Protecting gCADPlus drawings (when completed)
Your CAD drawings are a valuable store of information and need to be protected. As a guide, we like to protect our work by creating a Jobs folder in the My Documents > gCADPlus folder and then sub-folders for each calendar year. Individual drawing files are saved in a folder with each client’s name. For example, drawings created for a job carried out in 2018 for M/s Smith would be filed in My Documents > gCADPlus > Jobs > 2018 > Smith.
Backing up data is then quite straightforward – the Jobs folder is simply copied to a backup device. This can be as simple as a high capacity USB drive or better still, connect the Jobs folder to a cloud storage system so the Jobs folder and sub-folders are backed up without any intervention from you.
Microsoft with their OneDrive service, DropBox and Google + have excellent free systems backup applications for small projects while SugarSync and other commercial firms offer commercial cloud services.
Protecting drawings (while you are working)
When you start drawing, gCADPlus loads a template file. The file is initially called noname. When you select File > Save, the drawing is saved under the name you have chosen – let’s call it MyNewDesign. As the save command is implemented, gCADPlus adds the extension lcd to the filename so the file becomes MyNewDesign.lcd.
As you add entities to the drawing, after 10 minutes, the autosave feature of gCADPlus cuts in and creates a backup file of the same name and in the same folder as the original drawing, but with the extension .lc$. At the 10 minute mark there are two copies of the file – the lcd and the lc$. If you then File > Save, there are three copies of the drawing file in existence. The original file gets renamed MyNewDesign.bak, the current drawing gets saved with the .lcd suffix and the lc$ file remains (and is updated every 10 minutes). In this way, your design work is protected.
File types in gCADPlus
Reclaiming a .bak or .lc$ file
There may be a reason you want to work with one of these saved files. In order to do that, both the .bak and .lc$ files need to be renamed removing the .bak or lc$ extension and given the extension .lcd. Use the ‘Your Computer’ tool to do that. We suggest that rather than using the .bak or .lc$ file and rename it directly, you work on a copy of either backup files and rename it to something like MyRecoveredFile.lcd. Once you are satisfied that you have the complete recovered file, please start using the incremental save feature from time to time in case the gCADPlus drawing contains a gremlin (see below).
In our view, the best tool to use when saving your gCADPlus drawings is the incremental save tool that’s found on the standard toolbar. This tool, as the name implies, saves a drawing and adds a version number. If used while working on our theoretical drawing called MyNewDesign.lcd the original file is left unchanged and the newly saved drawing becomes MyNewDesign01.lcd. The file name increments by one each time the tool is used – MyNewDesign01.lcd, MyNewDesign02.lcd etc. This is particularly useful when following a particular design solution only to find that it does not work out and you want to return to an earlier version.
Cleaning up a gCADPlus drawing
Use the Purge Unused Objects tool on the Tools drop down menu.