What's new in DataCAD 10?
DataCAD 10 New Feature Highlights

How to access... How to access the new feature
Hint Helpful hints and tips

Backward Compatibility

DataCAD 10 uses the same drawing files, DCAL macros, templates, symbols, fonts, line types, hatch patterns, and layer files as DataCAD 9. DataCAD 10 also reads DataCAD 4, through 9 drawing files as well as DataCAD Plus drawing files.

Layer Manager

A new Layer Manager adds support for long layer names and allows you to view, arrange, sort, and change layer settings within the drawing. Layer Manager
Layer Manager Dialog
How to access... Access the Layer Manager from the Tools pull-down menu, by pressing [CTRL] + L, or by selecting Manage from the Layers menu.
Hint Click on column headings to sort layers accordingly. To make the new sort order permanent check the Save new layer order box. To make the new sort order temporary, leave the Save new layer order box unchecked.
Hint Drag and Drop layers to change their order. Hold down the [CTRL] or [Shift] key while picking layers to select multiple layers at once.
Hint Sorting layers will not adversely affect GoTo Views or Multi-Scale Plot details.
Hint Right-click in the layer window to quickly access the Select All and Set As Active options.
HintUse the [Insert] and [Delete] keys to add or delete layers.
Hint Select Revert to undo changes and restore the original list. You will lose all changes made since opening the Layer Manager or selecting Apply.
HintLayer names may be up to 88 characters in length. Only the first 8 characters are displayed in the standard layer menu, but a tool tip will show the full layer name when the cursor is passed over a button.
Hint The display speed and the color of the tool tip is controlled by a setting in the Misc tab of the Program Preferences dialog.
Hint You may view or download the new Layer Manger Technical Bulletin directly from the DATACAD web site.

TrueType Fonts

In addition to stroke-based fonts, DataCAD 10 adds support for Windows TrueType Fonts.
Font Settings Dialog

How to access... To access Font Settings, select Font Name from the Text menu.
Hint Check the "Fill using current color" option to use the active layer color for TrueType fonts.
Hint TrueType fonts may have different colors for outline and fill. To select a color for either, select Fill, Outline or Both. Uncheck the "Fill using current color" or "Outline using current color" check boxes, then click on the colored square to the left of the check boxes.

Hint TrueType fonts can be converted to 3D for use as signage in architectural models. Convert TrueType fonts to 3D by selecting 3D Edit, Explode, ToPgons.
Hint TrueType Fonts will display as DataCAD CHR fonts when opened in pre-DataCAD 10 versions.

Solid, Pattern, and Bitmap Fills

In addition to vector-based DataCAD .PAT hatch patterns, DataCAD 10 adds support for Solid, Pattern, and Bitmap Fills. Unlike hatch patterns, solid fills will display and print with the same density no matter the viewed or plotted scale. Solid, Pattern, and Bitmap Fill Properties

How to access... Select Hatch, SPB-Fill, Settings to choose colors and patterns (SPB = Solid, Pattern, Bitmap).
Hint To display solid, pattern, and bitmap fills in the drawing, first toggle Fill On and BMP On in the Display menu.
Hint The Status Window indicates display setting as either f = off or F = on in SWOTHLUDFB.

Hint The Outline boundary, pattern and fill may have different colors. The Preview window will show current selections.
Hint Check the Solid Pattern Fill box. Checking the Entity box will cause the fill to display with the color of the polyline entity in the drawing. To change the color, click on the colored rectangle. Select a pattern for the fill with the Pattern option. Check the Pattern color box. Checking the Entity box will cause the pattern to display with the color of the polyline entity in the drawing. To change the color, click on the colored rectangle.
Hint A bitmap image can also be used to fill an area. Check the Bitmap Fill box, then click on the file folder button to select the BMP or JPG image. Uncheck the Maintain Aspect box if you want to change the X/Y aspect of the original image. After selecting a fill or bitmap, click on OK. Pick an existing polyline area to be filled, or draw a new area with the Boundary option.
Hint You can control whether solid fills and bitmaps print behind or in front of lines by using the Print first or Print last options in the Pen Table.

Bitmap Import

DataCAD 10 supports Windows bitmap (.BMP) and JPEG (.JPG) files which can be imported into DataCAD drawings. An unlimited number of Black and White, Greyscale, and 8 - 32-bit color images may be referenced.

Bitmap Import

How to access... Select Insert, Bitmap to place a BMP or JPEG file in your drawing.
Hint Select Outline to draw a visible polyline boundary around the inserted image.
Hint Leave FixRatio selected to maintain the original X/Y ratio of the inserted image. Turn it off if you want to dynamically stretch the X or Y ratios while inserting the bitmap. The ratio of that image cannot be changed after insertion if FixRatio was turned on during insertion.
Hint To display bitmaps in the drawing toggle BMP On in the Display menu.
Hint The Status Window indicates display setting as either b = off or B = on in SWOTHLUDFB.
Hint Use bitmap import to trace scanned drawings, to display site maps, or to show digital photos of existing building facades.
Hint Use the new Calibrate options in the Enlarge menu to scale bitmaps to real-world size (see description below).
Hint You can control whether bitmaps print behind or in front of lines by using the Print first or Print last options in the Pen Table.
Hint Imported bitmaps are referenced, not inserted into the drawing file, and do not increase the drawing file size.

Calibrated Enlargements

New enlargement factor options have been added for enlarging or reducing imported bitmap and vector graphics to real-world scale. For instance, if you import a site map you can use the Calibrate Distance function to enlarge the plan to real-world dimensions.

How to access... Select Edit, Enlarge, Center of Enlargement, Enlrgmnt to access the new options.
HintPick Cal Dist, then select the first and second points to define the current length of an entity, or the length of a known distance within a bitmap. DataCAD will show you the current distance at the bottom of the screen, to the right of the Enter new distance: prompt. The distance might be something like 1-6 3/32. Type in the distance that the two selected points should be in the real-world, like 120 (feet). DataCAD calculates an equal X/Y enlargement factor for you. Now select the entity or entities to be enlarged, as you normally would. Use the Cal X-Y, Cal X, and Cal Y options to enlarge entities independently or unequally in the X and Y directions.

o2c Object Viewer

An o2c-based Object Viewer has been added to the View pull-down menu to provide real-time, dynamic, shaded 3D views of DataCAD models.

o2c Player

How to access... Select Object Viewer from the View pull-down menu
Hint [CTRL] + Right-click on an entity and select o2c Settings to adjust color, opacity, and reflection settings.
Hint Right-click inside the Object Viewer window and select Save Image to save a high quality rendered bitmap of the current view in the Object Viewer window.


DataCAD 10 adds direct support for eZmeeting, a third party, peer-to-peer Internet conferencing software for CADD drawings. From the View menu DataCAD users can launch the current view as either a 2D, 3D, or bitmap image into an eZmeeting conference.


How to access... Download a trial version of eZmeeting from the eZmeeting web site.
Hint Start an eZmeeting session by selecting eZmeeting from the View pull-down menu.
Hint eZmeeting will only appear as an option if it is installed on your computer.
Hint Collaborate, review, and share drawings interactively online with consultants and clients.

OpenGL Shader Enhancements

Several new enhancements to the DataCAD OpenGL Shader provide options for creating preliminary architectural views of 3D models.

- Shadow casting
- Custom edge color and thickness
- Custom overshoot setting
- Bitmap background image
- Color Mapping

OpenGL Shader
Wireframe / Shaded View

How to access... Select Settings from the Shader menu and toggle on Cast Shadows. Check Cast Shadow under Light Settings.
Hint Select Shadow from the Shader menu and select entities to receive shadows.
Hint An entity that receives a shadow cannot cast a shadow.
Hint Go to Shader, Settings for Edge and Overshoot options.

XClip (XREF Clipping)

Reference files may now have unique clipping boundaries.

How to access... From Insert, Reference File Management select Clip Cubes. Then select the XREF for which you want to define a new Clip Cube.
HintNow it is possible to have multiple Clip Cube definitions active simultaneously and you can enter text and dimensions outside of the XREF Clip Cube.

New Polyline Menu

A new Polyline menu has been added to the Curves menu, replacing the Polyline macro. It incorporates new options to make the creation and editing of polylines easier, including the ability to create voids. Keep in mind that hatching is defined by a closed polyline, so the polyline tools will allow you to more easily hatch your drawings.

How to access... Select Curves, Polyline, to access the Polyline menu. Select Edit to access additional editing features.
Hint While in the Polyline menu, use RectAngl or Closed to draw regular, closed polylines.
Hint In the polyline Edit menu, polyline vertices, edges, and curves may be edited in place.
Hint To create voids in polylines, first draw a master, closed polyline, then draw other closed polylines to later be defined as voids. For instance, a building elevation to be hatched might have a polyline created around its perimeter, then the windows and doors would have closed polylines drawn around them. To create and edit voids in a master polyline, select Voids, Select master polyline to process voids. Use AddVoid to pick other polylines to become voids in the master polyline.
HintTo hatch a polyline with voids, go to the Hatch menu and pick the new polyline to be hatched.
Hint Select Polyline, Covered to create a polyline with a closed top and bottom (for shading or rendering purposes).
Hint 3D Edit, Explode has ToPgons and ToSlab options to convert polylines to polygons.
Hint To find the Area, Perimeter or Centroid of a polyline shape, select the Area/Per option in the Polyline, Edit menu.
Hint Polylines support fillets and chamfers. Select Edit, then Fillets or Chamfer to edit the vertices of polylines.
Hint Polylines can be filled with hatches, solid fills or bitmaps.

Contour Search

A Contour Search option has been added to the polyline creation menus, and allows you to easily create outlines for fills and hatches. It will automatically search for the boundaries of a closed shape and create a polyline around it. For instance, DataCAD could find the edges of your walls in plan, then create a polyline for use in adding a hatch pattern.

How to access... The ContSrch option can be found in the Hatch, Boundary and the Curves, Polyline menus.
Hint Pick ContSrch, then pick an entity along the desired boundary, or place the cursor inside a closed group of lines, then DataCAD will try to find the lines that create a closed perimeter. The result is a closed polyline which can then be filled with a void, hatch, solid fill or bitmap.

HyperLink Enhancements

A new pop-up menu for creating and managing HyperLinks between drawing entities and GoTo Views, Internet URLs, and Programs has been added.

How to access... Use [CTRL] + Right-click while selecting an entity to access the Hyperlink menu.
Hint Select Goto View, URL, or File to associate the selected entity with one of those objects. Use Add to add a new link, Delete to delete one, or Edit to edit an existing link.
Hint Once an entity has been hyperlinked to a GoTo View, [Alt] + Left click on the entity to instantly recall the GoTo View.
Hint To recall a hyperlinked file or internet URL, use [Ctrl] + Right-click on a hyperlinked entity, then pick the file or URL.
Hint Select View, Hyperlinks from the View pull-down menu to display all the hyperlinks in drawing.

Drawing Navigation

New hotkeys to toggle between the previous and current view respectively.

How to access... Use [CTRL] + Left Arrow and [CTRL] + Right Arrow.


One click access to Color, Layer, Scale, Line type, and Selection Set menus.

How to access... Left-click on the text and graphics in the Status Window to access the respective menu. A hand with a pointing finger will appear as the cursor passes over each clickable option. Layer name = Layers menu; Scale = ToScale menu; Line Type = Line Type menu; selection set = EditSets menu; colored square = Color Palette dialog.

Color Palette / Color Mixer

A new color palette and color mixer have been added for selecting and editing DataCAD color palettes. This dialog appears whenever Color, Custom is selected.

Color Palette Color Mixer
Color Palette and Color Mixer

How to access... Select Palettes from the Tools pull-down menu.
Hint Select any color, or use Edit to create a custom color.
Hint The 15 colors across the top row are the standard 15 DataCAD colors. Clicking on a color will display the color below, along with its color name.
Hint Select SaveAs from the Color Palette dialog to save custom color palettes.
Hint This dialog will also appear when you pick Custom from any other Color menu, like the Layers, Color menu.

Improved DXF/DWG Support

Hint The DXF/DWG Import Dialogs now have local settings for Move drawing to origin, and Use color table.
Hint DXF/DWG Export Dialogs now have local settings for Translate custom lines to continuous, use color table, Explode 3D entities to 3D Faces, and Export XREFs.

DXF/DWG support added for
- Solid fills
- TrueType Fonts
- MText (paragraphed text)
- Polylines and polylines with voids
- Complex hatch patters such as StoneCAD
- Long layer names

Mouse Wheel Support

MouseWheel Zoom
Zoom in and out using the Mouse wheel.

How to access... Press [CTRL] and move the Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out.
Hint Adjust settings for the Mouse Wheel from the Misc. tab in Program Preferences.

Perspective Navigation Controls

New hotkeys and MouseWheel controls have been added to automate perspective setup and navigation using video game-style controls.

Hint Select Goto View, URL, or File to associate the selected entity with one of those objects. Use Add to add a new link, Delete to delete one, or Edit to edit an existing link.
How to access...Use the following hotkeys to access the walk-through commands.

[PgUp] - Walk Backward
[PgDn] - Walk Forward
MouseWheel - Walk Forward/Backward

[Up Arrow] - Walk Forward
[Dn Arrow] - Walk Backward
[Right Arrow] - Step Right
[Left Arrow] - Step Left

[SHIFT] + [Up Arrow] - Look Up
[SHIFT] + [Dn Arrow] - Look Down
[SHIFT] + [Right Arrow] - Turn Right
[SHIFT] + [Left Arrow] - Turn Left

Hint Use the walk-through hotkeys in any perspective view.
HintA new WalkThru, Options menu allows you to customize the way you navigate.
HintWhen FixFocal is toggled on you will always look at the same point in your model while navigating.
HintWhen FixFocal is toggled off your focal point will move the same distance as your eye point while navigating.
HintWhen FixFocal and FixDist are toggled on you will navigate spherically around a fixed focal point while navigating.
HintIt is not possible to turn off FixFocal and FixDist at the same time.
HintTurning PanView on disables the walk through controls so you can pan and zoom your perspective view as if it were a two-dimensional drawing.

VRML Export

DataCAD models can be exported to VRML 1.0 (Virtual Reality Markup Language).

How to access... Select File, Export, VRML.
Hint The model is exported in web-friendly 3D format, viewable with any VRML viewer.

Batch Plotting to PDF

In addition to direct printing and plot files, drawings may now be batch plotted to Adobe Acrobat format directly from DataCAD.

How to access... Check Plot To File(s) from the Batch Plotting Setup and set the File Format to PDF.

Batch Plot Scripting

An enhanced scripting language allows larger firms to develop custom automated batch plotting routines.

Revision History