The menu items linked here deal with the specialist tools available from the gCADPlus drop down menu. These allow many of the more tedious steps in producing landscape plans to be fully automated. The figure below shows the gCADPlus menu (in gCADPlus version 6.4). Separators have been used to indicate groups of commands that work together. For example, the first group deals with the process of automatically generating a planting schedule for the design. The options with the group are used in sequence.
Here is a brief description of each of the automated landscape drafting tools in gCAD+. Fly out items attached to this page give more comprehensive detail. The Search box on this web site can also be used to find more detailed information on a particular tool.
The Extract options enables a complete list of blocks contained within the drawing together with their name, x, y and key values. These are exported as a CSV file. That file type can be imported (loaded) into many software applications such as Excel and Google Docs for further manipulation. Here is a link to more information: http://plus.gardencad.net/?q=content/extract on the Extract option.
Options enable users to extract block data for the whole drawing, block information from an area within the drawing, or extract blocks from a particular layer.
Draw Plant Schedule
This group of commands is used to automate the production of the plant schedule - a tedious task for most landscape designers. Here is a link to a detailed overview of the process: http://plus.gardencad.net/?q=node/57
The Edit Plant List allows a plant list to be associated with any drawing. That list is a simple text file. The list can be quite small for one particular job/site or large - very large with dozens of possible species a designer is familiar with. The list is presented in an Excel like spreadsheet layout. The plant list can be as comprehensive and personal as you like. The example list below contains some 80 plants suitable for a Mediterranean climate. We have added a column for pot size and cost to this list, but you are not limited to those columns, add whatever data you like to help in plant selection.
The list can be sorted 'on the fly' using any column, so if you were placing ground cover species, the type column might be sorted as shown. The sorting can be A to Z or Z to A and the list reverts to the default sorting on alphabetical order of botanical name when reloaded.
gCAD+ uses these plant lists (always in the form of a .gcp file) to link a species name to a symbol prior to creating a plant schedule (see below).
Here is a link to some more information on working with plant lists: http://plus.gardencad.net/?q=content/working-plant-lists
The Set Plant Data tool allows any symbol in a drawing to be associated with a particular species in the plant list. This step is required for the draw plant schedule tool to work.
The Remove Data from plant option allows a previously assigned association of plant name to symbol to be broken.
The View Plant List allows a quick look at the current list of assigned species.
The Show Symbols with Names provides a visual check of those symbols have been tagged. Symbols already linked are shown highlighted in magenta.
The Draw Plant Schedule does the actual job of creating the plant schedule. It is dependent on the use of the commands previously discussed here. It can be run as many times as you like; each time a new schedule is created, the existing one is automatically remove
Update is used to update a schedule prior to printing.
Ground Cover is a tool for calculating the number of ground cover plants required to fill an area denoted by a closed polyline. The user specifies the spacing distance. The tool offers the opportunity to mark the are to be planted with a marker symbol with a number in the center.
Show Tagged Ground Cover shows those ground cover areas that have been tagged.
The Ground Cover tool actually draws the schedule of ground covers, totaling up the number of specimens required as it does so.
Extract plant schedule extracts the contents of a planting schedule to a CSV file for costing.
Extract Ground Cover does the same thing for ground cover planting.
Import GPS data imports a CSV and other file types to gCADPlus.
Store data - stores extended entity data with any entity.
Extract Stored Data - moves any data stored as an extended entity to CSV format for subsequent manipulation and costing.
Export to 3D
Make SketchUp layers allows tagging of lines, arcs etc. - the bones of a design - in a form suitable for importation to 3D modeling software such as SketchUp.
Export SketchUp layers puts a circle representing every plant in a design at its correct position and canopy diameter, turns off all unwanted layers ready for export to SketchUp.
Write SketchUp to DXF writes the contents of a SketchUp layer to a DXF file ready for loading into SketchUp.
Shadow - applies shadowing to symbols (and any selected entity) in a form similar to that used by Photoshop.
Patterning - allows a symbol to patterned (multiple copies) in an area contained inside a closed polyline.
Links to a page for downloading single drawings containing many plant symbols.
Convert text into a URL.
Select a group of entities and write off to a block. A quick way to make new symbols.