The series of YouTube movies found here aims to teach the use of gCADPlus landscape design software on a real job, through a series of 'how to' movies. Each movie is 3-4 minutes long and the lessons conclude with the printing of the professional landscape CAD plan shown below. 


Tip: It may pay to check out some of the gCADPlus interface movies available on the fly-out menu linked to this page ( before you start.


Before you start, download this gCADPlus template file. Save it in your gCADPlus drawings folder (in My Documents). Start gCADPlus and open the drawing file (called Lesson 1 -AspenStone) from your downloads folder to begin the first lesson. You may see a box suggesting that you save the file. If so, select yes.

Tip: If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you may see a page similar to that shown below indicating that IE is blocking the download. Please use a different browser - Chrome, Mozilla, Safari etc. or contact us and we will send you a copy of the file via email.

Lesson 1: We will assume that you have visited the site that's ready to be landscaped and have made a simple 'mud map' with dimensions of important features. The first step is to plot the footprint of a house. So if you have not already done so, start gCADPlus and open the drawing you just downloaded. You may have to browse to find the drawing that will be located in your downloads folder.

If you would like some feedback after you have completed this first task, save your drawing and send a copy of it as an attachment to an email to Please tell us something about you and  your learning experience. 

Lesson 2: How to accurately locate an existing tree on a site using triangulation. We set two intersecting circles to locate the position of the tree.

Lesson 3: Locate the back and side boundaries of a site.

Lesson 4: Positioning a low stone retaining wall.

Lesson 5: Using the offset command to create a path around a house. Setting up a lawn and adult entertaining area.

Lesson 6 : Use the mirror command to shift the position of a vegetable plot.

Lesson 7: Using the offset command to create a header brick area around an adult entertaining space.

Lesson 8: Use trim to cut a series of stone steps into a raised platform.

Lesson 9: Rotate a group of entities making up raised entertaining area.

Lesson 10: Placing custom stepping stones.

Lesson 11: Update custom blocks for stepping stones.

Lesson 12:  Detail design for vegetable patch & storage)

Lesson 13:  Hatching a complex shape for a pebble paved area.

Lesson 14:  Positioning plant symbols and attaching plant lists.

Lesson 14b: Add new viewport and create plant schedule.

Lesson 15: Update plant schedule after completion of planting plan. Edit properties of rectangle to get solid fill.

Lesson 16:  Change the stack order of entities to make understory planting appear more natural.

Lesson 17: Apply text to drawing - explore the MTEXT, TEXT commands.

Lesson 18: Apply paving pattern to area around vegetable path.

Lesson 19: The value of including a scale bar in a landscape design drawing.

Lesson 20: Apply dimensioning. Measure and mark areas

Lesson 21: Design water feature.

Lesson 22: Test print the completed design

A movie showing the development of a landscape plan for a different site:


More landscape drafting tips here:


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