File Commands

From SysCAD Documentation
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Warning! Page you're reading is outdated or was archived and very likely is referring to older version of the software. Please navigate to the most recent version instead.

Navigation: User Guide -> Menu Commands -> File Commands

This page is for SysCAD 9.3 Build 136 or earlier. For SysCAD137, the File menu commands has been renamed Project.

New File

Command Button NewProject.png
Command Path File - New File
Short Cut Key Ctrl+N

If a project is already opened, SysCAD will display the following dialog box:

User Guide image102.gif

Choosing Graphics or Trend from the list will open a new Graphics Window Grf_x.scg or a Trend Window Trend_x.trn respectively. You may also open a controls trend page by selecting Trend with Controllers.


  1. This command is only available if a SysCAD project is open.
  2. This command is not available if SysCAD is solving or running.

Open File

Command Button OpenProject.png
Command Path File - Open File
Short Cut Key Ctrl+O

If a project is already opened, this command allows you to open any closed Graphics Window or Trend Window.


  1. This command is only available if a SysCAD project is open.
  2. This option is not available when SysCAD is solving or running.

Save/Rename Graphics As

Command Path File - Save/Rename Graphics As
Short Cut Key Ctrl+Shift+A

This command is only available if the active window is a graphics window.

This creates a new copy of the graphics window, closes the old window and saves it with a new name. This is not available if SysCAD is solving or running.

This action only makes a copy of the Graphics Symbols on the page but does not save/copy any project or models information, thus it CANNOT be used to save model data NOR can it be used to make a copy of the models on the graphics page.

Save/Rename Trend As

Command Path File - Save/Rename Trend As
Short Cut Key Ctrl+Shift+A

This command is only available if the active window is a trend window.

This creates a new copy of the trend window, closes the old window and saves it with a new name. This is not available if SysCAD is solving or running.

Close Active Graphic/Trend

Command Path File - Close Active Graphic/Trend
  • This closes the active Graphic or Trend window. Before closing the window, SysCAD will prompt for reconfirmation.
  • This is not available if SysCAD is solving or running.
  • The Message, Command, Plantmodel And Access Windows cannot be closed.
  • If the Project.SpjWindow is closed, the project is closed. SysCAD will prompt for save of the project before closing.


  1. If a graphics or Trend Window is closed, it will NOT be automatically opened when the project is loaded the next time. To reopen closed Graphics or Trend Windows, use the Open command.
  2. It is recommended to keep all the graphics windows opened in SysCAD. The reason being if a window is closed, it will not be saved when the Save Project command is used. Worst still, if a Save Project version or Save Project As is used, the closed graphics window will not be copied over thus may result in missing graphics pages permanently.
  3. Closed graphics window will also cause problems during project merge because the graphics page is not available for tag name changes.

As a general rule, ALWAYS use the MINIMISE button if the pages are not being used and only close the graphics pages if the models on the pages are being represented by another page or the models on the page have been deleted.

New Project

Command Button NewProject.png
Command Path File - New Project
Short Cut Key Ctrl+N (this shortcut will only work when no projects are currently open. If a project is open this then shortcut will activate the New File command.)

If a project is currently opened:

The user will be able to save and close the current project before the Creating a New Project Dialog box is displayed.

If no projects are currently opened:

The command will bring up the Creating a New Project Dialog box, from which a new project will be created.

Button Small 1.png Select a Project Configuration (cfg File) either from the list provided or use the BrowseButton.png to find an existing cfg file.
If you no longer require a configuration file to appear in the list, highlight the unwanted file and press RemoveButton.png to delete it from the list.
Button Small 2.png Press OKButton.png on the Create a New Project Dialog box. This opens the Create As Dialog box.
Button Small 3.png Type in the name of the project.
Button Small 4.png Press SaveButton.png on the Create As Dialog box, SysCAD will then bring up the New Project Setting Dialogue box.
Button Small 5.png Selected the appropriate project settings
Button Small 6.png Press OK to create the project.

Open Project

Command Button OpenProject.png
Command Path File - Open Project
Short Cut Key Ctrl+O (this shortcut will only work when no projects are currently open. If a project is open this then shortcut will activate the Open File command.)

This allows you to open an existing project. This option is not available when SysCAD is solving or running.

Find the required project.spf folder using the Look in pull down list, click on the project.spj file and press Open.

If a project is currently opened:

The user will be able to save and close the current project before the selected project is opened.

Open Project - but Configuration File is Missing

If the user opens a project and SysCAD cannot find the Configuration (cfg) file in the same location as when the project was saved, the user is prompted with a dialog box with some choices to associate the project with the correct Configuration file and associated species database. This is most likely to occur when receiving a project from another user or coping project onto another PC or folder and the related Configuration files are not copied with this. This dialog provides convenient choices for the most common options of "repairing" the project by associating it with the correct Configuration file. This feature is available in Build 135.13801 and later.

Open Project with Alt Cfg 3.png

However, the following 2 options may also be visible if the saved project did NOT use the 'Standard' location, i.e. adjacent to the project, for the Configuration file.

Open Project with Alt Cfg 4.png


  1. The options that are visible and/or enable will depending on the Configuration File path used when the project was saved.
  2. When the user saves a project, SysCAD will always make a backup of the Configuration File and the Species Database and save them in a zip file in the project. This makes a project folder completely
  3. Option 2 (and if relevant Option 4) allows the user to unzip the backup files and then open the project. These options can be disabled if there are existing files with same name (a backup zip file will not overwrite existing files - if you need to do this, you can do this manually).
  4. If none of these "short cuts" to select the Configuration file for a project are suitable, then Cancel from this dialog, manually locate/unzip/copy the configuration files and re-open the project with the 'Open Alternative Configuration' option.

Open Project (Alternate Cfg)

Command Button OpenAltCfg.png
Command Path File - Open Project (Alternate Cfg)

This function allows the user:

  1. To browse for the configuration file if it has been saved in a different location to the one used the last time that the project was saved.
    • This is often the case when a user sends a SysCAD project to another user, or saves it to a different location / computer. The location of the configuration file in relation to the project may then be different to when it was last saved.
  2. To choose a different project configuration to load the project.
    • You can do this to re-use a flowsheet with completely different species set; for example you could change a Nickel project to a Zinc project.
    • By changing the project configuration like this, you are essentially creating a new project. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you do a Save Project As once you have opened the project with the alternate configuration file.
    • If species that are used in any models are missing in the new configuration file, model data that is associated with the missing species will not be loaded.

Using this Command

  1. Click on 'File - Open Project (Alternate Cfg)';
  2. From the 'Open Project' dialog box, choose the required project;
  3. From the 'Loading Project..' dialog box, select the required configuration file, if it is already in the list. Otherwise click the 'Browse' button to find the required configuration file.
  4. Click on 'OK' and the project will open with the highlighted configuration file.


  1. Once you have opened and saved a project with an alternate configuration file, it will then always use that configuration file and you can then open the project as normal.
  2. This option is not available when SysCAD is solving or running.
  3. If a project is already opened, you can use this command to open a different project. If an alternative configuration is needed for the current project, close the project first, and then use the Open Project (Alternate Cfg) command to load the project with the new configuration file.

Save Project

Command Button Save.png
Command Path File - Save Project
Short Cut Key Ctrl+S
  • This is used to save the project.
  • This action will save the entire project using the existing project name overwriting the existing data.
  • If you wish to save to a new project name use the Project Save Project As or Save Project Version command.
  • Before closing a project or exiting SysCAD, you will be prompted to save the project.
  • A project save cannot be performed if SysCAD is running or solving.


A project should be saved regularly to avoid lost of information during building of a new project or when making major changes to existing projects.

Save Project As

Command Path File - Save Project As
  • A project save cannot be performed if SysCAD is running or solving.
  • This command saves the entire project in a new project folder and copies all referenced files if requested.
  • With the project save as dialog box opened, find the correct folder to put the new project and type in a name for the project. Press Save.
  • A Project Save Options dialog box will be opened requesting for user input on what referenced files to copy if present. See Save Project Version for the various options.


Make sure to choose a correct location for the new project folder, as this will help with file management.

Save Project Version

Command Button SaveVersion.png
Command Path File - Save Project Version
Short Cut Key Ctrl+Shift+S
  • This cannot be performed if SysCAD is running or solving.
  • This command saves the project with a version number.
  • This command is similar to the Project Save As... command with only one exception. Part of the file name will be prefixed with the old project name.

For Example:

If you have project - SteadySt.spf opened and want to save with the Save Project Version command.

You will be presented with the Project Save Options dialog box:

Project Save Option.png


  • If you leave this Comment text blank and press OK, your new project will be saved in a folder called SteadySt-00.spf.
  • If this is saved again with Save Project Version the new project will be called SteadySt-01.spf.
  • Alternatively, you can type in a version Name, e.g. Test. The New Project will then be saved in a folder SteadySt(test)-01.spf.

Database Options

  • Format - This allows the user to specify the ModelData.mdb format. (File in which SysCAD stores all the models information.). The global default for this option can be set via Tools - General Options - Global.
  • Remove Previous Revisions - This allows the user to specify the ModelData.mdb save options. (File in which SysCAD stores all the models information.) The global default for this option can be set via Tools - General Options - Other.
    NOTE: It is recommended to select the Remove Previous Revision Option to keep the database small and more accessible. This will also shorten the save and load times.
  • Save Object Files (extra state/result info) - This option is only useful for dynamic project, it allows user to save extra results and state in a separate folder called ObjectFiles. In these files, the initial conditions and state of dynamic models such as Layer tanks, conveyor belts etc are saved. For Steady State Projects, this option is not needed.

Additional files to be copied from the project folder

By default, all used Report/Scenario/Script/Reaction/Control/ModelProcedure files will be automatically copied into the new project folder. If the old project folder contains any of the above file types that are not being used by the project, they can be included into the new project folder by selecting the appropriate boxes.

Zip Project

Save Project Layout

Command Path File - Save Project Layout
  • This will save the position and size of all the windows as well as the position and arrangement of the toolbars.
  • The layout is automatically saved when a project is saved.
  • This command is useful if you want to save the layout of the project without saving the entire project.

Close Project

Command Path File - Close Project
  • This command is not available if SysCAD is running or solving.
  • This closes the current project.
  • Before closing the project, SysCAD will prompt for save of the project.


Command Path File - Explore - Project Folder
Command Path File - Explore - Configuration Folder
  • These two commands will jump to Windows Explorer Window and open the Project or Configuration Folder.

Load Scenario

Command Button LoadScenario.png
Command Path File - Load Scenario
Short Cut Key Ctrl+F6

Once a project is loaded, previously saved scenarios can be loaded. See below for how to use Save Scenario command.

To load a scenario, just select the appropriate file from the list and press Open.

User Guide image113.gif

  • When a scenario is loaded, models that exist in the scenario but not in the project are ignored, and models that exist in the project but not in the scenario are left unchanged.
  • The time taken to load a scenario is significantly faster than a project load.
  • SysCAD may be running while scenarios are being loaded. However, for best results, pause the project before loading a scenario.
  • Scenarios can be used for Scenario Comparisons since a saved scenario saves all the calculated values, which are required for meaningful scenario comparisons. See Compare Scenarios.

Save Scenario

Command Button SaveScenario.png
Command Path File - Save Scenario
Short Cut Key Shift+F6

Once a project is loaded, a scenario of the project can be saved. A scenario is a complete binary dump of the state of a project and is saved to a file with the extension scn. It saves all the configuration and calculated data for all unit models in the project.

BEWARE: If the project is very large, this is then a very large file. The user can save this file in a zip format, this is done through the General Options dialog box, tab page Global as shown below:

General Options2.png
  • The option Zip Scenario files during save will save the files in a ZIP format, reducing the file size for storage purposes.

The time taken to save a scenario is significantly faster than project save and the user can request a Save Scenario while SysCAD is solving or running. However, for best results, pause the project before saving a scenario.

Once Scenarios are saved, it can be used for Scenario Comparisons for debugging purposes. See Compare Scenarios.

Compare Scenarios

Command Path File - Compare Scenarios

This command can be used to:

  • compare previously saved Scenarios,
  • compare a previously saved Scenario with current values,

These are done through the Compare Tag Values Dialog box.

User Guide image117.gif

Use the Add... button to add in files for comparison:

User Guide image118.gif

Use the browse button to find the 1st scenario file. Enter the 2nd file name if required or you can choose to compare the 1st file with the current values. Enter the output file name or use the window as the output destination. Press OK when completed and you will be back to the Compare tag Values dialog box.

The Delete button allows you to delete a comparison entry.

The Edit button brings you back to the Compare dialog box.

The Done button closes the Compare Dialog box.

The Compare button performs the comparison of the files.

The Options button opens the Tag Value Comparison Options dialog box:

User Guide image119.png

This dialog box lets you to customise the compare output file.

Another similar command is Compare Data.

Print Setup

Command Path File - Print Setup

Used for setting up the current print/printer options.

The default print setup for SysCAD is Landscape.


Command Button Print.png
Command Path File - Print
Short Cut Key Ctrl+P

Used for printing the Graphics Window graphics, Access Window information and Trend Window trends.

When print is pressed, SysCAD will print the information on the active window only. When the Graphics Window is printed, all graphics will be printed in one colour depth. If the active window is the Trend Window, the following pop up dialog will appear:

User Guide image122.gif

The Trend Window is separated in two sections; the user can print out either the Trend Line View or the Trend List View or Both. If use true colours is selected, the user can print out the Trend lines in colour if colour printing or in shades of grey if using a black and white printer.

Please NOTE that the Access Window cannot be printed from this command. To print the Access Window contents, open the Access Window for a selected Unit Operation, and select print from the Access Window Options button. When printed, each tab page will be on separate pages.


Printing the file \SysCAD\SCD_Log.csv can print the error messages in the Message Window.

Print Multiple

Command Path File - Print Multiple
Short Cut Key Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Used for printing multiple Graphics Window pages.
  • Any graphics page must be active to select this command.
  • The user will then be given a dialog box that can be used to select any number of the graphics pages to be printed.
  • The graphics will be printed in one colour depth.

Print Preview

Command Path File, Print Preview

This is currently not available for use.

Merge Project

This command is to merge two projects. The following criteria must be met to merge two projects:

  • Both projects must be saved in exactly the same version;
  • Both projects must use the same model configuration (.cfg) file (and by implication the same species database); and
  • Both projects must be of the same solver mode.

Video Link

There is a tutorial video that shows you how to merge 2 projects together: Please see Video of Project Merge.

Recommended Workflow

In this example we will merge Project A (the larger project) into Project B (the smaller project).

  1. Ensure both projects to be merged are using the same configuration file.
  2. Open Project A, then Save the project and close it. This ensures that it is saved in the current version of SysCAD.
  3. Open Project B and perform a Save As or Save Version of this project. This ensures that after the merge the original Project B will still exist for future reference.
  4. With Project B still opened, Merge Project A (Imported project) into Project B (Current project) as described below.
  • Select the menu option File | Merge Project ....
  • In the Project Merge dialog box, (shown below) browse for the file name for the Project A. This is the Import project.
Merge Project.png
  • The Tag Changing Method section of the dialog box can be used to determine the rules to be followed for renaming tags where duplicates are found.
  • The recommended option is to select "Change duplicate tags" or "Change all tags" for the current project, and "Do not change any tags" for the imported project. NOTE: To significantly improve the speed of the project merge (and minimise checking of tag changes in models, controllers, tag annotation blocks and so on) for the project to be merged select "Do not change any tags".
  • Type in the path for Report file or use the default file name.
  • Press OK.
  • SysCAD will now check if the two projects can be merged together. If so, it gives a detailed report of what is going to happen when the projects are merged.
  • Review the tab pages of the report. When satisfied, press Continue to execute Merge of the two projects or Cancel to go back to the previous dialog window.
  • When finished, Save the merged project.


  1. If the user is merging two projects each containing a reference file (for example reaction file) with the same name, then a merge problem will occur. Instead of giving the Continue page, SysCAD will give a warning detailing the problems encountered. The user can then choose to go ahead with the merge, thus not copying the reference file in the imported project or to cancel the merge operation.
  2. Project with annotation block would take significant amount of time during merge if it is part of Project B (the current project), so always choose the project with the least number of unit operations and annotation blocks as Project B to ensure a faster project merge.


Command Path File, Import

SysCAD must be in the Edit mode for this command to be accessed. This will give a Dialog box with options to import different project data types. Selecting SysCAD Flowsheet will activate the Project Merge command described above.


Command Path File, Export

Selecting Neutral DB will save (export) some of the model data to a "neutral" Microsoft Access database. The two groups of data exported are the models (Units and Links) and graphics. Once Neutral DB is selected a dialog is given that lets the user specify the name of the export database file.

The dialog gives the following options of what to include in the export:

  • Graphics - this will export the name of all the graphics symbols for units and line routes for pipes. NOTE: This is not suitable for projects build with imported graphics drawings!
  • Models - this will export a list of all units and pipes. For units, the model type is included. For links, the pipe source and destination units and port IDs are included.
  • Configuration - not implemented.
  • All Parameters - not implemented.
  • Create Tables Only - this will create empty tables in the database (ie a template), no data is exported.

NOTE:This functionality is under development and is subject to change. The format of the tables and fields of data exported may change.


Command Path File, Exit

Short Cut Key Alt F4

Exits SysCAD. Will prompt for save of opened project before exiting.