Selection Color | Status Bar | Symbols | Symbol Files | Symbol Translator | Symbols v2000

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  • Q: How do I change the selection color and make it permanent?
  • A: Change the RGB value for color number 3. Color number 3 is always the selection color but it can be blue, green, etc. Just change the RGB mix. Make the change permanent by using file/save as Cadvance.ini. Starting in v7.2, you can change the selection color number.

  • Q  My Status bar (in version 2000) is 4 lines instead of 2.
  • A:  To remedy, please follow the procedure below:
    • Close all sessions of CADVANCE.
    • Delete Cadvance.TBF, located in the root CADVANCE program folder.  ("TBF" stands for Tool bar file)
    • Launch CADVANCE.  Size the CADVANCE program window as desired, with the number of status bar lines desired.
    • Save a Cadvance.ini file and create a toolbar file when prompted.
    • Exit CADVANCE the launch CADVANCE.

    More information on CADVANCE.TBF is included in the CADVANCE 2000 online documentation.

  • Q  I used to be able to type in a character in the Symbol name or in the Drawing name, and the dialog box would automatically filter all symbols (or file names) beginning with that character.  Can I still do this?
  • A:  In v99 and older you could do this - CADVANCE would automatically sort down to the character(s) that you entered.  In v99.5 and higher, thanks to the 32-bit dialog boxes, by using the wildcard character (*) you can now sort by filenames beginning, ending or including specified characters.

    ex.   *dr.sym  ==>  all symbols ending with "dr" will be filtered
            dr*.sym ==>  all symbols beginning with "dr" will be filtered
           *dr*.sym ==>  all symbols containing "dr" will be filtered

    This method will work for opening drawings as well.

  • Q: My symbols are all placing at a scale of 1.0, but some are either too large or too small.
  • A: Each symbol is created in a certain smallest unit.  The symbols that are out of scale were probably created in a different smallest unit than that of your drawing.  Go to Options / Unit to determine you drawing's Smallest Unit.  Then determine the smallest unit in which the symbol was created.

  • Q:  CADVANCE won't allow me to make a Symbol.  It says, "Cannot find file".

  • A:  You're trying to give it a name of longer than 8 characters.  Symbol names can have up to 8 characters only.


  • Q: When trying to place a symbol, I get the message "Cannot find <NAME>.SYM" where <NAME> is a different symbol than the one I'm trying to place.
  • A: <NAME>.SYM is nested within the symbol you are trying to place and can't be found in any of the symbol paths check-marked in Options / Path 1.  For CADVANCE to find the nested symbol, it must already exist in the drawing or it must be located in a check-marked symbol path in Options / Path.  A check-mark next to a path alerts CADVANCE to look for the symbol in that path.


  • Q: I am having trouble getting rid of an Arrow symbol in AE Tools.  When I start a new drawing I must paste the correct symbol in the drawing before the AE Leader macro will use the correct arrow symbol.  The symbol that it places is not the arrow that is drawn in the reference menu.  I have replaced the arrow symbol in the directory and when I do a symbol place I get the proper symbol but if it is a new drawing and I have not placed the proper symbol first, I still get the wrong symbol using the AE Leader.
  • A:  Both AE Tools and CADVANCE have an ARROW.SYM, so when AE Tools runs through a symbol find loop, it looks for the first ARROW.SYM it can find, and it finds the CADVANCE one first.  You've replaced the symbol file to try and fix this, but if there are more than one ARROW.SYM in the drawing, CADVANCE will conform the Drawing Master Symbol Definition to the first one that was placed...they will all be the same.  This can be fixed in an existing drawing if you delete all instances of the symbol, then File/Pack the drawing and Re-calculate extents, then copy/paste the entire drawing to a new drawing.  (New drawings contain brand-new Master Symbol Definitions.)

    To eliminate future problems, re-name one of the ARROW.SYM files (eg. rename the AE Leader arrow to ARROW-L.SYM), making sure that the symbol directories contain the correct symbols.  Then go into AEDimension to change the symbol name.  Note: The AE Tools Arrow.sym is located in the folder AE Tools/Symbols.



  • Q: I would like to translate my old DOS symbol files into the Windows version.
  • A: Use TRSYM50 in your CADVANCE root directory. There is an explanation of how it works in Technote.wri also located in your CADVANCE root directory.
    • Run TRSYM50.exe
    • Symbol Translator window will appear
    • Press "Run".  You will be prompted for the input file name and the output file name.  NOTE: You must type two spaces between the input and output filenames.

  • Q: I am getting "Couldn't open the temporary symbol file" and "errno is 2" when I try to use the Trsym20.exe program.  Why?
  • A: "errno is 2" means that Trsym50.exe couldn't find the path.  One (or more) of your folder names or your symbol name is wrong, or you didn't include two spaces between the input and output names.


  • Q:  What is the Symbol translator in V2000 and must I run the program?
  • A:  The Symbol conversion program is for converting pre-2000 symbols (from v5 to v99) to the new 2000 symbol format.  Symbols are not in v2000 symbol format unless they are newly created in v2000, or have been run through the Symbol translator program.  You are not required to do so and may continue to use your current symbols without converting them to the new symbol format unless you want to take advantage of the Adjust Symbol Scaling feature that is new in v2000.  If the Adjust Symbol Scale feature is selected in the 'Select Symbol' dialog box, CADVANCE will automatically scale the symbol according to the current drawing's "smallest unit" value.  

  • Q:  How do I use the Symbol Translator?
  • A:  When using the symbol translator, the dialog box below will appear.  You must enter the smallest unit and unit type that the symbol was created with.  You can then select one or more to convert at a time, working with both 2D and 3D symbols.

  • Q: I would like to use the symbol translator, but I don't know what Smallest Unit my symbol was created in.  How can I find out?
  • A:  If you don't know the Smallest Unit in which a symbol was first created, place the symbol in a brand new drawing of smallest unit X.  Then measure the symbol by selecting Utility / Object / QuerySize.  The coordinate difference between the x-coordinates is the length of the symbol in the x-direction.  The coordinate difference between the y-coordinates is the length of the symbol in the y-direction.  If the x-coordinate length is too big by a factor of 3 (or if the y-coordinate is too big by a factor of 3), then you'll know that the symbol's original Smallest Unit was X*3.  Here is a simple procedure as an example:

Open a new drawing and set the Smallest Unit to 1/1024.  Place the symbol in question and measure it.  If the x-length is 10 inches when it SHOULD be 2 inches, you know that it is 5 times too big - so now you know that the symbol was created in a Smallest Unit of (1024*5), which equals 5120.  Thus, when you run it through the symbol translator, type in a Smallest Unit of 5120.


  • Q:  I am using CADVANCE full version 2000.  When placing symbols with Symbol / Place, or Alter / Open Segment, CADVANCE often crashes.  Why?

  • A:  This was a problem with Automatic Symbol scaling.  It was fixed in Service Pack 2 for the Full version.  All subsequent Service Packs have the fix built in.  CADVANCE LiTe version 2000 has the fix built-in.

  • Q:  I have a bunch of symbols that I have used for pre-v2000 versions, and I can't remember whether I've run these symbols through the Symbol Converter or not.  Is there a quick way to find out whether a WHOLE GROUP of symbols have been run through the converter?

  • A:  No, there is no quick way to do this.  To find out whether a symbol is a v2000 symbol, either open the .sym file with Windows NotePad, or you'll need to look at the .sym file from DOS.  This must be done one at a time.

  • Q:  Is there anything in Utility / Query / Object that will tell me whether it's a v2000 symbol or not?

  • A:  No.  To find out if it's a v2000 symbol you'll need to either open the .sym file with Windows NotePad, or you'll need to look at the .sym file from DOS.

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