Common Tech Issue of the Week #2

Softlock Manager Error when starting AutoCAD

By Chris Kotyra, Technical Support 


When starting AutoCAD with standalone license the following error appears and software does not start:
“The security system (Softlock license manager) is not functioning or is improperly installed” (screen shot attached)


There may be several reasons for this error, but most likely it’s the FLEXnet Licensing Service which is stopped or disabled.


  1. Go to Control Panel – Administrative Tools and double-click Services.
  2. Find “FLEXnet Licensing Service” and “FLEXnet Licensing Service 64” (depending on the system, only one of the two may exist).
  3. Right-click on “FLEXnet Licensing Service” and select “Properties”.
  4. Set Startup type to “Automatic”.
  5. Under Service status click “Start” button.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for “FLEXnet Licensing Service 64”.
  8. Start AutoCAD.

Common Tech Issue of the Week #1

PDF created from AutoCAD shows frames around text in PDF viewer

By Catherine Zheng, Technical Support 


When viewing a PDF from AutoCAD in a PDF viewer, such as Foxit Reader or Adobe Reader, frames are displayed around text.


Text frames are displayed by the PDF viewer and are not an inherent feature of the PDF or something that AutoCAD did in its creation. By default, frames are displayed in Foxit Reader and are turned off in Adobe Reader. The frames indicate there are comments linked to the affected text.


In AutoCAD 2017 and later, a new system variable, PDFSHX, has been added

–  Set PDFSHX to 0

In AutoCAD 2016, a new system variable, EPDFSHX, was added to address this issue with, AutoCAD 2016 Service Pack 1 :

–   Install AutoCAD 2016 Service Pack 1.

–  At the command line, enter EPDFSHX.

–   Adjust the system variable to 0.

Software Update for Autodesk Civil 3D

Performance Enhancement Tool for Autodesk Civil 3D 2014-2017

By David Hill, Technology Consultant at SolidCAD

Autodesk has received reports of major performance issues when opening, purging and plotting Civil 3D drawings in versions 2014-2017.

For Civil 3D 2017, the performance enhancement tool is part of Service Pack 1.1 and the recent release of Service Pack 3 for Civil 3D 2016 addresses this issue however earlier versions require an update applied to each user machine.

Please use the following link to review details on the issue and download the appropriate updates.