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Monday, July 31, 2017

Tool Palettes Improve Your Drawing Efficiency

The new ZWCAD 2009 ( is an upgrade based on ZWCAD 2008i that has made great strides in a variety of areas. One of the most exciting is the brand new function called Tool Palettes.
Tool palettes contain tabs with content, such as predrawn shapes (blocks) and commands. The palettes offer an efficient way for organizing, sharing, and placing blocks, and using other tools.
ZWCAD 2009 comes with four palettes, and you can make your own. The defaults are the Modeling palette, the Modify palette, the Draw palette, and the Command Tool Samples palette.
The Tool palettes let you draw boxes, spheres, and other objects by simply dragging their icons from the palettes into the drawing.
What I find most delightful, however, is that I can customize the tools on the palettes. There are two ways to do this. One is to copy (or cut) an existing tool from one palette, and then paste it to another. The other method is to drag blocks from Design Center onto a palette.
Tutorial: Adding Blocks from Design Center
Let’s take interior plans as an example. The doors, jambs, sinks, and other details are used frequently in interior designs. You could draw them with tools on the Commands palette, like Line and Hatch. But you save a lot of time by using blocks, and by using Design Center to create a library of frequently used blocks.
Let’s walk through the following steps:
1. Use ZWCAD 2009 ( to start a new drawing, and then create door, jamb, and sink entities as blocks.
2. Save the drawing.
3. Browse this drawing in Design Center, where you can see elements contained: layers, line types, text styles, blocks, dimensions, xrefs, and layouts. After clicking Block, blocks of the drawing display. Drag them onto a newly created tool palette.
4. The new palette can be used to quickly draw a washing room, for instance, with two doors, a sink, and other details. Notice that ZWCAD 2009 prompts you for the “insertion point”, “X & Y scale factor”, and “Rotation angle” of these new tools (blocks).
Another example is the many trees and bushes commonly seen in landscape designs. Create a variety of such objects as blocks, drag them from Design Center onto Tool palettes, and then you can use these tools to draw a park with these trees.
Tutorial: Rearranging Tools and Tool Palettes
Once tools are placed on a Tool palette, you can rearrange them by dragging them around and by sorting them. To sort tools, you can add text and separator lines between them on palettes.
You can move palette tabs up and down the list of tabs (through the right-click shortcut menu). And you can delete tools and palettes you no longer need.
Perhaps most people may doubt: “What’s the difference between Design Center and Tool palettes? I can just as easily drag blocks from Design Center into the drawing.”
Yes, Design Center is similar to Tool Palettes, because you can double-click blocks in Design Center, and then drag into the drawing. But here is the difference: when you close ZWCAD 2009 and then launch it again, the Tool Palettes immediately display the blocks you stored on them; you save the step of searching for drawings in Design Center to find the blocks again.
Tool Palettes are powerful tools in ZWCAD 2009, and when combined with Design Center, your drawing efficiency increases. This is another example of how ZWCAD ( advances and becomes better for you.


As the flagship product of ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. (, ZWCAD is a powerful CAD solution, which is highly compatible with DWG format. ZWCAD meets the needs of broad-based target groups of 2D/3D design industry, including architecture, engineering, construction, mechanics, manufacturing and electronics. So far it has become the leading brand in China’s CAD industry and now it is competing successfully in over 75 other countries, with more than 150,000 users throughout the world.

For more information, please visit or contact ZWCAD team at

(C) Copyright 2009 ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

Jonathan Tang is author of article written on ZWCAD. He is Technical Engineer of ZWSOFT Overseas Department. For more information, please visit: Please Login or Register to see the link..

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