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More Productivity Hints from Mark for OCAD 11

Mark's Maps '13

 Activate 2nd screen window easily

I don’t draw maps from fieldwork so I tend to frequently move between Ocad and my source material on a second screen. Here is a recent discovery which makes this easier.

Go to Control Panel | Ease of Access | Make the mouse easier to use and switch on Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse. Now when you return to Ocad after using a different window you won’t have to wake it up with a click before you can start drawing.

There is a moment’s delay before activation, which means you can sweep past multiple windows without activating each one. OCAD 11 has a minor display glitch in the menu which causes it to flicker when it is activated so you can tell it has happened.

Cutting out from just one side of a double line

Double line cutout image
Double line cutout

Didn’t think you could do this? The top line is what I started with. I could have picked a simple double line but wanted to show what happens with the centre fill.

The black edge lines are cut by selecting a point on the edge and holding that mouse button down while moving to the cut’s end point. Release the button and that line segment is gone. I also tried it on the centre fill but as you can see, it simply removed all elements of that cut segment.

This is documented under Cut Line in the OCAD 11 wiki but can be overlooked as it is an aside.

Next up

No and low cost OCAD 11 solutions for digital map librarians.

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Choosing a PC to Run OCAD

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Mark’s maps demand more grunt

 Almost any PC that you buy today (maybe not a $399 netbook) will have the processor power, screen size, disk space and memory to handle most orienteering maps in OCAD. However any large map takes a second or two to redraw when you zoom out, and it’s time to go and make a cup of tea when you try any of these:
  • Load very large background maps downloaded from NearMap.NearMap logo
  • Merge thousands of chopped up contours from a GIS import.
  • Do anything with very large GIS imports e.g. 5m contours, creeks and cadastre for the entire Sunshine Coast (been there, done that).
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Productivity Hints from Mark

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Actions while drawing

When drawing a line or an area object in OCAD, it seems like you are “trapped” in drawing mode and have to stop drawing before you can fix something or continue.

In fact there are a heap of really useful things you can do and then continue drawing. Naturally they only work if they are on a keyboard shortcut. You can set keyboard shortcuts for most menu operations under Options | Shortcuts. Here I list the standard ones:

  •  Backspace deletes the last point you drew in curve mode. Really handy!
  •  Also great when following a line or area boundary [Ken]
  •  In Curve mode you can modify the object you are drawing by moving (left-click and drag) the “handles”.
  •  Tab will change the drawing tool, rotating between each of the available tools. This is not much use as there are so many.
  •  Pan (F6) or hold down the space bar [great when drawing goes off the screen but needs a little practice – see below]
  •  Pan up or down using the mouse wheel
  • Pan left or right using Shift-mouse wheel <8Apr13>
  •  Change zoom (Shift-F6/7/8/9/10/11)
  •  Zoom in and out using Ctrl-mouse wheel – see also Pan Quickly by Zooming <8Apr13>
  •  Redisplay (F5)
  •  Hide background maps (F10)

Panning using F6 or space barpan image

Panning (moving to a different area of the map) is a very useful thing to do while drawing a long line. It means you can zoom in as far as you wish and yet draw as long a line as you wish. You can initiate panning by hitting F6 or by holding down the space bar.

The cursor changes to the pan icon then changes back and you can continue to draw seamlessly. It takes a little practice to get right. Pan after taking your finger off the mouse button otherwise odd things can happen.

Avoid using the space bar to pan while creating/editing text objects.  <8Apr13.

Panning by mode

In curve mode (illustrating space bar usage), click-drag-release to draw a tangent; [space bar down, click-drag-release, space bar up] to pan; click-drag-release to draw the next tangent.

In freehand mode (illustrating F6 usage), click-draw; [keep mouse still, F6, click-drag-release] to pan; keep drawing.

In straight line mode, click-drag-release to draw;  [keep mouse still, F6, click-drag-release] to pan; click-drag-release to draw.

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Trimming Contours and other Lines

A Mark Roberts handy hint

Trimming contours at the edge of your map is a common and painful requirement but here’s a hint to reduce the hard work.

[This works just as excellently for trimming northing lines – Ken]

 The old way

First, here is the way I’ve always done it.

I have Preferences|Context Menu off and I have a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-1) for Object|Cut Object|Cut Line.

Starting with the first contour selected and the cutting tool selected:

 Left click on contour to cut it

Right click twice to unselect contour and revert to selection tool

Left click on the next contour to select it

Ctrl-1 to select cutting tool …

 The easy method

Select th ecutting tool:

 Left click on contour to cut it

Alt-Left click on the next contour to select it

Left click on contour to cut it …

 Alt forces a different object to be selected and you still have the cutting tool! This method cuts contours with two clicks instead of four clicks and a keypress.

Thanks to Hubert Klauser at OCAD AG for this hint.

 Other methods

Map|Export Part of Map or Object|Crop Objects will also trim contours for you. But if you are trimming at a boundary line feature like a fence or a road, that gets trashed in the process.