Home > Features > Product Review: TurboCAD 2D Mac 1.0

What's Really Working and Not

Clearly TurboCAD 2D Mac has some superb features for such a low-cost program. I particularly liked that TurboCAD 2D Mac puts so much actionable tools and palettes directly under your cursor at the point of focus in your drawing. Right-clicking on an object will reveal a rich context palette with many excellent sub-menu choices -- and even better the ability to bring palette items (items that are normally found in major palettes such as the Layers functionality in the TurboCAD Explorer) directly to your cursor position. (see image 05)

05 - Invoking the Layers Palette from the context menu

And the Layers Manager works very much like an Adobe application's layers palette -- which will make it very easy for veteran Mac graphics professionals to organize this program's layers. (see image 06) It even supports sub-layers with parental inheritance, meaning that they can inherent the attributes of its parent layer such as color, visibility and locked status. Inheritance is a feature that many top CAD programs costing literally thousands more don't actually have and should.

06 - TurboCAD 2D Mac layers work like Adobe's programs

These are all examples of things that are really working well. Unfortunately there are some things that are not. Chief among these is the way the program handles units related to feet and inches and fractions. Basically the program requires that fractions are input via decimal equivalents. And if you are working in Feet/Inches you must enter a value such as 9'-3" as 9.25'. (see image 07) For those who know their decimal equivalents for inches and fractions, and for those who work in metric, this small but significant limit in TurboCAD 2D Mac -- version 1.0 -- isn't an issue. But for some, particularly in the US architecture market, this limit will likely mean more to them.

While that is the largest flaw of TurboCAD 2D Mac it is by no means the only aspect of the program that might frustrate somebody. We would like to see several things improved in this program's CAD basics.

07 - Object Info palette - notice how length is 1.25 feet to equal 1'-3"

Firstly, the Object Info palette (see image 07) should have an ability to choose from which end of a diagonal line you can increase or shorten the length of the line by typing in the length field. We could not find a way to do this. We would also like to see a double-line tool. Other reviews of this product mention a double-line tool but if one exist it isn't on the Line Tools palette. There is a parallel line tool which works very well but that is not the same thing. Drawing walls and such items is best accomplished by the use of a double-line or double-line polygon tool. For the next significant update to TurboCAD 2D Mac IMSI/Design needs to add these tools and functions, and it absolutely must solve the fractions and inches input limits.

Next: Advanced Model Views Support


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Home > Features > Product Review: TurboCAD 2D Mac 1.0




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