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Download and Install

Before downloading HighDesign, you should make sure that you are running one of the supported operating systems and that your hardware meets the minimum requirements. Visit System Requirements to verify your configuration.

If you're running Windows, please note that HighDesign is built for the 64-bit hardward architecture.

You can always download the latest release from the Downloads section of this website.

Verify that you are logged in as Admin or have administrative privileges on the computer.

To verify your account type, go to System Settings > Users & Groups.

HighDesign for Mac is packaged as a compressed disk image (.dmg). Once the .dmg file is downloaded to your disk, usually in the Downloads folder, double-click to open it. To install, drag the HighDesign icon to your Applications folder.

Verify that you are running the 64-bit version of Windows. To check whether you're using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10, open Settings by pressing Windows+I, and then head to System > About. On the right side, the “System type” entry should read "64-bit operating system, x64-based processor.

Confirm that you have Local User Administrative permissions to install software.

On Windows 10, check this by going to Control Panel > User Accounts > Manage User Accounts

Some Anti-virus programs may interfere with the installation process. It is advisable to temporarily disable your anti-virus program to prevent troubles with your installation.

To install, download the .exe installer package, open the installer file, give permission for the installation and follow the instructions of the Installer.

HighDesign is installed on a per-user basis: it can be installed on as many machines as your need provided the same license is not used at the same time for more seats than it allows. Example: a one-seat license can be installed on a desktop and a notebook, but they cannot be used simultaneously.

Activation & Licensing

When you download HighDesign from the ILEXSOFT Downloads page, the software starts as a 30-day trial version. You are free to create, save and open HighDesign projects for 30 days from the moment you first launch. The only limitations include watermarks on printed pages and exported images and PDF files.

After the expiration of the trial, the software will no longer run until you activate it with a license key.

Licenses are perpetual and include one year of maintenance which can be renewed each year.

A commercial license grants you free updates for the time of validity of the license purchased, which is 12 months for most license types. During that time, you have free access to all the updates. After the expiration, your current copy will continue to run indefinitely, but will no longer be able to install any updates released after the expiration date.

Educational licenses will stop running after the expiration date. You can renew your educational license at any time provided you are still eligible.

When you purchase from the ILEXSOFT store, you receive the activation key via email. An activation key consists of a user name and a key. Both fields are required and cannot be modified. We suggest you copy and paste the fields from the email to avoid typing mistakes.

To activate, launch HighDesign and click the Activate button on the Trial screen. Alternatively, on the Mac go to HighDesign > Activate License...; on Windows, go to Help > Activate License. Enter name and license key exacty as they appear in the activation email you received. If the license is validated, click "Close" to start using your software.

HighDesign LT and SE editions can be upgraded to a higher-level license. Visit the ILEXSOFT Store to purchase an Upgrade License. Available options include:

  • LT to SE
  • SE to Pro

When you receive the new license key, open the "Activate License" dialog in HighDesign and enter the new license credentials.

When a license expires, you can renew your maintenance plan for another year by visiting the ILEXSOFT Store.

Go to the Downloads page to download and install the latest update for your platform.

When you receive the new key, follow the instructions on this page to activate your license.

If you need to recover your current activation key, go to this page to request that your activation email is re-sent to your email address.

To completely remove a license from your computer:

  1. Go to HighDesign > About HighDesign > License (Mac) or Help > About HighDesign > License (Windows)
  2. Select the license you want to remove and click the (X) button on the right.

Activation & Licensing

Upon the first launch of HighDesign, you will be asked to accept the terms of the license. You can change the language by using the pop-up menu on that window and choose from the supported languages. That language will also be used for the main interface of the software.

The Welcome Window presents several options, including the list of recent projects, templates (Pro) and examples. We recommend you begin by following the Guided Tour, which will present the main components of the Project Window.

One the first things you'll want to do when you launch HighDesign for the first time, is to customize the software to match your habits and workflow. Open the Preferences window to edit the default settings.

  • Go to HighDesign > Settings (Mac) or Edit > Options (Windows).
  • The General panel allows you to choose the language, define which actions are perfomed automatically when you launch the software, set the auto-save time interval and options. The edition purchased from the ILEXSOFT Store includes the ability to change the location of the Support folder.
  • Use the Wokspace pane to set the theme of the interface and activate options about utility elements of the project window, zoom and scrolling, selection, and more.
  • The Drawing panel includes the option between click-click drawing mode (traditional CAD mode) or click-drag (traditional Mac mode). Other options include Snapping, Pen weights, line end caps, and freehand smoothing.
  • HighDesign Pro adds two more panels: Shortcuts and Templates that allow you to customize and manage the keyboard shortcuts for most application functions and the personal list of project templates.

Project Settings are available through the menu Project (Organize in HighDesign LT) > Project Settings.

Use this window to define the default paper size, linear, angular and surface units, drawing grid and background and selection colors.

HighDesign Pro adds the Information panel which provides a detailed interface to enter and modify all non-graphical information associated with the project, such as author; copyright; project name, number and status; site location; client name and more.

A HighDesign project includes resources, that is all the accessory items that are loaded into the project and used dor a richer representation.

Open Project > Resource Manager to modify and manage Layers, Line types, Hatch type, patterns and textures, and colors.

HighDesign Pro add the Styles & Types panel which allows you to create, edit and organize the custom library of object styles and element types.

Yes. The file format is identical and a project saved on a Mac version can be opened on Windows and vice-versa.

There are some differences and limitations due to the different feature set of each edition.

  • There are no differences between projects saved in HighDesign Pro and HighDesign Standard. Since the Standard edition does not include architectural elements and special tools, those items will be displayed or ignored, depending on their kind, but they won't be editable. Unsupported elements will be preserved as they are even after saving the project in a lower-level edition.
  • HighDesign LT will open projects saved in other editions, but unsupported elements will be discarted on save. That means that saving a Pro project in HighDesign LT will lose all architectural elements, styles, views, and any other item that is not available in LT.
  • Files created with an Educational license are marked as "educational" projects.