Suggestions for simple scale drawing software?

I'm used to the archaic way of drafting floor plans ... T square + triangle + canary paper + pencil and eraser.  I need software that will let me make scale drawings on the computer. I've tried ProDraw and another trial, but all the 'helpful' stuff keeps getting in my way.   I don't want to drag every line around.

So does anyone know of a (hopefully free or inexpensive) simple grid & line & scale system that will let me draw the lines where  I want them to be?     I have photoshop elements 1.0 and love it.  But I don't see how to make scale drawings on it.   Thanks.

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aeray2 years ago

Cad Standard by Apperson and Daughters. Cheap and easy. $35. Very intuitive if you are used to traditional pencil and paper drafting. I have been using it for years for fully detailed submit-able drawings for clients and building departments. There is no plug-and-play, though: WYSIWYG. Which is what I like about it.

mole1 (author)  aeray2 years ago

Perfect! And it isn't huge. Thanks so much!

EllieB24 mole15 months ago

Thanks all, I'm looking to do the same thing. Sadly Cad Standard (looks great!) but doesn't seem to download on a Mac.

aeray EllieB245 months ago

I use an iPad for all of my other day to day stuff, but I keep an old Windows laptop around just as my dedicated CAD machine. CadStandard is small enough to run on a small cheapo laptop.

I dunno. Have you tried LibreOffice Draw?

I have had some had some success with this for 2-dimensonal vector drawings made of line segments, and boxes, and circles and stuff.

The x-y position, and size, of any element (line, box, circle, etc) you draw, these are properties of that element which can be edited directly. For example I want to draw a line segment, and then draw another line segment just like the first one, only shifted exactly 2 inches to the left. This can be done by copying the first line segment. Then editing the properties of the copy, specifically its x-position, i.e. adding 2 to the current position. That is, if the drawing is set up so the units are in inches. If each unit length is 1/4 inch, then you have to add 8, or something like that.

Anyway, I would NOT describe LibreOffice Draw as intuitive, or super-easy to use, or pretty, but I have been able to sort of beat my fists against it, and make it do stuff. Probably the thing I like most about it is its price, which is free. I never tried drawing a floor plan with it, but I can almost imagine someone using it for that.

mole1 (author)  Jack A Lopez2 years ago

What does 'vector' mean in the context of drawing? ?

The information in a vector drawing is stored as a list of geometric objects (e.g. lines, boxes, circles, etc), and the numerical properties of those objects (e.g. position, length1, length2, radius1, radius2)

In contrast, a raster drawing (sometimes called bitmap drawing) is just a width-by-height (e.g 1024-by-768) array of pixels, and the information in the drawing is just the color and brightness of each pixel.

The most useful property of a vector drawing is that it can be viewed at any scale, without loss of information; i.e. when viewing it on a raster-based device (e.g. a display or printer) the software just calculates the values for all the pixels, however many it has, for that device.

I think the following Wiki articles can maybe explain it a little better than I can.





since you are looking to find an image editor for your thing. Who knows, maybe there will be something in that list that looks promising?

rickharris2 years ago


May help you out - You can get autocad free as well - Pretty much an industry standard. If you want specific software for architectural drawing I think you may have to pay.

However nothing at all wrong with pencil and paper - often faster

petercd2 years ago

Inkscape is a free vector graphics editor which will have the ability to scale drawings but might require a fair learning curve.

I use Deltacad 2D for its ease of use, demo version here.

kelseymh2 years ago

On my Mac, I use the "standard" Unix program, |xfig|.

Most CAD packs will do what you need. Some are better than others with some being designed for drafting.

Google Sketchup isn't specific for cad drawings but has all the features you need and an easy to use interface.