Not seeing the panel connectors in connectCAD 2018

OMG! We’re not perfect !!! Looks like we forgot to update the file Panel Connectors.vwx to Vectorworks 2018 format in early releases of connectCAD 2018. Sorry about that. I’m off to update the file right now. Meanwhile here’s how to fix that without the palaver of re-installing. It’s really simple.

Locate the folder user plug-ins /connectCAD_Data/Connectors


Open the highlighted files in Vectorworks 2018


If they are older versions Vectorworks will tell you that they are being updated. Then you can save them back to the same folder location. Restart Vectorworks and the symbols will now be visible.

Our apologies !!!

Yes we sometimes slip up, but we do fix things fast 🙂

Activation changes for connectCAD 2015 & earlier

We have upgraded our main website to SSL to keep up with modern standards and to make sure that transactions are fully secured. A side-effect of this is that our software activation URL has changed. We have fixed this in connectCAD 2017 and 2016 but earlier versions now do not activate from within the software.

In connectCAD 2015 for example you will find that the Get Licence button takes you to this URL

The highlighted part will be different on each system. To activate connectCAD 2015 and earlier you now have to edit the URL as follows:

i.e. replace the ‘code’ parameter with the one from your system. This will take you to the activation form where you can enter your details and serial number.

We respect the need sometimes to activate old software in order to access documents so we will always support this. But it would be a poor use of our resources to rebuild and test versions going back more than 2 years.

If you are still using connectCAD 2015 or earlier it’s definitely time to upgrade! There is so much in our latest version. So do contact us for a special upgrade price.

Apple iCloud settings may cause connectCAD installation failure

With a brand new MacBook Pro and connectCAD + Vectorworks 2017 Kelly Lichtenwalt was on his way to designer’s nirvana.

But then just after he installed connectCAD Vectorworks began to crash on launch. Here at connectCAD we went on red alert suspecting a hitch with the latest Mac OS. But it was a setting that caused the problem. Kelly found the issue and tell the story:

With the new MacOS, they ask you if you want to access your iCloud Drive. I was in a hurry and checked YES or whatever during the setup of the laptop.
 Instead of your files being saved to the desktop for installation (or any files for that matter), they were being saved to my desktop "in the cloud" behind the scenes.
 That was full (being that I have a ton of files). So ‘Write Access’ to that file was turned off because my iCloud Drive was full. No more space to write to.
 I un-did the “sync desktop and documents folders” in iCloud, and re-downloaded the files to my actual hard drive desktop (after a few trips to google. Apple makes this pretty impossible to see if your laptop is constantly online.)
 I didn’t catch it until I couldn’t see my desktop files. Because I was in the Bowels of an equipment room with no network access. Then it clicked.
 Re-downloaded, re-installed, re-started Vectorworks.
 All worked.
 See photos attached for what to un-check either before you install, or after you can’t install:

Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 5.15.55 PM.png

 The short answer is you can not install your software if you set up your Mac’s iCloud to automatically sync documents and desktop to the cloud AND you have a lot of files, and your iCloud Drive fills up immediately AND then you try and install your software from your totally full iCloud account. Even though you can un-zip, and add it as a third party plugin, as soon as you re-launch Vectorworks, it tries to write to that folder and crashes out (my hypothesis).
 Didn’t have the heart to see if the install would work with a NOT full iCloud Drive. I JUST figured this out. Hope it helps somebody else.
 Kelly Lichtenwaldt

Our thanks to Kelly for sharing this.

Changing the User Folder

Vectorworks allows you to change the User Folder which can be useful. Here’s what you need to do to get connectCAD running again.

Setting the User Folder


This is the default User Data and Preferences Folder on Mac OS. If you want to change this just click Choose and select the new folder location. Vectorworks will ask you if you want to copy your data across to the new folder. This is a good idea since it gives you a starting point.

Now re-activate connectCAD


If you do move your User Folder then you also need to re-activate connectCAD online. So before you move your User Folder make sure you have internet access and have your connectCAD serial number handy.

Migrate Old Drawing improvements

We just patched Migrate Old Drawing for a problem where symbols in folders were not being converted. And in the process added an extra feature.

There are times when you may not want to import resources from a template (although this is the normal workflow). For example, when the file already has the necessary resources but just needs some devices fixing.

New Import from file dropdown choice


The dropdown “Import system symbols from file” now has the choice “<do not import>”, saving you from the situation where your customised symbols might get overwritten from the template. The new plug-in can be downloaded from our section until it becomes incorporated in a new release.


Cable numbers on arrows overwrite socket text

If you use long cable numbers you can sometimes see a problem with arrow-style circuits where the cable number overwrites the socket text. Here’s how to deal with that.

The problem


Well that doesn’t look very nice…

Select the arrow circuit and drag it out a bit


You can move the arrow end by dragging the blue handle shown. The number follows to the end of the arrow. Do the same for the reverse arrow too.

That’s better!


The reason cable numbers work this way with arrow circuits is to avoid cable number clashes when you have one output feeding two different inputs i.e. a split. Or where a cable loops in and out of an IO socket e.g ring intercom systems.

Licence errors explained

To help us track down problems with connectCAD activation we’ve added some error codes to the About connectCAD dialog.


Here’s what to do if you see them.

Error 1 –  the licence file is corrupted – get a new licence file and install it.

Error 2 –  the licence is for another computer – get a new licence file and install it.

Error 3 –  your licence does not entitle you to use this version – contact us.

Error 4 –  you are probably using the wrong serial number – check your order page for the correct serial number, get a new licence and install it.


How to download connectCAD

Just in case you are re-installing on a new computer, here’s how to download connectCAD from our site.



Click the Log in button

Enter your username and password


Your username is usually your email (unless you changed it). Your password is something you should remember. If you need a password reset click Forgot Password and a new one will be mailed to you.

Click the My Account dropdown and select My Orders


Your entire order history is displayed


Click on the order you want to open – usually the most recent confirmed order.

Here is the download link and the serial number

  1. download link for connectCAD
  2. your serial number
  3. download link for User Guide

For installation instructions see section 3.1 of the User Guide.

Circuits not showing – what’s going on?

You are using the Connect tool to connect up sockets and although the selection higlighting tells you there is a Circuit there it seems to be invisible. Here’s what’s happening.

You are seeing this


If you try creating a new drawing from the standard template connections look good. So there’s the clue – it’s in your document.

Check Class visibilities


Click on this button in the top-left corner of your document.

Class dialog


Scroll down the class list to Sys-Circuits. You’ll see a set of classes all beginning with Sys-Circuits- followed by the signal type. This is how you can define the look of Circuits for each type of signal on your drawing.

Ah there’s the culprit! Look at Sys-Circuits-HDV. The Pen Color is blank, the line style is blank and the line thickness is set to zero. No chance of seeing that !!! Also the Use at Creation is unchecked – but that’s not important, the class attributes are applied anyway. Now let’s see how to fix it. Go ahead and double-click the class name, or select the class Sys-Circuits-HDV in the list and click the Edit.. button.

Fix Class Attributes


The Pen Style was None so nothing gets drawn. Set it to Solid for a normal solid line and pick a colour. Or if you want to experiment you can try Pattern or Line Type.

As long as the Line Thickness is zero the line will be invisible – so set that to a value that suits you.

Click on OK to exit , and …

Circuits are visible again


connectCAD gives you fine control over the look of your drawings including the ability to hide components as well. That can be handy at times.

SOLVED: connectCAD 2015_1_3 licence issue

We’ve done some changes to our licence verification systems and ran into a problem on Windows systems. In the end it was a Vectorworks platform difference and we have worked around it.. So if you are running a build number lower than 5583 please re-download and install connectCAD2015_1_3, and activate it from the About connectCAD menu.