DDN News
News and information for DataCAD developers

Note: This page contains an archive of messages from the original DataCAD Developer News Feed. Please go to the DDN Discussion section of the DataCAD Forum for the latest news and information.

A minor but important update to DCAL for C++ is available. You can download the latest version here.

I'm pleased to announce DCAL for C++ is available. This SDK can be used to compile DLL-based add-ons for DataCAD 12 and later versions. Now you can use a development environment such as Microsoft Visual Studio to customize DataCAD's functionality. Your DLL-based add-ons will have access to DataCAD 12's double-precision database, and will operate hundreds of times faster. Join-in by subscribing to the DDN Forum and download DCAL for C++ here!

A minor but important update to DCAL for Delphi is available. You can download the latest version here.

I'm pleased to announce DCAL for Delphi is available for DataCAD 12. You can download it here.

I'm pleased to announce DCAL for Delphi is available. This long-awaited successor to DCAL will allow you to compile DLL-based add-ons for DataCAD 11. Now you can use a modern development language such as Borland Delphi to customize DataCAD's functionality. Your DLL-based add-ons will have access to DataCAD 11's double-precision database, and will operate hundreds of times faster. Join-in by subscribing to the DDN Forum and download DCAL for Delphi here!

We're looking for new resources to add to the DDN site. If you have any submissions you'd like to make, please send your contribution to ddn@datacad.com.

Added some user contributions. The first is from Jon Hubart. Jon has modified the GridLock macro to support SnapAngle settings. This macro sets all layers in the file to match your active layer settings. The other new item is a variety of line types and hatches provided by Richard Mauser. You can find the new GridLock macro at the Open Source Exchange page. The line types & hatches are found in the (can you guess?) line type and hatch sections.

Added two new lessons to the DCAL tutorial. These lessons are based upon postings to the DDN Mailing List. The new lessons are found in the Appendix of the tutorial. The first new lesson shows how to create a simple menu system. The second lesson is about creating entities. Refer to the tutorial table of contents for the complete tutorial.

Revised the Polyline Macro to correct a small bug. You can find it at the Open Source Exchange page.

Added an updated version of the Polyline Macro and source to the Open Source Exchange page. This new version features the ability to create a rectangular polyline by selecting two points.

Here you will find the documentation, include files and sample macros for the new DCAL routines in version 9.0 We have revised source code for the following macros:

  • AEC Model
  • ClipIt
  • Layer Utility
  • Polyline
In addition the custom AEC Model version 2 has been updated. All of these macros were updated to revise the code to better work with the Undo/Redo function added to version 9.0 There are no other changes. Grab all these updated files from the Open Source Exchange page.

David Henderson has provided us an updated copy of the DCAL manual. The revised manual is available in two formats. One is MS Word format and the other is Adobe PDF format . Note that the PDF file is approximately 409kb in size and may take a while to download before viewing.

Norm Flint has added some new features to the Symbol Explode macro. Norm's variation allows the user to select whether the symbol is exploded to the current layer or the layer the symbol currently exists on. Browse over to the Open Source Exchange page for this new version.

Norm Flint has given us a new macro with source for the Open Source Exchange page. His macro will dim entity colors. Read all about it and snag the source code as well as the macro here. This was Norms first macro and is an outstanding effort.

Added Lesson 6 to the tutorial. This new lesson starts a new segment of the tutorial. In this lesson we create a working macro from scratch. The source code for this macro is available via the Open Source Exchange page. The macro created will search and replace user specified text strings in layer names contained in the drawing file. See the tutorial for more on this macro.

Added new Open Source Macros from John Lindsay and Patrick McConnell. John's offering models 3D Pipe Railings on a slope. The other new macro is called Delete Smalls and it will either delete lines that are under a user specified length or move them to a selection set for further editing. This macro is useful for cleaning up a hidden line removal. The source code for Delete Smalls is a good example of how to search the drawing for entities and then process them. Check out both of these new macros and their source code at the Open Source Exchange page. Roger Donaldson has donated a line type to depict Storm Sewers. Get it here.

Tony Blasio has provided a modified version of the Layer Utility macro. Check out what he has done on the Open Source Exchange page. I have added a module to help with the creation of entities. Find it on the DCAL resources page. The DCAL tutorial has been updated with a new Lesson 5 Procedures and Functions.

We have some new offerings in the Open Source Exchange.

  • Tony Blasio has contributed the source code for his very first DCAL macro. This one will change the names of your layers to either all upper case or all lower case.
  • David Henderson has contributed the source code for his macro to draw a rectangular box with optional diagonal lines. This idea was proposed originally on the DBUG forum and David jumped on it.
  • Also providing source code for a rectangular box macro is Ferdz Reyes. I believe that this is also Ferdz first attempt at a DCAL macro. Nice job.
Here is a listing of extended character codes. This listing is useful to the keyboard and toolbar macro hacker. I have added a new section to our Downloads page.
Check out the Macrosin Progress Section for beta versions of macros that I am working on. I have posted Poly Master beta 7 as the first offering. There are no documents for this macro just yet so play with it and address questions to the DDN-List. Sorry for the delay in posting some of these items. I had an email problem and lost many of the items people had sent it to be posted on the DDN. If you sent something in and haven't seen it posted then it is probably lost. Please resend anything you would like to contribute. Thanks to all our contributors.

We have implemented a new look! As you may have heard, I (Patrick McConnell) have been hired by DATACAD LLC to do some development work. This will hopefully mean that lots of exciting new things are in store for DDN. One of the first things is that my latest macro Window Master is now available as a free download. Another change is that I will no longer be required to maintain these pages by myself. Shelley Flanigan, the DATACAD 'web mistress' is now maintaining the DDN pages along with her other duties at DATACAD. Thanks to Shelley for all her work on the overhaul. With Shelley handling the technical end, I am free to concentrate on the content. In the coming weeks we hope to bring you more free macros and new source code for you to hack on. Although the news of my hiring is only being made public now, I have been at work for a few weeks on some new macros that should be of interest to the whole DataCAD community. As always, if you have questions, comments or macro ideas send me an e-mail or grab me on ICQ. I have long said that I would write some great macros if someone was willing to pay me. Well, now I am being paid and hopefully the whole DataCAD community will benefit. I have to thank Mark for this opportunity. I hope everyone out there is as excited about the possibilities as I am.

DCAL tutorial lesson 4 is online. This lesson features a new more 'graphical' format.

DCAL tutorial lesson 3 is online.

We have started an ICQ chat room for use with DDN. You can check the chat room status at the bottom of the main page or on any of the other pages by looking at the navigation bar at the bottom. If the last cell shows that DDN is 'Online' you can click the 'Online' button to attempt to join or start a chat session. You are guaranteed to have someone on the other end since the online status indicator tells you the chat room is occupied. If you add the DDN chat room to your ICQ contact list you will always know if a chat is going on. If the DDN chat room is active feel free to pop in to chat or ask questions. This will be an ongoing experiment so let us know what you think. Added the DCAL primer by Bill D'Amico. See the DCAL page to review this document. This one should help people who are trying to learn DCAL. Thanks Bill. Here is an Excel spreadsheet that decodes the DCADWIN.MSG files syntax for mapping the keyboard interrupts to internal DataCAD functions. In plain English, perhaps you want to change it so that 'M' and 'm' both activate the move command. This file explains how to do this and much more. With this spreadsheet you can make some elaborate changes. NOTE: Changes to your DCADWIN.MSG file are not recommended by DATACAD LLC. If you make changes backup your original first. You will not receive any tech support for issues arising from modifications to your MSG file. Here is the same file zipped.

At last an update! Day to day pressures have taken its toll on the DDN. Finally got to go through all the archives from the DDN-List and private correspondence. I have added many items to both the Resources and DCAL Discrepancies pages. Almost all of this new material was contributed by others. Thanks to all for sharing their information. Keep the notes coming. It make take time but your information will be posted eventually.

Added all of the J.B. Cad Services macros to the Open Source Exchange. These macros consist of 13 separate packages originally authored by J.B. Cad Services. They have been difficult to get for a long while. We now have the macros and their source! Thanks to Mark Madura and the folks at DATACAD LLC for acquiring this code for us to share.

Added DCAL tutorial Lesson 2. This lesson focuses on the Syntax of a DCAL macro. Follow the link on the menu to the left of your screen in the DCAL section to find the DCAL tutorial.
David Henderson has generously donated a copy of the DCAL Manual in Microsoft Word 6.0 format. A big thanks to David.

Added a set of AutoCAD SHX font files to match the standard DataCAD ARDCWY*.CHR series fonts. These should help with drawing translation issues.

Added new code snippets to downloads page. Look for routines to help with Selections Sets, selecting line types and remembering which layer to create entities on. Added DCAL Manual!! A big thank you to Ted Blockley who donated a copy of the DCAL manual in rich text format. The manual is online now in HTML format. We are looking for volunteers to download and format a chapter of the manual to help with the readability. Some other minor additions but you're just going to have to dig to find 'em.

The DDN Open Source Exchange is open. The DDN Open Source Exchange will be a forum for the exchange of DCAL source code. We already have several source code listings for macros that ship with DataCAD available. The source code in the DDN Open Source Exchange is free for your use to study and learn from. Feel free to download the source code and modify it as you like. After you have made any modifications please submit your changes back to DDN so that others may benefit from your efforts. It is hoped that through this Open Source initiative that improvements can be made to existing macros without having to rely on DATACAD LLC to do the work. If you have already or plan to make modifications to any of the sample source code that ships with DataCAD please forward your work to DDN so that others may share in what you have done. Guidelines for submittals of Open Source code are listed on the Open Source page. We already have a modified version of AEC Model available on the DDN Open Source Exchange page. Check it out.

The DDN listserv is up and running. To subscribe to the listserv send an email to listguru@datacad.com and in the body of the message type subscribe ddn-list. The listserv will be open to any discussion related to customizing DataCAD. The first lesson of the DCAL tutorial is online. Please sign up for the listserv to be able to get answers to your questions as you work through the tutorial. Future lessons will follow in the weeks ahead. The more feedback we receive the more quickly the tutorial will proceed. Please let us know if you are using the tutorial even if you do not have any questions. The message board has been removed. Since it was not working we have taken the board down. We think the listserv is a better tool for discussion. If you disagree and still see a need for the message board please let us know. Again we apologize if peoples messages went unanswered on the message board. This was due to technical problems. Please repeat any questions that you may still have on the listserv.

Just a quick status update. We are here. We are not ignoring people. There is a problem with the message board that prevents people from responding. We apologize for this. Many people have written us asking when they will see features such as the DCAL tutorial. Right now, efforts at DATACAD LLC are focusing on getting version 8.06 ready. Once this task is complete we will be setting up a listserv similar to the DBUG listserv. It is hoped that this listserv will become a lively discussion area for DDN. The listserv is also required before we can start the DCAL tutorial. We feel it is in everyone's best interest if there is a place to ask questions and get answers promptly. For these reasons we are waiting until the infrastructure is in place to handle the tutorials. We have not abandoned our plans. The tutorials are coming. Also on the horizon is the DDN Open Source area. In this area we hope to provide new modified versions of the macros. What this will mean is, if someone downloads some code that we have made available and modifies it. The author of these changes will upload the modified macro AND the source code to us. Please note that we will only accept the macros if they include the modified source code. We will provide this code 'as is' for use by others. It is hoped that through this resource we can see some expansion of the existing macros as well as provide another tool for others to learn from. We are currently working to make some revised macros available as Open Source. If you have modified either some code you downloaded from DDN, one of the original sample macros that ship with DataCAD or you want to make your own code available please consider sharing what you have done. Perhaps someone else will expand on your work. Feel free to send in your submissions at any time. You may be surprised at what code you already have in your DCAL/SAMPLES subdirectory. Did you know that the entire EZ Tools macro was originally based on the Arrow sample macro that ships with DataCAD? Often a simple macro can be expanded into new and different things. Hopefully the entire DataCAD community can benefit from this effort.

The Custom Line type tutorial is online. Added Alphabet line type file to download area. Contains custom line types for each letter of the alphabet.
Added link to Line Master line creation macro. Also added the 'cheat sheet' to the Line type page for quick reference.

Added a few file links to help with downloading some of the text files on the downloads page.

Updated a couple of discrepancies between DCAL under DOS and Windows.

A busy first day of business at DDN. Thanks to all for sending along notes with suggestions or comments. Please be sure to take advantage of our message board. We hope the board becomes a lively forum for suggestions, questions and general discussion on customizing DataCAD. Added some info to the DCAL Updates & Undocumented pages. Check the DCAL section for those items. Also started to add the list of Definitions and Terms. This will help you understand some of the things you read at DDN.