We hope that it doesn't happen often, but at times, the need to exchange gCADPlus file information with users of other CAD software may arise. Here is a (very small) list of CAD applications that compete with gCADPlus:

MicroStation, IntelliCAD, DraftSight, DreamWorks, Vectorworks, Landscape Designer Pro, Drafix, BricsCAD, CADopia.

It is not always easy to swap information from one application to another. 

About file formats - lcd

The native file format for gCADPlus is .lcd. This file format is a compressed zip format; it is fast to load and extremely small.

Tip: Despite the speed and robustness of the lcd format, we do recommend our users utilize our incremental backup tool while working on designs.

About file formats - dwg

Other CAD software applications have their own proprietary file format, while others use a format called dwg, originally developed by Mike Riddle and licensed by Autodesk - the publishers of AutoCAD in the 1970s.

Tip: The Dwg format is bulky. A dwg file with the same entity information is about 10 fold larger in size than the corresponding gCADPlus lcd file.

Special licensing arrangements have to be in place (with Autodesk) if vendors wish to use dwg. An additional complication with Dwg is that its format changes with each new release of AutoCAD. Here is a list of dwg versions:

AutoCAD versions

Note that while an application with claimed AutoCAD dwg capability might be able to open (say) 2004 dwg files, it may not be able to open files created with later versions. This creates a great deal of uncertainty and confusion where data exchange is required.

About file formats - DXF

In order to overcome this data hurdle and to allow users of different CAD software packages to communicate seamlessly with AutoCAD, Autodesk published an open standard called DXF (drawing file exchange). Because it is published and in basic text format, in theory this is the best way for gCADPlus users to communicate with AutoCAD and other software. We certainly believe that this is the preferred way to exchange CAD information. Experience tells us that transfer via dwg is fraught with difficulty.

How to write DXF from gCADPlus

On the gCADPlus File drop menu, select the option to write a DXF file.

DXF out

Save the file.

Test DXF

It is a good idea to test the DXF.

1. Use File > New  and File > Import to load the DXF.

2. When you are satisfied that your exported file can load in gCADPlus, it is time to use a free tool from Autodesk called DWG TrueView and load the DXF. Warning - like all software from Autodesk it is a file download whopper - 660Mb

3. Save a copy of your file in both dwg and dxf from DWG TrueView.

Send files to your colleague

Send both a DXF and dwg to the user of other CAD software. Make sure you tell them the version of the dwg that you saved while using DWG Review. 

DXF Exchange