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Set Interface Options,Creating a Custom User Interface in ZWCAD

May 20, 2011

In the Options dialog box, you can change many of the settings that affect the ZWCAD interface and drawing environment.

Settings of modifying interface:

  • Automatic Save (Open and Save tab). Saves your drawing at specified time intervals. To use this option, in the Options dialog box, Open and Save tab, select Automatic Save and enter the interval in minutes.

  • Color (Display tab). Specifies the background colors used in the layout and Model tabs and the color used for prompts and crosshairs.

  • Font (Display tab). Changes the fonts used in the ZWCAD window and in the text window. This setting does not affect the text in your drawings.

  • Search Path (Files tab). Sets the search path ZWCAD uses to find drawing support files such as text fonts, drawings, linetypes, and hatch patterns.

  • Interface color( "Skins and Themes tab). Sets ZWCAD window skins and display themes.

Controlling size and position of each toolbar or window

      After starting ZWCAD, you can fix or adjust position and size of each toolbar or window by dragging. Software interface includes column, order window, "Properties" option board, "Quick Calculator" window, "Design Center" window, and so on.

Controlling position of toolbar

      Toolbars can be floating or fixed. The floating toolbar locates in arbitrary location of the drawing area of ZWCAD window, can be dragged to its new location, adjust its size or fixed. Fixed toolbar attaches to any of the edges in drawing area, once the toolbar is fixed, its size can't be adjusted. You can remove the fixed toolbar by dragging it to a new fixing position.

Controlling size and position of other windows

    When dragging command window, "Properties" option board, "Quick Calculator" window, buoys displayed in corners and center position of drawing area, if not select buoys but dragging the selected window to arbitrary position of drawing area, the window will be on floating state, users can adjust size of the window based on the actual needs. If Click on the one of the buoys in the process of dragging, the location of the window will be fixed to the top, bottom and left side or right side of a fixed region of ZWCAD window, at this time, the size of window can be adjusted in only one direction.

Locks the position of toolbars and docked windows

     For aligned toolbars and docked, floating windows, you can lock their position. Locked toolbars or windows can still be opened or closed and items can be added and deleted, but can not be moved. If need to unlock temporarily, you can press down CTRL.

Displaying commands on a shortcut menu

     Shortcut menus provide quick access to specific commands. A shortcut menu displays when you right click an object, toolbar, status bar, the Model tab name, or a Layout tab name. The selections presented in the shortcut menu depend on what you clicked.

      When you right click a toolbar, the program displays a shortcut menu that lets you toggle the command bar, status bar, and various toolbars on and off. If you select one or more objects and then right click, the program displays a shortcut menu from which you can choose a command to modify the selected objects. To display a short cut menu from which you can choose an object snap, press and hold down the Shift key, and then right click anywhere within the drawing window.

Using the command bar

    The command bar is a dockable window in which you type ZWCAD commands and view prompts and other program messages. To display the command bar, choose View >Display> Command Bar. You can move the command bar by way of dragging.

     When the command bar is floating, you can drag the top or bottom of the window to change the number of lines of text it displays. You can dock the command bar at the top or bottom of the drawing.

Using the status bar

       If you elect not to use the command bar, the status bar displays information about the selected command or tool. It also displays the current cursor coordinates, mode settings, and other information about current settings.

   In addition to displaying information, the status bar is a quick way to access many features.

     You can click status bar items to make changes, and right click items to display short cut menus that allow you more choices.


A Cursor coordinates (x,y,z).

B Snap setting. Left click to toggle on or off. toggle on or off.

C Grid setting. Left click to toggle on or off.

D Orthogonal setting. Left click to toggle on or off.

E Polar tracking. Left click to change colors.

F Object snap setting. Left click to select object snaps on or off.

G Object snap tracking. Left click to toggle on or off.

H Lineweight display. Left click to toggle on or off.

I Model space or paper space. Left click to toggle between model space and paper space.

J Digitizer mode. Left click to toggle on or off.

K Dynamic input. Left click to toggle on or off.

To change the items that display on the status bar

  1. Right click an empty area of the status bar.

  2. Select an item to add or remove it.

To change the setting of an item on the status bar

Right click the status bar item you want to change, and then select the desired setting.

To display or hide the status bar

Choose View >Display> Status Bar.

Command line STATBAR

Using prompt boxes

ZWCAD commands often provide several options. These options appear in the status bar or command bar and also in a prompt box (called a context men) initially displayed in the upper right corner of the screen.

You can move the prompt box by dragging it; future prompt boxes will appear where you last placed it. The options appear as menu selections.

Choose the appropriate option by selecting it in the prompt box. To close a prompt box, click the Close box.


Command options appear in a prompt box.

    The prompt box is closed by default. To turn on the display of prompt boxes, choose Tools > Options, click the Display tab, and then click the Display screen menu check box to clear it.

Commands Reference

LOGFILEOFF: Closes log file opened by LOGFILEON command

LOGFILEON: Writes contents of text window into files

OPTIONS: Customizes the ZWCAD settings

VIEWRES: Sets the resolution for objects in the current viewport

System Variables Reference

APERTURE: Sets the display size for the aperture, in pixels

CURSORSIZE: Determines the size of the crosshairs as a percentage of the screen size

DCTCUST: Displays path and file name of current customized spelling dictionary

DCTMAIN: Displays file name of current major spelling dictionary

DEFPLSTYLEE: Specifies default print style for new objects

EXTNAMES: Sets parameters for named objects stored in definition list (such as linear and layers)

FILLMODE: Specifies whether hatches (including solid-fill), two-dimensional solids, wide polylines, are filled in

GRIPBLOCK: Controls the assignment of grips in blocks

GRIPCOLOR: Controls the color of nonselected grips

GRIPHOT: Controls the color of selected grips

GRIPS: Controls the use of selection set grips for the Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, and Mirror Grip modes

INSUNITS: Specifies graphics units for blocks dragged from Design Center and inserted into the drawing or the automatic scaling of images

INSUNITSDEFSOURCE: Sets units value for contents of source

INSUNITSDEFTARGET: Sets units value for objective drawing

ISAVEBAK: Raise preservation speed of incremental, especially for large-scale graphics

ISAVEPERCENT: Specifies total wear space allowed in the graphics document

LOCALE: Displays language code of ISO in current versions

LOCKUI: Locks the position and size of toolbars or docked, floating windows

LOGFILEMODE: Specifies whether to write the contents of text window into log files

LOGFILENAME: Specifies log file path and name for current graphics

LOGFILEPATH: Specifies log file path and name for all graphics in a drawing

MTEXTED: Sets primary and secondary text editor for mtext objects

OLEQUALITY: Sets default print quality of OLE objects

OLESTARTUP: Controls whether to load source applications when embedding OLE objects

OSNAPCOORD: Controls whether to alternative object snap by entering coordinates from the command line

PAPERUPDATE: Controls display of warning dialog box (if attempt to print layout with default specified drawing size in an approach different from print configuration file)

PICKADD: Controls whether subsequent selections replace the current selection set or add to it

PICKAUTO: Controls automatic windowing at the Select Objects prompt

PICKBOX: Sets the object selection target height, in pixels

PICKDRAG: Controls the method of drawing a selection window

PICKFIRST: Controls whether to select object before or after the implementation of command (select objects first, next execute command)

PICKSTYLE: Controls the use of grouping select and associate hatch select

PSTYLEPOLICY: Controls whether color property of the object is associated with the print style

QTEXTMODE: Controls how text is displayed

RASTERPREVIEW: Controls whether to save BMP preview images together with the drawing

SAVEFILE: Stores the current automatic save file name

SAVEFILEPATH: Specifies the path to the directory for all automatic save files for the current session

SAVETIME: Sets the automatic save interval, in minutes

SDI: Controls whether the program runs in single- or multiple-document interface

TDUSRTIMER: Stores the user-elapsed timer

VISRETAIN: Controls visibility, color, linear, linewidth and print styles of layers dependent on external reference  

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