DESIGN PREPARATION...Section 2
Before you begin to design
on CADVANCE, you need to configure the default settings on the software to reflect your
preferences. You will hear the word default often when working with computers, and
you should know that it means active or current. Before working with
computer software, you need to pre-set certain aspects of the software so that it does
what you intend. If a setting is a default, we mean it is a feature/function the software
will assume at all times unless you specifically reset it. For example, this page has
default margins of .7" on the inside of the page. I could reset them to a different
size at any time, but the default is set to .7", so I can go from this page to
the next and I don't have to edit that margin each time. Properly set defaults save time
and create consistent designs.
CADVANCE - The OPTIONS Page
more complex the software package, the more default settings it has. CADVANCE
have just about enough for anyone. The default settings you prefer are created and saved
under the FILE/SAVE AS menu command in a Configuration (.INI) file type. You can save as
many as you like, but there is one that the software always loads first. It is saved in a
file called the CADVANCE.INI and this file should contain your "most used"
settings. In a large firm, this file will be controlled by the your computer manager to
To assist you in recording the default settings, we
have enclosed a blank template. We recommend that you save one of these (or something
similar) with each new project so that the default information can be easily referenced
today, and in the future.
Colors - Select the colors you
prefer to see on the screen by pointing at a color number and adjusting the slide bar.
Most users prefer a black background as it is easier on the optic nerve and tends to be
the best background format for the brilliant colors. However, if you do this remember to
change Color #7 to something other than black or you won't see it. Noting color numbers
and names is critical for color plots as the RGB values must match, so be certain to mark
them on your default sheet.
Cursor - This is where you select
the size and color of the cursor that you want to use regularly. The cursor size can be
quickly toggled from F8 macro key while designing should you require alternate cursors.
Grid - CADVANCE
can store 10 preset
grids which can be easily restored from the main window by specifying the number that
identifies each under GRID/RESTORE. Default settings should be carefully considered.
Paths - This is where you store the
default directory names that CADVANCE will automatically search when you OPEN or SAVE a
particular type of file.
Select - Trap distance sets the
default at which you can capture objects you want to snap to with your cursor. We
recommend that you use a default of 2 or 3, but the settings range from 1 to 20.
Unit - The unit of measurement
utilized is critical to accurate design. First, select the Unit and Mode Settings (i.e.
FEET/INCHES - FRACTIONAL). Next select the Smallest Unit of Measurement. What this setting
does is set up the size of your drawing area by way of the accuracy you require. If the
Unit is set to 1/1024, it means that the world is approximately 30 square miles in size,
with an accuracy of up to 1/1024". If the Unit is set to 1/512, it means that
the world is approximately 60 square miles in size and accurate to 1/512". We
recommend the default of 1/1024 for most fractional design
Set the accuracy level. This setting controls to
what degree CADVANCE will round off numbers as it measures. We recommend 1/16" to
begin. If you use AE Tools, this is all pre-determined by the software. The Drawing
Scale you set under OPTIONS/UNIT determines a global factor of paper scale vs. design
scale. CADVANCE allows you to easily toggle between these Paper and Drawing scale values
on the Status Bar. When you are thinking in terms of the as-built project, use the
traditional Design Space (for example, a 16' line measures 16 feet in length). When you
are thinking of how your design will look on paper, you switch to the paper space (if the
Drawing Scale value is set to 1/8" = 1', then the same line will measure 2 inches in
length). Paper Space is particularly useful when inserting text and details.
Miscellaneous - This area has
several selections that control such things as arc generation to the screen and plotter.
We recommend that all users set the Plotter Arc Generation = 3, as this improves the
quality and control CADVANCE has over the plotter. If you change Screen Arc Generation to
a number other than 0, you will sacrifice redraw speed for the change. The minimum pixel
height setting assists in faster redraws by exchanging very small text and symbols for
dashed boxes called "extent boxes" - the default of 5 is good. You can
also toggle the Edit/Undo (Ctrl Z) feature in case someone in your office has a trigger
finger. There is an area to define how many files will be listed in the default area of
the FILE command for easy FILE/OPEN (1-9), and you can set the Snap Pie Angle that the
associated Snap command utilizes (.P). Finally, you can setup how and if you wish weighted
lines to appear on the screen (not the plot output).
Font - This is where you set your
default font styles. Remember, you can only have 5 font styles in a given file. If you
change a font name here in mid-design, all text on the screen of that number will also
change to the new font style.
Line Styles - The default line
styles are listed here. As with fonts, should you change anything here in mid-design, it
will affect current line styles in your drawing. You can define your own line styles by
ASCII editing the CAD.LNS file in the CAD6 directory. Note: Please refer to our
"Creating Your Own Linestyles" reference sheet.
Drawing - This selection allows you
to display and change certain information about the current drawing. You can add file
descriptions, passwords and project/account data directly to the file. There is also a
data field that reflects the total file creation time. All of this data will be useful to
project managers and can be exported via the macro language directly to database reports.
The following commands
are default toggles you can select. Your own preferences and hardware will dictate how you
set them up.
Draw All - This command makes all
displayed windows active simultaneously so that you can see instant design changes occur
between multiple windows.
Selection Bar - Toggles the
Selection Bar on or off.
Tool Bar - Display toggle for the
Tool Bar of icons at the top of your screen.
Scroll Bar - Display toggle only
saved in the .INI file for the Scroll Bar. In other words, it won't turn on and off unless
you restore an appropriate .INI. We recommend that this toggle always be checked on.
Bitmap Repaint - Toggles between
bitmap and vector redraws. Older graphics cards don't do bitmaps.
Once you have defined the default settings that you prefer, you need to save them. Go to
FILE/SAVE AS and highlight the List Files of Type bar at the bottom left of the selection
window. Scroll down to Configuration (*.INI) and select it. Go back to the FILE/NAME
window and double-click on CADVANCE.INI for the regular default, or type in a new file
name. Don't forget to fill-out a Configuration Template on the next page to record your
setup for easy referral in the future.