September 14, 2010 in Software (E)
[prMac.com] Maidstone Kent, United Kingdom - Today Microspot Ltd. announced the release of the 25th anniversary editions of MacDraft Professional and MacDraft Personal Edition. These are major new versions of the program that was first sold in 1985 to compete with Apple's MacDraw. It is a tribute to the quality, ease of use and popularity of this product that it has survived and developed into a powerful 2D design, drafting and technical illustration program for users of all levels.
What's new in version 6.0?
Palettes. One of the most significant improvements to operating efficiency and speed is the new drag and drop library palette/media browser which is the same as used in Microspot Interiors. It makes access to multiple libraries much easier and faster than before. It also works with iPhoto for image dropping and images can be dragged straight in from the desktop. The Layers Palette has also been redesigned to allow easier manipulation of multilayer documents because the palette stays in view it gives a continuous indication of what is showing in the document window. Merging of layers is now also undoable.
Images: The handling of images has been vastly improved with the addition of an Image menu containing many new controls for image manipulation meaning images do not need to be pre-processed in other image editing applications saving enormous amounts of time. The new functions allow you to adjust the brightness contrast and RGB values, to blur or sharpen the image, to adjust levels, hue and saturation, apply Autofix and some simple filters. Export Image enables the processed image to be transferred to other applications in many different formats so changes are not lost. To compliment this the resize palette has been improved so images can be resized easily by dpi, pixel size or unit size. Canvas controls allow borders to be added with different colors and transparencies and images can also be cropped very precisely, again saving time in pre-editing. The image can also have an outline that can have line thickness, color, transparency, texture and even dashing applied to it.
Toolbar: This new customizable toolbar will be immediately apparent to the user. A large number of menu commands can be accessed there, greatly increasing the speed of working and therefore drawing efficiency.
File format and co-ordinate system: MacDraft has undergone some major changes that are not immediately apparent to the user. We have totally changed the co-ordinate system so it can be much more accurate and the new file format has been built with plenty of room for future expansion so the new features in this version are only a foretaste of what can be done in the future without another format change. The new format has allowed us to increase the maximum drawing size to over 14' 10" (4.5m) square. This is ten times the area of the previous version meaning you can put more that one large drawing on one sheet and so simplify the drawing process.
The size that the drawing is displayed is now adjusted to the LCD monitor resolution. This was necessary because, as monitor resolution has increased, the actual size of the page on screen has been reducing so the drawings were looking smaller. It has allowed us to make the paper size more realistic, so 1" looks more like 1", which makes it easier to draw without zooming and therefore faster. To go with this the rulers are now larger on higher resolution screens and have more realistic divisions that change with the scale units being used so in decimal inches they are divided into ten and in fractional inches divided into 8 or 16 etc. making them much more readable and easier to use than before. Added to all this you can now type in your own customizable scales to fill in any gaps in the default scales making the product much more flexible.
Other Improvements: The DWG/DXF import and export has been updated and improved and now supports later file types improving usability. Some other more minor improvements include a simplification of drawing technique so objects can be initiated with a click instead of a drag bringing MacDraft into line with other drawing programs and objects can be duplicated with Option Drag again like other programs. This can also be used with shift to constrain the new object which will usually make positioning much easier. To prevent loss of text when printing we have added paragraph text feedback so if the text does not fit in the text box and may be obscured when printed, a red border is drawn around it and a warning dialog appears. This helps to prevent printing with incomplete text which saves time, paper and ink.
MacDraft 6 is now bigger to view, faster in use, with more capabilities especially with images, but is still easy to learn and easy to use. No other professional drafting program has the intuitive interface of MacDraft which means you can be productive in a much shorter time and with the improved library function you need never draw the same thing twice. MacDraft is used by seasoned professionals and hobbyists and produces accurate scale drawings for architecture, engineering, graphic design, diagrams and absolutely anything else you wish to draw. MacDraft is especially suitable for first time computer drafters who find it much easier to understand than other drawing programs.
Note MacDraft Personal Edition has also been updated and now supports up to five layers and includes all the above improvements except the increased paper size. As it also does not import or export DWG/DXF files there are no improvements there. For the differences between MacDraft Pro and MacDraft P.E. please see our web page.
Pricing and Availability:
Microspot MacDraft Professional and MacDraft Personal Edition are available from the Microspot web store. Microspot MacDraft Professional has a retail price of $349.00 USD (£239.00 or Euro 344.00) and the Personal Edition is $129.00 USD (£79.00 or Euro 115.00). Registered users of MacDraft Professional may upgrade to version 6 from version 5.6 for $89.00 USD (£59.00 or Euro 69.00) or from any other version 5 for $149.00 USD (£99.00 or Euro 120.00) or any older versions for $199.00 USD (£129.00 or Euro 159.00). Registered users of MacDraft Personal Edition may upgrade to version 6 from version 5.6 for $55.00 USD (£36.00 or Euro 45.00) or from any older version for $69.00 USD (£46.00 or Euro 55.00).
Founded in 1964, Microspot develops Macintosh and Windows software for 3D modeling and animation, interior design, 2D drawing and drafting, image editing, and media management. Microspot offers affordable, easy-to-use software that produces professional results. Its customers are business and home users worldwide.