Cabnetware Vs. Cabinet Vision


From original questioner:


I would like to get as much input on this as possible. We are a custom shop that does both residential and commercial work. We have been using Cabnetware software for about ten to twelve years now. Recently, we had a salesman talk us into Cabinet Vision. We have done in house training and we have also attempted to do some drawings using Cabinet Vision. I don't know if it's just me but Cabnetware seems so much easier to use. Every time we do a new drawing we use Cabnetware for the speed and ease of use. I feel like starting a new program we are just throwing out everything we learned over the years. Any input would be great. Thanks

From contributor Jo


Though I never used Cabinetware, I did switch over to Cabinet Vision a little over a year ago from another cabinet software. I found the learning curve steep, but it has been worth the time and expense.

So much can be done with Cabinet Vision that was not available before. The Tech support and Forum is very good in my opinion.

Now that I have learned to use cabinet vision, and everything is falling in place, I accomplish so much more and more efficiently.

Just had to learn to use the program and then stick with it.

Hang in there. I doubt you wasted your investment, just need to learn the CV way.


From contributor ja

I did the same thing,, two problems, (1) the business grew and I started outsourcing more (2) I did not make the commitment to switch and Yes when you have been using CW a long time it is far easier,, Basically you Have to want to do this

From contributor Ji

I have a free Cabnetware Tech Forum that has some Cabinet Vision users also. They are like yourself and own both products. You are welcome to join and get information from them if you like.

From contributor ca


Post your questions.

Look @ e-support for the essential videos.
Lot's of good stuff

Steep learning curve, but can be learned to be used fast. We are screen to machine and as one of the floor guys would say: "Sh_t is flying out the doors." Truly, it is. Our cnc is running 6 hours a day and we are primarily on auto pilot, and the talented guys are slamming through the stuff only they can do. I am working less hours and more is getting done, thanks to CV and Biesse.

Best advice I can give you is lock yourself in a room and learn it. Get some one/one training via webex and get a list of all the questions you have for the lesson and have the trainer go through step by step what you need, and watch you do each thing, and let them help you. Good luck

From contributor mi

My experience is similar to others. I was very reluctant to make the investment in CV and held off for about a year and a half while I learned to use my CNC with other less expensive softwares. In the end, I think this was the best way to go. You seem to be familiar with your machine so I would encourage you to take the leap. It is a bit difficult at first but once you learn the order of operations and become comfortable with the way CV is organized, it is fantastic. I can manipulate parts very easily, change parts, make bids, produce submittal drawings etc. As one other poster mentioned, the skilled guys now concentrate on problem solving and details and others put pieces together. I am much more profitable than previously.

From contributor Jo

CW is easier for you because you're used to it. We were a CW shop since 1986 (I'm told), and we have several employees who continue to use CW even though it causes massive problems due to its serious limitations.

Whatever you are used to is easier. When I occasionally have to open CW to look at something one of them done, it is frustrating because I no longer remember where everything is nor the architecture of the program.

Human natures says that when you are under the gun, you'll do things the way you already know. The only way you'll ever actually get switched is for someone in charge to put their foot down and threaten to fire anybody who doesn't switch over. Otherwise, everyone will always just revert to what they know.

This same philosophy is basically true of any software switch, whether engineering, CAD, accounting, ERP, whatever. Unless you remove the old system, people will just continue to use it.

So you have to decide, do you care about the real CAD tools, real solid modelling, real shaped cabinet handling? Or is CW's stuff more important to your business. Perhaps you'll draw the things in CW that deserve to be in CW and those things in CV that need to be there. I am probably one of the biggest proponents of using CV, but not if you aren't technical enough.

CW is 1980's technology, and good for people who are not good with computers. If you want to use CV, you're going to need people who understand the software. It has a programming language in it that can be used to do just about anything automatically if you need something other than what it ships with, but to use a programming language you need to know or learn how to program. It has a comprehensive reporting capability using Crystal Reports, but if you need something other than what it ships with you will need to know how to use Crystal Reports. It has a complete solid model with the ability to project operations from one part to another, but if you need to make changes from what it ships with you will need to learn about solid modelling.

You can also outsource those components you don't want to learn- you can outsource setup, you can outsource programming, you can outsource reports.

This is no different from the people who refused to learn automated tools for woodworking because they were faster with whatever it was they used to have. While that might be true for them personally because they are unable to learn the new technologies, that isn't true in general.

If you're just going to approach CV as a "better" CW, then you're going to hate it and your implementation will fail and you might as well not even try. It is completely different. You need to chuck CW out the window and just commit to CV, even when it slows you down getting something set up just right that you could have done in your sleep in the software you've been using for years. Not everybody can do that, and that's ok.

From contributor Jo

Re-reading that, it is a bit of a ramble so sorry about that. I have simply dealt with people swearing up and down they were going to quit using CW and switch to CV for years now. Since nobody is able to force them, they just get a tiny bit frustrated the first time something doesn't work they way they are used to, and they get it done in the software they've been using for 20+ years.

From contributor Le

Perhaps this might not seem on point, but if you're faced with switching, why is it down to either stay with CW or switch to CV? Without arguing the merits of either program, wouldn't this be the perfect time to look at alternatives that have come along since CW? Of course Planit would like you to stay in the family, but is that in your best interest? If you're a custom shop, make sure that CV can do the type of custom work that comprises not only the bulk of what you do, but the bulk of where you spend your time creating parts/components/assemblies. Will it work your way, or will you have to work its way? This is true for any software you might choose.

From contributor Ti

The referenced user forum doesn't appear to be free as stated above.

From contributor Ji

Sorry about that.

It was free until 09/2013 then I made it a paid forum. Most all of the members didn't want to pay for the forum so I will be shutting it down (next month) at the end of August 2014.

I do not have any suggestions for any other free forums but you can join Planit's cabnetware eSupport Forum for any help in the future.

From contributor ja

Jim Forums are tough,, You made a great effort !!

From contributor Ji

Thanks James and thank you for your participation in the forum during it's run.

I'm retired now and enjoying riding my bike on the Sierra Nevada back roads around Placerville CA.

From contributor Sc

I've used both and can say this. Planit/Vero made a huge mistake killing Cabnetware.
Cabinet vision is SLOW, SLOW SLOW AGRAVATING AND SLOW. Imagine driving behind someone who hits the gas then the brakes then the gas then the brakes then slams on the brakes in the middle of the freeway for no reason or just crashes and causes you to lose all of your recent work. This is what it is like to use vision. After every click the program has to completely regenerate the drawing and you have to wait before you can make your next move. It is completely inefficient and slow as a result. The menus are non intuitive and seem to be based on a 1980's spreadsheet with tabs rather than a modern easily navigated format with drop down menus. There is not even a standard as to how anything works as if every part was designed by a different programmer from different generations. No continuity within the program and nothing which would be considered to be standard windows operating system, There is absolutely nothing that can be done in vision that cannot be done better in ware. Some may argue about shaping doors in vision but since it cannot actually produce the parts and they are only graphical I say it really makes no difference. Shaping any part in vision which has any radius or complication will be a test of your mental stability as well as they are extremely difficult to modify and don't even think about changing the part sizes after they have been shaped as what you end up with may not even remotely resemble what you started with. Nothing makes sense. Cartesian coordinates differ on every single part and may rotate in any direction. Ware offers shaped parts that can be shaped and calculated from any point on the part and can also be saved, stretched, modified, copied or saved as needed. Good luck with Vision. youll need to lay out every point in CAD first. Need to radius a valance? Hope the radius is not critical because after you specify your start and end points you will have the option to bend a line. That means that your going to drag the radius to what looks good to you. If you attempt to specify the radius your points will move putting you back to square one. The only way to do it is to know the center of the radius and plant that point. Now that you have your radius valance it sure would be nice to save that masterpiece for future use. Unfortunately because of the fore mentioned problems you wont be able to resize it without ruining it or ending up with some scrambled worthless shape.
Now lets talk crashing. If ware crashes its quick. restarting the program takes a moment and you start right back where you left off. With Vision a crash will stop you in your tracks. You will wait for the program to close, then wait for it to reopen, then again you will wait for your job to reopen and you may or may not have a recent backup depending on your auto save settings and whether or not it recognizes that it did crash. Also if it is a new job which has not yet been saved then forget it it has been lost forever.
I could go for days but the bottom line is this. If you value your time (or your engineer and designers time) skip this program and all of its ridiculously outrageous costs. Ware ran circles around this program. It wasn't perfect and it did have its bugs but Vision has huge problems which are far behind the times. It is over-complicated, under powered, and slow, slow, slow!!
I have used both programs extensively over 12 years of processing. I am not new to either program.

From contributor Br

I could not agree more. Making the switch was going to be hard as everyone has indicated above. I do agree that Ware was much more user friendly. We would have guys from our shop doing drawings and even the bosses. They would have a very hard time using cabinet vision. I had a whole list of things that were soooo much easier to do in Ware but unfortunately I can't find it right now.
Yes, the crashes can get really annoying. You either lose your entire job or you start over from some random point in time(auto save). Cabnetware would bring you back to the exact point you crashed at. Not sure why vision can't do this? Screen travel is insane, this is where a lot of time is wasted. You have to click on this tab to get to another to get to another. Cabnetware had toolbars all around the screen so everything was right there in front of you. With vision, in the job properties, getting your uppers and talls to come out properly you must enter the right soffit ht and the right upper ht so that your uppers come in at 54'' off the floor. Cabnetware was set up so that 54'' wall elevation was a preference. You would then choose your wall ht. and and how far you wanted the upper from the ceiling and it would automatically calculate your uppers for you. Cabnetware would also build your tops and crown for you as you put cabinets in a room saving time at the end of a drawing.
Vision does have a lot of good things also that Ware does not have. There are a lot more capabilities as to what you can do but we did seem to accomplish everything in Ware that we needed to. For a lot of these smaller shops that now have to use vision they will be in for a surprise. It is controlled by complicated ucs's and intelligent parts. Perhaps this is what Vision was aiming for, all the call ins they will receive, training, ucs writing, etc. = more money for them. Each shop almost has to have a programmer in house or spend the money to outsource ucs codes. I talked to a support tech from Ware who said he could draw 3 kitchens compared to visions 1 in the same amount of time. I just wish they would implement some the easier features that Ware had to offer.
I do like Visions cad though.

From contributor ja

I would have gladly paid for an upgrade to a better CW. still holding off on moving

From contributor Ji

We have just opened a new Cabnetware Tech Forum now. The yearly cost is a fraction of the Planit Forum. We charge just $240.00 per year vs Planit forum at $750.00 per year. In a few months we will be adding Online and phone support with training, parameter settings, template set ups and much more. The price for Online and phone support will be posted when we offer it.

If you have any questions please email me

From contributor Sc

That's great Jim. I think there is definitely a void that has been left by Planit vero. Maybe you can keep users banded together, Unfortunately for those of us who do not have Cabnetware it is no longer an option.
Unless of course those who abandon the program are willing to sell what they have. I'm sure Planit Vero would not smile on this and likely create legal issues for those who tried. Although from my understanding those who had ware at the time they abandoned the program now have lifetime codes.

From contributor Mi

For those of you still using CW you can get tech support type help by emailing me at