PowerCADD and Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite

Will PowerCADD Run in Mac OS? X 10.10 Yosemite?

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

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


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

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

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

To find out what version of PowerCADD you are using:

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

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

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

What To Watch Out For

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

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

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

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

What To Do

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

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

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

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

We hope that helps

If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak, Co-founder and Managing Editor, www.caddpower.com - www.powercadduser.com - www.powercadd.guru - www.wildtools.guru

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Free Update to PowerCADD 9.1.4 available

Engineered Software has posted a Free Update to PowerCADD version 9.1.4 on their website on the front page of www.engsw.com XTNL URL

We encourage all users running PowerCADD 9.x to take advantage of this free update as it provides full compatibility with Mac OS? 10.10 (Yosemite) and 10.11 (El Capitan)

Free updates are also available for WildTOOLs to version 10.1.3 and other third party externals - all items can be downloaded from the link noted above on the engsw.com homepage

Crash using Window Tool set to SYMBOLS

Caution: This will cause PCD? 9.1.3 to CRASH and you will loose all your unsaved work

Using the Wall Tools , Window Insertion set to Symbols will cause PowerCADD 9.1.3 to crash

The tool in question is accessed from
Window menu > Wall Tools
The tool in question is Window Tool
The Tool setting is SYMBOLS

Using the Window Tool with it's default setting of Window is OK!

The crash only occurs if you Option + Click on the Window and change it's setting to Symbol and THEN try to insert a symbol using the tool.

Mac OS X 10.10.2 & PCadd 9.1.3 Still not recommended

PowerCADD 9.1.3 still exhibits the same issues noted here in Mac OS? X 10.10.2 as it did in earlier versions of Yosemite.

Crash on Printing to PDF

Caution: This crash could significantly impact your workflow

When choosing File? menu > Print... > Save As PDF?... A crash will occur on the 7th Print... >Save AS PDF... command.

To recreate the condition in PCD? 9.1.3 shipping do this:

  1. quit PCD 9.1.3 and relaunch
  2. new untitled document
  3. draw a single line (any length, any location, any attribute)
  4. choose File menu > Print > Save AS PDF...
  5. In the mini finder/save to PDF dialog enter “1” as the file name e.g. 1.pdf
  6. click SAVE
  7. repeat steps 4 thru 6
  8. On the 6th attempt (i.e. to save file name 6.PDF you’ll be fine)
  9. On the 7th attempt (i.e. to save file name 7.PDF you’ll get a crash)

Note that the crash on the 7th print/save as PDF is NOT limited to the same file. For example if a user prints / saves as PDF from File-A 5x, then prints/saves to PDF from File-B 1x, and attempts to print/save to PDF from File-C the crash will occur. In effect the crash appears to be specific to 7 Print... > Save As PDF... operations in any given PowerCADD session - not file specific. A powercadd session = quitting powercadd and launching it and leaving the application open.

While we haven't tested every condition that might help break that cycle, the best work around we can provide is, after the 6th print/save to PDF operation we recommend saving the data file, quitting PowerCADD 9.1.3, then relaunching the application.

some possible fixes

Visit this page, scroll down toward the bottom, for a list of possible fixes


It's important to note that modifying the offending item inside the PowerCADD package hasn't been formally endorsed by Engineered Software. In fact the fix posted at the link noted above doesn't actually come from Engineered Software but is posted on their website. However, that article (and the downloaded applet), might be a viable solution for some users.

As always, if you plan on modifying the contents of the PowerCADD application we highly encourage you to make a backup of the current version of the application first

One Possible Work Around to Crash on Print/Save to PDF

During additional testing, we found that using File? menu > Print Sheets... delays the crash. That is, it's possible to create more than 7 consecutive PDF? files in a single file by using Print Sheets... as opposed to choosing file menu > Print... > Save As PDF manually each time.

Note: After the 7 attempt of using File menu > Print Sheets... you will still see the crash as described earlier. This would appear to indicate the problem is related to the Finders Mini-Finder Save As Sheet dialog that appears allowing users to rename the PDF file after they've chosen File menu > Print > Save As PDF.... After all, Print Sheets... goes through exactly the same operational steps the first time only then applies the original settings in the background. In effect, accessing Print Sheets... will still cause the crash on it's 7th application.

So trick above should be applied with caution but it may provide a viable work around for some workflow situations.

OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 and PowerCADD 9.1.3

As of Nov 19 2014, we still can't recommend running PowerCADD 9.1.3 with Mac OS? X Yosemite. While Apple has released an update to OS X 10.10.1 Engineered Software has not yet released an update to PowerCADD (be it 9.1.4 or whatever release version they'll choose)

Custom Fill Patterns and PDF Preview issues

This particular issue is covered in depth in. Essentially there's a bug in Preview.app version 8.0 (859) issued by Apple with Mac OS? X Yosemite 10.10. That bug can cause some custom color fill patterns to NOT render correctly to screen. That article covers all the details and then some.

Hard Crash when using Sheet Setups


We've put a tag in the original post above to this comment for details - the issue is critical and we don't want anyone to miss it. This condition has been reported to Engineered Software for their review and action.

When choosing Layout menu > Sheets > Save Sheet... PowerCADD 9.1.3 will crash
after entering the custom sheet setup name and pressing OK in the Name Sheet dialog box. If there's no crash there is the possibility that Saved Sheet Setup names won't render correctly in the list. At present there is no known work around for this condition.

In particular we consistently recreate the crash in PowerCADD 9.1.3 running in Mac OS? X Yosemite (10.10) on both a MacBook Pro and an iMac 5K. We have reports that others have also experienced the crash.

This problem/bug affects the usability of PowerCADD 9.1.3 for production work and such we recommend users not upgrade to Mac OS X 10.10 until a formal patch/fix is issued by Engineered Software.

Possible Fix for Cursor Transparency Problem

Above we described a condition where the selection cursor might appear as transparent --

There appears to be a fix that may exist for some users depending on specific system configurations.

Try This:

  1. Choose Apple menu > > System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Cursor Size
  2. Drag the Cursor Size slider all the way left to NORMAL

In some cases that corrects the display of the selection cursor in powercadd 9.1.3. For example we can confirm that on 2 MacBook Pros that corrected the condition. Another late 2014 iMac (Jul/Aug) that also exhibited the cursor problem reports the Cursor Size adjustment fixed the condition. However in other cases such as an iMac 5K that did not correct the condition. There may be additional system preferences, or hardware configurations (graphics board for example) that in combination lead to the problem.

Until we can isolate the condition further the above system preference check is worth trying.

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