ClarisCAD 2.x

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On: 2014-04-14 22:59:30
Updated by: InkBlot
On: 2023-04-28 15:17:09
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What is ClarisCAD 2.x?

The difference between drawing and drafting is largely a matter of precision. An engineering or architectural drawing has to convey the designer's intention so exactly that a construction foreman or a machinist years later, halfway around the world, can build it. The challenge for programmers of computer-aided-drafling software is to analyze drafting skills that require manual dexterity and years of practice to develop and capture them in a few keystrokes and mouse dicks. Claris CAD 2.0 is a highly refined expression of one way to do this on a Mac.

The original version of Claris CAD introduced methods and modifiers, which controlled the operation of drawing tools. The circle tool, for example, can be used in the default corner-to-corner method or the alternative center-to-circumference method. Modifiers are geometric constraints that can snap your circle's center to the endpoint of a line or make the circle tangent to one side of a rectangle.

Claris CAD 1.0 was a solid, efficient 2-D drawing program, instantly familiar to MacDraw users, but it suffered in comparison with cheaper, more feature-rich packages such as Canvas (Deneba) and Dreams (IDD). The release of Ashlar Vellum, with its radical, intelligent Drafting Assistant, made Claris CAD seem positively lame in comparison.


Competition breeds innovation, and along with dozens of other new features, Claris CAD 2,0 now includes its own version of Vellum’s Drafting Assistant, called Graphic Guide, an aid to the precise location and construction of geometric features. The Graphic Guide has three components: the Guideliner, the Dynamic Modifier, and the Preview Cursor.

The Guideliner is a pair of full-screen cross hairs — dotted horizontal and vertical construction lines — that automatically snap to object endpoints, midpoints, comers, and centers as you move the cursor around a drawing. This is helpful when you need to align new geometry with previously drawn features that do not lie on regular grid points. A Preferences dialog box adjusts the sensitivity of the Guideliner, and you can toggle it on and off wilh the G key.
The Dynamic Modifier evaluates objects near the cursor in relation to your currently selected tool, automatically choosing an appropriate modifier. If you're using the line tool, for example, and the cursor is near the center of a circle, the program automatically selects the Center modifier. In effect, the program "sees" what you are pointing at and anticipates what you want. This is a great improvement over manual selection of modifiers which tends to interrupt the natural flow of drafting.

The Preview Cursor is a tiny icon attached to the cursor to indicate which modifier is currently active. Point near the circumference of a circle, and the cursor displays the tangency symbol: point near the center of the circle, and you see the object-center symbol: and so on.

Claris CAD 2.0 requires 2 megabytes of RAM. which shuts out low-end users but is less demanding than Vellum's hunger for 4 megabytes. The program is usable on a 9-inch screen, but the proliferation of windows and floating palettes is such that a bigger monitor is far more productive for serious drafting. On systems without a floating-point coprocessor (MC68881 or 68882 chip), Claris CAD's performance is decidedly sluggish. The application itself takes up more than 1,700K on-disk, and the comprehensive HyperCard-based help system needs almost another 800K. The program supports plotters made by Hewlett-Packard and Houston Instruments.

The package includes a 47-minute videotape, and once you've gotten past the introductory marketing fluff, it contains some of the clearest and best-designed instructional video I have seen for any computer software.

A stand-alone program. Graphics Translator, which converts Claris CAD drawings to or from industry-standard formats such as IGES and DXF, is available as a separate $299 package. Only a minority of users require this capability, but some competing products include it free.

The Bottom Line

Claris CAD is a good choice for entry-level or midrange 2-D mechanical drafting. It’s particularly useful for engineers who have little formal training in conventional drafting, but it should be well received by many professional drafters who are willing to make the transition from the pencil and drafting board to the mouse and plotter. Architects will appreciate the new wall tools for drawing double parallel lines, and mechanical engineers will be impressed by the elegant implementation of the ANSI-standard Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing system.

Currently. Claris CAD's closest competition comes from Ashlar Vellum and the just-released MiniCad+ 3.0. Compared with Vellum, Claris CAD is slightly cheaper and requires significantly less memory. It also seems to be faster at updating the screen and performing many drawing functions. In addition, Claris CAD has the ability to export object attributes to a database file, but this is not nearly as comprehensive as MiniCad+'s ability to generate a bill of materials (something very important to architects and contractors).

Claris CAD is a snap to master if you have any proficiency with MacDraw II; the program can even open and convert MacDraw II documents. Unlike other Claris products, it lacks an integrated spelling checker. The very limited support for color (only the original eight QuickDraw colors plus dithered patterns) makes it less suitable for interior designers, landscape architects, and those who need precise control over nuances of tone and shade. Claris CAD is still an elegant package, and with the addition of the Graphic Guide, Claris has clearly taken a major step forward. It has strengthened the program's drafting capabilities without cluttering the interface and making the package a burden to use. If your primary interest in a mechanical drawing package is drawing itself, Claris CAD is an excellent choice.

Markowitz, Mike. (March 1991). Claris CAD. MacUser. (pgs. 75-77).

Download ClarisCAD 2.x for Mac

(856.73 KiB / 877.29 KB)
Claris CD v2.0v2 (1991) / compressed w/ Stuffit
61 / 2019-02-25 / 2023-03-03 / a06243755d74389dc6a31ed41b37f91c75b18bb1 / /
(2.16 MiB / 2.26 MB)
Claris CD v2.0v3 (GERMAN) / compressed w/ Stuffit
218 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / 2d8e5a41b2b1616f5b1597138f7bbd32044bbf4d / /
(300.63 KiB / 307.84 KB)
Claris CD v2.0v3 DiskCopy image 1 of 5 / compressed w/ Stuffit
88 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / 32f00b3431f25b06b5e87abeca08b5ea907ab701 / /
(231.78 KiB / 237.34 KB)
Claris CD v2.0v3 DiskCopy image 2 of 5 / compressed w/ Stuffit
72 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / 5b048ee31eb6c52ed2ed2c4907f3b2680f35ee11 / /
(334.37 KiB / 342.4 KB)
Claris CD v2.0v3 DiskCopy image 3 of 5 / compressed w/ Stuffit
39 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / 76837593cd1b5ce9acf6aa9142d02d43f786f963 / /
(143.82 KiB / 147.27 KB)
Claris CD v2.0v3 DiskCopy image 4 of 5 / compressed w/ Stuffit
38 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / b899b76e592c841dc1fe8f968abfb9a95e0da1fc / /
(294.1 KiB / 301.16 KB)
Claris CD v2.0v3 DiskCopy image 5 of 5 / compressed w/ Stuffit
53 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / b6dd1108fdc8e49e3333159ec6e333a0e7441bd0 / /
(59.75 KiB / 61.19 KB)
EPS export filter / compressed w/ Stuffit
27 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / 47320bf0e49a698215a261907ad3486e017b2350 / /
(223.16 KiB / 228.51 KB)
CGT installer, 800KB floppy disk 1 of 2 / compressed w/ Stuffit
42 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / ca5b2da5acb2627e059555b4fdea5071b756b769 / /
(205.19 KiB / 210.12 KB)
CGT installer, 800KB floppy disk 2 of 2 / compressed w/ Stuffit
35 / 2014-04-14 / 2023-03-03 / fb007040a6505561cf54d47d3114932f48ec4b90 / /
(5.6 MiB / 5.87 MB)
/ MAR/MAC archive
5 / 2023-01-07 / 70466a149c0635c870210a5cd913e7d0dbdc00b2 / /
(4 MiB / 4.19 MB)
/ MAR/MAC archive
14 / 2023-01-07 / d5b224122b3ef6271e6d9a8dad38fcda03079d10 / /


Motorola 68K

System Requirements

From Mac OS 6.0 up to Mac OS 9.2

Compatibility notes

Architecture: 68K

Mac OS 6.x - Mac OS 9.2.2

Note: If you see a 1 byte error under Mac OS 9, make sure that the app runs from a hard drive smaller than 2GB and that you have allocated 4MB of RAM to the app.


Emulating this? It could probably run under: Basilisk II

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