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Before looking through the FAQ...

One of the most important resources is the Hot Door CADtools user guide! This is built into CADtools 10 through the CADhelp panel. In previous versions, the user guide was available in the CADtools download as a PDF file. Click here to download a copy of the CADtools 9 user guide.

It is important to update CADtools regularly to remain compatible with frequent updates of Adobe Illustrator. Minor bug fixes and features will be included in these CADtools updates. To see what version you are running on Mac, open Illustrator and choose the Illustrator menu > About Hot Door CADtools. On Windows, choose Help > About Hot Door CADtools.

To update, click on Window > CADtools > Check for Updates. CADtools will check your version against the latest version, and download the update if necessary.

I just updated Illustrator to version 19.2.1 (CC 2015.2.1) and now CADtools won't load! What's wrong?

Adobe introduced a bug in 19.2.1 that makes plug-ins think they're in the wrong installation location. We worked around their bug in our CADtools 9.1.2 free update. The current version is now 9.2.

Why does CADtools on Windows look so funny? Text doesn't fit in the windows.

On Windows, screen resolution can be set separately from text size. Illustrator repsects some of these settings but not others. Consequently, CADtools can only respond to some settings and not others. The default on Windows is to display text at 100% regardless of the screen resolution. This is the best setting and will always result in proper drawing of the UI. If this value was adjusted to make text larger, then the CADtools UI may not draw correctly. To fix this issue, the text size should be reset to 100%.

In your Control Panel, choose "Adjust screen resolution."

Then, choose "Make text and other items larger or smaller."

Next, select "Smaller - 100% (default)." If you must have larger text, then 125% or 150% will work, but some items will be cut off in the UI. Anything larger WILL NOT WORK correctly.

Why does CADtools keep insisting that I do not have an internet connection and why have I been switched to Feature Limited Demo Mode?

This is due to a networking bug. It has been fixed in latest versions of CADtools 8 and CADtools 9. Please click the following for the latest versions:

IMPORTANT: if you install the latest version and there is still an issue, it probably means that you didn't actually install the latest version in the proper location. Please read the following question regarding 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Illustrator.

Why does Illustrator CS6/CC crash or give an error when launching in Windows?

There are two different versions of CADtools 9 and 10 for CS6 / CC / CC 2014 / CC 2015 / CC 2017. One is 32-bit and one is 64-bit. The correct version of CADtools to install depends on the version of Illustrator installed rather than the type of Windows operating system installed. To determine the proper version to install, please refer to the diagram below.

Why is Illustrator crashing?

There are no known crash bugs with CADtools 9 or 10. When Illustrator is shut down without saving, the Illustrator preferences file may become corrupt, and this appears to be the culprit in some crash issues. If Illustrator is crashing when using CADtools, please follow these instructions to delete the Illustrator settings folder, which includes preferences.

On Mac with Illustrator CC 2017 delete:
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 21 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator/21.x.x

On Mac with Illustrator CC 2015.3 delete:
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 20 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator/20.x.x

On Mac with Illustrator CC 2015 delete:
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator/19.x.x

On Mac with Illustrator CC 2014 delete:
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 18 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator/18.x.x

On Mac with Illustrator CC delete:
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator 17 Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator/17.x.x

On Mac prior to Illustrator CC delete:
Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe Illustrator CS# Settings/en_US/Adobe Illustrator Prefs
and, if applicable
/Users/YourName/Library/Preferences/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator/16.x.x

On Windows 8 or 10 with Illustrator CC 2017 delete:
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 21 Settings
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator

On Windows 8 or 10 with Illustrator CC 2015.3 delete:
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 20 Settings
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator

On Windows 8 or 10 with Illustrator CC 2015 delete:
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 19 Settings
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator

On Windows Vista, 7 or 8 with Illustrator CC 2014 delete:
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 18 Settings
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator

On Windows Vista, 7 or 8 with Illustrator CC delete:
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator 17 Settings
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator

On Windows Vista, 7 or 8 prior to Illustrator CC delete:
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS# Settings
and, if applicable
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator

On Windows XP delete:
C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS# Settings

In CADtools 7 and earlier versions, the CADtools preferences and Illustrator preferences were placed in the same folder. In CADtools 8 and above, they are no longer together. Don’t worry... when you launch Illustrator, new settings and preferences folders will be automatically created.

I'm on Windows and I have run Illustrator as an administrator by right-clicking and choosing "Run as administrator", but now Illustrator is crashing. How do I fix this?

This appears to be a bug with Illustrator and permissions on some Adobe folders. This can be resolved by relaxing the permissions on the following folders:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe

Right-click on the folder(s), choose Properties, and open the Security tab. Click the Edit button, and give Full Control permissions to the Users domain and/or the specific user affected by the crash.

Once you have given full permissions to standard users on those folders, relaunch Illustrator and it should launch normally. Once Illustrator has finished opening, quit it. Often times the permissions on these folders can be reverted, and Illustrator will continue to launch without issue.

What is the CADtools 10 compatibility and upgrade path?

CADtools 10 will work with Illustrator CS6, CC, CC 2014, CC 2015, and CC 2017.

If you own CADtools 7, 8, or 9 you can upgrade to CADtools 10 at the upgrade price. All CADtools 9 purchases made after January 1, 2016 qualify for a free upgrade to CADtools 10. If you own a version of CADtools previous to version 7, you are not eligible for upgrade pricing.

If you need to purchase CADtools for a version of Adobe Illustrator previous to CS6, please email us for instructions.

How do CADtools 9 and 10 work with Adobe Creative Cloud?

CADtools 9 and 10 are fully compatible with Adobe Creative Cloud. The Adobe Creative Cloud offers a time-based membership for Adobe's Creative Suite software including Adobe Illustrator (CC). Installation and operation of Adobe Illustrator is the same for traditional and Adobe Creative Cloud versions. Similarly, CADtools 9 and 10 run directly on the computer and will work as long as Adobe Illustrator is operating.

Adobe Creative Cloud includes regular updates, and CADtools 9 and 10 follow this pattern with automatic check for free updates, immediate compatibility, and feature enhancements. Major CADtools upgrades will not require synchronization with the Adobe Illustrator release schedule.

How does the new Hot Door CORE™ affect my work?

The new Hot Door CORE™ (COde REsource) architecture dramatically increases software performance and allows for rapid integration of new features and enhancements. Hot Door CORE™ ensures that new, compatible versions of CADtools will be accessible to Creative Cloud users who require prompt upgrades to the next version of Adobe Illustrator. Hot Door CORE™ also promises a reliable technology for new productivity tools for design professionals.

What are the compatibilities of CADtools with Illustrator versions?

CADtools 10 works with Illustrator CS6, CC, CC 2014, CC 2015, and CC 2017
CADtools 9 works with Illustrator CS5, CS6, CC, CC 2014, and CC 2015
CADtools 8.2 (free update to 8) works with Illustrator CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, and CC
CADtools 8 works with Illustrator CS3, CS4, CS5, and CS6
CADtools 7 works with Illustrator CS3, CS4, and CS5
CADtools 6 works with Illustrator CS, CS2, CS3, and CS4
CADtools 5 works with Illustrator CS, CS2, and CS3
CADtools 4 works with Illustrator 10, CS, and CS2
CADtools 3 works with Illustrator 9, 10, and CS
CADtools 2 works with Illustrator 7, 8, 9, and 10
CADtools 1 works with Illustrator 7 and 8

Where can I download older versions of CADtools?

Older versions of CADtools are available at the links below.

Why does my CADtools scale keep changing to 1:1?

If you select any artwork on the Dimension Layer, your scale will change to 1:1 which is the scale of the Dimension Layer. Avoid creating your artwork in the Dimension Layer if you need to use another scale. Another problem may relate to isolation mode; since Illustrator CS3, double-clicking grouped objects will enter the isolation mode by default. This behavior conflicts with the CADtools scale information in CS3 with CADtools 5. To disable the behavior, uncheck "Double click to Isolate" in the Illustrator Preferences. The preference for entering isolation mode is located in the Illustrator General Preferences. The isolation mode conflict is fixed in CADtools 6 and above, with Illustrator CS4 and above.

TROUBLESHOOTING: If you are having any problems, including your serial number not saving...

First, be sure that CADtools is installed in the correct location, with no duplicates in other folders. The CADtools.aip file must be in the Tools folder, which resides in the Illustrator Plug-ins folder. If you upgrade Adobe Illustrator, you must reinstall CADtools. CADtools 10 can only be installed for CS6, CC, 2CC 2014, CC 2015, or CC 2017.

If the plug-in is installed correctly, the first step in troubleshooting most any problem is deleting your Illustrator Preferences file. The Preferences file is created or updated every time you use Illustrator, and it can often become a hidden source of problems. To delete this file and force Illustrator to create a new one, follow these steps:

  • Make sure you have the serial numbers for any third-party plugins for Illustrator, as the numbers might need to be re-entered after deleting your Preferences (CADtools excluded).
  • Quit Illustrator
  • If you are running Mac OS X, find the Illustrator preferences file. Choose "Go to Folder..." under the Go menu when you are in the Finder on your computer. Type in "~/Library/Preferences/" and then you will see the Preferences folder and the Adobe Illustrator settings. Select the Adobe Illustrator Settings folder. Select the "Adobe Illustrator Prefs" file and delete it. If you are running Illustrator CC or later, there will also be a folder named Adobe in the Preferences folder. In the Adobe folder is an Adobe Illustrator folder. Delete this folder as well.
  • If you are running a Windows machine, you will need to perform a search for a file called "AIPrefs", and then delete it. You may need to check Advanced Options under the Search Companion, then check "Search hidden files and folders" to allow searching of the AIPrefs file. If this does not work, and you are using Windows XP, go to C:\Documents and Settings\(your user name, or Owner)\Application Data\Adobe. For Windows Vista or Windows 7, go to C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\. Delete the Adobe Illustrator XX settings folder. If you are running Illustrator CC or later, there will also be a folder named Adobe Illustrator (without the version numbers) in the Adobe folder. Delete this folder as well.
  • Restart Illustrator. Once Illustrator has completed loading, quit it without opening any new documents. Documents can often be the culprits for corrupting the preferences, especially since Illustrator does not write out new preferences until quitting.

I'm using Mac OS X Lion (or above) and I can't find my Library or Preferences folder

The folders are still there, but Apple has made them invisible. To access the Library folder, choose "Go to Folder..." under the Go menu in the Finder. Type in "~/Library". Now you can access the Preferences or any other folder contained in the Library.

On how many machines can I install CADtools?

From the CADtools license agreement: Hot Door grants to Customer the right to install the Software on a storage device of up to the permitted number of computers that matches the number of Software licenses that Customer purchased. Each Software license purchased permits use on only one computer, excluding a secondary portable or home computer, that is not used at the same time as the primary computer. When using both Mac OS and Windows on the same or different machines, each operating system is considered, and is counted as, a separate computer. If the Software is intended for network use, Hot Door grants the Customer the right to install and use the Software on a single file server for use on a single local area network for either (a) permanent installation on a storage device of up to the permitted number of computers OR (b) use of the Software over this network if the number of computers on which the Software is used does not exceed the permitted number of computers. Click here to download the entire agreement.

Why does my background grey out when I try to edit labels or other CADtools objects?

Adobe Illustrator CS3 and above have a feature called isolation mode, and by double-clicking grouped objects you will enter this isolation mode by default. The preference for entering isolation mode is located in the Illustrator General Preferences section. To disable the behavior, uncheck "Double click to Isolate" in Illustrator's preferences.

Will CADtools 10 work with my version of Illustrator and my operating system?

  • Mac OS X running Illustrator CS6, CC, CC 2014, CC 2015, or CC 2017 - Yes, CADtools 10 is a native OS X plugin.
  • Mac OS 9 running Illustrator 10 or below - No, Mac OS 9 is no longer supported.
  • Windows running Illustrator CS6, CC, CC 2014, CC 2015, or CC 2017 - Yes.

How can I use CADtools with Illustrator CS5 or below?

CADtools 10 is not compatible with Illustrator CS5 or earlier. However, you may purchase CADtools 10 and call us at 1-888-236-9540 and arrange to receive an older version that will be compatible with prior versions of Illustrator.

What if I am experiencing problems with both MultiPage and CADtools installed?

MultiPage and CADtools both access the Layers palette and can conflict with each other unless you do a few things. First, uncheck Create and Use Dimension Layer and Create Live Dimensions in the CADdocument panel. Also, avoid using CADrulers and CADgrids when MultiPage is turned on. These features are not essential to most CADtools users, but if you have further concerns please send us an email.

How do I uninstall CADtools?

If you need to uninstall the CADtools full version or demo, simply remove the CADtools file from the Illustrator/Plug-ins/Tools or Illustrator/Plug-ins/ folder.

Does CADtools support DXF, DWG, or other CAD-related formats?

CADtools does not add any new file import/export features to Adobe Illustrator, but DXF import/export is fully supported in Illustrator since CS3. Once a file is imported as vector artwork inside Adobe Illustrator, CADtools can be used to dimension or edit the artwork. In some cases, an imported file may contain artwork comprised of small line segments. Dimensioning tools by line, as well as radius, diameter, arc length, and Bezier curvature dimensioning tools will not work for such segmented artwork. To connect these DXF/DWG line segments, use the Concatenate filter available at Graffix Software. For more information on opening or placing files within Illustrator, please refer to the Adobe Illustrator User Guide, technical notes, and the Adobe web site.

Is there a trial or demo version of CADtools?

Download a fully functional free trial of CADtools from this web site! The trial allows for unrestricted use for 7 days (internet connection required for the first launch). Thereafter, CADtools will enter demo mode. The demo is limited to the six top-level tools within each tool group. Labels are limited to a curved leader and a circular border, and will contain the text "Demo" as well. Scale is limited to 1:3. All other tools and scales are disabled. When you purchase CADtools, you will receive a serial number that will convert the demo into the full version.

Does CADtools require Internet connectivity to any particular domains?

Yes, as of CADtools 8.3, the following domains must be allowed by your firewall or proxy server:

How much disk space do I need to run CADtools?

About 75 MB

Do the tools work the same on Mac and Windows platforms?


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