Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

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mwschultz
Newbie Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:19 pm

Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by mwschultz » Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:48 pm

I have been a casual personal user of cad, mainly for my own home projects for over 25 years. The standard by which I judge a cad program is how well it compares with Generic Cadd, which I believe was the best 2-d cad program ever conceived by man (Autodesk purchased it and was forced to poop-can it because it blew the doors off of their expensive mainline product)! Qcad measures up to Generic in many ways, there are a couple of items where it does fall short....however. I will only mention one of those at this time. In the time that I have used cad, I have never, NEVER, EVER had the need, or desire to use absolute coordinates! When I enter the starting point of a line, or some other entity, the endpoint is ALWAYS relative to the start point of that entity. The Actual drawing surface's origin is completely unimportant to me. (You might say....it's all relative!)

I would sure like to see a command to toggle the drawing surface between abs & rel coordinates. This seems so fundamental, to me, that I shouldn't have to enter the @ symbol every time I enter in a set of coordinates. Other than that, Qcad is ....A-L-M-O-S-T....perfect!

riverbuoy
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Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:37 pm

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by riverbuoy » Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:23 pm

Hi mwschultz,

Welcome to QCAD. You are correct. Once you have placed the first point all further points can be relative to some other point.

What I do is use the Snap->Restrict Angle or Length menu option (shortcut EL). This displays the following in the options toolbar.
RestrictAngleorLength.png
RestrictAngleorLength.png (3.99 KiB) Viewed 4187 times
This option restricts the mouse movement to multiples of the angle and/or distance. Click the Angle or Distance check boxes to switch them on or off.
The default angle is 15 degrees, so it restricts the mouse to an angle of 0,15,30,45... degrees etc. You can change the angle at any time. You can even set it to an angle of 1 or even to 0.1, although you would need a high resolution screen to move the mouse to an exact tenth of a degree.
Distance works the same way, so it restricts the mouse to multiples of distance e.g. 0,10,20,30... etc. Again you can set this to any value, at any time.

In order to easily see the distance and angle from the relative zero point, press the F8 button on your keyboard. This displays the distance and angle at the mouse cursor position. So if both angle and distance are on then you only need to move the mouse to select the next point. If only angle is on you only have to enter a distance in the command line.

(Note: F8 is a toggle. The first time you press it, it displays distance and angle. Press it again, it displays distance only. Press it again, it displays angle only. Press again it switches off. Press it again it goes back to distance and angle.)

EL can be used in any command expecting coordinate input. EL is also a toggle, to switch the boxes on or off.

I hope this helps you, so QCAD becomes ALMOST perfect.

regards

riverbuoy

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Husky
Moderator/Drawing Help/Testing
Posts: 3887
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 9:25 am
Location: USA

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by Husky » Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:01 pm

Hmmmm,

I'm sure I haven't understood the request correctly so far ..... or did I? :oops:

However, If I break it down for me then I see that ...

... we can use relative coordinates - I guess most user will use that,

and if we use QCAD already existent tools wisely ...

... we can also use Absolute coordinates what makes me to agree with this statement
mwschultz wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:48 pm
(You might say....it's all relative!)
Ok, there is no switch to do that but it is possible and not that complicated. Bottom line there is only one thing left in this request - he doesn't likes to use the @ symbol. Correct? I don't have a solution for that but is that really that inconvenient?
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RobB
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Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 4:02 pm
Location: Alpnach, Switzerland

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by RobB » Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:45 pm

+1
I use relative coordinates all the time (Maybe wrote to many G-code subroutines in the past). And usually have to type <space>@ to get to the command line, and often forget to type <space> so nothing happens, and discover that a few keystrokes later...
So the option would be nice.
Then, of course, an escape for an absolute location would be useful, maybe the '! ' ?
Robert
Linux Mint 20 , qcadcam-3.24.3.10-pro-linux-x86_64

mwschultz
Newbie Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:19 pm

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by mwschultz » Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:30 pm

riverbuoy wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:23 pm
Hi mwschultz,

Welcome to QCAD. You are correct. Once you have placed the first point all further points can be relative to some other point.

What I do is use the Snap->Restrict Angle or Length menu option (shortcut EL). This displays the following in the options toolbar.

RestrictAngleorLength.png

This option restricts the mouse movement to multiples of the angle and/or distance. Click the Angle or Distance check boxes to switch them on or off.
The default angle is 15 degrees, so it restricts the mouse to an angle of 0,15,30,45... degrees etc. You can change the angle at any time. You can even set it to an angle of 1 or even to 0.1, although you would need a high resolution screen to move the mouse to an exact tenth of a degree.
Distance works the same way, so it restricts the mouse to multiples of distance e.g. 0,10,20,30... etc. Again you can set this to any value, at any time.

In order to easily see the distance and angle from the relative zero point, press the F8 button on your keyboard. This displays the distance and angle at the mouse cursor position. So if both angle and distance are on then you only need to move the mouse to select the next point. If only angle is on you only have to enter a distance in the command line.

(Note: F8 is a toggle. The first time you press it, it displays distance and angle. Press it again, it displays distance only. Press it again, it displays angle only. Press again it switches off. Press it again it goes back to distance and angle.)

EL can be used in any command expecting coordinate input. EL is also a toggle, to switch the boxes on or off.

I hope this helps you, so QCAD becomes ALMOST perfect.

regards

riverbuoy
Thanks for the info, but I think you missed my point. I merely stated that I never draw entities in my drawing based on some fixed point. When I draw a line, the ending coordinates of the line are ALWAYS relative to the first point I entered. Having to use @ every time is just two keystrokes that I wouldn't have to enter if I was able to put the program into relative mode from the get go. The fact that other programs have that feature, must mean that it means something to someone....

I am not looking for "all further points to be relative to some other point." I'm looking for the second point of an entity (line, arc, etc.) to ALWAYS be relative to the very last point that was entered. For instance: If I have a vertical line and I want to draw a perpendicular line to the right two units, starting at the midpoint of the vertical line, my first point will just be a snap to center of the vertical line, and the second point(Relative to that point) is 2,0. But without the @ the second point will be relative to the drawing origin. Why do I care about the drawing origin?? I Don't!! Again, as mentioned earlier, I have never had the need to reference the drawing origin.

I didn't mean to step on toes, I just thought that this may be a feature that others would find useful. I appreciate that there is a cad program that is as good as this one available for Linux. I find that there is much similarity between this and Visual Cadd (this was produced by the Generic Cadd crew after Autodesk shut that project down.) If I have to put up with using @ when I enter coordinates... it's still better than going back to Windows!

mwschultz
Newbie Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:19 pm

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by mwschultz » Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:39 pm

Husky wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 10:01 pm
Hmmmm,

I'm sure I haven't understood the request correctly so far ..... or did I? :oops:

However, If I break it down for me then I see that ...

... we can use relative coordinates - I guess most user will use that,

and if we use QCAD already existent tools wisely ...

... we can also use Absolute coordinates what makes me to agree with this statement
mwschultz wrote:
Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:48 pm
(You might say....it's all relative!)
Ok, there is no switch to do that but it is possible and not that complicated. Bottom line there is only one thing left in this request - he doesn't likes to use the @ symbol. Correct? I don't have a solution for that but is that really that inconvenient?

I assure you!! I have nothing against @ symbols anywhere! I have never misused or treated them badly, EVER! It's just the extra keystrokes that wouldn't be needed if relative were the default. If you were not going to provide a toggle, to toggle the system between modes, why not set the program to work in relative, and have to enter @ to use absolutes? ....just sayin' it's all kind of arbitrary (one might say...relative) isn't it?

Thanks for humoring me, Mike

Panchdara
Premier Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:15 pm

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by Panchdara » Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:04 am

Hi mwschultz. How about a Preferences option such that non-"@" prefixed co-ordinates are treated as relative with the option "!" prefix as absolute? ie if this Preference option is set then any co-ordinate is treated as being relative, and any "!" prefixed co-ordinate being treated as absolute.?? It would be a suggestion. I think having this option could help with workflow. (If option is set then entering "@" prefix would be treated same as relative - ignore the "@" entered and still treat as relative)

Best
Windows 10

riverbuoy
Senior Member
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:37 pm

Re: Option to set RELATIVE coordinates as the default

Post by riverbuoy » Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:44 pm

Hi mwschultz,
mwschultz wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:30 pm
Thanks for the info, but I think you missed my point.
I used to teach Autocad to students at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, and one of the most common complaints was exactly your point.
Telling them 'No, it can't be done. Live with it.' doesn't always go down well.
Autodesk aren't going to change Autocad for me or my students, so I always tried to think of an alternative way of working. The issue here is to enter fewer keystrokes. This is what I was trying to do.
Think of your example. You start the line command, then you snap to the midpoint of the line, then enter 2,0 in the command line.
You can enter fewer keystrokes using the EL shortcut. (Okay, you enter two keystrokes, but keep it on for subsequent points.). Now you can use what Autocad called Direct Distance Entry. Start the line command, snap to the midpoint of the line, move the cursor to the right and enter 2 in the command line. You don't need the @ symbol, nor do you need the comma or zero. (You need the angle switched on in order to ensure the mouse pointer snaps to zero degrees. It is almost impossible to achieve manually).
The way this works is, the angle is taken as the angle between the mouse pointer and the last entered point. The distance is entered in the command line. QCAD then calculates the coordinates of a point that is 'distance' away at 'angle' from the last point. This point is then passed to the current command, so this feature can be used in any command expecting coordinate input.
In your example, the distance is two and the angle is zero. If you now want to draw a vertical line you move the mouse pointer to 90 degrees or 270 degrees, and enter a distance in the command line, and keep going.
This requires fewer keystrokes, but does involve a different way of working with QCAD. Whether you change your way of working is purely a personal choice.
Offering an alternative tends to go down better.

I hope this clarifies what I was trying to do.

regards

riverbuoy

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