This guide is designed to provide a quick introduction to gCADPlus using high resolution movies that play on both Windows and Mac computers. It assumes no knowledge of either CAD or landscape design.

Lesson 01 Exercise 1: Start gCADPlus, open a new drawing using a template, insert a design from the gCADPlus library and edit it to create a new landscape plan.

Key points: 

  • There are two spaces in gCADPlus - model space where you develop full size model of your proposed design, and layout space where you preview what a paper print of the design.
  • Draw or edit your design model space and your design automatically appears in layout space.
  • It is possible to adjust what shows in layout by accessing and sizing a viewport.


Lesson 01 Exercise 2: Examine the gCADPlus interface 

How to move around in a design. Using zoom in and out with the wheel of the mouse. Pan the design without changing the zoom factor. The importance of the right click mouse button - store the last 4 instructions (command) and allows access to common commands. Change the color of a floating viewport. Managing layers - turn layers on and off. Access drawing primitives, line, arc, rectangle etc. via toolbar or drop down menu. A quick look at the specialist gCADPlus menu for automating common landscape tasks. Windows copy compared with CAD copy.

Key points:

  • Make sure that you can control your view of a drawing managing zoom and pan.
  • Mastering the use of the right mouse button to select tools is critical to efficient drafting.
  • For precision, use CAD copy (the copy command) rather than the Windows (Control C) or Mac (Command key C) copy.


Lesson 01 Exercise 3: Landscape design - first draw the footprint of the building(s) present on site

Before you start this next movie, click here to download this gCADPlus template file. Save it in your gCADPlus drawings folder (in My Documents). Start gCADPlus and use File > Open to load the drawing file (called Lesson 1 -AspenStone) from your downloads folder to begin the first lesson. You may see a box suggesting that you save the file. If so, select yes. You might also tick the box to turn off the save warning but do not make a habit of doing that when preparing a design for a real job!

Key Points

  • Landscape designs are usually started by drawing a base plan showing building location(s)
  • Lines representing walls are best drawn with the ORTHO switch on
  • Commands such as line can be started via the DRAW drop menu or by shortcuts
  • The right mouse button pops up a useful menu.
  • Osnaps can be used to accurately locate entities without the need to zoom in.
  • Layouts are used to present the design on standard sheets
  • Logos and site information such the address of the client are included in title blocks.


Beginners Guide to gCADPlus