QCAD - 2D CAD for Windows, Linux and Mac

The Open Source CAD System For Everyone

QCAD is a free, open source application for computer aided drafting (CAD) in two dimensions (2D). With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schematics and diagrams. QCAD works on Windows, macOS and Linux. The source code of QCAD is released under the GPL version 3 (GPLv3), a popular Open Source license.

The current version of QCAD is 3.21.

QCAD Application WindowQCAD was designed with modularity, extensibility and portability in mind. But what people notice most often about QCAD is its intuitive user interface. QCAD is an easy to use but powerful 2D CAD system for everyone. You don't need any CAD experience to get started with QCAD immediately. You can download QCAD today for free!

Main Features

  • Layers
  • Blocks (grouping)
  • 35 CAD fonts included
  • Support for TrueType fonts
  • Various Metrical and Imperial units
  • DXF and DWG input and output
  • Printing to scale
  • Printing on multiple pages
  • Over 40 construction tools
  • Over 20 modification tools
  • Construction and modification of points, lines, arcs, circles, ellipses, splines, polylines, texts, dimensions, hatches, fills, raster images
  • Various powerful entity selection tools
  • Object snaps
  • Measuring tools
  • Part library with over 4800 CAD parts
  • Very complete and extremely powerful ECMAScript scripting interface

Click here for a complete list of features.

QCAD Installation under Linux



These instructions are extremely verbose and intended for users who are not familiar with the Linux operating system or who have little or no experience using such a system.

If you are an experienced Linux user, installing QCAD is a simple one-step procedure consisting of running the downloaded installer file from your favourite file manager or terminal.

Please note that Linux is not an operating system for the faint-hearted. You will have to invest at least half an hour to carefully follow the steps below.


Accessing your Download Page

After your purchase, you have received an e-mail with the subject "[RibbonSoft Online Shop] Virtual product(s) available for  download".

Find that e-mail now in your e-mail program or in your web based e-mail service and click on the download link in that e-mail to show your download area.

If you cannot find this e-mail, please check also your spam or bulk e-mail folder.

If you still cannot find that e-mail, please follow our detailed instructions for downloading QCAD through our online shop.

At this point, you should have your download area open in your browser.

The header at the top of the page should read "Customer Download Area".

Do not proceed if this is not the case.


32bit or 64bit?

You need to find out if you are running a 32bit or a 64bit Linux operating system. Depending on your exact Linux distribution, there are more or less painful ways to find this out:

  • Ubuntu 13, 14, 15:
    • Click on the gear icon at the top right and click 'About This Computer':
    • Check under 'OS Type' if you are using a 32bit or a 64bit system:
  • Ubuntu 12:
    • First you need to open System Settings. This can be done either in the dash, or by going to the gear icon (top right, see above). From there you need to open 'System Info'. Under the Ubuntu Logo and Version Number, a line will list OS type '32bit' or '64-bit'.
  • All other distributions including older Ubuntu versions:
    • You need to use what is called a terminal or console application. This is a program that can be used to execute commands on your operating system. Look under Applications > Accessories or similar for an entry labeled 'Terminal':
    • Once you see the terminal application, enter this exact text:
      uname -m
      That is 'uname' without the ', followed by a space, a dash and a small letter 'm'.
      Once you are convinced that you have entered this exact text string correctly, press the enter key on your keyboard. This is the key a the right of your keyboard you usually use to start a new line when typing text. It is typically labeled 'Enter' or 'Return' or with a symbol that looks like this: 
    • The terminal will now show some information.
    • If that information is 'x86_64', you are using a 64bit Linux system:
    • If the information is 'i686', you are using a 32bit Linux system:
    • Write down what system you are using and close the terminal application clicking the red X at the top left.

At this point, you should know if you are running a 32bit or a 64bit operating system.

Do not proceed if this is not the case or you are not sure about this.


Downloading the Correct File

If you are using a 32bit Linux System, please click on the download button described as 'Installer' in the 32bit section of the download page:

If you are using a 64bit Linux System, please click on the download button described as 'Installer' in the 64bit section of the download page:

Depending on your browser preferences, your download will now start or you will be asked where you want to save the file. If you are asked where you want to save the file, save it to your desktop, so you can find it after downloading. If you are not asked, the file will most likely be saved in the 'Downloads' folder of your home directory. 

At this point, you should have downloaded the correct file for your system.

The file should be visible on your desktop or you should know where to find it on your disk.


Making the Downloaded File Executable

To protect you from accidentally executing a downloaded file, Linux has made the downloaded file non-executable. This means that we now need to explicitly make it executable.

Like all things Linux, it greatly depends on the distribution and distribution version how this can be done:

  • Ubuntu:
    • Right-click on the downloaded file on your Desktop or in your 'Downloads' folder and click 'Properties':
    • Switch to the 'Permissions' tab and tick the check box 'Allow executing file as program':

      Do NOT change any of the other settings.
    • Click the OK button. If the dialog does not have an OK button, you can simply close the dialog clicking the X button at the top left.
    • Do NOT double-click the downloaded file at this point. It will likely not work but open a text editor which is not what is intended.
  • Other Linux distributions:
    • Other Linux distributions should have a similar way to make a file executable.
      You might have to try different options or search the Internet for a way to do this.
      Search for your Linux distribution name followed by 'how to make a file executable', for example .

At this point you should have the downloaded file on your desktop or in your 'Downloads' folder and it should be executable.


Allowing Executable Files to be Executed

Your file manager will likely open a text editor when double-clicking the downloaded file at this point. Since we do not want that, we need to tell the file manager that it should execute executable files instead.

Again, this greatly depend on your Linux distribution, version thereof as well as the file manager that is being installed and used:

  • Ubuntu:
    • Open the file manager, likely named 'Files':
    • Choose the menu 'Edit > Preferences'. If the 'Edit' menu is not visible, move the mouse close to the position, where it should be visible first. It should then appear.
    • Click on the 'Behavior' tab of the preferences dialog and check the check box 'Ask each time' under 'Executable Text Files':
    • Click the OK button or close the dialog if there is no OK button.

Your system and the downloaded file should now be ready for the installation of QCAD.


Installing QCAD

  • Double-click the downloaded QCAD installer with the left mouse button.
  • Your system will now show a dialog, asking you what to do with the file. Click the 'Run' button:

  • QCAD will now be installed on your system into a directory called 'opt' in your home folder.
  • The installer also creates a desktop icon which you can then use to launch QCAD by double-clicking it.

QCAD License

Starting with version 3.1, the QCAD source code is distributed under the open source license GPLv3 with exceptions to allow proprietary extensions.

The QCAD source code also contains 3rd party libraries and various resources which are distributed under their respective licenses. For a complete overview of the various licenses involved, please refer to the LICENSE.txt file.

In all source code distributions of QCAD, you can also find a copy of the GPLv3 and the exceptions for plugins and add-ons.

QCAD Community Edition vs. QCAD Professional

The QCAD Community Edition

The QCAD Community Edition is everything that can be downloaded from our public git repository at github.com/qcad/qcad.

The QCAD Community Edition is distributed under the GPLv3 with exceptions to allow commercial plugins and script extensions.

QCAD Professional

QCAD Professional consists of the QCAD Community Edition with various additional, commercial (proprietary) plugins to provide support for the DWG format, improved support for various DXF format versions, improved support for splines and polyline and various other tools and improvements.


The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) is the most widely used free software license. It guarantees end users (individuals, organizations, companies) the freedoms to use, study, share (copy), and modify the software. Modifications and additions made to the software must generally be distributed under the same license.

GPLv3 Exceptions

QCAD is distributed with an optional set of exceptions which extend the freedoms granted by the GPLv3.

These exceptions allow us (as well as any other organizations and individuals) to distribute commercial, proprietary plugins or scripts together with the open source QCAD package.

For example, we distribute the software product called 'QCAD Professional' which contains the QCAD application under GPLv3, bundled together with proprietary extensions as outlined above.

QCAD Professional Single User License

QCAD Professional single user licenses are valid for one single user. A license may be used to install and use QCAD Professional on multiple computers and operating systems as long as there is only one user.

QCAD Professional Site License

QCAD Professional site licenses provide a quantity discount for companies requiring 10 to 20 licenses at one site. Multiple site licenses may be purchased to support more than 20 users at one site. For schools and universities or other educational institutions, educational site licenses are available for an unlimited number of users at one site or campus.

QCAD Professional Server License

QCAD Professional server licenses allow the use of QCAD Professional on a web server to process or generate data as part of a web service. The QCAD Professional application itself may not be made available for download or direct use to the users of the web service.

Extending and Distributing QCAD

Extending and Distributing the QCAD Community Edition

To develop open source or commercial/proprietary plugins or script add-ons for QCAD, you don't require any special developer license. Your plugins and add-ons may be distributed together with QCAD, under any license you choose (see GPLv3 exceptions). You may for example distribute the QCAD Community Edition (under GPLv3), together with your own, proprietary plugins and charge the end user a license fee of your choice. Such a package must contain the GPLv3 license file as well as the GPLv3 exceptions file. 

Any modifications and additions which are made to the QCAD source code itself may only be redistributed under the GPLv3 (optionally with exceptions). Note that such direct modifications are usually not necessary, since almost all aspects and tools of QCAD can be easily extended or modified through plugins and script add-ons.

However, if you for example discover and fix a bug in the QCAD source code or port the QCAD source code to a new platform, those changes must be distributed under the GPLv3 (optionally with exceptions).

Extending and Distributing QCAD Professional

Any QCAD Professional license holder may create script add-ons or C++ plugins for use with their QCAD Professional installation. Such script add-ons and plugins for QCAD Professional may be distributed separately, under any license of choice.

If you wish to base your plugin, add-on or an entirely new product on QCAD Professional, thereby leveraging QCAD Professional functionality (by inheriting your classes on classes only available in QCAD Professional), you can do so with a QCAD C++ Libraries license. QCAD Professional contains proprietary professional tools, DWG support and extended DXF support. A detailed list of all features is available on our web site at: http://qcad.org/en/qcad-documentation/qcad-features (features provided by QCAD Professional extensions are highlighted in italic). If your extensions only make use of the open QCAD API (recommended), you do not require a QCAD C++ Libraries license.

A QCAD C++ Libraries license gives you access to the source code of our proprietary plugins and script add-ons (QCAD Professional tools, Teigha DXF/DWG plugin) under the QCAD Libraries license agreement. Your own script classes might use and leverage functionality from our QCAD Professional classes and scripts (e.g. through inheritance).

DXF/DWG Support (Teigha)

QCAD Professional comes with a plugin for DWG and extended DXF import/export functionality. This plugin uses the Teigha libraries from the OpenDesign Alliance. In most cases, you can simply use and redistribute (see Royalties) the compiled plugin as provided in our QCAD packages. The plugin is available for Windows 32bit/64bit, macOS 32bit/64bit and Linux 32bit/64bit.

If you own a QCAD C++ Libraries license, you may alternatively use the plugin sources to compile the plugin against your own Teigha license.

If you only need basic DXF support, you can also use the dxflib library which is a part of the QCAD C++ Libraries license as well as the open source version of QCAD.


If your end product contains portions of QCAD Professional and you wish to distribute it, you have to purchase licenses from us for resale. In this case, you are becoming a reseller of QCAD Professional and purchase the number of licenses required from us with a reseller discount of typically about 5-25%, depending on the number of licenses distributed.

If your end product is significantly different from (i.e. does not compete with) QCAD Professional and you own a QCAD C++ Libraries license, you may distribute the end product under your own license terms, royalty-free. This is for example the case for a command line tool or an application that only uses the graphics views and DXF/DWG support of QCAD Professional but not the typical QCAD Professional user interface and tools.

You can also choose to distribute your plugins and script add-ons as a separate product without QCAD Professional and leave it up to the user to purchase and maintain their respective QCAD Professional licenses. In that case, no royalties are required to be payed to RibbonSoft.

Product Name

An end product that consists of QCAD and proprietary plugins or script add-ons must not be distributed under the name 'QCAD' or 'QCAD Professional'. Instead, you can choose your own product name. You may mention in the product documentation or about dialog that your product uses QCAD technology.


Contributing to QCAD

QCAD is free open source software. This means that everyone can get involved and contribute to make this project even better.

The source code of QCAD is hosted on github at: https://github.com/qcad/qcad/
This includes documentation sources, translation sources, icons, etc.
One of the most comfortable ways to contribute is to create a pull request through github.

Software Development

Every user of QCAD has the freedom to download the QCAD source code and modify or extend it. Such modifications are then usually contributed back to become a part of QCAD or an optional add-on for QCAD.

Add-ons are often developed by QCAD users to solve a particular problem at hand. A user might for example want to create an add-on to QCAD to draw some type of complex line pattern between two points. There's a good chance that there are other users our there, who could benefit from the same add-on, so the user decides to share this add-on under an open source license. Another user might start using that add-on, modify and improve it and share it back. Now the first user also benefits from the update made by the second user. This is the spirit of open source software development.

Script Development

QCAD comes with an extremely powerful and complete ECMAScript (JavaScript) interface. Any kind of new tool, dialog or widget can be (and should be) developed using ECMAScript. You can get started with script development immediately. Script files can be added in the scripts folder of any QCAD installation where you can also find the implementation of all the existing tools and widgets of QCAD. No additional software is required. If you are looking for an IDE, the Qt Creator can be used for script development. Qt Designer can be used to create user interface components (*.ui files that define the look of dialogs, dock widgets, tool bars, etc).

C++ Development

The core of QCAD is developed in C++. To extend QCAD using C++, a plugin interface is available which can for example be used to provide access to external C / C++ libraries, to register new script classes and functions, etc. A C++ plugin should be developed if your add-on depends on an existing external C or C++ library or if performance is crucial.

Testing and Feedback

If you would like to try out the latest and greatest new features and help with testing and feedback, please check out the current development version. You will need a compiler to compile the QCAD source code. Detailed compilation instructions are available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems. Other systems such as Solaris, FreeBSD, etc. are likely to work as well but are not officially supported at this point.

Documentation and Translation

Each QCAD script add-on is bundled in a separate directory with its documentation in the 'doc' subdirectory (e.g. 'scripts/Draw/Line/Line2P/doc'). Documentation can be added as HTML snippets named after the tool and translation language (e.g. 'Line2P_desc_en.html' for a description of the tool in English and 'Line2P_proc_de.html' for the procedure to use the tool in English). The automatically generated manual page for the line tool is called 'Line2P_en.html' and should never be edited by hand.

All HTML snippets from all script tools are compiled fully automatically into the complete user reference manual which is available on our web site at http://www.qcad.org/doc/qcad/latest/reference/en/This process ensures that titles, menus and shortcuts used in the manual always match the current software version.

The user manual is currently most complete in English, German and Japanese but other translations can be added as well.

User Interface Translation

The user interface of QCAD can be translated using the Qt internationalization tool chain (lupdate, linguist and lrelease). Script add-ons are bundled with their translations in their local subdirectory 'ts'.

Since February 2014, there is also a translation server available which can be used to translate the user interface of QCAD conveniently online:



Table of Contents



  • What are the minimum system requirements for running QCAD on platform XY?
    The CPU and RAM requirements depend very much on the complexity of the drawings you want to create, view and edit.
    For simple drawings (a few thousand objects) the recommended minimum requirements for running QCAD 3 on your operating system are:
    • Windows XP:
      • 120MB disk space
      • 800x600 pixel screen resolution
      • 500MHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
      • 500MB RAM (32-bit) or 1 GB RAM (64-bit)
    • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10:
      • 120MB disk space
      • 1024x768 pixel screen resolution
      • 1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
      • 2 gigabyte (GB) RAM
    • Mac OS X:
      • 120MB disk space
      • Any official Intel based Apple computer that runs Mac OS X >= Snow Leopard (>=10.6).
    • Linux:
      • 120MB disk space
      • 800x600 pixel screen resolution
      • 500MHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
      • 500MB RAM
      • The actual requirements may also depend on the window manager you are using (KDE, Gnome, etc) as well as installed background services, etc.
  • Can I run QCAD under a 64 bit platform?
    Yes. 64bit packages are available for 64bit Windows, Mac OS X and Linux distributions.
  • Symantec Norton recommends not running your installer.
    We usually do not white list our software installers with Symantec since it is a long and tedious process (several weeks). By the time Symantec would approve one version of our installer, we have usually released one or two new ones already.

Ordering and Updates

  • How can I know if there is a new version of QCAD?
    Updates are announced in our forum at:
    QCAD User Forum
    You can check what version of QCAD you are currently using under menu 
    Help - About QCAD (Windows, Linux) or
    QCAD Professional - About QCAD Professional (Mac OS X).
    You can also check for updates using menu Help - Check for Updates...
  • How can I update to the latest QCAD release? / How can I download QCAD again if I lost the downloaded file?
    Please refer to our detailed instructions for downloading software and e-books from our web site.
  • What is the difference between the QCAD User Reference Manual and the book "QCAD - An Introduction to Computer-Aided Design"?
    There are two primary sources of documentation for QCAD:
    • The QCAD User Reference Manual which is included with every installation of QCAD.
    • The book / e-book "QCAD - An Introduction to Computer-Aided Design".
    The user reference manual lists all available tools with brief usage instructions.
    The book / e-book is a complete introduction to QCAD and 2D CAD in general with many examples and step by step instructions, independent of the QCAD User Reference Manual.
    You can see a preview of the book on our web site at:
    The book is available as printed book or e-book in PDF format.
  • How does the EU tax system apply when purchasing from RibbonSoft?
    For all purchases from outside the EU (e.g. US, Canada, Asia, Africa, Switzerland, Norway, etc.), no taxes are collected from our side. If your country charges taxes over such purchases, you are responsible for handling these.
    For purchases from companies with a valid VAT number who are located in EU countries other than the Netherlands, the EU VAT reverse-charge mechanism applies. We do not collect taxes on such purchases but have to report them to the tax administration.
    For purchases from private customers and companies without a valid VAT number, who are located in any EU country, the VAT rate of the country in which the customer is located is charged.
    For purchases from companies with a valid VAT number who are located in the Netherlands, the Dutch VAT is charged.
    For DVDs (tangible goods), the Dutch VAT rate is charged.

Using QCAD

  • How can I group entities?
    Groups are called 'blocks' in CAD / QCAD. Think of a block as a group with a name. The advantage of blocks over groups is that blocks can be inserted multiple times in various locations at different angles and scales.
    The most common way to create a block in QCAD is by selecting the entities you want to be in the group and then choosing menu 'Block' - 'Create Block from Selection'. Then you need to enter a name for the new block. Make sure to enable the block list to manage blocks. Keep in mind that once defined, a block can be inserted multiple times if needed.
  • How can I access paper spaces (layouts) of drawings created in other applications with QCAD?
    QCAD does not support paper spaces at this point. Paper spaces of drawings that were created in other applications can usually be accessed by displaying the appropriate block in QCAD:
    • Make sure that the block list is visible (View - Block List)
    • Double-click on the appropriate paper space block, usually called '*Paper_Space' or similar to display that block
  • How can I copy a selection with a reference point in newer QCAD versions?
    Newer QCAD versions come with two versions of the copy and cut tools, one with and one without defining a reference point. The hotkeys are Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X (default, without reference point) and Ctrl-Shift-C, Ctrl-Shift-X (with reference point).
  • How can I cut / copy / paste items between two drawings?
    To cut or copy entities:
    1. Use the selection tools in the CAD toolbar at the left to select the entities you want to copy to the clipboard. All entities that are selected (highlighted) will be copied.
    2. Choose the menu 'Edit' - 'Copy with Reference' with the mouse.
    3. Now the CAD toolbar shows a selection of tools to specify the position of the reference point. For example you can choose the button 'End' (left column, 2nd from the top) to choose the end point of an entity as reference point.
    4. Click with the left mouse button somewhere near the endpoint (or other identifying point) you want to use as the reference point of your selection. Note that the same reference point will be used later to position the entities when pasting them.
    The entities are now on the clipboard of QCAD. You might want to click the right mouse button or press the Escape key twice to return to the main menu in the CAD tool bar. Do not close QCAD, as the clipboard contents will be lost if you do so.
    To paste:
    1. Open the drawing into which you want to paste the previously copied entities.
    2. Choose the menu 'Edit' - 'Paste'.
    3. Use the mouse to position the entities. Again you can use the snapping tools to specify an exact location or you can type a coordinate into the command line of QCAD.
    All required layers and block definitions are pasted together with the entities. In the options tool bar, you can choose if you wish to overwrite existing layers and block definitions.
  • How can I move the label of a dimension entity?
    1. Create the dimension.
    2. Select the dimension.
    3. Locate the small blue spot that appears at the center of the text label.
    4. Move the mouse pointer very close to that blue spot.
    5. Press the left mouse button and hold it.
    6. Move the mouse a few pixels until the text label 'hangs' on the mouse cursor.
    7. Position the text label with the left mouse button.
  • How can I adjust the drawing scale (1:1, 1:10, ...)?
    Switch to the print preview (File - Print Preview) and use the controls in the options tool bar to adjust the drawing scale and position.
  • When I type a Foot / Inch measurument (e.g. 5'-3 7/8") in the options tool bar or command line, QCAD doesn't seem to recognize it. How can I do that?
    Please use only regular mathematical expressions as you would in a calculator. For example: 5*12+3+7/8. Fractions with leading whole numbers are also recognized. For example: 7 3/4 is interpreted as 7+3/4.
  • How can I select a solid fill entity?
    Click on it somewhere far away from any other entities. You might have to zoom in a bit to achieve this. This behavior is intended since otherwise it would be impossible to select a line that is inside a solid fill since the solid fill would always be the one that is closest to the mouse cursor.
  • What can I do with images (bitmaps) in QCAD?
    QCAD is not an image manipulation program. Usually the reason for importing bitmaps into a CAD application is to trace the image contours with lines, arcs, polylines or splines to vectorize the bitmap.
    If you intend to edit the bitmap itself, you should use an image manipulation software instead (e.g. Photoshop, Gimp or Paint Shop Pro). In QCAD, images can be transformed like other entities - you can move them, scale them, rotate, mirror, ... However, you cannot edit the image data itself, adjust the colors or anything like that.
  • What is the small red circle in my drawing that moves position while constructing?
    The red circle indicates the position of the relative zero point, an important feature when constructing with QCAD. It is not a part of your drawing and only displayed as information for you while working with QCAD. The relative zero point is not printed or included on any exported output such as bitmaps or PDFs.
    If it seems to be in your way, you can 'lock' its position for example at 0/0 with Snap - Lock Relative Zero. This is of course not recommended as relative coordinates will not work as expected anymore.


  • I use more than one computer / operating systems - how many licenses do I have to purchase?
    Licenses are per user, not per installation or system. With one single user license, you may install and use QCAD on multiple computers and multiple operating systems as long as you are the only user. All of our QCAD products give you access to QCAD packages for all supported platforms either through a download area or on DVD.
  • For how long is my QCAD license valid?
    QCAD licenses are not time limited. You can buy QCAD now and continue using it without any limitations for as long as you like. During one year after your purchase, you can download free updates of new versions of QCAD. After one year, you can choose to renew your license at a 30% update discount and continue receiving updates or you can keep using the version you currently have. An update discount coupon code is sent to you via e-mail before your free access to updates expires.
  • Is QCAD Open Source Software?
    Yes, starting with version 3.1, the QCAD software is distributed under the GPLv3 with exceptions. In accordance with these exceptions, add-ons and plugins may be released under their respective licenses. For example the QCAD Pro add-on or the QCAD/CAM add-on are proprietary plugins. 
  • What is a Site License and when do I need one?
    If you are an individual who likes to purchase QCAD, you don't need to worry about this. Simply purchase a single user license.
    A site license is a type of software license used by companies, universities and other organizations with 10 to 20 QCAD users. A QCAD site license allows an organization to install QCAD on up to 20 computers.Note that the software itself is identical. If you represent an organization and there are more than 10 people on your site (campus) who use QCAD, you will need at least one site license. If less than 10 people use the software, it is more cost effective to purchase individual single user licenses.
  • Do you offer educational licenses / educational site licenses?
    We offer educational site licenses which are valid for an unlimited number of users at one location (campus).
    For single users, we occasionally offer educational discounts. Please contact us for details.
  • What types of packages / licenses do exist for QCAD?
    There are three different types of packages for the QCAD software:
    • QCAD Professional is the latest version of QCAD with add-ons for advanced DXF support, DWG support and many extra tools and features. It can be purchased from our online shop at:
    • The QCAD Trial packages contain a trial version of QCAD Professional, intended to try the software before you buy it. You can download trial packages from our web site at:
    • The QCAD Community Edition is the basic QCAD system, released under an Open Source license. Some Linux distributions contain packages of this QCAD version.
    To compare the features of the QCAD Community Edition against the features of QCAD Professional, please refer to our feature list at:


  • How can I reset QCAD to its default configuration?
    1. Quit QCAD
    2. Delete the configuration file QCAD3.ini or QCAD3.conf
    You first might have to make sure that system files and system folders are displayed if you are using Windows Explorer:
    1. Open Windows Explorer:
      Start - All Programms - Accessories - Windows Explorer
    2. Make sure that Windows Explorer displays hidden files:
      Tools - Folder Options - View - check 'Show hidden files and folders'
    Depending on your system, the file QCAD3.ini / QCAD.conf can be located in these directories:
    Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\QCAD\QCAD3.ini
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\Dati delle Applicazioni\QCAD\QCAD3.ini
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\datos de programa\QCAD\QCAD3.ini
    Windows Vista, Windows 7:
    Unix / Linux / Mac OS X:
    (where '~' is your home directory)
  • Dimension labels appear to be displaced in a loaded drawing / How can I move a dimension label back to its automatic position?
    1. Select all dimension entities from which you want to reset the dimension label position.
    2. Type the command 'dimregen' into the command line prompt and press enter.
    The problem with loaded drawings might occur with drawings from older versions of QCAD.
  • I cannot see the line pattern (style) of the entities I am drawing. The style seems to be 'continuous' even though it is not.
    The line pattern of a pen is scaled with the width of the pen. If the width is very thin, the line pattern might not be visible on screen or on your printout. Increase the line width to make the pattern visible.
    Note that in draft mode, the line patterns don't scale with the pen width in an effort to speed up the display of the drawing.
    You may also set up a drawing specific additional linetype factor in the drawing preferences: Edit - Drawing Preferences - General - Linetype
  • Another software 'XY' cannot read files produced by QCAD.
    Please note that many CAD applications can only read certain (older) versions of the DXF or DWG format. Autocad version X can only open DWG and DXF files of version X or earlier. For example, Autocad 2010 can only open DWG 2010 and DXF 2010 or earlier. QCAD saves drawings in DWG / DXF 2013 by default, but you can choose the exact format version in the File - Save As dialog. Only use a DXF or DWG version older than 2010 if the target system does not support anything newer. Some older DWG / DXF format versions might not be able to store all information contained in your drawing.
  • My print out or PDF is empty or some elements are missing, what is wrong?
    Your drawing might contain very fine elements (line thickness 0.00mm or 0.05mm) that are too fine for your printer to print or are almost invisible to the human eye. Please increase the line thickness of those elements.
    It is also possible that you have not adjusted the paper settings, drawing scale and drawing position before printing. You can adjust the paper format in Edit - Drawing Preferences - Printing - Page. Please use the print preview (File - Print Preview) before printing to adjust the drawing scale and position.
  • I cannot see any hatches or large texts or bitmap images.
    Most likely you are in draft mode in which hatches, large texts and bitmaps are not shown to speed up the drawing display. Please try switching to normal mode: Menu 'View' -> 'Draft Mode'.
    If you are sure that you are not in draft mode and you still cannot see any text entities or hatch patterns, please check whether the fonts and hatch patterns can be found by QCAD. If you don't get a font list in the text creation dialog this is not the case.
    This problem typically occurs under Linux, if QCAD is not started from its installation directory. Please start QCAD from the directory where it has been installed. For example:
    cd ~/opt/qcad 
  • I can create dimensions but they show no label.
    Most likely the labels are created but are too small or too large. Please change the dimension label settings in the drawing settings: Edit > Drawing Preferences > Dimension Settings
  • My entities in a block appear to be on more than one layer.
    Each entity inside a block is on a layer. Each block reference itself is also on a layer. In that sense, one could say that an entity inside a block reference is on two layers.
    Tree structure of an example drawing with a block reference:
    • Block reference of a block on Layer '2'
      • Some entities in the block definition are on Layer '1'
      • Some entities in the block definition are on Layer '2'
    Turning off layer '2' will make the whole block reference invisible and with it also the entities inside the block reference. Even the ones that are on layer '1'.
    Turning off layer '1' will make some entities within the block reference invisible (those that are on layer '1').
  • I have accidentally switched QCAD to a language other than the one I prefer. How can I switch it back to English or any other language?
    If you know how to use a terminal or console application in your operating system, start QCAD with the parameter -locale en to force an English user interface:
    ./qcad -locale en
    You can also change the language in the file QCAD3.ini or delete this file to reset the configuration completely. See also "How can I reset QCAD to its default configuration?"
    Finally, you can switch QCAD back to English through the preferences dialog of QCAD.
    Mac users: Since "Preferences" is likely not called "Preferences" in the language that was accidentally set up, Mac OS X does not show the menu in its normal place and grays out the normal "Preferences" menu. However, the menu is still there, but it is not called "Preferences" but instead translated to the foreign language that was accidentally set up and located in the localized equivalent of the "Edit" menu.
    Please proceed as follows to find the translated "Preferences" menu and switch the QCAD application back to English:
    1. Launch QCAD
    2. Have a look at the menu bar at the top of your screen:
      - Mac users:
      The first menu at the left is the Apple menu, indicated by a small Apple symbol.
      - Mac users:
      The next menu is called "QCAD Professional" in all languages. Click this menu with your mouse to open it. If the "Preferences" menu entry is shown and NOT gray, click it to show the Preferences dialog and go to 3. If the "Preferences" menu is grayed out, continue:
    3. The first / next menu is the "File" menu, translated in the current language.
    4. The next menu is the "Edit" menu, also translated into the current language. It could for example be called "Bijwerken" (Dutch) or "Bearbeiten" (German) or something else in another language. This is the menu you have to click with your mouse to open it.
    5. The second last menu entry of this menu is the menu entry that shows the Preferences dialog of QCAD. Click this menu entry to show the preferences dialog of QCAD.
    6. The preferences dialog is shown. In the list at the left, scroll down to the third last item which is the language item. Click the drop down box to change the language to English.
    7. Click the "OK" button of the preferences dialog.

QCAD Add-ons

Script Add-ons and Plugins

QCAD Professional

QCAD Professional extends QCAD with a set of advanced tools and functionality, such as SVG export, printing on multiple pages, drawing splines from fit points, polyline tools, tools to automatically detect possible errors in a drawing, command line conversion tools, etc.

This add-on also adds support for the following file formats:

  • DWG
    • read support for format version R2.5 through R32 (2018)
    • write support for format version R12 through R32 (2018)
  • DXF
    • read support for format version R2.5 through R32 (2018)
    • write support for format version R12 through R32 (2018)

Please refer to the feature list for a complete list of features that are added by this add-on (in italic).

You can purchase QCAD Professional from our online shop.


QCAD/CAM adds CAM export (for example G-Code export) and GERBER import functionality to QCAD. QCAD/CAM also contains all additional functionality of QCAD Professional. More information...

You can purchase QCAD/CAM from our online shop.

Part Libraries

The QCAD installation packages only contains a small set of symbols and CAD parts to demonstrate the functionality of the part library. Additional libraries may be downloaded and installed for free using the links below.

Installation: Download and extract (for example inside the libraries folder of your QCAD installation). If QCAD does not show the libraries after the next start, add the new library path in the application preferences under Edit - Application Preferences - Widgets - Library Browser - Library Sources.

  • Architecture [~600]
    Doors, windows, electrical installation symbols, plants, people, ...
  • Chemistry [~50]
    Chemical symbols
  • Electronics [~500]
    ICs, capacitors, diodes, ...
  • GIS [~10]
  • Hydraulics [~100]
    Hydraulics symbols
  • LRM Circuits [~130]
    Capacitors, connectors, diodes, fuses, inductors, instruments, memories, motors, piezoelectric, resistors, transistors, ...
  • Mechanics [~4500]
    Various screws, bearings, tapers, washers, DIN and non-DIN
  • Misc [~50]
    Model rail, bicycle parts, ...
  • MSR [~10]
    MSR, DIN28004
  • Processing [~200]
  • thenounproject.com [~1300]
    Icons from The Noun Project


QCAD Blog Category