I have used TurboCAD in the past as a low cost CAD program, however I use AutoCAD exclusively now [and since 1998].
If the program you use can open a certain format [such as AutoCAD's native format .DWG and another DXF "Drawing eXchange Format"], then the version number should also be compatable.
I know that Visio can open .DWG and .DFX files, but not sure of the versions - except that the date of the program should correspond to the version of .DWG file.
MS word can also open [view] .DWG files.
When I request a CAD drawing from an Architect, I give them these two formats:
1: AutoCAD file format [.DWG],
2: Version number [Release 14].
I'll also ask for specific layers, along with the Base plan.
They send the drawings in a compatable format from these specs. Sometimes they will send in an older release format [like release 12], which I can open and format to release 14.
Having the fonts and linetypes that they used in the original layers will reflect how it looks to you on your machine.
Layers that are on / off will also reflect the look on your end.
Some commonly used CAD programs that Architects use are:
2: AutoCAD 14 and 2000,
Each of these programs can [or should be able to] save drawings in the common .DWG format.
Microstation is a very common used CAD program for large Architectural firms that I deal with. They usually convert .DWG files to release 14 format [AutoCAD].
If you could let me know the file extentions that you are being sent, I might be able to tell what format that is.
Typically, .DWG extentions are native AutoCAD format.
There is a less expensive version of AutoCAD, known as the "LT" versions [nick named AutoCAD LITE]. They would be well suited for the contractor that doesn't need as much power as the full version has.
The downfall with any CAD program [even the LT versions] is the extremely large learning curve.
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!