Posts Tagged ‘Windows home design’

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.

Colors & Patterns in Ez-Architect-It’s Easy when you Get it.

February 3, 2013

Ez-Architect is VERY dynamic when it comes to using colors and patterns. However it can be a little confusing at first. But once you “get it” you’ll be an expert every time.

Here’s a little lesson:

When you start Ez-Architect, the program will begin with default settings. Most objects will be white with thin black borders, like this. (I have placed the standard object over some red so you can see that it’s white-on the inside.)

White rectangle with a narrow black border

White rectangle with a narrow black border

Now, to emphasize our example, I’ll increase the size of the border so color and pattern changes will be obvious. I have selected line width 4 by clicking on the widest line in the icon bar to the left. Be sure to select the object before changing the line width.

White Rectangle with wide Black Border

White Rectangle with wide Black Border

Now, I can play with color changes. To change the inside of the rectangle, simply left-click on a color or pattern from either row of colors & patterns on the color bar. Be sure to select the rectangle first.

Rectangle with new Inner Color

Rectangle with new Inner Color

The same rectangle with a pattern inside. Select the rectangle, then select the pattern. Notice that the pattern is visible at the left of the pattern/color bar.

Right-click on any pattern to fill the rectangle.

Right-click on any pattern to fill the rectangle.

Next time I’ll show how to change the the border color and pattern. Then we’ll learn to change the pattern colors.

What is your favorite use of colors and patterns in Ez-Architect?

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……

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.)

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.

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).

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 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?

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 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!

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