Archive for the ‘Ez-Architect Tips’ Category

Changing the Border Colors in Ez-Architect

February 25, 2013

In the last post I showed you how to change the internal colors and patterns of an object.

Changing the border color is just as easy as changing the inside color. You just have to use another finger.  Here’s a simple circle with a black border. Note the status box to the left of the patterns/colors bar. It shows the same configuration. (In this case, it’s a white circle. If it was transparent, it would look the same.)

Here's a simple circle with a black border.

Here’s a simple circle with a black border.

To change the color of the border, just use your third finger on the right mouse button and you’ll easily change the border color. Select the object, right-click your mouse on the color that you want and you’ll change the border. Note that the status box to the left of the color/pattern palette matches your object (well, my object).

The same circle with the border changed to purple

The same circle with the border changed to purple

And if you don’t want borders on your objects, you can either change the border color and the inside to the same color as you can see below. OR you can choose a line width of zero, the first line on the line palette that looks like this:

–      –

The same circle with the border and internal color changed

The same circle with the border and internal color changed

It would look perhaps a little smaller (depending on the line width) if the border width was zero. In both cases, the status box to the left of the pattern/color bar shows both the currently selected border and inside colors, whether you have a line width of zero, or a wider line. That’s so you always know the current color configuration.

Next time, fun with patterns.

Have you done any experimenting with making your own patterns or changing pattern colors? We’ll have some fun with this.

Ez-Architect – A Bug has been found!!!

September 6, 2012

Okay, we admit it. We’re not perfect. But really, all these years and no one ran into this until last month! Really, has anyone been using this software?

Is your “printed” page blank?

Does your printout not fit the page properly?

Is it cut off where you don’t expect it to?

There are several reasons that these things may happen.

And here are several things to check:

First: Check your scale. For example if you selected 1/4″ = 1′. Given that a sheet of paper is 11″ long, the longest object you could place (at that scale) on the one sheet would be 44 feet, so if you have an object longer than 44 feet or if any part of your plan exceeds 44 feet, it cannot fit on a single sheet of paper.
If you select 2 sheets by 1 sheet of paper, the drawing (at the 1/4″= 1′ scale) will cross over two sheets. However, if you tell the program 1 sheet but draw something that is bigger than the one sheet, things don’t work so well, the program doesn’t really know how to handle it, so it prints just part of it.

Second: Check your paper size. As noted above, if your plan is bigger than the paper size you’ve selected, the printing won’t work properly. Items will be cut off or will try to print (oddly) to the only available page. And please note: there is an anomaly in Ez-Architect where this happens. Suppose you select legal paper and 2 x 2 page layout. If you save your plan and then open it again and then go to the paper size dialog, it will say “letter.”  Note this is only a dialog error not an error in the program. Because if you look at your plan and its layout, you’ll see that your plan is still has legal sized pages.

Third: Check your page layout. This refers to how many pages your plan will cover.

Fourth: Check your printer resolution.

The faint lines that occur on some of the printed objects relate to printer resolution and capability. I, too, can see your plan on my screen (which is set at 1440 x 900 resolution) and some objects print very weakly on one printer (b/w laser) in most of the “better” settings I’ve tried (it is an older printer). However my other printer (color inkjet) printed the plan very nicely, where the lines that hardly show on the laser printout are somewhat light on the inkjet, but they are clearly there, just delicate looking. So you might try another printer or different printer settings so you can see the objects without having to alter your plan.
The other option is to make all the lines in the objects that aren’t printing thicker.  Just select the object and change the line width. Experiment with printing to see what thickness prints adequately before you make them too thick, as on my screen some of the line thicknesses don’t look any different from each other on the screen.

And here’s the clincher, or is it the clinker?

Did you set your page orientation to Landscape? Yes, oh my, if you set your page size for Landscape, your plan will not print! oh my, and oh my again; so many thousands of you out there using this software for years and August 2012 was the first time anyone ran into this problem. Are we all so Portrait oriented that we never ever tried to print the wide way. My goodness, how normal we all must be.

Never fear, the developer has been notified along with a list of other minor glitchees and suggestions for the improving the program. So, if you’re reading and you’re a user who has wishes, now’s the time to get your wish on the wish list for the next update. We don’t know when, but we can say, eventually. But if you don’t speak, you won’t be heard. So let us know.

Sometimes the Simplest Things Elude Us

July 21, 2012

How to “erase” a line or object in Ez-Architect.

Use the selector tool, select the line or object.

Press the delete key.

Not to be facetious, but for those not experienced with object-oriented graphics programs, some functions may seem elusive. Since each item on the screen is an object that has to be dealt with as a whole, it can be moved, stretched, shrunk down, exactly duplicated; but you can’t remove just a part of it. You can shrink it, like in the case of a line. Come to think of it you could remove part of it only by covering it up with another object (and then, you’d want to group the two objects so they stay together). But it’s not like a painting program or photo editing program where you can work with and change a single pixel on the screen–where you can erase part of something, or smear it, or distort it with painting tools.

Nope, Ez-Architect is just Easy. Sometimes not to fancy. But powerful.

What other functions have you discovered in Ez-Architect (or any of our home design programs, for that matter) that were so easy that you had to say DOH! and hit yourself on the forehead when you figured it out?

Ez-Architect for Landscaping & Gardening along with Landscape Vision

July 7, 2012

Are you working outside these days. Don’t let Ez-Architect fool you. You can use it to plan your garden, organize your landscape plan, and all other outside wonders that occupy us this time of year.

Use the trees and plants that you’ll find in the Ez-Architect libraries to place in your landscape. Take photos and use them in your plan, or sketch or draw your plants to place them in your plans. Always save your special drawings, photos & sketches in your own library so you can re-use them.

Combine the details of Ez-Architect with the tools in Landscape Vision and you’ll have the garden and landscape planned and planted before your sunscreen dries. (Be sure to swab it on. No one needs a sunburn.)

How to Change Your Output Parameters in Ez-Architect

April 30, 2012

How do I print in Landscape mode?

How do I switch from Landscape (letter size) to larger size (e.g. 11 x 17)?

When you’re drawing a plan in Ez-Architect, you’ll want to predetermine, as much as possible, what the final shape and size of your plan will be and how you want it oriented on a printout.

If you have a large, detailed plan, you probably won’t want the whole thing jammed onto one sheet of paper. If you plan ahead as much as possible, you won’t have to resize and rescale your drawing and its objects. But never fear, if your foresight isn’t perfect, you can resize and rescale everything.

Please note: I strongly suggest that you save your plan often as you go through these steps so that you don’t lose your work, or mess it up without having the last good version saved. Save often with different names so you have a good trail of the changes.

If you know you want your drawing to print in landscape mode, use File/Page Setup and set your page to landscape. This orients your plan on paper, and also modifies the screen parameters so that your screen also looks like a landscape sheet.

Ez-Architect defaults to a one page drawing. So if you know you want your drawing spread over several pages, like 11 x 17, for example, then you’ll use the Layout/Drawing Size menu to resize your plan to 1 x 2 pages.

Now, if you’ve already drawn your plan, or even part of it, you may want to change the drawing scale to match the larger parameters of your plan. To change the scale so that what you’ve drawn fills the larger drawing size, go to Layout/Drawing Scale and then change the scale so that what you’ve already drawn fills the new size. Be sure to check the check box to Rescale Objects.

If you’ve made your drawing larger because you need to just move beyond the current edges of the drawing size that you started with, don’t change the scale. Just add pages with the Layout/Drawing Size menu. Then you can extend your drawing beyond the edges of what you started with, drawing outside the lines, if you will.

Since most printers print only 8.5 x 11, if your drawing is larger on screen, after you print you’ll need to tape together the pages so you have a full rendering of your plan.

What is your experience with plans of many pages?

How to Change Colors in Ez-Architect

April 25, 2012

You can easily change line (and fill) colors in Ez-Architect.

To change a line color in EZ-Architect:
Select the line in question, then RIGHT click the new color from the color palette. Your line (and the dimension line, if it’s showing) will switch to the new color.

Note you can also change the external line colors for objects like rectangles, circles, etc. Just select any object, right click on the palette to change the outline color. Left click on the palette to change the fill color.

Text and pattern colors can also be changed (for this you might read the manual).

Scanning Objects into Ez-Architect

February 26, 2012

Ez-Architect actually doesn’t have an acquire function whereby you could bring in an image directly from your scanner. However, it’s easy enough to bring a scanned image in.

  1. Scan your image with your favorite scanner and scanning software.
  2. Save the scanned image to your computer as a bmp, jpg, jpeg, tif, tiff, wmf, emp, png, awl, iwl, lwl. Remember its location on your computer and its name.
  3. Use Ez-Architect’s Library Tool to bring the image into your plan.

Put the scanned image on its own layer, if you have an empty layer available. This will enable you to include the image with other layers of your choosing.

Examples of items you might want to scan are logos, clip art photographic images like landscape items or examples of details for your plan, maybe a window or door detail, kitchen appliances, furniture ideas, swatches, or even your face “the designer!” You can enhance a floor plan with these types of details just off to the side of your drawings. You can also scan and import library objects and save them in one of your libraries.

Note: images you import, whether they are scanned or are existing graphics or photos, cannot be manipulated the way you manipulate Ez-Architect objects. They can be stretched and resized, but you can’t change individual parts or colors.

Another great use for a scanned image is a floor plan or idea that you want to use as a starting point for your own plan. Or you may have a plan that you sketched on a napkin, or one that you made with other software (print it and then scan it). Or how ’bout the original plan for your house? You can start with these for your remodel.

You might also find sketches in a magazine or floor plan book, or even an interior setting that you want to arrange your way. Be careful of copyright issues here. Someone owns those plans, but you can probably use them as starting points for your own ideas. Scan the plan, save it, then import it to its own layer, set the settings so that the layer shows along with other layers. And then make the modifications on a new layer to create a new plan that is your own.

What ideas do you have for scanned images?  How have you used them with Ez-Architect?

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.

Ez-Architect isn’t just for House and Floor Plans

December 18, 2011

Last week we released our first Ez-Architect Newsletter. Lots of you opened it, which is cool.

Be sure to let us know what you’d like to hear about. And as soon as I figure out how, I’ll set up a form here so you can join our mailing list.

I have some ideas I’ll be bringing forth before too long for more tips and tricks and clever ways you can use Ez-Architect.

For example, we designed a wondrous kitchen island with Ez-Architect. I’ll share it with you, too. Maybe you’ll want to build one yourself.

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