Frequently Asked Questions:

Dimensioning | Drawing Problem | Drawing Recovery | Drawing Scale | Drivers | Draw/Ellipse | DWF File

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  • Q:  Why does CADVANCE 99 (or CADVANCE LiTe 99) Draw Dimension Setup 2 not take me back to "Previous" or let me click "ok" regardless of whether I try to modify the symbol name in the Marker box?

  • A:  ARROW.SYM and SLASH.SYM are the dimensioning symbols that come with CADVANCE 99.  This problem is occurring because CADVANCE can find neither ARROW.SYM nor SLASH.SYM.  To fix this problem, do the following:

    a) Go to Options/Path.

    b) Click "next".  This will take you to the symbol paths.

    c)  ARROW.SYM and SLASH.SYM should be located in one of the directories (it doesn’t  matter which one) in Options/Paths/SymbolPaths.  If they are not, then put them in one  of those directories.  Next, make sure the item “Search?” is check-marked in the directory of your ARROW.SYM and SLASH.SYM, so that your Cadvance.ini file WILL LOOK FOR THE  SYMBOL IN THAT DIRECTORY.  If the box isn’t check-marked, CADVANCE cannot look for the symbol.

    d)   File/Save/INI/Cadvance.ini

    e)  Close CADVANCE

    f)   Open CADVANCE.  Your Cadvance.ini file is now set up to look at the symbol path for ARROW.SYM and SLASH.SYM, so your Dimension Parameters Setup dialog box #2 should function properly and return you to “Previous” when you request it.

  • Q:  My dimension text font is too large or too small.  I tried to modify it in Draw / Dimension / Setup but I cannot get it to be my desired font size.
  • A:   
    • If your dimensioning text font is the correct value but is displayed too large or too small, go to Options > Unit and change the Drawing Scale.  For example, if your text is displayed too large at a drawing scale of 1"=8', change the 8' value to a smaller value then click OK, to decrease the dimension text display size.  If your dimension text is displayed too large at a drawing scale of 1"=4', change the 4' value to a higher value to increase the dimension text display size.
    • If your dimensioning text font looks the right size but the units are not correct, go to Options > Unit and change the Drawing Scale.  For example, if your text units are too small when drawing at Smallest Unit of 1/1024, change the 1024 to a smaller value and click OK.  If your dimension text units are too large at a Smallest Unit of 1/1024, go to Options > Unit and change 1024 to a higher value to increase the dimensioning text units.
    NOTE:  When Importing a drawing from AutoCAD, The Translation Options dialog in CADVANCE will often prompt you for a Smallest Unit other than your accustomed Smallest Unit.  In such a case, you may change the Smallest Unit to the unit of your choice.

  • Q:  How do I get CADVANCE to default to the dimension files I keep on the network drive?  I've set the drive and path in the .ini file, but it keeps defaulting to C:\CADVANCE.  We keep the dimension files on the network so we can share common files without needing to update each machine when changes are made.
  • A:  Cad.dim is initially loaded from the working directory or the CADVANCE directory.  In Cadvance.ini, the "Dimension Setup File" is only used if the .ini file is deliberately loaded with "Apply to Drawing" check-marked.  You will need to use File/Open/*.ini, open Cadvance.ini with "Apply to Drawing" selected, then CADVANCE will recognize the dimension setup file as it exists in Cadvance.ini.  Another alternative is to create a macro.

  • Q:  Draw/Dimension/Setup settings, I can't get them right.  I create new .dim files for drawings that have small scales.

  • A:  A probable reason for this is that before you loaded Cv99 on a new computer, you had saved your Cad.dim, Cad2.dim, etc., but not your Cadvance.ini, which points to your .dim file.

  • Q:  What does it mean when I get this message?

  • A:  CADVANCE is indicating that you have zoomed in too far for the area fill to be processed.  Let's say your area fill is displayed onscreen.  Now zoom in, let's say, 100X.  CADVANCE will try to process the onscreen data 100X the length of the screen, causing a processing overflow, causing CADVANCE to display the warning message.

    If your objects weren't intended to be filled, you can get rid of the warning message by selecting the objects, choosing Edit/Properties, and selecting "Area Fill" and "No" to eliminate the area fill.

    Often, the filled objects will be inside a large symbol or group.  You may expand the symbol or group and the message may go away.  If you get this message, it does not mean that your drawing is corrupted.  Press OK until the message goes away, and then Fit the drawing by doing a View Fit (Alt,V,F).

  • Q: I cannot access a VWF drawing file over the network. I am running Windows XP and it gives "Error -5-" when loading the drawing file.
  • A: Error 5 is a Windows Win32 error indicating Access Denied. Examine the file attributes and confirm that the file is not Read-Only. (If file was on CD-ROM, it will be Read-Only when first copied to hard drive.) Confirm that the user's system has write privileges to the folder: On the system where the VWF file is located, check the properties of the server drawing folder. On the "sharing" tab, there is a button for "permissions". Make sure that the "Full Control" box is checked. After checking it, you should be able to open the VWF file. 


  • Q:  Why do I get a "Drawing Open Error" and how can I restore the drawing?
  • A:  This is generally caused because the drawing file has been truncated, which may be caused by a bad sector on disk.  To try and prevent this, we recommend you scan your disk periodically for errors.  If you get this error message upon opening a drawing, it is questionable whether the drawing can be restored.
  • Note:  AutoSave (in CADVANCE Options/Miscellaneous) allows you to create a drawing backup in case of a crash on your PC.  See FAQ technical notes on AutoSave.  

  • Q: How do I clean a drawing database?
  • A: If it appears that the problem is isolated to one particular drawing, there are typically three things you can try to clean up the drawing. First, try a File/Pack. Second, try turning on all layers and then copying and pasting into a new window. Finally, you can try saving the drawing as a DXF and then reading it back into CADVANCE. If these three techniques don't fix the problem go on to these next steps:
    • Create, save, then place a "dummy" symbol in the drawing.
    • For each corrupt symbol, select all the instances of that symbol and do a Symbol / Replace, replacing the bad symbol with dummy symbol
    • Do a File / Pack to get rid of the master ID of the bad symbol
    • Select all instances of the dummy symbol and replace with a good copy of the original symbol
    • File / Pack again to get rid of the master ID of the dummy symbol
    • Verify whether all symbol instances are good by one of the following methods:
      • Turn all layers on, type "O" then "R" to get the Object Selection box.  Click "Symbol" then click OK.  Expand the symbols to translate to *.dwg.
      • File / Save the drawing as *.dwg or *.dxf and in Translation Options, create a Translation Log.  If the drawing translation fails, open the file with Notepad (xxx being your UserID) and look for the LAST item(s) CADVANCE lists at the bottom of the log file.  This will tell you which objects CADVANCE had a problem converting to *.dwg or *.dxf.

  • Q:  I double-click on a *.vwf file from Windows Explorer and CADVANCE opens, but the drawing is empty and all I get is the header [Untitled] where the filename should be.
  • A:  In CADVANCE versions previous to v2000 Service Pack 2, if your *.vwf file is located in a folder:

    -having one or more SPACES
    -having one or more DASHES
    -with a name LONGER than 8 CHARACTERS

    you will get "Untitled" when you try to open the VWF from Windows Explorer.  The solution is to use CADVANCE 2000 SP2 or higher, or open the drawing from within your CADVANCE program (not from Windows Explorer).


  • Q: Does CADVANCE have any drawing recovery methods in case my computer crashes while I'm drawing?
  • A: Yes, in Options/Miscellaneous you will find the "Values" tab containing an entry for 'AutoSavePeriod (min)' in v99 and v2000. (under 'SaveDrawingPeriod' in v7 and v8).  Set this value to an integer X greater than zero, and then save to the Cadvance.ini.  This will AutoSave your working drawing every X minutes in the VWF format with the same name as the drawing and with the extension of the User ID, but will be deleted upon exiting the current drawing session.  (The backup file will only be saved if CADVANCE crashes in the middle of a drawing session.)  Be aware that this will AutoSave your work only on all future new drawings.  Older drawings must be set and saved individually.  To utilize, when attempting to re-load the last drawing you were working on CADVANCE will prompt you to load the last AutoSaved drawing or not.  You have the option to load the AutoSaved drawing and continue to work, or to go back to the originally last saved version of the drawing.  If you choose not to load the AutoSaved drawing, it will be deleted, so use caution and be certain of your choice.


  • Q: What is the drawing scale field in Options/Units?
  • A: This shows the relationship between paper space and design space. Thus, 1"=4' means that 1" on your printout (paper space) will be equal to 4' in the real world (design space).

DRIVERS - Printers and Plotters

HP Plotter Driver Version 1.4 (Hpglw14.exe) Supports HP Design Jet 200 (C3181A), HP Design Jet 220 (C3188A), HP Design Jet 600 (C2848A), HP Design Jet 650C (C2859A), HP Design Jet 650C (C2859B). If you are required to plot TrueType fonts, you need to install this driver. 364555 F I T, Inc.
HP Plotter Driver Version 2.1 (Pl120en.exe) Supports HP Design Jet, HP Design Jet 200, HP Design Jet 220, HP Design Jet 230, HP Design Jet 250C, HP Design Jet 600, HP Design Jet 650C, HP Design Jet 750C, HP Design Jet 755CM. 955394 F I T, Inc.
HP Version 2.1 Driver (Hp120drv.exe) Hewlett Packard Drivers for 200, 600, 750 plotters. 938496 BayCAD Services

  • Q:  Are the newer HP Printer/Plotter Drivers compatible with CADVANCE?  What about the Xerox 8830 Engineering Plotter drivers?

  • A:  We have received reports that the newer HP drivers (v5.0, 5.01 and 5.21) are not compatible with CADVANCE.  We recommend using a driver version 4.61 or earlier.  HP 4.0 drivers are downloadable from our web site on the Downloads page at .


    If you are using a Xerox 8830 Engineering Plotter, do not use the latest Xerox driver.  You can find older drivers (for Windows 98/ME) at either of these links:

    The drivers on this page work with all versions of CADVANCE 6.0 and higher.

  • Q:  I loaded an HP driver that came with my new Windows software.  When I print in CADVANCE, many lines are missing from the ;lot, or it does not plot properly.
  • A:  It appears that the Version 5.0, 5.00, or 5.01 HP drivers are not compatible with CADVANCE 2000.  Evidently, the v5 drivers allocate a buffer size which is not compatible with CADVANCE 2000.  We recommend using an earlier version driver.  Please check our downloads page for driver downloads.

  • Q:  I need my CADVANCE Version 7.2 to support postscript.
  • A:  CADVANCE Version 7.2 supports postscript color plotting by adding the following flag in CADVANCE.INI file under [Printer Defaults]:

    [Printer Defaults]

  • Q: What is the drawing scale field in Options/Units?
  • A: This shows the relationship between paper space and design space. Thus, 1"=4' means that 1" on your printout (paper space) will be equal to 4' in the real world (design space).


  • QHow do I change the number of sides for drawing an Ellipse?
  • ATo change setup options for the active command, choose the Setup dialog box (S).  The Ellipse option sets the number of sides used to create ellipses with Draw/Ellipse (from 6 to 2000). Lower values generate rougher ellipses. Higher values draw smoother ellipses.
  • More information about the Setup dialog box (S) can be found in the CADVANCE Reference Manual.


    • Q:  Can CADVANCE read DWF files?
    • A:  CADVANCE can produce DWF file but doesn't read it.          We recommend using a utility at www. that will convert DWF to DWG, to be read by CADVANCE.

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