File and open If you select File>Open, gCADPlus will open in browse mode in the folder that you were previously using. A preview of a selected drawing file will show in the box at right of screen.

File format

The native file format for gCADPlus .lcd. This is a very efficient format and much information is stored in compact form. This compact and efficient drawing database format allows gCADPlus to run well on quite modest computing equipment.

Apart from its native lcd format, it also is possible to open the follow file types:

  • dxf (an exchange format used by non AutoCAD software]
  • shp (a format used by many GIS software applications - and one that loads very quickly indeed.) See the figure below for an example of a shp file in gCADPlus).
  • vec (a format used by our introductory Landscape CAD application (GardenCAD).


Hawaii shp file

Tip: We recommend that you use lcd format wherever possible as it is often 50% less than a corresponding AutoCAD [dwg] file for the same information. The Teigha file conversion tool can be used to convert a drawing from AutoCAD dwg to DXF.

Tip: It makes really good drafting practice to save every drawing into a well organized folder structure. We recommend creating a Jobs folder, then under it a year folder and under the year folder a folder for every job worked on in that year.

Backing up the Jobs folder should become second nature. To backup, copy the entire folder to a USB stick from time to time. Better still, learn to set up a DropBox or Google Drive folder and have the local folder and the Jobs folder on DropBox or Google Drive synchronized so the backup happens without you having to remember it.


When using gCADPlus, we take the time to configure the display options in this box as shown below. We hide the file of type and double click on the boundary between each column so we can see name, file size and date created when opening a drawing file. Name, file size and date are the most important pieces of information about the drawing.

Open drawing