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?


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


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

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Options added in PCD 8.0.4

In the free Update to PowerCADD 8.0.4, additional Save As... options were added.

  1. Open your drawing and choose File? menu → Save As...
  2. Choose .dwg from the Format pop-up menu and click Save
  3. A new dialog box opens as pictured below. Choose your desired options from in the dialog and click Ok
  4. The file is saved to your specified location

Powercadd 8 dwg save as optional settings dialog

About the Write Options dialog:

  • Visible Layers: Click this radio button if you want to save only the currently visible layers in the PowerCADD drawing
  • Sheet Setup: Click this radio button to active the pop-up menu. Select the desired sheet setup from the list of sheet setups saved with the drawing.
  • Entire Drawing: Click this radio button to save the entire drawing, all layers whether they are turned on or off (visible or hidden). The hidden/visible status is remembered: if the layer was off in PCD it will be off when the DWG file is opened. If the layer was on in PCD it will be on (visible) when the DWG file is opened.

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