Welcome Generic CADD User!
We hope your experience switching to GCP (General CADD
Pro) will be as
painless as one could possibly ask for. Many report that it
takes a few days to fully realize that there really are no real
differences in operation between Generic and GCP. And the
cool new features really make it very difficult to go back!
The purpose of this document is to more or less give you a
“heads up” on the common questions new users ask. Full
complete details on all subjects can be found in the On
Screen GCP Help Manual (press F1 while GCP is
running). Good Luck and Enjoy!
File Extension Difference
The standard file extensions for default file types in General
CADD Pro are named differently.
||..\General CADD 11\GXD
||..\General CADD 11\GXC
||..\General CADD 11\Fonts
||..\General CADD 11\Batch
||GXV / MNU
||..\General CADD 11\
||..\General CADD 11\Hatch
Loading GCD files with LO command instead of DL
The native Drawing file extension in GCP is .GXD.
Therefore, a DL or drawing load will open a GXD
file by default. To load a Generic GCD file, you must use
the LO, G command or first convert it to a GXD file.
You will need to convert your Generic Fonts to GCP format prior
to loading GCD files to prevent "font not found"
errors during file load. See the CT command below.
CT File Convert Utility - Fonts - Drawings - Components
We assume that former Generic CADD users will want to use
the same fonts that were available in Generic CADD. A convert utility, CT command, is provided in GCP
to convert Generic Drawing, Component, Font and Hatch files to
the GCP default formats. This utility will allow
conversion of single files, selected groups of files or entire
folders of files through use of the Windows Common Dialog file
selector. The manual describes the use of this Dialog in detail.
Look for it in the GCP Help Manual Appendix. Macro and
Menu files do not need to be converted.
General CADD GXD and GXC files are compressed
internally by the GCP program when saved. These files
will be much smaller on the storage device than they are in
native Generic Format. They do not need to be Zipped when sent
GT Text Grouping Utility
Text that was placed into a Generic Cadd GCD Drawing with the TP
command will import into GCP as individual letters.
These text strings can be changed into editable paragraphs by
using the Group Text GT command. Once grouped, the TE
Text Edit command will afford full editing capabilities.
Text strings that were created in Generic using the TL
command will not require grouping.
GCP Will use the Generic Cadd .MNU Menu files in
the original plain text form and with the same file extension.
All that is needed is to copy the .MNU files to the
..\General CADD 9 folder. GCP in addition has its own .GXV
menu file format. These GXV menu files are created in the
same way with the same plain text structure but the style of
operation of the menu when it is on the screen functions
differently. A full description is contained in the GCP
Help Manual Appendix.
Macro or batch files in Generic use the .MCR file
extension. GCP will run these macros without having to
rename the file extension. However, newly created macros should
use the .GXM file extension. The default location for
Macro files is in the ..\General CADD 9\Batch folder.
Drivers for Video, Mice, Printers, Digitizer and Plotters.
One very important difference between
Generic Cadd and all Windows programs is the issue of
Generic CADD, being a MSDOS program, contained within itself
all the necessary software or drivers needed to receive input
from and output to external computer hardware. Simply stated,
under MSDOS, every program written needed to contain the
necessary routines to function with every video card, monitor,
mouse, printer, plotter and digitizer made by all the different
manufacturers in the industry.
When Generic first started, this seemed like a fairly simple
task. There were only a few video cards, plotters and mice
available. But, as the number of manufacturers increased and the
variety of products available expanded, writing a new driver for
each new piece of hardware became impossible to keep up with and
the cost was prohibitive. This one fact of life is the main
reason the independent software developers embraced the Windows
In Windows, the responsibility to provide a “driver”
rests with the hardware manufacturer. Instead of having each
software program write the drivers for all hardware devices,
now, under Windows, the manufacturer has to write only one
driver for each product. The hardware manufacturer just has to
make sure his driver conforms to the Windows specifications and
once installed, all Windows programs will function with that
If a hardware device can function under Windows for one
program, then it will function for all installed Windows
programs. We say, if the device can
“talk” to Windows, then GCP can “talk” to the device.
Hardware manufacturers often supply a device driver to
Microsoft to include in with the initial Windows OS
installation. However, this driver will be the one
currently available at that time and may not be the latest
version. If you experience trouble or limitations with
a hardware device, check the manufacturer's web site for the
availability of a more recent version of the device driver.
Drivers are updated often as errors are discovered or new
features added. (BTW,
if you have a Windows scroll or wheel mouse installed, GCP
will dynamically zoom in and out when you roll the wheel. Once
you try this feature, you may find you cannot live without it!)
Printers vs. Plotters
This issue comes up almost every day. Many Generic CADD users
are very familiar with “plotting” and refer to all paper
output as being “plotted”. Wouldn’t you know it!. Under
Windows this is changed too. All paper output is referred to as
“Printing”. The type of device we always knew as a
“plotter” is now known as a “Wide Format Printer”.
To use a Wide Format Printer with GCP under Windows, a
“printer driver” must be installed. Some may find that the
“plotter” that they have been using with Generic CADD does
not function with Windows on the first attempt. The reason
usually points to the fact that a driver has not been installed
and because Windows can’t talk to the “plotter”, GCP
cannot either. This is usually resolved once the proper driver
has been installed.
|Many readers will remember back when the early
"printers" were not very capable of printing
graphics or vector drawings. If you needed paper
output back then, the only alternative was to buy a
"pen plotter". Today's printers are very
capable and "pen plotters" are just about non
Digitizers also need a driver in order to “talk” to Windows.
The common driver is known as the WinTab driver. The
digitizer manufacturer provides this driver and updated versions
are usually available on the internet. Here is an
information link: http://www.logicgroup.com/WintabDriver.htm
GCP uses the same Line Types as Generic and there should
be no problem in this area. However, it may be important to
point out that GCP provides for 2 different linetype
systems. The first is the Generic Compatible system and the
second is a system new to GCP. Suffice to say, we want to
point this out and if you need more detailed information, please
refer to the GCP Help Manual Appendix.
Restricting your Cursor to the Draw Screen Area
Because of the nature of all Windows programs, when drawing a
line, your mouse cursor can leave the draw screen area so that
it may perform other functions. To many old time Generic users,
this is very distracting. To combat this, GCP includes a
new XC command. When XC is turned on and when you
are in the middle of a drawing command, the cursor movement will
be restricted to the draw screen only. To move the mouse off the
draw screen, you need to either exit the draw command or turn XC
The ability to adjust your draw screen to fit the monitor so
that circles look perfectly round is available in GCP as
well. It is not an independent 2 letter command but can be found
among the options available under the DI or display
command. Issuing the command DI, S will allow you to
adjust the screen.
GCP includes with it an detailed and illustrated Help
Manual. When GCP is properly installed, all one needs to
do to obtain help describing a particular command is to press
the F1 key while executing the command. For example, to
obtain help while drawing a circle, type C2 and once in
the command, press the F1 function key. The manual will
pop up opened to the C2 page. This is known in Windows
programs as Context Sensitive Help.
Some users insist on using the F1 function key to launch
a custom macro or to contain a favorite command. We have
provided for this by allowing you to override the default F1
Help function by clearing a check box on the MA Macro
Assign dialog. If this is your choice, then the HE
command will also pop up context sensitive help. You may wonder
why you cannot program the F10 key as you could in MSDOS.
The answer is simply that Windows reserves the F10 key
for it’s own purposes and that it is not allowed under
General CADD also hosts an On Line Internet Help
Forum. In this forum you have direct access to the GCP
programming and Support Staff where you can get it "from
the horse's mouth". Click this link to "check it
Download the latest
GCP Version Here
See you in our Forum!
Jim, Matt & Carl
GCP Development and Support Staff
this Information Page in PDF format - Click Here