Announcing WildTools 10.1.2 Upgrade
After 30 years of development for PowerCADD and 20 years for WildTools, it's a mature, full-featured program. It's not reasonable to expect major improvements and innovations. That only happens today on the iPhone and iPad. It couldn't happen here ... in our backyard ... with our venerable ... old ... solid program. It would be ridiculous to even think of this being possible.


         Hard to believe.


But that is, in fact, what has happened in WildTools over the past few years. It's all crazy, of course. And how it all happened is also a bit crazy, foolish ... and wonderful.


Something Wonderful Happened on the Way to the Psych Ward
How ironic that the greatest bursts of creativity and innovation often come at the darkest moments. Lincoln. The lonely Beatrix Potter. Churchill's ten years in the political wilderness. Steve Jobs humiliated and fired from Apple.

WildTools 3D was born in a 30-day work-frenzy in a reality distortion field during Apple's darkest days, when every business magazine and newspaper reported with confidence that Apple was only weeks from closing.

All of you with creative minds have experienced this in yourselves. So it should come as no surprise that the misery of the architectural profession and the awful economy have produced an explosion of creativity and innovation in the development of WildTools.

The reason WildTools is so good is that the tools have been created by people who use them every day, people who never stop asking how the drawing experience could be better, easier or more fun. This latest version is the result of a very close collaboration with Matt Arnold, who sees what is missing and is always looking for ways to improve things.

Matt Arnold's inquiring mind, sense of aesthetics, frustrations, passions and fertile mind are at the heart of the joy and fury in WildTools. Favorite Line tools. The watercolor trees in Trees & Shrubs. The Shingle tool. The men, women and children in the People tool. Color choices. The PowerCADD bull cartoons. All have come from his gifted mind and talented hand.


Favorite Offsets for Offset Line and Parallel Offset Tools
The most important improvements are right in the middle, in the mainstream of the work you do on a daily basis with your drawings.

We added favorite offsets to the Offset Line and Parallel Offset tools. Now this is HUGE!


Add a favorite with the little 'plus' button.


To add a favorite, you click on the little 'plus' button at the bottom right of the sample window. The favorites buttons are on a button dock along the bottom of the sample window.

Then in the drawing ...


Offset favorites on the button dock in the drawing.
One click to change the offset.


... we have a button dock that show these and other favorites at the bottom of the drawing window. So you can select your favorite offset with a single click and not visit the tool's dialog.


Reactions from users:

Great feature.
This is fantastic!
I think this is a quantum leap forward -- and an undoubtable productivity boost.
Thanks for this excellent development. This will save us loads of time!
This is f......g fantastic.
But this is absolutely another one of those things that makes you wonder why it wasn't always like this.
Major kudos for the offset favorites bar and sharing!!!


A Revolution in Dimensioning

Green is for Imperial ... Greenbacks. Red is for metric ... Wine.

We had another revolution in dimensioning tools, where we now have color-coded dimensions using a "Wine and Greenbacks" scheme for metric and Imperial to simplify the display choices and to make sure you can see what you are doing.


Huge improvement in clarity of information with the new dimension tool dialogue. Even the larger size of the whole dialogue window is a big help. I was able to 'get the picture' of the dimension tool settings almost instantly.

Damon Oriente


Then we added Tolerance Needle and Dimension Text Needle tools to easily edit dimension lines in the drawing.

Set the Tolerance Needle tolerances in the tool dialog.

Then click on dimensions in the drawing.

Tolerance Needle with color-coded units


The Dimension Text Needle lets you add text as a prefix or suffix to the dimension.


Dimension Text Needle editing a dimension


These tools automatically highlight all dimension lines in the drawing so you can see at a glance which dimension lines have been edited and are not telling you the true length of line. This is huge.

Edited dimensions -- that are not 'telling the truth' -- are highlighted in yellow


Favorite Line Tools
Most architectural offices have a wall chart of the office standards for line sizes used for hairline, normal lines, dimensioning, title borders, etc.

Favorite Line tools in a horizontal presentation

These tools work in concert with the Normal Line style of StyleTools in WildTools. The tools are for Normal Line, Hairline, Edge Line, Outline, Border Line, Center Line, Hidden Line and Long Dashed Line.

Select any of these tools and then use the Attributes Window to set the attributes of these tools, just like for any other tool.

Click on any of these eight tools and you have just changed the pen size and dash pattern of the Normal Line style in WildTools. Each of these tools is, in effect, a copy of the WildTools Line tool, so you can go right to work drawing lines, or you can use any of the other tools in WildTools to draw rectangles, circles, polygons, etc. with the new line size you have just chosen.

Note that you must select Use Styles in the WildTools preferences pane for this to work.


We now have scroll-stepping that lets you increase or decrease a number setting for a tool, such as for the Points Along, Linear Duplicate, Linear Distribute tools, on the fly. While drawing with any tool with this feature, press the Command key and then roll the mouse scroll wheel to change the number. Up, up, up. Down, down, down. The screen display shows the new setting for the tool.


Gradient Fill Tool
Matt Arnold asked for the ability to create and edit gradient fills in the drawing.



So now we have a WildTools Gradient Fill tool. It's spectacular, and there's nothing else in the world that even comes close.


Editing a gradient in the drawing.


It gives you the ability to create and edit gradient fills in the drawing where you can see the colors in proportion to the object and its surrounding objects.

And we taught the Knife and Freehand Knife how to cut gradient fills and do the right thing.


Dash Adjuster Tool
We now have a tool that lets you adjust the dash lengths of an object in the drawing.


Click on an object with a dash pattern, then drag the slider up or down.


The Devil is in the Details
We have many small improvements and a lot of these can add up. For example, many of the buttons in the tool dialogs now have tool tips to remind you what they do, and some of the buttons are live and change the display to match other choices in the dialog. These new buttons look crisp and sharp on a Retina display.

The Scale tool now has finger technology.

We've added Australian, British and European standards to the steel shape tools in the Nuts & Bolts palette.

The Find Layer and Magician Tools now have yellow highlighting of all objects on target layer, so in a glance you can see which objects belong to the target layer.

We have animated displays in some of the dialogs, such as the Grading tool, to show you in graphic terms what the tool choices mean.


WildTools Updates
WildTools is in a constant state of development and always has been. There is now a WildTools Updates in the Help menu that will notify you of minor updates that you can download and install as they come in. You can read about the changes before you download an update.


You can always check up on what's happening with WildTools at any time.


If you see something interesting or ask the author of WildTools for something, you can download the current build before a minor update version is declared. It's always fully reliable software that you can use any day, all day long. It's a slowly moving train that you can get on at any time. It's up to you, but most of you will want to update WildTools infrequently and only when you're notified.

Enough of this serious stuff, now for some fun...


A WildTools 3D Revolution
This is really embarrassing, but when we developed WildTools 3D years ago, we left out something basic: the ability to set things up to match a photograph or a screenshot of a 3D model. Our thanks to Mark Rhodes for bringing this to our attention.

We began with a redesigned WildTools 3D setup window. You can drag the angles around, or type them.


A purple face means WildTools 3D is 'embarrassed'


You are encouraged to use the Scale choice, which is critical for accurate depictions of rods, tubes and cylinders. And if you don't do the right thing, WildTools 3D will see that you have made a poor choice, and the cube face will turn purple because WildTools 3D is 'embarrassed' by your behavior and bad judgement.

And now we have X-Axis, Z-Axis and Magic Cube tools to let you set things up by tracing in the drawing.



Using X-Axis and Magic Cube tools


Mark Rhodes

omg. This is EXACTLY what I have been hoping for! My life just got a whole lot easier. You rock, dude. Stay foolish.

Mark Rhodes


A Screw Loose in 3D
And then Mark asked for the ability to draw screws in a 3D presentation. So, when nobody was looking WildTools 3D and Nuts & Bolts ran off together in the night, 'hooked up' and nine months later we have Nuts & Bolts 3D. Which lets you draw things like this:


It's not magic ... it's WildTools


In the Nuts & Bolts 3D tool palette, you have 3D versions of the Hole, Tubing, Thread, Screw Thread, Nut, Screw, Cap Screw, Sheet Metal Screw, Wood Screw, Deck Screw, Bolt, Lag Screw and Threaded Rod tools.


Les Miserables de WildTools
Trees & Shrubs began with Aymeric Gillaizeau in France, an urban planner. He's a compulsive, over-detailing perfectionist who obsessed and created a stunning collection of trees and shrubs with beautiful colors which change in appearance with the position of the sun. It's pure genius.



Aymeric's trees and shrubs are pure genius.


Damon Oriente got involved to make sure we created things that landscape architects would appreciate. We messed with a few of Aymeric's shrubs and added a few of Damon's styles. He's really good, but he's not tormented or crazy enough.


Excellent. Superior. Great... but Damon Oriente is not crazy enough.


Matt Arnold then added branches and a new tree style. He designed a 'sophia' tree, not a tree type such as oak or elm, but just something he came up with and named after Sophia Loren.


New trees from Matt


And he invented a new style of watercolor tree that's like something you've never seen before.


Now this is genius.


We added colors from Monet, Gauguin, Manet and Degas and the tormented mind of van Gogh. The hand of God in their minds.



We put these trees into an Apple Cover Flow interface so you can flip through them. It's all filled with random numbers so no two examples are the same.

And out of the ashes and manure Les Miserables de WildTools dreamed a dream and grew a beautiful flower.



I absolutely love the tree and shrub tools.      
Joyce Weise      


The Crazy Ones of WildTools

Let's stop and remind ourselves that creativity starts with a problem. That you can never do great work by yourself, it comes only from collaboration. And innovation comes from collaboration where there is an inexhaustible supply of ideas. So thanks to the following for creating Trees & Shrubs:

Aymeric Gillaizeau ... Misfit

Matt Arnold ... Troublemaker

Damon Oriente ... Round Peg in Square Hole

 Paul Gauguin         Claude Monet           Edgar Degas                Edouard Manet      Vincent van Gogh
in their wildest dreams could never have imagined 'collaborating' on software.
No emails available.

They all see things differently


People Tool
We've added a People tool that is largely the creation of Matt Arnold, who did all the drawings and effects.


Over 100 outlines of people to choose from


With a single click you can place things like these people:



Matt also came up with the Shingle tool that lets you draw lines with random spacing and angles.



Balloon Text
The Balloon Text tool is dramatically changed so you can use almost any kind of graphic effect you like.


Balloon text of all shapes, sizes and colors

Like many tools, this lets you create favorites which appear in a button dock in the sample in the tool dialog, so you can select your favorite balloon with a single click.

You can get anything you want.


Picture Frame Tool
We've added a Picture Frame tool that lets you create photo frames or to give a fancy emphasis to a detailed drawing.


Draw a frame around anything


The dialog includes a slide show of sample photos of WildTools author Alfred Scott's family and the loves of his life.


Margaret and Elizabeth


Bend Tool
Matt Arnold wanted to bend some things.

Before                                                                                And after bend                


So now there's a Bend tool that lets you reshape objects with a familiar arc-by-chord drawing action so the objects bend along the arc.


Flexible Tubing and Armor Cable

Draw armor cable conduit or rope

We added the ability to draw flexible tubing and added an Armor Cable tool to draw flexible metal-wrapped electrical conduit and rope.


TopoTools and Survey Coordinates

3D topo model in WildTools


You can now import and export ASCII Survey Coordinates from a land surveyor's Total Station instrument to bring 3D topo coordinates into TopoTools, and we have 3D views in TopoTools. It's just like having a 3D modeling program inside WildTools.

There's a new Topo Magic Wand tool in TopoTools.

We've also added the ability to import GPX and Google Earth placemarks, so you can hike around with your iPhone and import your tracks into PowerCADD.

Tools Created for Users and by Users

This is what has happened in WildTools during the hard times in the country. But the depressing conditions and dark moments are the fuel that provides the energy for all this activity. These are tools that have been developed by highly creative people, collaborating in this creation yet many have never met or talked to each other. Certainly that's the case with the French impressionists! And when you reflect on what they have done during these painful times, they are more to be envied for their gifts than pitied for their circumstances.

I hope after reading this you will have a good sense of how these tools have come to be developed, the passion and the role of the users who have collaborated and contributed interested only in creating great tools.

Alfred Scott


Bring a Whip, a Chair ... and Your Credit Card
As you can see, this latest version of WildTools takes things to a whole new level, and it lets you do things you never even had an erotic dream about before. The experience of drawing just keeps getting better and better. And more fun. It's time to turn your genius loose with a whole new bag of tricks.

Order yours today. To order, call (336) 299-4843 or order online at In the United Kingdom, contact PRD Software at In France, email Radesoftware at In Italy, email Abacus at


No 'Sharing' Please
WildTools has always been reasonably priced for what you get and what it does for you. On this upgrade, to deal with the problem of people who are sometimes generous in 'sharing' things, orders for upgrades must match the number of PowerCADD/WildTools seats in your office. You will receive a new copy with WildTools 10.1.2.


PowerCADD 9.1.11 has a few changes that are important, but there is more in the works. The Mac Pro is overkill for a typical PowerCADD user, of course. It may be like using a shotgun for a fly-swatter, but then we're all a bit crazy, aren't we?

And we've begun work on PowerCADD 10 where the focus is to give the program a more modern appearance. Support for high-resolution monitors. Full screen mode. Tabs. Trackpad gestures, tags, etc. And also that will run at blazing speeds on next-generation machines and operating systems ... long, long into the future.


And if you're a PowerCADD 8 user 'sitting on the fence' ... you just ran out of excuses to move to PowerCADD 9 and WildTools 10.