INTRODUCTION AND INSTALLATION
1. Introduction and Installation
1.1. ZWCAD Introduction
About ZWCAD and other CAD software
ZWCAD is designed for anyone who wants a fast and efficient CAD program with all the
power and versatility of standard programs such as AutoCAD® by Autodesk®, Inc., or
MicroStation® by Bentley Systems, Inc., at a
n affordable price. Using today‘
technology, ZWCAD integrates the Microsoft® Windows® interface with a powerful CAD
ZWCAD provides unparalleled compatibility with AutoCAD, using most of the same file
formats including those for drawings (.dwg files), commands, linetypes, hatch patterns,
and text styles. You can also use AutoCAD menu files and run Autodesk® AutoLISP®
ZWCAD is more compatible with the AutoCAD program than any other CAD product,
delivers additional tools with advanced CAD features, and has a seamless Microsoft®
Windows integration. This powerful program provides a superb combination of features for
CAD users like architects, engineers, and designers.
ZWCAD incorporates standard features found in other CAD programs, along with features
and capabilities you won‘t fi
nd anywhere else. Its multiple document interface (MDI) lets
you open and work with several drawings at the same time. You can easily copy drawing
entities between drawings.
Using AutoCAD legacy drawings
ZWCAD fully supports AutoCAD legacy drawings. ZWCAD reads and writes DWG files in
their native format without any loss of data, from AutoCAD 2009 back to Version 11,
including AutoCAD LT®. Because ZWCAD uses DWG as its native file format, no
translation is required.
ZWCAD supports three-dimensional wireframes and surfaces. Three dimensional
drawings can be displayed in wireframe, hidden line view, and surface shading.
ZWCAD supports displaying and working with raster images in your drawings. When a
drawing containing proxy entities is loaded into ZWCAD, a message displays indicating
that some entities will not display.
s easy to customize ZWCAD. You can modify menus and toolbars, create custom
menus, dialog boxes, command aliases, and scripts, and add custom programs written in
any of several programming languages, including LISP and SDS™ (Solutions
Development System™, the program‘s Autodesk® ADScompatible language). There is
also Microsoft® Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
You can run existing LISP applications in ZWCAD with little or no modification. ZWCAD
uses the Appload command so you can easily load LISP programs.
ZWCAD reads files that contain dialog control language (DCL) statements as well, which
makes ZWCAD compatible with dialog boxes created for AutoCAD.
Using AutoCAD commands with ZWCAD
Because ZWCAD supports hundreds of AutoCAD commands, you use the commands
you already know. For example, to draw a circle, use the Circle command. To copy a
circle, use the Copy command.
When you press Enter or the spacebar, you activate the command
just like in AutoCAD.
ZWCAD accepts the special characters used by AutoCAD, such as point filters (for
.xy), relative coordinates (the @ symbol), and the apostrophe (the ‗ prefix) for
transparent commands. ZWCAD function keys are also similar to those used in
AutoCAD.Because you do not need to learn a new set of commands, you are immediately
productive with ZWCAD.
Comparing ZWCAD drawing with manual drafting
ZWCAD greatly reduces the time and effort it takes to create and revise drawings. Not
only can you produce accurate drawings faster, you can also reuse the information in your
These are the primary reasons for making the transition to CAD from traditional, manual
drafting on paper.
As with any tool, however, to use it effectively, you need to be familiar with some of the
special features, functions, and concepts of CAD. If you are familiar with manual drafting,
you‘ll find some conceptual similarities in CAD as well as some differences.
Drawing to scale
In traditional, manual drafting, you usually determine the scale of the drawing before you
even start to draw, because you are working with a sheet of paper of a fixed size. You
may have to reduce or enlarge the entity you are drawing to fit within the confines of the
When you create a drawing in ZWCAD, you draw everything full size. You determine the
type of units in which your drawing is measured. If you are drawing a building, 1 drawing
unit might equal 1 inch. If you are drawing a map, 1 drawing unit might equal 1 mile. Your
drawing environment and the CAD drawing file itself are not limited to the size of a
particular sheet of paper.
1 drawing unit equals 1 inch. 1 drawing unit equals 1 foot.
INTRODUCTION AND INSTALLATION
As you draw, you can use commands such as Pan and Zoom to work on different part of
the drawing and to magnify the display of the drawing to view small details. These
commands have no effect on the actual size of the entities in your drawing; they affect
only the way the drawing is displayed on your screen. Only when you print or plot your
drawing do you need to set the scale so that the printed drawing fits within a specific paper
In manual drafting, you use tools such as pencils, rulers, T squares, templates, erasers,
and so on. When you create a drawing in ZWCAD, you use a mouse instead of a pencil,
and you use the mouse to select other tools-commands you select from a menu or a
You use some tools to create basic entities, such as lines, circles, and arcs, and other
tools to modify existing entities ( for example, to copy or move them or to change
properties such as color and linetype).
In traditional drafting, you often separate elements such as walls, dimensions, structural
steel members, and electrical plans onto separate, translucent overlays. When you want
to print the working drawings, you can create several different drawings by combining
When you create a drawing in ZWCAD, you use layers to organize elements in a similar
However, the layers feature in CAD offers numerous advantages over physical
The number of overlays you can combine to print a manually drafted drawing is limited by
the printing process. There is no such limitation in CAD. With ZWCAD, you can define an
unlimited number of layers, any of which can be visible or invisible at any time.
You can name each layer and assign each its own color, linetype, lineweight, and print
You can also lock individual layers to ensure
that information on those layers isn‘t altered
Use layers to organize drawing information.
When you create a manual drawing, ensuring accuracy typically requires a lot of manual
calculations and rechecking. By contrast, ZWCAD offers a number of drawing aids that
ensure accuracy from the start. For example, you create and modify entities based on an
underlying Cartesian coordinate system. Every location in the drawing has its own x,y,z
coordinates. You can also display a grid as a visual reference to your coordinate system.
Each position in the CAD drawing has its corresponding x,y,z coordinates within Cartesian
Coordinate System. Point 5,2,0 is 5 units to the right (along the x axis), 2 units up (along
the y axis), and 0 units (alongthe z axis) from the origin (the 0,0,0 point) Settings such as
snap and entity snap allow you to draw accurately without specifying coordinates.
The snap setting forces the selected points to adhere to the grid increment or to any other
increment you set. Entity snaps let you snap to precise geometric points on existing
for example, the endpoint of a line or the center of a circle. Another setting,
orthogonal, constrains lines so that they are drawn parallel to the vertical and horizontal
axes. Polar tracking and object snap tracking help you draw objects at specific angles or
in specific relationships to other objects. When you turn on polar tracking and object snap
tracking, temporary alignment paths help you create objects at precise positions and
angles. You will discover techniques that make specific design tasks easier.
Paper based drawings lack the high degree of accuracy possible when using CAD. Lines
INTRODUCTION AND INSTALLATION
often overlap or fail to meet adjacent lines.
Snap and entity snap force the cursor to adhere to a specified increment or attach to key
geometric points on existing entities. You can also constrain lines to vertical and
In paper based, manual drafting, you often have to redraw the same entity several times
at different scales or from different vantage points. You may also need to redraw the
border and title block on each new sheet.
One of the most powerful features of ZWCAD is that when you create a drawing, you can
reuse individual entities, borders, and title blocks as often as you want. You need draw an
entity only once; the final printed drawing can show the entity at several different scales
You usually begin drawing in model space on the Model tab, creating the drawing (a floor
plan, a map, or a three dimensional part) without regard to the final layout on paper. When
you are ready to print your drawing, you have the option to switch to paper space on a
Layout tab, where you lay out the drawing as you want it to appear on a sheet of paper.
You create the basic drawing in model space on the Model tab.
When you‘re ready to print or plot your drawing, you can switch to paper space on a
Layout tab, where you provide a layout of the drawing as you want it to appear on a sheet
Reusing CAD drawings and entities
When you create a paper drawing manually, you can draw repetitive symbols by tracing a
plastic template. After you draw a symbol in ZWCAD, you can reuse that symbol without
having to redraw it. You simply save the symbol as a block. You can then insert copies of
that block anywhere in your drawing. You can also save the symbol as a separate drawing
for use in other drawings.
INTRODUCTION AND INSTALLATION
You can draw a symbol one time, save it as a block, and then insert multiple copies of that
symbol anywhere in your drawing.
In addition, you can reuse entire drawings and insert individual drawings into other
You can also use an external reference, which acts as a pointer to another drawing rather
than a copy of the entire drawing. Using an external reference has an added advantage:
when you update the externally referenced drawing, each drawing that references it can
be automatically updated.
To make changes to a paper drawing, you erase and then redraw. With ZWCAD, you use
commands to modify entities in the drawing. You can move, rotate, stretch, or change the
scale of entities. When you want to remove an entity, you can delete it with a single click
of the mouse. If you make a mistake while creating or modifying your drawing, you can
easily reverse your actions.
You can easily change an entity using commands such as move, rotate, stretch, and scale
instead of redrawing the entity.
Working with other data and programs
Traditional paper drawings serve only as a means of communicating information between
the person who created the drawing and the person viewing the drawing. The drawings
contain no more information than what is visually imparted by the creator and seen by the
ZWCAD offers rich possibilities for analyzing drawings and attaching additional data to
For instance, although it may be impractical to count entities in a complex paper drawing,
this task is simple in CAD. ZWCAD can calculate the number of entities in a drawing and
compute area and distance.
CAD drawings can also contain information in addition to visible entities. You can attach
invisible database information to visible drawing entities and extract the information for
analysis in a database or spreadsheet. (Working with information in a data base requires
a program from a third party vendor, or you can create your own means of exporting the
data in LISP or SDS. Or, you can also use VBA.)
You can extract information stored in the drawing as visible or invisible attributes and use
that data for analysis in a database or spreadsheet.
ZWCAD provides in-place editing of Microsoft® objects, such as those created in
Microsoft® Word and Microsoft® Excel software programs. In place editing makes it easy
to share data with other users and programs. For example, you can include ZWCAD
INTRODUCTION AND INSTALLATION
drawings in files created using Microsoft® Word, and you can insert files created using
Microsoft® Word into your ZWCAD drawings.
Using advanced CAD features
In addition to being compatible with AutoCAD, ZWCAD goes several steps further by
providing you with innovative features to increase your productivity.
Editing multiple documents simultaneously
With ZWCAD, you can open and edit multiple drawings simultaneously. You can also
copy and paste elements among opened drawings.
Editing multiple entities
ZWCAD allows you to change most of the properties of all selected entities using a single,
tabbed dialog box.
Using the Customize dialog box
ZWCAD has a single, tabbed dialog box for changing toolbars, menus, keyboard
shortcuts, and command aliases. The simple, point and click action lets you easily create
new menu items and keyboard shortcuts
no programming or manual text editing
Performing unlimited undo and redo
ZWCAD increases your power undo and redo of editing actions.
Getting more information
In addition to the ZWCAD documentation, much of the assistance you need as you use
ZWCAD is specific to the commands you work with on the screen. To obtain immediate
information as you work, use these additional sources of information:
To find out more detailed information about a tool when you pause the cursor over it, look
on the status bar at the bottom of the screen.
ZWCAD online help is available on the screen when you press F1, choose a command
from the Help menu, or click the question mark in a dialog box.
This section helps you get started using ZWCAD software by explaining how to install it
and providing basic information about how to use it.
NOTE This guide assumes that you have used other Windows based programs and are
familiar with Windows terminology and techniques.
You need the following software and hardware to install and run ZWCAD:
Microsoft Windows 2003
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows 7
Pentium III 800 Mhz or advanced
512 MB (recommended)
1024 x 768 VGA with True Color (minimum)
Mouse, trackball or other device
Any speed (for installation only)
A setup program guides you through the ZWCAD installation process. The program
transfers files to a folder that it creates on your hard disk. The program also creates a
menu item on the Start menu.
To install ZWCAD from a compact disc
1. Insert the ZWCAD compact disc into your CD ROM drive.
2. Double click the installation file of your desired software on the CD page.
3. Follow the instructions of the installation prompts, choose from Standard Edition and
Professional Edition to determine which one to install.
NOTE If you did not receive an ZWCAD compact disc, for example, if you downloaded the
program from the Internet, follow the instructions that came with the program.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested