The QCAD 3 Property Editor

A very powerful but often underestimated tool of QCAD 3 is the property editor. Time to put it into the spotlight!

Property Editor Basics

The property editor is shown at the right side of the QCAD application window after the first launch of QCAD. If you cannot see a property editor, you can show it using the menu 'View' - 'Property Editor'. Just like most other widgets in QCAD, you can dock it in any desired position, usually somewhere at the right as shown here.

As you would probably expect, the property editor displays various properties of the entities that are currently selected and allows you to change them. In the example screen at the left, a dimension entity is selected so the property editor shows all properties of this entity.

In this example, we can see, that the 'Label' property shows the value 'Auto'. This means that the label of the dimension is not explicitly set and is therefore calculated automatically. We can now for example enter a fixed label to be used instead.

Dimension Labels and Symbols

Dimension labels often contain special characters that are hard or impossible to access on a keyboard (, °, ±, ...).

A right-click into the dimension label text field in the property editor shows a context menu which can be used to quickly insert commonly used symbols and formatting. Of course, you can also type these codes or symbols directly into the text field. The context menu is merely provided for convenience. The most important code is <> (less than, greater than) to use the automatically measured value in combination with a symbol or text. For example 'R<>' creates a dimension label 'R7.5' if the dimensioned radius measures 7.5 units.

Changing Multiple Entities at Once

You can also change multiple selected entities at once using the property editor. To add an 'R' in front of all radial dimension labels, simply select all radial dimensions and type 'R<>' into the value of the label property.

Filtering by Entity Type

Sometimes, selecting all radial dimensions might be a challenge, especially in large and complex drawings.

To assist with that, the property editor offers a filter at the top where you can choose to only display the properties of a certain entity type. To add an R prefix to all radial dimension entities using this feature, we can simply select the entire drawing (Select - Select All) and then limit the property editor to radial dimensions by choosing 'Radial Dimension' from the 'Selection' box at the top of the property editor.

This filter also comes in handy when reorganizing drawings. To put all texts on a separate layer called 'text', you select the whole drawing, choose the filter 'Text' in the property editor and then change the layer property. You can even move all selected texts to a new layer by clicking the plus button at the right of the layer property.



Community Provided Tutorials

To learn more about the property editor, please check out this tutorial video made by Husky:

More community provided tips and tutorials are available in our user forum. Thanks to everyone who is contributing to the success of QCAD!