What's new in DataCAD 19?

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Dear Valued Customer:

Thank you for your interest in DataCAD 19 As part of our dedication to continuous improvement and to deliver the highest quality CADD products possible, this latest upgrade includes your most requested enhancements. To get the most from DataCAD 19, please refer to the overview below. If you have any questions about DataCAD 19, contact our technical support staff at help@datacad.com.

Thank you for supporting DATACAD,
Mark F. Madura
Mark F. Madura

DataCAD 19 New Feature Highlights

Access New Feature Where to find the new feature
Hint Helpful hints

Compatibility With Previous Versions

DataCAD 19 contains a collection of new features and enhancements designed to increase your productivity. The DataCAD 19 drawing file format is currently compatible with DataCAD 18, DataCAD 17, DataCAD 16, and DataCAD 15. However, you must use the “Save As” command in the “File” menu to save files backward to older version formats.

AEC File Repair

A new 'Repair' option has been added to the 'idle' (no drawings open) File menu. When you open a file using this option, you will be presented with a dialog that includes options for testing the drawing database.

File Repair Menu
Figure 1: File, Repair Menu

File Repair Dialog
Figure 2: File Repair Dialog

Drawing Database Tests
Invalid Entities in Drawing
Invalid Entities in Symbols
Duplicate Polyline Vertices
Extraordinary Values

Invalid Entities in Drawing / Symbols
Invalid Entities in Drawing, and Invalid Entities in Symbols, compares specific entity variables to 'absolute zero' (defined as 1.0E-12). When these variables, such as the radius of a circle, are so tiny (between 0 and 0.000000000001 32nds of an inch), they can prevent you from editing them, or cause DataCAD to crash. These 'garbage' entities are identified and can be deleted from the drawing database.

Delete Invalid Entities Confirmation
Figure 3: Delete Invalid Drawing Entities Confirmation

Delete Invalid Entities in Symbols Confirmation
Figure 4: Delete Invalid Entities in Symbols Confirmation

Note: Enhanced entity validation is applied to drawing data imported into DataCAD. A new key, Validate Entities On Import, has been added to the [DXF_DWG] section of DCADWIN.INI to enable or disable validation during import. The default is TRUE.

Duplicate Polyline Vertices
Duplicate Polyline Vertices looks for duplicate polyline nodes and automatically deletes them.

Extraordinary Values
Extraordinary Values will display a 'Z-Min/Max' dialog that will reveal Z values that are larger than 10,000,000 32nds of an inch (by default). So, if any of your entities contain Z values less than -26,041.67 feet or greater than 26,041.67 feet, they will be shown. You can edit the variables for each entity manually, or you can 'flatten' them one by one, or all at once. You can change the minimum and maximum values then 'Rescan' to see if any Z values fall outside of the range you specify.

Z-Min/Max Dialog
Figure 5: Extraordinary Z-Base/Height Values Dialog

Additional File Repair Options
 · Flatten 2D Entities
 · Toggle off SWOTHLUDFBK
 · Regen Screen on Load
 · Load XREFs

Flatten 2D Entities
Flatten 2D Entities allows you to set all 2D entities' z-base and height values to zero; including 2D entities found in symbols.

Toggle off SWOTHLUDFBK is useful when a corrupt line type or hatch pattern is preventing you from opening your drawing. Disabling the display of hatch patterns and line types may allow you to open the drawing so you can reload the offending definition.

Regen Screen on Load
Regen Screen on Load can be toggled off if regenerating the display of your drawing is causing DataCAD to crash after it is loaded.

Load XREFs
Load XREFs can be toggled off so that external file references will be ignored when you open the file.

Note: You can also suppress the loading of XREFs by pressing the [Ctrl] key at the same time you select Open from the File Open dialog.

File Repair Summary
During the File Repair process, a '.Audit' text file with the same name as your drawing is automatically created and contains a report of your drawing's history and what type of entities were deleted.

File Repair Log
Figure 6: File Repair Log

Program Preferences

The Program Preferences dialog has been expanded and reorganized to provide easier access to DataCAD's menu, interface, drawing, and program settings.

The Interface tab has been renamed to Menus. The options provided on this tab affect the display and behavior of DataCAD's menu buttons. A new Interface tab includes options for customizing toolbars and dialog boxes. A new Drawing tab includes options for customizing the drawing area and the behavior of the drawing cursor. Many of the options that were previously on the Miscellaneous tab have been moved to the Menus, Interface, or Drawing tab and several new options have been added.

An Apply button has also been added to the Program Preferences Dialog.

Program Preferences Menus Tab
Figure 7: Program Preferences Menus Tab (formerly Interface)

Menus Tab

Scroll Forward / Backward
Check Hide Scroll Fwd / Back Buttons to remove the Scroll Back and Scroll Fwrd buttons from menus where they would otherwise appear. For example, in a drawing where there are more than 15 layers, a Scroll Fwrd button appears at [S7], while [S6] is reserved for Scroll Back. Hiding the Scroll Fwd / Back buttons frees up two positions in the menu list, as the scroll wheel and [PgUp]/[PgDn] keys can be used instead.

Width, Height, and Spacing
A new option, Menu Button Height, has been added to the Width, Height, and Spacing section. You can use this option to increase the height of the menu buttons in pixels.

Program Preferences Toolbars Tab
Figure 8: Program Preferences Toolbars Tab

Toolbars Tab
A new Toolbars tab has been added to Program Preferences. Toolbar-related items which were previously on the Interface tab have been moved to the Toolbars tab.

Customize Built-in Toolbars
A new section, Customize Built-in Toolbars has been added. You can use the 'Select Toolbar to Customize' drop-down to choose the DataCAD toolbar you would like to modify. This applies to the Standard, Status, Types, Object Snap, Rendering, and Viewer toolbars.

Icon Toolbars
The Icon Toolbars section has been expanded to accommodate two additional user-definable toolbars. So, you can now have up to four user-definable toolbars displayed at once.

Toolbar Settings
A new Toolbar Settings section exposes the following options.

Stretch When Docked
Enabled by default, this option determines whether a docked toolbar will 'stretch' to fill the empty space that would otherwise occur between adjacent toolbars.

Display Close Button
Enabled by default, you can uncheck this option to hide the close button from docked toolbars.

Lock Toolbars
You can enable this option to lock the current arrangement of your docked toolbars.

Disable Macro Hint Toolbar
If you only want pause hints to appear at the message line, then you can check this option to prevent the hint toolbar from displaying.

Note: There is a related enhancement to the behavior of the Macro Hint toolbar. The toolbar will no longer appear if the hint text is either, [''] (empty), or if it matches line 6288 of DCADWIN.MSG (NO COMMENT).

Undocked Toolbars: Allow Resizing
Check this option if you would like to resize undocked toolbars.

Toolbar Font
The Toolbar Font section has been updated so you can now define the Font name, size, and style for text that appears on toolbars. This includes status bar drop-down lists, the SWOTHLUDFBK (Text), Coordinates / Hints, Message, and Attention toolbars. Formerly, the menu button font was applied to these toolbars.

Program Preferences Interface Tab
Figure 9: Program Preferences Interface Tab

Interface Tab
The following items have been added to Interface Tab

File Dialog
You can use the options in this section to customize DataCAD's File Dialog preview settings.

Preview on Save and Close
Enable Preview on Save and Close to have DataCAD automatically create a bitmap preview of your drawing in its current state when you close and save the file.

Preview on Forced Save
Enable Preview on Forced Save if you want DataCAD to update the bitmap preview of your drawing in its current state each time you save your file.

Note: The time to create the drawing preview will increase as the drawing becomes more complex.

Show o2c Preview
Enable Show o2c Preview to see a 3D preview of files you select to open.

Note: This option is available directly in the file dialog. However, if the 3D preview is problematic because of the complexity of the file(s), you can disable the option here instead.

Preview Image File Format
Use this option to select the file format for the bitmap preview image which can be either BMP, JPG, TIF, TGA, PNG, or PCX.

Plot Preview

Max. Bitmap Size (MB)
This value sets the largest individual metafile size when generating the plot preview.

Disable Spacebar
You can check Disable Spacebar to prevent this key from registering while the Plot Preview is being displayed.

Symbol Browser

Max. Favorites
Max. Favorites sets the maximum number of favorites to display at once.

Sort Favorites
Check Sort Favorites to sort the list of favorites alpha-numerically.

Max. Recent
Max. Recent sets the maximum number of recent folders to display at once.

Sort Recent
Check Sort Recent to sort the list of recent folders alpha-numerically.

Max. Auto-divisions X
Max. Auto-divisions X sets the maximum number of horizontal divisions that are automatically created to display all the symbols in each folder.

Max. Auto-divisions Y
Max. Auto-divisions Y sets the maximum number of vertical divisions that are automatically created to display all the symbols in each folder.

Resizable Folder Browser
Check Resizable Folder Browser to allow resizing the Folder Browser dialog.

Multi-view Windows
Increase or decrease the Scale Correction Percent value so Multi-View Window previews more accurately reflect the saved view.

Layer Manager List Font
You can use this option to customize the font name and size used to display the list of layers.

Note: Font style options such as bold and italic are not accessible since they are used by the Layer Manager to denote specific layer states.

Symbol Attributes
Check First Row is Header if the first row in your CSV files that are linked to a symbol attribute database lookup contains headings, not data.

Drawing Tab

Display Options
Check Extents Box During Pan/Zoom to display an extents box while you are panning or zooming instead of the line segments that make up the entities that are currently on screen.

Hot Keys
The 'Disable Hot Keys' section has been reworked for clarity. Disable Hot Keys has been renamed to Hot Keys since only the [Insert] and [w] keys can be completely disabled. By default, the Spacebar and numeric keys can be used to invoke distance input. Since the Spacebar cannot be disabled, this option has been renamed to '[0...9] Number Keys for Input'. When this option is unchecked, the number keys will not invoke distance input.

The [ - ], [ , ], or [ . ] keys for input options can be checked so that these keys will invoke distance input instead of their default behaviors.

Check Dynamic Snapping to search for object snapping points within XREFs.

Check Refresh on Regen to automatically refresh displayed XREFs when the display is regenerated (i.e., when you press the [U] key).

When Update GoTo View Links is checked, XREFs that reside on locked layers may have their GTV Link updated.

Check Automatically Convert to automatically convert DC5 files to AEC files when they are referenced in the drawing being opened.

Mouse Panning and Zooming
Check Left&Right Mouse Buttons for Panning to enable panning while holding down the left and right mouse buttons.

Program Preferences Drawing Tab
Figure 10: Program Preferences Drawing Tab

Program Prefernces Misc Tab
Figure 11: Program Preferences Drawing Tab

Miscellaneous Tab

Entities / Attributes to Print
The checkboxes in the Print / Plot Options section have been replaced with groups of three radio buttons each. There are three possible states:

• Always, where all entities / attributes print, regardless of what is being displayed.
• Never, where none of the entities / attributes print, regardless of what is being displayed.
• As Displayed, where what is printed corresponds to what is being displayed (i.e., THLUDFBK).

Line Feed Distance = Text Height
The line feed distance for single line text and PText can now be based on the current text height rather than the current font definition. This applies to single line text entered through the Text menu, pasted from the clipboard, or inserted from a text file.

When Single Line Text or PText are checked, a line spacing factor of 1.5 applied to a text height of 4 inches will always result in a line feed of 6 inches, regardless of the current font selected.

Note: Line Feed = Text Height can be applied on a per PText entity basis. This setting is exposed in the PText Properties dialog and [Ctrl] + Right-click context menu for PText.

Program Preferences DXF/DWG Tab
Figure 12: Program Preferences DXF/DWG Tab

Check Use Single Click to remove the Begin option and hatch entities as soon as you click on them.


Undo/Redo System: Suspend During Import
Suspending the undo/redo system during import can greatly reduce the time required to convert DXF/DWG files. The default value is checked.

Stroke Font Adjustment: Use CHR2SHX.DAT to Adjust Text
The CHR2SHX.DAT file is now included with DataCAD 19. Previously, if this file were present in the Fonts folder, it would automatically be used to adjust the size settings of stroke fonts (i.e. SHX) during DXF/DWG import and export. Starting with DataCAD 19, this file will only be used when Use CHR2SHX.DAT to Adjust Text is checked.

New Toolbars

Object Snap Toolbar
A new Object Snap toolbar has been added to DataCAD to provide persistent access to the current object snap settings. This toolbar may be turned on or off via the View, Toolbars pull-down menu.

Object Snap Toolbar
Figure 13: Object Snap Toolbar

Icon-based SWOTHLUDFBK Toolbar
A new Icon-based SWOTHLUDFBK toolbar has been added to DataCAD. The size of the letter icons is determined by the Icon Size setting located in the Icon Toolbars section of the Interface tab in Program Preferences.

Icon-based SWOTHLUD Toolbar
Figure 14: Icon-based SWOTHLUD Toolbar

You can customize the icons displayed on this toolbar by changing the corresponding bitmaps in the Toolbars folder.

Letter_S.png, Letter_W.png, Letter_O.png, Letter_T.png, Letter_H.png, Letter_L.png, Letter_U.png, Letter_D.png, Letter_F.png, Letter_B.png, and Letter_K.png.

Note: Use External Toolbar Icons must be enabled if you want DataCAD to give preference to bitmaps located in the Toolbars folder.

Productivity Enhancements

Ellipse MenuNew Ellipse Creation Methods
Two creation methods, Radius and Diameter, have been added to the Curves, Ellipse menu.

Radius allows you to define an ellipse by entering its center, and one endpoint for the first, then second axis. The first two points entered determine the angle of the ellipse.

Diameter allow you to define an ellipse by entering both endpoints of the first axis, and one endpoint of the second axis. The first two points entered determine the angle of the ellipse.

A new option, Approximate, has been added to the Ellipse menu. When toggled on, DataCAD allows you to specify how many arcs per quadrant will be used to approximate the edge of the ellipse. This can be useful for specifying two or three radii for the construction of an elliptical arch.

Plot Scale Drop-down / Print IconPlot Scale Dropdown / Print Icon
A new Plot Scale dropdown and Print menu icon can be displayed on the Status Panel. These elements are off by default. To display them, use the Customize Built-in Toolbars section on The Toolbars tab of Program Preferences.

Flatten to Zero

Symbol Browser: Flatten to Zero
A new 'Flatten to Zero' option has been added to the Symbol Browser's context menu. You can use this option to set the z-base/height of 2D entities in a symbol to zero.

Miscellaneous Enhancements

ClipCube Base/Height Display
The current ClipCube Base/Height is now displayed when the drawing's ClipCube is enabled.

Measures: To Clipboard
A 'To Clipboard' option has been added to the Measures menu with the following options:
• Drawing Text: Copies the 'To Drawing' text to the clipboard.
• Value: Copies the measured value to the clipboard for use in the keyboard input field.

Offset: Coincident Entities
The selection routine in the Offset command has been enhanced to cycle through coincident entities. If you select the wrong entity, you can now right-click, then click the same spot to choose the next available coincident entity.

Update Installer Changes

Custom Support Path
The DataCAD updater will now determine if you have defined a custom path for your Message and Label files. After the custom path has been verified, the updater will make the necessary changes to the files in this location. If the custom path cannot be verified, the default path 'DataCAD 19\Support Files\Messages and Labels\' will be used instead.

Wide Menu Labels
The DataCAD updater will now determine if you have customized the width of DataCAD's 'wide' menu button labels. If your existing DCADWIN.lbl and DCADWIN3.lbl files are configured with 'wide' labels that are greater than the default 12 characters, new and changed lines will be formatted accordingly.

New Configuration Settings

Symbol Browser: Audit Symbol Files
External symbol files can now be audited by enabling the following key in the [DEBUG] section of DCADWIN.INI.

Audit Symbol Files=TRUE

The default value is FALSE. This key should only be set to TRUE temporarily when you audit your symbol libraries, then set back to FALSE when you are finished. Leaving this key set to TRUE will increase the time it takes to display symbols in the Symbol Browser.

Setting this key to TRUE will cause DataCAD to scan Symbols for invalid geometry while browsing folders in the Symbol Browser. If an invalid entity is encountered, the entity is deleted from the symbol definition, the .DSF file is updated, and a '.Audit' file is created with the symbol's name in the same folder. The number of updated .DSF files is reported on DataCAD's error line.

Symbol Editor: Inherit Parent Input Mode
A new key, Inherit Parent Input Mode, has been added to the [SymbolBrowser] section of DCADWIN.INI. If set to TRUE, the default, the Symbol Editor will inherit the input mode from the current drawing.

No Macros From Locked Layer
A new key, No Macros From Locked Layer, has been added to the [General] section of DCADWIN.INI. The default is FALSE. If set to TRUE, keyboard macros and aliases will not run when the active layer is locked.

Note: Independent from this setting, DCAL macros cannot be run when the active layer is locked.

XREFs: New Check For Nested
A new key, New Check For Nested, has been added to the [XREFs] section of DCADWIN.INI. If set to TRUE, the default, new trivial rejection logic is enabled to ignore nested XREFs if nesting is turned off, either for the parent XREF or globally. This will reduce the amount of time required to process XREFs for display, plotting, and object snapping.

New Regen
A new key, New Regen, has been added to the [General] section of DCADWIN.INI. If set to TRUE, the default, DataCAD's Regen command will not include layers that are Off in its extents recalculation.

Undo: Disable During Import
An option to disable the undo system during DXF/DWG file import has been added to the DXF/DWG tab of Program Preferences. Disabling the undo system during import can greatly reduce the time required to convert the file. The default value is TRUE.

Disable During Import=TRUE

This applies to the importation of DXF/DWG, SKP and STL files.

Symbol Browser: Windows Cursor
A new key, Windows Cursor, has been added to the [SymbolBrowser] section of DCADWIN.INI. The default is FALSE. If set to TRUE, DataCAD will display the Windows arrow cursor over the Symbol Browser instead of the cross-hair cursor.

New Extended Character Codes

New extended character codes
Extended character codes are used when programming icon toolbars and keyboard macros. When using any of the following new extended character codes, you will use the syntax V= for a toolbar button which executes just the one single command, A=10XX# in a toolbar button sequence that contains more than one command, or 10XX# in a keyboard macro. For more information on toolbar programming, see the topic “Creating Custom Toolbars” in Chapter 30 of the DataCAD Reference Manual.

1105: Dimension Auto Style "No Points" On
1106: Dimension Auto Style "No Points" Off
1107: Dimension Auto Style "Points Only" On
1108: Dimension Auto Style "Points Only" Off
3022: Save File
3023: Save As
3024: File Purge
3025: Refresh Drawing
3026: Regen Display List
3027: Insert Symbol
3028: Save Symbol
3029: Pak-N-Go Create
3030: Pak-N-Go Extract
3031: Pak-N-Go Open
3032: Pak-N-Go Settings

Enhancements to DCAL (DataCAD Applications Language)

The following routines have been added to DCAL.

PROCEDURE GetSetLayerFilter(Filter : IN OUT str8; ReadOnly : boolean); BUILTIN 671;

PROCEDURE PrintStr255(str : str255; Column, Row, Color, Curs : integer; Invert : boolean); BUILTIN 670;

FUNCTION DataCAD_Version : real; BUILTIN 669;

Added long layer name support to setlyrname() and lyr_find() functions.

Revision History