GardenCAD on Macs

GardenCAD software was originally designed for Windows computers, but can run happily on Macintosh computers provided that the processor is Intel based, and you run some form of Windows emulator such as Crossover, Parallels etc. Most recent Mac computers (purchased post 2006) are Intel based and a free version of the Crossover emulator is available to test with GardenCAD in demo mode before deciding to purchase GardenCAD.

Here is a link to some information on installing GardenCAD under CrossOver.

Here is a link to a QuickTime movie showing GardenCAD in action on a Mac.

Mac & GardenCAD

There are a couple of extra items required to run GardenCAD successfully on a Mac:
  • In our view, to drive GardenCAD effectively on a Mac, you need to a mouse with more than one button. The reason for this is that when using GardenCAD, different menus pop up when either the left or right mouse button is clicked. In addition, the mouse wheel (or gesture on the Mac Magic Mouse) is used to zoom in and out on a drawing. Trying to use GardenCAD with the traditional single button Mac mouse is very frustrating indeed. Apple now offer a range of mice and trackpads with various buttons. We have used the Mac Magic Mouse/GardenCAD combination, with the Magic Mouse configured as a two button mouse, but prefer to use (an easily available LogiTech mouse) plugged into a USB port on our Mac.
  • You also need to install a special piece of software that allows Windows programs such as GardenCAD to run on the Mac. We are aware of a number of such programs – BootCamp [free with your Mac], Crossover [a Virtual Windows emulator [free to try and costing around $USD40.00 for the standard version] Parallels Desktop [an excellent virtula Windows emulator – approx. $90.00], Wine [free, but quite tricky to set up] and VMWare Fusion [about $50.00]), all seem to work satisfactorily with GardenCAD. Crossover seems to be the favourite among GardenCAD users on Macs, as it is possible to download a trial version of GardenCAD Lite and a trial version of Crossover and test things out, before purchasing Crossover and GardenCAD. A Windows license is also needed to make GardenCAD work with Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop and VM Fusion. If you don’t have one, that adds extra expense.

One of these tools needs to be installed before installing GardenCAD. Here are some instructions for the use of GardenCAD with Crossover.

Installing GardenCAD after Crossover has been downloaded
  1. Download GardenCAD and save to your desktop.
  2. Launch CrossOver from your OS Applications menu.
  3. Choose Install Windows Software.
  4. Scroll down the Supported Applications list  and choose Select Other Application [Under Community Supported Applications]
  5. Select Choose Installer file, select the downloaded GardenCAD.Exe file on your desktop.
  6. Follow the On-screen prompts and install. Note that although GardenCAD may install and run, complete installation may take some time.
Landscape design in the US Imperial system ~ units

In the United States, most designers work in feet as their unit of measure. GardenCAD can be used in that way. To enter a line representing the length of a courtyard wall (say) 20 feet 6 inches in length, you would enter 20.5 as the distance. To enter a line representing a wall 11 feet 9 inches in length, type 11.75 (and hit the enter key). Here is a link to a calculator for converting feet and inches to decimal feet:

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