I finally had an opportunity last week to download and use DraftSight, a free editor for DWG files.
“Quick, and easy” are my impressions so far. The install was easy, the application loads very quickly and my 10 Mb files (typical size) opened in seconds.
If you have used other 2D editors, you’ll pick right up on the interface. Trusty command line at the bottom, menu and toolbars at the top. -Everything seemed to work as you would expect. OSNAPs, the ability to override dimensions**, blocks, p-lines, XREFs…yeah, it’s all there and works just how you were taught in elementary school. [Ricky Jordan has a nice review, check out his site to learn more detail.]
I was curious about customization.
- The free version does not support lisp (a.k.a. “Lost In Stupid Parenthesis”) nor VB, but you can use scripting; and scripting can do when the budget it tight. They say Lisp and VB will be available in the Enterprise version.
- No editing .pgp files, there is a nice little interface for customizing your aliases. (Click on the thumbnails for better views.) These are saved in XML format, so sharing your settings is quite easy.
- Mouse gestures?!Apparently they aren’t just for 3D any more.
- The typical drafting options are all in there too.
In short. I like it. Beats the snot out of the 2D editor SOLIDWORKS provides, and the price is better. (free for as many seats as you would like) DraftSight does the basics and you can customize it to your heart’s content.
I see later in October, DraftSight will be available in MAC and Linux versions too. Let’s hope it supports all six million TrueType fonts to keep the hippies happy. The Linux users should like it too, DraftSight’s command line will allow them to do the entire drawing without ever touching a mouse.
I created an account in the DraftSight community, this appears to be the best portal to getting free support (via forums) and an opportunity to provide input for what you want in DraftSight’s future releases. It is a typical user site, neat and well organized. I do have to gripe about it -when I created an account, the site forced me to create a stronger password than my bank did! One million and one new passwords I need to remember.
**Since everyone overrides dimension; it must be important to somebody. Though if I catch you doing it, the “Mark of the Engineering Data Specialist Man” you’ll certainly receive.