Monday, November 3, 2008

AutoCAD localized versions

One of the reasons AutoCAD became so popular is and was its early localization into many languages. E.g. the first Czech version of AutoCAD was already the AutoCAD R10 from October 1988. The XANADU company was involved in AutoCAD localizations into Czech since AutoCAD Rel.13.

In current versions, AutoCAD is available in 14 language versions. European and Asian languages play an important role here - also in the sales results. The languages 2-5 are the primary group of "FIGS" localizations, but all language localizations are now released just a couple of weeks after the release of the original, US-English version of AutoCAD. A similar range of localizations is offered also for other Autodesk software (Inventor, Revit, Civil3D...).

Language versions of AutoCAD:

  1. Original English version (en-US)

  2. French version ("F", fr-FR)

  3. Italian version ("I", it-IT)

  4. German version ("G", de-DE)

  5. Spanish version ("S", es-ES)

  6. Portuguese (Brazilian) version (pt-BR)

  7. Czech version (cs-CZ)

  8. Russian version (ru-RU)

  9. Polish version (pl-PL)

  10. Hungarian version (hu-HU)

  11. Japanese version (ja-JP)

  12. Korean version (ko-KR)

  13. Chinese version, simplified (zh-CN)

  14. Chinese version, traditional (zh-TW)

The vocabulary of AutoCAD commands in the main languages (1-8) is available on the web - see AutoCAD commands.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Best IT web 2008" award for

The leading Czech IT publishing house, CPress Media, his editors, the invited top experts in the areas of SEO, copywriting and graphics, and first of all, the readers of CPress' IT magazines have rated web services in the IT branch - in the contest "Nejlepší IT web 2008" (The Best IT web 2008).

We are very pleased that the CAD portal of the XANADU company - - has won the readers' contest and has been voted the best IT web in the Czech Republic. We would like to thank all voters and other readers of the web for their rating. We appreciate our visitor's rating as we provide and develop this web service for these visitors - the users of CAD software.

Award handed to Xanadu

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meet the XANADU team

XANADU Team The most valuable asset of any company - and especially a company oriented on services - are their "people", the employees and their combined knowledge. And in the team of 85 employees of the XANADu company we have really top experts in IT areas we cover. Our specialists carry the highest certifications issued by HP, Microsoft, Autodesk, Citrix and others. Many of them are also internationally recognized experts.

Meet the team of consultants, salesmen, programmers, service technicians, instructors, technical support people, backoffice and other employees of the XANADU company. Employ our knowledge to make your work easier and more effective. What we do, we know well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ERASE - the most frequent AutoCAD command

You might be surprised but the most commonly used AutoCAD command is neither LINE, CIRCLE nor DIM, but the ERASE command. And the most frequently used command sequence is ERASE-MOVE-COPY. This is the result of the analysis performed by Autodesk on the data sent by AutoCAD users who are taking part in the CIP program (Customer Involvement Program).

It looks like CAD users are rather erasing than creating designs. But the true reason for this surprising winner is probably that CAD users are usually trying different scenarios, drawing and playing with their designs and then erasing again most of the variants. And the common command - ERASE - then jumps in the command statistics. The data may be also distorted by the fact that not all users enable the CIP program to send out their statistics data online (the CUSTOMERINVOLVEMENTPROGRAM command). CIP is probably more used by beginners and "testing" users.

The full results of the command analysis - not only for AutoCAD but also for Revit, Inventor and 3ds max - are available in the post Autodesk Research on Command Usage from CIP Data on the "Between the Lines" blog. For respective command names in your AutoCAD language use the AutoCAD command dictionary.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome and CAD web services

Google just released their own, new, fast and open internet browser "Google Chrome". This application - despite it is only a beta version and only for Windows - can substantially change the internet browser market. Well, "market" is probably not the right term here, as most browsers are free software, but in any case, the dominance of Microsoft Internet Explorer and still growing share of Firefox may be soon in danger.

Every new version of an internet browser, or even a brand new browser always influences not only its users-visitors, but also the web authors. The structure and code of their web pages must be checked and possibly modified so that visitors with different browsers will get the proper and functional content. That's why we have tested some CAD-related web services and web applications in Google Chrome (Czech Beta
  • - functional, small cosmetic issues
  • - functional, small cosmetic issues
  • iPROJECT - non-functional, requires MSIE only
  • XANADU Blogs - functional, small cosmetic issues
  • MapGuide GIS webs - functional with AJAX clients, not with ActiveX controls
  • Autodesk Freewheel (DWF viewer) - non-functional
  • Autodesk Showroom - functional
  • Autodesk Project Draw (online diagramming/drafting) - functional, but serious layout problems

Friday, August 1, 2008

CAD Forum site redesign

We have redesigned our popular CAD portal This free web service, serving for more than 11 years now, brings information, tips, discussions and CAD blocks for download to CAD professionals from all over the world. Try yourself the now look and updated contents of

Here are some figures about the scope and popularity of

  • currently over 40 millions of pageviews yearly (in all 3 language versions),

  • over 15 thousand registered users on the English version, plus almost 10.000 registered users on the main, Czech version of the site,

  • more than 50 thousand discussion postings on the EN+CZ versions combined,

  • a searchable database with more than 6.000 CAD and GIS tips in the Czech, English and German languages,

  • popular CAD blocks library containing now over 3 thousand of 2D and 3D free blocks, parts and families in the DWG (AutoCAD), RFA (Revit) and IPT (Inventor) file formats,

  • over 1.5 million downloads of CAD blocks, CAD freeware utilities and documentation,

  • full list of AutoCAD commands and system variables in the main European localizations.

See the full Press release

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Utilities updated for AutoCAD 2009

The regular one-year release cycle of Autodesk software puts some pressure not only on the users but also on the application developers. We at XANADU regularly rewrite (or rather just update and recompile) the suite of our AutoCAD and Inventor add-on applications every spring and summer. Good news is that all the hundreds of free LISP utilites we offer for download are upwards compatible by default and need no maintenance - most of them work with no modfications since AutoCAD Release 12 up to the latest AutoCAD 2009.

The latest applications we have updated on the AutoCAD 2009 level are Excellink 2009 and VRML Export 2009. Excellink hot-links AutoCAD block attributes and geometry with data in Excel sheets. VRML Exports saves AutoCAD 3D geometry to the VRML (.wrl) "virtual reality" files. You can find more information on

Friday, July 18, 2008

Where CAD meets Web

CAD applications generally belong to rather conservative sphere of computer technology. Also the start of using web technologies in CAD was slower than with other types of software. We still cannot see many CAD applications using "Web 2.0" technologies or online hosted tools like Google Office but there are already many areas where CAD now makes use of web tools.

  1. Online communities
    CAD users - like other software users - are facing problems and questions of effective day-to-day usage of their applications. They can get advices, discuss and exchange experience with their with peers in many online forums, online resources of tips and tricks, CAD-oriented e-zines, newsletters, etc. For AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit and other Autodesk applications, one of such web resources is e.g. the CAD Forum web.
  2. Vendor support
    All software vendors love to have contact with their users. So they can learn about the way their applications are used, can receive feedback and bug reports, can easily distribute updates and patches, can provide subscription-type web services.
  3. Online block libraries
    A very popular resource for CAD users. Every user who makes CAD designs needs time to time a predrawn 2D symbol or 3D model to include in his/her work (north symbols, traffic signs, animals, devices, trees...). An online resource where users can exchange blocks, hatches, linetypes, materials is an ideal solution to this need. An example: CAD Block Catalog
  4. Content publishing and sharing
    CAD users work in teams, the results of their work need to be communicated to customers and investors. Web is a very practical way to quickly share and communicate CAD data. The CAD model of a product or building can be easily placed directly from a CAD application to the web (catalogs, project webs, animations/videos...) using one of the compressed web publishing formats - both in 2D and 3D (e.g. VRML, DWF, PDF). You can use such digital prototype (electronic model) to discuss, redline and markup online together with cooperating teams and customers - e.g. using Freewheel.
  5. Geospatial content
    Today, many CAD applications support direct publishing of geolocated 3D models to Google Earth or import Google Earth images and terrain models into the designed scene (building). Meshups in Google Maps can cover all types of CAD data superimposed on real-world maps.
  6. Web access to CAD and GIS data
    These technologies are widely used in GIS and CAD mapping applications. You can post CAD data to a central server (graphical database) and then access this data very quickly and easily using client terminals with just an internet browser - see e.g. Autodesk MapGuide and Topobase.
  7. Document management
    Many EDM/PDM applications used today in the enterprise sphere for CAD and technical documents are based on web technologies and you can access your data with a web browser (e.g. Vault/Productstream). There are also document management applications offered as a hosted service - ASP (e.g. iPROJECT or Buzzsaw).
  8. ASP CAD applications
    CAD applications are highly graphically demanding and so there are not so many full-featured CAD tools offered as a web hosted service. This may change in the future. There are already very interesting projects running today. There is e.g. the Autodesk CAD drafting application using AJAX, Google Gears and other Web 2.0 technologies - Project Draw.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DBX utilities - batch operations for happier CAD managers

We provide many of the CAD utilities and tools developed in XANADU - for free. Some of these tools became pretty popular. We can see it from e-mail reactions and from the download counters on our web site.

One of the most frequent requests coming both from CAD managers and from CAD users is the need to analyze or even edit a whole batch of CAD drawings (e.g. a full folder with DWG files of a project). You can use so called "script generators" for this type of tasks, but sometimes it is easier and faster to use direct access (read/write) to DWG files without opening them individually. Yes, it is possible to read contents of a DWG file (or even edit it) without opening the file in a CAD application.

For such operations, you can use the DBX programming library (API) supplied with AutoCAD. In XANADU, we have developed a series of free utilities using this API for fast processing of tens and hundreds of DWG files. These "Xanadu DBX utilities" offer several specific scanning (DBXscan) and removal (DBXrem) tools for batch processing of AutoCAD drawings.

There is e.g. a tool reporting drawings with excessive annotation scales (and a tool to remove them), a tool reporting drawings containing AEC objects from AutoCAD Architecture (ADT) and Civil 3D, or Mechanical objects from AutoCAD Mechanical, a tool detecting drawings containing VBA macros (and a tool to batch-remove the macros).

The reporting tools scan all DWG files in a given folder (and its subolders) and create a report file listing drawings with the inspected contents. So you can easily identify drawings which may cause some problem in further processing (proxy objects, macros...).

You can download these - and many other - CAD utilities from

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Safer landing at the Prague airport with Autodesk GIS

If you happen to come to Prague by plane, remember that the Prague airport infrastructure is managed using a GIS system by CAD Studio (former: XANADU) built on the Autodesk GIS technology.

You can imagine the size of various facilities on an airport - the landing strips, the restricted grounds, the terminals, their luggage handling floors and rentable area, the service buildings and their individual floors and offices and employees, the hangars, trees and vegetation, all the underground electricity, water and communication infrastructure... It's huge.

Plus there are of course very high requirements for security, availability and stability.

All this is managed by a combination of Autodesk applications (MapGuide, AutoCAD Map, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Civil 3D) and CAD Studio custom software integrating all CAD, GIS, legacy data, document management and ERP data into a single information system - LetGIS ("airport" is "letiště" in Czech - hence the name). LetGIS communicates with SAP sharing geospatial and enterprise data. The Prague Airport company currently uses many additional modules developed by CAD Studio - managing relocations, door keys, shop floor rentals, emergency, fire department, maintenance planning, legal aspects, etc.

Hundreds of airport employees now use LetGIS for everyday tasks.

Full LetGIS material (PDF, in Czech)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CAD videos - your software at work

A picture is worth a thousands words. And a video? Much more.

It can be an invaluable opportunity to see a specific CAD function or process explained in a recorded video. You can see immediately what functions are available, how they are used, where you can find their icons, where to click, what reaction times you can expect, what setup is needed to use the function.

Often you don't need any additional description, maybe you even don't need any narration (audio).

That's why many of you may find useful our CAD videos published for Czech users. These CAD videos present current versions and functionality of AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and Civil 3D. Even when you do not understand the menu names in the Czech versions of the presented Autodesk software, you will probably understand most of the concepts.

Enjoy the Xanadu videos in the "Training" section of the web site:

Do you know how to ask questions?

Of course you do. But do you know how to ask questions the smart way? It is not as easy as it may sound.

If you ever happen to find a technical problem when dealing with computers (and I am ready to bet you will), you probably need to find a solution to this problem as quickly as possible. And whether you ask your company technical support, your IT vendor, your collegue or in an internet discussion group, the most important key to the response time and response quality is the way you ask your question.

In your Xanadu technical support team and in the CAD Forum discussion group we often face improperly formulated technical questions. Such questions are harder to answer and the problem takes longer to solve. There are several logical rules for asking technical questions (not only to hardware and software). If you follow these rules, you will get quicker and more precise answers and you will solve your problem more effectively.

A detailed overview of such rules was written by E.S.Raymond in the text
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way. It is worth reading.

Monday, May 19, 2008

XANADU becomes an Autodesk Premier Solutions Provider (PSP)

XANADU Inc., the leading supplier of CAD, GIS and IT solutions in the Czech and Slovak Republics is a long-time Autodesk partner, regularly awarded as the Top Autodesk reseller since 1994.

Autodesk has now awarded XANADU the highest level of partnership - the Autodesk Premier Solutions Provider.

Autodesk PSP partner provides certified experts for industry solutions and offers the highest level of support for the customers.

Monday, March 17, 2008

XANADU awarded at Autodesk OTC 2008

On March 10-13, 2008, the traditional "Autodesk One Team Conference" (OTC) took place in the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year's motto was "Changing the game". The OTC 2008 conference was attended by 4.000 Autodesk sales partners from all the world.

In the Geospatial section, the Autodesk vice-president, Ms. Lisa Campbell, announced the world most successful partners in this industry. We are proud that one of the three best Autodesk partners is XANADU. One of the presentations at this conference was held by Jan Binter, XANADU's GIS manager. He has also received the award for the best Topobase partner in the region from the Senior product manager Geospatial, Mr. Jerry Labay.