ESS895 - TotalCAD 2D/3D Version 2

Q: My program will not install

A: If you are having trouble installing this program on your computer, Please try installing the software in safe mode.

1. To get into safe mode, turn your computer off, and then turn it back on again.
2. As soon as you’ve turned it on, keep pressing the F8 key on your keyboard repeatedly. Do this before windows loads.
3. You’ll then get a menu from which you can select safe mode.
4. Once booted into safe mode, try re-installing.
5. To get back out of safe mode, simply restart your computer.

This will allow you to install the program without anything else running in the background on the PC.



Q: Is it possible to open drawing files from a previous version of TotalCAD?

A: The previous version of TotalCAD contained 2 seperate programs, TotalCad v1 (2D part of the software) and TotalCAD 3D (3D part of the software).

TotalCad v1 defaulted to a file format called TCW whereas the 3D program defaulted to a MDL format.

This can be done if the images from the older version are saved as .DXF files. If you still have access to the old program, you can save the drawings as .DXF drawings by doing the following in the Total CAD v1 program. If you already have the DXF file, you can skip to the second set of instructions.
1. Once complete, click ‘File’.
2. Select the option ‘Export to DXF’.
3. Name the file as you wish, and then save it where can find it.

If the newer version of the program is on a different computer, you will need to copy the file over to a blank CD/DVD or to a USB drive. Once you have the file, please do the following in the TotalCAD 2D-3D V2 program.
1. Flick ‘File’.
2. Select ‘Import’.
3. In the following window, you will see a drop down bow towards the bottom, please change this to DFX.
4. Find the file, and load it.



Q: Where is the User Guide for TotalCAD 2D-3D version 2?

A: This program includes a manual in the form of a PDF file. You can find this by doing the following.

1. Click on your Windows ‘Start’ button.
2. Select ‘All Programs’.
3. Click ‘TotalCAD 2D-3D V2’.
4. In there, you will see the ‘Manual’ and also a ‘Getting Started Guide’.

If you cannot find these files, or don't yet have the software, you can download the guides via the following links:

To view these files, you need to have Adobe Reader installed, if you do not have this, please visit the following website to download it -



Q: Problems exporting DWG files / not all elements are exported

A: Exporting to DWG creates an AutoCAD compatible file.

Please note that when you export to DWG, there are options you can choose by clicking the Setup button on the Export file dialog box. There are lots of settings in there, so perhaps one of them may produce a better export than you have experienced so far. A little trial and error may be needed to get what you want.

Please also note that during export, some TotalCAD specific features may not export if they are incompatible with TotalCAD.



Q: How can I save my TotalCAD file as a JPEG or other popular image format?

A: You can’t directly convert to a JPEG image file within the TotalCAD software.

However, if you export the file to a DWG or DXF file (File > Export) you can then use a free third-party program to convert that to a JPEG image.

IrfanView is one such program that can do this:-

You will need the CADImage plugin for IfranView so it can read DWG and DXF files:-

Alternatively an easier solution would be to just take a screen capture of your desired view within the TotalCAD program, using a free capture program.

You can then save that capture as a JPEG image or a different image format of your choice.

Once such program which can do this is PicPick, available on the following link:-

This program can capture all or part of the screen as desired using the different hotkeys.

Please note that we are unable to provide any additional support for the above programs – refer to the documentation given on the above sites for further information.



Q: When I right-click, the option to 'Close entity' is randomly greyed out so I can't stop drawing a particular type of line.

A: Close Entity is only available for the Line and Curve commands. For other drawing commands (Ortho Line, Arrow, Bezier, Arc, etc.) it will be greyed out.



Q: Is it possible to stop line information from showing round the cursor?

A: To stop the data from showing around the cursor, press 'Q' to open the Options dialog box. Activate the View tab. Uncheck the box for "Enable drawing data display". Click OK. This setting will remain in effect until you change it again.



Q: Can I make the X / Y co-ordinates read 1 decimal point instead of 2 so the mouse cursor is not as sensitive?

A: To decrease the precision of the displayed coordinates, press 'Q' to open the Options dialog box. Activate the General tab. Change the coordinate precision entry from 2 to 1.

NOTE, however, that this will have no effect on the sensitivity of the mouse -- the displayed value will simply be rounded to the nearest 0.1 unit.

For example, you may actually be setting a point at 5.3215756, 8.09312, but the displayed values would be rounded off to 5.3, 8.1.

So this is not a viable means to accurately draw in increments of 0.1 unit. You may prefer to set the Snap grid to Minor Size 0.1, Major Divisions 10 (this will give small grid of 0.1 units and large grid of 1 unit).

Even in this case, you may have to zoom in to a smaller area of the screen to get the full snap effect. If you are interested in drawing accurately, please check the Help on Point Relative, Point Polar,and PointXYZ.



Q: There is no email program associated to perform the requested action.

A: This will appear at certain parts of the program (for example, in the File Menu, then Image sub-menu) if there is no default email program selected in your copy of Windows.

Select START, then CONTROL PANEL and then choose PROGRAMS and then DEFAULT PROGRAMS

In here choose ' Set program access and computer defaults'

In here, ensure that the Mail program has an entry.

Choose OK.



Q: TotalCAD crashes when I import an Autocad file.

A: if this happens, reopen the original file in Autocad and run a "Purge" operation then resave the file (perhaps under a new name) and attempt to import the purged file into TotalCAD.


Please note though that the import process is limited to features which are common to TotalCAD and Autocad.


Q: Problems importing DWG files

A: TotalCAD 2D-2D V2 can import DGW files up to AutoCad 2012 format.

If "Command Failed" is reported when you attempt to import a DWG file into TotalCAD 2D-3D V2, first check if a version of AutoCAD later than 2012 created the DWG file and if so arrange for the file to be saved as a 2012 DWG file from the source AutoCAD program (also use the "Purge" function in AutoCAD to remove redundant data from the file).  If you don't have access to the original AutoCAD program, this article suggests you can use the "DWG Convert" feature in the free DWG TrueView AutoCAD viewer to convert the file to an earlier version of AutoCAD DWG format.


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