Dec 9, 2011

Some tweaks for DraftSight on Ubuntu 11.10

Despite its BETA status DraftSight for Linux  is enough stable and mature for productivity work. In this post I will show you some tweaks in order to make your life easier.

  •  Get back your icons in DraftSight's menus :
If you don't see any icons in your DraftSight menus that's because you use GNOME and the default settings of your desktop hide the icons in menus. This is not a DraftSight's bug. In order to get back the icons in your DS menus you have 2 options that do exactly the same thing:

  1. Install gconf-editor, because it isn't installed by default on Ubuntu 11.10, open it and navigate to /desktop/gnome/interface and then change the value of the variable menus_have_icons from false to true.

   2. Open a terminal (simply by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T) and execute the command:

gconftool-2 -t boolean -s /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons true

This command does the same thing with the first option without the need of installing gconf-editor.

 DraftSight with no icons in menus.

 DraftSight after making the icons in menus visible.

  • Solve issues related to your desktop theme :
DraftSight is a Qt-based application. DraftSight on Ubuntu 11.10 tries to apply by default your GTK theme, and you may have problems if you use a custom GTK theme and not the default Ambiance or Radiance themes. Changing your GTK theme into one of these 2 themes is the simpliest solution but there are 2 other ways to solve theme-related issues without changing the appearance of your whole desktop.

  1. Install the package qt4-qtconfig ( you can use Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic or terminal for that). After the installation you can find this little application as Qt Settings. Open it and change the option GUI style into Plastique. Close this application  (you will be prompted to save the changes, choose yes) and after that DraftSight will be opened by using the plastique theme by default.

 Qt 4 Settings

2. The above option affects the appearance of all your Qt apps. If you don't want this to happen you can use a different method that applies the plastique theme only for DraftSight. What you have to do?
Open a terminal and type:
sudo gedit /opt/dassault-systemes/draftsight/bin/DraftSight

this command will open DraftSight's startup script with root privileges. Be careful with the changes and don't make any other changes on this file except the one you need in order to make DraftSight use by default the plastique theme. So just add  -style plastique option in line 32 of this file and save it.   

DraftSight's startup script in gedit. The changes you have to do are highlighted. 

 DraftSight with the plastique theme applied.
  •  Import/Export .SAT files
DraftSight is a 2D application but it can read/write 3d files. A hidden feature that you may find useful is the ability to import/export 3D .SAT files. These commands have no menu entries in DraftSight but are accessible through the command line. Simply type importsat to get the "open sat file" dialog box and exportsat to get the "save as sat" dialog box (you have to choose a 3d entity from model space first ).
Import SAT file dialog box.
 Export SAT file dialog box.


  1. Excellent bro!! Thanks a lot... I used to have problems to open files made in AutoCad, but now thanks to you that problem is solved.
    (sorry for my english, I am from Ecuador ;))

  2. thank you so much for curing my headache ;)

  3. Excellent tweaks, thanks. I'm using Draftsight in Linux Mint DE. Do you have any guidance on how to increase the size of the icons in the toolbar?