GardenCAD for AutoCAD users

This set of notes is designed for users of AutoCAD who are coming to the GardenCAD environment and want a quick overview of the differences between the two programs.


GardenCAD operates in a similar way to AutoCAD; it is also command driven. If you check the Command summary page from the downloads link you will see that the majority of important AutoCAD commands - LINE, ARC, POLYLINE, EXTEND, TRIM etc. have all been implemented and work in the same way, even down to the prompt information in the command line.


The Interface is quite similar to that in AutoCAD 14, which in our opinion was the best AutoCAD version. We like drop down menus and we are not a fan of the Ribbon Strip seen in current AutoCAD versions.

Layout (Paper) Space

We deliberately decided to make the way GardenCAD handles paper space different from AutoCAD. We call AutoCAD's layout space Pages to distinguish it from paper or layout space.

Tip  Module 13 and Module 14 in the using GardenCAD course at covers the use of pages.

In essence, you do all your work in model space – including placing dimensions, north indicators etc. Then make a block of the finished design. Give the block a descriptive name (complete design, pond area, decking arrangement, section A-A etc.). Create a pages view and switch to it, finally insert the block at the required scale. Unlike AutoCAD, there should be no surprises when you reach Pages, because what you see in model space is what you get. We think that it beats playing with floating viewports a la AutoCAD.

If you are drawing to AS1100 for technical drawing, then insert a title block containing your logo and job information to 'wrap around' the design.