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VUTRAX - Latest News

Keeping Up-to-Date

If you would like to be e-mailed a synopsis whenever a change is made to the Vutrax site please request a change to our Mailing List

Recent Changes to the Site

Regular visitors need to know the recent changes:-

  • 6 July 2022
    • Vutrax 14.2a operates correctly in the subsequently issued Windows 11. During installation automatic selection of Windows 10+ includes Windows 11. A general up-issue would not provide any advantage.
    • POWERPLANE update. If you use the settings for user tabulated powerplane pads then you may find the created powerplane structures to be un-named. The link to the fix above provides the details of whether you need to upgrade.
  • 1 June 2020
    • Launch of Vutrax 14.2a Those of you with active update rights should request a new configuration file from the office. You can install over existing systems in the normal way. File formats are compatible both ways.
      Changes from 14.1a to 14.2a include
      • Use of 64 bit (x64) processor architecture.
        7 modules have been engineered to be available in both the existing 32 bit (x86) mode and the now widely used 64 (x64) bit mode. These include all of the graphical and heavy processing modules. The x64 implementation generally provides a 10% to 20% speed improvement
      • PLOT 17.13a (for 64 bit only for now)
        Some Windows printers now default to proportional fonts when not instructed otherwise and PLOT could can have its headings partially corrupt by mis-spacing. Otherwise harmless.
      • SEE
        A more extensive list for the Spell Checking is provided, including many common place and names requiring capitalised words. SEE remains an untouched 32 bit application.
      • DRAFT
        More speed statistics are included. GDI (as opposed to Direct2D operation) is overwhelmed by Windows overheads and is no faster. DRAFT now responds to Windows screen scaling if you or Windows has set it to other than 100%. Extensive control & overrides are provided.
      • TOOLBOX 12.07a - The POWERPLANE Generator (for 64 bit only for now)
        The POWERPLANE generator normally provide simple annular rings to provide electrical isolation to the power layer, and 'broken' rings to electrical connection but with thermal relief around drilled holes.
      • At Windows 10 version 1809 Microsoft changed the behaviour of the standard message Box - controls are provided to choose behaviour.
      • Environment variable VTXDLGSZ (dialog box size control) has been extended to accommodate screen scaling.
      • VTXSHELL 5.30a
        Numerous minor fixes and updates to use Windows 10 APIs. Command WINSHOW is updated to allow many new options.
  • 8 July 2019
    • DRAFT update for potential problems with that might appear only when using Direct2D high speed drawing.
      1. If you select to display grid dots they do not appear.
      2. The last drawing operation for local changes may be lost and not displayed until the next change or screen refresh.
      If you don't use high speed drawing, don't use grid dots and don't see item 2 there is no need to update.
      Otherwise please download and install it as a normal update.


  • 24 Apr 2019
    • When DRAFT is used in Windows 10 (and some issues from Vista) on a high resolution screen with windows scaling set to over 100% the Tool-tips associated with the tool ribbon may appear above DRAFT window and in a small font. Tips may also not cancel properly.
      The effect is harmless, but if you would prefer to dispense with all such pop-up info, use the VUTRAX setup page to assign
          DRAFTHINTS=-     (thats equals followed by minus sign)


  • 27 Feb 2019
    • SAN 219 : Message Box keyboard focus in Windows 10 vn 1809:
    • After applying this Windows update, simple messages boxes (like OK/Cancel, Yes/No) do not pick up typed responses - you have to point and click. If you find this is a nuisance for you can apply one of two workarounds.


  • 10 Oct 2018
    • SAN 218: Fixing problems with the DRAFT 'VALUE' command
      • DRAFT 40.03b (Vutrax 14.1a) and earlier does not properly warn that it is unable to update the schematic legend to match the value.
      • If the schematic DATA point and legend get out of step this explains how to correct the issue.


  • 3 Oct 2015
    • Launch of Vutrax 14.1a:
      • Vutrax file formats (including Graphics, Libraries etc.) are bidirectionally interchangeable with those used for Vutrax˙13.0a through 14.1a. Graphics files from all earlier issues can be used without formality.
      • Installation configuration files for Vutrax 14.0a and earlier need to be updated for use when installing Vutrax 14.1a. You can trial the 256 pin free version in a separate folder - it will display but not save changes of larger complexity.
      • This issue is primarily to provide proper support for operation under Windows 10 & compatibility with future updates of Windows.
      • Problems with Windows UAC (User Access Control) when installing the Viewmate Photoplot viewer and the trial versions of the Electra autorouter are resolved.
      • Time and date compatibility is extended beyond 18 Jan 2038.
      • DRAFT display quality of high speed drawing mode using Microsoft Active X - Direct 2D has been visually improved to display sharp single pixel width lines.
      • VTXSHELL (the Vutrax 'command prompt' handler) has been extended in numerous places, include Copy and Paste, XCOPY options and managing caret position using the mouse.


  • 31 July 2015
    • Electra Autorouter Trial options updated

      You can now download either a 250 pins version of electra, or an unlimited capacity 14 day trial directly from this site, or go to the Konect web site for the latest versions.


  • 7 Oct 2014
    • Microsoft Windows 10 Tech Preview

      If you are thinking of having a look at Microsoft's preview you might find our initial look regarding Vutrax useful:-
      • The current Vutrax 14.0a (with or without updates) seems to work fine with it for both x86 (32 bit) and x64 versions.
        Install it as 'Windows 8' which is how it currently identifies itself, presumably so that everybody can try out Windows 8 Apps.
      • Some of the new start menu icons may appear in 'All Apps' rather than the Vutrax folder in start menu. We will look at this in due course.
      • You can make Desktop icons just fine as you install.
      • We already prefer Windows 10 to Windows 8 on a PC, although Windows 7 is still our preferred base.
      • Windows 10 is a sort of 'alpha' issue so we can't recommend it for production systems, but if you are keen to give it a try please let us know of any problems you find.


  • 25 Sep 2014
    • SAN 217 Issue 2: A fix and an upgrade in a development update:
      • Issue 2: Details of a fix for local context sensitive (Right button) menu selections having no effect when Active-X is selected.
      • Issue 1: As 27 Aug 2014
      A development update is available at Updates:


  • 27 Aug 2014
    • SAN 217: A fix and an upgrade in a development update:
      • Details of a fix for Vutrax 14.0a DRAFT mis-managing Mouse wheel and automatic Panning in GDI graphics mode.
      • Details of an Enhancement to the SEE text editor to allow override of a potentially inappropriate printer default font, and an option to select the printed size.
      A development update is available at Updates:


  • 6 Aug 2014
    • Launch of Vutrax 14.0a:
      • DRAFT support of Active-X for extreme improvement in drawing speed when graphics controllers with graphics processor are used. Particularly effective in Windows 8. The feature is optional and can be turned on and off.
      • Dialogue box sizes can now be controlled. This is particularly useful on high resolution displays on small monitors where text can become barely readable.
      • Full compliance with Windows' User Access Control to optimise program loading times.
      • Files can be transported bi-directionally between Vutrax 13 and 14.
      Details of these new features can be found in [What's New] in the installed system.


  • 17 March 2014
    • SAN 216: Vutrax 13.5a Update 1 is available for Windows.
      The update fixes a rare problem when you create your own 'TRACE' pad shapes (irregular pad shapes drawn by the user).
      The details of the problem & downloadable fines are described in SAN 216.


  • 8 April 2012
    • Issue Status: Vutrax 13.5a is available which includes
      • Support for Windows 8.
      • Typically 10 times faster graphics display on Windows Vista, 7 & 8. when using the default Windows graphics configurations.
      • Changes to allow Windows User Account Control to stop occasional confirmations.
      • Fix for rare problem with some dimension dialogue boxes.


  • 30 Aug 2011
    • Issue Status: A Graphical Footprint Library that includes a Degree Turned Round point generated an invalid footprint library rejected during Rats-nest build. We have only a single report, and there is a simple text edit workaround. A development update to DRAFT and correction to the WIRE (Rats nest) documentation is provided should the problem becomes a nuisance.


  • 8 May 2011
    • Issue Status: New issue Vutrax 13.4b is available now. Changes include:-
      • VTXHELP 4.00a & HTMLVIEW 1.00a
        Complete replacement of help and tutorial viewers to regularise features on all Windows and Linux Platforms.
        Known Problem: Minimal Linux systems with very few fonts may initially display slowly while rescaling.
      • PLOT 17.11a
        Drill chart abnormality fixed.
      • SEE 11.4a
        The text editor can search backward Shift+F3 or from the menu - particularly useful if you overshoot.
        Spelling checker dictionary updated.
      • VTXSHELL 5.11a
        Error handling tidied up and meaningful 'if errorlevel ...' now available for wider range of internal commands.
      • VTXLIB11
        Menu system correct (was functional from command line)
      • VTX2IDF 2.01a - Vutrax to IDF converter
        (Optional interface) Various corrections and updates.
      • VUTRAX.MNU 10.15a
        Some help buttons in Menu system dialogues were badly targeted.
      • DRAFT 39.07b - Interactive Graphics
        Does not store scroll wheel zooms and similar in lists.
        The track measurement facilities now inspect explicitly selected signals for overlaying traces that might confuse the measurement, and offer various options.
        Linux only: Local menu on some items & multiple region groundplane specification fixed.


  • 12-14 June 2010
    • Issue Status: New issue Vutrax 13.4a is available now. Changes include:-
      • DRAFT automatic panning completely revised.
      • Linux version resolved issues with insufficient access permission in UBUNTU 10.04
      • Linux version resolves untidy closedown of some utilities. DRAFT for Linux
      • Linux version Groundplane fill interpretation compatible with Windows version.
      • New facility for creating Bare Board Test output to IPC-D-356
      • Back Modify/Annotate enhancements to preserve user preferences
      • Detailed documentation of changes can be found in the installed or updated product at Vutrax 13.3a to 13.4a from (Help > What's New)


  • 14 May 2010
    • Linux users upgrading to or making a fresh install into Ubuntu 10.04 will find that the Vutrax installed desktop icons have no image and don't work. This will be fixed in the next issue.
      Meanwhile for each launcher needed:-
            Right Click > Properties > Permission tab
              Select the Execute check box & Close.
      The image will appear & the launcher will start working.


  • 11 June 2009


  • 2 May 2009
    • Issue Status: Vutrax 13.3a is now available for download. New features include
      • DRAFT - NEW feature can interactively or automatically create Concertinas & Zigzags including automatic bus length matching. A tutorial is included.
      • DRAFT - Alter (reverse) Direction feature of the banding line to work along routes in your preferred direction. Direction is preserved for selecting the next segment and style.
      • Clarification of mixed coordinates units in dialogue boxes.
      • Changes to mouse wheel in various modes and explicit user options
      • VTXSHELL manager include 'IF DEFINED ...', a filter KEEPLINE for extracting lines by pattern matching, and Linux per-command access to standard command shell functions.
      • Introduction of a text Clipboard Manager. In Linux this also provides inter-working for text clips between the various standard clipboard schemes.
      • Finalised update to Interface module for VTX2IDF.
      • Support for forthcoming release of Windows 7 (based on Beta releases).
      Customers with maintenance contracts should contact the office for an updated configuration file.


  • 15 Nov 2008
    • Issue Status: Update to Interface module for VTX2IDF
      This is a Alpha update for Windows only that includes
      • VTX2IDF 2.00 Dev C a completely re-written module for 3D modelling output.
      • TOOLBOX 12.03 Dev D changing DXFTOVTX handling of SPLINES, and CREATELIB formatting and device orientation problems.
      • MENUVTX 10.15a
        for compatibility with the new VTX2IDF menus.

      More details can be found in Windows Updates


  • 27 Oct 2008
    • Issue Status: Setting dimensions in DRAFT dialogues for coordinates not matching the current drawing may be inaccurate. Avoidance and workarounds provided.
    • Issue Status: Installation with Fedora 10 Alpha 1 is not possible with the standard selection of fonts. Existing customers are advised not to upgrade to Fedora 10 until Vutrax 13.3 can be installed.


  • 18 Aug 2008
    • SAN 215: Installation may fail on Linux Fedora Core 9 and similar variants. Workaround for this and help system.


  • 28 July 2008
    • Issue Status: PLOT photoplotting butt-ended axial lines may use an overlarge square pad to flash along the line if it is made available. Fix available as Vutrax 13.2a Update 2 Beta 3
    • Issue Status: CNCTOOL (used by PLOT for Gerber-274X) may generate an internal error diagnostic if a tool is selected but not used (very unusual occurrence). Fix Available as Vutrax 13.2a Update 2 Beta 3.
    • Issue Status: TOOLBOX 'DXFTOVTX' leaves out curves drawn as SPLINEs. Preliminary fix available on request.
    • Issue Status: TOOLBOX 'CREATELIB' (Create Library from a legacy Artwork) may fail to generate correct library items for some outlines. Preliminary fixes available on request.
    • Issue Status: PRINTFRM using a printer font (.FDF) filename which includes any white space causes an error. Workaround provided.


  • 12 Apr 2008
    • Issue Status: CNC drill output may produce an unexpected error message 'Coordinate Suppress 1'. Explanation or workaround provided.
    • Issue Status: Menu selected Text Print Font definitions error if Vutrax is installed on a path including spaces. Workaround provided.


  • 24 Mar 2008
    • Issue Status: PLOT in Pen, Photoplot & Postscript styles draws thin lines instead of leaving our lines designated Zero width with Butt-end. Includes workaround for Vutrax 13.1a & 13.2a.
      Fix for Vutrax 13.2a is at Windows Updates or Linux Updates
    • Issue Status: DRAFT 'Postscript' output (and thus Linux printer output) omits or misdraws the ELONG pad shape.
      Includes workaround for Vutrax 13.1a & 13.2a.
      Fix for Vutrax 13.2a is at Windows Updates or Linux Updates


  • 8 Mar 2008