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Technoflash

Tabless data entry

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Hi everyone

I've got a couple on my wish list

I would like to see steps taken out of the basic line length data entry process. For example, if I am drawing a simple line 100mm long. I would like to be able to click the first point, move the cursor in the direction I wish to draw (You can use the horizontal vertical and angle snap points to achieve this), type in 100 and press enter. The line would then be created 100mm long in the direction I had moved my cursor with the cursor now snapped to the distal end of the line. At present we define the proximal end of the line with a click, hit TAB, TAB TAB TAB along to the relevant field, type in the value, hit enter, then click. (and if you bump the mouse before you click you put the line in the wrong place).

This method will save 4 steps. To recap at present we:

1)Click to define start point.

2)Move cursor in direction we wish to draw.

3)TAB.

4)TAB.

5)TAB

6)Enter line length data

7)Press enter key

8)Left click mouse.

My method

1) Click start point

2) move cursor in direction you wish to draw

3) enter length data

4) Press Enter key...done

There will be times when TAB entry of data is desirable but in most cases smart cursor gives us all the positional info we need, all we need do is define a length.

Secondly.

When zooming in and out and panning I would like the "zoom keys" C and V, and Pan key Z to only be active while they were actually held down. When they are released, vectorworks should revert to the tool you were previously using. This saves time and makes the operation for zooming similar to using a scroll wheel to zoom.

If you've read this far you deserve a medal [smile] Merry Christmas

Mike

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Did you know you can double click on the line, circle, rectangle, polygon, arc, polyline, and other 2d and 3d shape tools ?

If you double click on the tool in the tool palette, a preferences dialog appears. You can enter the x and/or y values (and other settings for more complex objects) click ok, then double click in the drawing where you want the object to be.

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Mike,

If you really want to save time, there's a much faster way to enter dimensional data. Previous forum discussions on this subject have shown that it's too unconventional for some people, but in case you're willing to try something different:

1. Instead of the "Tab" key, use the keypad "Enter" key to select and move through the numeric data bar.

2. Combine this with using the keypad to enter numeric data, which is much faster than with the typewriter number keys, and which can be done without looking after a little practice.

3. In most drafting, the great majority of lines drawn are either horizontal or vertical, or along two other axes at right angles to each other (and those orthogonal axes can be altered easily with the "Grid Angle" option of the "Set Grid" command). So it makes sense to use the X- and Y- coordinates for most lines, and L- only for skew lines. Hit "Enter" once for X and twice for Y (or three times for a skew line's length), typing in whichever values are relevant, and then just release the mouse button.

4. Consider mousing with the left hand, since it's easier to operate the keypad with the right hand than with the left, but the left hand turns out to be just as good at controlling the mouse after at most a week of getting used to it.

--------------------------

I agree that the travelling tools should not be treated the same as the drawing and editing tools. The boomerang approach you suggested would be a welcome change. The double-tap zooms could then be used without losing one's tool selection, just as the arrow pans are currently used.

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There is a boomerang mode in VW - hold down the space key while using the "secondary" tool. When you are done with the second tool, release the space bar and you will return to the previous tool selected.

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Hi Katie

Thanks for the info. Yes I was aware of that method I do use it. However If you count the steps required to enter data (especially for any subsequent lines) you don't actually save much time. The point is, I am trying to aviod having to "fill in forms" to draw a line. VW knows where my line is to start from, because I've clicked the start point. VW knows which direction to draw in, because I've moved my cursor in that direction (with the help of smart cursor). All VW now needs to know to complete the task is, how long?. At this point the "L Field" should highlight automatically, ready to recieve the obvious data. After the data is typed in and the enter key pressed, it is redudant to then have to press the left mouse key. The minute I press the enter key the task is finished.

Obviously there are times when being able to enter every parameter for a line is required, so leave that functionality there. Just add this other feature as the default. Make it a selectable feature if you want and I'll be the happiest camper in CAD World.

Regards

Mike

Trying to make the best better

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Hi Katie

That Boomerang mode is great...why didn't you tell me about that before [smile] and don't give me any of that "read ya User Guide" nonsense.

Mike [big Grin]

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Making the length field the first position in the tab structure seems intuitve, and I'm surprised this is not the case.

Click-drag drawing does not really work so well with the necessary tabbing.

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Hi Jan15

That method does seem a little better, I'll use parts of it, thanks. I can see why people freaked out about changing hands though. I "unfortunately" have built my work station around a righthanded person. My right arm is totally supported to avoid RSI, so changing hands is not an option. I actually don't mind taking my hand off the mouse to type because it exercises different muscles.

You must be using a Mac though because holding the mouse button down during data entry and releasing it at the end of the process doesn't seem to work for me. I still have to do that pesky final click

Regards

Mike

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Mike,

I'm glad I was able to help with the boomerang mode.

I suggested the other option for object insertion in the event you were not aware of it.

I think you have a good idea, none the less.

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Mike,

No, I'm not on a Mac.

The difference may be that I selected "Click-Drag Drawing" in VectorWorks Preferences, whereas you may have left it unchecked, and may be working in "click-click" mode.

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maybe there should be an option to switch the order of the x, y, l, etc boxes so that if a user prefers one method it could be that way. some days I use the length field a lot and on other days I use the x, y most.

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