Application Settings

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Application Settings

Application Settings dialog-box

Use the Application Settings dialog-box to edit the working environment.

All changes to your settings will become the default settings when you exit and restart MechDesigner. We call this its style.

Different users on the same PC with different style preferences can save and load their Theme and Style with the Save and Load buttons.

See also: Themes and Styles

Open the Application Settings dialog-box:

Edit toolbar > Application Settings icon


                                                                          Edit Toolbar [ABOVE] graphic-area.

Edit Toolbar [ABOVE] graphic-area.



1.Click Edit menu > Application Settings

- or -

1.Click Edit toolbar > Application Settings

Application-Settings dialog-box

Application-Settings dialog-box

There are five tabs in the Application Settings dialog-box.


Number Format




Load and Save buttons:

To open and apply a style that contrasts well with a Theme.

We have prepared a style for each theme. You can also save your own settings to the same style, or a style with a new file-name.

See more: Themes and Styles

Application Settings tabs



 CAD Linear Unit 

Make the units the same as the original drawing.

 File Options 

Extract Files in .ZXL to ...:

The ZXL file has all of the files that the model needs. There are two options:

Create a sub-directory automatically (with the same name as the ZXL file name)

I do not recommend this option. Why? Because when you open the ZXL file, you will create a new CXL and MTD in the sub-directory.

Specify ZXL output directory. I recommend this option. I specify the same directory as the ZXL file.

SAVE ZXL file on exit check-box - see ZXL file-type

Enable Auto-save check-box (Default is checked)

Save the model before Auto-save begins.

Checked:  Recommended to continually save the model to the same file-name. Do not use if you have a 'master file' you do not want to change.

Unchecked: Recommended IF you prefer to save when YOU want to save the model, or YOU want to create new file-names.

At each auto-save, MechDesigner:

1.Renames the file-name.CXL and MTD files to file-name.~CXL and .~MTD

2.Saves the model as file-name.CXL and .MTD

# Backup-Files:

A backup-file is made automatically when you open a MechDesigner file.

The backup-files use as file-extensions:  .CXL.1, .CXL.2, ... and .MTD.1, .MTD.2, ...

Commands between Auto-Save

The number of command from auto-save to auto-save. Note: to start auto-save, you must save the model with File menu > Save.

 Cam 'Soft Limits' 

Cam: Minimum Radius Soft Limit Recommended: 150%

(Cam Radius-of-Curvature ÷ Cam-Roller Radius ) × 100 %

In the graphic-area, the cam-profile becomes red at the places where the:

Cam Radius-of-Curvature < 'Minimum Soft Limit' % × Cam-Roller: Radius

 Theme Options 

Note: THEME : different 'border' colors, contrasting toolbar icons colors and different dialog colors.

Active Theme : the theme that you see when you start MechDesigner.

Target Theme : drop-down box to select a different theme:

Windows (not recommended)


Charcoal Dark Slate

Load button: to open and apply a style that contrasts well with a Theme. We have prepared a style for each theme.

Light.XML style for the Windows10 theme.

Dark.XML style for the Charcoal Dark Slate theme.

Save button: to save your settings to a style file-name.

You can copy the Theme and Styling, and any other settings you make, to distribute to other MechDesigner users in your company.

See more: Themes and Styles

Number Format


 Data Output Format 

Used for displaying and exporting Graph data and Cam-Coordinates.

Float Number Format: See here (Internet Link) about number formats: General, Exponent, Fixed and Number.

Precision and Digits - see below

 Dimension Format

Data format of dimensions in the graphic-area

Precision and Digits - see below

Dimension Font Size - Recommended : 13

Precision: The number-of-digits that are used before the number is 'rounded'.

Digits:  The number-of-digits after the decimal mark.





























Note: Make Precision>Digits to prevent 'rounding' to less than the number of decimal places.



 Display colors 

Change the color of many elements. Use each button to open the Windows® color 'picker'.

We continue to add elements to the list.

Recommended colors for the dark style (R, G, B)

Selected color (255, 0, 0)

Measurement Dimension


Part Unsolved (Free Part)

Part Solved (kinematically-defined Part) (0,128,0)

Geometry Under defined

Geometry Fully Defined

 Display Options 

quality: Low < Quality > High

Use the 'Quality' slider to edit the drawing accuracy of various symbols and sketch-elements.

Show Function-Block Captions check-box.

Click the check-box to display element-name above each Function-Block in the graphic-area.

Anti-aliasing check-box.

Click the check-box to display sketch-elements with aliasing on or off.

Graphic-Line Width

I find the best value is 0.8.

Show Function-Block Captions

Show Function-Block Captions

Hide Function-Block Captions

Hide Function-Block Captions

Display Function-Block Name check-box.

Click the check-box to display the function-block name above the function-blocks icon in the graphic-area.





Toolbar Icon Size

Click the size to suit your display and eye-sight.

Large - 4K screens only

Recommended : Medium

Text Size

Click the size to suit your display and eye-sight.

Large - 4K screens only.

Recommended: Medium


See an English Joke! about sizes and language.

Language: English or Italian

Show Hints check-box

If you do not need the hints, clear the Show Hints check-box. We still show hints in the Feedback-Area.


Symbol Display Size (Pixels): (5) The size of the symbols of the elements in the graphic-area, such as dimension, input and output-connectors, Part-Outlines and Part axes.

Cursor Selection Size / Pointer Size (Pixels): (6) The size of the pointer 'pin-head'. The larger this number the easier it is to select element, but you may select more than one element.


Enable Message Sounds: check-box to let you listen to a sound each time MechDesigner sends a message to the Message Area in the Feedback-Area.

Click the buttons to hear the sound for each message.

I do not listen to the sounds as there are many messages for each command.



Default Sizes 

Set these sizes in proportion to your models. Typical machine design and small medical devices will be set to different sizes, of course.

Default Ball-Joint Radius

This parameter gives the default radius of the Ball-Joint symbol.

See Ball-Joint dialog

Default Bearing Diameter / Default Grounded Bearing Diameter:

The dimensions used for the arcs at each end of an Auto-Profile when you use the Solid toolbar > Auto-Profile command.

Edit the Part later to edit the dimension, if necessary.

See Add Auto-Profiles (Mechanism) command.

Default Extrusion Depth

The default Extrusion-Depth of Extrusions (along the Z-axis of the active editor) when you use the Add Auto-Profile and Add-Profile commands.

Edit the Extrusions later to edit the Extrusion-Depth, if necessary.

See: Extrusion dialog-box