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Some Areas of Importance To Generic Cadd Users Switching to 
General CADD Pro v11.1

What is General CADD?  Click Here

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.

File Type

Generic GCP

Hard Drive Location

Drawing GCD GXD ..\General CADD 11\GXD
Component CMP GXC ..\General CADD 11\GXC
Font FNT GXF ..\General CADD 11\Fonts
Macro MCR GXM ..\General CADD 11\Batch
Menu MNU GXV / MNU ..\General CADD 11\
Hatch HCH GXH ..\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.

File Compression
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 by email.

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 “Device Drivers”.

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 Concept.

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 device. 

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 existent.

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:

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 off.

Screen Ratio
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.

Help Manual
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 Windows.

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 out"

Download the latest GCP Version Here


See you in our Forum!

Jim, Matt & Carl
GCP Development and Support Staff


Download this Information Page in PDF format - Click Here




General CADD Pro (GCP)  Windows 2D CADD drafting software featuring 2 letter command structure, windows menus, powerful Macro language, 32 bit accuracy and .DWG, .DXF, .CMP, .GCD, .VCD, .VCS & .MCR file compatibility.

General CADD Products, Inc., 1 Railroad Avenue, Cherry Valley, N. Y. 13320 USA