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 competing CAD applications:
MicrosStation, IntelliCAD, DraftSight, DreamWorks, Vectorworks, Landscape Designer Pro, Drafix, BricsCAD, CADopia.
It is not always easy to swap information. Our aim is to provide enough tools in gCADPlus to obviate the need to do so. nevertheless ...
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:
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.
Save the file.
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.