I started to use a Mac for drawing light plots in 1988, when the musical “Chess” came over from London, with a lighting designer who used a Mac. I rented a Mac, learned how to use it (with no manual, of course) and started drawing. We used MacDraw and made our lighting symbols with fonts created in Fontastic. In the middle of the production, we sent away for a demo of PowerDraw. Since then, it has been my CAD program of choice. I have tried several other CAD programs, and each time I get one, I think “Haven’t these developers seen PowerDraw? Why would I want to use this?” Many of my co-workers have taken up MiniCAD as their first CAD program, and so I have purchased each version of MiniCAD as well, thinking that maybe it would catch up and surpass PowerCADD, but each one is a just a bigger package of disjointed features.
PowerCADD is elegant. Combined with WildTools it allows you to draw while you think and design. They are not two separate processes. I don’t design in one step, and then think “How do I draw this.” It flows. It changes as I want to change. I toggle between snaps, restricted and unrestricted lines, and zooms all while I draw. I don’t have to think ahead, I just go! It becomes more of a sketching process than a process of planning ahead with all the tool settings before I do anything.
With keyboard commands so flexible and easy to set, I now do ‘two handed drawing’. My right hand moves the cursor around, and my left accesses tools through single keystrokes or command key keystrokes. The result is I hardly ever go to a palette or menu for 90% of my work, which results in extremely fast drawing and very high productivity. It far surpasses the key assignment capabilities of any other CAD program on the market.
PowerCADD feels like it has been designed by people who draw, not by engineers who know programming code. It is a smooth transition from drawing on paper to CAD by using PowerCADD. WildTools is an incredible set of tools that helps draw what people draw in real life. It is easy to use for beginners, and as you grow, you keep discovering new power and more features. I am constantly finding new tricks as I get more sophisticated in my drawing, yet the easy drawing tools and processes remain as easy as ever.