Application Settings dialog-box

Use the Application Settings dialog to edit the working environment, called a 'Style'. Style Settings include:

Simple User Preferences: for example, colours
Important Settings:  for example, icon size and text are needed for different screen-resolutions.

Any changes to your settings become the default settings when you exit MechDesigner. We call this its 'style'.

Different users on the same PC with different style preferences can save their own style with the Save button and load it later with the Load button.


There are two major Style Options, which you can load with with Edit menu > Application-Settings > General tab > Style Options.

Charcoal Dark Slate.

We recommend you also use the Load button to load the Dark.xml Style


We recommend you also use the Load button to load the Light.xml Style

Application-Settings : Styling and the MechDesigner.ini file

You can also edit your settings further: icon and text size, element colours, number format, and more. colours, .

The active styling is saved to the MechDesigner.ini* file when you exit MechDesigner.

The MechDesigner.ini file is loaded when you start MechDesigner to become the active style.

Distributing Style Files

You can use the Application-Settings> Save button to also save the styling to a personal or company-wide named style.

Distribute the named-style to other PCs as required.

Use the Application-Settings >Load button to make this the active on the other PCs.

Exit MechDesigner to save those settings and styles to the MechDesigner.ini file.

* See Files on your PC

Style Structure


Video of 'How to load a different style'.


Style and Settings

Edit Style

Open the Application Settings dialog-box:

Edit toolbar > Application Settings icon


                                                                         Application-Settings icon Edit Toolbar [ABOVE] graphic-area.

                                                                         Application-Settings icon
Edit Toolbar [ABOVE] graphic-area.



1.Click Edit menu > Application Settings

- or -

1.Click Edit toolbar > Application Settings icon [see Edit toolbar, and Application-Settings icon, above]
Application-Settings dialog-box

Application-Settings dialog-box

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

Number Format

Save and Load Buttons :

Save button : to save the active to a Style name
Load button : to load a previously saved Style

Note: Light.XML and Dark.XML are recommended with Windows10 and Charcoal Dark Slate, respectively.

Save and Load buttons.

Use 'save' and 'load' buttons for your own Application-Settings, which we call a 'style'.

When you first start MechDesigner, the style is usually OK for normal use. However, you may want to try different settings, especially if your monitor has a high or low resolution.

If you are the only user on the PC, any change to the settings become the default style when you re-start MechDesigner. However, different designers that use MechDesigner on the same PC may prefer their own style.

Each user can save their own settings as a style with the SAVE button.

Then, the same user can use the LOAD button to find their style, to re-apply their settings.

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. If you open the CXL file and 'exit', you will also create a new ZXL This can create confusion.

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

Enable Auto-save check-box: [Save the model first]

Auto-save only happens with a new file after you use 'File menu > Save as', or you open an existing model.

Select:     Recommended IF you prefer to continually with the same file name. Do not use if you have a 'master file'.
Deselect: Recommended IF you prefer to save when YOU want to, or you want to create new file names regularly.

At each Auto-save, MechDesigner:

1.Renames the CXL and MTD files to ~CXL and file-name ~MTD
2.Re-saves the open file as CXL and MTD

# Backup Files:

A backup file is made automatically when opening an existing file.

The backup files have the extension CXL.1, CXL.2, CXL.3...n and MTD.1, MTD.2, MTD.3...n.

Cam Options

Cam: Minimum Radius Warning Recommended: 100%

(Cam Radius-of-Curvature / Cam-Follower Radius ) × 100 %

The Cam becomes red if the Radius-of-Curvature of the Cam becomes less than the '% × Radius of the Cam-Follower Roller':

Style Options   Technically a 'Theme Option'

There are three 'standard' styles you can select: Windows[not recommended], Windows10 and Charcoal Dark Slate.

Each style has a different 'border' colour scheme.

Each Style uses different colour icons to contrast with the border colours.

It is recommended you use the Load button to Load the

Dark.XML style with the Charcoal Dark Slate style option.
Light.XML style with the Windows10 style option.

We do not recommend the Windows style option

Note: See also 'Save' and 'Load' buttons, above

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 Colours 

You can change the colour of the elements or symbols that are in this table. Use the button adjacent to each to open the Windows® Colour 'picker'.

We continue to add to the list of elements whose color you can edit.

Note-Pencil-20 Arrow

The preferred colours for the dark style' [R, G, B]

Background [128,128,128]

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 

Sketch-element arc faceting 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 as a caption in the graphic-area the 'name' of the function-block.

Only View Solids in active Mechanism.

When 'Show/Hide Model in Mechanism' [Visibility toolbar] is active:

Click check-box: To 'Only View Solids in active Mechanism-Editor'
Clear check-box: To 'View Solids in all Mechanism-Editors'
Show Function-Block names

Show Function-Block names

Hide Function-Block names

Hide Function-Block names

Show Function-Block Captions check-box.

Click the check-box to display the 'name' of the function-block as a caption above the icon in the graphic-area.

Only View Solids in active Mechanism check-box.

Click or Clear the check-box to show or hide the Solids that are in the active Mechanism

Note: To see the Solids, also use Visibility menu > 'Show Solids in Mechanism Editor'




Toolbar Icon Size

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

Recommended : Medium

Text Size

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

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 arrow heads, Part-Outlines and 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.



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.

Ball-Joint Symbolic Radius

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

See also Ball-Joint dialog

Default Bearing Diameter / Default Grounded Bearing Diameter:

The dimensions used for the 'arcs' and circles for 'Auto-Solids.' Edit the Part later to to edit the dimension, if necessary.

See Add Auto-Profiles [Mechanism] command.

Default Extrusion Depth

The default dimension that applies to an extrusion when you use Add Profile or Add Auto-Profile.

See Also: Extrusion dialog-box


Tutorial and Reference Help Files for MechDesigner and MotionDesigner 13.2 + © Machine, Mechanism, Motion and Cam Design Software by PSMotion Ltd