Forum dedicated to drawing translation issues.

Moderator: David A. Giesselman

#70647 by George W. Burns CPBD
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:57 pm
My situation:
Some of you may have seen my previous posts. I am a former DC8.05 user (for many years), but I used it only sparingly, as I am a hand-drawer mostly. That is to say, I can draft in DataCad, but I never got into the full use of all the features. But i learned DC at least well enough to "alt-g, offset" without even thinking about the steps or looking at the keyboard.

2010, I had no work (as was the case with most home designers), so I went to Architect school. Spent 6 years full time and got my masters. We had two semesters of computer (CAD) training, one of them being fully devoted to AutoCad. I am so used to DataCad interface and processes, I was horrible at it.

Upon graduating, I struck up a deal with a local Architect to work for him to get my IDP. The first project I did for him I did by hand. He didn't mind because it was a residential project, but now he's got some commercial work for me, and it has to be produced in AutoCad. He's all concerned about DWG translation and such.

SO AM I.

But I told him "don't worry... a LOT of DataCad users consult with AutoCad users. I'm sure there is a system of translation that everybody uses."

SO, NOW I HAVE PURCHASED DataCAD 19, and am lost as a goose looking at the screen, but it's coming around...

I have gathered one thing so far. I can set my import/export DWG dialog to "match AutoCad colors." Can I just leave it that way, and I just use his color scheme all the time? IOW, If I do that, would it be like just opening a drawing file without having to do anything special each instance for both him and me?
What other obstacles are out there for us to trip over? I think he's on AutoCad 2012.
I could use some ideas on this relationship.
#70688 by George W. Burns CPBD
Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:57 pm
George W. Burns CPBD wrote:I have gathered one thing so far. I can set my import/export DWG dialog to "match AutoCad colors." Can I just leave it that way, and I just use his color scheme all the time? IOW, If I do that, would it be like just opening a drawing file without having to do anything special each instance for both him and me?
What other obstacles are out there for us to trip over? I think he's on AutoCad 2012.
I could use some ideas on this relationship.


Surely one of the 66 people who have viewed this thread could answer this question? ^^^ This has got to be a common situation with DataCad users.
#70690 by MtnArch
Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:42 pm
You will need to set up your Dcad to Acad color pallet so that your colors match up with Acad, but along with that you may want to verify what the colors are that you'll need on the Acad end to match up with THEIR pen tables. For example, say that in Dcad you have Red set to a medium pen thickness; when you export to DWG and it opens in Acad as red, does the end user utilize red as a medium pen thickness too? If not you will have to map your Dcad colors to their Acad colors so that they import and print correctly. The other side of this is if you are dictating colors and pen settings, the Acad'r will need to go through their pen table and modify it to match up with how your colors translate. Unfortunately there isn't a translator to send Dcad's pen table over to Acad.
#70691 by George W. Burns CPBD
Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:56 pm
MtnArch wrote:You will need to set up your Dcad to Acad color pallet so that your colors match up with Acad, but along with that you may want to verify what the colors are that you'll need on the Acad end to match up with THEIR pen tables. For example, say that in Dcad you have Red set to a medium pen thickness; when you export to DWG and it opens in Acad as red, does the end user utilize red as a medium pen thickness too? If not you will have to map your Dcad colors to their Acad colors so that they import and print correctly. The other side of this is if you are dictating colors and pen settings, the Acad'r will need to go through their pen table and modify it to match up with how your colors translate. Unfortunately there isn't a translator to send Dcad's pen table over to Acad.


Okay, I think I understand all that in theory. My Architect supervisor has files already started in AutoCad that he would send me to work on. IN PRACTICE... what do I do first? If I open DC, and then search for the DWG file and import it, it opens with layers and everything. Can I THEN change the color mapping, or should I have changed the color mapping BEFORE I imported it? Then when I am done with my work and need it to send it back to him, I..... what? Save as DWG? What happens to the color mapping at that point?
#70694 by MtnArch
Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:07 pm
Here's the way that I would set this up:

First, decide if you want to mimic the colors that Acad uses when you import it into Dcad (this makes the most amount of sense to me ... but you'll need to make the call). You'll need to have a file open to start setting up your import and export settings (it can be any AEC file) - you'll find it under Tools\DXF/DWG Color Map. Note the radio buttons on the bottom left - you'll need to set these for BOTH. I just left mine under the Default.RGB file, but I think you can set up different RGB's based on your Color Palettes (I'll have to look into that).

If you decide you DON'T want to mimic the Acad colors you'll want to make sure that you set up the import colors to match your colors **for your pen settings**. In other words, you will need to know what the pen settings are from Acad for each color in order to properly map which Acad color would match your Dcad color pen settings. This may take a few attempts to get exactly the way you want it, but it is well worth the effort!

Once you have the color mapper set up you're ready to open the DWG file. Dcad will import the DWG and assign the colors as you mapped them; when you export your worked-on file (or finished file) Dcad will change the colors back the way you have them mapped.

One thing to be aware of (in case you may not know it already) is that if you have multiple entities on the same layer but with different colors, they will translate over the same way. But even though they display correctly (and should print correctly) in Acad, if someone (ie. your supervisor) is used to only utilizing "By Layer" for the color/printing they will remain the color that you changed them to. In other words, if you have your color set to Yellow in Dcad for layer "Walls" and draw all of them in yellow Acad should print them in whatever color the layer is set to. If you draw most of them in yellow in Dcad but change a few to blue, when you open the file in Acad you will see the yellow and blue walls as you'd expect. The problem comes when the DWG is used as a block or as an xref because the yellow walls will take on whatever color their layer is set to, but the blue ones will stay blue. This can be very frustrating on the Acad side because you are taught to never change an entity's color - that you always only use whatever the layer's color is set to.

Does this help some? Ask away if it doesn't!
#70698 by George W. Burns CPBD
Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:22 am
Thanks for the reply, MntArch!!!

Well it kinda does... I'm the kind of guy that has to actually do something before I fully understand it. Like here is an example:

This is a screen shot of his title block (24x36) opened up in Acad:

Image

This is what it looks like when I open it up with Dcad....

Image

Using this color pallet setting:

Image

Okay... so they look like the same colors, but I know enough to know that just because something looks grey on both screens doesn't mean the computer sees them as the same grey.
Also, his title block lines have a thickness to them, but when I open it up in Dcad, the thickness is gone. I don't understand where that can be addressed. And let's say I draw something.... let's say a title under a detail that says: MAIN SECTION A-2 and my underline has a thickness past 1. Does that even translate to Acad?

Thanks again for helping me!!!

ETA: Wait a minute.... I just watched a training vid. where Mark was talking about "the brute force way is to just use the DWG pallet." Is that all I have to do? When my Architect sends me a DWG file and some red-lines, I just open it up in Dcad with the DWG pallet, do the work, save as DWG, and send it back? Still don't know about the line thickness like in the pics above, though.
#70700 by MtnArch
Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:35 am
Okay ... I'm seeing what some of the issues you're having now are.

First off, hatching doesn't seem to always make the translation intact - hence the missing portion you're seeing in his titleblock. Solid hatching (like that) seems to be the worst.

Now in regards to the heavy lines - in Acad when you create a polyline you can give it a thickness and can control whether it's a constant thickness or varying thickness. This is how Acad creates their leader arrows - it starts with a thickness of zero and ends with a thickness greater than zero to create the arrow head, then the next segment (the leader line itself) has a zero thickness. Dave will have to correct me as I may not fully understand line thickness in Dcad, but when we give a line a thickness what is shown (and printed) is interpreted in Dcad; when it is exported to Acad there isn't a way (yet?) to give it the thickness that Acad understands.

In terms of the titleblock itself, if it is an xref you could ignore the issues and just make sure that when you open the translated file in Acad you re-path the xref to the original Acad titleblock file. If it's just a part of the file you're going to have issues all the time. If it's a symbol you would have to re-insert/update the symbol in Acad and point it back to the original titleblock.

As far as the color palette settings, this is where you have to take your best guess at which color matches as closely from Acad to Dcad - just make sure that for the DC to AC mapping you are mapping them back to the original colors and you shouldn't have any problems in that respect.

I know this may not help much but hopefully it explains some of the issues you're having/seeing.
#70731 by ORWoody
Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:05 pm
There is another issue that will likely pop up and it is a big one.

It is that the way that the two programs deal with text. You can have a drawing that has text and dimension text done perfectly in DataCAD. When the file is exported to ACAD, the text looks about 1.333 times as large as you expected it to look. That also has the effect of making the line to line spacing of that text appear improper.

This has been discussed in the forum several times, but if there was a simple solution mentioned, I haven't seen it.

Here is my work around.

Download DraftSight and install it. It is free so that is painless.

Create a sample DataCAD drawing for yourself that you use to experiment in. Assume that you will draw most often at some scale... say 1/4" equals a foot and that you want your finish text size to appear about 1/8" tall on the printed sheet. Further assume that Roman text font is your go to font for both programs. (If they use True Type fonts, then I think all of what follows is irrelevant.)That means that in DCAD, you'd use 6" text and normally use it with a line spacing of 1.0. In order to see how that looks, type a few sample notes with multiple lines of text with the text and spacing set normally. Do enough of them to get a representative sample.

Next, do some samples with the text size set for 5.5" and the line spacing set at 1.2.

Type some more samples with the text size at 5" and the line spacing set at 1.2.

Do some with the text size at 4.5" and the line spacing set at 1.2.

Export the drawing and import it into DraftSight. Zoom, All to see your notes. Type some of the same notes in DraftSight to determine which of notes seem to match the DraftSight most closely. You might find that the 5" text size was perfect, but the line spacing is slightly off. You can rough guess closely enough at that point to make it where the other party will never be able to see anything there that doesn't match.

A really easy way to do your notes is to type a good six or seven line note that is five or six words long for each line. Save that one note as a text file. When you open DataCAD, import and paste that one note with the varying text settings. It will save you some typing and let you concentrate on the look that you want when your DCAD drawing goes to DraftSight.

That same text size will apply when you do dimensions so once you find it, lock in on that for just about everything. You may want to experiment matching drawing titles and other text items so that nothing sneaks up on you later.

DraftSight is as close to ACAD as you could ever want or need so what you see there is what you would see in Autocad.

You've picked a really tough way to introduce yourself to serious DCAD work, but when you finish the project, your appreciation and skills in and of DataCAD should be much greater than they are today.

Good luck,

Woody
#70738 by cgarchitect
Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:13 pm
I feel your pain. I am in the a similar situation. Working on importing a acad file into datacad also. I have done it in the past but run across some problems once in a while. Here is what I do.

Open Datacad
Go to open a file with your browser using the .dwg as the filter.

go to the file you want to open and click on it , open it.

It will go to a translation table when you import the file.

you will have to assign line types and fonts so it know what to change the autocad fonts and line types to.
After this you will have a datacad file.

Save this translation setting with a name such as a certain project number or title.

I have changed to using true type fonts when using datacad in case I want to export them or share with consultants who use autocad.

You will want to go into the pentable in datacad and modify it to match what you usually use in Autocad. save it with a name such as Acad Pen Table.

After that you should be set.

One thing that I have noticed that sometime symbols such as tags come up rotated or mirrored.

Thanks
PJ
8)

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