Install GardenCAD - Macs

GardenCAD software was originally designed for Windows computers, but can run happily on Macintosh computers provided that the processor is Intel based, and you run some form of Windows emulator. Most recent Mac computers (purchased post 2006) are Intel based and a free version of the emulator is available to test with GardenCAD. The figure below shows the free version of GardenCAD running on a Mac using a trial version of the Crossover Windows emulator.
Here is a link to a QuickTime movie showing GardenCAD in action on an iMac [running the Lion operating system].
There are a couple of extra items required to run GardenCAD successfully on a Mac:
  • In our view, to drive GardenCAD effectively on a Mac, you need to a mouse with more than one button. The reason for this is that when using GardenCAD, different menus pop up when either the left or right mouse button is clicked. In addition, the mouse wheel (or gesture on the Mac Magic Mouse) is used to zoom in and out on a drawing. Trying to use GardenCAD with the traditional single button Mac mouse is very frustrating indeed. Apple now offer a range of mice and track pads with various buttons. We have used the Mac Magic Mouse/GardenCAD combination, but lean towards using an easily available LogiTech mouse that we plug into a USB port on our Mac. We have not had much success with our Apple TrackPad, but that may be because we have not experimented with the many ways to activate buttons and gestures.
  • You also need to install a special piece of software that allows Windows programs such as GardenCAD to run on the Mac. We are aware of a number of such programs - BootCamp [free with your Mac], Crossover - a Virtual Windows Emulator [free to try and costing around $USD40.00 for the standard version] Parallels Desktop [approx $90.00), Wine [free, but quite tricky to set up] and VMWare Fusion [about $50.00]), all seem to work satisfactorily with GardenCAD. Crossover seems to be the favourite among GardenCAD users on Mac, as it is possible to download a trial version of GardenCAD and a trial version of Crossover and test things out before purchasing either Crossover or GardenCAD.

Here is a link showing step by step how to install our software under CrossOver. The guide refers to the installation our companion plant database application (SppDb), but GardenCAD under CrossOver on a Mac is installed in the same manner.

Note that in addition to Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop and VM Fusion you also need a Windows license to make GardenCAD run on the Mac. If you don't have a copy of Windows, that adds extra expense.

Our recent experience with Crossover has been very favorable. GardenCAD runs very fast and looks great on a large iMac screen!

One of these emulator tools needs to be installed before installing GardenCAD.

Try before you buy
Remember, We recommend that you install a free trial version of Parallels, Crossover or VMWare Fusion and the unregistered version of GardenCAD in that order and satisfy yourself that GardenCAD works on your Mac before committing to a purchase of GardenCAD.
GardenCAD under Parallels or VMWare Fusion
Install the Windows Emulator program first. Once you chosen emulator program is running, download the GardenCAD Setup file (GardenCADSetup.exe) from the downloads page of this web site and save to your desktop. Double click on GardenCADSetup.exe to install GardenCAD.
Tip: Save GardenCADSetup.exe to a local drive, not a network drive and run the setup program from a local directory.
Brief instructions on installing GardenCAD after Crossover has been downloaded
  1. Download the GardenCADSetup.exe file and save to your desktop.
  2. Launch CrossOver from your OS Applications menu.
  3. Choose Install Windows Software.
  4. Scroll down the Supported Applications list  and choose Select Other Application [Under Community Supported Applications]
  5. Select Choose Installer file, select the downloaded GardenCADSetup.exe file on your desktop.
  6. Follow the On-screen prompts and install. Note that although GardenCAD may install and run, complete installation may take some time.
Once you have GardenCAD working, if you use the File>Library>Drawings sequence, you can 'play' with several landscape sample files. More designs are available for download from this web site. 

Tip Most of our training movies have now been converted and stored on YouTube, so they will run (at lower resolution) on a Mac. Visit YouTube and type GardenCAD in the search box to find some of the support movies.