progeCAD support, tips and troubleshooting forum. progeCAD works very similar to some versions of AutoCAD. Moderated.

Moderators: caddit, Moderators

#735 by janama
Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:22 am
Hi - I've been using the program for a while now and I'm really starting to enjoy it.

A couple of problems have popped though.

The first is the border colour of inserted pictures doesn't save with the file so everytime you open that file you have to reset the border colour for any pictures you have inserted. (the print settings also don't appear to save)

The second problem is scaling when exporting to pdf. I deal internationally so I work on imperial and in metric yet they appear to be two very different beasts (in sketchup you can switch between the two, you can even enter decimal units into imperial files and it automatically converts)

I recently completed a project in imperial and soon found that 1/4" = 1" scale worked perfectly for a plan exported to pdf @ A2 paper size. No problem there.

I've just finished a project in metric (decimal) and for the life of me I can't find a scale that ( i.e a typical one like 1:20 1:50 1:100) that works as all those settings on A2 paper give me a small compact image in the bottom corner - the only way i can get it to fill the paper size is 1:1 which is meaningless.

What's going on here.

I've also noticed that when I import something created in an imperial file into a metric file the imperial is around 1000% larger in size than the metric...... wierd.
#736 by caddit
Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:58 am
Hello janama,

Sorry about the delayed response. About your dilemma with PDF printing, importing imperial DWG files etc:

As discussed here before, progeCAD (and AutoCAD) does not actually create drawing in either metric or imperial, rather employs an arbitrary drawing unit which may represent any measurement system the designer chooses to apply. i.e. there is technically no such thing as "import something created in an imperial file into a metric file".

It is very important to grasp this basic concept before proceeding as you do.

Your problem is no doubt a scale/units mismatch between the different drawing and plot settings. Therefore it would be best to focus on one example and work from there. Regarding printing note that it is important to specify both correct scale and unit system for the paper size as shown below:


Can you please post one specific scenario using one file, description of what units were applied to the drawing unit, the unit size of the actual drawing, the paper size (i.e. A2 OK) and we start from there.

#750 by janama
Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:41 am
I PM'd you a couple of plans as I didn't want to make them public as they are copyright!

#762 by peterbennett
Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:00 am

Did you solve this problem?

(I guess this will be my new hurdle)



#763 by janama
Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:48 am
No. - thanks for your concern Peter.
#765 by caddit
Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:00 am
Dear janama,

Several people have taken time to look at your files and have come to the same conclusion. progeCAD behaves exactly as AutoCAD regarding the plot scale of these files. I think you are confused, and I am hoping that the following step-by-step explanation will clear the matter up:

1. Sometimes it helps to switch units display to decimal instead of fractional type (using the DDUNITS command) and just take a measurement of the outer boarder of the drawing (sometimes draw a fresh line to do this, or use the dist command). In your case the drawing landscape length is approx. 38 drawing units (Just to confirm using your drawings original fractional notation: the dist command returned a Delta X of 3' 2" from side to side of your dwg. So once more.. 3 x 12 + 2 = 38 ).

2. According to plot/settings A2 is 23.38 Inches long. When I compare these measurements to dimensions in your drawing, the original design intent seems to be 1 drawing unit = 1 foot. Scaling a drawing up like this can cause confusion like here when comes time to plot (see below).

3. 38 / 23.38 yields approximately the same ratio (1.6xx) that I see in the user defined scale when setting "scale to fit". Indeed the scale also accommodates for a small margin on both sides of the sheet.

Here is a table to help understand plot scale ratios (in metric but same principle applies in imperial):


So yes, you can make a drawing with any imaginary unit system you want. BUT when you go to print, progeCAD (and AutoCAD) only offer a choice of interpreting those "drawing units" to paper measured in either millimetres or inches. Other units systems must use a scale to plot or print down to the given inch/mm paper size, as said before.

I.e. if AutoCAD (and progeCAD) measured paper in imperial feet instead, the print scale would be 12 times what it is. AutoCAD / progeCAD does not know that the original design chose to use feet as the assigned drawing unit. And there is no automatic conversion for the plot scale from feet.

In all fairness to you, these unit conversions can be convoluted when our metric system is so much simpler ;) For more information you can see pages 54-55 of the progeCAD manual.