  1. open your User Folder > Library Folder > Preferences folder > PowerCADD folder
  2. make a copy of all the information in the PowerCADD folder noted in (1) and keep it in a safe place (your Desktop would suffice or some other logical location)

Backing up the entire PowerCADD folder will keep a copy of all your PowerCADD Preferences described earlier, including your Custom Tool Palettes. With that backup safe, you can now use the PowerCADD v7 Demo.

To restore your PowerCADD v6 Custom Tool Palettes or other Preferences, do this:

  1. Quit the PowerCADD v7 Demo
  2. open your User Folder > Library Folder > Preferences folder > PowerCADD folder
  3. use the backup copy of our PowerCADD Preferences folder described earlier to replace the item described in step (1).
  4. Launch PowerCADD v6 for production use as you would normally

Note: We're recommending backing up the entier PowerCADD Preferences folder as a simply and effective safe guard. It is easier and safer to backup all the resource files and know their safe verses backing up only selected resources and hoping the other ones are safe.

Another option: create a unique user ID in Mac OS X to run the demo in. This creates a distinct set of preferences for that use and protects your PowerCADD v6 palettes.

If you have already seen this problem and can't load your Custom Tool Palettes in PowerCADD v6, do this:

  1. Restore your Custom Tool Palettes from a backup copy
    • or
  2. Recreate the Custom Tool Palettes from scratch in PowerCADD v6

We realize that item (2) above isn't the most convenient process but it's currently the only method we're aware of, other than restoring from a backup, which fully corrects the problem. If we find any additional information or work around we'll post them here.

We still recommend PowerCADD v6 users download the PowerCADD v7 Demo to evaluate it as part of the upgrade decision making process, or use it get a leg up on it prior to your shipping version arriving.

The issue has been reported to Engineered Software for action.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Problem with Spaces and Mac OS X Leopard

Issue

PowerCADD v7 doesn't work and often crashes when switching between Spaces XTNL URL in Mac OS? X Leopard.

Affects

PowerCADD v7 any version up to and including v7.0.5 and Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.x



Description

PowerCADD v7.x (any version) is not compatible with Mac OS X Leopard's Spaces XTNL URL feature. This is a significant problem and can cause crashes in PowerCADD v7 which will result in losing unsaved changes in your drawings.

Work Around

The only known fix as of the date of this writing is to disable Spaces in Mac OS X Leopard:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Expose & Spaces
  2. Click on the Spaces Tab
  3. Uncheck the check box next to Spaces to turn the feature off
  4. Optional: Also Uncheck the check box next to Show Spaces in Menu bar
  5. Close the System Preferences window

The issue has been reported to Engineered Software and we understand they are investigation what can be done to address the condition. We'll post any additional information or fixes on this subject in this thread.

We hope that helps
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Slow down on Copy/Cut and Paste

Issue

I notice a significant slow down, the spinning colored wheel often appears, when selecting large numbers of objects and performing a Cut or Copy and Paste operation.

Affectcs

PowerCADD v7.00 and v7.01



Description

When selecting thousands of objects, and trying to Cut or Copy those objects to Paste onto a new Layer or into a new Drawing, there is a significant slow down. If the Activity Monitor Application is running, it shows PowerCADD as not responding for the time that the spinning beach ball is present. After several seconds (+30 seconds or more depending on the number of objects and computer speed) the operation completes.

What To Do

If your object is is/was to Cut all the objects to paste them onto a new layer, use the Move to Layer instead. That command typically doesn't exhibit the same problem. If the object was to use the data moved onto a new layer as reference or background data (perhaps it's a translated AutoCAD drawing), try using the Reference command instead for added drawing management flexibility.

If the object was simply to move the data into a new layer or use Paste Special : Through layers to get the data into a new drawing, then the easiest method for now is to reduce the number of objects being selected. For example only select data on 2 or 3 layers and perform the Paste Special multiple times. We realize this isn't an ideal situation but until a fix is provided by Engineered Software we're not aware of another fix but if we come across any ideas we'll post them here.

The issue has been reported to and confirmed by Engineered Software and a fix in progress.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Spell Checker and Numbers

Issue

The spell checker keeps finding numbers, example 12.25, when checking a document. This wasn't the case in PowerCADD v6

Affects

PowerCADD v7.00, v7.0.1



Description

When spell checking a document in PowerCADD v7, numbers such as 12.25 are always checked. In PowerCADD v6 those types of numbers were ignored which made more sense.

To See the Condition

In PowerCADD v6, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. type one piece of text, example 12.25
  3. deselect the text block
  4. choose Text menu > Spelling...
  5. the spell check completes without finding 12.25 as a spelling error
  6. This is correct behavior

In PowerCADD v7, do this:

  1. Create a New Untitled document
  2. type one piece of text, example 12.25
  3. deselect the text block
  4. choose Text menu > Spelling...
  5. the spell check considers the text 12.25 a spelling error
  6. This is incorrect behavior

Work Arounds

Unfortunately, there isn't an elegant work around. Choosing Ignore All in the spell checker dialog only ignores that specific number instance for that pass of the spell checker. Choosing Add, to add the number to the dictionary, is time consuming and is required for every possible number combination that might be in a technical drawing and isn't a practical long term solution.

The issue has been reported to Engineered Software for action.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Menus

About the PowerCADD 7 Menus Chapter

This chapter contains hints, tips, techniques and hidden gems on working with menu commands in PowerCADD 7.

Getting started is easy: simply click a link below

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Drawing an Isometric (3D) cube

Question

How can draw an isometric or axiometric cube (or other shapes) in PowerCADD?

Requirements

Any version of PowerCADD and the corresponding most recent Mac OS?
PowerCADD 7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4 or newer) recommended



Background

PowerCADD's Shear menu item (choose Edit menu > Shear...) let's you create a variety of isometric and axiometric views based on simple plan/section/elevation components.

What to do

quicktime Demo Movie(750KB download) illustrates the steps involved to create a simple '3d' cube. The steps to create more complex shapes are the same and they enable you to create a whole host of isometric, axiometric or even exploded isometric drawings! ( having problems playing the movie? )

We hope that helps
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New Print feature in PCD7.0.6

Question

New Printing feature for Layer Opacity? Attributes (transparency).

Requirements

PowerCADD 7.0.6 and Mac OS? X Tiger or Leopard (10.5.2 or newer recommended)



Background

Engineered Software issued an update to PowerCADD 7 bring it up to 7.0.6 as we noted in this article. As part of that general update, there is new feature related to printing of drawings using Layer Opacity settings other than 100%. Adjusting the Layer Opacity is a common technique to reduce the visual impact of content and help increase readability of drawings. However, in the Postscript printing world, transparency effects require the image to be flattened and rasterized (converted to pixels) which can lead to artifacts or a fuzzy looking image for all objects, on all layers, which might overlap with the transparent objects.

This article briefly describes that new feature and how it's intended to help address that printing condition.

What To Do

Choosing File? menu > Print..., then choosing PowerCADD Options opens the dialog pictured above.

Gray Pattern for Dimmed or Transparent Layers is an application wide setting to help address Postscript and PDF? workflows and flattening of transparent objects. Due to limitations in how transparent content is flattened (rasterized) at the operating system level during the Postscript and PDF printing process, the output may appear to become fuzzy or less sharp.

When checked On (enabled) the WYSIWYG? relationship between screen display and printed output is affected for objects with a Dimmed layer status or objects residing on layers with a Layer Opacity setting other than 100%. Filled patterns are not printed, and text, bitmaps and placed objects are printed as if their opacity were 100% (solid); objects on these layers are printed with a gray pen pattern instead. Settings applied for Color printing options in Drawing Setup, Print tab still apply.

When unchecked (off or disabled) the transparency setting set when a layer status is Dimmed or Layer Opacity settings are changed will be applied to all objects when rendered to screen and when printed. In the case of non-postscript printers, leaving this box unchecked (off) is recommended to maintain the WYSIWYG relationship between the screen display and printed output.

We hope that helps
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New Replace Font command in PCD7.0.5

Question

How do I replace one font family (e.g. Arial) for another (e.g. Helvetica)?

Requirements

PowerCADD 7.0.5 and Mac OS? X Tiger or Leopard (10.5.2 or newer recommended)



Background

Engineered Software issued an update to PowerCADD 7 for Mac OS X Leopard compatibility as we noted in this article. As part of addressing a font substitution issue in Leopard the update added a new menu item (Text menu > Replace Font...) that appears in all versions of PowerCADD v7.0.5 running in Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x) and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.x). Using the menu item is a snap but we've put together this simple set of instructions just to be thorough.

The uses for this new menu item go beyond addressing the OS X font substitution issue. Imagine being able to globally change your mind after entering all the text in your drawing in one font type, and quickly change it to another. How about changing all the text from an Imported *.DWG? file in one shot. There are several possible uses, all of which are real time savers!

What To Do

Replace Font... allows you globally change one font family to another. For example, you can change all text blocks in your drawing from Geneva to Times.

To use the Replace Font... menu item:

  1. Choose Text Menu > Replace Font...
  2. The Replace Font dialog will open as pictured below.
  3. Font to Find contains a list of all fonts currently used in your document. Click on the first font name in that popup list and selected the desired font that is going to be replaced.
  4. The Replace With list contains a list of all fonts available in Mac OS X. Click on the first font name in that popup list and select the desire font to be used as a replacement.
  5. Click Replace All and all fonts are updated in the drawing.

You might notice a delay in the dialog box opening because it's checking the fonts used in your drawing so it can generate the appropriate Font to Find list. The length of time it takes will vary with the speed of your computer, the number of text blocks in the drawing and how many fonts were used. In simpler drawings it may take only a few seconds to being almost instant. In others it may take 5 to 15 seconds. Be patient, the time it takes to generate the Font to Find is nothing compared to the time it would take to make the change manually in a complex drawing.

We hope that helps
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Select objects based on attributes

Question

How do I select objects by color and line weight in PowerCADD? Does this option exist?

Requirements

Mac OS? 9 or Mac OS X : PowerCADD version 1 through version 6
PowerCADD 7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4 or newer) recommended



Background

PowerCADD's Select Special... in the Edit Menu was intended specifically for what you need to do. Select Special... allows you to select all visible objects on all editable layers by any attribute of Line Weight, Dash pattern, line ends (Arrows), Pen or Fill Color, Pen or Fill Pattern, and/or Object Type, or any combination thereof.

Select Special... works with the Pointer tool's Selection Filter hierarchial fashion to allow the selection of specified object types that bear the specified attribute values.

What To Do

If you do know the specific attribute values you want to match:

  1. Choose Edit Menu > Select Special...
  2. Choose the specific attributes in the dialogue.
  3. Click OK

All objects matching your attribute criteria will be selected.

If you do not know the specific attribute values, but have an object in the drawing that bears those values you wish to match:

  1. Select an object in the drawing that bears the attributes first
  2. Choose Edit Menu > Select Special...
  3. Click Get Object Attr to set attributes to precisely those of the selected object.
  4. Click OK

All objects matching the attribute criteria will be selected.

Notes:

  1. To select only certain object types (example: Lines only) choose Window menu > Selection Filter and set the Selection Filter check box options for Lines only, then use Select Special... as described above.
  2. Ensure Edit ALL is ON to select objects on all visible layers.

We hope that helps
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PowerDWG Translator

Question:

Has the PowerDWG translator been updated for PowerCADD 7? If so, where do I order it and how do I install it?

Background

Yes, the PowerDWG translator has been improved and updated for PowerCADD 7. The PowerDWG Translator is now bundled (included) with your purchase of PowerCADD 7 and it has a vastly improved, interactive, interface making for more accurate and efficient translations. Best of all, the translators now support file formats through AutoCAD 2006! Read more in this PowerDWG Sneak Peak.

Prior to PowerCADD 7, the PowerDWG translator was a separate, add-on, product which required separate installation. In version 7 of PowerCADD, the PowerDWG is now included with the core product. As a result, the PowerDWG translator is already installed when you install PowerCADD.





What to Do:

Although it's installed automatically with PowerCADD 7, PowerDWG is still an External and as such, it can be turned on and off. If you are not seeing the DWG as an option when saving PowerCADD files, or you are not able to open DWG files, make sure the PowerDWG External is loaded:

  1. Choose PowerCADD menu > Preferences... > Loader
  2. Scroll down the list and click on DWG to check the item as on
  3. Click OK and Quit PowerCADD
  4. The next time you launch PowerCADD the PowerDWG translator will be available

If you are not able to open a *.DWG file and you have confirmed the PowerDWG External is loaded using the above steps, then check the file name. All files must have a valid *.DWG suffix in order for PowerCADD to list them in the File? menu > Open... dialog box.

We hope that helps
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DWG or DXF Files dimmed in Open Dialog

Question

I tried to open an AutoCAD DWG? file using the PowerDWG translator. However the file is dimmed (grayed out) when I choose File? menu > Open in PowerCADD. If I double click on the file I receive an error dialog box stating the file cannot be opened the PowerDWG translator. What's going on? I've used the PowerDWG translator before and didn't have any problems. How do I get the file open?

Requirements

Minimum: PowerCADD v6 and PowerDWG v6 and Mac OS? X or OS 9
Recommedned: PowerCADD v7 (includes PowerDWG v7) and Mac OS X Tiger or newer



Background

In order to open AutoCAD DWG files in PowerCADD you need the PowerDWG Translator External (XTNL) installed and loaded when PowerCADD is launched.

If you're using PowerCADD v6, then remember PowerDWG is a separate add-on to PowerCADD. It's also important to note to simple facts about the PowerDWG 6.1.1 Translator:

  1. The PowerDWG translator reads and writes to release 10 through release 2000 *.DWG files.
  2. The files must have the correct three letter 'dwg' suffix (example: filename.dwg) in order for the file to be displayed in the File menu -> Open... dialog
  3. DXF? files follow the same general guidelines

If you're using PowerCADD v7, then the PowerDWG Translator was included with your original PowerCADD purchase. It's also important to note to simple facts about the PowerDWG 7 Translator:

  1. The PowerDWG translator reads and writes to release 10 through release 2006 *.DWG files.
  2. The files must have the correct three letter 'dwg' suffix (example:filename.dwg) in order for the file to be displayed in the File menu -> Open... dialog
  3. DXF files follow the same general guidelines

What To Do

There are two basic causes and approaches to the problem. The first, most common problem, is a file does not have the correct three letter file suffix. The second is the file might be an AutoCAD 2004 file and you're using PowerCADD v6 with PowerDWG v6. We'll cover both aspects next.

There is also a another possibility -- the file was corrupted during internet file transfer, particularly if the file was sent via email. If you suspect that is the problem (or have tried these two options and the problem still persists) please read this article on our website if you received the file via email.

We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention that, after updating a version of PowerCADD v6, a manual update of the PowerDWG v6 Translator XTNL is also required. If there are multiple installations of PowerCADD on a computer, it's easy to loose track of which ones have or have not been updated. When all else fails, do a clean install / update to PowerCADD and PowerDWG -- we've caught ourselves forgetting on more than occasion to install the PowerDWG external and being confused when we couldn't open any DWG files |:) In PowerCADD v7 this isn't an issue since the PowerDWG Translator External is bundled with the application.

Option 1: Rename the file:
The simple solution/fix is to check the file name. It must have a DWG suffix. For example filename.dwg (filenames and suffix's are not case sensitive). If the file does not have a *.dwg suffix, PowerCADD will not display that file in the File menu > Open... dialog. The filenames will be dimmed as shown here:



Typically renaming the file by adding *.dwg will correct the problem. To rename the file, do this:

  1. click once on the file icon in the Finder
  2. press the Return key. The text is selected and ready to edit.
  3. the text of the file name will be selected.
  4. add .dwg at the end of the file name (note there is a dot before dwg)
  5. press the Return key

The file is now renamed and should appear in the File menu > Open... dialog . Proceed to open and translate the file as ususal.

Hint: If you try to double click a dwg file which does NOT have a *.dwg suffix, PowerCADD may try to open it and will display this warning dialog:

[inline:PowerDWGwontopen02.jpg]


This is a bit misleading as even if the file is a DWG version that the Translator can open, that warning dialog still appears. To correct the problem simply rename the file as described earlier.

Option Two: An Incompatible Drawing: PowerCADD v6 only

This condition only applies if you are using PowerCADD v6 and PowerDWG v6. PowerCADD v7 can open AutoCAD release 10 through release 2006 file formats. Upgrading to PowerCADD 7 will correct the issue and is the most effective solution in the long run.

If, after adding the *.dwg suffix you see this error message when opening the file then you have an AutoCAD v2004 DWG file which the translator cannot open.

[inline:PowerDWGwontopen03.jpg]


If this is the case, the best thing to do is contact the original file author and have them perform a Save As in AutoCAD where they can specify Save As R2000/LT2000 by simply selecting it from the drop down menu. Alternatively, we can take care of the translation for you . This isn't an uncommon problem even when sending files back and forth between consultants using AutoCAD. Not everyone uses the latest version of AutoCAD and older versions cannot open AutoCAD r2004 files. The problem and solution is the same for them as it is for folks using PowerCADD and PowerDWG.

Confirming if you have an AutoCAD r2004 or R2000 file:
How do you tell the difference between an AutoCAD r2000 verses r2004 file? If you suspect there is a file version problem, it's very easy to check manually even if you don't have a copy of AutoCAD. This technique works for both Mac OS and Windows Users. Mac OS X users can use TextEdit, Mac OS 9 users can use SimpleText and Windows users can use Note Pad or Word Pad. Of course, you can use any other type of word processor you like too, on any platform.

In Mac OS X the easy way to confirm it is in fact an R2004 file is to Drag and Drop the *.DWG file onto the Text Edit Application Icon. If the first word in the file is AC1018 you in fact do have an R2004 file. This picture is an example of what you would see:

[inline:PowerDWGwontopen04.jpg]


In Mac OS X the easy way to confirm a file was saved as R2000 (aside from the fact the translator can open it) is again to drop the file onto TextEdit. The first word would read AC1015 and here's an example of how that would look:

[inline:PowerDWGwontopen05.jpg]


We realize there appears to be little logic in what the first few characters read. Really -- does it make sense that an AutoCAD 2000 file would have AC1018 in the first line or would AC2000 make more sense? You be the judge, but in our view it's just one more example of the AutoDESK Wily E. Coyote approach to problem solving.

Still having problems?

If you've tried all these techniques and have reviewed the related links noted at the start of this article, all still isn't lost. You may want to take a look at our fee based File Translation or CADDcare services. The solution to the problem may be as simple as a phone call or email.

We hope that helps explain what's going on, why, and how you can work the problem with relatively little effort.

We hope that helps
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Flatten a Multi Layer DWG file into a single layer

Question

How do I flatten a multi-layer *.DWG? file into a single layer in PowerCADD?

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 , version 7.02 or newer recommended to use Move to Layer
PowerCADD v6 or newer to use Import...
Any version of PowerCADD to use Copy/Paste



Background

Typically AutoCAD DWG files contain data on multiple layers. While typically it's important and desirable to retain the layer structure, there can be times when it's convenient to have all that data flattened to a single layer in PowerCADD.

What To Do

All of the methods we'll describe here are available in PowerCADD v7 -- and some methods are available in PowerCADD v6 or earlier versions as noted at the start of this article.

Method 1: copy and paste
This method is available to all versions of PowerCADD. Simply translate the *.DWG file, then:

  1. Turn Edit All Layers ON in the Layers Window
  2. Choose Select All and choose Edit menu > Cut
  3. Choose Edit menu > Paste
  4. All the data is flattened to a single layer

If you wanted the data in a different file (perhaps your own drawing) simply activate that drawing before choose Paste and the data is inserted onto the active layer in the active drawing.

Method 2: Import the file
This method is available to PowerCADD v6 and v7 users. To translate the *.DWG file into a single layer:

  1. Open the drawing you'd like the *.DWG file to appear in
  2. Make the layer in the drawing the *.DWG data should be on Active
  3. Choose File? menu > Import... and choose the desired *.DWG file
  4. Specify your translation settings in the Incoming DWG Settings Dialog and press Ok
  5. Result: the multi-layer *.DWG file is collapsed onto the active layer specified in step (2)

Method 3: Use Move To Layer
This method is available in PowerCADD v7 only. The technique can be applied to any drawings with objects you'd like to now appear on a single layer. In the case of translating a *.DWG file, you could use this technique to flatten the drawing after you translate it but before pasting it or referencing it into your primary drawing. You could also use this technique after you've combined the multi-layer DWG file into your drawing and now you want it on a single layer.

  1. Turn on the layers in the drawing to be flattened
  2. Choose Edit menu > Select All (Cmd+A)
  3. Choose Arrange menu > Move to Layer > The Layer name you want the data on
  4. Result: all the selected objects are moved to the specified layer

Note: In step 3 you could also press Control + Click (or Right Click with a multi-button mouse) on any object, then choose Move to Layer from the contextual menu -- the results would be the same.

We hope that helps
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Paper and Model Space :: PowerDWG

Question

I know the PowerDWG translator will translate information from AutoCAD Paper OR Model Space but the manual says I need to perform two translations. It is possible to translate both Paper and Model Space at the same time?

Requirements

Minimum: PowerCADD v6 and PowerDWG v6 with Mac OS? X or Mac OS 9
Recommended: PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X (PCadd 7.01 and OS X 10.4.4 or newer recommended)



Background

In AutoCAD, information can be drawn in one of two drawing spaces. Model Space typically contains the primary object data used to create the content of a drawing: for example all the information in an architectural plan or site plan. Paper Space typically contains all the secondary object data used to describe things like the title block, notes or related annonations in a drawing.

When you open a DWG file in PowerCADD containing both Model and Paper Space information, the Incoming DWG Settings dialog box displays two radio buttons at the top of the dialog as shown here:




The PowerDWG Translator can translation information both Model and Paper Space and typically it requires two translations to get all the content. One translation for Model Space and another for Paper Space. Then the two drawings must be copied and pasted together to form a single drawing.

However, it is possible to translate both Model and Paper Space objects at the same time.

Caution: this is a hidden and UNSUPPORTED feature so proceed carefully. While we've generally have had excellent success, we have also found the odd file which has not translated correctly using this hidden feature. Please proceed with caution and examine the resulting translation carefully. In the cases where we've had problems, the condition has been very obvious. The process described in the manual, to translate Model and Paper Space separately is the official, fully supported method.

What To Do

To translate AutoCAD Model and Paper Space information at the same time using the PowerDWG translator, do this:

  1. Choose File? menu > Open... to open the DWG file in PowerCADD
  2. The data will be processed and the DWG Incoming Settings dialog will open with a preview of your drawing
  3. At the top of the screen, click the Model Space radio button
  4. Make the desired translation settings for scale, paper size, etc. in the body of the Incoming Settings dialog
  5. Press Option and click OK
  6. The DWG file will be processed and the resulting translation will contain both Model and Paper Space objects.

Notes:

  • In step 3, if the Paper Space radio button is dimmed, then your drawing only contains information in Model Space and that radio button is selected by default
  • In step 3, you can preview the data in Paper Space by clicking the Paper Space radio button prior to proceeding with the translation. We recommend previewing the data so you have a sense of what the finished translation should look like
  • In step 3, the Model Space radio button must be selected if you intend to translate both Model and Paper Space information at the same time

For more information on using the PowerDWG translator, the PowerCADD user manual has examples which are worth taking the time to review.

We hope that helps
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Read/Write Version Support: PowerDWG7

Question

What release version (version) of AutoCAD does the PowerDWG Translator support?

Requirements

PowerCADD version 7 and Mac OS? X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Answer

Read/Opens
The PowerDWG Translator reads (opens) AutoCAD release 10 through release 2006 *.DWG files.

Writes/Saves
The PowerDWG Translator writes (saves) to AutoCAD release 10 through release 2000 *.DWG files. The lack of formal support to write (save) to AutoCAD release 2006 isn't critical since newer versions of AutoCAD (example release 2006) can open older versions of the *DWG file format (example release 2000)

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Xref and View Port Support :: PowerDWG

Question

Does the PowerDWG translator support AutoCAD Xrefs and View Ports?

Requirements

PowerCADD version 7 and Mac OS? X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Answers

Xrefs
No, the PowerDWG Translator, bundled with PowerCADD v7, does not support AutoCAD Xrefs. Each AutoCAD Xref is a unique file and it would have to be translated separately. Ttranslating each file separately isn't recommended as the files typically don't contain a common reference set of objects to reassemble them in the right location. The best solution is to have the AutoCAD user perform a Bind Xrefs command to create a single, self contained file, then translate the bound file.

View Ports
No, the PowerDWG Translator, bundled with PowerCADD v7, does not support AutoCAD View Ports. The PowerDWG Translator lets you see and translate all data in Model Space, which is the true drawing environment in AutoCAD containing the actual objects used in the file. You can also translate any data in Paper Space separately using the PowerDWG Translator and reassemble the two files in PowerCADD later if necessary.

We hope that helps
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Techniques

About PowerCADD 7 Techniques

This chapter describes various techniques for performing various types of tasks in PowerCADD 7. Sometimes they include tips or hidden gems on using a specific tool or menu item, or often a combination of techniques to perform a task.

Getting started is easy: just click a link below.

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Adding Symbols to Libraries

Question

Each new job I start needs new symbols added. Can I add symbols to and existing Library ? Can the symbols include my special data tags so I don’t have to reenter that information on each job?

Requirements

Any version of PowerCADD and the corresponding Mac OS? to run it on



Background

There are three fundamental things to remember about PowerCADD Symbol Libraries:

  1. Symbol Libraries are not linked to a specific drawing file. Libraries can be used with any PowerCADD drawing. Set it up once and use it as often as possible
  2. Symbol Library content may be added or deleted at any time. This makes it keep ‘master libraries’ current by adding new content and deleting obsolete information
  3. Symbol Libraries can contain any PowerCADD object. This means if you used Obj. Text or Set Symbol Data or Set Symbol Fields (pre PowerCADD v6) or Set Symbol Tags (PowerCADD v6) to add your own ‘data tags’ of special information, that information is included with the object when it’s added to the library

What To Do

To add an object to your existing Symbol Library, do this:

  1. open the Symbol Library
  2. create the object in PowerCADD (add any required data tags using Set Symbol Fields, Set Data or Obj. Text)
  3. copy / paste the object into the Symbol Library
  4. Name the item
  5. press the Rename button
  6. Save the Library

PowerCADD 2000 and earlier Hint: When using the Set Symbol Data command to set the Data Tags before adding an item to a Symbol Library only fill in the first 4 fields. Use the Name Field, Field 1, Field 2, Field 3, leave Field 4 blank. When you paste the item into the library and name it, the field order is modified. The Name assigned in the Symbol Library always causes the list to bump down ‘one position’ as such, any data entered in Field 4 will be lost.

PowerCADD v6 and newer Hint: The nuance noted above with respect to symbol data on longer applies. In PowerCADD v6 or v7 simply use the Set Symbol Tags menu item to assign all the available fields. The order will NOT be change when you assign a name in the symbol library. Instead, a new field Symbol Nameis added to the top of the dialog box. This is a significant and welcome improvement

If you require further assistance or clarification to the information listed here, why not put our extensive experienced with creating, managing, reporting and analyzing PowerCADD symbol data to work for you. Email Us for no obligation fee quotation for a training consultation.

We hope that helps
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Adjusting the Opacity of Symbols

Question

I've inserted a graphic from a Symbol Library but I can't adjust it's opacity. What's wrong, how do I adjust the opacity of an object inserted into my drawing from a Library?

Requirements

PowerCADD version 7 (7.01 or newer recommended)



Background

In all versions of PowerCADD, objects in Symbol Libraries can be inserted into a PowerCADD drawing in one of two states:

  • As a Group
  • As a Symbol

The attributes of items inserted into a drawing as Groups can be adjusted. That includes the opacity attribute. The attributes of items inserted ito a drawing as Symbols cannot be adjusted. Those are two fundamental rules that have always applied in PowerDRAW and PowerCADD.

What To Do

There are two methods available to adjust the opacity of items inserted into a drawing as either a Group or as a Symbol that we'll describe here.

Option A: Insert items as Groups

  1. Open the Symbol Library containing the graphic to be inserted
  2. Scroll to the desired symbol and click on the main drawing window
  3. Press Option and click on the Symbol Tool
  4. Click the Group radio button and press Ok
  5. Click the mouse to insert the graphic into the drawing
  6. When the object is selected, observe that the Edit Window displays Group in it's title bar confirming your settings in step 4
  7. Choose Windows menu > Attributes to open the Attributes Window
  8. Drag the Pen or Fill Opacity? slider to change the opacity of the selected object(Drunk

In this situation, you can simply drag the Pen or Fill Opacity slider in the Attributes Window to change the opacity of each item. If multiple items are selected, the opacity of all items is changed at the same time. It's important to remember that since the object is in fact a Group that dragging either the Pen or Fill Opacity sliders will change both attributes. That is to say, the Pen or Fill Opacity settings are linked.

One primary advantage to inserting the items as a Group is you can adjust the opacity (or other attribute settings) of each item on the layer independently. Of course, you can also use the Layer Opacity Attribute to adjust all the opacity settings globally (as describe in Option B below) if that's more efficient.

Option B: Insert items as Symbols

  1. Open the Symbol Library containing the graphic to be inserted
  2. Scroll to the desired symbol and click on the main drawing window
  3. Press Option and click on the Symbol Tool
  4. Click the Symbol radio button and press Ok
  5. Click the mouse to insert the graphic into the drawing
  6. When the object is selected, observe that the Edit Window displays Symbol in it's title bar confirming your settings in step 4
  7. Choose Layout menu > Layers... to open the Layers Window
  8. Double click on the Layer Name onto which you inserted the Symbols in step 5
  9. Drag the Layer Opacity slider and press OK
  10. The opacity of all objects on the specified layer are adjusted

In this situation, because the Attributes of a Symbol are locked (cannot be changed or unlocked), using the Layer Opacity Attribute is the most efficient way to make the change. The other alternative is to use Tool menu > Replace Symbol... to globally replace all the items with Groups but that seems like a lot of additional adminstrative work but may be necessary depending on your drawing condition.

For more information on working with Symbols and the various optional tool settings and what they mean, please reference your PowerCADD user manual.

We hope that helps
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Converting an Ellipse to a Polygon

Question

How do I draw a polygon with segments of equal length that follow the shape of an ellipse?

Requirements

PowerCADD, any version
PowerCADD version 7.0.1 and Mac OS? X Tiger 10.4.5 or newer recommended



Background

There isn't any single, one step, method or tool to create the geometry you're describing. However PowerCADD does provide various simple techniques that can be combined to create the geometry you're describing.

What To Do

Here's one way to create the geometry you're describing that looks like this:

We've elected to draw the ellipse first, as shown in the screen shot and as illustrated in stage one below for general reference. However, it's important to note you do not need to draw the ellipse first! You could simply draw the multi-sided polygon and use the Edit Window to specify your desired Height and Width values (they don't have to be equal), then proceed directly to stage two. That saves you some steps and is the more likely procedure to be used during production. quicktime Click Here to see a Demonstration Movie (2.6MB Download) of the quick way to see just how easy it is! (need movie help?), Read on to see all the detailed, step by step instructions.

To create an elliptical polygon with segments of equal length, do this:

Stage One: Draw a multi-sided polygon that matches the shape of an ellipse

  1. Draw an ellipse with the general desired proportions
  2. Option click on the Polygon, Regular tool and specify 12 for the number of sides and click the by vertex icon. You could enter any number of sides you like but it's important to select the by vertex radio button since we're drawing one perfect quadrant of the polygon.
  3. use Center Snap to start drawing the polygon from the center of the ellipse.
  4. use Vertex Snap or End Snap to complete drawing the polygon along the Y axis. In effect the height of the new polygon matches the height of the ellipse
  5. drag the mid point control handle bar and snap it to the right most end point of the ellipse
  6. repeat step 5 for the left hand mid point. The result is a polygon that now matches the width and height of the ellipse. Notice the polygon segments are not of equal length

Stage Two: Set the polygon segments to the desired length

  1. select the polygon and choose Tool menu > Polygon > Distribute Points
  2. Use the Knife tool to break the polygon so you're only working on one quadrant of the ellipse.
  3. select the polygon and choose Edit menu and the Poly Edit... dialog will open
  4. Delete the extra point (point 5 in our example) by pressing Delete
  5. Click the AngleRadio button. Observe the length of each segment of the polygon is displayed
  6. Enter a value in the Length field and press the >> button to advance to the next segment
  7. Enter the same value for this segments length
  8. Repeat for each segment and press Ok
  9. Observe: the result as shown in the earlier screen shot.

Wow! that sure is a lot of steps and it's probably pretty hard to follow. Not to worry, quicktime Click Here to see a Demonstration Movie (2.7MB Download) of those steps and you'll realize just how fast and easy it is to do! (need movie help?)

In our example we added a few objects such as center lines to make it clearer and we've worked in millimetres to 12 decimal points of accuracy to illustrate how accurate this technique can be. We've also dimensioned the segments and used Edit menu > Mirror to complete the entire shape which could then be Attached to create one contiguous polygon.

Clearly the dimensions we selected for the segment lengths are arbitrary and you may need to be more precise in selecting your segment lengths to suite your particular drawing circumstances.

We hope that helps
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Created Dotted Patterns using Objects On Path

Question

How do I draw a dotted line? The dash patterns and dash pattern editor only allow me to create very short, square, dash patterns and I'd like dots instead.

Requirements

Any version of PowerCADD running OS? 9 or OS X.
PowerCADD 7 and Mac OS Tiger recommended

Background

While it is possible to easily create custom dash patterns in PowerCADD ( by choosing Attr menu > Dashes... ) the segments are typically rectilinear in shape. The best we can therefore create is a very short dash segment and white space which is square. The dots are very fine and might be a reasonable approximation of a 'dotted' line. However, if you truly want a dotted line which is composed of round dots (verses small squares) then a multiple step process is required.

While there are some disadvantages to a multiple step process, the level of control provided is considerable thereby making it a technique well worth considering. In this article we discuss how to create a dotted line effect using PowerCADD's Objects On Path... menu item. PowerCADD users who also own WildTOOLs may also want to consider using the WildTOOLs Linear Patterning Tool which also provides a great deal of control and excellent visual feedback.

What to do

To create a truly dotted line pattern (that is, a series of true circles representing the dots), do this:

  1. draw the path defining where you want the dotted pattern to follow
    • (the path may be a line, polygon, bezier curve, circle, or other PowerCADD object)
  2. draw the circle representing the dot with the desired attributes (color, line weight, etc.)
  3. select the circle drawn in step (2) and choose Edit menu > Copy (or Cut)
  4. click once on the path drawn in step (1) to select it
  5. choose Tool menu > Objects On Path... , a dialog box will open
  6. click the Clipboard? radio button
  7. choose the desired Placement options for spacing or quantity of objects
  8. press the OK button
  9. the object selected in step (2) is applied to the path

From here, you may choose to group the dots for easier editing later. The original path drawn in step (1) can be deleted or moved to it's own layer for save keeping in case it needs to be edited later.

quicktime Demo Movie (1.1MB). In our example we insert dots along a path defined by a bezier curve to give you an idea of how smoothly the dots follow even complex paths like bezier curves. Please note, the demonstration movie does not contain audio and is converted to grey scale (no color) to increase internet performance ( need movie help? )

We hope that helps
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Deleting Part of a Circle

Question

How do I delete just a portion of a circle between two tangent lines?

Requirements

PowerCADD 6 or WildTOOLs 7 and OS? X
PowerCADD 7 or WildTOOLs 8 and Mac OS X Tiger recommended



Background

There are at least four methods to delete just a portion of a circle using PowerCADD, and even more when using WildTOOLs and PowerCADD. We'll cover the basics here and give a demonstration of a few methods.

The two most efficient methods are to use either the PowerCADD Break Tool or WildTOOLs Scissor Tool.

The PowerCADD manual describes the Break Tool and techniques in more detail and gives several examples including circles, lines, and tips on how to make sure you are going to break or delete the correct portion of the desired object. The WildTOOLs manual also includes some important tips.

It's important to remember that all Modifier Tools, including the PowerCADD Break Tool or WildTOOLs Scissor Tool, also work together with PowerCADD's Dynamic Snapping to ensure a clean, precise operation. For more on Dynamic Snappingplease review Chapter Two of the PowerCADD manual.

What To Do

quicktime Demo Movie (792KB) illustrating how you can delete just a portion of a circle using either the PowerCADD Break Tool or WildTOOLs Scissor Tool. Note the Snap Indicator is used to confirm X (intersection) and V (Vertex) snapping to create a clean, precise, trim operation. When using either the Break or Scissor Tools, pressing Option and clicking on the object ensures the desired object is being edited -- this can become important in crowded drawings or in complex plans when working with Edit All Layers On. In our example movie we pressed Option and clicked on the circle before completing the break and delete operation. ( need movie help? )

While you can use the Break Toolto delete the entire segment of the circle you don't want, the other choice is to simply cut the circle. That creates a 360 degree arc. You can then use either the PowerCADD or WildTools Trim/Extend Tool to cleanup the intersections. The above noted link demonstrates that technique using the WildTOOls Trim/Extend Tool to cleanup the bits of the arc we don't want.

There are several ways to achieve the result you're looking for, those a few of them.

We hope that helps
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Drag and Move a Specified Distance

Question

I know I can move objects by dragging them with the mouse. However, sometimes I start moving an object by dragging and I change my mind -- and I need to move it a specified distance. Is there an easy way to do that?

Requirements

Any Version of PowerCADD or PowerDraw
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger recommended



Background

Recent versions of PowerCADD have a Move Window -- allowing users to specify a variety of move values and providing different methods for moving objects. However, one of the fundamental benefits of working with a Macintosh, and PowerCADD, is the ease with which we can simply move objects by dragging them around on the screen. Often, there are times when we need to move objects precisely, and sometimes that occurs after we've started to simply drag them around the screen.

Before there was the Move Window there was the Edit Window and Tab key-- This tip is taught as part of fundamental training by the folks at PowerCADD Canada XTNL URL (the source of this tip - Thanks!) and by caddpower.com trainers and consultants. It's such a fundamentally simple approach it easy to overlook but an important fundamental skill to have at your disposal.

What to do

The following technique involves two simple, and fundamental, strengths of PowerCADD. First, we can use snap commands to precisely grab objects when moving them. Second, we can use the Tab to suspend the mouse up operation and enter specific values in the Edit Window to specify the move distance.

Using the Edit Window interactively while dragging the object to invoke the offset move:

  1. start the drag of the object
  2. press Tab. This suspends the mouse operation and activates the Edit Window
  3. edit the move length and angle directly - or - edit the delta X or delta Y
  4. press Enter or Return.

quicktime This demo movie illustrates the above technique. (need movie help?) In this example, we did this:

Stage one: drew the red rectangle

  1. started to draw the rectangle
  2. pressed Tab to suspend the drawing operation. Note, the Edit Window activated
  3. press Tab to navigate into the height and width fields and entered the desired values
  4. pressed the or Return key to complete the drawing operation

Stage two: moved the rectangle using delta X, delta Y

  1. pressed the E key (End Snap)
  2. pressed our mouse down near the top left corner of the rectangle
  3. started to move by dragging
  4. released the E key
  5. pressed Tab
  6. entered values in the Edit Window. Note; we used addition and subtraction but could have used any mathematical formula or combined metric and imperial units
  7. pressed the Return key complete the move

The steps noted above sound like a lot of work but remember we're being thorough. As you'll see in the demonstration movie, the entire process takes only seconds to complete

We hope that helps
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Drawing using Pixel Units :: PowerCADD

Question

I'd like to draw in PowerCADD with the Units set to pixels (for example to draw web ready graphics) but don't see that as an option in the Drawing Setup Dialog. Can I draw in pixels in PowerCADD and if so, how?

Requirements

Any version of PowerCADD or PowerDRAW
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger or newer recommended



Background

PowerCADD let's you customize the Drawing Setup for Scale and Units. All that's really required is getting the scale and units set correctly and you're away to the races. The real piece of missing information is that 1/72" is the magic number. We won't get into the specifics as to why and how pixels can be different sizes for output nor will we review the interesting history behind how a postscript printing pixel came to use the standard of 1/72" (let us know if you are really interested and we'll consider putting together an article on the subject). Suffice to say that for our purposes a pixel is 1/72" or 0.013889" and if we work from that math, the rest is easy Smile

We'll describe the steps to create the appropriate drawing setup and scale settings in PowerCADD v6 (the latest version as of this writing) but the same fundamental steps apply regardless of what version of PowerCADD or PowerDRAW you're using.

What to Do

To draw using pixel units in PowerCADD, do this:

  1. choose File? Menu > New
  2. choose Layout Menu -> Drawing Setup -> Units tab
  3. set the drawing units to decimal inches
  4. set the unit accuracy to zero decimals (after all, we can't have a decimal of a pixel, we're drawing to the nearest whole pixel which seems logical)
  5. in the first Scale field enter a value of 1
  6. in the second scale field enter a value of 72
  7. set the grid spacing to 1" x 1"
  8. the remaining values don't really matter and may be set to anything you'd like. The dialog should look something like this:


  9. Click on the Show Tab and make sure the Units check box is NOT checked
  10. Press OK to close the Drawing Setup Dialog

You have successfully setup a drawing to create objects based on pixel units! Great and now is likely a good time to save this drawing as a Stationery Pad so you can use it again and again.

To see how it works, do this:

  1. choose Window Menu -> Edit to make sure the Edit Window is open
  2. click on the Rectangle Tool and start to draw
  3. observe the Edit Window is displaying values in pixel units. For example use the Edit Window to enter a width of 320 and a height of 240 to create a box which is 320 x 240 pixels.

And that's all there is too it, once we realize that 1/72" is the magic number it all falls together.

Now that you've read all these steps, it seems like a good time to mention can also click here to download a pre-made PowerCADD stationery pad which is already set to draw in pixels. The file is a PowerCADD v6 Stationery pad and requires and can be unzipped using Stuffit Expander or Mac OS X Panther or Tiger utilities.

We hope that helps
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AttachmentSize
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Email my entire drawing as a PDF file

Topic

How do I send my PowerCADD drawing as a PDF? file attached to an email message?

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger recommended



Background

Adobe Acrobats PDF file format has been around for a long time and it's a great cross platform format to use when sending drawings by email. Because the PDF format is based on Postscript, you can be assured it will be a high quality reproduction of your PowerCADD drawings. In fact, using PDF files is a great way to issue drawings for review and coordination and when sending content to reprographic service bureaus for color or black and white printing.

Prior to Mac OS X, creating PDF files required purchasing Adobe Acrobat Pro. With Mac OS X Apple has included built in support for the PDF File? format which makes it as easy as choosing Print... to get the job done. We'd be remiss if we didn't point out there are differences between the version of PDF that Apple implements and the one used by Adobe; you can review this caddpower.com article for some additional information and search this site for additional information on PDF and PowerCADD.

What to do:

We'll explore two basic methods of generating a PDF file of your drawing and attaching it as an email method; one method uses Adobe's Acrobat Pro to do the task, another uses Apple's built in support for PDF. There are also other third party applications on the market that allow you to create PDF files, one in particular we like is PStill by Stone Studio XTNL URL and we recommend visiting their website for additional information (when time permits we'll try to create a tutorial on PStill and PowerCADD as it really is a wonderful workflow tool!).

Method: Use Adobe Acrobat to create a PDF
This method presumes you've paid for and correctly installed Adobe Acrobat Pro on your computer.

Do This:

  1. Open the PowerCADD drawing you'd like to email as a PDF
  2. Perform a Page Setup for the correct sheet size
  3. Choose File menu > Print...
  4. Select Adobe Acrobat from the Printer menu and press Print
  5. Choose Standard from the Adobe Print Options popup menu
  6. Specify a location to save your PDF file in the dialog box and press Save
  7. Result: the PDF file is saved to your hard drive
  8. Open our email application and attach the PDF file from (7) and send it

Adobe provides a whole variety of options you can select when creating the PDF file using the above method. They range from the type of document security you might want to the level of compression and how fonts are embedded with the file. We encourage you to take a look at Adobe Distiller which is the core application used to create the PDF files. IT's installed in your Adobe Acrobat Pro folder. There is a wide range of options and settings that help you manage the quality and file size of your PDF output.

quicktime watch this demo movie (18MB - 7 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more.

Method: Use Apple's Print to PDF option
This method is essentially the same as using Adobe's PDF printer with one twist. Rather than pressing the Print button you choose PDF > Save as PDF. Rather than writing out all the steps we've just tossed together this quick demonstration movie

quicktime watch this demo movie (6MB - 2 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more.

Method: Use Apple's PDF Services to immediately create the PDF and email it
Here's a case where saved the best method for the end Smile If you've read this caddpower.com tutorial you've already seen how easy it is to use PDF Services to send just one part of your drawing as a PDF file. Well, it's even faster to do the same thing for the entire drawing, here's how:

Do This:

  1. Open the PowerCADD drawing you'd like to email as a PDF
  2. Perform a Page Setup for the correct sheet size (that was likely already done when you started the drawing but it's worth double checking)
  3. Choose File menu > Print...
  4. From the PDF menu choose Email PDF.workflow (if you don't see that option read this caddpower.com article on how to correctly setup PDF Services and add that item to the PDF Workflow)
  5. The drawing is processed and a new email message is created in Apple's Mail.app with your PDF in the body of the message window
  6. Compose the message and send it

quicktime watch this demo movie (14MB - 5 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more. This tutorial also has a little extra on how to create custom sheets sizes in Mac OS X Cool

Not only is the PDF Services process very convenient -- it also does not write (save) a PDF to your hard drive. It simply creates the PDF and attaches it directly to the email message. While there's a temporary file written to the hard drive which is typical of many Mac OS X operations but you don't have to do the housekeeping so we're not counting that file Cool

As you can see there are plenty of methods to get the job done -- each has a specific place in the drawing production workflow so it's worth knowing about all of them Smile

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Email part of my drawing as a PDF

Topic

How do I send part of my PowerCADD drawing as a PDF? file attached to an email message?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 or v7 and Mac OS? X Panther or Tiger
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger recommended



Background

With PDF Services integrated with Apple's Mac OS X and PowerCADD's Print command (and related options) sending all or part of your drawing as a PDF email attachment is a quick and easy task. To take advantage of the steps noted here you need to have Apple's PDF Services enabled and a PDF Workflow file designed to email files -- please visit this caddpower article for details on how to setup PDF Services in Mac OS X and for a free Email PDF Workflow file that does the job.

What to do:

In this example we're going to review the steps to email part of a drawing that is automatically scaled to fit an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. Typically drawings are larger than 8.5x11 and sending just a portion of the information is all that's need for coordination in our example.

To Email part of your drawing as a PDF attachment, do this:

  1. Open the PowerCADD drawing
  2. Choose Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Size tab
  3. Click Page Setup and specify an 8.5x11 sheet of paper and press Ok
  4. In the Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Size tab click and drag to select enough 8.5x11 sheets of paper to cover your drawing and press Ok
  5. draw a rectangle in the drawing that contains the frames or enclosed the content you'd like to email
  6. With the rectangle selected, choose File? menu > Print...
  7. Choose PowerCADD from the pop-up menu and choose Selection and Fit to Page
  8. Click on the PDF button in the bottom left of the dialog and choose Email PDF from the list
  9. A new email message is created in Mail.app and your selected area is included in the body of the email message as a PDF file

  10. Address and send your email message as usual

Now, that may seem like a lot of steps -- but only because we were describing every stage of the process. In reality it's very quick and takes only a few moments to complete the process. The bottom line is you need to only choose one menu command (Print...) to get the job done. The reason we performed the extra page setup steps was to have the image fit on an 8.5x11 page.

quicktime watch this demo movie (43MB - 8 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Factory Default Untitled Document :: PowerCADD

Question

I have customized PowerCADD so it always opens my own custom stationery pad every time I choose New from the File? menu. However, there are times when I'd like to use the 'factory default' untitled document. Is there an easy way to do that?

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 or v7
PowerCADD v7 in Mac OS? X Tiger or newer recommended



Background

PowerCADD v6 and v7 allow you to choose your own custom stationery pad as the default file when you choose File menu -> New. However, there are times when you might need to use the Factory Default Stationery file, for example if need you're performing trouble shooting operations. Here's an example of PowerCADD menu -> Preferences -> General -> Default Stationery looks when set to open a custom stationery drawing file:




What to Do

To open a New, Untitled Document with the factory default settings, press the Option key as you choose File Menu -> New. A new, untitled document will be open with factory default settings as setup by Engineered Software, temporarily bypassing all your custom stationery settings.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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General Methods & Techniques



quicktime Insert Door and Heal Wall Demo [110KB]: This brief movie demonstrates how doors can be inserted into a wall. The door is inserted onto it's own layer and the wall lines are automatically healed to provide a clean opening. This type of opening is essential when sending data back and forth via DWG? or anytime a true opening is required. To learn how the door was inserted onto it's own layer read about the Layer Tools feature in the PowerCADD manual.

quicktime New Hatch Tricks in PCadd 6 [490KB]: We don't show you all the tricks about what's new, but this is worth looking at. It shows a few key things. In particular, notice we're using contextual menu's (control click on an object or right click with a multi button mouse) to assign the various hatch patterns and we're changing the hatch origin! In case you're wondering, the hatch pattern is something we created using a Wacom Tablet and PowerCADD and Mac OS? X (WildTOOLs Sketch Tools was not required) --interested to find out how we did it? Drop us an email.

quicktime Change Hatches and Filling Walls [1.1MB]: This quick flick demonstrates a few key elements. First, we use the parallel line tool and door tool to create a quick and dirty floor plate. You'll note the hole is automatically cut in the wall and the ends are healed when the door is inserted. Second, we used the Selection Filter window to select only lines (we pressed Option and clicked on a check box - read the manual for more info). Third, with only the lines selected, we were able to create a hatch which filled the wall voids. Last, we selected the hatched polygon and changed the pattern to something different by pressing Control and clicking on the polygon to bring up the contextual menu.

quicktime Export Graphics Demo [1.7MB]: This was one was created in PowerCADD 2000 (v5) but the same basic approach applies today. Notice we can specify the region we want to export and we can choose from a variety of QuickTime file formats when saving. By the way, the renderings were prepared for the most part in PowerCADD -- we did some tweaking in PhotoShop for a special client presentation and to show off how PowerCADD and PhotoShop can work together. This movie uses the Mac OS X Victoria voice for the english voice over and has french subtitles. The reason for a computer voice? It uses less bandwidth and we used Applescript to convert our type written script into French and to create the spoken text!

quicktime Hatch a Region [320KB]: This was prepared in PowerCADD 2000 (v5) but the same technique applies in PowerCADD v6 or v7. You do not have to create a single polygon to define a region to be hatched. In fact the region to be hatched can be composed of any type of boundary as this movie shows.

quicktime Swimming Pool Demo [11MB]: We had someone ask us how to do a free form, arc/tangent and arc/arc pool layout. They also wanted to find quantities for different materials. This is a very quick and dirty demonstration where we simply captured our screen as we created this shape live for the client. This movie starts from the basics of performing a drawing setup and choosing a scale so if you're new to PowerCADD this may be worth a look. We also demonstrate how the edit window can be used to enter data on the fly and even accepts formulas for converting units. Notice we change our mind and delete items which is a natural part of the digital design process. We use snapping, trimming, lines, arcs and even use the Set Data menu item to insert a small table with key data for area and perimeter of the pool deck. This can be confusing without the live audio but it's worth a look as it uses a variety of tools and techniques and applies them to a real world situation.

quicktime Creating an Oval Mask [2MB]: We use a few different techniques using PowerCADD or WildTOOLs to mask out part of a photograph. Sure we could have cropped the photo or applied a bitmap effect to mask it. Truth is for square or rectangular shapes, cropping is better (and non destructive in PowerCADD). For special shapes, bitmap effects are good but the modify the original bitmap. So, when a client asked how to mask part of a photo with an oval, and still keep the original, we tossed together this demo.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Guidelines & Adopting the Angle of Objects

Question

How do I set a Guideline to an angle other than vertical or horizontal?

Requirements

PowerCADD 2000 (version 5) through PowerCADD v7
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended



Background

Guidelines can adopt the angle of any line , rotated rectangle or polygon face in the drawing. PowerCADD’s drawing rulers and the Option Key are key (sorry for the pun) to making things happen.

What to do

To have a Guideline adopt the angle of an object in your drawing, do this:

  1. Choose Layout Menu > Drawing Setup > Show tab and make sure the Show Rulers box is checked (in PowerCADD 6 or 7 you can also Control + click in the drawing window and choose Show Rulers from the contextual menu)
  2. Draw a Line (or polygon, or other object of your choice)
  3. Move the mouse over the rulers, the cursor will change
  4. Drag a Guideline off the ruler
  5. Press the Option key (cursor will change to a target cursor)
  6. drag the mouse & guideline and touch the line drawn in (2)
  7. the guideline will adopt the same angle as the line

quicktime Demo Movie (220KB Download) (need 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

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How do I create a grid paper layout?

Question

How do I create a traditional graph paper or grid paper type layout in PowerCADD?

Requirements

PowerCADD v5 or newer
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger or newer recommended



Background

One of PowerCADD's greatest strenghts has always been it's paper paradigm. Simply put, PowerCADD works on a computer just like you did with real paper, only with all the computer aided benefits.

There are a few different methods of creating a traditional grid or graph paper type layout using PowerCADD which we'll cover here. Which technique is right for you will depend on your own unique requirements.

What To Do

In all the methods we describe here, it's important to always remember:

  • PowerCADD works to scale. That means the grid spacing will depend on your drawing scale and unit of measure. In our examples we'll work at a drawing scale of 1:1. You could also use a scale of 1:100 or 1/4"=1'-0" or anything other value with the techniques described below.
  • Grid Snapping must be On: Choose Drawing Setup > Snap and make sure
    Grid is Checked ON. You can always press the Command key to temporarily override the Grid Snap during a drawing, moving or editing operation. Setting a drawing grid and turning Grid Snap Off is nothing less than a complete waste of time and energy.

Method One: An Invisible Grid
Let's assume we simply need an invisible grid. The Grid does not need to print nor be seen on screen, we simply want whatever we draw or move to snap to the grid.
Do This:

  1. Choose Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Units
  2. Set the drawing scale to 1:1, Fractional Inches (or your perferred unit of measure)
  3. Set the Grid Spacing to 1/8" in the X field and press Tab. Notice the Y value is automatically entered
  4. Press OK
  5. Result: We are returned to the drawing window. All objects we draw now will snap in 1/8" increments

Hint:If we had wanted the grid paper to be a 1/4" grid, we would have specified 1/4" in the X Grid spacing field.

Metod Two: A Visible Grid that doesn't print
Let's assume we want to draw to a preset grid snap interval and we want to see the grid lines on screen but we don't want them to print.
Do This:

  1. Choose Layout Menu > Drawing Setup > Units
  2. Set the drawing scale to 1:1, Fractional Inches (or your perferred unit of measure)
  3. Set the Grid Spacing to 1/4" in the X field and press Tab. Notice the Y value is automatically entered
  4. Press OK
  5. Choose Layout menu >GuideLines > Make Grid...
  6. Enter a value of 1/4" in both the Horizontal and Vertical Grid spacing fields. Leave the Angle field set to 0 degrees, 0 minutes, 0 seconds to keep the grid perfectly horizontal and vertical and press OK
  7. Result: We are returned to the drawing window. A series of blue grid lines appear in the drawing window at the specified spacing. All objects we draw now will snap in 1/4" increments and will snap to the blue guideline grid.

Hint: If you would like the grid of guidelines to be a different color, or to appear behind the objecs you draw, simply press Option as you click on a drawing ruler and choose the desired options from the dialog box.

Method Three: A Visible Grid that will print
You can probably already guess how this one will play out. We're going to set the grid spacing, but this time we'll draw real lines so the objects will actually print. To keep things organized, we'll put the grid lines on their own layer.
Do This:

  1. Set your drawing grid to 1/4"
  2. Press L to open the Layers Window
  3. In the Layers Window, press New to create a new layer. Name the layer Grid Lines and make that the active drawing layer
  4. Select the Constrained Line Tool from the tool palette and draw one vertical and one horizontal line across the top and left hand edge of the drawing page
  5. Press Option and click on the Parallel Line Tool. In the dialog box, enter a value of 1/4" for the offset. Check Single Increment and enter a value for the desired number of times you'd like the line offset and press OK. hint: the number will vary with your sheet size. You can always enter a rough guess, apply the offset more than once, and delete the unwanted lines
  6. Click and drag on the vertical and horizontal lines you drew earlier to create the grid
  7. Start drawing your objects on a new layer to keep them separate from the drawing grid

These are just three core methods for drawing using a grid in PowerCADD. Clearly there are other combinations of these basic techniques you can apply, along with other standard PowerCADD editing and object attribute features to create some interesting effects.

Don't forget, if you use the grid paper a lot, Save As... and choose PowerCADD Stationery and keep that Stationery Pad file in a central location. The next time you need to work with the same grid line settings, simply double click the Stationery Pad file and you'll automatically be working on a copy, protecting the original stationery pad drawing for use again later.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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

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Importing Excel Data as Real Objects

Question

How can I import my Excel formatted data so it's real objects in PowerCADD which can be edited or exported (Save As) DWG??

Requirements

PowerCADD v6 , Excel v10. , Mac OS? X
PowerCADD v7, Excel v10 or newer, Mac OS X Tiger or newer recommended

Background

There are several methods to import formatted data from Excel into PowerCADD. Typically, most import methods use PICT? or PDF? which work fine for printing and internal management but do not export via DWG.

Methods such as Drag and Drop or traditional Copy and Paste methods work and produce real text objects in PowerCADD. However, the data Copied to the Macintosh ClipBoard in Excel is not retained when the contents is transfered to PowerCADD and other applications.

However, there is a Copy and Paste method which does allow you to bring data from Excel into PowerCADD as real objects which can be edited and retains formatting.

What To Do

This a fairly easy two stage process:

Stage one: get the data from Excel into PowerCADD

  1. Open the Excel File? containing the formatted information
  2. Drag to Select the data to be copied
  3. Press the Shift Key and Choose Edit menu > Copy Picture...
    • (note: you must press the Shift key to see Copy Picture. Otherwise you simply see the Copy menu item which will not retain the formatting when Pasted into PowerCADD)
  4. At the screen prompt, click the As Shown On Screen radio button
  5. Make the PowerCADD drawing window active
  6. Choose Edit menu > Paste

The result is a PICT file which retains all your formatting (the Edit Window will display the object type). This is a great format for internal use, but if the file is destined for a Saved As DWG , the table will not be exported.

Stage Two: convert the PICT table into real objects

  1. Select the table in from step (5) in stage one
  2. Choose Tool menu > Convert to Objects
  3. Press the OK button in the caution dialog
    • (note: the object is now a group as confirmed by the Edit Window)
  4. Choose Arrange menu > Ungroup
  5. The table is now converted to it's core objects

It's important to pay close attention to the conversion process as some formatting may be lost. However, since we now have real PowerCADD objects, it's a simple matter to use various techniques such as Selection Filter settings, or Select Special... to make the desire adjustments. The finished result may be Grouped for positioning on screen.

The above method takes advantage of some simple techniques which produce a table composed of Text, Lines, and Rectangles. All of which will be included when you save your drawings as DWG or DXF?.

quicktimeDemo Movie (815KB download). (need movie help? )

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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Key Command to open Optional Settings Dialogs

Question

How do I assign a Key Command to Paste Special (or other PowerCADD Tools and Menu Items) which will bring up the Optional Settings Dialog box?

Requirements

Any version of PowerCADD (version 7 or newer recommended)



Background

Any Tool or Menu Item in PowerCADD which has an Optional Setting dialog can be called with a custom key command sequence which includes the Option Key. The 'key' (sorry for the pun) is to remember the Apple Keyboard Ergonomics is designed around the concept of the Thumb being on the Apple (Command) key. This provides maximum flexibility in creating key assignments which automatically bring up Optional Dialogs.

Using the Function keys along the top of the keyboard requires more hand movement and is