William Sutherland


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New User's Survival Guide...

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  • I'm lost in space! - It can be hard at first to grasp where you are in 'paper space' while drawing in CAD systems like Allplan that create plotfiles from references to drawings. To give you some idea of where the 'edges of the paper' are when drawing you can create a (say) A1 sheet in construction lines in a blank drawing file and use it when required as a reference file in the background. For an A1 sheet which is 594 mm x 841 mm - and if you regularly work at 1:50 - then the outline would need to be 50 times bigger - 29700 x 42050 - also mark a plotter margin of 300 top and bottom and 900 at each end.
    For other sheet sizes just go into Layout edit mode and in a blank file set up your chosen plotter and sheet size - the Layout Editor shows an outline of the 'page' onscreen and you can then measure (at 1:1) the outline and margins for the sheet.
  • How do I get rid of the full size cursor? - go to 'Tools->Options->Global' which will present you with a multi-tabbed dialogue - go to the second 'Display' tab. Note that if you turn on the coloured cursor (recommended) it shows the different axes in each view.
  • Watch out for OS Superplan imports! - These come with national grid reference data with huge coordinates which will cause problems - not immediately but later on when you try to use the data. When importing the file look in the 'Advanced' settings in 'Import'. Click on the 'Additional offset' drop down list boxes for x and then y. Therein will be a large number as the minimum extents - accept this number but add a minus sign to the front of both the x and y values (z is normally zero). OK out of the dialogue and then proceed with the import again.
    Update Sep 2005 in recent versions of Allplan clicking in the box will reveal max and min coordinates - click on the max coordinate for x and y in turn and the entry will automatically be made negative for you.
  • There is a little 'stick man' on screen? - This caused some head scratching for tech support for a while. In the end I spotted that on the 'Display' tab on the 'Tools->Options->Global->' dialogue there is a check box for 'Show eye and target point symbols' which I must have inadvertently ticked at some point. Uncheck this and the little stick man disappears. Don't know what he does - I guess something to do with the 3D views.
    Update 04.10.01 - This setting also controls whether the light source and the light target in the Presentation module are displayed.
  • There is a dot on screen which will not delete! - this still catches me out - it is usually a centre marker for a large radius curve somewhere else on the drawing - if you click on it exactly rather than try to enclose it in a selection rectangle it will delete the dot and the curve!
  • My 2D hidden line export has vanished! - after saving a section or elevation as a 2D drawing, you switch to the drawing file you saved it to.... and it's not there! Well, it is actually, just check that the 'hidden line removal' button is not pressed in at the bottom right of the window... still not there?... then check that the 'plan view' button is pressed in at the bottom left of the window. Happens to us all....
  • How can I tell which elements are not active? - There is an option, again in 'Tools->Options->Global->' under the first 'Display' tab you see - a check box to make all reference (i.e. non-active) drawing file elements the same colour. Underneath it there is a choice for the colour. I use a pale grey (color 26) but you can choose any colour.
    in v16.2 frozen layers can be assigned a colour too...
  • How do I copy and paste between drawings? -
    this is to change in v16.2 - the clipboard will be available for copying - Hurrah!
    different to the MS Windows normal method - there is probably a good reason. In Allplan you have to copy or move bits of your drawing between drawing files using the 'File->Copy/Move Elements between Files...' command from the top of screen toolbar. The destination drawing file must not be currently 'Active' - i.e. visible. Watch out for problems caused by creating copies of elements from a file in 'Edit' mode to a file in 'Active' mode - both are visible and modifiable onscreen but the copy still resides within the original drawing file - you need to move the copy between drawing files - for which you will have to 'switch off' the active file - simple really!
    There is a 'Copy to Clipboard' command available via a tiny icon in the bottom right of each onscreen window but this is for copying date to external programs and not for use within Allplan (as far as I know - I've never had cause to use it).
  • How do I import my old CAD system drawings?
    - Use 'File->Import' - pretty obvious :-) but also...
    for important detailed instructions go to How to import drawings page.

    Update September 2005 recent versions of Allplan, particularly since v2003 have more refined options - v2005 has very good import and export to Autocad and Cinema 4D.

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