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Smart cursor for editing tools

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Bricscad has a so-called Quad cursor, which is a kind of flyout palette with the cursor for faster selection of editing tools.

Depending on the object selected or highlighted it will show tools that would make sense for use in editing that object. If you are in the 3D modelling workspace it will first present 3D tools such as push-pull (if applicable) or 3D-fillet.

A video of this can be found on YouTube:

The 3D part is short and starts around 3:40

It would be nice if Vectorworks could have something similar in the future, as it saves moving to the tools palettes quite a bit, or having to remember shortcuts.

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Yes, that's nice.

I would be even happy with a floating Palette or Bar for the normal Tool Settings.

Like some users have the Attribute Palettes somewhere over their drawing space.

Parts of the BricsCad Solution is available already by RMB Context Menu and

I think that could easily be expanded or resorted a bit ....

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Yes, but it requires you to use the right mouse button, select an item from it IF it is there.

For example, if I want to use push/pull to edit a 3D object, it is not there in the RMB and I would have to use either a shortcut or move to the palette to select it.

The Bricscad solution will recognize the 3D object and then offer appropriate editing tools.

In 2D it will offer different editing tools.

So it depends on the object what is offered, i.e. there is some "intelligence" to it.

This is what I would like, whether it is an expandable cursor palette as in Bricscad or an intelligent right mouse button menu that offers the appropriate tools depending on the object is equally fine with me.

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I see the VW RMB Context Menu is a bit context sensitive,

depending on what is under your mouse.

For example cursor over a Wall will bring you things like Join, Remove Break.

As I said it could be (easily) expanded.

It is just that I think,

if I could get a BCad like UI behavior like you proposed in 8 years,

or an extended RMB Context Menu in 2-3 years,

I would choose the latter ;)

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I agree with you on the timing, though an expandable palette as in Bricscad would in the long run be more efficient than a long RMB menu.

A palette instead of RMB menu would be more convenient if you want to do multiple operations on e.g. a 3D object (extrude, fillet corners etc.) so that the mouse travel is shorter.

It sounds like Architect has some more intelligence in its RMB menu than Landmark.

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You shouldn't have mentioned that B-thing.

That caused a lot of trouble for me after watching the videos.

Realized what a big role the optical appearance itself plays in my workflow.

Now I have to demo it.

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You shouldn't have mentioned that B-thing.

That caused a lot of trouble for me after watching the videos.

Realized what a big role the optical appearance itself plays in my workflow.

Now I have to demo it.

:grin:

"B-thing" just released V16 for their Windows version, the Mac version will be a bit later so you'll have to try V15 for now but you may want to try it again with V16 at a later time.

If you don't need 100% absolute guaranteed file compatibility with AutoCAD then Bricscad is probably your best option on the Mac for a dwg based program given that AutoCAD on the Mac still has less functionality than its Windows counterpart (I still remember the days it was the other way around some 20+ years ago). Ares Commander/Draftsight is too limited in the 3D area compared to Bricscad. But that is just my opinion.

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I don't want to promote Bricscad on an other software vendors forum.

But I think Modo, Rhino and Bricscad are important examples to take a

look at where Vectorworks currently is and what the state of the art of

user interfaces is or how tools are used.

Opposed to Apps like Autocad or Archicad, which in my opinion are not the

best examples for comparison.

As for the Quad Cursor,

it is not so intuitive or ergonomic for me. The problem is the little pause

you have to do and I would prefer a one-key or RMB solution to activate

the options.

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We have been tossing around similar ideas recently. Let me share with you my last proposal made a few weeks ago, though I've been revising it since then with an eye toward the tool preferences being available right on-screen as well.

NOTE: This is NOT a feature that exists even in alpha or beta versions of Vectorworks at the moment, it is simply a mockup I have created and submitted along with others as part of a few wishlist items:

[img:center]https://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=13259&filename=Screen%20Shot%202015-10-13%20at%203.18.13%20PM.png[/img]

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I would really love to have the UIOPÜ Settings available near the Cursor !

[OFFTOPIC_UI]

But for me it is also about the small things,

like separation of Creation Tools and Editing Tools, the ability to include

Line Separators in Toolboxes, accessing all Tools and Commands from

Icons and Hierarchy to get easier access to main settings.

[/OFFTOPIC_UI]

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I don't want to promote Bricscad on an other software vendors forum.

But I think Modo, Rhino and Bricscad are important examples to take a

look at where Vectorworks currently is and what the state of the art of

user interfaces is or how tools are used.

Opposed to Apps like Autocad or Archicad, which in my opinion are not the

best examples for comparison.

Personally I don't mind mentioning other software on a software vendors forum to create some awareness of alternatives to other competitors (e.g. B-cad vs A-cad) if it offers required functionality/compatibility that in this case Vectorworks simply does not offer at the moment.

Vectorworks has enough advantages on quite a few levels that I'm not going to abandon it, unless it starts making a big mess of itself. That being said, I agree with you about looking at Modo, Rhino and Bricscad to see how their user interfaces and tools work.

For example, in Bricscad (and probably Modo and Rhino) if I create a solid and want to put another solid on one of its surfaces and then extrude it into the first solid it creates an opening in the first solid. Automatically. With Vectorworks this would require some extra steps (at least in Landmark, maybe the Designer version is better in this area). I'd like Vectorworks to do the same "trick".

B-cad is probably one of the programs that Vectorworks should keep an eye on, as unlike Modo/Rhino it is a dwg-based CAD program and if Vectorworks wants to increase its userbase to 3 million then it needs to compete with AutoCAD and its "alternatives" and make sure it can be a viable alternative.

It is just too bad that AutoCAD has such a brand recognition that people buy it just because it is AutoCAD (apart from the much larger user base).

As for the Quad Cursor,

it is not so intuitive or ergonomic for me. The problem is the little pause

you have to do and I would prefer a one-key or RMB solution to activate

the options.

Regarding the Quad Cursor, it is a matter of getting used to and also a matter of personal preferences. But I agree the little pause is can be quite annoying if you want to work quickly, though it is still faster than having to go to the menu or tool palette, otoh its "slowness" prevents the palette to expand every time you move the mouse quickly over it.

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We have been tossing around similar ideas recently. Let me share with you my last proposal made a few weeks ago, though I've been revising it since then with an eye toward the tool preferences being available right on-screen as well.

NOTE: This is NOT a feature that exists even in alpha or beta versions of Vectorworks at the moment, it is simply a mockup I have created and submitted along with others as part of a few wishlist items:

[img:center]https://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=13259&filename=Screen%20Shot%202015-10-13%20at%203.18.13%20PM.png[/img]

This would be really nice, though I'd like to have the option for it to be always on too, plus some additional intelligence aka design intent recognition so that it will show some logical options in certain situation when the selection tool is active and not just for showing options of an active tool.

E.g. when the selection cursor is on a solid surface it shows the options for push/pull, fillet, set working plane etc.

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I would really love to have the UIOPÜ Settings available near the Cursor !

[OFFTOPIC_UI]

But for me it is also about the small things,

like separation of Creation Tools and Editing Tools, the ability to include

Line Separators in Toolboxes, accessing all Tools and Commands from

Icons and Hierarchy to get easier access to main settings.

[/OFFTOPIC_UI]

++1

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From my experience learning keyboard shortcuts can comfortably save a user 20-30 minutes a day.

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Regarding the Quad Cursor, it is a matter of getting used to and also a matter of personal preferences. But I agree the little pause is can be quite annoying if you want to work quickly, though it is still faster than having to go to the menu or tool palette, otoh its "slowness" prevents the palette to expand every time you move the mouse quickly over it.

Yes, just for me it "feels" faster if I run with my cursor across the whole screen

in 2,4s as an interruption for a short cut or pause for 0,4s ;)

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From my experience learning keyboard shortcuts can comfortably save a user 20-30 minutes a day.

When using the other CAD the command line is still my preferred input method so I agree, but there is a limit to the number of keyboard shortcuts you can have and memorize.

Unless there would be the option to have separate sets of keyboard shortcuts for e.g. 2D and 3D so that we can use the same shortcut twice for different functionality. Though it would put some more strain on the brain.

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Yes, just for me it "feels" faster if I run with my cursor across the whole screen

in 2,4s as an interruption for a short cut or pause for 0,4s ;)

A hundred time 0,4s makes for 2/3rds of a minute, so the (psychological) impact over a whole day should not be underestimated. :)

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A hundred time 0,4s makes for 2/3rds of a minute, so the (psychological) impact over a whole day should not be underestimated. :)

Yes, but at the end it feels my way was faster and I have done more work ;)

Shorts cuts are fine if you work with one App, mainly/only.

If there would only exist an international standard for these in 3D applications.

Same for View Rotation/Control.

Before VW I was able to set View Rotate in ALL my Apps to ALT+LMB.

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Hi Jim,

Just found an older post.

I have been closely following what Affinity are doing with their graphics apps, and they are actively looking to port their Mac app to the iPad.

I could see this interface working really well on an iPad Pro with Pencil. For Mac/PC use I would think it may be too slow (as opposed to keyboard shortcuts). That said, for those that use Wacom tablets, it might be very helpful.

Also, for the reasons that people use iPads this interface could be helpful at times. An iPad for me generally slower, but I often feel more focussed and satisfied when I complete something on it.

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I doubt a direct port would be the answer, Vectorworks is heavy on system requirements and even the best iPads are light on hardware, also maintaining a third OS platform (OS X and iOS are extremely different for an application like ours) would take a huge amount of engineering resources just to maintain compatibility.

However, there are a few other methods for allowing something like an iPad to "Run" Vectorworks though that may work out better, and then this sort of UI upgrade would really benefit touch and pen, as you noted.

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I like the hot key idea. I am not a huge fan of the tool specific options menu location. I would like to see that has a hotkey activated menu. I also think that will be easier to teach.

What I really like about that B-Cad quad cursor is that is semi-intelligent - offering up different options depending on the situation and recent activity. There is lots of back and fourth to tool pallets. In the future - I could imagine eliminating 80% of that. When I click on the an object - VW offers the 4 most common tools I use after clicking on that type of object - even better if it can be contextually aware to offer up even better guesses about what tool I am after.

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