This is a small, fast and light PDF reader that is much more convenient to use than the bloated “official” Adobe reader which weighs in at 20 Megabytes. I recommend it to anybody who says they can’t open a file I sent.
Â« Recommended Â»
< 1 Megabyte
I’ve been using this simple and straightforward viewer for as long as I can remember and it just keeps getting better. It can open and print almost any image file I throw at it – and I’ve thrown quite a few over the years. As if that’s not enough, it has a plugin system to extend it’s capabilities (some of the plugins are not free).
Â« Must Have Â»
If you’re using a slightly old version of AutoCAD, you’ll find yourself cursing those who send you drawings in the latest format because they won’t open properly on your system. Clean up your language – DwgGateway is here to help. It can open and save-as from and to just about any version of *.dwg files.
Lest you think this is the work of some frustrated guy who can’t afford the latest from AutoDesk, think again. DwgGateway comes to you from SolidWorks who probably feel that if you can’t beat the giants, you can at least be a thorn in their flesh.
Oh, and while this is a Must Have software, please don’t get excited about its PDF writing capabilities – they’re nothing to write home about.
EDIT: This software seems no longer available from SolidWorks although there seems to be a similar download available here that claims to have been recently updated.
Alternatively, you might want to download DraftSight which is a free 2D CAD software for Windows, Mac and Linux and can save further back than AutoCAD itself.
This is a freeware and light version of the software based on IntelliCAD. It reads and writes *.dwg files natively and has no file-size limitations like some other packages. The Pro version naturally has more features and the handling of paperspace leaves something to be desired, but all in all, you can’t complain at this price.
After being chased by the vendors, I finally bit the bullet and purchased Archicad 9.0 from Adroitec almost a year after seeing the demo. If it makes as much difference to my productivity as I hope it will, then it’s definitely worth the price. Graphisoft’s agents are selling it at a lower rate in India because the purchasing power of the rupee doesn’t exactly match the dollar or the euro.
Next up I have to start looking at plugins and GDL objects. Goodbye 2D CAD.
Was invited to see a demo of ArchiCAD here in Bombay. Thankfully, I was late having had to rush from the interior site at Fountain. A whole host of speakers were droning on about sundry matters before the demo actually took place.
I have to say, I was impressed by what I saw. Now if the Adroitec – who are marketing the software in India – can convince me that it’s as useful for interiors as it is for architecture, I might just be interested. As it stands, however, the price is pretty steep and they might need to do a rethink. That’s my opinion anyway…
And if anyone from Adroitec is reading this, please update your products page – you’re still listing it as ArchiCAD as version 8.1 instead of version 9.
Bill Landskroener from the US very kindly took the trouble to write in with a new link from which you can download OttoPDF – a stand-along freeware utility that converts AutoCAD drawings to PDF files. The developer pulled the plug on the app and downloads were hard to find. Now, thanks to Bill, you have one.
There is a site search available but it didn’t work when I tried so you’ll have to go to the Utilities section and then to the Conversion sub-section and then hunt through the pages therein.
To know more about OttoPDF, check the PDF Utilities section.
A freeware 2D CAD program that supports the industry standard DWG/DXF (upto R.2000) format. It’s recently been launched by a company of the same name. It features a graphical interface that bears a remarkable similarity to popular commercial CAD software. AutoCAD command-liners will find it way too basic, but for irregular users, it could be useful. I’d recommend it for viewing, red-lining or printing of drawing files by consultants/clients who otherwise don’t have access to CAD.
Am going to try out a new Java based software called GanttProject which I downloaded today. Must brush up on the subject before I begin, though. A starting point for that could be this primer on PERT, CPM and GANTT.
GanttProject from SourceForge is open source.
The month long evaluation period of CADian Arch is coming to an end. My impression so far is that it has a lot of potential but still falls short on two counts:
Â» Lack of support for True Type fonts
Â» Terrible implementation of PaperSpace
I can live with the SHX fonts and even download free ones that I might like, but PaperSpace is something that you shouldn’t have to make do without.
On the other hand, it costs a fraction of the price that the market leader commands so I shouldn’t be too harsh on them. IntelliCAD – on which CADian is based, doesn’t have support for DIESEL either but, again, that is no reason to ignore it.
While the built-in architectural routines are not perfect, the overall stability of the software was decent. It did crash a couple of times, but then I was probably doing things I wasn’t meant to.