TurboCAD FAQ's


Operations and files 

Problems with Materials, Toolbars, Menus, Defaults, Configurations, etc
System & Drawing defaults by JRS
TurboCAD Explorer settings by JRS
Table of all V14 Toolbar commands by JRS

The Mouse,
ACAD Files
PDF files - printing tips.
Capturing Screen
File formats
Second monitors
Alt Key Codes

15. Help.
. Press F1 for Help files. If you hover the mouse over a tool icon (on a tool bar) the name of the tool is displayed and if you press F1 at that moment the Help file for that tool is displayed.

b. For Context Sensitive Help press Shift F1. This works better for Menu items.

1. Lost files?
A file with a name like, "tmp2.asv"? (These files are buried deeply in C:\Documents and Settings\[your username]\My Documents\[TurboCAD of the appropriate version]\AutoSave.) If so, you can open it just like a .tcw file: In TurboCAD, go to File|Open and navigate to the file (You'll have to enable "All files" in the "File of type" window), select it, and press the "Open" button. (JS?)

1a.  Crash Recovery.
I thought I lost about 5 hours work yesterday when I tried to split a double line, the program froze. The auto save is set correctly for every ten minutes. Little did I know this is not kept in the .bak files. It is saved in *.asv files in the auto save folder....
I had to figure out how to get the file back to the folder where it would open..but it worked! any asv files in the trash can need to be placed back in the auto save folder. MS
Note:  Auto saved files are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\***Users Folder***\My Documents\TurboCAD 11.0\Autosave

16. Tool properties:
To set the current defaults for a tool; highlight the tool icon and use the Mouse Right Click (Local Menu) and the property box appears that will allow you to change the defaults for the current operations.
If the resultant entity or operation requires changing after you have created it, highlight the entity and select the Properties box located on the Inspection Bar. This does not alter the default setting.

2. Original default settings.
To return TurboCAD to original default settings and cure some screen problems.
Look in: C:\Documents and Settings\Your user name\Application Data\IMSI\TurboCAD\10\Professional\Profiles\Built-in and rename "TCW10_xml.ini" (with TC shutdown). TurboCAD will create a new one when it's restarted.

System and Drawings defaults.
Table of defaults by JRS

TurboCAD Explorer
Default settings by JRS

Toolbar commands - V14
Table of all commands provided by JRS

3. Materials.
Delete propin.dat for problems with materials. TurboCAD will create a new one when it's restarted. 
I would use “Restore Default Materials” from the Material palette Local Menu.  JRS

Beware:  you will loose all the materials you created or added.  You might recover these if you open the drawing where they were used and stored???? GM

4. Menu disappearing and other desktop problems
With TC shut down, rename the "Desktop.ist" file to "Desktop.OLD", then restart TC (JRS)

(V12, V14, etc)I would recommend, now, to go to ”Tools > UI Themes” and switch to the V11 theme. Once TurboCAD has restarted in the V11 theme, switch back to the “new” theme. The missing toolbars should be back.  JRS

My 'Delete' key stopped working and also my SEKE's were ineffective despite a restart and hard reset.  So I renamed Desktop.ist as suggested above and all came back.  GM

5. Toolbars and Configurations: V 12 - 14
Since they’ve added the ability to have different interfaces, things have gotten interesting in setting up a workspace. Version 12 had teething pains with this new interface format. Everything has pretty much settled down in Version 14. Two things that can’t be done in the new interface are editing the main Menu items or delete toolbars; one has to use the V11 interface to perform these tasks. I find it best to do most of the work of setting up my desktop in the V11 interface. Once all is complete, I will go to Tools|Customize – Setup page and save my configuration; usually with “-V11” at the end. V11 configurations can be loaded in either interface. Configurations saved in the “new” interface can only be used in the “new” interface, they’re not backwards compatible. One of the nice things with the “new” interface is the ability to add or edit icons. I can add a command to a toolbar that only has Text and create or add an icon to that tool. When the configuration is saved in the new format, these icon images are also saved. Palettes in the new interface work very well with dual monitors, no creep as experienced in V11 or prior versions. They can be nested into various configurations within one large palette. When I save a configuration of the “new” interface, I usually use the name of the V11 configuration, but with “-V12” or “-V14” at the end of the name (depending on the version saved in). JRS

Toolbars configuration set up.
Your chosen toolbar set up is saved in a number of preset config files available in the Customize tag of the Tools menu. See the drop down list in the 'Load From' box. If you change anything and what to keep it as your own default then you may save it in the 'Save In' box on the same Tab. GM
Saving a new config file... Menu Bar, Tools, Customize, "Save in:" button (with a new file name). WM
...remember to type in a new name (without the filename extension) before you click "Save in." HOH
b.  To quickly re-install your customised toolbar.
Add the attached file to your config directory. Give it the same name as your custom config file and keep the BMP extension. It will appear as a button at the end of the menu bar if you have "Show configuration button" turned on.
You may want to create your own as the attached was designed to match my screen colours. 16 pixels high, any width.
If there are buttons you don't want, rename their BMP files.  Config File    WM

c.  Configuration Problems
Q: I have just purchased TC11.2Pro and have been trying to get it to start using the customisations I have created. Regardless of what I do, it always loads the same way (not using my customisations and always using - "Load from 1024x768pro" - whether I've used this setting or not, or made up my own user name?) The customisations are created fine, but when I exit the TC and restart it, we are back to how it was. FB
Ans: Make sure "Save desktop on exit" is enabled in Options > Program Setup > General.  JH
I would suggest you shut down TC and go to "C:\Documents and Settings\your User name\Application Data\IMSI\TurboCAD\12\Professional\Profiles\Built-in" and delete the "Desktop.ist". This is a file in a "hidden" folder. Restart TurboCAD. DO NOT "Load" any CFG file. Setup your toolbars/menus and when finished, go to the Setup page of Tools|Customize. Type in a brand new name in the "Save In" list, DO NOT use an existing CFG name.
Saving your CFG while on any of the other pages usually just saves the settings for that particular page.
This has worked for me 99.9% of the time. JRS

d.  Missing .ini file
In TC V9 Pro, I customised the .ini file for various things including line widths available and 2D/3D buttons.
I have now upgraded to V12 and would like to do the same, but cannot find a .ini file to modify. Can anyone tell me where the default startup settings are stored and how to edit them. MH
Ans: If you have V12 Professional, use the TCExplorer palette (View menu) to make changes. edit - See also: "TC Explorer" in Help.
The actual INI file has moved to a hidden folder (C:\Documents and Settings\your User name\Application Data\IMSI\TurboCAD\12\Professional\Profiles\Built-in) under a new name (TCW12_xml.ini) and is uneditable by normal means (notepad). David Bell does have a INI Utility that can edit the file at BCiTool if you don't have the Pro version. JRS

INI File 
I find it best to have a copy of the old style INI file that can be read in WordPad or Notepad. After editing, I use this file with TCExplorer to load the changes. I will go to the various tables in the Built-in folder and use “Add From” (TCExplorer Local Menu) to insert the new Values. Some tables can be edited directly, while others it’s usually best to use “Add From”. My method is to Browse to your copy of this edited INI file, Extract, Select All, Replace All, Add, and finally OK. Drawing_Defaults need to be edited by hand in TCExplorer. Attached is some sort of explanation of what values can be used in System and Drawing defaults. In my readable INI file, I usually run out a dashed line with the new value at the end. It makes it easier when scanning through the list to see where there are changes to be made (see TCExplorer settings (default).txt). JRS

6.  Lost Palette:
Q:  Activating the Calculator Palette I found it half off the top of my screen. As the top of the palette is off the screen I cannot click on it and drag it back. Trying to pull it back only seemed to push it further off so that not only the top bar is gone but also the result window is off and so not visible. I cannot find a way to bring it back, so I may lose it.  Where can the position of palette windows be controlled? PB
Ans:  To get your palette back:
Go to View > Toolbars > Customize.
Select current or preferred screen, i.e. 800x600 from roll down window and press 'Load'.<BR<>After a warning, and accepting it, the windows will refresh with the default layout.  You may well have to re select the calculator palette via the 'View' menu etc.  The control, movement and docking of palettes is covered quite well in the Help file.  GM

7. If all else fails:
When TurboCAD begins to misbehave, or appears not to function at all,
Any combination of the following may produce this behavior:
a) Layer "0" is turned off. Never turn layer 0's visibility off!
b) The x,y, or z axis is locked in the co-ordinate fields.
c) Is "No Snap" disabled?
d) The active layer's visibility is off. The action is still happening, you just cannot see the results until it's visibility is restored.
e)When in Hidden Line and Quality render mode trying to snap, edit or create a 2d entity does not operate or you cannot see the result until you revert to Wireframe.
f) A number of operations fail when in rendered mode, or they are simply 'grayed out', probably because they are inappropriate. CW
g) Wrong workplane; workplane/view not in sync. Here again, the action is attempted, but very often with confusing.
h) Input fields still locked on the Inspector Bar from some previous input?
i) Local menu options that stubbornly persist ("Extrude using compound profile", for example).
j) Save what you can and try a reboot. DD

8. Grid out of line
Sometimes the grid appears out of line for the plane or view you are in. Simply change camera to the Plan by World : View > Camera > Plan > By World and Workspace > Workplane by World,  to catch up with it. Then return to the view you wish to use.

9. Grid Origin:
The Grid may be aligned with your entity by relocating the grid using the 'Grid Origin Point' icon. This is very useful when you start off using Grid alignment and then find that the grid needs adjusting to complete the internal bits or other parts of your drawing.

10. Mouse behaving badly:
Q: 'When ever I do something (you name it) the cursor moves down to the lower left hand corner. then I have to move it to where I was on the screen'.
Ans: It's the mouse setting in MS Windows. Go to Control Panel / Mouse / Pointer Options. Uncheck "Auto. move pointer to ....". BAR

11. Files Crash - why?
What I do first is try to 'Extract from' into a New blank Drawing file, if that doesn't work, then try to copy and paste into a New Drawing, and if that fails start on the following:
To find the offending object in a file, a way that often works, is to dissect the file into separate files, Its a bit long winded but works most of the time.
Basically select part (in this case one fifth) and use 'Save As' with the selection radio button checked in the save dialogue, and a filename suffixed like '1a'. Do the same to other parts and see which still has a problem, keep dissecting until there are only a few objects left which could have caused the problem.

Lines and arcs rarely crash a file, its usually dimensions, text or blocks, and after doing the above there are only polylines and dimensions left, so it is a safe bet, once one is identified, it is simply a matter of finding similar objects in the other saved but still crashing files.

Similar with rectangles except when I get down to only lines and arcs, I drag a selection window, and check the selection palette, so its simply a matter of dragging a selection window at various parts of the drawing to narrow the search.

Whilst it is long winded, its preferable to redrawing. That said if its a faulty template the above won't work. A-UK

12. Personal Defaults - Using Templates
a.  I would recommend creating Templates using the "New From Scratch" settings and building from there. The supplied Templates are only good to look at for ideas, IMHO, and would never use one.
b.  Most defaults are set using the option to Save Desk Top on exit in General, Programme Set up and the Toolbars customise facility, ie., saved using a filename of your choosing in the Customize tab. However there are others notably in the Drawings set up that don't e.g. ACIS settings Grid and Layers.
For these to be saved and used for each New Drawing set up all your favourite settings and defaults and then Save As a template (tct file) using your own filename, i.e. 'My Metric', etc.
You should then save it in /program files/imsi/TC11/templates. Make sure that the 'New Document from Template' with your template filename is inserted in the box before saving the template. JH

13. New TCad versions - Templates
Always make a New Template for every TurboCAD version issued from scratch. Don't base it on any provided *Sample Templates* Always create New from scratch.

14.  Comment: My Templates
My borders/title blocks are all Xref's. I have created a special folder called "C:\!xref". I keep all details I use as Xref's in that folder. I started this habit in V6 and still use it today. I carry it forward with each new computer and make sure I have back-up copies.
For me, the border/title block is a simple TCW file - all drawn on layer 0. For this operation (see clean template below), I create no properties "by layer". All are designated line type, color, line weight, and again, all on layer 0. I save it in my !xref folder as a "previous" TCW file. For example, I am using TCv10.5 right now, so I will save my NEW xref's as a "*.tcw" file in TCv9 format. ((I can't use v11 for my usual work - to dangerous))
Do not confuse "template" with "borders/title blocks". A "Template" is a drawing, styles, layers, layer sets set up. That template may refer (bring in) a border/title block as an xref, OR it may be a part of the template but I prefer it (border/title block) to be an xref. My usual templates bring in 3 title blocks as xref's. One for 24"x36" paper, one for 11"x17" paper, and one for 8.5"x11" paper.... for paper space (another subject)
I use mainly use 3 templates.
One template I call "clean" which as no layers (except 0 and construction), no lights, no layer sets, no xref's, no blocks. However, I do set certain drawing parameters. For example, I always use line widths as mm (from my old drafting days and Pentel pencils). Although I "think" in architectural numbers, I set TCab to units format to "decimal", precision 10. I use my "clean" template to create future xref's, and/or other drawings in which I do not want my usual, extensive, layer set up.
The other two templates I use are identical except for the layers and layer sets. One has layers and layer sets for ONE LEVEL HOMES. The other as layers and layer sets for TWO LEVEL HOMES. If I lived and worked some place that required it, I would create a THREE LEVEL (or more) template.
Regardless of which template I start from the "new" file command, I then bring in the xref's I want as I am drawing. I go to |format|create external reference| and go to my "C:\!xref" folder. I open the file I want as an xref, name the xref when prompted, and now it is in my "blocks" palette. I bring the block (xref) out into model space, and make sure it will be well out of my way as I draw.
To get that xref/block into paper space, I create a "view port" of it. I then go to paper space and insert that viewport, to scale, in paper space. MH

17.  Macro Recorder -
Available in TurboCAD Professional only
Menu: View / MacroRecorder Palette
Creates and plays scripts - scenarios of creating objects and manipulating their properties. You can also record object transformation - move, copy, scale, and rotate. Scripts can be saved for future play.  TurboCAD Help
Save the macro in your TurboCAD folder.
This is a very useful but not often used facility.  Great for making your specials such as an Arrow head on a Leader, etc.  You may also create a SEKE for a macro you've made.

18.  ACAD files - working with DWG files:
First rule: Always save to native TCW file upon import, before performing any modifications and again before exporting. JH

Second rule:  To establish metric as TurboCAD's base unit for DWG/DXF import run the Page Setup Wizard from the File menu.
In each of the setup screens chose what units/sizes you want to see used in a "from scratch" drawing.
On the last screen check the box that tells TurboCAD to use these settings as the defaults.
Close TurboCAD (to write the updated INI). Start TurboCAD and open your problem DWG file. It should now load in metric units.

19.  DWG file problems
Don't create DWGs in TC, create TCW files then 'Save As' *.DWG. If you then open the file in TC, it is again converted to TCW. The more conversions you go through, the more chance of problems. Always save as *.TCW. If you have to send the file to someone in DWG format, make a copy. Always keep the original in TCW.

20.  What is SAT Healing?
For files imported from other CAD systems, this tool heals gaps between faces and holes within faces.
Format Menu / SAT Healing
Options Menu / General / check Healing of SAT Insertions  - IMSI

21.  Do's and Dont's
a. Don't run two or more copies of the same version of TurboCAD at the same time. Both instances read and try to update the same IST/INI files. To open several files open them in the same window.

b. When you close TurboCAD wait a bit for the clean-up to take place before you open it again. While not as long as the program opening sequence, TurboCAD does take a measurable amount of time to clean up and write all those files.

c. Don't close TurboCAD from a minimized icon on the Windows taskbar.  LZ

209. PDF Printer Files.
Acrobat is a programme in its own right that scans and converts books and documents, etc. so that they are available on computers or on line. A free generic version is available from PDF995 which is suitable for TurboCAD drawings if you can put up with the advertisements displayed during creation.

210. Acrobat Reader.
Adobe provide a free Acrobat PDF Reader that reads all *.pdf files and is available on line from Adobe.

211. 'Saving' pdf files.
You don't actually 'save' a pdf file. It is a Print File and when you install Acrobat or PDF995 it creates a printer driver named 'PDF' or 'PDF995'. To create the file set up the page you wish to 'print' making sure that the paper, layout, orientation and any other constraints are set correctly and the printer is changed to 'PDF' or 'PDF995' and press 'Print'.
You will be asked to append the file name and folder, etc. and then the resultant pdf document will be displayed which you may then print from your installed Windows printer.

212. PDF Print Problems:
Some users who print to large formats have experienced printing problems such as incomplete or 'clipped' drawings using pdf drivers.
If you wish to print on paper larger that A4 you are advised to ensure that it is set to no more than 300 dpi.
To change the dpi go to Print Properties (via Page Set-up), Properties > Paper/Quality > Advanced > Graphics > Print Quality - and change from the usual default of 1200 dpi to 300.

213.Capturing Screen:

a. With the drawing, part, pop-up, menu, etc. in view on the screen, hit the PrintScreen key.
Open your favourite photo editor and use its Paste function. (Ctrl+V works in most of them.) This will place a picture of the entire TurboCad screen in the photo editor (possibly reduced in size to fit.)
Use the Crop tool to trim the excess and irrelevant details. Save the result in .jpg or .gif format. HOH

b. To Capture just the current Frame:
Press Alt PrintScreen key. GM

c. File Types:
If it is a photograph, rendering, or some other continuous tone image, use JPEG format (*.jpg files).
If it is a line drawing, screen capture or other non-continuous image use GIF format (*.gif files). (Forum User Guide)


22. Second monitor
Well, you will need a video card that supports two monitors or install a second video card if it doesn't. If you need a second card, you may want to give some thought to replacing the current card with a card that has dual capabilities. The drivers for my original card couldn't be updated (5yr old system), so a new dual capable card filled the bill.
Once you have the video card situation resolved and a 2nd monitor installed, then you just need to setup the displays. Go to Display Properties and you should see something like the attached picture (00 pic). Clicking on the Identify button will flash the monitor number on your screens for a few seconds. You can drag-n-drop the monitor icons in the dialog to match your view. If it's as shown, select monitor 1 and checkmark "Use this device as the primary monitor". Click on the monitor 2 icon and checkmark "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor". OK.
The V11UI doesn't really support dual monitors; every time I start TC12, any palettes I had put in the right monitor are back in the left. In the V12UI, I don't experience those problems, plus 12.3 (possibly 12.2, can't remember) will save a Workspace (configuration) that can be used to restore your TC setup after a reinstall or trying a different configuration. The V12UI doesn't save Menu changes, that's only available in the V11UI. Configurations saved in the V11UI can be loaded when in the V12UI, but V12UI config's aren't backwards compatible to the V11UI. I'm sure I lost you with all that. :-)
The 04 pic is my current workspace. I can view about 45 layers on my setup. I can also roll up the palettes if I need to view a second application simultaneously (Excel, Help, whatever); better than Alt+Tab'ing between app's.
John R Sollman


Multi Monitor V14-2  (click for larger size)


Alt Key Codes.
There are times when you require a symbol that is not available from the standard computer key pad.  Certain symbols may be inserted from programmes and TurboCAD by using the Alt key together with the Numeric Key Pad.  The numbers on the top row of the keyboard do not work for these operations.  GM
The Table of Key Codes.
To Use Alt Key Codes, ensure the Num Lock key on the Number Pad is on. Press and hold the Alt key. Type in code number using the keypad on the right-hand side of the keyboard. Release Alt key.  DC

There is some difference from one font to another. HOH
To get an idea what is available in the various fonts, invoke the small utility provided by Windows, (or is it MS Word?) called Character Map.  This is available from the the Start > All Programmes Menu or by entering 'charmap' from the 'Run' feature in the Start menus.  You may then browse through the various fonts and choose the appropriate one for your requirement.  GM

Genie is the affectionate name of theTurboCAD operating system ... HOH

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