Frequently Asked Questions

Is miniCAD only for surveyors?
Can I use miniCAD in trial mode indefinitely?
Can I use miniCAD for free?

My trial version is telling me it is expired. What do I do?
How do I register my copy of miniCAD?
How do I know if Microsoft.NET V4.6 is installed on my computer?

I have multiple PC's and would like to share my settings and licence.
What machines are required to run miniCAD?
How do I install the latest miniCAD version?

Can I return to a prior version?
Where is my miniCAD.Config.XML File Located?
I’ve opened an old job and the Point Cross does not display or plot?



Is miniCAD only for surveyors ?


No, miniCAD is suitable for use by anyone. miniCAD can be used to accurately design or map any 2D object. (With a range of sub millimeter to over 100 kilometers.) miniCAD provides a terrain model tool to map 3D contours and perform solid object volume calculations.


Can I use miniCAD in trial mode indefinitely?


miniCAD, in trial mode, is only to be used for evaluation purposes. At the end of a trial you may select Student mode and use the program indefinitely. (Some features will be restricted). For commercial use you must apply for a subscription. Free Professional licences are available!


Can I use miniCAD for free?


If you are a student (full or part time) OR wish to use the program for non-commercial activities you may apply for a free Professional licence. These licences will be automatically renewed each year. (This offer is subject to the miniCAD Terms and Conditions agreement.)



What happens when my trial version of miniCAD expires?


The trial version will expire after 14 days or 30 program starts. If a later version is available you may download and start another trial. To continue using the program switch to Student mode or apply for a subscription.

To preview Student mode go to Tools >> Options >> Preferences and select the Schools checkbox.



How do I register my copy of miniCAD?


To register miniCAD start the program and select the menu option Help > Register. (You must be connected to the internet.)

Enter your details. The Email and Mobile (or PIN) combination are used to link your registration to your annual subscription.

Once registered proceed to the website and apply for a paid or free subscription.

You need to restart miniCAD before your subscription will commence. If you have any problems check:

  • That you have a working internet connection.
  • Your computer's date and time are set correctly.
  • Your email amd mobile entered on the PC are the same as those used on the website.


How do I know if Microsoft.NET V4.5 is installed on my computer?


When you install miniCAD you have an option to view a report that details the .Net programs installed on your computer. In most cases on Windows 7 and 8 you may already have the correct framework installed.

From Release 193 on miniCAD now requires .Net V4.5. Because this version is not supported on XP computers it means miniCAD 6 no longer supports Windows XP. In addition if you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 and are running .net V4.0 you will need to visit the Microsoft Website and download V4.5.

If the miniCAD program reports “Unable to Initialise.” you have an early (or no) .Net installed. If this occurs visit the Microsoft Download site, install .NET and then rerun the miniCAD setup.

If the miniCAD program starts and opens a job but the screen is black: You have V4.0 and need to install V4.5 (or later). If this occurs visit the Microsoft Download site, install .NET and then restart miniCAD.

Get the Microsoft .NET Framework from Microsoft


I have multiple PC's and would like to share my settings and licence.


The miniCAD settings and licence information are stored in minicad.config.xml. If you share this file between multiple PC's, via your network or Dropbox, you can have multiple machines running under the same licence key. Each machine will have its own unique machine key. e.g.

I have 3 PC's and have applied for a 3 licence subscription on the website.

1. On the first PC. - Start miniCAD. - Register the PC using your email/Mobile(PIN) combination. - Use Tools Options to point the config.xml to a shared location on your network.

2. On the next PC. - Start miniCAD. - Use Tools Options to point to the same location as PC No. 1 for minicad.config.xml. - Register the PC using your email/Mobile(PIN) combination.

3. On the next PC. - Repeat PC No. 2 steps.



What operating system is required to run miniCAD?


miniCAD requires a Windows PC running the .Net Framework V4.0. Windows 7, 8 and Vista and XP (Service Pack 2 ). As a guide ensure you have 4mb RAM. If you work with many images you may need more ram.


How do I install the latest miniCAD release?


The miniCAD setup program is used for new installs and to upgrade an existing install. Run the program and follow the prompts. The latest version will be installed over your current version without effecting your settings and data.


Can I return to a prior version?


Each time you install a new miniCAD release the setup files are stored on your hard disk. This enables you to revert back to any release previously installed. You can also install a prior release directly from the website. To revert back to a release from your local hard drive follow these steps:

  1. Using My Computer open the miniCAD folder.

    This is usually 'C:\Program Files\Mapsoft\miniCAD6'. In this folder you will see a program called mc_setup.exe. It's job is to install zip archives found in the 'install' folder. We'll use this program in a minute.

  2. Open the 'InstallPrior' folder and copy a zip archive file.

    The file we want looks like this: "minicad_50_1_20080906_01.GZip". You usually take the latest date but you can take an earlier one if you need to.

  3. Paste the selected zip archive into the 'Install' folder.

    Now we are ready for the interesting bit. When we run mc_setup.exe it will find this zip archive open it and apply the changes to the release folder updating minicad6.

  4. Double-Click on 'mc_setup.exe' to start the install program.

  5. Select the menu option "mc Release" >> "Setup". Then press Ok.

NOTE: Your settings and data are uneffected by this procedure.



Where is my miniCAD.Config.XML File Located?


The XML file miniCAD.config.xml arrives on your computer in the Program Directory. Prior to miniCAD Version 5.1.0.6 it was updated in place. From Version 5 it was copied into the (yourWindowsUsername)/AppData/roaming/mapsoft/minicad.60 folder. Any views saved will also be placed in a /views folder under (yourWindowsUsername)/AppData/roaming/mapsoft/minicad.60 folder.


In miniCAD 6 you can use Tools > Options to change the location of the miniCAD.config.xml.

Note 1: Under XP this folder is called 'Application Data'

Note 2: Under Vista and Windows 7 this folder is called 'AppData' and is hidden by default.

Note 3: Prior to Version 5.1.0.6 these files are updated in the c:/(program files)/mapsoft/minicad5 folder. NOTE: Windows 64bit will not allow this location to be used.

Note 4: Using V5 and V6 on the same machine.

Because of changes to the registration system you should move the minicad.config.xml file as soon as you install V6. (in most cases it will be done for you) V5 will then use the old location while V6 uses the latest. (Use Tools > Options to change the location of the miniCAD.config.xml. It will be copied for you if it does not already exist in the new location.)

To remove version 5 config files from the programs folder:
  1. Save and then delete the /views folder found under minicad5/release.
  2. Start minicad. Your current config.xml file will be copied into the new location.
  3. Restore your views by coping them into the new views folder.


I’ve opened an old job and some point crosses do not display or plot?


In version 5 new layer attributes were introduced to avoid the display of point attributes in selected layers. (cross, code, height or number.) When opening older jobs (from Version 4) you may need to reset these flags. Go to Layers and select all (ctrl-a) and then set the attributes to display.

Point code: TEXT is another new way to disable cross printing and display. When used the point attributes will not be displayed or plotted. TEXT is the default point code for the Rectangle and Pencil tool. See Tools > Options > Preferences.