William Sutherland


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my first Allplan model! - Cottage interior with sunken lounge, Grasmere
Tips & Tricks...
User Pages for
Allplan FT
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Please Note - Pages are now obsolete - tips and tricks.... they reflect my own experience in day-to-day use of Allplan thus some areas are covered in more detail than others - and many areas await exploration - Allplan is a vast territory!
Update Sept 2002 a FAQ has also appeared on www.nemetschek.com
Update May 2003 Download all the pdf guides available from Allplan.co.uk
Update Sept 2004 Pending a revamp of the whole site I have updated some of the tips for Allplan 2004.
Update Aug 2005 Nemetschek UK have now posted an excellent range of
Step by Step Guides
in English on their site here

Creating ramps & slopes...

To create ramps try using the freeform (or any) stair tool in the Stair Designer Module but switch off all stair components except say, the centre stringer and set it's side offsets to zero - result... instant ramp, road, slope.
Congruent Element toggle...

Wondering why sometimes you cannot select elements without the system prompting you with a flashing element and a 'Enter or space bar for next element' message? Check the filter assistant to see if the congruent elements button is down. It is 'sticky' - i.e. it stays up or down. Very easy to activate by accident. Useful tool when picking elements in a very 'busy' drawing. Watch out also for it's friend the 'bounding selection' box. This allows selection of elements without fully enclosing them in a selection box (among other things). Again it is 'sticky' and easy to forget about if you have set it - especially as it seems to default to the last setting for the tool in use but does not update the icon to reflect the actual state of the toggle (!)
Is Autodetect Outline active?...

- do your selection tools seem to have a mind of their own? Check if you have left the 'autodetect outline' option active in the Point Assistant. It is 'sticky' and will stay selected until deliberately unselected (i.e. it keeps trying to find an outline to trace).
2D drawing - offset by line...

- this works the same for 2D elements as the wonderful automatic offset arrow in the 3D architectural elements tools - you can move the reference point anywhere in fact. It avoids any need to draw construction lines.
Allplan 2004 - [Advanced Point Entry active] now included in right-click menu
2D drawing - division point...

- set the number of sides (subdivisions) to whatever you wish but you can then set the division point to more than the number of subdivisions to snap to a the projected points beyond.
Allplan 2004 - [Advanced Point Entry active] now included in right-click menu
Coloured markup...

As colour fills always plot on a colour plotter you can use the 'Filled Lines' tool from the 'Paint' module to mark up a monochrome plot. Pen thickness and the 'granularity' are set in the pop-up which appears when the tool is selected.
Bitmap Elements ...

You can create your own out of scanned bitmaps using the Scan Module but Allplan FT includes many excellent bitmap element symbols. Use 'Get From Library'->'Artist'. The trees, shrubs and other symbols are excellent for adding interest to elevations and isometric views (it looks as though you spent a lot of time embelishing the drawing by hand).
Editing drawings from Layout...

A neat feature in Layout Editor is to Right Click the drawing file you wish to modify and the pop-up menu has an option at the bottom to 'Edit Drawing Files' - this jumps you back into Allplan proper and opens the relevant drawing file for editing. Jump back to plot layout to check for layout conflicts etc. via the normal 'Layout Editor' button.
2D Symbols...

Although Allplan FT ships with only basic 3D smart symbols (including a Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair!) there are thousands of 2D symbols. Of particular worth are the trees in plan and elevation - Click 'Get From Library'->2D Architecture. I find these work very well in isometric 2D views as well as plan/elevation. (The cars and vehicles are good too - and people, furniture and the usual sinks and sanitaryware)
Create Layout Window...

Ever wondered what this does (I have)? Use the 'Create Layout Window' tool while in the Layout Editor and choose the option from 'blank, with elements or add existing' (F1 gives further explanation). If existing elements then select them, indicate the window outline and exit the command. So what? Well, all the elements are now linked so that they move together. If you place a fileset in the layout it is very easy to move one drawing file and leave the others behind but once part of a plot window they all move together.
Note that you can turn off the plotting of the plot window outline from the first dialogue in the 'plot layout' tool.
Print report from Project Pilot...

Want a printout of project or drawing file details? Start up Project Pilot from the 'File' Menu. In the left hand window, right click on the project name for a listing of details on all projects. Right click on the 'Drawing Files' heading on a branch below the project name. Either way there is only one option 'Report'; expand this to another 'Report' heading and click on it. A print preview will appear of the listing.
It is possible to enter Office address details in reports and even put your own logo at the top of the page. The following is a FAQ entry from www.nemetschek.de run through the Systransoft auto-translator - but you get the general idea.

[Copyright Nemetschek AG]
Provision date: 12.03.2001
Processing status: 03.05.2001
Product: Project pilot
Topic: Replace report logo in the ProjectPilot with own Logo

With all reports at the end of each page is always the address of Nemetschek AG . How can I replace these with our own office address and change the Logo on the top right?

The input of the customer information takes place in Allplan V16 under extras - > definitions - > office name and address. The input or change of the customer information is possible on use of the net manager only by the administrator (sysadm).

As customer information you can enter two-line information (e.g. your company name with the address). This information appears also on list expressions (e.g. architecture lists) set off and in the text block of the function project -, design -, field name as inscription.

The Logo is stored in the file rptlogo.bmp in the file etc.. If you want to begin their own Firm's logo, store this as square pixel picture of for instance 120x120 pixel or more under the name rptlogo.bmp in the file \nem\allplan\etc locally.
You should rename the existing file before, so that this is not overwritten. This change must be made on each job.

Note: The customer information is stored in the file yen.nem in office path STD. If you have not entered so far any customer information, this file is not present.


Keyboard shortcuts ...

Click 'Help' on the top toolbar and the menu item 'Shortcut Keys..' for a handy complete listing of these. (note that you can define your own via 'Tools->Customise'.)
Panning by Arrow Keys. Handy when say, a symbol is selected and on the end of your cursor and the position you want to drop it is just off screen. The keyboard arrow keys will move the screen over for you (most times). Also the '+' and '-' keys will rotate symbol by increment shown on dynamic toolbar.
Update May 2003 When 'inside' a command, the arrow keys will not work but Ctrl+Alt+arrow key may still work as may AltGr+arrow key

Pan by Arrow Keys & Zoom with+/- keys in Project Pilot. Click on a drawing file name listed in the right hand window and the contents of the file are displayed in the lower window. Left click and drag in this window to zoom in or use the + and - keys to zoom in and out, the arrow keys to navigate and the number pad keys to obtain isometric views. '*' key to reset.
Jump to drawing file number. It is possible to jump to a drawing file number in the right hand pane of the filelist manager - i.e. the 'Open and Select' tool. Timing seems important - click in the window to make it active and then you can key in say '834' and the system will jump to that file. However it does not always work as it depends on where you are starting from and the pause between entering digits - still experimenting with this one. It's still quicker than manually scrolling down the list though.
Enter a range in drawing file assignments. It is possible to enter ranges as well as single drawing file numbers if you right-click the fileset name in the 'Select Files and Filesets' tool - then Click on 'Assign Drawing Files...' and in the dialogue that appears you can enter ranges or numbers or both - e.g "800-850 903-910 1010-1021" etc. (without the quotation marks) all on the one line.


Mouse Clicks...

These are all listed in the Help files somewhere.
Update May 2003 The best place to look is in Help->Tips for efficient Usage...
FWIW I always enable the option in Tools->Options->Global Options->Settings Tab->Middle Mouse button assignment=Windows compliant (2nd option).
This allows linear snap to be used by pressing the Ctrl key, which I find less visually intrusive while drawing.

Escape=Right click on the nearest toolbar to exit the current command (often the zoom buttons at the window bottom are closest). Equivalent to hitting 'Esc' key on keyboard.
Reselect the last selection= Double Right click will reselect the last selection if a tool is still active (useful for moving symbols around when you are zoomed in close) except for the delete tool where it toggles undelete/delete until the tool is exited. When no tool active it brings up the fileset listing.
Open Brackets= Right click in the workspace when about to select elements (or 'interrupt' a command) to invoke the 'Open Brackets' command. If combined with the 'Fence' selection (and all the other filter options) as many elements and regions can be selected as needed before right clicking again to 'Close Brackets' and complete the command.
Select Symbol= Hold down middle button and then click left button on part of a symbol will select the whole symbol if it has been saved with all elements being in the same group (they usually are - see previous note on Group Numbers).

Polygon Fence Selection= Hold down middle button and then click right button to implement a free form selection boundary. Final click near where you started to complete the selection. (note that the selection works in 3D window as well as plan/elevation)
Snap to anything that lines up= Middle button Linear snap - another brilliant idea. Offers to snap to anything handy that lines up - a real time saver. You have to see it in action to understand how useful it is. Turn it on/off via the 'Point Snap' tool (only available when another tool is active). Changed in 16.1 onwards to give choice of Ctrl and Left Click for this function - see 'Tools->Options->Global->Settings tab' and note above.
Drag Handles to Edit Elements= Shift+Left Click selection box will include elements not fully bounded by the box. (Note Help file is wrong - it says use Ctrl key - same in 16.1)
As in normal left click selection of elements a further right click gives shortcut menu of options ' Move,Rotate,Copy,Delete'.

Shift and middle click and drag= Pan - depends on setting in Tools->Options->Global as to whether the Shift key needed.
Ctrl and middle click and drag= Open a zoom selection box

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