TurboCAD 2D

TurboCAD 2D is an easy-to-use 2D CAD (computer aided design) application aimed at both professionals and non-professionals. The simple interface includes all the typical tools, such as multiple line types, polygons, double lines, curves, and dimensions, plus drafting aids like object and grid snap.

TurboCAD 2D comes with a symbol library of over 8,000 objects, most of which are generic, but they are a useful resource – particularly for the non-professional user. Layer support includes the ability to hide and show, manipulate colours and ordering, and the ability to create layer sets. The Layer Manager palette is the most user-friendly we’ve seen in a CAD program.

The program can import and export an extensive number of file formats, including design industry standards like DWG, DXF, IGES, and ACIS SAT. However, TurboCAD 2D can’t handle paper space (printable sheets made up of multiple views of other parts of drawings), and can’t import page layouts from AutoCAD utilising paper space. On the plus side, it can import and export the Adobe Illustrator format, making it a great tool for illustrators who need to produce scaled, accurate drawings. Although TurboCAD 2D is a 2D program, it has a model-to-sheet tool that can import 3D CAD files, which gives Illustrator users additional flexibility.

One criticism of TurboCAD 2D is in the way it handles units of measurement. The units can be displayed as decimals or fractions, but all input and editing is accomplished purely in decimal format. This makes it difficult to input fractions. This might be a deal breaker for architects, who typically work in feet and inches – or for anyone who can’t quickly do decimal-to-fraction conversions in their head.

IMSI markets TurboCAD 2D as a tool for non-professionals, such as home owners doing their own remodelling, or students working on school projects. While TurboCAD 2D may be one the easiest CAD programs to use, beginners would need to immerse themselves in the application for a day or two to become proficient at producing useful drawings.


TurboCAD 2D Macintosh is terrific value for professionals looking for a full-featured 2D drafting application, or for a home owner or student looking for an application for creating CAD drawings – provided you can do the maths when inputting decimal measurements.

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