What should I buy if I need a basic CAD program (like AutoCAD LT)?
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Update October 2017

In September, Carlson Software introduced a new program in their lineup: Carlson iCAD. This program is comparable to AutoCAD LT with basic drafting and inquiry tools but is built on IntelliCAD 8.3.

FAQ: What features are in Carlson iCAD? (a running thread)

View Carlson iCAD in our online store


Original post is below

If you truly, truly only need generic-CAD functionality, I recommend purchasing Carlson GIS with IntelliCAD. It’s the cheapest of all the desktop products and you can load this basic IntelliCAD menu:

 
2016_IntelliCADMenu
 
by picking the IntelliCAD button from the Carlson Programs toolbar:
 

2017_Programs_Toolbar

 
Extra Bonus! IntelliCAD is much closer to AutoCAD than AutoCAD LT… you’ll have much more functionality at a cheaper price! And, if you ever need a little bit of GIS, you can do that too.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features are in Carlson Precision 3D? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the updated list of features in the new release.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson Precision 3d Topo 2017

Features and Benefits of Precision 3D 2017

With Carlson Software’s Precision 3D Topo… True 3D Topo Editing in a 3D Environment is Here!

Carlson Precision 3D Topo’s editing ability of digital terrain models (DTMs) offers many benefits:

  • Load and review the two most common formats for surfaces: LandXML and DXF files of 3D Faces, in addition to TIN and Grd files from Carlson Software.
  • Overlay other LandXML file types such as points, alignments, parcels, storm and sanitary sewers, culvert pipes and other piping systems.
  • View the 3D Surface with user-controlled textures to quickly spot errors in the DTM.
  • Fix the errors in the DTM for re-saving and use in CAD programs, or for direct output for machine control and survey stakeout.

Never before has there been such an array of tools to locate and correct DTM errors, all in a sharp 3D interface. Surveyors, contractors and engineers alike can use the software to make sure the final DTM surface is of the highest quality. Editing tools include surface blending, spike and dimple removal, DTM vertex editing and surface pad placement by defined polygon and outslope conditions. Multiple undoes and redoes allow you to study your changes and makes things perfect.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What are the system requirements to run Carlson SurvPC?
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Carlson’s field data collection software comes in two formats: Carlson SurvCE for mobile, hand-held collectors running on Windows Mobile and Carlson SurvPC which can be installed on PCs, tablets and laptops running full-Windows 7, 8, 10, etc.

Click here to review the minimum system requirements for SurvPC.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson SurvCE and SurvPC? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

SurvCE and SurvPC 5.xx

Features and Benefits of SurvCE and SurvPC 5.x

Carlson SurvCE is the first choice in data collection software, combining advanced functionality, ease-of-use, and sheer capability:

  • Get the software that supports a wide variety of equipment, old or new.
  • Enjoy excellent, free (and prompt) technical support
  • Be heard – Carlson listens to its customers’ input for new features or drivers for all of its products

Carlson SurvCE is a complete data collection system for Real Time (RTK) GPS and Total Stations with in-field coordinate geometry. It supports the widest range of popular and new release RTK GPS and conventional/robotic total stations.

SurvCE and its full-windows companion SurvPC can be configured with various combinations of 4 modules: Total Station (Basic), Robotics (requires Basic), Carlson GPS and Advanced Roading (Requires Basic or other Carlson GPS).

Refer to this FAQ to see if your hardware is supported in SurvCE & SurvPC

Refer to this FAQ for system requirements

Menus in SurvCE and SurvPC 5.x

File Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 File Menu

Equip Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Equip Menu

Survey Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Survey Menu

COGO Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 COGO Menu

Road Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Road Menu

Select Equipment

SurvCE and SurvPC Select Equipment Options

Map View | FILE Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Map View | FILE Menu

Map View | VIEW Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Map View | VIEW Menu

Map View | DRAW Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Map View | DRAW Menu

Map View | COGO Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Map View | COGO Menu

Map View | TOOLS Menu

SurvCE and SurvPC 5 Map View | TOOLS Menu


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Are Express Tools available in Carlson?
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Technically, no. But through Carlson software training, you’ll learn that they have their own set of layer management commands that handles most of the functionality you might miss from the Express Layer Tools and Layers II Toolbar commands. These tools are available in programs with IntelliCAD software as well as those with embedded AutoCAD (OEM).

Carlson Layer Tools are highlighted in the View menu below:

2017_Carlson_Menu_View_LayersHighlighted

 
And the Carlson Layers toolbar has many of those handy commands such as Isolate Layers, Restore Layers, Freeze or Off by Picking and Erase by Layer.

2017_Carlson_Toolbar_CarlsonLayers


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Takeoff with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Takeoff 2017 (R9) with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Features and Benefits of Takeoff 2017 (R9) with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson Takeoff is a cut/fill volumes and data prep (for layout or machine control) program that can estimate jobs using paper plan digitizing, PDFs, or electronic CAD files which is ideal for CAD management.

Key features include:

  • Calculate site cut & fill and topsoil
  • Differentiate strata volumes & dirt vs. rock
  • Accurately determine subgrade quantities
  • Estimate trench and pipe quantities
  • Estimate roadways from cross-sections
  • Prepare the design info for exact staking
  • Create a 3D model for machine control

Menus in Takeoff 2017 (R9) with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

 

Menu bar in Takeoff 2017 (R9)

The menus below are available in Carlson Takeoff 2017 (R9) with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

File Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM File Menu

Edit Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Edit Menu

View Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM View Menu

Draw Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Draw Menu

Digitize Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Digitize Menu

Raster Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Raster Menu

Elevate Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Elevate Menu

Takeoff Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Takeoff Menu

Drillhole Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Drillhole Menu

Trench Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Trench Menu

Roads Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Roads Menu

Points Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Points Menu

Surface Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Surface Menu

Inquiry Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Inquiry Menu

Settings Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Settings Menu

Display Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Display Menu

Window Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Window Menu

Help Menu

Carlson Takeoff 2017 OEM Help Menu


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Point Cloud? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson Point Cloud 2017

Features and Benefits of Point Cloud 2017

Carlson Point Cloud is a modular program that provides this powerful ability to go from field scan to finished plat, all with seamless integration to Carlson Survey, Carlson Civil and Carlson Mining. Carlson Point Cloud delivers a whole new level of powerful automation for large data sets. It gives laser scanner users the ability to process millions of data points with Carlson Software ease-of-use.

Register your scan to local coordinates, filter or decimate the points, overlay raster images in 3D, snap to edges and code the descriptions for automated field-to finish processing of linework and symbols and create contours, profiles, sections, and breaklines. You will be able to read scan data from many instruments, view and process up to 1 billion points, and then perform the Field-to-Finish from the scanned data!

This Carlson Software office product allows users to export surface models, points, contours, breaklines, grid and profiles to CAD.

Menus in Point Cloud 2017

 

Menu Bar in Point Cloud 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson Point Cloud 2017

Point Clouds Menu

Point Clouds 2017

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson GeoTech? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson GeoTech 2017

Features and Benefits of GeoTech 2017

Carlson GeoTech provides the ability to import borehole data for analyzing subsurface conditions and materials.

“GeoTech will model all core samples and produce a detailed, easy-to-read report for drill logs, cross sections, and plan view,” says Dave Carlson, V.P. of Development for Carlson Software.

In addition, this information is fully integrated with Carlson Civil, for determining site stability and suitability, and also Carlson Construction, for accurate strata takeoff estimation.

Menus in GeoTech 2017

 

Menu Bar in GeoTech 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson GeoTech 2017

Drillhole Menu

GeoTech 2017 Drillhole Menu

StrataCalc Menu

GeoTech 2017 StrataCalc Menu

Grids Menu

GeoTech 2017 Grids Menu

Map Menu

GeoTech 2017 Map Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Trench? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson Trench 2017

Features and Benefits of Trench 2017

Carlson Trench is for calculations related to installing pipes, sewers, or utility lines. The CAD software calculates the volume of the trench cut, the volume of backfill (excluding the pipe size), and the linear footage of pipe broken down by the pipe material, size, and/or depth.

Carlson Trench is fully integrated with Carlson Civil and Carlson Construction, and also Carlson Hydrology to meet the variety of customers’ needs.

Menus in Trench 2017

 

Menu Bar in Trench 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson Trench 2017

Trench Menu

Trench 2017 Trench Menu

Utility Menu

Trench 2017 Utility Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson CADNet? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson CADNet 2017

Features and Benefits of CADNet 2017

Carlson CADnet, introduced in 2014, allows users to import faster images and PDF files and, if needed, even to merge multiple images into one file that can be digitized or otherwise converted by CAD software using a variety of raster-to-vector routines. CADNet also gives you many tools to help clean up text and linework generated from raster images.

Recent updates to CADNet gives you the ability to export drawing entities to 3D PDF files, import Sketchup files and import and export BIM models (doors, windows, walls, roofs, etc.) and bring them into CAD as CAD software entities; plus, CADnet includes a routine to export surfaces into BIM.

Menus in CADNet 2017

 

Menu Bar in CADNet 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson CADNet 2017

Digitize Menu

CADNet 2017 Digitize Menu

Raster Menu

CADNet 2017 Raster Menu

PDF Menu

CADNet 2017 PDF Menu

BIM Menu

CADNet 2017 BIM Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Construction? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson Construction 2017

Features and Benefits of Construction 2017

Carlson Construction includes powerful Carlson software tools for designing and modeling different aspects of road design, from new construction to road widening and repaving.

Fully supporting all of the major 3D Machine Control formats for today’s heavy equipment with 3D Machine Control Systems, Carlson Construction gives you the tools you need for taking your data into the 3D environment. Whether your Carlson software need is “Data Preparation,” “Site Preparation,” or specifically creating Machine Control Guidance Models, Carlson Construction will get the job done for you.

Menus in Construction 2017

 

Menu Bar in Construction 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson Construction 2017

Elevate Menu

Construction 2017 Elevate Menu

Surface Menu

Construction 2017 Surface Menu

Takeoff Menu

Construction 2017 Takeoff Menu

Roads Menu

Construction 2017 Roads Menu

Survey Menu

Construction 2017 Survey Menu

Annotate Menu

Construction 2017 Annotate Menu

Display Menu

Construction 2017 Display Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson GIS? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson GIS 2017

Carlson GIS 2017

Features and Benefits of GIS 2017

Here are some of the things you can do with Carlson GIS:

  • Take advantage of the Carlson/Esri® partnership with these and other CAD software commands:
    • Import/Export Esri SHP files
    • Export DWG file with Esri MSC data
    • Export Esri Projection file
  • Import and Export GIS Data between Carlson GIS and Carlson SurvCE
  • Work with many image formats including:
    • Geo-referenced images
    • Google Earth images
    • CAD software images
    • MrSID images
  • Convert GIS data to and from AutoCAD Map
  • Query and Report GIS generated entities
  • Hatch & Label GIS generated polylines
  • Create, Audit and Erase links to GIS database
  • Define Note file prompts for data collection

Menus in GIS 2017

 

Menu Bar in GIS 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson GIS 2017

GIS Data Menu

GIS 2017 GIS Data Menu

GIS Tools Menu

GIS 2017 GIS Tools Menu

Images Menu

GIS 2017 Images Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)

 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Hydrology? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson Hydrology 2017

Features and Benefits of Hydrology 2017

Carlson Hydrology provides CAD support comparable to the hydrology components of programs such as: DCA®/Softdesk®/Land Desktop, Civil 3d, Eagle Point®, TerraModel®, GeoPak® and InRoads®.

Here are some of the things you can do with Carlson Hydrology:

  • Use it to perform all of your stormwater modeling and design or use it to compile data that can then be used in other hydrology programs,
  • Link directly to other hydrology programs including HydroCAD®, Pizer HYDRA®, TR-20, SEDCAD, HEC-RAS and HEC-2,
  • Analyze and design using either SCS or Rational method,
  • Determine runoff volumes with easy-to-use, layer-based tools
  • Track runoff and analyze watershed data within the entire watershed or just above a selected point – such as a catch basin,
  • Create surface model files with CAD support for existing and proposed conditions
  • Design and then report storage volumes for bench and valley ponds that can be designed using various design criteria such as adding multiple interior benches and automatically removing the berm in cut conditions,
  • Create custom fields for pipe structures and inlet libraries,
  • Tap extensive libraries for rainfall data, inlets, manholes and outlet structures,
  • Pick a button to “Process” or have updates automatically occur when changes to road designs surfaces affect storm or sewer structures,
  • Design sanitary sewer or storm pipe runs in a dockable palette or in a spreadsheet editor,
  • Tie pipe design criteria to surfaces, centerlines and profiles
  • Calculate inlet intercepted and bypass flows, gutter spread and depth, pipe flow depth and velocity, and hydraulic and energy grade lines
  • Choose to match stormwater pipes at the crown or at the flowline
  • Receive warnings for collisions and when pipe length, cover, slope, flow rates or other design criteria do not fall within an acceptable, customizable range
  • Design ponds, spillways, orifices, weirs, multiple outlets, channels, culverts, pipes and lift stations
  • Draft sewer pipe dynamically in plans, profiles and 3D

Menus in Hydrology 2017

 

Menu Bar in Hydrology 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson Hydrology 2017

Surface Menu

Hydrology 2017 Surface Menu

Watershed Menu

Hydrology 2017 Watershed Menu

Structure Menu

Hydrology 2017 Structure Menu

Network Menu

Hydrology 2017 Network Menu

HydroCAD Menu

Hydrology 2017 HydroCAD Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)

 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Civil? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson Civil 2017

Features and Benefits of Civil 2017

Carlson Civil is a fully dynamic, 3d civil design program that contains all the tools an engineer, designer or design build professional needs. Here are some of the things you can do with Carlson Civil:

  • Utilize the very best Carlson software support tools for all your design build, site design & site grading, subdivision design & subdivision grading and road design & road grading needs,
  • Perform tasks associated with civil BIM (Building Information Modeling),
  • Use the Lot Network feature to create a dynamic subdivision design that takes into account road centerline and right of way, building setbacks, wetland or poor soils areas and inserts one or more building footprints onto each lot,
  • Use vehicle path tracking to ensure adequate roadway clearance,
  • Create, define, edit and draw centerline alignments using a variety of methods including best fit,
  • Easily elevate 2d, zero-elevation polylines from points, text or text with a leader for detailed site grading,
  • Label elevation, slope and other properties of polylines,
  • Design a centerline and profile along a surface that maintains a maximum slope,
  • Import surfaces from Civil 3d and Google Earth®,
  • Create surface model files for existing and proposed conditions,
  • Design and balance cut and fill for one or more building pads at a time,
  • Edit the contours generated from a surface model and automatically update the underlying TIN file,
  • Calculate earthwork volumes between two surfaces including building pads, stockpiles and borrow pits,
  • Report storage volumes for bench and valley ponds that can be designed using various design criteria such as adding multiple interior benches and automatically removing the berm in cut conditions,
  • Use the layer-based SiteNet commands to calculate and report volumes and/or quantities:
    • Of an entire site or within a perimeter Polyline,
    • Of cut & fill dirt; of topsoil removal & replacement; of materials such as asphalt, stone, concrete and curb; and of pipe and structure depth,
    • That can be exported directly to Microsoft Excel®,
  • Create cut & fill color maps or a grid of cut and fill labels,
  • Create, define, edit and draw profiles using a variety of methods including best fit,
  • Create, define, edit and draw cross sections using a variety of methods,
  • Define, edit and draw typical cross sections to create a library of roadway templates that meet detailed design standards,
  • Use the Road Network feature to dynamically design a network of highways or roads that automatically tie intersections together, allow detailed grading at each intersection and cul-de-sac and allow real-time volume determination as the road profile is adjusted,
  • Design roads that that incorporate varying roadway widths, multiple templates, super elevation, topsoil removal & replacement, road rehabilitation including overlays after leveling or milling operations and more,
  • Automatically elevate building pads and property lot lines using grading rules applied to a road design,
  • Process Road Design for final sections, final contours and volumes,
  • Pick a button to “Process” or have updates automatically occur when changes to centerlines or surfaces affect profiles, changes to profiles affect cross sections or changes to surfaces affect storm or sewer structures,
  • Automatically generate a Carson software support plan and profile sheets in model or paper space where the plan and profile views can be shifted or rotated incrementally with the pick of a button,
  • View your entities or surfaces in 3d or drive through them in a humvee, police car or school bus.

Menus in Civil 2017

 

Menu Bar in Civil 2017

 

The menus below are available in Carlson Civil 2017

3D Data Menu

Civil 2017 3D Data Menu

Surface Menu

Civil 2017 Surface Menu

SiteNet Menu

Civil 2017 SiteNet Menu

Centerline Menu

Civil 2017 Centerline Menu

Profiles Menu

Civil 2017 Profiles Menu

Sections Menu

Civil 2017 Sections Menu

Roads Menu

Civil 2017 Roads Menu

Area Layout Menu

Civil 2017 Area Layout Menu

Annotate Menu

Civil 2017 Annotate Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in Carlson Survey with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Survey 2017 with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Features and Benefits of Survey 2017 with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson Survey is a comprehensive program containing all of the tools that a surveyor needs. Here are some of the things you can do with Carlson Survey:

  • Access both the Carlson Survey and the full C & G menus,
  • Utilize the very best software tools for all your site design & subdivision design needs,
  • Enter deed descriptions and generate a variety of lot reports including fully customizable legal descriptions,
  • Enter deed descriptions and correlate field located property corners with deed property corners to find the best fit orientation & alignment,
  • Use the Deed Reader command to extract deed line and curve data from a text file (the text file can sometimes be generated using the OCR feature of scanning software),
  • Use the Lot Network feature to create a dynamic subdivision design that takes into account road centerline and right of way, building setbacks, wetland or poor soils areas and inserts one or more building footprints onto each lot,
  • Have full point CAD management capabilities including data collector download/upload, import/export points in text and most other formats including Civil 3d,
  • Process raw data files using various methods including SurvNet Least Squares,
  • Perform dozens of COGO functions,
  • Use Field to Finish (F2F) to process automatic linework and description key/description code definitions,
  • Utilize dozens of time-saving point stake out commands,
  • Import surfaces from Civil 3d and Google Earth®,
  • Create surface model files for existing and proposed conditions,
  • Edit the contours generated from a surface model and automatically update the underlying TIN file,
  • Design and balance cut and fill for one or more building pads at a time,
  • Calculate earthwork volumes between two surfaces including building pads, stockpiles and borrow pits,
  • Create, define, edit and draw centerline alignments using a variety of methods including best fit,
  • Create, define, edit and draw profiles using a variety of methods,
  • Automatically update stationing when centerlines change, profiles when centerlines or surfaces change, etc,
  • Automatically generate plan and profile sheets in model or paper space,
  • Import, edit and export GIS shape files,
  • Import a variety of image files including MrSid and geo-referenced TIF and JPG files.

Menus in Survey 2017 with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

 

Menu bar in Survey 2017 showing the compact version of the CG-Survey menu

The menus below are available in Carlson Survey 2017 with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

File Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM File Menu

Edit Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Edit Menu

View Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM View Menu

Draw Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Draw Menu

Inquiry Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Inquiry Menu

Settings Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Settings Menu

Points Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Points Menu

Survey Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Survey Menu

COGO Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM COGO Menu

Centerline Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Centerline Menu

Area/Layout Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Area/Layout Menu

Annotate Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Annotate Menu

Surface Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Surface Menu

GIS Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM GIS Menu

CG-Survey Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM CG-Survey Menu

Window Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Window Menu

Help Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Help Menu

Menu bar in Survey 2017 showing the expanded version of the CG-Survey menu

 

The menus below are available when using the expanded version of the CG-Survey menu

CG File Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM CG File Menu

CG Trav Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM CG Trav Menu

CG Cogo Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM CG Cogo Menu

CG Draw Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM CG Draw Menu

CG Mngmt Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM CG Mngmt Menu

CG Topo Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Topo Menu

CG Tools Menu

Carlson Survey 2017 OEM Tools Menu


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in the non-OEM Carlson Survey program? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Survey 2017 with IntelliCAD or for your AutoCAD

Features and Benefits of Survey 2017

Carlson Survey is a comprehensive, CAD software program containing all of the tools that a surveyor needs. Here are some of the things you can do with Carlson Survey:

  • Access both the Carlson Survey and the full C & G menus,
  • Utilize the very best software tools for all your site design & subdivision design needs,
  • Enter deed descriptions and generate a variety of lot reports including fully customizable legal descriptions,
  • Enter deed descriptions and correlate field located property corners with deed property corners to find the best fit orientation & alignment,
  • Use the Deed Reader command to extract deed line and curve data from a text file (the text file can sometimes be generated using the OCR feature of scanning software),
  • Use the Lot Network feature to create a dynamic subdivision design that takes into account road centerline and right of way, building setbacks, wetland or poor soils areas and inserts one or more building footprints onto each lot,
  • Have full point management capabilities including data collector download/upload, import/export points in text and most other formats including Civil 3d,
  • Process raw data files using various methods via CAD software including SurvNet Least Squares,
  • Perform dozens of COGO functions,
  • Use Field to Finish (F2F) to process automatic linework and description key/description code definitions,
  • Utilize dozens of time-saving point stake out commands,
  • Import surfaces from Civil 3d and Google Earth®,
  • Create surface model files for existing and proposed conditions,
  • Edit the contours generated from a surface model and automatically update the underlying TIN file,
  • Design and balance cut and fill for one or more building pads at a time,
  • Calculate earthwork volumes between two surfaces including building pads, stockpiles and borrow pits,
  • Create, define, edit and draw centerline alignments using a variety of methods including best fit,
  • Create, define, edit and draw profiles using a variety of methods,
  • Automatically update stationing when centerlines change, profiles when centerlines or surfaces change, etc,
  • Automatically generate plan and profile sheets in model or paper space,
  • Import, edit and export GIS shape files,
  • Import a variety of image files including MrSid and geo-referenced TIF and JPG files.

Menus in Survey 2017

 

Menu bar in Survey 2017 showing the compact version of the CG Survey menu

Survey 2017 Menu with compact C & G menu

Survey Menu

Survey 2017 Survey Menu

COGO Menu

Survey 2017 COGO Menu

Centerline Menu

Survey 2017 Centerline Menu

Area/Layout Menu

Survey 2017 Area/Layout Menu

Annotate Menu

Survey 2017 Annotate Menu

Surface Menu

Survey 2017 Surface Menu

GIS Menu

Survey 2017 GIS Menu

CG-Survey Menu

Survey 2017 CG-Survey Menu

Menu bar in Survey 2017 showing the expanded version of the CG-Survey menu

Survey 2017 Menu with the expanded version of the CG-Survey menu

 

The menus below are available when using the expanded version of the CG-Survey menu

CG File Menu

Survey 2017 CG File Menu

CG Trav Menu

Survey 2017 CG Trav Menu

CG Cogo Menu

Survey 2017 CG Cogo Menu

CG Draw Menu

Survey 2017 CG Draw Menu

CG Mngmt Menu

Survey 2017 CG Mngmt Menu

CG Topo Menu

Survey 2017 CG Topo Menu

CG Tools Menu

Survey 2017 CG Tools Menu

The menus below are in all non-OEM programs of Carlson 2017 desktop software

(Click image to see more)


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What features & menus are in ALL Carlson, non-OEM, desktop software programs? (a running thread)
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Shortly after each new release of the program, we will update this FAQ to show the menus that come with the installation.

Refer to this FAQ to see the latest improvements to Carlson’s desktop software products

Carlson 2017

Features and Benefits of all Carlson desktop programs

The list below includes some, but not all, of the commands and functionality that is currently available in ALL Carlson software desktop programs:

  • Work natively in DWG format files – whether using the IntelliCAD or AutoCAD platform,
  • Import DGN, DXF, DWF files,
  • Import and Export LandXML/RoadXML files,
  • Export Google Earth KML/KMZ files,
  • Export files to be used in GPS guided machine control systems,
  • Export DTM, Google, Idan, Microstation, MOSS, Peabody, Topcon, and 12D polyline files
  • Customize project folders and sub-folders to organize your project data,
  • Incorporate your own CAD Standards Tools into basic drafting functions,
    Import, export and convert points using text or most any other format including Civil 3d,
  • Access to the entirety of the Carlson software File, Edit, View, Draw, Inquiry, Settings, Points and 3D Solids menus including these popular commands:
    • Drawing cleanup
    • 2d and 3d polyline editing commands to reverse polylines, add/remove segments or vertices, etc.
    • Shrinkwrap entities
    • Boundary polyline
    • Erase and Copy by layer
    • 3d Viewer Window
    • Surface 3d Viewer
    • Search Published Control – an Esri-powered command

Menus in all non-OEM Carlson desktop programs

File Menu

Carlson 2017 File Menu

Edit Menu

Carlson 2017 Edit Menu

View Menu

Carlson 2017 View Menu

Draw Menu

Carlson 2017 Draw Menu

Inquiry Menu

Carlson 2017 Inquiry Menu

Settings Menu

Carlson 2017 Settings Menu

Points Menu

Carlson 2017 Points Menu

3D Solids Menu

Carlson 2017 3D Solids Menu

Window Menu

Carlson 2017 Window Menu

Help Menu

Carlson 2017 Help Menu


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Is embedded AutoCAD (OEM) more like AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT?
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The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) that ships with Carlson Survey (OEM) and Takeoff (OEM) is much closer to an AutoCAD LT than to full-AutoCAD.

Follow this FAQ to see a list of the differences between AutoCAD, Carlson’s IntelliCAD and the embedded AutoCAD  (OEM) platforms.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Does Carlson run on a Mac?
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No, not at this time.
 
I have several customers who run Carlson and CAD software for Mac using Windows emulation apps. The two that I am aware of are Parallels and Boot Camp.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What versions of AutoCAD & IntelliCAD & Windows does Carlson run on top of? And what about AutoCAD LT? (a running thread)
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Carlson Desktop Software with IntelliCAD or for Your AutoCAD

Carlson can be installed on top of any full-AutoCAD-based program such as AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop or Civil 3d. Carlson cannot be installed on top of any version AutoCAD LT.

Carlson VersionAutoCAD & IntelliCAD PlatformsWindows Platforms
2018AutoCAD 2010-2018, IntelliCAD 8.232 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
2017AutoCAD 2010-2017, IntelliCAD 8.232 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
2016AutoCAD 2007-2016, IntelliCAD 8.132 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
2015AutoCAD 2007-2015, IntelliCAD 8.0XP, 32 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1
2014AutoCAD 2004-2014, IntelliCAD 7.2XP, 32 or 64 bit Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1

 

Carlson Desktop Software with Embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson VersionEmbedded AutoCAD EngineWindows Platforms
Survey 2018/Takeoff R102018Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 2017/Takeoff R92013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 20162013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 2015/Takeoff R82013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
Survey 2014/Takeoff R72013Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10


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That CAD Girl’s top reasons to purchase Carlson Software
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1

You have options as to the platform: embedded AutoCAD (OEM), on top of full-AutoCAD or IntelliCAD

2

Carlson has Free Technical Support regardless of whether your software is 1 year or 10 years old or even if you’re still trying it out before buying.

3

 Carlson gives you the ability to design dynamically but does it with basic CAD entities such as lines, polylines, text and blocks which makes it easy to share drawings with others.

No more proxy entities or AECC Objects to fight with!

4

 Carlson doesn’t retire their products and never forces you to upgrade. Their annual maintenance is optional.

5

 Carlson Plays Well With Others: Their goal is to have their software be compatible with as many other software and hardware manufacturers as possible. There is a seemingly endless list of “Import from…” and “Export to…” commands in the software.

6

 Carlson gives you the tools you need.

The first 7 or 8 menus in all programs are identical and have all the basic tools you need to be more productive. Here are just some of the things you can do in every program:

Work natively in DWG files and import/export DGN, DXF & DWF
Import and Export LandXML/RoadXML/Google Earth files
Full management and editing of point data including point groups
and edit tracking
Esri-powered Search Published Control feature
Export files for many GPS-guided machine control systems
Customize project folders & sub-folders to organize project data
Drawing Cleanup
Join Nearest
Drawing Inspector
Layer Inspector
Shrinkwrap Entities
Twist Screen
2D and 3D Polyline utilities such as reverse polyline, add/remove segments, add/remove vertices, daylight polyline to surface, etc
Layer Tools such as Erase and Copy by layer, Isolate, Restore
3D Viewer Window
Surface 3D Viewer


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Compared to AutoCAD or IntelliCAD, what would I miss in the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) versions of Survey & Takeoff? (a running thread)
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I can’t say that I use the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) version a lot because, to me, the platform underneath is much closer to an AutoCAD LT than it is to an AutoCAD and there are many functions I miss. And, since AutoCAD and IntelliCAD are so similar, it makes sense to also compare the features and functionality of the embedded AutoCAD products with IntelliCAD.

Some AutoCAD commands, such as the Layer Tools that used to be in Express Tools and are now in the Layers II toolbar of AutoCAD, have been built into the Carlson menus. So even though you may not find the Layers II toolbar you can still freeze and isolate layers by picking entities on the screen.

I’ll keep this post as a running thread and will add to it as I come across functions or features you may miss.

Differences between embedded AutoCAD (OEM) and full AutoCAD or IntelliCAD:

  • In OEM – Can’t load LSP files (verified in 2016). This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
  • In OEM – Can’t change command aliases (acad.pgp) or Carlson QuickKeys (verified in 2016) – although you may find a workaround in this Carlson KB Article:Bits and Pieces. This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
  • In OEM – The command REGEN is available but REGENALL is not (verified in 2016). This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
  • In OEM – Carlson Startup Settings (aka Launch Options) such as setting a default template (.dwt) file are not available in the OEM (verified in 2016). This is possible in AutoCAD and IntelliCAD.
  • In OEM and IntelliCAD – Express Tools aren’t available. However, you can use Carlson’s Layer Tools and Layer Toolbar as a workaround to replace the Express Tools Layers commands and the Layers II toolbar.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

If I buy Carlson, should I go with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM)? Or with IntelliCAD? or just buy AutoCAD?
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In my opinion, if you’ve been using any program that includes a full-license of AutoCAD as a platform (AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop, Civil 3d) for years, you will be greatly disappointed and frustrated with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) version. You may think you’re getting AutoCAD, but you’re getting something closer to AutoCAD LT.
 
So… long-time, mostly happy AutoCAD users should only consider running Carlson on IntelliCAD or installing on top of a separate license of AutoCAD.
 
The next part is the hard part: IntelliCAD? Or AutoCAD? The answer to this will basically come down to $$$ dollar-signs $$$.
 
If you already have a licensed version of AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop or Civil 3d that can be installed under your Carlson then you are in great shape. You can hope for the best and install Carlson with IntelliCAD but you’re also prepared for the worst. If you’re not happy with IntelliCAD, you can install your same Carlson license on top of your AutoCAD.
 
But, what if you don’t own a copy of AutoCAD or would need to pay to upgrade an old copy to run with Carlson? Is it worth it?
 
It might be. If you’re a power-user and are truly losing productivity with IntelliCAD then I believe you can justify the cost to buy a new or upgrade an old AutoCAD. I usually recommend it this way, “If and when your frustration level reaches about 4000-bucks, buy AutoCAD!”.
 
I know you’ll be shocked to learn that most sole-proprietors/business owners will stick with IntelliCAD much longer (or forever!) before they can justify the outlay of money for AutoCAD.
 
For a more detailed look, see this Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD from Professional Surveyor magazine.
 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Does Carlson have student or academic licenses?
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At this time, August 2016… Student? No, not to my knowledge.
 
But, for Academic licenses? Yes.
 
 

Carlson Software provides unlimited desktop licensing to qualified colleges and universities around the world.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Is it better to network Carlson than use standalone licenses?
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This is another one of those maybes

The only time I’d recommend networking individual licenses such as Survey, Survey OEM, Civil, etc. is if you have 2 or more people who can literally share a license. For instance, if you have a technician who works in one office or on one computer from 8-12 and another who works in a different office or computer from 1-5 then, yes, network away!

Using this example, only one license will ever be in use at any one time so you would only need to buy one networked license that can be shared on multiple computers.

Networking one or more licenses of individual seats can also be beneficial if you have several people using the software part-time. Maybe you buy 3 licenses for 4 to share because only 3 people will ever be using it at the same time.

All that being said, networking one of Carlson’s Suites (Civil or Takeoff) can potentially save a lot of money. Civil Suite includes 4 programs: Survey, Civil, Hydrology and GIS. Takeoff Suite includes 4 as well: Construction, CADNet, GeoTech and Trench. If you network either of the Suites, each of those programs acts like an individual license. Sweet Suite!

So, if you buy one standalone license of Civil Suite, that license is registered to one user who can access any of the 4 programs at will. But, if you network that Civil Suite, you can have one person working in Survey at the same time someone else is working in Civil, while a 3rd person is working in Hydrology and a 4th is in GIS.

Even though this sounds like a great way to save money, you should also be aware that sharing licenses can also become a headache to your staff and lead to some loss in productivity. It’s like anything else, networking the Suites has its pros and cons.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

I’m a land surveyor. What software do I need?
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Carlson Survey, of course! And, if you truly need ONLY Carlson Survey, you have an option between Survey with IntelliCAD or For Your AutoCAD or Survey with embedded AutoCAD (OEM).

But, I find a lot of surveyors also need Carlson GIS for bringing in aerial photos, images of quad and soils maps.

And, this is a little out of the box, but if you’re a surveyor who does a lot of construction staking, I highly recommend Carlson Civil as well. Carlson Civil has a lot of tools that are meant to be used for design but, in my experience, can be invaluable for stakeout.

Most of these tools are in the 3D Data menu of Carlson Civil and include:

  • 2D to 3D Polyline by Points and by Text with Leader
  • Assign Contour Elevations
  • Pad Polyline by Interior Text
  • Draw Building Perimeter Polyline
  • Convert Spot Elevations to Points
  • Points by Slope

If you need Survey plus any of these other programs, you will have to use Carlson Survey with IntelliCAD or For Your AutoCAD because Survey and Takeoff are the only programs available on the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform.

And if you need Survey plus any of these other programs, you may want to consider the Civil Suite because the bundled pricing is often better than buying 2 or more individual modules.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

I’m a civil engineer. What software do I need?
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Primarily you’ll probably need Carlson Civil and Hydrology but GIS has a lot of nifty tools for importing images so you may also consider that program a “need” instead of just a “want” as well.

Since all three of these modules are included in the Carlson Civil Suite, that’s usually the better deal.

 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

I’m a contractor and need to do takeoffs and create machine control files. What software do I need?
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Probably some version of Takeoff – either Takeoff Suite which is modular and includes Construction, CADNet, Trench and GeoTech or the Takeoff with embedded AutoCAD (OEM).

The good thing about the Takeoff Suite is that you can buy the whole thing or just the pieces and parts you need. Many contractors only need the functionality of Construction and CADNet so, unless you need Trench and GeoTech as well, you could save a little money by just buying those modules. And you could always add the other pieces later if necessary.

Construction includes most of the functionality you will need for building models and doing takeoffs: tools for elevating 2D to 3D, site and roadway surface modeling (including resurfacing), quantity calcs, exporting to machine control and more.

CADNet includes the digitizing and imaging tools such as raster to vector, importing PDFs and BIM files and more.

GeoTech is for importing borehole data for analyzing subsurface conditions and materials.

Trench is for calculations related to installing pipes, sewers, or utility lines.

One other thing to note is that Construction is mostly a blend of the functionality you’ll find in Carlson Survey & Civil. Since the pricing of Civil Suite is the same as Construction, you may find that purchasing Civil Suite and CADNet is a good alternative to Construction and CADNet.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

I lost my data collector with SurvCE, am I outta luck?
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Not at all.
 
Carlson allows you to purchase hardware and software separately so all you need to do is purchase a new collector and install your SurvCE on it. You will need your SurvCE serial number but, if you have trouble finding it, just email me and I’ll help you track it down.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

If I use Carlson Survey in the office, do I have to use SurvCE on my data collector?
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Nope.

Carlson Survey allows you to import, export and convert points and raw data from dozens of different formats and from a wide variety of manufacturers. Carlson Software, as a company, does everything within their power to make their software and hardware compatible with as many other manufacturers’ products as possible. Carlson wants their users to have the option of mixing and matching their software and equipment in a way that works best for their individual needs.

Here are just two examples of many throughout the program allowing you to import, export or convert external data.

The Convert Point Format menu:

2017_ConvertPointFormat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Import Raw File menu:

2017_ImportRawFile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What data collectors, GPS and total stations can I run with my Carlson SurvCE or SurvPC?
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Click here for the list of data collectors, GPS and total stations that are supported in the various versions of SurvCE and SurvPC.
 
It’s easy to overlook but the “micro-links” at the bottom of the table let you switch between Carlson data collectors, Carlson GPS and total stations.
 
SurvCE_SupportedHardwareTable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What are the system requirements to run Carlson Software in the office? Do I need a monster computer?
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Save your money! You only need a monster computer if you’re running it on top of an Autodesk product that requires a lot of horsepower. If you’re running Carlson on top of AutoCAD or one of their vertical applications like Civil 3d, then yes, you will want to make sure your computer is configured to meet Autodesk’s specifications.

But, Carlson’s core product and IntelliCAD can run on pretty light-duty machines.

The minimum system requirements for running Carlson with embedded AutoCAD (OEM), on top of AutoCAD and with IntelliCAD are posted here.

Note: If you are using an Nvidia video card, you will want to make sure you get the driver and updates directly from Nvidia.com and not just let Windows search for updates.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

Is IntelliCAD more like AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT?
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I believe you will find the functionality of IntelliCAD to be MUCH closer to that found in full-versions of AutoCAD than to AutoCAD LT or even the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs that Carlson offers.

Now, you also shouldn’t expect IntelliCAD to be the equivalent of today’s AutoCAD. IntelliCAD is a generic version of AutoCAD and will have the feel of an older “model” of AutoCAD and be missing some of the bells and whistles included in newer releases of AutoCAD.

But, it’s more customizable, supports LISP routines and 3D drafting.

Follow these links to see my FAQs that explain the differences between AutoCAD, Carlson’s IntelliCAD and the embedded AutoCAD  (OEM) platforms.

You may also want to read this Software Review: AutoCAD and IntelliCAD that I wrote for Professional Surveyor Magazine several years ago.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What’s the difference between Carlson with IntelliCAD and with the embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform?
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The price is the biggest difference.

Whether you’re using Carlson Survey or Takeoff on the IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD (OEM) platform, the Survey and Takeoff functionality will be identical. Any differences are going to be strictly limited to the underlying engine – IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD.

  • From a feature and functionality standpoint, IntelliCAD will be closer to a full AutoCAD and embedded AutoCAD (OEM) will be closer to an AutoCAD LT.
  • IntelliCAD is generic version of AutoCAD and tracks closer to a 4-5 year old version of AutoCAD. See this FAQ comparing IntelliCAD and AutoCAD
  • Embedded AutoCAD (OEM) will look more like today’s AutoCAD and may have more of the current bells and whistles – but it’ll also be missing some key functionality such as the ability to create aliases (command shortcuts) and load LISP routines. See this FAQ comparing embedded AutoCAD (OEM) and AutoCAD

It’s a work in progress but you can check out this FAQ where I’m starting a list of the differences between the two programs.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

What you should know about purchasing Carlson Software
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Carlson Platform Options

IntelliCAD/for CAD

Carlson Software’s desktop programs can be installed as a standalone program on top of IntelliCAD or on top of your separately purchased, full-AutoCAD-based program.

Carlson includes the latest version of IntelliCAD with every purchase.

The full-AutoCAD-based program can be AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop, Civil 3D or other vertical – but does NOT include AutoCAD LT.

 
Embedded AutoCAD (OEM)

Carlson Survey and Takeoff can also be purchased and installed standalone with embedded AutoCAD (also known as the OEM version).

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs include a limited, stripped-down version of AutoCAD that has functionality similar to AutoCAD LT.

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs do not include IntelliCAD and do not require a separate purchase of AutoCAD.

The embedded AutoCAD (OEM) programs are a completely separate install than the programs that run with IntelliCAD or separately purchased license of full-AutoCAD and, although both programs can be installed on the same computer, the programs cannot be “combined”. For instance, if you own a license Survey OEM and also a license of Carlson GIS with IntelliCAD and need to access commands in both programs for work on a single drawing (.dwg) file, you would have to close the drawing out of the Survey OEM and then open it in the GIS program to do the work there.

Refer to our Buying Guide FAQs for pros and cons and more information about the different platforms.

Retail Pricing for Carlson Software

Current as of August 2016

ProgramRetail Price of StandaloneRetail Price of NetworkThat CAD Girl Pricing
Civil Suite
(Survey, Civil, Hydrology & GIS)
$ 3,750$ 4,125* See in store
Survey$ 1,750$ 1,925* See in store
Civil$ 1,750$ 1,925* See in store
Hydrology$ 1,250$ 1,375* See in store
GIS$ 1,095$ 1,205* See in store
Takeoff Suite
(Construction, CADNet, Trench, GeoTech)
$ 7,500$ 8,250* See in store
Construction$ 3,750$ 4,125* See in store
CADNet$ 1,595$ 1,755* See in store
Trench$ 1,595$ 1,755* See in store
GeoTech$ 1,595$ 1,755* See in store
Takeoff with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)$ 9,000$ 9,900* See in store
Survey with embedded AutoCAD (OEM)$ 2,995$ 3,295* See in store
Other Software or HardwareRequest Pricing
or *See in store

* Prices shown in our online store reflects Carlson Software’s Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy but additional discounts may be available through That CAD Girl by requesting custom pricing.

Carlson Software Annual Maintenance

Carlson’s Annual Maintenance is an OPTIONAL program that allows you to keep your software up-to-date with the latest version of the software. Every new license includes 90 days of maintenance for free. This ensures that, if a new version is released within 90 days of your purchase, you will automatically receive the newest version of the software.

If it is renewed prior to expiration, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the software. See Upgrading Carlson Software below for more information about renewals after maintenance has expired.

Carlson’s Annual Maintenance is NOT available for embedded AutoCAD (OEM) products, for SurvCE or for SurvPC. It is only available for IntelliCAD/for CAD-based products.

Carlson’s policy on Software Maintenance can be viewed by clicking here.

ProgramRetail Price
of Standalone
Annual Maintenance
for Standalone
Retail Price
of Network
Annual Maintenance
for Network
Civil Suite$ 3,750$ 375$ 4,125$ 412.50
Survey$ 1,750$ 175$ 1,925$ 192.50
Civil$ 1,750$ 175$ 1,925$ 192.50
Hydrology$ 1,250$ 125$ 1,375$ 137.50
GIS$ 1,095$ 109.50$ 1,205$ 120.50
Takeoff Suite$ 7,500$ 750$ 8,250$ 825.00
Construction$ 3,750$ 375$ 4,125$ 412.50
CADNet$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.45
Trench$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.50
GeoTech$ 1,595$ 159.50$ 1,755$ 175.50

Upgrading Carlson Software

Upgrading IntelliCAD/for CAD Products

Upgrading Carlson’s non-OEM desktop products is done through the Maintenance Plan.

If it is renewed prior to expiration, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the software. If Maintenance is not renewed prior to expiration, a 1-year Maintenance Plan costs 15% of software list price and increases by 5% per year after the expiration date.

If your license is not currently on maintenance, you can pay the maintenance fee plus an expiration fee which will both upgrade you to the current version of the program AND include any upgrades that are released within the maintenance year.

Maintenance StatusAnnual Maintenance
(Percentage of Retail)
Expiration Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Total Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Current10%010%
Expired less than 1 year10%5%15%
Expired more than 1 year10%10%20%
Expired more than 2 years10%15%25%
Expired more than 3 years10%20%30%
Expired more than 4 years10%25%35%
Expired more than 5 years10%30%40%
Expired more than 6 years10%35%45%
Expired more than 7 years10%40%50%

Sample Upgrade & Maintenance Renewal Pricing

ProgramYear(s) Past Maintenance
Expiration
Retail PriceTotal Fee
(Percentage of Retail)
Total Fee to Upgrade and
Renew Maintenance for 1 Year
SurveyLess than 1$ 1,75015%$ 262.50
Networked SurveyLess than 1$ 1,92515%$ 288.75
Civil SuiteMore than 1, less than 2$ 3,75020%$ 750.00
Networked Civil SuiteMore than 2, less than 3$ 4,12525%$ 1031.25

Upgrading Survey and Takeoff with Embedded AutoCAD (OEM) Products

The cost to upgrade Carlson’s OEM products varies depending on the program and how many versions behind you are.

Follow this link then click on Request a Custom Proposal to request upgrade pricing.

Competitive Upgrades

Periodically That CAD Girl offers competitive upgrade pricing for anyone wishing to trade-in Civil 3d, Land Desktop, Eagle Point, Terra Model or other similar product.

Follow this link then click on Request a Custom Proposal to see if additional discounts are available.

System Requirements for Desktop Software

Because it changes from version to version, my “go-to” answer is going to always point to this page where Carlson lists the minimum system requirements for running Carlson with embedded AutoCAD (OEM), on top of AutoCAD and with IntelliCAD.

You may also keep an eye on our System Requirements and Hardware Compatibility FAQs for the latest information.

30 Day Trials

Want to try before you buy? Any Carlson desktop software is available for a 30 day trial – just Click right here!

Then click on Request a 30 day Trial Serial Number

Once you decide to purchase, you won’t even need to uninstall. You can activate your software by simply updating your registration with your purchased serial number.

Technical Support & Training

Carlson Software offers FREE technical support for Carlson Software and IntelliCAD. This is the case whether you are running the latest version of Carlson or one that’s 10 years old or, even, if you’re only trying before you buy.

You can see all the opportunities for training with That CAD Girl here and you can follow these links for to see our FAQs about the training and technical support available from Carlson and That CAD Girl.


If you find the material on this website helpful, please consider supporting That CAD Girl by requesting a custom proposal the next time you need to renew your maintenance, upgrade or purchase new software or hardware.

 

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