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nanoCAD Plus

What's new in nanoCAD Plus 20

Drawing Comparison
File comparison feature allows you to find the differences between the contents of the model space in two drawings: detect objects that have been modified, added, or removed in the compared drawings.

The Compare Files (DWGCOMPARE) command (the Functional Bars section on the Options tab) displays a functional panel with settings and a launch button.
The feature creates a new dwg file that displays similar and different objects of the compared files, coloring them in several colors. In addition, you can switch off the displaying of unnecessary objects or set a transparency value for them.
Click the i icon to open a dialog with information about the compared files:

System Variable Monitor
The System variable monitor (SYSVARMONITOR) displays system variables, their brief description and values, allowing you to edit, sort, search them and track changes in real time.

Implemented dynamic input mechanism

Dynamic input displays the command interface near the cursor in the drawing area. At the right time, current prompts, command requests, input fields, lists of selectable keywords, dimensions of edited geometry are displayed next to the cursor.
Dynamic input consists of three functional parts:
  • Pointer Input;
  • Dimension Input;
  • Dynamic Prompts.

  You can adjust them or switch them off in the Dynamic Input section of the Options dialog.

Dimension Input

When you specify next point for a linear or an arc segment or a circle, the linear and angular dimensions are displayed on the screen relative to the previous point. These dimensions look like a dashed rubber line with a numerical field. As the cursor moves in the drawing area, dynamically displayed dimensions are constantly updated to reflect current values. By toggling the TAB key, switch to the required dimension value for editing it from the keyboard.

Pointer Input

When a point is requested by a command, you can enter its coordinates in the tooltip box near the crosshair, where the current cursor coordinates are shown.

By toggling the TAB key, switch to necessary value to edit it from the keyboard. Press ENTER when done.

Dynamic Prompts

Dynamic prompts provide an alternative way to enter command parameter values. In the tooltip field near the cursor, requests and prompts of the active command appear, necessary to complete the command. Data can be entered in the dynamic prompt fields instead of the command line.
The list of available values and options can be expanded by pressing the DOWN ARROW key on the keyboard. Then choose the desired value with an ARROW keys and press ENTER.

Dynamic input can be disabled by using a button DYN in the status bar or by pressing F12.

Undo after Saving
It became possible to undo the operations performed after saving a document. In previous versions of the program, saving the document clears the list of operations of the Undo command.
Use the checkbox Undo command settings > Clear after save in the Options dialog.

Preview for Undo/Redo
A preview of result of undoing (and redoing) operations was implemented. When you move cursor to a command item in the undo (/redo) list, a preview of the resulting scene is displayed in the drawing area, which will appear after undoing all operations, up to the specified command.
Undo/redo preview can be disabled with the checkbox Undo command settings > Generate preview in the Options dialog.

Undo for Navigation Commands
In this version you can include the following actions in the undo / redo list:
  • 2D navigation commands: panning and zooming operations, including those performed with the mouse.
  • 3D navigation commands: Orbit commands (including performed in transparent mode with the mouse), 3D Walk, 3D Fly, Locator using.
You can also group sequentially performed 3D and 2D navigation operations into one action to undo.
Configure these actions in the Undo command settings section of the Options dialog.
External References Notification

While working in a document, changes in the files of external references made by external programs are tracked. Changes in the files of external references (xrefs), underlays, and raster images are tracked.
The status bar displays an indicator button of the status of external links in the active document.

If an external link file was changed in a third-party application while working in the drawing, a warning message will appear and the indicator will change its status.

Right-clicking on the button opens a context menu from where you can call the External Links dialog box or update the external links of the drawing.

If the external link file was not found at all, the message appears, and the indicator button turns red.

The XREFNOTIFY variable allows you to disable notification or change the type of notifications:
0 - disable notification of changes of external link files.
1 - display notifications in the dialog boxes.
2 - display notifications as pop-up balloons near the status bar.
The XNOTIFYTIME variable sets the time interval at which external link files are checked (in minutes).

Semi transparency of edited 3D-objects
Now, objects edited with the Move, 3DMove, Rotate, 3DRotate, Scale, Stretch, Mirror, editing by grips, drag&drop commands become semitransparent during editing for better positioning in space.

Disabled by the EDITTRANSPARENCY variable.

Popup Menu for Multifunctional Grips
A pop-up menu with options for multi-function grips appears when you place cursor at an object grip.

In the new version, the parameters of multi-function grips are available not only when the CTRL key is pressed repeatedly, they also appear in the pop-up menu when you place cursor on the grip.
The pop-up menu is implemented for grips of a line, arc, polyline, 3D polyline, hatch, multileader and spline object.
You can configure the way to access grip options in the Handles > Multifunctional grips section of the Options dialog.

These settings are accessed from scripts through the GRIPMULTIFUNCTIONAL variable.

Coordinate Filters
Coordinate filters are entered in response to a point request and define the axes along which coordinates will be set. You can enter the following filters: .x, .y, .z, .xy, .xz or .yz.
Coordinate filters allow you to input the coordinates of a point for each axis separately, specifying coordinates first along one axis, then along another.
Coordinate filters are useful when the value along one axis is determined by one characteristic point of the object, and along the other axis by another point. When using coordinate filters, it is possible to extract one coordinate value at a time from selected characteristic point of an object by using a snap.

Bounding Prism – Viewport 3D Clip
For each model space viewport, you can create a bounding prism – an area in a three-dimensional space, beyond which all the graphics are not displayed.

The area is defined as a rectangular or polygonal prism with grips. The prism can be:
1. created by specifying a contour on the screen,
2. created on the basis of an existing polyline,
3. based on a bounding box of selected objects.
The prism above the XY plane of the UCS is blue, below it is orange. The grey outline of the prism is displayed in the XY plane.

Drag grips to place the upper and the lower prism cutoff planes. Otherwise the upper and lower displaying area will be unlimited.

For each model space viewport, its own bounding prism should be created.

An existing prism can be changed, deleted or disabled/enabled. If the prism is disabled, graphics outside the prism become visible. Disabled prism object is still present in the model space and can be switched on later.
To create and modify bounding prism use the Bounding Prism (MCLIP) command (the Viewport Tools section of the View tab).

Built-in Batch Editor
The built-in batch file editor (the Script Editor (SCRIPTED) command) allows you to create, edit and run batch files of various formats: ActiveX (.JS, .VBS), LISP (.LSP), DCL, SCR.

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts in the editor:
  • Select All: Ctrl+A
  • Copy: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Ins
  • Insert: Ctrl+V, Shift+Ins
  • Cut: Ctrl+X, Shift+Del
  • Undo: Ctrl+Z, Alt+BackSpace
  • Redo: Ctrl+Y
  • Go to String: Ctrl+G
  • Find: Ctrl+F
  • Find Next: F3
  • Find Selected: Ctrl+F3
  • Replace: Ctrl+H
  • Open: Ctrl+O
  • Save: Ctrl+S
  • Save As: Ctrl+Alt+S
  • Properties: Ctrl+P
  • Run: Ctrl+R
  • Find the Matching Pair Bracket: Ctrl+{
For LISP scripts, an executing of the selected part of the code is implemented. To do this, select the necessary LISP code in the editor and click the Run script button with the CTRL key pressed.

Editor’s settings allow you to adjust the display and formatting of individual language elements.

New in Custom Command Creating
The Customize Interface command on the ribbon tab Manage > Customization > Interface opens the Customize User Interface dialog box where you can create new custom and virtual commands.

In nanoCAD Plus 20 you can assign icons in ICO and BMP formats for custom and virtual command buttons.

LISP in virtual command
The standard technique for creating Lisp command involves: creating an LSP file, including it in the startup list of the Load/Unload Applications dialog, and only then, creating a new command in the Customize User Interface dialog.
Now, the LISP expression can be written directly when creating a virtual command, without creating and downloading a separate LISP-file. To do this, select the Command line parameters radio-button and enter the LISP expression in the Keyword field.

Using these commands, you can create custom buttons in the ribbon, panels, menus, status bar.
It also became possible to create buttons for custom script commands.
Comments When Printing SHX Text to PDF
When printing to PDF, it is possible to convert SHX texts to PDF comments. Such comments will be created at the locations of text objects with the SHX font. Comments contain the full text of these objects. This allows you to search the contents of SHX text in a PDF document.
To search for text in PDF comments, you need to activate the Include comments option in the Search settings of PDF viewer.

Comment creation can be disabled by the PDFSHX variable or with the SHX text annotations check box in the PDF printer’s options:

The Welcome Screen
The Welcome Screen completely redesigned.
It became an interactive multi-functional window with a set of tabs, which allows you to create new documents, open existing ones, display and sort the list of previously opened documents, display their thumbnails, show a list of available applications with a description, links to training resources for each application, a list of new program features with a brief description.
The AutoСlose checkbox automatically closes the welcome screen on the next application start, if during the start no manipulations were made in this window.

Improved Display of TrueType Fonts
The display of TrueType font text was optimized, especially with its small size.

Annotative Objects
Commands for displaying annotative objects created in third-party CAD programs are added to the ribbon and in the View menu of the classic interface.

The current value is stored in the ANNOALLVISIBLE system variable.

The “About” Window
The About window completely redesigned. Now it contains links to license file, trademarks and displays version number, build number, license status, server name and registration information.

What's new in nanoCAD Plus 11

In addition to autosaving implemented earlier, the incremental saving was added. This greatly accelerates saving of large documents. You manage incremental saving modes in the Save Documents section of the Options
The new version has a number of improvements in undo-redo functionality. 

Named Steps


The name of the most recent operation (step) is displayed in the Undo and Redo commands in the Edit menu of the classic interface. 

Multiple Undo/Redo

The Quick Access toolbar adds flyout arrows to undo/redo several actions at once. Note that you cannot access the action history list when a command is running (command mode). In command mode, the buttons perform internal undo/redo operations, if any exist.
nanoCAD Plus runs faster with this release.

Selection Sets

Performance is improved over earlier releases when making selection sets. In particular, nanoCAD is now much faster at selecting objects from an existing selection set.

Text Objects

The graphical representation of text objects is optimized. As a result, the image regeneration speed is increased, while the amounts of memory used is reduced.


Loading and regenerating files with large numbers of blocks is significantly faster.

Inserting Complex Objects

Inserting complex objects into model space is optimized, and cursor freezing is fixed.

Optimizing Frozen Layers

Documents load faster and react more quickly when they hold frozen layers.

Extremely Remote Objects Optimized

The problem of displaying distorted drawing elements at extremely large distances is gone. You no longer need to regenerate the drawing when zooming or panning to objects located far from the current location.

We implemented new commands for working with OLE objects.
  • INSERTOBJ (insert OLE object) command inserts linked or embedded OLE objects from other documents
  • OLEOPEN (open OLE object) command opens the specified OLE object for editing with its source application. As a shortcut, you can double-click the OLE object in a drawing.
  • OLELINKS (ipdate OLE Links) command opens the Links dialog box for updating and modifying links of OLE objects.
  • OLEUPDATEALLLINKS (update all OLE links) command updates all links for OLE objects in the document at the same time.
We added a new programming system called scripts. A script is a text file with the .scr extension containing a set of instructions that run in the nanoCAD command line. Each line of the file contains a nanoCAD command with optional parameters, or a link to another script file. The following script processing commands are added to nanoCAD: 
  • SCRIPT command loads the script file and then immediately executes the instructions described in the file sequentially. 
  • SCRIPTCALL command runs a nested script. 
  • RESUME command resumes the script, should it be paused. 
  • RSCRIPT command repeats the last script.
Files used by nanoCAD, such as .dwg, .pdf, and .zip, can now be signed with a digital signature. We implemented two ways of signing: 
  • An internal signature that is created when saving files 
  • An external signature that can be assigned to any file 
These are the commands for creating internal signatures: 
  • The new DIGITALSIGN command chooses a certificate for digitally signing a file and then sets up signing while saving the file. 
  • The SAVE command now creates an internal signature during file saving. 
  • The new SIGVALIDATE command validates digital signatures of files. 
Commands for creating external signatures: 
  • The new SIGNCERTIFICATESCONTROL command chooses a digital certificate for digitally signing a file. 
  • The new SIGNFILE command creates a file with external signature (“FileName.FileExtension.sig”) for any file. 
  • The new VALIDATESIGN command validates the external signature of the specified file.
Splines have been enhanced in this release of nanoCAD. 

New Spline Creation Method 

The new release implements a second way of creating splines: by specifying control points.  

New Grips 

To edit splines made with fit-point mode, a new type of grip (arrow-shaped) is implemented that changes the direction of tangent vectors. 

Rubber-band Line 

During spline creation, a temporary rubber-band line is displayed on the screen from one fit point (or control point) to another. You can snap to this temporary dotted line.  

Snap to First Point of a Spline 

You can now snap to the spline’s start point. Simplifying Splines The new SIMPLIFYSPLINE command optimizes splines by changing their accuracy and the maximum number of control points.
The new EXPORTLAYOUT command exports all visible objects from the current layout to the model space of the new drawing.
The new CHSPAСE command moves selected objects from model space in a layout viewport to paper space, as well as from paper space to a layout viewport.

Obliquing Dimensions 

The new DIMOBLIQUE (oblique dimension) command changes the obliquing angle of one or more dimensions. 

Angular Ordinate Dimensions 

The new DIMAORD (angle ordinate dimension) command creates angular ordinate dimensions.
nanoCAD now offers additional ways of producing output from drawings. 

Internal Raster Plotter 

We implemented a built-in raster plotter to export drawings in the following raster formats: 

Internal DWF and DWFx Plotters 

Built-in DWF (design Web format) and DWFx (compressed) plotters are now available. 

Isometric View Printing 

We improved the printing of isometric views when you specifying a plot area with a rectangular frame. 

Verification of third-party print settings 

nanoCAD now verifies print settings made by third-party programs. When such settings are detected, the Print command displays a warning message.

Improved Print Preview 

You can now specify the number of copies to print in the Print Preview dialog box. (The option is not available when printing drawings to files.) In addition, we made the following improvements to the print preview window: 
  • Increased the display speed 
  • Improved the image quality 
  • Eliminated artifacts created when zooming, panning, and resizing the preview window and the Print dialog box.

LAYERP command

The new LayerP (previous state of layers) command return the drawing to the previous state of layer settings. 

SHIFT and CTRL Selection 

The logic of selecting a group of layers with the SHIFT and CTRL keys in the Layers dialog box is changed to match the method implemented by Windows: CTRL+click adds individual layers to the selection set. SHIFT+click adds contiguous layers to the selection set. 

Layer Display Speed 

The display speed of long lists of layers in the Layers dialog box is significantly increased, especially when the drawing holds hundreds of layers.
A new feature in nanoCAD is the ability to check that drawings match preset standards. 

Setting Standards 

The mew STANDARDSSETTINGS command opens the Standards Settings dialog box. 

Status Bar 

A new button for checking CAD standards is displayed in the status bar when a standards file is connected to the document. A hyperlink in the standards balloons opens the appropriate dialog box.

The snap behaviour in the three-dimensional space is improved for the following cases: 
  • When the visual style is set to shaded faces and the new OSNAP3DTOP system variable is turned on, then nanoCAD is limited to snapping only to the vertices of 3D objects under the cursor. 
  • When the visual style is set to wireframe or the OSNAP3DTOP variable is disabled (turned off), then you can snap to the vertices of all objects in the drawing.
The new ADDSELECTED command now adds multileaders and dwg-style tables to selection sets.
The new PELLIPSE variable determines the entity from which ellipses are created: 
  • When the value is 0, an ellipse object is created. 
  • When the value is 1, the ellipse is made of a 2D polyline. 
You can now edit regions with grips. Click the to switch grip-editing modes:  
  • Center grip moves the region  
  • Grips edit the contour of the region
The RMPROXY command get the possibility to delete proxy objects that do not have a graphical representation. 
nanoCAD adds several options to the Options dialog box. 

Command List Display Delay 

The amount of time that elapses before the command completion list is shown can now be specified through the Options dialog: Command line > Use Autocomplete Additional Options > Completion list delay


Object Fading on Locked Layers 

To fade objects on locked layers, specify a fade value with the new LAYLOCKFADECTL system variable. 
This value can also be changed through the Options dialog box by choosing Select > Shading objects > Locked layers.
The new version of nanoCAD makes invisible objects (objects with the invisible property) visible. By selecting the new Visibility option in the context menu of the Drawing Manager, you can make visible a single invisible object or a group of them.
Customization of the user interface receives improvements in a number of areas. 

Partial CFG File Unloading 

In the Customize User Interface dialog box, you can now unload the current partial configuration file. 

Import Shortcuts 

In the Customize User Interface dialog box, you can now import just the keyboard shortcuts from .cuix and .cfg files.
The new release of nanoCAD makes some changes to the user interface. 

Utilities in nanoCAD Menu 

The command for displaying the properties of a drawing, as well as the utilities for auditing, checking and working with a document, are added to the application menu and the context menu of the document tab.

Multiline Attribute Editing Panel 

The new ATTIPE (in-place attribute editor) system variable changes the style of the Text Format panel that creates and edits multiline attributes. 
  • When ATTIPE = 0, the short version of the formatting panel is displayed: 
  • When ATTIPE = 1, the complete panel is shown: 

Other UI Changes 

  • The new CTRL+W key combination displays and hides the Select Objects dialog. 
  • Dynamic input is now available when creating rectangles with 2 points. 
  • A new Tools toolbar is added: 
  • Point Cloud

Text Files Import Wizard for Point Clouds

We wrote a new import wizard dialog box for importing point clouds from text files. It allows you to correctly interpret the point clouds data.


The new NPC_EXPORT (export point cloud) command exports point clouds in the PLY (Polygon File Format) format. This format stores 3D scanner data with many properties, such as color, transparency, normals, and texture coordinates.
Export to DWF, DWFx, STL and 3D PDF file formats is available. 
You now have greater possibilities for editing materials used by renderings: 
  • The functions are separated into three panels: Material Browser, Material Editor, and Texture Editor. 
  • You can now edit the texture parameters of materials.

What's new in nanoCAD Plus 10

Key features of nanoCAD Plus 10 are: 
  • new interface style
  • support for DWG2018 file format
  • increased productivity
  • audit standards
  • enhanced plot and much more.
nanoCAD visual graphic system that is responsible for rendering 2D and 3D-graphics, has been updated to support the Microsoft DirectX 10 technology. This accelerates the processing time of drawings with large amount of text objects, hatches, blocks and other complex primitives, and reduces the size of memory used.
nanoCAD Plus 10 works directly with the latest version of DWG format. nanoCAD opens and saves drawing files without breaking their internal structure. This ensures the integrity of the built-in DWG format labels which can carry such characteristics as educational version watermark, for example.
A new ribbon-style interface provides modern ways of interaction with application:

Instant switch between classic and ribbon interface by “Ribbon” button makes work very comfortable:

The ribbon structure was initially designed taking into account the ergonomics of the designer, but it does not limit the user in the possibilities of customizing their workspaces. In addition, a powerful mechanism of managing the ribbon interface allows you to instantly switch between different pre-installed workspaces without restarting the program.
Modified Dark Interface style with new icons:
Semi-transparent interactive tools placed in a drawing working area designed to manage views and visual styles.
The “Locator” element intents for convenient navigation in a three-dimensional space: rapid dynamic change of orthogonal, isometric, combined and free views. Its orange-dot marker shows current view orientation:

Manage Views
“Manage Views” tool serves for changing views and visual styles of viewport:
Hide elements:
nanoCAD Plus 10 can check drawings for standards compliance and fix found violations. STANDARDS command allows to audit drawings to custom standards. Add DWS (Drawing Standard) file or create custom standard to get notification about non-standard elements while opening, saving, printing drawing file. There are a number of notification mechanisms that alerts user about violations of standards while opening, saving, printing drawing file. It is possible to fix any violation or stay it intact.
Information on each standard violation that has been found, but not fixed, is stored in a drawing. It is possible to disable alerts on such ignored objects in subsequent checks of the drawing. Violations audit can be performed manually and automatically, for example during drawing export, save and print operations.
From now on, only the modified DWG data is sent to the file during background autosave, that significantly reduce the time of this operation even on rich documents.
  • In addition to its own leader objects, nanoCAD Plus can create and edit multileader objects, manage multileader styles. New MULTILEADER command creates and edits a multileader object, sets its styles.
  • Native DWG-tables creating and editing without conversion to nanoCAD-table is available. “.dwg Table” tool allows creating and editing native dwg-tables without conversion to nanoCAD-table. It sets table styles, converts nanoCAD tables to .dwg ones.
  • 3D-polyline creation and editing. 
  • A new Region command creates an object of a “region” type from 2D objects that form closed area. 
  • The “Stretch” command use pre-selected vertices that makes working with the command more convenient.
Dynamic block processing was improved: nanoCAD Plus 10 completely supports property tables, insertion point management, dynamic blocks parameters correct processing. This ensures that most objects of this type are functioning correctly.
The layers got the “Transparency” property. All objects with “By layer” transparency value will inherit the transparency from the layer that belongs to.
Now it is possible to import WMF and EMF formats, as well as DGN – 2D/3D-format used by the Bentley Systems MicroStation software.
The next stage of program optimization was performed in this version of nanoCAD Plus. The common list of realized wishes, corrected errors and the taken into account notes exceeded seven hundred items.
However, beginning with the 10th version, nanoCAD Plus stops supporting Windows XP due to the need to speed up graphics and overall increase the stability of the program.