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CAD: Visio's IntelliCAD98

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I received the Visio IntelliCAD Beta 2 CD-Rom today and thought I might
spread some information. I'm not sure how much is private to Beta Testers,
so I'll try to keep this as simple as possible.
The program is very promising - especially if the selling price is to be in
the neighborhood of $500.00 which is the target as I understand from past

In many ways the program reminds me of Visual Cadd and AutoCad rolled into
one. The main features that I found exciting are:

1. Total compatibility with Autocad R14. No kidding, it reads and writes to
DWG format that can be reopened in Autocad without loss of information or
improper conversion. Even the shape files and fonts are interchangable as
are Autocad addin's like the Bonus Disk, Lisp routines (I believe), ADS
programs and 3D views (not ready in the Beta).
2. Interchangible use of Autocad commands within IntelliCAD. You can use
hundreds of Autocad commands including ADS commands that launch displays
like DDIM. The display differs as do the extent of ways to work within
dimensions, but you can accomplish similar tasks using Acad commands.
3. The most impressive feature is that you can bring up multiple drawings
and switch between them. You can easily cut and paste between drawings
(something Visual Cadd did extremely well).
4. Right mouse button responses are more intellegent to the commands started
with more choices than Autocad provides.
5. IntelliCad uses toolbars very similar to autocad, even the screen is
setup with Ortho, Snap, Grid and Coordinates located on the bottom and
toggled by double clicking on the box.

As I play with the beta, I will update you on features that I find

AutoCad R14 Tip:
I found this one on the Autodesk web site. If you use the "W" shortcut
command within Autocad, you will be able to save objects from your drawing
to a separate file (create details). This is similar to Wblock except (and a
big exception) you can bypass the block command and go straight to saving
the chosen objects to your hard drive. The final advantage to this is that
it will automatically save a thumbnail drawing which Wblock does not do.
This makes it very easy to find the block and insert it from your hard
To bypass the block command follow these steps.
1. Type W at the command line.
2. Locate the folder to save your detail and name it (remember that if you
use long file names to use a character such as _ or - between each letter -
Acad does not allow long file names with spaces for block insertion)
3. Autocad will then ask for the block name - HIT ENTER OR RIGHT CLICK YOUR
4. Chose the objects you wish to save as a block and hit enter.

The objects are saved as blocks and also wblocks. If you undo your command,
you can bring the objects back without inserting them and you will still
have a saved detail block in a folder on your hard drive.

I really love this command.

Best regards
Dennis S. Wish PE