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Steve Dobb

How to convert old MiniCAD .mcd files

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Hello there,


I have inherited a number of MiniCAD .mcd files, which I would like to view and (ideally) save to PDF.


I don't know what version of MiniCAD they were created with, but I think they were drawn in 2002.


When I try the latest Vectorworks viewer, it seems to recognise them, but then says that they are in too old a format.


Is there a tool available to convert old .mcd files to a later Vectorworks format?


is there a byte sequence or something in the file which will tell me which version it was created with?


I've read other similar posts on here but they are all from many years ago.


Thanks and Regards,





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Hello Steve,

   How many files and how big? If it's not too many files I could convert them for you, assuming you are free to send them to me. 


   As to the byte sequences - YES - modern VW files have a header you can read with a text editor. Older MiniCAD files, not so much. I'm not sure when the header became human readable. My suggestion, open a file in a text editor and see if you can make anything out. If not, no harm done. Just don't save it with the text editor!


   If you'd like me to update your files, you can email me at  mullinrj AT aol.com. 




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There is a tool to convert minicad files to VW 10.5 files, but that only works for minicad 5 and newer. Then you should be able to open them in your current VW version.


The converter can be found at: http://vectorworks.be/nl/support/downloads/software


Go all the way on the page until you see "Vectorworks oude bestanden omzetten"

The first link contains the version for Mac but only for OS9, so it won't work on OSX

The second one is for windows and should work up to and incl. on Win 10

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Art V - thank you for your suggestion.


I downloaded and installed the converter (Windows version).


It opens and displays the file OK - which is a major step forward - at least I now know that the files are valid and I can see what they contain.


But when I do 'Save-As', the only option is to save as a .mcd file, and when I try to open that saved file with the VectorWorks Viewer it still says it is too old.


Maybe I need to go back and find an older version of the Viewer?

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Hi Steve,

   You will need to contact Vectorworks Support for this file. It appears to be a MC 7 file, but it was created by a BETA version of the software and the file format is not the same as released versions. Unless you open it with the right beta version it is not readable. Hopefully the engineers in the Mother Ship can help you. 


   I tried to paste a picture of the warning but my file upload failed.


   You can send me another or all of the files and I can tell you if they are BETA files, or if they will open.


All the best,



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   Good news. On a whim I tried a later version of VW to see what would happen and VW 8.5.2 opened the file. In you email you ask if I can export as a DWG file. I can, but I may not pick the settings you'd like. That kind of translation is somewhat "personal" and is often done several times before it exports to your liking. What version of VW do you have? I was able to bring it up to VW 2018, but that won't do you any good if you don't have it. 


Making progress,



PS - if you add a signature to your Forum Profile, and include your version of VW and your OS it will help others answer your questions more accurately.

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I've just add a Wish List Item on this topic. I think a Cloud based Mini Cad file conversion would be a helpful addition to service select. If you think so you may want to add your opine to the thread.

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I just found an old file .mcd (minicad 7 I think) that I thought was lost forever and to which I want a lot (plan of my personal home - 1998!).


I would simply like to be able to view it with VectorWorks Viewer but can not find a converter to .vwx.

The converter proposed by Art V is no more on site and impossible to find an older version than Vectorworks Viewer 2015.


Is there any possibility?


Thank you in advance.

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Hi all. 

I have the same problem, but worst!

I've 5 small files made with Minicad 4.

I can't find any program to translate it to newer formats.

Can someone help me?


Here are the files:



Thanks to you all.

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Hi Andrea,

   You forgot to mention which version of VW you are currently using. Since the latest versions will open at least back to VW 2013, I saved your files in that format. If you need an earlier version, let me know.


MC4 to VW2013 Files.zip


All the best,


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Dear Raymond,

Sorry that I ask you directly but I've the same problem as Andrea and I was already giving up...

Please! Would you be so kind and translate my minicad files to VW 2013 as well?

I'll will be always thanksfull for that!!!


My files:


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