Where to find the new
Compatibility With Previous Versions
DataCAD 20 contains a collection of new features and enhancements
designed to increase your productivity. The DataCAD 20 drawing file
format is currently compatible with DataCAD 15 through 19. However,
you must use the "Save As" command in the
"File" menu to save files backward to older version
Figure 1: File, Save As, Type
Symbol Layer Control
A new option, Symbol Layer Control... has been added to the
Insert menu. There are three sub-options.
Figure 2: Symbol Layer Control Menu
Allows you to turn layers on and off within the Symbol Editor. However, all layers will be displayed in the symbol's instance. This has been the behavior since the Symbol Editor was added to DataCAD 12.
Layer on/off display is the same for all instances
Allows you to turn layers on and off within the Symbol Editor. The on/off state of the layers is retained when you close and save the symbol. All instances of the symbol will display the same 'on' layers.
Layer on/off display can be unique for each instance
Enables a new menu option, Layer Control..., in the Symbol Tools sub-menu of the Symbol Context Menu.
Figure 3: Symbol Tools, Layer Control Context Menu
Helplines (a.k.a. Construction Lines)
A new option, [S4] Helplines, has been added to the Utility
Menu. Helplines are infinite lines you can add to your drawing for
reference only. You can offset them, snap to them, and trim to
them, but they do not print.
To add helplines to your drawing;
1. Select Helplines from the Utility menu.
2. Click the first point of the helpline.
3. Click the second point of the helpline.
DataCAD draws an infinite line between the two points.
The following options are available in the Helplines menu:
F1 Delete All
Select Delete All to remove all the helplines from your drawing.
Select Color to choose a color for helplines.
F6 Pen Style
Select Pen Style to choose a pen style for helplines.
Toggle Show off to disable the display of helplines.
S2 Draw First
Toggle Draw First on to have helplines draw before (i.e., underneath) other geometry.
S3 Draw Last
Toggle Draw Last on to have helplines draw after (i.e., on top of) other geometry.
Layout BETA (DWG Paper Space Layouts)
Figure 4: Layout BETA
When you import a DWG file that includes Paper Space Layouts, DataCAD will display a new option, Include Paper Space, on the DWG Import Entity Assignments dialog. Check this option to include Paper Space Layouts and any Paper Space-specific entities from the DWG file during import. If the DWG file does not include any Paper Space Layouts, the Include Paper Space option will be greyed out.
Note: Paper Space-specific entities belong to specific Paper Space Layouts and do not appear in the main DataCAD drawing.
A new option, Paper Space, has been added to the File drop-down menu. Selecting this option will launch Layout to display imported Paper Space sheets. This option is greyed out when no Paper Space Layouts have been imported.
A new option, Paper Space (PaprSpac for 8-character label) , has been added to the Utility menu. Selecting this option will launch Layout to display imported Paper Space sheets. This option is only displayed when Paper Space Layouts have been imported.
Note: Currently, Layout BETA does not provide any functionality other than displaying Paper Space Layouts that were imported from a DWG file. The primary utility of this feature is to reveal the Paper Space Layouts (similar to DataCAD's Multi-Scale Plotting Sheets) that were previously inaccessible. To help us improve Layout while it is still in BETA, we ask you to report any inaccuracies in conversions or other problems to email@example.com.
A new option, [S5] Z-Datum, has been added to the Utility, Settings
menu. You can enable this feature to set a Z offset to a relative
zero height (a.k.a. Z-Datum Reference). For example, if the first
floor of your building is at a real-world height of 212', you
would set the Z-Datum value to 212'.
Subsequently, when you add a wall at Z-Base zero and Z-Height 8', DataCAD will automatically calculate the offset to position the wall at a real-world Z-Base of 212' and a real world Z-Height of 220'. This makes it easier to model your project relative to the first floor, rather than having to calculate the offset yourself.
Note: When this feature is enabled, the Coordinates/Hints Toolbar, Identify, and 3D Coordinate Identification indicate both the relative and world Z values.
Drag-n-Drop Layer Files
In addition to the default action, replace current layer, you can now hold down the [Ctrl] key while dropping a layer to merge its contents with the current layer, or hold down the [Ctrl] + [Alt] keys while dropping a layer to create a new layer.
Polyline Length Readout
The length, or perimeter and area of polylines is now displayed during editing.
Identify, Set All, Create
A new option, Create, has been added to the Identify, Set All menu. After you identify an entity and select Set All, you can then select Create which will take you to the identified entity's creation menu.
A new option, Bisect, has been added to the Mirror menu.
Change, Match, Layer
A new toggle option, Layer, has been added to the More... sub-menu of Change, Match. After you select Change, Match, toggle on Layer to apply the layer property of one entity to another. The state of the Layer toggle when Change, Match, All is selected can be set by the key, Change Match All Includes Layer, in the [General] section of DCADWIN.INI. Set this key to TRUE if you want the entity's layer property to be included during Change, Match, All. The default value is FALSE.
Two new options have been added to the GetSnap popup menu.
Angle + Distance
Gets the angle between two points, then adds (or subtracts with negative value) the distance you specify.
To get the angle between two points and specify a distance along that angle;
1. Click or snap to the first point.
2. GetSnap to the relative point.
3. Select Angle + Distance.
4. Enter the distance beyond (or short of with negative value) the relative point.
Gets the midpoint between two points.
To get the midpoint between two points;
1. Click or snap to the first point.
2. GetSnap to the relative point.
3. Select Midpoint.
1. The maximum number of Fence points has been increased (from 36)
to 256 in Stretch (2D and 3D).
2. In addition to MCR, DMX (DCAL for Delphi and C++) macros are now remembered when they are the last macro used.
3. Modified 2 Line Trim to allow the selection of coincident lines for the selection of the first line. That is, you select the 1st line and if it's the wrong one, right-click once and select again and it will pick the next line. This may be repeated until the correct line is selected.
4. Modified Explode in the Symbol Tools context menu to obey the Keep Groups toggle in the Symbol Insert (Explode) menu.
5. Mirror by Entity has been enhanced to allow the selection of Helplines.
6. A new option, Separator, has been added to Scale Type, AS 1100 menu toggle. This option allows you to choose either a space character, or a comma to delineate meters.
7. DataCAD will now save the Active layer upon a Symbol's creation.
8. Pak-N-Go now includes symbols marked for 'Auto Reload.'
9. It is now possible to Object Snap to the Absolute Zero indicator.
10. The display grids can now be set to a custom color.
11. A new toggle, Ignore CC (Clip Cubes), has been added to the symbol insert menu.
12. A new option, By Center, has been added to the Move, Drag menu.
13. For convenience, an 'Abs. Zero' option has been added to the Multi-scale Plotting, Layout menu.
14. A New Layer option has been added to the Layer, Import menu.
15. Associative Dimension lines now support No. Divisions object snapping.
16. [Ctrl] + [Enter] may now be used with DataCAD's input line.
17. The Reload option is now available in the Symbol Browser's context menu, for loaded symbols, when browsing by folder.
18. Pressing and holding [Ctrl] + [Shift] and selecting the New Layer option in the Layer Manager will force the New Layer dialog to display at the center of the main display.
19. MText can now be selected in Tangents.
New Configuration Settings
DataCAD 20 contains new configuration settings designed to improve
program speed and functionality, while simultaneously improving
productivity. After closing all drawings and then exiting DataCAD,
open the "dcadwin.ini" file, located in the DataCAD 20\
installation folder on your C drive, to make changes.
Note: You should make a backup copy of dcadwin.ini prior to editing, in case you need to return the program to its previous state.
Default Layer Control
The following key is automatically added to the [Symbols] section of DCADWIN.ini to set the default state of Layer Control in Symbols.
Default Layer Control=0
0, the default ('None' in the menu option), allows you to turn layers on and off within the Symbol Editor. However, all layers will be displayed in the symbol's instance. This has been the behavior since the Symbol Editor was added to DataCAD 12.
1, ('Per Definition' in the menu option), allows you to turn layers on and off within the Symbol Editor.
The on/off state of the layers is retained when you close and save the symbol. All instances of the symbol will display the same layers.
2, ('Per Instance' in the menu option), enables a new menu option, 'Layers...', in the Symbol Tools sub-menu of the Symbol Context menu. Highlighting this option reveals the list of all layers, top-level and nested, contained in the symbol. A checkmark next to the layer name indicates the layer should be displayed. Any layer that is unchecked, will not be displayed.
Smart Text Margin Obeys TextScale
The following key has been added to the [Smart Text] section of DCADWIN.ini to set the behavior of Smart Text Margins.
Smart Text Margin Obeys TextScale=TRUE
Setting this key to FALSE will cause PText/MText margins to always act as though TextScale is Off. The default value is TRUE.
AS 1100 Exports As mm
The following key has been added to the [DXF_DWG] section of DCADWIN.ini to set the default scale type for export when AS 1100 is toggled on.
AS 1100 Exports As mm=TRUE
Setting this key to TRUE, will cause DataCAD to export the AS 1100 Scale Type as millimeters.
Nesting In XRefs
Three new keys have been added to the [XRefs] section of DCADWIN.ini to control the display of nested XREFs, and whether or not nesting is enabled for newly-inserted XREFs and Self-XREFs.
Note: The key, Allow Nesting has been deprecated. A new key, Display Nesting, has been added to store the Program Preference, Display Nested XREFs.
The following keys control the default state of the Nesting toggle in the Insert XREF menu.
Nesting In XRefs=FALSE
Nesting In Self-XRefs=FALSE
Auto Adjust Marker Size Percentage
The display size of DataCAD's markers used for the object snap indicator, insertion points, and 3D markers can now be customized by changing the value of the following key in in the [Display] section of DCADWIN.ini.
Auto Adjust Marker Size Percentage=100
The initial value, in percent, is set automatically based on your display resolution.
Change Match All Includes Layer
The state of the Layer toggle when Change, Match, All is selected can be set by the following key in the [General] section of DCADWIN.INI.
Change Match All Includes Layer=FALSE
Set this key to TRUE if you want the entity's layer property to be included during Change, Match, All. The default value is FALSE.
Entity Context Menu Obeys Layer Search
The following key has been added to the [General] section of DCADWIN.ini to control whether Layer Search applies to the Entity Context Menu.
Entity Context Menu Obeys Layer Search=FALSE
If FALSE, the default, [Ctrl] + Right-clicking on an entity ignores the Layer Search toggle. If TRUE, the Layer Search toggle will apply to the Entity Context Menu.
New Clipped Area Selection
Corrections have been made to Area/Fence selection of clipped XRefs and Symbols. This new methodology can be turned off with the following hey in the [XRefs] section of DCADWIN.ini:
New Clipped Area Selection=TRUE
New Dimension Visible Attribute Positioning=FALSE
Show Visible Attributes When Dragging=FALSE
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
A new toolbar code, 145, has been added for XClips. It is equivalent to the menu selection sequence, Insert, Reference File Management, Clip Cubes.
1111 : Helplines Show On
1112 : Helplines Show Off
1113 : Helplines Draw First
1114 : Helplines Draw Last
Dimension Rounding-related codes:
1115 : Dimension Rounding On
1116 : Dimension Rounding Off
1117 : Z-Datum Reference On
1118 : Z-Datum Reference Off
1119 : Enter Z-Datum Reference point
Enhancements to DCAL (DataCAD Applications Language)
DCAL for C++
A 'Hello World' example has been added to illustrate DataCAD's re-entrant state machine logic.
The 'Arrow' example has been updated for Visual Studio 2013.
DCAL for DOS
The following routines have been added to DCAL for DOS:
PROCEDURE do_Get_Active_SSet; BUILTIN 672;
PROCEDURE PlinVoidAdd(Parent, Void : In Out entity; DoDraw : boolean); BUILTIN 673;
PROCEDURE PlinCovered(Plin : In Out entity; covered : boolean); BUILTIN 674;
PROCEDURE Ent_Mirr(ent : In Out entity; pt1, pt2 : point; FixText : boolean); BUILTIN 675;
PROCEDURE Ent_Explode_With_Matrix(ent : In Out entity; mat : modmat); BUILTIN 676;
PROCEDURE Explode_Symbol_Entity(Syment : In Out entity; Where : integer); BUILTIN 677;