About TAD Designer

TAD stands for The Architect's Desktop.

If you are in a hurry, install the desktop designing component of TAD; called TAD Designer Lite from here

TAD is a unique kind of BIM, much different from conventional (IFC based) BIM that you may have seen elsewhere. It is small, extremely fast, and quite easy to use – but, it works very differently.

Popularly, we use the short-form “TAD” to often mean this desktop designing component (i.e. TAD Designer Lite) – as that is the main component to use the TAD Platform. See FAQ on terminologies such as TAD, TAD Designer and TAD Designer Lite.

A bit of history

TAD emerged in 1989 from India, and has continued to be an essential part of the evolution of CAD. It is one of the very few Building Information Modeling (BIM) applications that has seen continual use since 1989. It is possibly one of the oldest, if not the oldest BIM software in the world today; albeit, it was used in a small number of architects' offices in India. We have now taken up the task of promoting it widely.

Some more interesting background on TAD is here: http://sf.sabufrancis.com/2013/02/the-story-of-tad.html

Here is a video made by Sabu Francis, based on a very old presentation of TAD (Before the word BIM was invented) around 2002 https://goo.gl/9Ys0w9

What does TAD do?

TAD assists in designing right from early-stage of designing onward. It helps you arrive at final designs from hazy early design concepts. It is possibly the only BIM software that starts out by arranging spaces in a design.

Besides offering extensive analysis capabilities, TAD also facilitates the programming of such objective analysis routines.

These routines (we call them probes or addons or extensions) help architects to be directed in the correct direction and streamline their design process. Probes work extremely fast. They can also be written quite easily, each probe serving one or a few set of specific outcomes. We are hopeful that soon a vast set of such analytics would be available for architects all over the world.

TAD as The Architect's Desktop

TAD (The Architect's Desktop), technically speaking, is a platform. It has many components. One major use of the TAD platform is of course to help design better architecture using TAD Designer/Lite

Another component in the same platform can then be also used to make applications (aka “probes”, or “addons” or “extensions”) that use the same architectural data for various usages. Yet another would handle file-management, version control, etc.

We are still a bit away from the entire TAD and this documentation currently concentrates on the designing component inside TAD.

TAD versions from to is free. Versions from 7.x is free and open-source

In order to use TAD, you need to register an account with us at our chatting system. Registration is always free for versions from up to

We are hoping large number of architects and other professionals in the AEC industry join us on our mission, and the pricing would be kept very low, if not free. After version we plan to open-source TAD and/or its main component; TAD Designer The free version is being distributed to prepare the community to start the open source version soon.

Currently, we have completely documented TAD Designer, the desktop software component used for designing. Use the menu on the left to learn more. Please do not skip the initial steps and the concepts.

If you encounter any problems; feel free to join the discourse at either at our chat system or at the TAD Dashboard. You need to register. It is free and the process is explained here

Design from early stages onward

TAD is a unique, early-stage modeling system with BIM (Building Information Modeling) features. It is meant to be used BEFORE Computer Aided Drafting software (CAD). In fact, it largely replaces sketching and doodling a senior architect would do before a project is begun. Not only it allows loose-limbed designing – which means an architect can approach the initial design stages of the project in any which way – but it also allows the architect to develop his/her own discipline when designing. It is up to you: You can choose to use it as a rough tool OR you can start rough and flesh out the design very accurately as you go along

Unusual commands but extremely simple commands

The commands in TAD Designer are unusual, but they are extremely simple. Most senior architects would be able to pick up those commands over a day or so. The design that gets evolved in this modeling component is deliberately kept in a “raw” stage. We have deliberately kept aside things like dimensioning, etc – as senior architects are not really involved with those. Drafting actions are anyway to be done using a CAD software – TAD is NOT CAD and it works very well with any drafting software found in architects' offices.

Context Sensitive online Help

When you use TAD Designer and you press “F1” to obtain help; it will lead you to one of the relevant pages inside this Wiki. This is a work in progress so some of the pages may not get present appropriately. The information is here alright – just that the page that get displayed to you may sometimes be blank. Don't worry about that – we would correct those documentation mistakes as soon as we encounter them. In the meantime, use the side-bar to the left of this to navigate to that portion of the document that contains the help you need.

We would be opening up this Wiki to some of the active users of TAD; and we are sure this documentation would be elaborate and serve all your needs soon

The Benefits of TAD are explained in detail in another topic

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Kindly go through our Terms of Service and our Privacy Policy thoroughly before using TAD (The Architect's Desktop). When you register an account with us and/or download and use any component of TAD such as TAD Designer Lite component, it is assumed that you have agreed to this TOS and Privacy Policy

About this documentation itself

All the pages in this documentation has been initially created and edited by some user or the other of TAD. Every once a while, we would be giving out login credentials for some of our users also to participate in this documentation. Our chat system is open to all – and you could write there too (and ask questions, participate in polls, etc). Some of the people there as well as some actual users of TAD would be allowed here too.

Press F1 inside the application to read context-sensitive help directly in the application itself