William Sutherland


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House above Grasmere - the original design is rather lost in several extensions - work still continuing!
Tips & Tricks...

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Temporary Switch Off bitmap...

Show/Hide When drawing over scanned images - and especially if you have forgotten to put the vectors on a separate drawing file (!) it is useful to be able to turn off the bitmap from time to time. There is an option in 'Show/Hide' called 'Scan element/ scanned image' which can be deselected. Also when drawing over bitmaps I find that it is best to deselect 'Scanned images on top' when drawing lines and to reselect it when drawing with architectural elements (as below).

Drawing over scanned images...

drawing walls over a scanned-in bitmap
Note that if you want to stay in 2D and do a 'wireframe to file' of the plan make sure you 'turn off' the bitmap in the background file first or Allplan will give an error message when you open the wireframe later.

Allplan is outstanding at drawing over scanned-in old drawings .
Show/hide 'Show/hide' in the image (left) had option 'Scanned images on top' set active so that the bitmap shows through the walls being drawn over the top.
Modify Offset 'Modify Offset' is great for adjusting wall thicknesses without needing to know the dimension.
Fold line 'Fold line' can pull a regular wall around to match any non parallel wall thicknesses.

How to bring in a bitmap
Modify Offset tool...

Modify Offset What a wonderful tool 'Modify Offset' is - In addition to making walls thicker/thinner in 3D and moving lines orthogonally in 2D it can also modify widths of openings in 3D - any smart symbol within the opening seems to resize automatically (although if you have architraves added to the symbol frame they do not move correctly).
Now if it only worked in Elevation view!... :)

Hide wall lines...

Show/Hide Junctions It is sometimes useful to be able to hide the lines around walls. The 'Show/Hide Junctions' tool prompts you to point to lines you wish to hide. Click again on the same line for it to reappear, or any modification to the wall will cause the line to reappear (nuisance that!).

Auto-assign layers ...

A chance conversation with another user today revealed to me why layers were no longer automatically assigned to components. The default setting is 'off' - I'm sure it used to be 'on' in version 16.0b - no matter, mystery now solved - just tick the check box in the 'Format->Select, Set Layers' as shown below.
Drawing circles ...

Circle When drawing circles, after specifying the radius you do not need to specify '0' and then '360' when offered in the command line as values - just click the centre point of the circle twice. This also has the advantage that it resets the default values to 0 and 360 - handy if you drew some arcs previously since Allplan 'remembers' the last settings.

Copying differences...

If you Copy using the Allplan command from a drawing in edit mode 'behind' your active drawing file then the copy stays within that original drawing file. Whereas with the Copy via the Windows™ clipboard it Pastes to the Active drawing file.
Thus you can now move or copy elements between drawing files without 'turning off' the destination file as long as both drawing files are in either edit or active mode. You just need to use the right-click option 'Activate Drawing file' on an element within the edit mode file to make it active (the title bar gives the currently active drawing file).
Incidentally I have only just discovered the delights of the 'Copy and Show Target Drawing File' option from the 'Copy/Move Elements between Files' tool. It opens another window on the destination file.

Copy or backup Layers ...

It seems to say in a recent FAQ that you can copy a Layer structure between projects using Windows™ Explorer. This sounds a bit risky to me but if you ever feel the need to do this then the files involved are in the 'prj' subdirectory for your project (the project number appears in the title bar of Project Pilot when you highlight the project in the list or you can use the Hotline tool in the Services application).
The relevant files are (note the 'wildcard' asterisks):

More fun with Text...

Auto-Delete Segment
If you delete a segment of a line which passes through a block of text Allplan trims to an invisible box around the text if you point to inside the text block.
Using a tablet with Allplan...

I notice there is a recent FAQ at www.nemetschek.de about using a tablet with Allplan. I use a Wacom Intuos A3 tablet all the time with Allplan - it comes with a 3 button pen and 5 button cordless mouse. The pen seems to work most comfortably in 'pen' mode rather than in 'mouse' mode and you can set it differently for each application - you can even have different pens and the tablet senses which one you are using! Although it does not work as a true digitiser within Allplan you can trace over bitmaps brought into Allplan which I find quite adequate. The 'Alt+click and Alt+Shift+click' commands for drawing freehand lines work quite well with the pen.

Addendum for Cinema 4D use - if you use a Wacom tablet with Cinema 4D be sure to check the 'Graphic Tablet' option in 'Edit->General Settings' or objects will travel around the model view at warp speed completely out of control.
Autodock floating toolbars...

On a hunch I just tried something I discovered by accident in Plandesign FT 2.5 - and yes, it also works in Allplan!
If you double click on the title bar of a floating toolbar it will automatically fly back and dock itself. It seems to 'remember' the last docked position.
Smart fit - Modify...what region?

Modify Region with Placed Ele. Use 'Modify Region with Placed Ele.' to cut a hole within, or add a bit to, a region created using the 'Smart Fit' module (the simplest way is to Right-click on any Region and select it from the shortcut menu).
Allplan asks you to 'Select region' after clicking this tool button, however - unlike the delete region command - if you click within a region nothing happens - you must click the boundary of a region for the tool to identify the region. Thereafter you can add or subtract areas to the origjnal region. ('Esc' to finish outlining areas and 'Esc' again to implement). If things go awry check that the 'Outline autodetect' toggle is off and try only snapping to points or intersections rather than 'element snap'.

Smart fit - Check current pen...

Stretch EntitiesDefine Elements for Fit If you make any modification to a smartfit region - say by stretching it - check the current pen as the Smart Fit tool automatically redraws the revised region but in the current pen - not the one it was drawn in.
Shortcut keys for layer states...

Once the layer selection dialogue is brought up by Ctrl+4 or from the 'Format' menu there are some key combinations which set the states of layers - I have not quite worked out the logic of this but the keys are:
Shift + a, w, v and u.
Dynamic Rotate symbol...

Yet another thing that I have just discovered but is probably widely known (somewhere!)... you can rotate a symbol while it is on the end of your cursor awaiting placement by pressing the '+' or '-' keys - the degree of increment of the angle is set by the angle specified at the right hand end of the dynamic toolbar... excellent!

Allplan 2004 - [Advanced Point Entry active] this needs an extra click - to enable such rotation you must first click in the box as shown here.. then the plus and minus keys will work again...
Allplan 2004 Advanced Point Entry toolbar
Orthoganol Lock...

Allplan seems to lack a horizontal or vertical 'lock' when copying or moving 2D plan and elevational elements. To get round this I draw a long horizontal construction line at the bottom of the screen and a vertical one at the side. If 'element snap' is switched on (and cursor tips) then after highlighting the elements to be moved you can snap to one of the aforementioned construction lines and have a freely movable selection which you can keep in alignment by snapping to the same construction line, double right-clicking to reselect the same selection if further positioning is needed and repeat as often as needed.
Update May 2003 - in Allplan 2003 - hold Shift key to keep horizontal or vertical when moving objects.
More Text...

there are 4 control points on a single line of text - one at each unseen 'corner' of an imaginary box around the text - but the one on the bottom left is the only one that responds to being included in a selection rectangle. This is still true even if the text is mirrored - (very tidy programming). You can free rotate text just as with any object in Allplan by invoking 'rotate' and then clicking one control point for the centre of rotation and then another point but Truetype fonts only show characters in outline while being moved/rotated up to about 35 characters. This limit does not seem to apply to 'traditional' vector fonts (numbers 1-20).
View tools nearer to hand...

further to the previous entry on hotkeys and toolbar customisation ...
at high resolutions e.g. 1280 x 1024 and greater I find that the standard viewing tool icons are a bit small - one solution is to tick the option for 'large icons' in the 'Tools->Customise' ->'Toolbars' tab after highlighting 'Window' in the list but this still leaves the icons docked to either the very top or very bottom of each window. A better method - at least for me - is to create a new toolbar - click 'New...' on the previously mentioned tabbed dialogue and drag & drop copies of the icons from the 'Customise' tab with the 'Window' option highlighted in the drop down list box onto your new blank toolbar (or you can add them to an existing toolbar). This gives standard sized icons on a toolbar that can be docked any side of the screen or left floating. You just have to remember to click in a window before using it if you have a multi-window setup (which applied to the standard setup too as often as not). Remember to 'Save' before closing the customisation dialogue - this makes your toolbars pretty much 'bombproof' - defying even a complete uninstall/reinstall of Allplan!

Hotkey entries extended?...

in v16.1 and onwards there seem to be more options under 'Tools->Customise' to assign hotkeys. Some of the top menu bar commands are now available for hotkeying. Anyway - ... now you can assign hotkeys to 'Previous View' ... and 'Next View' - they are in the first tab of the 'Tools->Customise' dialogue - drop down the Categories list box and click 'Window' - click on the appropriate icon on the right - check the description at the bottom of the dialogue - click in the 'Press new shortcut key' empty entry and press the desired key - some are already defined.

While in 'Customise' I notice that in the other tab of the dialogue there is now an entry called 'Window' - unchecking this removes the bottom (or top if you have used the option to shift it as I have) toolbar containing the zoom functions.
If you really want to maximise the screen area try using 'View->Full Screen' - a bit scary but encourages use of the hotkeys which is quicker than picking buttons. (Click the icon in the bottom left corner to return to normal screen mode).

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