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About ZWCAD and other CAD software

May 20, 2011

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 an affordable price. Using today's advanced technology, ZWCAD integrates the Microsoft® Windows® interface with a powerful CAD engine.


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® programs.


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 find 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.


It'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® ADS compatible 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 example, .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.

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