Installation & Upgrade
How do I install Awning Composer?
Go to the Awning Composer Features page to either try the software free for 15 days or purchase directly through the site. Upon submitting your registration and billing information, you'll be directed to a confirmation page to receive your software download and a serial number to permanently unlock Awning Composer. The software will run in evaluation mode until the serial number has been entered into the software (you'll have the opportunity to do this every time the program launches on your computer).
What if I have multiple computers?
Awning Composer is licensed company-wide. With one purchase, you can install and run it on any number of computers within your company. Please refer to the license agreement for details.
Why is Awning Composer asking for a serial number?
A licensed copy of Awning Composer comes with a unique serial number. You must type in the company name and the serial number exactly as it appears in the registration instructions before Awning Composer will run in non-evaluation mode.
My serial number won't work, what should I do?
The most common cause of this problem is not typing the company name exactly as it is shown in the registration instructions. Upper and lower case, punctuation and proper spacing all must be put in exactly as shown or the serial number will not be accepted. If you are still having problems, our Contact page offers several ways to receive assistance.
I lost my serial number, what should I do?
Try signing into your account on the web site, where you can view your serial number at any time on your account page. If you can't log in please contact us.
How do I obtain the latest updates to Awning Composer?
Go to the Update page.
How do I upgrade an older version of Awning Composer?
If you have version 4, please contact us to upgrade to version 5. If you have version 3 (or earlier) and are interested in upgrading, please purchase.
How do I determine if I have the latest version of Awning Composer?
To check your version of Awning Composer, open the software, go to the File tab, and click on Help in the menu on the left. If the computer is connected to the Internet, click on “Check for new version” in the “About Awning Composer” section on the right. The program will display a message letting you know if you have the latest version. If you don’t have an Internet connection, make a note of the Created date in that section, then go to the Awning Composer web site when you can and compare the Created date to the latest version date shown when you sign in or on the Development Log page.
Why won’t version 5 work on my system where version 4 is installed?
Version 4 used a simple CPU-based software rendering system to display 3D graphics. This is compatible with virtually every Windows-based computer but is limited in its capabilities. Version 5 uses the 3D graphics hardware (GPU) included in most computers manufactured from around 2005 and later. If the graphics hardware in the computer is too old, version 5 won’t work. Please check the System Requirements Page for a detailed list of system specifications needed for running version 5.
I received a warning message about my graphics hardware. What should I do?
If you received a warning message that says “Awning Composer 5 has detected that your computer's display hardware may not be DirectX 9 compatible” or something similar, we recommend that you contact your technical support person and ask them to compare your computer’s specifications on the System Requirements Page to see if the computer’s graphics hardware is compatible. Sometimes the problem can be solved with a driver update. In other cases a new graphics card may need to be purchased. If your technical support person is unable to help, use our Contact page to request help from the Awning Composer support team.
What's a display driver and why do I need to update it?
A display driver (also called a graphics driver) is a piece of software that provides support for drawing text and graphics on a computer display. It does this by making the capabilities of the graphics hardware available to the operating system (Windows) in a standardized way. Hardware manufacturers must develop and distribute drivers in order for their hardware to work with the operating system and applications like Awning Composer. Different drivers are available for different combinations of hardware and operating system.
Hardware manufacturers periodically release updated drivers to enable new capabilities and, more importantly, fix problems. To ensure that Awning Composer and other 3D graphics software operates correctly and efficiently, it's a good idea to have an up to date display driver installed.
How do I update the display driver?
Download and install the latest display driver from your computer manufacturer's web site or the graphics hardware manufacturer's web site. Usually the graphics hardware manufacturer has the most up to date driver available, but sometimes computer manufacturers such as Dell or HP only allow you to use drivers they have specifically authorized.
First, find out which version of Windows your computer is running and whether it's 32-bit or 64-bit. To do this, right-click on "My Computer" (or just "Computer") and choose Properties. If it says Windows XP, it's 32-bit (unless you see "x64", which is rare). If it says Windows Vista or Windows 7, look for the line that says "System type" and make a note of whether it's 32-bit or 64-bit.
Next, identify the manufacturer of the graphics hardware. You can check the specifications for your computer or go to Device Manager. To open Device Manager, right-click on "My Computer" (or just "Computer") and choose Properties. Then, on Windows XP, go to the Hardware tab and click Device Manager. On Vista or later, click Device Manager in the upper-left. In Device Manager, expand the "Display adapters" section by clicking the plus or triangle next to it. The device name should include Intel, NVIDIA, ATI, or AMD. (If it doesn't, contact us for further assistance.)
Finally, go to either your computer manufacturer's web site, or the graphics hardware manufacturer's web site (Intel, NVIDIA, or AMD/ATI). Go to the support / driver download section. If you see an option to automatically detect which driver to use, you may want to try that. Otherwise, choose the options that match your Windows version and graphics hardware. Follow the instructions on the web site to download and install the latest display driver.
After installing the new driver, restart your computer and run Awning Composer. If you have any trouble, please contact us.