[solved] Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

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jghealey
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[solved] Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by jghealey » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:38 pm

HI All,

I am new to the QCAD world so apologies for the ignorance if there is an easier method I am missing.
I cut my teeth with AutoCad and Draftsight so was previously used to the way they work with the command lines.
I mainly use a 2D package to detail hydraulic and pneumatic system schematics.
I use a 3D mouse to map macros normally but sue to the whole COVID-19 thing I am stuck at home and will soon be writing some macros to speed up my detailing process with AutoHotKey.

Waffle over, and to the question:

I normally draw lines at a specified length in auto cad or draftsight.
I have ortho/polar snap on normally so it’s very easy in those programs to:

click line origin > Press 5, for example, for a line length of 5units > place the line end.

Because I have Polar snap on it is then really easy just to dump down a load of construction lines for spacing etc and pipework routes then delete or trim what I don't want after

I would like to hear how others draw because I’m finding the below method time consuming and would like to change it so I can be more efficient.

LI > click to start line origin > spacebar > “@ x-reference, y-reference” > click to drop line end

Also, I try and select from the Snap menu "Restrict Orthogonally" but it always turns off at the start of each line or copy so you always have to navigate back to turn in back on at the left after you make your first selection... Any help with that?

Eager to hear what everyone's process is

Please share!

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Husky
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by Husky » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:57 pm

jghealey wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:38 pm
Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?
There is always an other way to skin a cat ... :wink:

I've seen your introducing to the QCAD forum. Thank you for that and welcome!

Questions:
- You are using the QCAD Community Edition or the Professional Version?
jghealey wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:38 pm
click line origin > Press 5, for example, for a line length of 5units > place the line end.
- Direction would always be orthogonally?
- The example 5 units would be always used in increments like 5, 25, 40 etc.?
jghealey wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:38 pm
Also, I try and select from the Snap menu "Restrict Orthogonally" but it always turns off at the start of each line or copy so you always have to navigate back to turn in back on at the left after you make your first selection... Any help with that?
You can lock a snap below Menu / Snap or adjust the settings for AutoSnap in Application Preferences.
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jghealey
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by jghealey » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am

Hi Husky,

Many thanks for the reply!
- You are using the QCAD Community Edition or the Professional Version?
I am currently using the QCAD Community Edition as I have been tasked with finding an appropriate 2D package replacement for Draftsight/AutoCad for the business. QCAD looks the ticket at the minute, to be honest.
- Direction would always be orthogonally?
- The example 5 units would be always used in increments like 5, 25, 40 etc.?
I just liked the way the other programs handled that type of drawing that's all
I could start a line and enter a line length then drop it.
If I had Ortho_Snap on then yes it would be orthogonal but I sometimes turn it off when creating blocks.
See attached example of a typical drawing I produce for a system schematic
I cant use the grid because lots of the blocks I use are downloaded templates and they aren't scaled to a grid and changing all of them negates the purpose of saving time and downloading them in the first place.

Another example of the dimensional input is when you want to copy something you can:
select what you want to copy > select copy > specify origin > move in a direction > enter dimension to move (which enters it in the command line) > drop it.

I guess what I am saying is it would be nice for the command line to default to expect a dimensional input so when you move away from the origin of whatever you have started it sets the distance. if you don't enter anything it just drops the line wherever you like, if you enter something it overrides the destination point to the length entered. You then use the mouse to select if that is in the X axis or Y axis and if its in a positive direction or negative direction from the origin. If Restrict orthogonally was turned off then it would basically restrict the final destination to within a radius of the origin by the entered dimension.
You can lock a snap below Menu / Snap or adjust the settings for AutoSnap in Application Preferences.
OK, It must be the preferences. I'll have a hunt around because it's just resetting itself. It doesn't seem to latch on.
e.g. LI > set orthogonal in the menu on left or menu-snap > draw line length > drop orthogonal line >> repeat process so, LI (in AutoCAD you just hit spacebar) > Restrict Orthogonally is turned off so you can just drop the line in any direction

CVH
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by CVH » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:09 pm

jghealey wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am
See attached example
None provided
jghealey wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am
OK, It must be the preferences. I'll have a hunt around because it's just resetting itself. It doesn't seem to latch on.
e.g. LI > set orthogonal in the menu on left or menu-snap > draw line length > drop orthogonal line >> repeat process so, LI (in AutoCAD you just hit spacebar) > Restrict Orthogonally is turned off so you can just drop the line in any direction

As husky mentioned: LOCK SNAP Or edit snap Options.
Except there are no Prefs for the restrictions.

PersistentSnap.png
PersistentSnap.png (39.36 KiB) Viewed 1576 times
jghealey wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am
I just liked the way the other programs handled that type of drawing that's all
Well, if your goal is drawing only up/down/left/right you might have a point.
Maybe it is a mindset at start but I know for sure the UI is build up very intuitive but also very polyvalent.
Lock restriction ortho means orthogonal to the relative zero, itself not locked the relative zero is following your last position.
jghealey wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:38 pm
I have ortho/polar snap on normally
IMHO Restrict Ortho (EO) or Restrict Polar (EL) are not complementary.
But Polar can be orthogonal.

The action you want is:
LI
Indicate a startpoint by any mean.
EL ( check angle, base=0, angle=90, check Distance, base=0, distance=required length )
Angle: base=0, angle(stepping)=90 is the same as Orthogonal.
Back
Indicate a startpoint by any mean.
EL
...

Regards,
CVH
QCADpro 3.24.3.0 / win7pro 32 bit / 4GB / 1e generation i7 2.6Ghz / HDD GeForce GT 520

CVH
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by CVH » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:14 pm

jghealey wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am
I cant use the grid because lots of the blocks I use are downloaded templates and they aren't scaled to a grid and changing all of them negates the purpose of saving time and downloading them in the first place.
But you are going to controle Qcad with a 3d mouse linked with AutoHotKey?
I can not see the advantage of that.

I really had to think this over for a while...
You are drawing lines strickt orthogonally in an arbitrary space, linking arbitrary sized blocks and you need exact distances....
And that can only be solved by a 3d mouse :?:
Only because downloaded it is as it is.
jghealey wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:38 pm
Because I have Polar snap on it is then really easy just to dump down a load of construction lines for spacing
Polar meaning snapping angled to the last position ... for orthogonal spaced construction lines ... sorry you lost me there.

All this is not very constructive.
Most of us have adapted to certain working protocols: personal ones and/or universal ones and sometime very nifty ones.
All thanks to the versatile UI of Qcad.
There is an initial learning curve but once past that...You are going to like it.

In short:
What you are missing in Qcad is:
A line tool that casts lines with a given length.
a) Having a Length entry at the start of the Options Toolbar.
-> QCAD then automatically shifts the focus to the first input field
https://qcad.org/rsforum/viewtopic.php? ... 286#p27289
b) As usual the snap options are made active.
c) Snapping would preview a line with the given length in the direction of the snappoint.
d) Setting a reference should cast that line.
e) The preview is repeated with the endpoint as the new relative zero.
f) The function terminates when escaped.

If I recall it well, something similar is asked for in the past.
Similar in the way it can be explained somehow similar.
Given that more than some topics or requests are vagely transmitted.
e.g. yours:
Drawing Lines - Can I do it faster?
Sure. How fast can you move hand and fingers? :wink:

You could enter a feature request at:
https://www.qcad.org/bugtracker/index.php
You will need a separate account and login for that.
Best is to include a link in both ways. :wink:

Regards,
CVH
QCADpro 3.24.3.0 / win7pro 32 bit / 4GB / 1e generation i7 2.6Ghz / HDD GeForce GT 520

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Husky
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by Husky » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:17 pm

- Moved topic from "QCAD Professional Version" to "QCAD Community Edition".
- Waiting for user example drawing.
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jghealey
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by jghealey » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:17 am

Husky wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:17 pm
- Moved topic from "QCAD Professional Version" to "QCAD Community Edition".
- Waiting for user example drawing.
Apologies all forgot to attach it.
As you can see there is lots of uniform spacing within the drawing.
The valves and other schematic symbols are all downloaded blocks so I create uniformity with the unit spacing of the lines and blocks
These schematics are often then made into a traffolyte label for the machine so without uniform spacing, the final product looks poor.
_____
CVH wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:14 pm
jghealey wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am
I cant use the grid because lots of the blocks I use are downloaded templates and they aren't scaled to a grid and changing all of them negates the purpose of saving time and downloading them in the first place.
But you are going to controle Qcad with a 3d mouse linked with AutoHotKey?
I can not see the advantage of that.
Sorry, I was probably not clear there.
I normally use a 3Dconnexion so I use that software to macro via the 3Dconnexion buttons.
Due to the current world issues I am working from home without the 3Dconnextion so will be creating shortcuts via hotkeys with AHK.
___
CVH wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:14 pm
Most of us have adapted to certain working protocols: personal ones and/or universal ones and sometime very nifty ones.
All thanks to the versatile UI of Qcad.
There is an initial learning curve but once past that...You are going to like it.

In short:
What you are missing in Qcad is:
A line tool that casts lines with a given length.
a) Having a Length entry at the start of the Options Toolbar.
-> QCAD then automatically shifts the focus to the first input field
https://qcad.org/rsforum/viewtopic.php? ... 286#p27289
b) As usual the snap options are made active.
c) Snapping would preview a line with the given length in the direction of the snappoint.
d) Setting a reference should cast that line.
e) The preview is repeated with the endpoint as the new relative zero.
f) The function terminates when escaped.
Yes, agreed there is always an initial learning curve with any new software.. hence my question "can I do it faster?"
I was interested in others' methods and how they reproduce similar outcomes... or someone to say, don't do it like that...do it like this.

Yes, a tool that casts lines with a given length would vary advantageous for me... but not everyone I expect

With your feedback above CVH ((a) to f)) I have realized something which was obvious but I was missing it.
This will speed me up thanks!

LI
Drop line origin
Spacebar - focus on the command line
"@0,5" - draw a vertical line with units of 5
Enter key - Drops line end point
Enter Key again, repeats the line from the last endpoint!


This will greatly reduce my times!
Thanks Guys!
Attachments
SCHEMATIC EXAMPLE.jpg
SCHEMATIC EXAMPLE.jpg (2.86 MiB) Viewed 1518 times

jghealey
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by jghealey » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:41 am


With regards to Copy/Move feature

Just an opinion but I think this feature should be split into Move or Copy.
Or an option added to the existing list of options in the dialogue box.
It would be awesome if there was an option in the popup message box "repeat with the reference" / "Repeat indefinitely"

So when you select and "MV" and create the origin via mouse, there is an option to continue until you have finished with an "Esc" or something similar.
I know there is the multiple copies option but this only duplicates the array in the same direction as the last.
This is not useful if you need to place the same item in several different locations across the model space.
I find myself using Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V but when you paste the reference point is in the middle of the selected entities... so you then just have to move it anyway in many instances.

In Autocad/Draftsight you just select what you want to copy then initiate copy,
specify the origin then you are off for however many you want to drop and wherever you want to drop them.

A likely solution might be Insert Blocks?
I tried to Insert a block bit the "BI" feature is locked out.
Can one of you guys confirm if its just a paid option and that's why its grayed out?
But either way, if that was working wouldn't I need to specify the block to paste each time?

CVH
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by CVH » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:22 pm

jghealey wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:41 am
In Autocad/Draftsight you just select what you want to copy then initiate copy,
specify the origin then you are off for however many you want to drop and wherever you want to drop them.
With a selection. e_geek
Edit...Cut (Ctrl+X)
Edit...Cut with ref (RT)
Edit...Copy (CP)
Edit...Copy with ref (RC)
With refs an extra origin reference is needed.
Without Qcad takes the middle of your selection.

Edit...Paste (PS)
As ref the middle or the origing is used depending cut/copy.
Point where you want it.

Copy with refs and pasting multiple times is the functionality you desribe. :wink:

Another option is Edit...duplicate (DP).
It clones the selection and set the selection focus to the clones. :wink:

What about paste along a line?

Regards,
CVH.
Last edited by CVH on Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Husky
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by Husky » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:33 am

jghealey wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:41 am
A likely solution might be Insert Blocks?
Yes - that would be the most efficient and professional solution. :wink:
But not "only" blocks - blocks as Library items ... e_surprised
jghealey wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:41 am
I tried to Insert a block bit the "BI" feature is locked out.
Can one of you guys confirm if its just a paid option and that's why its grayed out?
No, I can't confirm that. e_surprised
Block functionality is also given in the Community Edition - but limited compared with the Pro.
It was grayed out because there was no block or there was no block selected.
jghealey wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:41 am
But either way, if that was working wouldn't I need to specify the block to paste each time?
Yes and no. Same block will stick to the insert function as often as you need it.
If you need an other block you have to specify it first.


Example in a hurry ...



Used QCAD Pro tools:
Blocks - inserted with Icon (BI),
EL - Restrict Angle or Length,
DP - Duplicate,
Arrow key - Keyboard,
F5 - Rotate - Keyboard
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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by jghealey » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:57 pm

CVH wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:22 pm
With a selection. e_geek
Edit...Cut (Ctrl+X)
Edit...Cut with ref (RT)
Edit...Copy (CP)
Edit Copy with ref (RC)
With refs an extra origin reference is needed.
Without Qcad takes the middle of your selection.

Copy with refs and pasting multiple times is the functionality you desribe. :wink:

Regards,
CVH.
Legend!
That's exactly what I needed (RT) & (RC)....

As discussed earlier, yes there is a bit of a learning curve to go through.
Many thanks to both of you CVH & Husky for aiding my journey

Now a happy QCAD User!
Been using for a few weeks now and more used to the interface etc. which has helped.
RC and RT are the last pieces of the puzzle!

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Re: Drawing Lines - - - Can I do it faster?

Post by CVH » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:49 pm

Thanks,
jghealey wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:57 pm
RC and RT are the last pieces of the puzzle!
No they aren't .... :wink:
There are still many tweaks to discover.

Regards,
CVH
QCADpro 3.24.3.0 / win7pro 32 bit / 4GB / 1e generation i7 2.6Ghz / HDD GeForce GT 520

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