Construct Graphics Commands

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Navigation: User Guide ➔ Menu Commands ➔ Graphics ➔ Construct

Insert Edit Delete Copy & Paste Display Animation Symbol Management Construct

Latest SysCAD Version: 31 May 2024 - SysCAD 9.3 Build 139.35544

Related Links: Manipulating Graphics


This is a subset of the graphics commands which are used to draw and manage SysCAD flowsheets. SysCAD must be in the Edit mode (stopped) for most of these commands to be accessed.

Note: When using Graphics Copy and Paste constructed unit symbols and links are not recognised when pasting to new flowsheets (default symbols/links are used). See Graphics Symbols for further information.

Load Drawing

Command Path Graphics, Construct, Load Drawing

This is used to load an existing drawing into the active Graphics Window. The normal work flow for this command is as follows:

  • Have the required drawing file in the DXF format. This can be
    1. created in other CAD package and then saved in the dxf format. Please see NOTE 2 below.
    2. created in SysCAD (e.g.: from another project). Please see NOTE 3 below.
  • Open a New Graphics window in SysCAD.
  • Load the drawing into the Graphics window using the Graphics, Construct, Load Drawing command.


  1. If the user does not open a new Graphics window before using the Load Drawing command and the active Graphics Window already contains SysCAD models prior to loading a drawing, all the existing graphics entities will be discarded, but the mathematical models will be NOT be deleted. Thus creating some homeless models. To reattach the mathematical model/s to some graphics, use the Construct Symbol command.
  2. If the dxf file was created from other CAD drawing packages, the file will require clean up before it can be used in SysCAD. The instruction for file clean up is the same as: How to create a customised drawing frame using external CAD packages.
  3. Be very careful when you use a dxf file created in another SysCAD project. SysCAD will recognise all of the tags in the dxf file and will attempt to reconnect these tags to models in your project. Therefore, this is only recommended when you actually already have models in your project with identical tags that you want to represent with the new dxf file.
  4. See Manipulating Graphics for further discussion.

Construct Unit

Command Button ConstructUnitButton.png
Command Path Graphics - Construct - Unit

This command is mainly used:

  • When you have imported a DXF drawing into the Graphics Window; or
  • To replace one unit operations model with another, but keep the graphics - for example replace an FFE2 with an FFE4. (use the Change Unit command)

You use this command to convert existing "dumb" graphics, from the imported DXF drawing or an exploded unit operation, into a SysCAD unit instead of using the Insert Unit command to insert a unit together with the associated graphics. Please also see Manipulating Graphics.

To construct a unit using existing graphics do the following:

  1. Access the Construct Unit command (using the command button, path or short cut key),
  2. Choose the required unit type (as in Insert Unit) from the construct unit dialog box.
  3. The mouse cursor will display TAG. You can click on the DXF drawing's unit name and use it as the model tag if present, otherwise click where the tag name is going to be.
  4. The mouse cursor will now display GRF. Choose the graphics to represent the unit by clicking on them with the mouse button.
    • The selected line/s will turn magenta.
    • Group selection is allowed by using the Iwin (In window) or Cwin (cross window) buttons at the bottom of the dialog box. These allow you to draw a selection box around all the graphics required and use them as the graphics symbol.
    • Note: If you make a mistake you can click on the unwanted graphics again to de-select it.
  5. Click OK on the Construct Unit dialog box to accept the unit, otherwise you can start again by press the Cancel button or hitting the Esc button on the keyboard. These actions will close the dialog box.


  1. Graphics Name tag positions: If existing text string is present in the dxf drawing, you may use it for the unit name tag. However, you must select the tag when it asks for it, thus when the mouse cursor displays TAG. Doing so, the name tag will remain at its original position. Otherwise, if you select the name tag when it is asking for graphics (GRF), SysCAD will still use the text string for a name tag but will also try to reposition the tag so that its starting point is centred on the graphics symbol.

Construct Link

Command Button ConstructLinkButton.png
Command Path Graphics - Construct - Link

This command allows you to represent a link using an existing DXF drawing, as with constructing a unit.

To construct a link:

  1. Choose the units to be connected, as with Insert Link.
  2. Select existing name as the link tag, if it exist, otherwise click where the tag name is going to be.
  3. Select the graphics as in Construct Unit.
    • Note If you make a mistake, you can click on the unwanted graphics again to de-select it.

Please see Construct Unit for note on Graphics name tag positions.

Construct Tie

Command Button ConstructTieButton.png
Command Path Graphics - Construct - Tie

This allows you to insert a tie into the existing CAD lines:

  1. Select the command
  2. Click on each of the intersecting lines.
  3. This will automatically break the lines and insert a tie point at their intersection.
  4. You can then construct links to the tie as required.

Construct Symbol

Command Button ConstructSymbolButton.png
Command Path Graphics - Construct - Symbol

This command allows you to attach an existing unit model to some existing plain graphics.

  1. Type in the name of the existing model,
  2. Assign it to some unused graphic entities.

Please also see Manipulating Graphics.

Export All Symbols

Command Path Graphics - Symbol Management - Export All Symbols

This command is used if you want to export all of the symbols in a SysCAD flowsheet.


  1. Click on the graphics page with the required flowsheet.
  2. Go to 'Graphics - Unit Symbol Management - Export All Symbols'.
  3. ALL of the units on the flowsheet will be saved as symbols.
  4. Open Windows explorer and in the project folder a new folder 'Symbols' will have been created with a sub-folder with the same name as the SysCAD flowsheet. All of the symbols from the flowsheet will be stored in this folder.
  5. You may delete any symbols that are not required, for instance, Link symbols.
  6. Please rename the symbols that you require, without using any 'special' symbols (@,!,&, etc.) or the name of any unit class (Tank-1, Tie-1, etc.)
  7. Copy, or move, the symbols into the appropriate sub-folders of the ..\SysCADxxx\BaseFilesUser\Symbols folder.

You will then see the symbols in the graphics list the next time you insert a unit.


Command Path Graphics, Isometric

This command is only relevant for drawings with three dimensional spatial co-ordinates. This command zooms the graphics to an isometric view.