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ericjhberg

Tag/Label Tool has Bigger Ambitions

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I may have heard from a little birdie that a broad overhaul of labeling capabilities/tools may be in the works in coming versions. As I have become recently aware, the solution may already be hidden in the irrigation tool suite and it might not need much tweaking to become the full scale labeling tool we need.

 

The Tag/Label Tool within the irrigation tool suite not only has the ability to label irrigation objects with inherent data in a variety of customizable label styles; thanks to @Bryan G. I just learned that the tool can actually represent ANY data attached to objects in plug-in parameters or custom record fields. This is HUGE.

 

In order for this tool to become the tool we need however, there are still a couple of tweaks that would inform an ideal workflow.

  1. The Tag/Label, when placed on an object, needs to lock relative to that object. This means that if the tagged object moves, the tag/label moves relative to it. Note that not all labels need to point directly to the object, but in the general direction and this functionality needs to still exist, but in this case, if the tagged object moves, so too should the tag/label move.
  2. Ability to save styles and remember most current - When tagging/labeling different objects the style or data labelled might change. There needs to be a way to store these different styles and the ability to choose from them, but also remember the last one used so that it doesn't revert to a default setting each time a label is placed.
  3. Act Like Keynotes Placed as Keynote Callouts - Auto-numbering and organization are the primary benefits of using keynote callouts currently and we use them almost excessively considering the difficulties with managing the callout database. This tool has the potential to offer the benefits of that tool without the fuss. If the tag/label chosen has the ability to be represented by a Keynote Callout that puts the label in a Keynote Legend and auto-numbers/letters similar to callouts currently, we could then build extensive keynote legends/worksheets based on objects' inherent data that auto-numbers.
  4. Place in Annotations - I imagine that this is perhaps the hardest ask, but it is potentially the most influential...we need the ability to somehow use these Tags/Labels in the Viewport Annotations space while still linking to the objects present in the design layer. It is far easier to organize labels for legibility when placed in the annotations and it removes design layer clutter. Additionally, when placing callouts in Viewport Annotations you can take advantage of the viewports margins and white space to aid in legibility and organization. This isn't something you can do when placing on design layers. Finally rotation...many viewports are rotated and in order to represent labels on these viewports when placing in design layers, you must rotate them to read horizontally...often in very extreme angles which just adds to the clutter, confusion, and chance for error.

 

All in all, this tool is very close to what we need and I am excited to find ways of working it into our workflow. My hope is that VW takes this into consideration when working on any new Tag/Label tool.

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