Archive for the ‘Interior Design’ Category

Ez-Architect 9 Has Even More Great New Features!

October 6, 2013

How’s that for an opening title? Here’s what’s been added to the newest version of Ez-Architect:

 

Version 9 includes two keys so you may use it on a tablet and a computer.

NEW FEATURES for Version 9:

  • Compatible with touch screens.
    Can draw using finger or pen on Windows 8 Tablets, including Microsoft Surface models.
  • New Interface
    New interface with color and pattern palettes. Also can choose to display large palettes when using Windows 8 tablets or high resolution screens. This setting can be selected in the Prefences dialog.
  • Compatible with high resolution screens
    Problems with some dialogs not displaying correctly on high resolution screens fixed.
  • New Library Window
    New larger library window which displays multiple rows.
  • Show Only Selected Objects
    New “Show Only Selected Objects” in the Layout menu. Choosing this hides all objects which are not selected. This is useful for printing or exporting only specified parts of the drawing. Choose “Show all objects” in the Layout menu to display the entire drawing again.
  • Object Alignment function
    Four new items in the Arrange menu (Left Alignment, Right Alignment, Top Alignment and Bottom Alignment) allow arrangement of selected objects. First select the items you wish to arrange and then select the desired alignment option.
  • Edit Pattern and Edit Color dialogs
    These dialogs can now be displayed by double-clicking on items in the Pattern and Color palettes.
  • Key Buttons
    When Large palettes is set in the Preferences dialog, three Key Buttons display at the top right of the screen. These can be used in place of the keyboard keys when using a tablet. Tapping the Shift and Ctrl key buttons is the same as holding down the Shift and Ctrl keys. Tapping these buttons again releases the keys. Tapping the Delete key button deletes any selected objects. These keys do not work when clicked with a mouse. The Assist Key menu can be used in place of the key buttons.
  • Incompatible with Windows XP

Version 9 has all the features of version 8, below, including hundreds of really cool textures to create added realism:

Textures in Ez-Architect

Textures in Ez-Architect

 

NEW FEATURES for Version 8:

  • Rotation of imported bitmaps
  • All the toolbars can be floated and moved around
  • A new View menu that controls tool bar visibility and floating and unfloating tool bars
  • A new item in the Preferences dialog sets up whether tool bars float on start-up
  • Updated manual
  • Printing in landscape mode on A3 size paper has been improved
  • Textures being added to objects can be rotated after selecting them
  • You can now input text with one click, which will set a text area about 20 characters long and one line in depth; and you can still set a text area by dragging with the mouse as before
  • A Door Tool—this new door tool allows you to cut doors in existing walls
  • Object Properties dialog now lets you rotate textures

 

NEW FEATURES for Version 7:

  • Ability to add textures to objects
  • Eyedropper Tool
  • Ability to change order in which layers display (9 layers are available)
  • Drag and Drop objects from the library
  • Updated manual
  • Solid dimension arrow option as well as hollow dimension arrow for dimension lines
  • Fractional feet and inches and fractional inches problems fixed
  • Area display fixed
  • File import default fixed
  • Object Properties dialog now lets you change the size of objects by percent
  • A3-size paper printing fixed
  • Drawing size fixed
  • Registration simplified and fixed

NEW FEATURES for Version 6:

  • DXF file import and export (2D only)
  • Continuous wall and hollow wall tools which support auto-dimension lines, constrained (0, 45, 90, 135, 180, 225, 270, 315 degrees) and unconstrained (any angle) angles; continuous hollow wall tool draws continuous, colored or patterned hollow walls AT ANY ANGLE that scale up and down fine while the continuous wall tool draws continuous, 3-pixel-wide walls AT ANY ANGLE
  • Option to maintain height and width ratio when changing sizes in the Object Info dialog
  • Can import graphic files directly at their original size from the Import item in the File menu
  • Updated manual
  • Better wall scaling

FEATURES for Version 5 (originally published in 2009):

  • Four dozen colored patterns
  • Auto-dimension lines for lines and rectangles
  • Drawing method 2 mouse clicks without dragging has been added as an option along with conventional drag-and-click method
  • Printable reports containing all objects, their name, sizes and angles
  • Colors have been added to pattern editing and you may add your own permanently to the palette
  • PDF file export
  • wmf file export
  • Fractional Inches and Fractional Feet and Inches can now be selected as Drawing Units
  • Right click brings up Edit menu display
  • Red lines in rulers that follow cursor
  • Expanded Preferences dialog
  • Preview feature in File Menu allows viewing unopened plans as thumbnails
  • Program opens with all settings the same as last session

Some features of this home design program that make your floor plans easier are the duplicate tool for automatically placing rows or columns of boards, studs, trees, plywood, joists or whatever exactly where you need them—spaced on-center like you need them when you design your own home. And there’s a layering system for keeping upper stories, electrical, and plumbing schematics separate. On the other hand, if you just want to create simple floor plans without any complications or layers or construction detail, this is the home design program for you!

How Unusual is your Ez-Architect Project?

September 22, 2012

Tell us how you are using Ez-Architect.

Are you a pro using it often for client projects?

Are you a do-it-yourselfer who plans and executes projects for your home or other location?

Do you do any unusual things with it, like design sets for theater productions, plays, videos etc.

We used it to design our set for The Perils of Cheryl. We came up with a brilliant scheme and it worked great. Watch the demo right here.

And tell us how you use Ez-Architect or MacDraft or MacInteriors, for that matter.

The more unusual, the more unusual……

What kind of Features Do you Crave in Ez-Architect?

May 28, 2012

The developer does update Ez-Architect periodically. We have not come up with many new feature ideas as we believe the program is very complete and powerful as is.

Here are a few things we’ve come up with:

Text tools
1. improve text functionality. Have text operate in the more common way:
Select the text tool, drag a box and start typing. If the text gets too big for the box, expand the box automatically instead of forcing the user to expand it.

2. When you select a text box to edit and you click in it, make the cursor land where you click instead of at the beginning of the text.

Layers
1. Enable users to re-order the layers.
2. allow users to arrange layers: bring to front/send to back. Example: if you make a plan and then you want to add a layer with floor colors or patterns, it’s not easy to get the carpet beneath the floor (and furniture, if any).

General
don’t require users to install as admin

Object Properties
Change Dimensions
1. Add option to keep the aspect ratio so if one dimension changes, the other changes automatically to keep the aspect ratio.

Speak soon if you have an opinion. The above suggestions are pretty minor and wouldn’t likely comprise a major upgrade.

But if you’ve got a feature you’re craving for, you really need to tell us. Our M.O. has always been to listen to our users as we go to new versions. So if you aren’t talking (writing), we can’t give you what you want. The people who use our software a lot are the best experts. So we’ll lend you an ear, if you’re willing to “speak.”


How the Flood Created an Island, Part 3: What is a restoration Specialist anyway?

February 18, 2012

If you haven’t known or needed a restoration specialist, it’s not a bad thing. It means you probably haven’t experienced any major type of disaster or emergency in your home or business. Continue your vigilance about fire hazards, water mishaps, and all other types of safety and security, and perhaps you won’t need these types of services. And by all means, make sure you keep your home insurance policy up to date and paid for!

If you do happen to have a disaster be prepared to have some new really good friends that will be at your house pretty much every day for many months (timing depends on how disastrous your emergency was).

These people have amazing equipment, equipment that sucks moisture out of walls and ceilings and carpets. They move things from your house that you though could never be moved (kitchen cabinets, hall cabinets, paneling, ceilings all the way up to the joists, et al.) And they put them back…eventually.

Be prepared to have all possessions in the damaged areas boxed or moved to other locations, preferably somewhere in your house, so if you really need them, you can rummage through and dig up stuff. Be prepared for plenty of noise. Those machines are not silent. And also be prepared to totally rearrange your daily routines. In our case, our kitchen was basically totaled. So we had to set up cooking in our dining room. And that doesn’t mean we had a stove in there. Yet they moved the refrigerator. So we didn’t lose that aspect of survival. We had a hot plate, toaster, convection oven, the popcorn popper (of course), and microwave.

Below is the kitchen while they were drying it out. You can see that we were still using it as evidenced by the fresh lettuce on the counter. But it was noisy! Yikes. Painfully noisy. And this was just the first step. Ultimately all the lower cabinets were removed, and that’s when we moved into the dining room.

Our living and family rooms were full of boxes and items from the other rooms. But we were able to secure some areas so that we could still use parts of them during that time.

BTW, here’s the culprit filter.

More to come. This may take a while!

How the Flood Created an Island (Part 1)

December 25, 2011

I really should have written about this as it was happening. But at the start, no one knew that our flood would produce an island.

It was early September a couple of years ago. I had done my usual weekly shopping and after putting away the groceries and freshening up. I sat at my desk to catch up on the work of the day.

At this point in time, our kitchen was a typical 70s kitchen. I guess is was typical. I’ve seen others like it (often before remodeling), and it typifies the kitchen that only one person works in: a nice square space with the breakfast bar that separates the whole of the kitchen from pretty much everything else. At the lower left corner (see the sketch) was a small opening where one person at a time could make their way into the active area. It looked something like this (rough sketch):

Original Kitchen Layout

The crazy thing was that when one person was looking into the refrigerator, the other person was locked out because the space between the refrigerator and the “breakfast bar” was so tiny. We must have bumped or waited for each other to get by that space 9000 times over the years.

When we first moved in, the “arm” was set up as a breakfast bar, about 12 inches lower than the other counters, further setting up a disastrous obstruction along the pathway between the 2 doors if chairs had been set along it, as I believe was the original designer’s intention: One person working in the kitchen, everyone else sitting at the breakfast bar scarfing food. Now if that isn’t a 50s image, I’m not sure what is (even though it was built in the 70s). So one of the first things we did after moving in (along with removing about what seemed like 40 fluorescent lights above the hanging ceiling and replacing them with 2 incandescent bulbs) was to raise that breakfast bar up so at least it would be usable counter space.

Anyway, to continue with the story… I was working away at my desk in my office and my husband was working away in his office. My office is farther from the kitchen, and generally I can’t hear much of anything that’s going on in there, unless it’s rully loud. OTOH, my husband has ears like a bat. So he was hearing “me in the kitchen washing vegetables.” He didn’t think twice about it, although I don’t usually wash vegetables right after I bring groceries home (but that’s another story). So then it was dinner time and time to start fixing. (We do this together, unlike the 50s).

First thing was the noise, yes, like someone washing vegetables, but a lot louder and steady, a hissing-rushing sound, not really like someone washing veggies. And then we saw it. About 2 inches of water over the entire kitchen floor.

F0r what happened next… stay tuned.

You Still have Time for that Summer Project

August 12, 2011

Summer isn’t over yet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some help with some of those projects we keep putting off?

I just did a little remodeling project and used Ez-Architect. With a good plan to start with–it made the whole project go seamlessly. I didn’t add an extra room but you may want to build one. We even did some landscape improvements and plan to do more this summer.

I used Ez-Architect for my design plans for Windows. If you’re a Mac user (I’m not) you can use MacDraft  PE, or MacDraft Professional for floor plans and house plans. Or if you want to redesign your interior (on the Mac), its Interiors or Interiors Professional that will provide you with all the tools you need.

And for Landscaping, you’ll want to use a really fun program called Landscape Vision (Windows) where you can take photographs of your current “design” and then use the software to make changes. Easy and fun.

Read more about Landscape Vision here

Landscape Vision
home photo with Landscape Vision design

More about Ez-Architect here

Ez-Architect Solar Floor Plan
It’s easy to create a plan

and MacDraft and MacInteriors

MacDraft Professional Floor Plan

MacDraft Professional Floor Plan

So don’t delay any longer. You can make a gorgeous space, inside or out.

Interiors Professional Room Plan

Who doesn't want a place like this?

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.

Free 3D Library

October 9, 2008

When you purchase either Interiors or Interiors Pro, you will be emailed a link to our 3D Home and Office Library. It’s yours for FREE. All objects are 3DS, which is what Interiors uses.

If you decide NOT to buy Interiors but you want this library, it’s only $49.95.

CONTENTS: There are 1,718 separate 3D objects and 485 texture images in this library, and its catalog is included.


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