Use DWG Convert to save DWG files to an earlier version+
DWG TrueView is FREE utility available from Autodesk. They release a new version of this program every year, just like their other products.
With the True Convert utility you can convert any newer version DWG or DXF to any earlier version. I’d recommend you enable the option that creates a .bak file with the original just in case you need it later.
Inside the True Convert utility you can also enable several other options that will run routines such as Audit, Purge, XREF Binding, etc. during the convert process.
You can download DWG True View 2018 here.
Are Express Tools available in Carlson?+
Carlson Layer Tools are highlighted in the View menu below:
Does Carlson with IntelliCAD have an option to print to PDF?+
Is Carlson Field to Finish the same as Land Desktop or Civil 3d Description Keys?+
Are there any problems running Carlson on Windows 10?+
Windows 10 does updates – automatic updates – a lot. And, sometimes these updates can mess with your Carlson license registration. Carlson has free technical support so you can always call 606.564.5028 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org during regular business hours but, if this happens on a weekend, their support staff is probably out enjoying Kentucky bourbon. Or something.
So, when Murphy’s Law strikes, you can refer to this Knowledge Base article on Carlson’s website: Carlson KB 995: Windows 10 effect on previously registered software.
How can I access and use my old Civil 3d, Land Desktop, Eagle Point or Terra Model data?+
From my Picks and Clicks: LandXML Data article in Professional Surveyor
What Is LandXML?
LandXML refers to a file format (.xml) containing data that has been generated from a civil engineering or land surveying software program.
If you’re hearing about it for the first time and want to learn more about the uses and acceptance of the LandXML initiative, visit www.landxml.org. According to their page LandXML.org in a Nutshell, “… LandXML.org is committed to providing a non-proprietary data standard (LandXML), driven by an industry consortium of partners.”
Simply put, the easiest way to convert, transfer, and archive data between Civil 3D, Carlson Software, Land Desktop, Eagle Point, TerraModel, and many other programs is to use the Import from LandXML and Export to LandXML functions available in these programs. Additionally, many machine control systems allow you to import LandXML files. I am most familiar with the Carlson and Autodesk families of civil/survey programs, so most examples in this article refer to them.
For a little more current look at where LandXML is today, you don’t want to miss this archived webinar from September 2015: If You’re Not Using LandXML, You Should Be… Yes, All of You!
The very best advice I can give to anyone who has years of archived Land Desktop, Terra Model or Eagle Point data and is still able to get into and run those programs is to start exporting all of it to LandXML files – starting yesterday! Many of these programs will be (or already are) impossible to re-install on new Windows computers so take advantage of it while you can.
Since LandXML is the industry standard, having all that data in the generic XML format virtually guarantees that you will be able to convert and work with it in any new software package you use in the future.
In addition to LandXML, Carlson gives you a bunch of different ways to import, export and convert data to and from other desktop, field and machine control software. For instance, here’s the menu for Import/Export Surface Data that’s in Construction, Civil & Survey:
Civil 3d data is, by far, the most difficult data to share… In some cases it’s literally impossible to save data such as points and surfaces and be able to use it in any previous version of Civil 3d!
However, you can use the EXPORTTOAUTOCAD commands in Civil 3d to basically explode all the custom entities so they can be opened and used in other programs or in earlier versions of Civil 3d. Of course, by exploding everything, you essentially lose any perceived benefit of working on the drawing in Civil 3d.
How can I install Land Desktop on a Windows 7 computer?+
I had actually forgotten about this but recently had to re-install Land Desktop myself and I figured it was worth sharing. This method is not guaranteed but it just might work.
Instead of trying to install Land Desktop from the original DVD, try copying the contents of the DVD to a new folder on the hard drive of the Windows 7 machine. Then, run the installation from there by clicking on the Setup.exe file.
I haven’t tried this with anything newer than Windows 7 but it worked flawlessly on my Windows 7 64 bit computer.
I’m just learning CAD. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to make me a power user?+
I lost one of my first CAD jobs because I’d been away from CAD work for about 6 months and I was given a CAD test during an interview. While my interviewer watched, I tried to draw a roadway intersection on a computer that had a 2-button mouse and a newly installed copy of AutoCAD R10. I quickly realized that in all my prior work and training I’d become too dependent on macros, LISP routines and the dreaded digitizer tablet (remember those?!). In those days we only had a Command: line and a right sidebar menu – not a toolbar to be found!
Commands like ERASE, COPY and MOVE were easy to remember but FILLET? Forget about it. I tanked.
I found a computer with CAD to practice and refresh a bit and made it through my next interview and test but I never forgot the experience. Although they were available if I wanted them, I swore off the digitizer tablet and even stopped using command aliases for a long time and typed in the whole long command in most cases. As new versions came out and new menus and toolbars came and went, I realized that the commands entered at the Command: line changed very little from version to version. Unlike co-workers, I didn’t panic with each new version install and had no problems working on someone else’s computer if necessary because it didn’t matter if I couldn’t find my magic toolbar.