AccuDraw's Effect on Various Tools
Although much of AccuDraw's operation is global in nature, it does have subtle effects on individual tools. As you learn to use AccuDraw you will find that it can be used as a substitute for many individual tool settings. The following discussion provides some insights into this feature.
The Place SmartLine tool is specially designed to exploit AccuDraw's capabilities.
AccuDraw and the Place Circle Tool
A simple tool like Place Circle can benefit from AccuDraw in a number of ways. First, when you place a circle you can explicitly set the diameter of the circle by turning on the Diameter tool setting and entering a value. However, with AccuDraw active this can be done with fewer keystrokes.
Once you've placed the circle's origin point all you have to do is type in the radius value. AccuDraw automatically locks the circle to the value indicated by the locked dynamic circle. It really doesn't matter which drawing coordinate system is active.
To place a second circle of equal radius is also easy. Using AccuDraw's previous distance feature, when you move the pointer away from the center data point, the circle will temporarily lock to the previous radius letting you enter the second data point. This does require two data points for all remaining circles, so if you are placing numerous fixed diameter circles you may want to use the Diameter tool setting.
AccuDraw and the Place Arc Tool
AccuDraw can be used to simplify the operation of the Place Arc tool. By using the polar coordinate system you can easily specify radial lengths and sweep angles just by typing them in via AccuDraw.
This is one case where AccuDraw's context sensitive orientation is good for incremental angle settings, and View or other rotations are good for setting an absolute sweep angle.
AccuDraw and the Place Ellipse Tool
When you place an ellipse without AccuDraw you specify a center point, the primary axis and radius, and a point through which the ellipse will pass. You can do this by selecting the various options in the Tool Settings window or use AccuDraw to set these values in a more user-friendly manner.
When you enter that first center point, AccuDraw's effect becomes noticeable. The second data point still defines the major axis, but now you can specify both the radius and angle using the AccuDraw window simply by entering the radius and angle or dynamically positioning it.
Now, because the AccuDraw compass orients itself along the axis of the ellipse under construction, the secondary axis is automatically locked so you can simply enter the value or position the pointer and data point.
AccuDraw and the Place Block Tool
You can use AccuDraw with the Place Block tool to place a block with specific dimensions and at a specific angle.
With the Rotated method you can specify the angle and X length of the block using the polar drawing plane. Once the base of the block has been defined, enter a data point. AccuDraw automatically switches to the rectangular mode and orients the compass along this base.
With the Orthogonal method you can specify the X and Y lengths of the block and then place the block by entering a data point.
AccuDraw and the Place SmartLine Tool
The Place SmartLine tool is used to automatically to place a complex chain or shape containing a dynamically specified collection of segments and vertices. This tool is designed to be used in conjunction with AccuDraw. The main benefits of using AccuDraw with Place SmartLine are as follows:
- The drawing plane origin automatically moves to the location of a newly defined vertex.
- The drawing plane automatically rotates to align with a newly defined segment. This allows tangent and perpendicular segments to be easily defined.
- When defining an arc segment, the drawing plane coordinate system automatically switches to Polar.
AccuDraw Affects Most Tools
AccuDraw works with even the simplest tools to provide additional capabilities, or easier access to options, over non-AccuDraw operations. AccuDraw actually affects the operation of most OpenUtilities Substation tools, and even has the potential to work with third-party application software.