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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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