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10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

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10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

ZWSchool 2020-12-21 11:03:00

Recently, we’ve covered half of the 10 practical CAD commands for architects to step up and speed up architectural design. Keep reading to find out about the rest and learn how to use them in ZWCAD with the instructions and GIFs!


REGEN is short for “Regenerate”. It is a handy command to update the drawing. In architectural design, it is usually used to regenerate and smooth the zigzag curves as the example below shows.


  1. Right-click in the model space and select “Options…” to invoke the Options dialog box.
  2. Increase the “Arc and circle smoothness” value in the “Display resolution” section, click Apply and then OK.
  3. Input [REGEN] and press Enter in the model space.

Now, the entities become smoother and your architectural design is more presentable.

REGEN_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)


Basically, SKETCH allows you to create freehand lines like a real pen. Let’s see how you can sketch a topographic map flexibly on an attached PDF file.


  1. Input [XREF] and press Enter to attach a topographic map in the PDF format.
  2. Input [SKETCH] and press Enter.
  3. Specify the length of segments as small as possible because the smaller it is, the more accurate the contours will be.
  4. Click to start sketching.
  5. Click again to pause sketching.
  6. Press ENTER to end sketching.

SKETCH_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

I bet some of you may be wondering why I used XREF instead of PDFIMPORT, which could be a direct way to read topographic maps. The reason is that PDFIMPORT can only convert PDF files generated with a CAD program into CAD entities, like lines, arcs, and circles. Most of the time, PDF files generated by other software except for a CAD program, cannot be converted into CAD entities, but can be converted manually by using XREF to attach it as an external reference.


Given the heavy workload, it is hard for architects to avoid spelling mistakes. But don’t worry because you’ve got SPELL the command to ensure that your texts are faultless based on the dictionary selected in ZWCAD.


  1. Input [SP] and press ENTER.
  2. Select entities to check spelling and press ENTER.
  3. Cross-check the spelling suggestions in the Check Spelling dialog box.

After following the steps above, you can rest assured that every word you write is correct.

SPELL_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

By default, there is one dictionary, en_US.dic, in ZWCAD. To use more dictionaries in different languages, simply click the “Change Dictionaries…” button in the Check Spelling dialog box to invoke the Change Dictionaries dialog box where you can click the “Download…” button to find more dictionaries.

Change Dictionaries_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

After you’ve downloaded the desired dictionary, you need to first place it in this directory, C:\Program Files\ZWSoft\ZWCAD 2021\Support. Then, you can load it by selecting it from the drop-down Main Dictionary list and clicking OK.[/su_spoiler]

9. TP

TP, short for Tool Palettes, is like a warehouse of blocks, hatches, and commonly used drawing tools. After invoking the Tool Palettes by “Ctrl+3”, you can simply drag entities from it to the drawing, and vice versa. The GIF below was created to better illustrate this feature. As you can see, I dragged the long table directly to TP and stored it there. Then, I dragged the round table straight from TP to enrich the floor plan.

TP_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

Moreover, in ZWCAD, entities can be added to TP from the Design Center and external drawings as well. [su_spoiler title="Tip" open="yes" style="fancy" icon="chevron-circle"]When switching to ZWCAD, you may worry whether you can continue using your formerly customized Tool Palettes. Actually, transferring them from other CAD programs to ZWCAD is pretty straightforward. Let me show you how.


  1. Click here to download the TPConverter.
  2. Convert the XTP file exported from other CAD programs to an XML file with this tool.
  3. Invoke TP in ZWCAD.
  4. Right-click on the blank space in TP and select “Customize Palette” to invoke the corresponding dialog box.
  5. Right-click on the blank space in the Customize Palette dialog box, click “Import…”, and select the desired TP in the XML format.

Just like that, a new palette tab is already added for you to use your old TP in ZWCAD.[/su_spoiler]


In architectural design, layout viewports are commonly used to present the floor plan, section, etc. altogether. In ZWCAD 2021, you can customize the view, visual style, annotation scale, etc. in each viewport for better plotting effects.


  1. Input [VPORTS] and press ENTER in the layout space to invoke the Viewports dialog box.
  2. Define the number and size of viewports.
  3. Specify the boundary and your design will show in the default style.
  4. Adjust the visual styles and views of the viewports.

See? I can get a layout of four views in the Gouraud+Edges style effortlessly with this command. In ZWCAD 2021, you can even highlight certain layer properties in each viewport using the Viewport Layer feature (click to watch the tutorial video).

VPORTS_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

You can also create irregular viewports with VPORTS.


  1. Create a shape in a layout.
  2. Go to the Viewports panel under the Views tab and select Object from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select the shape you’ve already drawn and you can see the drawing in the shape.

Or, you can select Polygonal from the drop-down list and directly draw an irregular polygon in the layout to get a polygonal viewport.

Customized Viewport_10 CAD Commands Architects Need to Master (Part 2)

Now that I've expounded all 10 CAD commands I think may boost architects’ design efficiency, do you agree to my picks? Comment to let me know!

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