What’s New

GardenCAD on Macs

Installing GardenCAD under CrossOver

An explanation of the use of color in GardenCAD symbols


Edit vertices of polylines


Join and curve fit polylines


Movie on the use of Pages


More plant symbols

This set of new symbols has been added to the downloads page.


Generating a plant schedule – new movie


GardenCAD version 3.8

Now available from the downloads page of this web site.

Simply uninstall your existing copy of GardenCAD (making sure that you have backed up your store of drawings) and run the setup file for the new version of GardenCAD. Your existing user name and code should not need to be re-entered.

Developing a title blocks – a series for a landscape design practice

Stage 1 – content and text alignment considerations 


Stage 2 – adding a CAD logo to a title block


Stage 3 – testing a title block in layout space

We create a block of our developing title information, create a new layout sheet via the Pages option, place a rectangle for the sheet border, insert the new title block, scaling it as we do so. We then make a block of the design, insert it onto the sheet and adjust the scale to a fixed 1:50 scale. Finally the block is exploded and the position of the scale bar altered to suit the layout.


Stage 4 – writing a title block to an external file

We re-scale a title block so it works well on an A1 sheet, copy it to the clipboard and save the drawing in our Jobs folder.


As an aside, here is a movie showing how to make a new symbol and make it available in all future GardenCAD sessions. We copy a newly created symbol to the GardenCAD clipboard, re-scale it, change layer definitions and save in the appropriate GardenCAD block folder for use in future sessions.


Stage 4 – ‘cleaning up the title block’

We show how to place all entities in the title block on layer zero with lineweight assigned BYLAYER thus making a more versatile block.


Stage 5 – Adding attributes to title blocks

Attributes offer a mechanism to make text in a title block replaceable. This can dramatically speed up drafting.


Stage 6 – Using title blocks in template files

We make a template drawing, create several Pages and insert the block symbol into the pages. After the design has been developed, it is blocked and inserted into the Pages space at a defined scale.


How to reduce the size of GardenCAD files – using the Clipboard


Using Windows text


GardenCAD 3.7

A new version is available from the downloads page of this web site: http://www.gardencad.net/web/node/5

Simply uninstall your existing copy of GardenCAD (making sure that you have backed up your store of drawings) and run the setup file for the new version of GardenCAD. Your existing user name and code should not need to be re-entered.

Tip: It is a good idea to have your user name and activation code handy just in case you need to re-enter those details. 

You now have the ability to create and edit your own plant database files in a GardenCAD drawing. The automated plant schedule tool has also been improved. Improvements have been made to counting numbers of species in a design where duplicates are used. It is now possible to show all tagged species – this helps avoiding missing untagged symbols. In response to user requests, the dimension toolbar is now loaded by default. YouTube search for the key word GardenCAD has been added to the Help drop down menu.

Automate the production of plant schedules

new movie. We load a plant database file, attach symbols to a species and use the automated tools to label and generate a plant schedule.

Copy to clipboard, paste to model space

A movie showing how to move entities from one space to another.

Draw full size

A new movie on this topic along with a discussion of the use of templates.


We have added a new movie describing how to redefine colors in GardenCAD symbols.

GardenCAD version 3.6

We are pleased to announce the release of version 3.6 of GardenCAD. We have added a MatchProperties tool – select an entity with characteristics you want (color, layer, text style etc.) and paste those properties to another entity so they both match. There is also a new align text tool – select several text entities and line up left or right or bottom. A new DIVIDE command – divide a line into a number of equal segments. A tool to introduce variation in a group of symbols that changes the size and rotation of selected entities.

Fixed scale USA sheets

Here is a paper in which we discuss how to present a design on an architectural C size sheet at 1/96


Hand rendering GardenCAD drawings

This sounds like a contradiction in terms, but some users create a base plan in GardenCAD, then print the design on a large sheet (often at a local copy center after printing to a PDF file). Here is a link to some more information: http://www.gardencad.net/web/node/264

Handling dimensions in a ‘Pages’ space


A new GardenCAD tool for creating plant schedules


Excel plant lists to GardenCAD


New version of GardenCAD

April, 2014, GardenCAD 3.5 is ready for download. Improvements have been made to plant labeling and plant schedule generation.

GardenCAD 3.4

February, 2014. GardenCAD 3.4 is ready for download

GardenCAD 3.3

February 2014 – GardenCAD 3.3 – a completely new version of GardenCAD. Features include:

  • A revised user interface; quite similar in operation to that of AutoCAD, but no AutoCAD license is required. We have added many more toolbars, icons and drop down menus. The figure below shows GardenCAD version 3.3 running on an iMac computer (using Parallels as the Windows emulator tool). Click the image for a higher resolution view of the interface.

GardenCAD 3.3

Note the presence of new toolbars. These, (and the standard toolbar, object properties,command line) can be turned on or off via the View drop down menu as shown in the figure below. Earlier versions of GardenCAD did not allow that level of control over the user interface.

GardenCAD toolbars

Draw toolbar

It is now possible to call all GardenCAD command from a toolbar pick. The image below shows the Draw toolbar.

Draw toolbar

The POINT, LINE,  INFINITE LINE (XLINE),  MULTILINE,  POLYLINE,  POLYGON,  RECTANGLE, SPLINE, CIRCLE, ELLIPSE, ARC, RASTER IMAGE, TEXT, BLOCK, CREATE BLOCK, HATCH are all available from this toolbar. The RAY command is not yet available although it can be typed in the command area. [commands shown in bold type are new to this version of GardenCAD]

Modify toolbar

Modify toolbar


Dimension toolbar

Dimension toolbar

Object snap toolbar

Object snap toolbar

  • Load multiple drawing files.

GardenCAD now allows for more that one drawing to be open at once. The figure below shows three GardenCAD drawings open at the same time. It is possible to cut and paste entities (and even whole designs) between them.

GardenCAD multiple drawings

  • DXF translation

The capability of GardenCAD to import and export information to other CAD software applications has been improved.

  • A Close option has been added to the File drop down menu.
  • Printing

Printing has been improved with the addition of Printer Setup and Print Preview available from the File menu.

  • Magnifier

We have added this tool which can be used to set up a small window at the bottom right of the screen that shows a highly magnified view of the drawing at the position of the cursor.


  • Plant selector

We have made a major change to the way in which symbols are selected from the library. In addition to the symbol set available in earlier versions of GardenCAD, more symbols have been added and sorted by size as shown below.

Symbol library

New symbols automatically become part of the browse functionality of GardenCAD when added to the appropriate folder.


  • A wide variety of image files can now be loaded into the GardenCAD environment
This includes very large high resolution image files in ER Mapper Compressed Wavelet form (ECW) and JP2 files for ArcInfo (GIS) work.
  • 3DFACE

This command (and an elevation command) has been added to facilitate 3D Modelling in the GardenCAD environment. This ability will be dded in future releases.

  • Draw Order

It is now possible to change the stacking order of individual entities even on the one layer.

Draw order

  • Information

We have added several new options to this menu including the ability to convert any Windows font into a GardenCAD font.


  • Database

It is now possible to connect to our plant database application while inside GardenCAD (and to the sustainability calculator)

Database link

Online course for GardenCAD users


Ground cover calculator


Using GardenCAD templates

A page has been added that includes links to download template examples: http://www.gardencad.net/web/?q=node/244

AutoCAD dwg vs. Vec

We have added some information on the differences between AutoCAD and GardenCAD: http://www.gardencad.net/web/?q=node/238

Google Earth

We have added more information on using Google Earth with GardenCAD: http://www.gardencad.net/web/?q=node/232

More symbols

We have added more symbols for you to download from the Downloads page. These are available in both metric and Imperial versions.

Imperial calculator for GardenCAD

We have added a spreadsheet for converting feet and inches to decimal feet to the downloads page: http://www.gardencad.net/web/?q=node/197



We have been asked to provide some ideas for logos suited to landscape design practices. The key issue is that the logo should reflect your personal landscape philosophy.

Note: We teach landscape design in a local college called Urrbrae and so in many instances below the name of the company is “Urrbrae Designers”.


Named species symbols

We have been asked to give some examples of a GardenCAD symbol that reflects a particular plant species.


Here is a link to some information on this approach to making GardenCAD symbols for your own use.

Complete designs – cut and paste

The first of a planned suite of completed designs is available for download from the Registered Users link. These designs come complete with suggested planting schedule and can be cut and pasted into place. Use the EXPLODE command to make minor adjustments.

Complete design

More symbols

More symbols have been added to the downloads page – more tall trees, large shrubs, north points etc.

Registered users can download symbols for the Triangle Palm, Japanese Maple, Dianella and Kentia Palm shown below.

Triangle palmAcer palmatum

AnchorLightweight canopy

If you create symbols on a layer (say TallTree, SmallTree and LargeShrub) and set  the colour of entities drawn on those layers to bylayer, the linetype by layer, the lineweight to default and the colour of the layer to a greyscale value (253, 251 etc.) then it is possible to create designs in which the outline of canopy plants is very light. The client sees the ‘bones’ of the design, rather than their interpretation being overwhelmed by the planting detail. See the figure below.

Upper canopy example

The upper canopy planting can be revealed simply by changing the lineweight of the Tall Tree and Small Tree layers.

layer thickness

New symbol

We have added symbols for Yucca_elephantipes, butterfly bush and yellow flowering species such as Acacias to the download list.


e tomentosa

Acacia or other yellow flowering species.


A compound symbol showing an informal path through woodland.

Informal path

New symbol for a fan palm

Registered GardenCAD users can now download a symbol suited for indicating a tropical fan palm such as Bismarkia nobilisHere is a link to a movie showing how it was done.

Fan palm


Base Plans

It is often useful to trace a base map of a site. The figure below shows a scanned image of the roof top of a building in Taiwan being used as a base to create a new GardenCAD drawing.

We have added a link below the image to a new movie below showing how this was done.


Here is the link: http://www.gardencad.net/node/125

Saving symbols from an existing drawing for re-use

We have added a movie showing how to ‘lift’ a symbol that you have developed in one drawing and make it available to new drawings.

Here is the link.

Symbol to indicate the position of a trailing Geranium – once you have drawn something like this, it’s an ideal candidate for re-use.


Using block attributes
Attributes  A new YouTube movie showing how attributes can be used in title blocks has been added. Here is the link.
Protecting drawings

Although GardenCAD automatically creates a copy of every drawing that you work on (as well as the native .Vec file), we have added some more information about the need to protect your drawings.


Here is the link.

Tall tree symbols

The diameter of each is three times the normal – 3 (10 feet) meters in diameter instead of 1 meter (3 feet), each is lightly drawn and in a faint color such that understory planting shows clearly through the canopy of these specimens.

9 Tall Trees

Printing drawings

Carbon Neutral

We have added an extensive paper ‘Everything you ever needed to know about printing GardenCAD drawings‘.


This has been contributed by DB, one of our GardenCAD users. Here is the link.

Concepts for sloping sites

We have added some information about using GardenCAD to detail designs for sloping sites.


Here is the link.

Printing a GardenCAD drawing to a nominated scale
Several users have requested more information on printing GardenCAD drawings to a nominated scale (1:50, 1:100, 1:200 etc.). Here is a link which provides a comprehensive discussion on printing.
Printing monochrome
We have been asked to provide information on printing GardenCAD plans in black and white (monochrome). Here is the link to a paper on the subject.
Including human figures in elevation views to give a sense of scale

We have begun developing some symbols of human figures in profile. These are especially important when developing elevation and section views of your designs. Here is a link to a paper on the subject:

Family Group


Although there are 256 colours available to you in GardenCAD, you can change any of these and also add more custom colours. The figure below shows the colour palette dialog box. We have added one custom colour to the GardenCAD colour palette. A link to a movie on the topic is located below the figure.


Movie   Click here to play a movie on this subject.

Landscape Sustainability Calculator

We have added a Sustainability Calculator to GardenCAD. This tool enables you to assess your design in terms of its sustainability.

Sustainability calculator

Here is a link to the page that describes the use of the tool.


It is possible to apply a gradient to the background of a GardenCAD pages print by printing to PDF, starting  Photoshop, place the PDF into the Photoshop environment and then apply a gradient.

Complex symbols
We have created the first symbol in our ‘hand drawn’ series. A graphically rich complex symbol for Cupressus glauca. This symbol is 1Mb in size – at least 10 times larger that the standard symbols in GardenCAD. For those plans where a rich graphic design is required, this type of symbol may be useful, but it is important to watch file size. The figure below shows the use of this symbol – a group of Cupressus species planted in a spiral pattern.

Cupressus glabra

Layer order

We have been asked to provide some guidance on the use of the Layer Order dialog box – click here to play an movie in which this topic is discussed.

Layer order

New symbol

JW has contributed a new, rather abstract GardenCAD symbol to the Downloads page. She suggests using it to indicate the location of a Bougainvillea.


Symbols in elevation view

We have added a rather extensive section on how to create your own symbols to work with GardenCAD. Creating your own symbols instead of using the (90) in-built symbols in GardenCAD, gives your drawings a personality of their own.

The figure below shows a new symbol for a Star Jasmine (in elevation).

Star Jasmine - Elevation

Creating dimensions in GardenCAD (movie)

A GardenCAD user (MD) has asked for clarification on methods of applying dimensions and getting an accurately scaled plot from a GardenCAD Pages view. The figure below shows some dimensions applied (in model space) to a design for a swimming pool in a rear garden space (a design by PC). We have used one of the prime advantages of CAD – the dimensions come directly from the model [Using Draw>Dimension>Linear]. If the design has been drawn correctly, applying dimensions in this way serves as a double check of your work and gives you added confidence that you drawing is super accurate. We then copied the dimesioned entities to a page view, and scaled them appropriately.

Although the layer L-PLNT-SYMBOL shows as the current layer, these dimensions have been placed on a layer L-DIM. [We follow an international standard for layer names – all work by landscapers should be on a layer beginning with L-]


Applying dimensions

Movie  Here is a link to a movie which shows how we tackled this somewhat tricky task.


One of our students (KS) has produced a fine logo using GardenCAD. The ability of GardenCAD to work with various layers (and to control the stacking order of those layers) was utilized when building this particular logo. When printed to a PDF file from GardenCAD (using CutePDF writer), the resolution was outstanding. The logo works well on both black (inside GardenCAD) and white background (printed output). Make sure that you do the same and test your logo in both environments.


The logo is drawn once and used again and again on each and every design created by KS; a great time saver.

Copy & Rotate

We have added a section on copying and rotating an entity to the Tips and Tricks option on the member support menu. The figure below shows a student using the CopyRotate option to rapidly generate a symbol for a plant in a container (tub).

Copy Rotate

Arcs tangential to other entities.

We have added a new option to GardenCAD’s Arc command. You can now draw arcs tangential to other entities such as other arcs, lines or circles. The figure below shows a complex shape for a border draw using arcs with the arctan option. For illustration purposes only, we have shown (in red) the circles from which those arcs are drawn. The key issue here is that you can give a construcuion team the precise location of the centre of the circle from which the arc is drawn.


Movie Here is a link to a movie show how it is done.


Linetype patterns.


As you can see from the figure above, it is possible to change the background colour of the GardenCAD drawing editor. Here is is white, but the background can be any colour you like.

Layer Standard

We have added new section on creating CAD drawings to a consistent standard to the landscape diploma course. It is by no means complete, but should provide a reasonable start point for GardenCAD users. Here is the link:

New Symbol

A new symbol for a climbing plant (Bougainvillea) has been created by a GardenCAD user.


While the majority of plant symbols you choose from the GardenCAD selector have been created inside a circle of 1000 units (mm) in diameter and you simply scale the up or down to create an appropriately sized symbol, it is not an essential requirement that the symbol be 1000 units in diameter. The figure above shows symbol (created by JacobK) for a climbing plant such as a Bougainvillea. Here the symbol is much narrower than the standard symbol. Jacob has used a thick line for the outline of the inflorescence to good effect. A polyline has been placed along the spine of the symbol and the spline curve fit option chosen to give the whole symbol a flexible curving shape.

Check out the standard for creating a GardenCAD symbol.