Archive for May, 2013

Have you Used your Ortho Today?

May 19, 2013

And I’m not talking about something you put on your lawn… or find at Home Depot…

Truth is, I recently learned the term “ortho” from a customer.

I didn’t do any research on it. But the customer inquired about how to find this tool in Ez-Architect. I wrote back and honestly said I didn’t have a clue what it was. The reply described a tool that would draw straight lines East, West, North South, without a struggle.

“YES! ” I wrote back and explained our term for them “constrained lines.”

If you haven’t made use of this handy tool in Ez-Architect, you’ll want to do it soon. It will make much of your drawing quicker and easier.

So how does it work?

First our ortho lines go in eight directions. Not just the 90 degree angles, but 45 degrees as well.

If your diagonal lines look a little jaggy, like this:

Not quite 45 degrees, a line may look like this. Perfectly acceptable if you need this angle. But what if you want 45 degrees.

Not quite 45 degrees, a line may look like this. Perfectly acceptable if you need this angle. But what if you want 45 degrees.

Look at the difference here:

The perfect 45 degree line is smooth as silk in any resolution.

The perfect 45 degree line is smooth as silk in any resolution.

Again, if you need the odd angle, the non-45 degree-er is perfectly acceptable. But if you want 45 degrees, you don’t have to struggle to get the angle. “How” you ask, “can I draw perfect ‘ortho’ lines?”

“Easy.” I say, “Just press the Shift key while drawing any line.”

Here’s a little sample I drew with the most delicate lines:

Hold the shift key in line mode and your line will snap to these angles.

Hold the shift key in line mode and your line will snap to these angles.

Here we go again with thicker lines:

You can also use lines with special ends, dotted, dashed or any type of line. Just press Shift while drawing! Easy!

You can also use lines with special ends, dotted, dashed or any type of line. Just press Shift while drawing! Easy!

Have you used ‘ortho’ lines in your Ez-Architect plans? Or is this one of those things you wish you’d known a long time ago?

What other “hidden” tools have you discovered? (They hide in every application AFAIK. And we all discover the ones we need eventually, or finally some kind friend shows us. Right?)

You can share your Ez-Architect discoveries here.

 

 

Crazy Fun with Dimension Lines in Ez-Architect

May 12, 2013

Ah, you might get confused when you start using dimension lines, especially if your lines have arrows on the ends. Here’s how it goes.

You draw a simple line:

Here's a simple line without added dimension lines.

Here’s a simple line without added dimension lines.

Now it gets a little interesting when you add a dimension line. You see the plain line on the lower left, then dimension line above and to the upper right. It’s relatively clear what’s what, especially if you know that you’ve set dimension lines to be “below/right” in your preferences. Here “right” takes precedence.

Add a dimension line to a plain line and it gets interesting.

Add a dimension line to a plain line and it gets interesting.

Now what happens if you’re working with double-arrow lines. Here’s the double arrow:

The double arrow without a dimension line.

The double arrow without a dimension line.

And now, the thrill comes when you add a dimension line to the double-arrow line.

Here's a double-arrow line with its neighboring dimension line. Which is which?

Here’s a double-arrow line with its neighboring dimension line. Which is which?

If you know what you’re doing, you’ll know that the dimension line is the one with the measurement info in the middle. But this could get confusing in a detailed plan. You do have a few options you can play with when you need to have dimension lines:

Some Options for Dimension Lines

Some Options for Dimension Lines

You can select whether to have auto dimension lines or not (Yes/No). You can select how far they sit from the object. You can also decide whether you want to group them with the object or not. And for rectangles, you can have them in- or outside.

If you don’t group them, you can separate them so there’s no confusion:

Because these are not treated as one object, I can easily add distance between the dimension line and the object line.

Because these are not treated as one object, I can easily add distance between the dimension line and the object line.

Of course, you can always ungroup a dimension line set should you need to.

And finally, there’s always the option of using the dimension line item instead of an auto-dimension line. This depends on what you need in your drawing:

The line itself has a label, so a dimension line isn't needed.

The line itself has a label, so a dimension line isn’t needed.

Again, depending on what else you’ve got going in your plan, this can be very handy. You’ll find this line type at the bottom of the line palette. This is especially useful if you want to draw dimension lines that aren’t directly associated with one particular object. This line type always has some kind of end on it. So you’ll likely use it to set down measurements unrelated to individual objects.

Some examples of different line ends and thicknesses

Some examples of different line ends and thicknesses

These line ends you see above can, of course, also be used with nondimensional lines. Just select any line thickness and then double click the line palette to cycle through the different types of ends.

Lots of different ends are available

Lots of different ends are available

You’ve got two types of hollow arrows, two types of line arrows, slashes in two directions, ball ends and a lovely “X.” What moreĀ  could anyone ask for more!

Have some crazy fun with lines!

 


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