OpenUtilities Substation Help

AccuDraw's Compass

AccuDraw's most recognizable feature is its compass. Visible only when AccuDraw is active and has control of OpenUtilities Substation ’s coordinate input, the compass acts as both a status indicator and a focus for your input.

AccuDraw compasses. Left: Rectangular coordinate system. Right: Polar coordinate system.

When AccuDraw has focus, its compass has a transparent blue background. When it does not have focus, the compass appears grey.

AccuDraw's compass with focus (left) and when it does not have focus (right).

AccuDraw’s Origin Point

At the center of the compass is AccuDraw's origin point. This is the focal point of all AccuDraw operations. As you select various AccuDraw options, their functions operate from this origin point.

This last point is important. All AccuDraw directives (distance key-ins, shortcut key-ins, and so on) operate in conjunction with the compass. In most cases, the compass is located at the last entered data point. In addition, there are AccuDraw directives that allow you to move the compass to entirely different locations without generating a new data point. This is not unlike a tentative point.

AccuDraw Frame (Drawing Plane Indicator)

Surrounding the origin point is the frame, or drawing plane indicator. Its primary purpose is to show the current orientation of AccuDraw's drawing plane and the current coordinate system in effect. When the frame appears as a rectangle, the rectangular coordinate system (X,Y) is in effect. When the frame appears as a circle then the polar coordinate system (Distance, Angle) is active. By default, when AccuDraw has focus, the frame's color is grey, and its fill color is blue, but you can change this in the Display tab of the AccuDraw Settings dialog.

When working in a 2D DGN file the drawing plane portion of the compass functions simply as an indicator of the current coordinate system. When working in 3D, however, the drawing plane becomes a much more valuable tool. Because you can orient the AccuDraw drawing plane along any plane in 3D space, AccuDraw's drawing plane indicator determines where your data points will appear with respect to the rest of the design.

Tip: You can relocate AccuDraw's origin to the current pointer location, or tentative point, using a shortcut key-in (the <O> key).

AccuDraw X and Y Axes

The final parts of the AccuDraw compass are the two axes. Oriented at right angles to one another, these axes represent the drawing plane X and Y axes.

To differentiate between the two axes, each is color coded. By default, the positive or +X axis is displayed in red while the positive or +Y axis is green in color. If these colors do not suit you or are hard to discern, you can change them via the Display tab section of the AccuDraw Settings dialog. As well, you can change the highlight color for when the pointer is indexed to the X or Y axes.