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Ken

Snaps to gray layers

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Oh yeah....and don't foget that I ordered a warm (not hot) tea at 9:30 AM sharp with just a hint of sweetner and in my special mug...I'll be lounging by the pool listening to Motzart so be rather quiet as I must concentrate on myself whilst sipping my tea.

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All I'm saying is that THIS NEW PROBLEM would not even be a problem if the new Gray/SnapOthers kept to itself. Why should gray layers be snappable when options are set to Show/SnapOthers? There's a reason why a layer is set to gray visibility! This would "solve it" (as if it's a preexisting problem).

Mike, the reason I disagree with having a "4th Layer Visibility" is that it would fight some of the Layer Options, if only in user perception. For example, if a layer has Gray/Snap "visibility" (which becomes a misnomer because it's not just about visibility), how would the GrayOthers and ShowOthers options control it? What if you just want to globally gray others without snapping to them, just as the command offers? And problems would be compounding with the more "features" and toggles you add to it.

I really hope I'm not the only one who uses gray unsnappable layers in combination with standard visible snappable layers.

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Would adding a "snap" column to the navigation palette and organization windows simplify things? As a new VW user, I am continually getting confused by the different visibility/snapping settings for layers and classes. The wording of the layer options is responsible for some of this confusion. A simple visual cue in the form of an added column might lessen it.

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There are, in my mind, two reasons for having a gray layer. One is to visually distinguish between elements on different layers. The other could be to simplify the field of possible snap points. These are independent variables upon the set of non-active layers, and could be desired in any combination depending on the situation.

We've never had the ability to snap to gray layers before, so having that capability now is good. Ken wants to have a choice, and I could see non-snapping gray as a useful option in many situations. How we get there is not as important as providing the functionality.

We can now have layer A active and layers B and C gray but not snappable (by having mode set to "Show Others" and set individual layers to gray in the view). We can have layer B normal and C gray with both snappable or both not. But currently there is no way to have layer B normal and snappable, and C gray and not.

I imagine, but have no way of knowing for sure, that reshaping Layer Options to give us that missing option would involve the least editing of the code. Since in previous versions "Show/Snap Others" provided exactly that missing functionality, it would stand to reason that the code already exists and could be easily recreated. Creating a new "snap status" parameter for each layer would involve the most code.

PS: Can I have the Mozart without the tea?

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I think I've stated my case (in only 2,000 words for crying out loud), but in summary here's my very simple suggestion:

1) Keep the new Gray/SnapOthers option. It's fine, I can use it occasionally. I can see how it serves those who want gray snappability. Visibility settings need not be touched to snap to gray layers. I use a keyboard shortcut.

2) For the inadvertently modified Show/SnapOthers, return it back to the way it was (in 12.01, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, MC, etc.). Allow gray layers to remain unsnappable again. Peace and tranquility will return to the brotherhood, and we will have Vectorworks nirvana. Is that too much to ask?

I don't understand why anybody would want to use Show/SnapOthers AND have the other layers gray and snappable. It's redundant with the new Gray/SnapOthers, and layer colors don't show up that well when grayed (like walls). In fact, having more than one gray layer snappable seems LESS clever than using layer colors.

So it's simple. It's a bug.

For those who want to argue that it's NOT a bug, you absolutely would have to explain HOW it helps you. Otherwise it's just fun watching ArchKen climb this funny treadmill. Eventually we all stop laughing.

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Ken, I find it very useful to have certain non-active layers gray (but not necessarily all of them) so that I can distinguish them more easily, but want to be able to snap to the objects at the same time.

To give you a specific example, suppose I want to work on an electrical plan with multiple layers for different kinds of devices and/or information, but have the plan view shown as a background. I'd want to see my devices in black and the plan in gray. Sure, I could work on my layers all in black, then change the plan to gray for plotting, but that's not exactly WYSIWYG. Or say I want to get something on a multiple-layer floor 2 to line up with something on floor 1 in a very complicated situation. When I zoom in, I want to be able to distinguish visually between the floors, but by the nature of the task, I have to be able to snap to them both. The ability to have one floor gray and another black while both are snappable means I can habitually leave a floor visible while working on another, and never get confused about what is on which floor (again, assuming, as is often the case, I want more than one layer to be black).

Edited by P Retondo

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But Pete, that's my point. You're not using layer colors.

Besides sounding like a hypothetical situation, your needs are better met by taking advantage of distinct layer colors instead of using gray layers. You're essentially using the gray state as a visual cue to distinguish them from other layers.

In your specific example, you should never have a single layer for electrical devices that snap to more than one floor plan. It doesn't make sense. How would the electrician know and why would he care even if he can line them up perfectly from floor to floor? I assign a separate MEP layer for each floor plan, sometimes separating the M, the E, and the P, depending on complexity. When other layers need to help visually as background, they come in as gray UNSNAPPABLE the way we've always had it. To snap to them, you turn them fully visible. Their distinct layer colors tell what they are. That's been second nature forever in VW. Now it's quite a sacrifice with the new Show/SnapOthers.

As for WYSIWYG, are you not using a script to toggle the B&W preference? And the layer colors pref? You can quickly change from colored layers to B&W for plotting by putting the following script into your contextual menu or assigning keyboard shortcuts to them:

Procedure ChangePref;

CONST

PrefNo = 10; {use 11 for layer colors}

BEGIN

IF GetPref(PrefNo) THEN SetPref(PrefNo,False)

ELSE SetPref(PrefNo,True);

Layer(GetLName(ActLayer));

END;

RUN(ChangePref);

With full use of layer colors, pen colors, and B&W for printing, you expand your control such that the only times you would want another layer or two gray is when you just want them as background reference WITHOUT having them interfere by being snappable.

My situation comes up all the time because it's my Roof Plan saved view script in a template file. Whenever a project has an upper and lower roof where the lower roof needs to be shown in the upper floor plan, creating the roof plan requires snapping to both roof layers (obviously), but having the floor plans gray is helpful. Things like chimneys, flues and venting stacks need to line up, but they're just one-time cut and paste items. The remaining 99% of roof plan creation and fiddling must continue without further hindrance. Getting every gray layer snappable becomes a nightmare. So now I simply turn them off (invisible), which is like drafting blind.

So for me it's either drafting blind or treading through "a school of piranhas." shocked.gif

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Ken, I'll check out the layer colors route. I've never used them because I think of them as an AutoCAD lineweight-by-color relic. I suspect it will add extra steps to my process.

I understand perfectly why you want to have the ability to see gray layers without snap points. In fact, your roof method is exactly the kind of situation I'm describing in my second example above - except that in many situations, I DO want the ability to snap to gray objects to get perfect alignment across vertically separated elements.

Since NNA has already implemented both of our desired treatments of grayed layers, why not just ask them to include both in a future release of the program? As I see it, the only real problem we are dealing with is that you have lost an option crucial to you - the previous treatment of gray layers in Show/Snap Others. I'm all for bringing that option back onto the menu, but I'd like to keep the new option just created in version 12.5.

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...

Since NNA has already implemented both of our desired treatments of grayed layers, why not just ask them to include both in a future release of the program? As I see it, the only real problem we are dealing with is that you have lost an option crucial to you - the previous treatment of gray layers in Show/Snap Others. I'm all for bringing that option back onto the menu, but I'd like to keep the new option just created in version 12.5.

Uhhh.... NO!

Are we back to square one? Pete, you seem to have jumped back to the beginning. Have you had a chance to read the other posts in this discussion? At first I thought I too was hallucinating. laugh.gif

NNA has not implemented ANY of my desired treatments of gray layers. They've added the new Gray/SnapOthers, which I don't care about. It's new. It's fine. I tried it. I tried finding a use for it. I don't need it. That is NOT what you and I are talking about, remember?

All that NNA has done for me in 12.5 is ruin THE OTHER feature that was working just fine forever -- the Show/SnapOthers -- which has nothing to do with gray layers! Gray layers should remain unsnappable! The new Gray/SnapOthers option is okay, but that's not my complaint. Your last sentence quoted above makes no sense.

I'm wondering how many different ways I can explain this. shocked.gif

As I've mentioned, I've submitted a bug report on this so-called "new" Show/SnapOthers. It shouldn't be new. It should be the same old option that's been working perfectly fine forever. Since it has changed for the worse, all I want is for THE BUG to be removed. Is that too much to ask?

I'm just here fighting with people like you who insist that it's not a bug... people who claim that it's exactly what they want -- in addition to the new Gray/SnapOthers. I don't see how or why. If you use layer colors, you should never need to snap to gray layers. Instead, you would eventually find situations where you want to snap to all visible layers EXCEPT gray layers. So having that taken away is very sad.

It's a very wrong turn for NNA and VW users.

NNA, please return Show/SnapOthers back to the way it was prior to 12.5 -- where gray layers remain UNSNAPPABLE.

THANK YOU, NNA!

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Ken, what I mean by "implementation" is that they have written the code for both Show/Snap Others versions. Sorry if that wasn't clear to you, though I think I was pretty specific about the fact your desired version is absent in VW 12.5.

I'm repeating myself, but, again: I'm not fighting with you, I'm agreeing with you that the old version of the tool should be restored. I just want the new 12.5 version of Show/Snap Others, allowing a gray layer to be snapped, to be kept as well, perhaps under a different name.

I presume that the code for the older version is still in their archives. Hopefully it could be just a matter of dusting off the old module and giving the menu options new names.

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Okay, Pete, but the thing that still doesn't make sense to me is this:

You talk about "my desired version is absent in 12.5." Well my "desired version" was present in ALL VERSIONS prior to 12.5! -- namely, the functionality of being able to turn a layer gray and NOT have it snappable while working on (snapping to) multiple layers, which happens to be the Show/SnapOthers option in 12.01, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, etc. Not only was it my "desired treatment," but it was, in my opinion, a fundamental capability of Vectorworks. How can any user now have a regular unsnappable gray layer while working on and snapping to multiple layers?

I realize that the code for Show/SnapOthers has been changed. That is exactly what I'm saying -- it has only been changed to snap to gray layers, which is EXACTLY what I don't want. You're saying that is INDEED EXACTLY what you want, so you can't offer it back to me both ways. It's either you or me. It's either in or it's out. It's either snappable or unsnappable.

If you agree that "the old version should be restored," then it's out -- you're agreeing that gray layers in Show/SnapOthers should be restored to unsnappable, just like what I've been trying to explain this entire discussion. You lose your snapping to gray layers, while I get my gray layer unsnappable, like it has ALWAYS been forever (prior to 12.5). But you don't agree that the old version should be restored, do you?

It's either your way or my way.

That's how you're fighting me on it.

What am I missing?

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It's either your way or my way.....

What am I missing?

This bit I would think Kenneth:

(emphasis added by me)

I'm agreeing with you that the old version of the tool should be restored. I just want the new 12.5 version of Show/Snap Others, allowing a gray layer to be snapped, TO BE KEPT AS WELL

HTH

N.

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It's like agreeing that the old version of the kitchen should be restored, except they just want the new version of the kitchen TO BE KEPT AS WELL. shocked.gif

The old version of the command is called Show/SnapOthers where gray layers are unsnappable. (= "my desired verison" according to P.Retondo)

The new version of the command is called Show/SnapOthers where gray layers are snappable. confused.gif

I'm just missing that crucial bit of knowledge that you also seem to have, Nicholas, on how we can have both. grin.gif

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P Retondo said:

Ken, what I mean by "implementation" is that they have written the code for both Show/Snap Others versions...

This is false. NNA has only changed it so that gray layers (and classes) become snappable. The old code, which leaves grays UNSNAPPABLE, is gone.

I need it back. I think it's a fundamental part of Vectorworks.

I'm surprised and very disappointed that nobody else (in these forums) find the need to snap to all visible layers EXCEPT those made gray.

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The old version of the command is called Show/SnapOthers where gray layers are unsnappable. (= "my desired verison" according to P.Retondo)

The new version of the command is called Show/SnapOthers where gray layers are snappable. confused.gif

I'm just missing that crucial bit of knowledge that you also seem to have, Nicholas, on how we can have both. grin.gif

Well, kenneth,

what I [/i]really[/i] understand about programming could be engraved on the head of a (reasonably large) pin. however.................

What we are talking about is 2 versions of Show/Snap Others.

For clarity I'll give them different names.

The first one - shall we call it...Trevor, is the OLD version that you want back.

The second one - I'll call it Eric, is the NEW version.

You seem to think that the 2 versions are mutually exclusive and can't possibly both exist in the programme simultaneously.

In my blissfull ignorance, I don't see why the programmers can't include commands for both Trevor and Eric visibility/snap options. It seems pretty straight forward. Is there some specific reason why it could not be done?

That's the benefit of being ignorant -anything's possible. :-)

N

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...

For clarity I'll give them different names.

The first one - shall we call it...Trevor, is the OLD version that you want back.

The second one - I'll call it Eric, is the NEW version.

You seem to think that the 2 versions are mutually exclusive and can't possibly both exist in the programme simultaneously...

Is there a way to have both? You mean twins? Or brothers? Or half-brothers? Sharing the same room? Sleeping in the same bed?! shocked.gifshocked.gifshocked.gif

I think maybe. I'm glad you're giving them different names. I was probably thinking of Eric as Eric when Pete welcomed back old pal Eric, but he was probably talking about Trevor since he never knew Trevor when he referred to him as Eric, so while I notice only the Eric in my VW12.5, he could not have been Trevor because I KNEW Trevor... unless Eric was disguised as Trevor trying to fool all of Trevor's friends... I quickly slapped myself out of the hallucination though... or he changed his name to Eric and nobody thought twice about who the real Trevor was, giving Eric all the credit that was due Trevor... grin.gif

Seriously though... regardless of names or labels or monikers, I find layer colors more effective for visual distinction of layers if you want to snap to them. Snapping to gray layers is not necessary. Heck, just use a gray color for those layers! Show/SnapOthers has been working fine. Why ruin it.

The bigger issue is that the functionality of turning a few layers unsnappable is now lost. I think that's a huge loss. frown.gif

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Or half-brothers? Sharing the same room? Sleeping in the same bed?! shocked.gifshocked.gifshocked.gif

Actually, Eric was really Erica, who, disguised as a man, gets Trevor to declare his love for Erica, whom he thinks is Eric pretending to be Erica. Then "Eric" takes off her disguise, Tevor and Erica are wedded, and they live happily ever after in the same menu item! All ends well, and we can all have it as we like it.

Seriously, thanks to Nicholas for unravelling this twisted plot and bringing peace to the thread. In version 12.0 we had five View/Layer Options, in version 12.5 we now have six, and I was proposing that we could have seven.

When I first started working with 12.5 I was happy to find that Show/Snap Others now means exactly what it says - it snaps others, including gray others. But when Ken raised his objection, I saw that we had lost an important capability.

More and more I find being able to snap to gray useful. To be able to switch back and forth between having gray snapable and not snapable with a couple of keystrokes would be even more useful.

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Okay so I have been following this thread with some amusment at times. Eric and Trevor appear to do exactly the same thing, which seems as it may have been a mistake in code, could this simply be a bug issue? Forgive me if this has already been addressed.

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... Actually, Eric was really Erica, who, disguised as a man, gets Trevor to declare his love for Erica, whom he thinks is Eric pretending to be Erica. ...

No Pete. You were actually God the almighty Creator, proposing to resurrect Trevor from the dead. You referred to him as easy replacement for Eric in a snap of a finger. (A snap of MY finger? But I'm not so Godly!) And then to have both Eric and Trevor occupy the same place at the same time! What an amazing proposition. shocked.gif

As we all know, Trevor was murdered by Eric. There's no Erica. Eric is now sleeping with Trevor's wife, raising Trevor's children, doing Trevor's job, driving Trevor's Porsche Boxster, living in Trevor's very own home -- pretty much fooling everybody by acting like he's Trevor. We now know the truth. There's really no living happily ever after -- for Trevor or Trevor's loyal audience. Eric is here. Trevor is not. frown.gif

I can only pray to the true Gods in the heavens above (NNA)...

... Eric and Trevor appear to do exactly the same thing, which seems as it may have been a mistake in code...

Indeed.

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And yet all the mouse pushing geeks on the puny planet earth were oblivious to the alien offensive taking place right under their noses.....

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Litebrite, Trevor Shows other layers and snaps to other layers, except to grayed layers (the Show/Snap Others of v 12.0). Eric, or Erica, Shows other layers and snaps to other layers, including grayed layers (v 12.5 command of the same name). This may seem like an insignificant distinction, but look what a world of snapping piranhas and murder most foul it has launched!

Take a look at Mike's excellent summary of all logical options at about the midpoint of the discussion.

For the record Mike, I favor your options 3 or 2. The reason I'm less enthusiastic about 1 is that with so many layers, having to set snappability for each in each saved view and viewport seems like a lot of work.

Edited by P Retondo

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Interesting that we must use such amusing names. I think the trouble stems from misinterpretation of VW labels and names.

I acknowledge that Pete has a good point that Show/Snap (Eric) does exactly what it says now in 12.5. However, as I reach way back into my deepest subconscious understanding of "The Vectorworks Way," if not just from raw intuition, when it comes to transparency or translucency in CAD, I find my interpretation of "others" in Show/SnapOthers does not necessarily include gray! Especially not the semi-visible grayness of a gray layer. It's almost like the *purpose* of being gray is to be untouchable. Maybe it's just me. This is why I was confused (and still disappointed) by how this "new feature" is so welcomed. It just doesn't feel right.

There's also potential misinterpretation of the operative controls versus the visibility settings, i.e., Layer Options versus Layer Visibility. Regardless of what they're called, I think an additional column for "visibility" is worse than just a lot of work. It would conflict with the operations on them. For example, if a particular layer is set to snap, would that get overridden when the operative control is basic Show Others? Or basic Gray Others? Two equally powerful operative controls?!

In the end, I would concede (again) that Mike's #2 (initially suggested by Pete) is the only solution, perhaps with the clearest of names (not that these are particularly clear):

Active Only

Gray Others

Gray/ Snap All

Show Others

Show/ Snap All

Show/ Snap Visible

Show/ Snap/ Modify All

Where "visible" is understood to exclude gray.

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