Frequently Asked Questions About LinuxCAD

How to use command aliases (or shortcuts) in LinuxCAD?
There is a file in C:\usr\linuxcad\linuxcad.caf ( /usr/linuxcad/linuxcad.caf on Linux ), that is CAF or Command Alias File. LinuxCAD will read this file by default, alternatively you can specify your own command shortcuts file, like this:

         linuxcad -aliases myownaliases.caf myowndrawing.dxs

The format of Command Alias File is quite self explanatory:
LINE      L
ARC       AR
COPY      CP
MOVE      M
TRIM      TR

In the example above LINE is shortcutted to L, ELLIPSE to EL, ERASE to D.

Does LinuxCAD support reading and writing DWG files?

Yes LinuxCAD supports DWG files(version 10) for read and write as well as DXF in the basic version. You do not have to purchase any additional extensions or add-on packages to get this feature. DWG interface is included as a standard feature of LinuxCAD.

Do I have to have an AutoCAD on my computer to run LinuxCAD? Is LinuxCAD an AutoCAD application?

No, definite no on this. LinuxCAD is completely separate product, you are nort required either purchase or have AutoCAD or even know AutoCAD to start working in LinuxCAD. LinuxCAD is comparable to AutoCAD but is completely separate Drafting Program developed without use of any autocad parts.

Is print option included in standard version of LinuxCAD?

Yes printing to HP DeskJet, HP Laserjet, HP-GL and Postscript are all included in every version of LinuxCAD. On Windows Windows Printing is included.

Is plot option included in standard version of LinuxCAD?

Yes output to HP-GL compatible plotters included with every copy of LinuxCAD.

Is DXF import feature included in standard version of LinuxCAD?

Yes, every copy of LinuxCAD, comes with DXF import feature build in.

Is customization option included with LinuxCAD?

Yes, every copy of LinuxCAD, includes ADS C++ programming interface and AutoLisp language.

Does LinuxCAD include 3D design?

Yes, LinuxCAD includes 3D design and interface to OpenGL.

Does LinuxCAD have any optional parts that do not come with the standard LinuxCAD package?

No, LinuxCAD des not have any parts that are available at extra charge or for additional fee, all parts of LinuxCAD come together as a single package. $139.00 price includes all: print,plot,DXF,customization,3D, DWG reader and writer,symbol libraries.

I would love to use LinuxCAD, but all my customers and subcontractors use AutoCAD, what should I do ?

LinuxCAD is compatible with AutoCAD ( including the latest AutoCAD versions ) via DXF and DWG formats. You should be able to exchange information with your peers without a problem. Still we recognize the problems that existing historically entrenched CAD software ( like AutoCAD ) creates for adoption of new software ( aka LinuxCAD ). Even if the later is less expensive and more advanced. To speed up the mass adoption of LinuxCAD we offer the following: When you purchase one copy of LinuxCAD at full price we will give you extra LinuxCAD CDs that you can send to your customers or subcontractors to use. For a minor fee you can also purchase the right to ship LinuxCAD to your customers every time you ship drawings. Therefore your customers will receive drawings and the program that can modify and view them together.

Why I can not open DXF file in LinuxCAD?

Instead of starting LinuxCAD like:

linuxcad my_dxf_file.dxf

You need to start LinuxCAD with a new file and then enter:
DXFIN my_dxf_file.dxf in the command area of linuxCAD. This is the proper way to read DXF file. LinuxCAD prints some diagnostic and progress information when it imports DXF therefore the standard output should be properly redirected to a file or /dev/null device or terminate at the valid xterm window.

I am having trouble loading command alias file in LinuxCAD, I do
linuxcad test.dwg -aliases linuxcad.caf
LinuxCAD does not understand my aliases anyway?

You doing fine, the command you using is correct. However the command aliases file will only be activated if the drawing file exists. In your case test.dwg does not exist, you need to create it first. That can be done by saving an empty file and reopening it.

How do I maximize my work area?
Select "Options/Settings/Screen Extents/Set 1400x1200" or other mode you prefer or enter SCREENEXT at the command prompt.

What is .taz file?
Some distributions of LinuxCAD will arrive in archive file with extension .taz. This is actually acronym for .tar.Z filetype. To unpack .taz file do the following:
mv File.taz File.tar.Z
uncompress File.tar.Z
tar xvf File.tar

The documentation is not explicit about the command 3dpoly. Is that >supported?
Yes 3D polyline is there

3dface is also not mentioned 6n y64r web s5te. Is that included?
Yes, 3DFace is the main "workhorse" drawing object for LinuxCAD 3D commands and features.

Can individual edges of 3dfaces be suppressed (hidden at all times)?
Yes, there is a special command in LinuxCAD to control visibility of every edge of a 3D Face individually.

What is the hotkey for Ortho on Windows Vista in LinuxCAD?

  LinuxCAD does not use that many hotkeys yet the "toggle ortho mode"
is one of them.  Here are the LinuxCAD hotkeys:

F4 - maximize command area, so you can see command history. (on Linux)

Ctrl/Q  maximize command area(on Windows)

F2 - save drawing on disk (on Linux)

Ctrl/S save drawing on disk (on Windows)

F3 - toggle ortho mode(on Linux)

Ctrl/A  toggle ortho mode(on WIndows).

Is the extrude comnmand included?
Yes, there is normal and conic extrude commands , the conic extrude allows to scale objects while they are extruded.

Is there an easy way to change a 3D Viewport configuration?
Yes there is "XCLPVPORTS" command , the command is accessible via "Clipboard" pull down menu. You can copy 3D viewport configuration ( eye point, target point, view twist and scale of all 3D viewports simultaneously between the drawings using clipboard ). The User perceives this command like simultaneous change of all 3D projections with the model space objects intact.

Can I have the reults of hidded line removal together with 3D model graphics in the same drawing side by side ?
Yes , the algorythm to do that:
1) Start another read only LinuxCAD window ( WINRO command ).
2) Run HIDE command and KEEPHIDE command in that other LinuxCAD read only window.
3) Copy results of the HIDE command from read only LinuxCAD window to the clipboard.
4) Paste results of hide ( they are simple 2D objects ) to the original drawing where you still have your 3D model.
The result of the above process would look similar to this...

Can I store my block directly to a symbol library ?
Yes , you can do:

Can I exter points in different 3D Viewports in the same 3D command, for example can I select a First Point of 3D rotation axis in Viewport N0 and the Second Point of 3D rotation axis in Viewport N3 ?
Yes , you can do that, you can change 2D magnification and PAN 2D space therefore enchancing your 3D point picking capabilities inside any 3D command. But more then that you can use transparent 'PICKVPORT command to switch the Active Current Viewport at any time, including while the other 3D command is in progress.

My problems right now are how to use the osnaps with commands like copy and move. When you select an object to move, I can't seem to be able to then pick the endpoint.?
The LinuxCAD osnaps can be selected from * * * / Osnaps Pull down menu or entered from command line by three letter abbreviatons ( NEA - for nearest, TAN - for tangent, etc). Note the LinuxCAD has to expect a point for OSNAP command be available to enter. When you see Enter point: in the command line at the bottom of LinuxCAD screen then you use OSNAPS.

My only question is how to determine line length exactly. I'm not really understanding how the coordinates work- It seems I must start from a given X and Y point based on where I click in the screen, but after that when I try to give a second point, I'm not sure how the measurement works out. Any hints?
You can enter points either by clicking mouse or by typing coordinates delimited by comma in the command line below the LinuxCAD drawing screen. Please click the "?" in top right corner, you will see a short help screen pay close attention to entering relative points, relative means point relative to the previous point,m the previous point in this case will be the Star point so for example: @5.0,0.0 entered for a second point means: "draw horizontal line with exact length 5 inches".

Subject: LinuxCAD question.... DXF import and export…can this be a DXF export from any AutoCAD version or is this limited to AutoCAD version 10 too?

DXF is much easier then DWG, so LinuxCAD DXF import was designed to 
work with any version of AutoCAD,  we will make sure your 
drawings will come through to LinuxCAD and back via DXF even if
there are some problems at no extra charge if you actually 
pay for your copy of LinuxCAD.

  Generally upload from LinuxCAD to AutoCAD should be very 
smooth the download from AutoCAD to LinuxCAD is very much 
possible yet not in every case,  you have probably seen sometimes
that even AutoCAD to AutoCAD exchange is problematic, 
it often reports things like:   Font file not found or the 
Entity has been created using the Object ARX application that 
can not be loaded etc...

  There is ALSO another way to accomplish what you want: YOU CAN 
along with your drawing, the demo version can not save but it is
legally free and CAN VIEW, so your customers get the drawing and 
the program that viewes it.

  In commerical version of LinuxCAD there is a "Print to PDF" feature 
this opens you to the PDF realm and almost everyone everywhere can read PDF.

  Let me remind you again that LinuxCAD can be purchased for your entire
organization, up to 2000 PC-s (this is basically an Unlimited use
of the LinuxCAD program within your business) just for $800.

  All these copies will be supported and EVEN TUTORING FOR NEW LINUXCAD
USERS WILL BE PROVIDED, access to author over skype and e-mail will be 
provided to.

Subject: LinuxCAD question.... it appears that the Osnaps i.e. NEA, END, PER, INT, TAN, MID, CEN, VER, EDG, POI are not working or responding to the DRAW nor DIM commands.

 Osnaps are always displayed in the "* * */Osnap" pull down menu the selecting
them however does any good only when LinuxCAD expects 2D or 3D point, 2D osnaps
for 2D point 3D osnaps for 3D point. 

 When you see "Enter point:" or "Enter 3D point (x,y,z):" or similar 
message in the command line then when you can select "* * */Osnap" or
use any of the Osnap codes: NEA, END, PER, INT, TAN, MID, CEN, VER, EDG.

I do not have enough space on C: drive, I can not install LinuxCAD to C:\USR, what should I do?

Go to Control Panel/System/Environment Variable   set   LINCAD_DIR=[your new folder]

then goto [your new folder]/linuxcad   send linuxcad.exe to desktop (create shortcut) this should do it

How do I get a complete list of supported shx font files?

  Any SHX fonts should be supported, the "STANDARD" font is bilt into LinuXCAD code.
  The LinuxCAD STYLE command will ask you for the name of font file.
  Copy your font files to C:\usr\linuxcad directory, please do not overwrite any shx files 
that already there. You should not specify the full path to your font file, just give it the 
file name, for example:  times.shx   LinuxCAD will always check: C:\usr\linuxcad and 
the current directory for the font file.

  Options /Settings/Text Styles/ Select Font  - will give you also menu of 
True Type Fonts that have been preloaded to use with LinuxCAD, you are welcome to use
the fornts from that menu in your drawing. The files are .ltf(LinuxCAD TrueTypeFont,
they are true types but converted to LinuxCAD format.

Will LinuxCAD work on Windows Vista?

 Yes, and will work well, the Windows Vista is actually 
preffered Operating System for LinuxCAD.  LinuxCAD will also work on Windows XP, Linux
and Intel Based Macintosh.

Will LinuxCAD mess up my existing AutoDesk installations ?

   NO, LinuxCAD will not touch any other programs installed on your computer,
   LinuxCAD and AutoCAD can coexist on the same computer without being aware
of each other.  AutoCAD files (DWG) will continue to be associated with AutoCAD.
 LinuxCAD files (.dxs) should be associated with LinxCAD.

QUESTION: I am having an issue figuring out how to change layers or how to create new layers. Also, I need assistance in modifying the deminsioning text height and leader/arrow sizes. How do I achieve this?

 To create new layer type LAYER command in command line or
choose  Options/Change Layer/Layer from pull down menu, use the choice
 NEW in a command line, or menu item NEW in Keys
 pull down after that.

Use CHGTXT in a command line or Edit/Edit 2/Change Text in 
pull down menu.

Regarding leadders sizes, there are environment variables that control it:


 The above are just Windows (or Linux if it is Linux version) environment

 You set these in Windows in Control Panel/System/Advanced/Environment

How to enter relative points and polar coordinates ?

There are a number of ways to enter point in LinuxCAD:
    1)  Left mouse button click.
    2)  X,Y  - point in absolute coordinates.
    3)  @X,Y - point in relative (displacement from the last point) 
    4)  A<R  - point in polar coordinates where A-angle,R-radius
    5)  @A<R - point in polar coordinates relative to the last point
         X,Y,A,R - are real values which may contain decimal point and sign.

I do not like floating toolbars how do I disable them ?

  Please set environment variable:


 In  Windows in Control Panel/System/Advanced/Environment

 This will disable the toolbars.

Is LinuxCAD for Mac or Linux different from LinuxCAD2009 for Windows?

We have three products here:

 LinuxCAD2009 for Linux
 LinuxCAD2009 for Windows
 LinuxCAD2009 for Mac,

 LinuxCAD on all of these three different computers will look 
EXACTLY the same and work exactly the same way and read exactly 
drawings made by each other regardless of LinuxCAD version you 
are using, the drawing format is open and plainly readable b
y naked  human eye and so any programs that process it and extract 
information from it can be written easily.


I unistalled the old version but I'm still getting this message when I try to install the new version: "one or two files that need to be installed already exist in the folder you specified to install in. You need to choose another folder to install in"?

Before installing new version of LinuxCAD 2009 for Windows
do the following:

1. Uninstall the old version.

2.  Go to Windows Explorer and delete C:\USR directory.

3. Then start to install new version.

Can you please tell me how can we change the patterns of hatching from lines to dotted?

 The most obvious thing would be to hatch using continuous lines, 
then when drawing is almost done explode all hatches and change 
line type of hatch lines to DOTTED using CHPROP command.

  This may sound too difficult but it is not if you pland for 
it in advance.  For example you can pick unique color
for hatches and then use LinuxCAD "CC" Object selection mode, 
means crossing by color, when LinuxCAD selects all objects of the 
specified color that fall withing a "Crossing Window".

How do you set it to inches or to metric?

  There is set drawing units command in  Options / Drawing Settings/ Specify Units of Drawing.

Q: I'm used to AutoCAD 2005 and 2009. How is LinuxCAD similar or different from AutoCAD?

A:   This program (LinuxCAD for Windows) covers 80 % of AutoCAD capabilities for 2D drafting
 that means ANY 2D drawing can be produced using LinuxCAD, there are considerable similarities
 between the two in User interface and logical flow of user work.  

Q: will this work with vista 64 bit

A:   Yes it will work on Vista 64 bit. The DVD disk that I will send for this item 
   will contain:
       1. LinuxCAD for Windows Vista 64 bit. 
       2. LinuxCAD for Windows XP. 
       3. LinuxCAD for Linux. 

    I hope this answers your question, this is full version of LinuxCAD it does
   not popup any "please pay" screens, is not time limited in any way.  

Question: I also tried to use these commands under "***" but they still weren't recognized.Why?

         There is a little trick you should be aware of:

  ***/Osnaps   - commands only recognized when LinuxCAD expects a 2D Point from you

  ***/Osnaps 3D - commands only recognized when LinuxCAD expects 3D point from you

  ***/Select Object - commands only recognized when LinuxCAD wants you to "Select obbject"

 What LinuxCAD expects from user at the moment is self explanatory when you read the last
command line message in LinuxCAD command line area.

Does the software package come with the mechanical library or is this separate?
LinuxCAD comes with all libraries, nothing is separate:

 Architectural Library
 Computing and Networking Diagramm Library
 Presentation Graphics Library
 Electrical Symbols Library
 Mapping and Geographical Information systems Library
 Mechanical Library
 Process Engineering symbols Library

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