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README file for DrawView

DrawView is an application that allows Draw files created by the Acorn/RiscOS application Draw, and other compatible applications, to be displayed on a Linux or other Unix system. It is written in C++ and released under the GNU GPL.

DrawView requires the Qt 5 libraries (version 5.4 or later), available from or included in many Linux distributions. Qt/X11 is free for use and development of open-source applications. The 'qt4' branch works with the older Qt 4.

The file is displayed in a desktop window which can be scrolled and zoomed as required. The drawing can be exported in PDF, SVG or PostScript format for printing or use in other applications.

The file formats supported, and their original Acorn file types, are:

File format Acorn file type Applications
Plain Draw file DrawFile (AFF) Draw, many others
Draw file with extra data DrawFile (AFF) DrawPlus
Compressed Draw CmprDraw (C4B) Chameleon, Poster, Vector
Compressed with extras VecFile (C56) Vector
Draw with tagged objects Poster (CC3) Poster

All types of standard Draw objects, and the additional ones provided by Vector, are supported and displayed. There are some features that it is not possible to reproduce exactly, due to limitations in the Qt library or the underlying platform, but the results obtained should be as close as it is possible to achieve. See the home page for further information.

Best results for text display are obtained if a good selection of TrueType fonts are installed. The mapping between the original Acorn font names and available fonts is configurable.

The source download (with some example files) and further information is available from GitHub at:

More information and documentation is available from the home page:

To build and install the application, you will need GNU autotools installed on your system. This may seem like an addition to the usual 'download, untar, configure, make, install' process, but it is not a good idea to keep autotools-generated files in a VCS such as git. See for more information on why.

# Clone the source repository from GitHub
git clone
cd drawview
# Generate the required configuration files and scripts
autoreconf -i
# Now follow the standard build steps, see the INSTALL file
# for more information.
./configure [options...]
make install
drawview [file...]

This is a work in progress; further facilities and improvements are planned. Reasonable suggestions, bug or problem reports are welcome.


View Acorn/RISC OS Draw, Vector or Poster files on any Linux or Unix system




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