Archive for July, 2011

Ez-Architect is so easy to learn.

July 30, 2011

Don’t forget to check out our Ez-Architect video. It’s shows how easy it is to make a room plan.

Of course you have to get a little familiar with the program. But the program is so easy to learn. You can make from simple line drawings in a snap to very complex (9-layer) floor plans (in maybe 2 or 3 snaps).

No need to struggle with confusing overly complex programs with bad help and bad documentation. Ez-Architect has a great manual. Excellent help.

Our users often tell us that they’ve spent hundreds on fancy programs when all they really needed was Ez-Architect.

 

Why are some items missing on my Ez-Architect printouts?

July 27, 2011

There are literally hundreds of printers available, maybe thousands. I don’t know for sure.  What’s important is being familiar with your printer as it relates to your Ez-Architect plan layout.

Missing items aren’t actually missing. Yes, you can see them on screen just fine. You just can’t see them in the printout.

Here’s why: Your printer may not have the resolution to pick up the very fine lines that you’ve drawn within Ez-Architect, OR you may not have your printer’s resolution set fine enough to print the fine details that you see on the screen.

Solutions

Your Printer:

1. Play with different printers, if you have more than one. I found that my older laser printer wouldn’t print a plan very well (many lines were just shadows of their real selves), but my newer inkjet printer printed the same plan beautifully.

2. Be sure you have adequate toner or ink. My laser printer doesn’t announce that it needs toner. It just gets lighter and lighter as time goes on. A new toner cartridge usually makes me blink it’s so bright and clear after seeing the gradually changing shades of gray for so long.

3. Check the resolution settings on the printer you’re using. Most printers have so many options it can be confusing at first. Play with the settings. You may find one that works better than the others.

Your Plan:

There are some things you may have to do with your plan in order to get a proper printout.

1. First BACK UP your plan. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you don’t regularly back up your files, it’s time to set that up! Now.

2. Play with the scale. Be sure to check re-scale objects when you change the scale.

3. If changing the scale doesn’t work, go back to the original scale (or re-open your backup file)

4. You’ll need to change the line thickness you’ve been using. Ez-Architect defaults to a fine line. Select all of your lines (and any objects that aren’t printing adequately) and click a thicker line thickness and all of the selected lines will become thicker. You may want to first try this with just a few objects that aren’t printing well and if the lines aren’t thick enough in a print test, choose the next thickness, print again, et al. until you like the way your printout looks.

5. For future projects, take note of the line thickness that shows the best on your printer and begin your plan with that thickness as the default.

Why you have to keep entering your Ez-Architect Key/Pin Code

July 24, 2011

If you find yourself in demo mode once again even after entering your Ez-Architect Key/Pin Code here is the likely reason.

Ez-Architect needs to be installed as administrator. If you haven’t done this, you may find yourself in demo mode each time you re-open the program.

If this happens, first back up your data files. Reinstalling Ez-Architect shouldn’t affect your files, but you should have a back up anyway.

Next, be sure you’re logged in as administrator. If you don’t have these privileges on your computer, you’ll have to find the person who does.

Install Ez-Architect once again, enter your key and you should be all set.

New Home Design Pages at the site

July 23, 2011

We’ve just added several new pages to our site. Starting on this page, you can find links to all of the new pages. They include:

Enjoy and let me know what else you’d like to see.

 

 

Working with the Ez-Architect Home and Office Library

July 22, 2011

We have a wonderful little library that provides you with all kinds of additional furniture shapes. Learn all the details about it here.

Note, the library is not a program. It’s an add-0n for Ez-Architect (and only 9.95).

You will download a zip file. Although you can put it anywhere on your computer, using and accessing it easiest when you unzip it into a new directory just below the Library directory that installs with the program. This is usually Program Files/Ez-Architect5/Library/Ez-Architect-Home-and-Office-Library.

When you select the library icon in Ez-Architect, it defaults to the Library directory, and then it’s just one click on the Ez-Architect-Home-and-Office-Library folder to access the new library files.

Please read the README file after you unzip.

And for more info read our Top/left/right/front/back quintuplets.

There is a nice template here that you can use to get started with room designs.

The Ez-Architect Home & Office Library will enable you to expand Ez-Architect into an Interior Design tool without having to master the complications of 3D software.

How to Add a Custom Object to an Ez-Architect Library

July 20, 2011

Adding a custom object to an Ez-Architect Library is easy and handy if you happen to have one or more objects that you wish to use frequently. There’s no need to create it more than once. After it’s created, you can make it available to use in any of your plans.

The object can include any elements that you can draw with Ez-Architect, or otherwise get onto your plan screen. It can even include your logo (which you can import into Ez-Architect).

You can add your object to an existing library, or you can create a new library. For this tutorial we’ll create a new library.

  1. First create your object. Draw, import, make it as you wish.
  2. Then select the parts you want included by using Ctrl+clicks, or surround them with the selector tool. If the custom object parts are the only things on the screen you can use Ctrl+A to select all.
  3. Next Group the selected items so they become one object. Ctrl+G.
  4. Go to Options/Library/Create New Library.
  5. Give your Library a name and click Save.
  6. Next select the grouped object.
  7. Go to Options/Library/Add Object to Library.
  8. Select the library you want to add the object to and it will be added.

Notice that you can add the object to more than one library by following steps 6, 7, and 8 again.

To use your custom object, use the library tool and select the object from the library where you placed it.

Working with Layers in Ez-Architect, part 3: What if you didn’t?

July 19, 2011

Oops! There’s your entire Ez-Architect plan sitting on the Base (B) Layer. A big no-no!

What to do. All that work. Don’t want to start over?

Here’s the solution

Depending on the complexity of your plan, you should be able to grab parts of it and move those parts to separate layers. If your plan is terribly detailed, you may have to do a little bit of do-over. But we should be able to separate various parts into layers pretty easily.

Here are the Steps

1. Back up your plan. Use Ez-Architect’s Save As menu item and give your plan a new name so you preserve the original in all its erroneous forms. Call it MyPlan-all-on-the-base-layer or something equally descriptive and revealing.

2. Next, re-open the original plan. Be sure you see “My Plan” in the title bar of the window (not “MyPlan-all-on-the-base-layer”).

3. If you really drew your entire plan on the base layer. Select B just below the menus. If you are uncertain whether you used other layers. Unclick B and sequence through all the layers 1-9, selecting and UnSelecting each one, so you’re only looking at one at a time to see what might be on them. If you haven’t used a Layer, the program will pop a dialog to name it, cancel it and you can go on reviewing the other layers.

4. For this little tutorial we’ll assume you put everything on the Base.

First we’re going to get EVERYTHING off the base layer.

1. Click B.

2. Do a Ctrl+A or use the edit menu and Select All

3. Cut (or Ctrl+X)

4. Click Layer 1

5. Paste (Ctrl+V)

Now everything is on Layer 1. NOTE: you will still see your plan on the base.  Remember, the base layer includes everything from all layers. But now you will also see your floor plan on Layer 1. Layer 1 is where we’ll start separating out the different parts and moving them to new layers.

This really isn’t difficult, only possibly a bit tedious depending on the complexity of your plan. So here’s how to proceed.

1. Start with the easy stuff. If you have landscape elements select all of these at once (Ctrl+click click click click etc.) If you have a ton of them, just click as many as you wish at one time and then —

2. Cut (Ctrl+X)

3. Click Layer 2. (Name it Landscape when the dialog pops up.) You’ll still see layer 1 when you click 2.

4. Paste (Ctrl+v) , and your Landscape elements will plop down onto the new layer in the same positions they were on in the original layer. After you paste you can UnClick 1 so you can see the landscape elements separate from the floor plan.

5. Go back to layer one and select a group of objects for the next layer, Bathroom fixtures, for example.

6. Ctrl+click each one and Cut.

7. Click on Layer 3, name it Bathroom Fixtures, and paste. You’ll still see layer 1 when you click 3. So after you paste UnClick 1 so you can see the separation. Click both together again, or click B to see all of your layers assembled. (You can also click 1, 2, and 3 to see all of the layers.)

8. Continue selecting elements of your house plan or floor plan for each separate layer for easier editing and management as your home design evolves.

9. Save often.

Using layers enables you to create as detailed a home plan as you wish. You can include plumbing, electrical, furniture, carpeting & other flooring, and every imaginable detail that you wish to include in your plan.

Using Layers in Ez-Architect, part 2

July 18, 2011

A big advantage of using layers in Ez-Architect is to see everything on already drawn layers, but not accidentally manipulate them, while working on a new layer. This is very easy. Yes, that’s why it’s called Ez-Architect 😉

Let’s say you have designed a floor plan or room plan using an appropriate variety of layers to make it easy to work with (see Using Layers in Ez-Architect, part 1).

And now you want to add some small details like electrical wiring and outlets, maybe some light fixtures and toggles. And you don’t want them to clutter up your basic plan. In other words you want to be able to see/not see them at will.

Here are the steps:

  1. Add a new layer, call it electrical when the layer dialog pops up.
  2. Un-select the new layer by unclicking the layer’s button (beneath the menu bar).
  3. Be sure that all the floor plan layer(s) that you want to see are selected (but not the base).
  4. Go to /Layout/Layers (note that one or more layers are selected), but NOT the new electrical layer.
  5. Select Disable Selected and the selected layers will become grayed out, but visible on your screen.
  6. Click your new electrical layer number and then start adding your electrical components and wiring while looking at but not disturbing your grayed out plan.

Next time I’ll write about how to separate out layers from a plan you’ve already drawn.

Working with Layers in Ez-Architect, part 1, Planning

July 17, 2011

Using layers can be a little confusing at first when you’re drawing a floor plan with Ez-Architect. Here are some basic rules to follow when you draw a room plan, floor plan or house plan:

  1. Never draw any part of your plan on the base layer [B], why? see below.
  2. Before you start drawing decide how many layers you might have. For example, one layer for each of the following
  • walls, doors, and windows
  • electrical
  • plumbing
  • furniture
  • other structural materials like stairways, studs, joists or rafters
  • etc

You can use the Layout/Layers menu to select and name your layers, or just click the numbers below the menu bar. When you click on a layer, a dialog will pop up where you can enter a layer name (e.g. electrical plan). The name you enter will appear any time that layer is selected. If you select more than one layer, both names appear.

We suggest that you always name your layers so you know just from glancing below the menu bar which ones you’re seeing and working on.

You can move, add to, remove, or change objects when a layer (or more than one layer) is selected, or when you select the Base layer. Be careful though, because if you have more than one layer selected, you may end up putting the object on the wrong layer. The best method is to select just one layer when you add objects.

Why not draw on the base layer?
Because the base layer contains everything from every other layer. This is how you can look at everything you have placed in your plan. Of course, you can also select all the used layers to see everything. But using the base is much easier.

Next time, I’ll write about working with hidden layers.


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