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Parallel Object Tool

mike m oz


A Parallel Object Tool like PowerCADD's Wild Tools' Parallel Object Tool.


"The purpose of the Parallel Object is to automate the process of creating multiple parallel lines of any shape that can be easily changed so that the parallel lines follow along with the 'mother' object.

Parallel objects may have different line colors, dash patterns, line thicknesses, etc.

Parallel Objects may consist of lines, rectangles of all types, polygons, ellipses, arcs, B?ziers, B-splines, and splines."

Something like Their Thicken Tool would also be nice:


[ 03-27-2005, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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It doesn't provide the same quick result - if you have a look at the links above you will see what I mean.

Quite a few of these tools, and their implementation, are quite clever - similar tools and implementation in VW would be handy. eg.

- Linear Patterning Tool

- Blend Tool

- Flood Tool

- Linear Repeat, Duplicate and Distribute Tools

- Radial Repeat, Duplicate and Distribute Tools

- Stack Guideline Tool

IN my view NNA should be seeking to improve the 2D drawing set as well - these are some very good examples of what is possible. I am sure there are others in other programs as well.

[ 03-28-2005, 11:35 PM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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To add to Mike's comments, having used PowerCADD for several years I have definitely missed a number of its intuitive on-the-fly capabilities. Among them:

1. The offset tools allow you to toggle between (2) offsets. I typically use 1/2" and 5 1/2" for section drafting. Tapping the shift key toggles between them (with VW modes, it seems like a pretty easy fix to give us even three or four common presets). You can also tab in on the fly and set whatever offset you want.

The other seemingly obvious production improvement is that to offset a line you simply click on it. Once a line is offset it is deselected. This eliminates the need to toggle back and forth between the offset tool and the selection tool. Believe me it saves A LOT of time.

2. Multi-Trim: When selecting multiple objects, the user draws a line. Any objects the line crosses will be selected. This works much better than either the freehand marquee or the rectangle marquee.

3. When tabbing into the toolbar, the LENGTH is the first field accessed. Most of us think intuitively in POSITIVE values. So, when we draft a line 2'-4" long, we don't think -2'4" just because it happens to be going downward along the Y-axis. X and Y values are handy, but secondary in priority. It should read Length, Angle, X, Y.

4. Hot keys can be assigned to attributes. This means that line weights, dashes, and arrows can be assigned to the keyboard. VW really shines in terms of the way it has set up workspaces, but the need to always use a class or the eyedropper to assign attributes seems limited.

5. Use of the control key (mac) as a modifier key for keyboard shortcuts. The command key is hardwired into the OS, so there are a lot of combinations unavailable. The control key adds a huge amount of versatility.

6. PowerCADD also allows for setting text styles. Similar to how VW now allows for the most common fonts to appear at the top of the list, In PowerCADD you can preset a series of defaults which include text styling. This is handy if you commonly use a room label which is TIMES - Bold - 24 - Underlined. This might be an easy vectorscript component. If it's out there, please let me know.

7. There is also a very nice "clean-up" tool that works similar to VW's Wall Join tool. When a marquee encircles the end points of two lines, it trims or extends accordingly so that they terminate together. Or, if the marquee is drug around intersection of (2) pairs of perpendicular intersecting lines, it will remove the (4) interconnecting lines. This is especially handy when trying to create door panels or 2-d wall cavities.

VW keeps broadening its functionality and I love all of the new improvements - features. I think a little refinement to the basics could add a lot of polish to the software.

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Just to get the record straight: WildTools is an add on which seems to cost USD 219. Probably not a bad price, but way above what the average VW user is willing to pay (which is zero).

Eg. Motivo (the hatch creator) disappeared because no-one bought it; instead, the author was abused for wanting money for it.

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Hi Taproot

"2. Multi-Trim: When selecting multiple objects, the user draws a line. Any objects the line crosses will be selected. This works much better than either the freehand marquee or the rectangle marquee."

If you depress the the alt key while you do this any line or object the lasso or marqee hits or paases thru it selects.

Works also in a similar way with extend and split mode.

Select all the lines you want to extend then while hold down the alt key extend to whatever line that you want to extend thats not parrallel too and bang done.multiple lines are extended to this line.

The slit by line tool while holding down the alt key will split all the lines only that are selected

Hope this is a help.

Regards Brendan

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Thanks for the helpful tip.

So, as I understand it, you select the selection tool, option lasso or marquee the items to trim, then select the trim tool and then option drag from a selected item to the trimming item. Then voila - pancakes! Just kidding.

In Powercadd, you click once to start the selection line, once to finish it (everything in between is selected) and then a third time to select the trimming line. This eliminates having to go back and forth between the two tools. Offsets are done in a similar way: One click selects, the next offsets, and you're still have the tool active to go do this to any other line/object.

Is there a way to do this without needing to toggle back and forth between the selection tool and the trim or offset tools?


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Hi Taproot

I hope I am not stating the obvious here but do you know about the boomerang tool.

When offsetting you want to reselect the original or something different to oofset depress the spacebar and keep it down set the select tool then select the original object or a different one let go of the spacebar and you are back in offset mode.

One thing I like about this is that you can quickly do multiple offsets then go to a different object and carry on you neery way.

Hope it helps


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