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ZWCAD+ 2012 Expert Review by Ralph Grabowski

Ralph Grabowski, a renowned CAD expert recently reviewed ZWCAD+ and compared its compatibility to AutoCAD where he focused on interface, commands, drawing, and customization.

Ralph Grabowski is the senior editor at upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. and is the author of over 140 books and several hundred magazine articles about computer-aided design.

ZWCAD+ was released earlier this year and surprised many by declaring it had a new code base. Former ZWCAD users, new users and industry experts tried the next generation ZWCAD+ and were astounded by their findings. Here’s Ralph’s view on ZWCAD+.

On UI compatibility in ZWCAD+, Ralph wrote, “My favorite feature is the "document head," those tabs that let me switch instantly between open drawings. Right-clicking one of these tabs presents a menu of common file-oriented commands. (In contrast, AutoCAD has awkward drawing switching systems involving toolbar buttons or the application menu.)” He goes on to say, “ZWCAD+ takes the user interface lead over AutoCAD with something it calls SmartMouse: by holding down the right mouse button and dragging the cursor in the shape of a letter of the alphabet (or in a specific directions), I activate a command. For instance, when I drag the mouse to draw the letter E, the Erase command starts; I drag to the left, and Copy starts. Best of all, the SmartMouseConfig command fully customizes any of the movements.”

Later in the review, Ralph talks about ZWCAD+’s compatibility with AutoCAD drawings. He brings his own consulting experience in, where he has tested many CAD programs and has many tough drawing files he tested in ZWCAD+. The results were excellent and ZWCAD+ displayed every test drawing correctly. Many CAD users wonder what happens when they want to import a drawing from AutoCAD that contains entities not supported by ZWCAD+. Ralph tested this on constraints and point clouds and found that “…ZWCAD+ displayed it correctly, with the Properties palette reporting it as a "proxy entity." This means that I can perform simple editing tasks on it, such as move or delete it, change its color or layer, and print it; being a proxy, but I cannot edit it with command specific to point clouds.”

As a round up to the whole product review, Ralph Grabowski gave credit to the cost-effectiveness of ZWCAD+. He said, “While AutoCAD costs $4,000, ZWCAD+ Pro is priced at around $1,000, depending on which country you buy in. ZWCAD+ costs a quarter of AutoCAD, which means your office can run CAD on 4X more stations, which is pretty cost-effective.”

Ralph Grabowski delves into many other examples and comparisons in the full product review where he discusses the differences between AutoCAD 2013 and ZWCAD+ 2012. To read the entire product review, click here.

About ZWCAD+

ZWCAD+ is a cost-effective, .dwg compatible CAD solution developed by ZWCAD Design Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZWSOFT.

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