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Selection Tools

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Selection Tool

The top left tool in the tool palette is the selection tool.

The Selection tool in DesignWorkshop is very powerful, and it encompasses many different functions. By clicking and dragging with the 3D crosshair to select and manipulate objects, the Select tool allows you to choose, move, resize, and reshape both 2D and 3D parts of your model.

Selecting Objects

DesignWorkshop uses a standard Macintosh-type "noun-verb" interface, in which objects are selected to be manipulated. Select blocks by simply clicking on them, or by dragging a 2D selection rectangle. Selection is indicated by object handles appearing for simple objects, or bounding box handles appearing for complex objects and groups. All the objects and groups selected at a given time constitute the current "selection set."

If blocks are overlapping in the current view, a click will select the front-most block. To select one of the blocks farther back, click again in the same place, and the next block back (away from the eye position) will become selected. If necessary, keep clicking until the desired block is selected. If many objects overlap your target, try reducing the overlap by working from a different viewing angle or by using the Hide Object command to hide some of the intruding objects.

When selecting by dragging a rectangle, any object with a bounding box overlapping the selection rectangle will be included in the resulting selection set. This is slightly different from most 2D Macintosh drawing programs, in which only objects completely inside a selection rectangle are selected.

Shift-clicking on unselected objects will add them to the selection set, and shift-clicking on a selected object will remove it from the selection set. In other works, in standard Macintosh fashion, shift-clicking "toggles" the selection state of an object.

Working on a selected object

Many of the fundamental editing operations are performed in the selection arrow tool, using the 3D crosshair to manipulate objects. Exactly what happens when you drag with the crosshair is controlled by what part of an object you grab onto:

To move a block: Drag a block to move it in three dimensions, clicking not on a handle.

To resize a block: Drag a corner handle of the block.

To move one edge of a block: Drag a mid-edge handle to move an edge of a block to any perpendicular position.

To tweak a block: Command-drag on a corner handle to move a single vertex of a block in three dimensions, independent of the rest of the block. This may result in non-planar faces that shade erratically. (Note: The Command key (the Control key for Windows) must be down before depressing the mouse button.)

To extrude a polyline: Drag up or down on a corner handle, holding down the Option key (the Alt key for Windows) while moving the mouse forward, to extrude a polyline.

Snap to Handle Tool

The top-right tool in the tool palette is the Snap to Handle Tool.

Change object snaps to corner and turn mid-edge handles on and off. When this tool is on, clicks near a block corner in 3D space are adjusted automatically to be exactly at the corner location. This helps in building clean, precisely aligned models. Double-click to open the snap-to-handle settings dialog box to adjust the radius for jumping to corners (also accessed through the Layout menu Preferences section).

When this tool is on, space-jumping (by tapping the space bar) jumps the crosshair location to any block corner, not just to a selected handle, although it will still jump to a selected handle in preference to a non-selected one.

To move an object precisely using handle snapping, you need to turn on handle snapping, then grab the object near to, but not quite on, a corner handle. You should then see the crosshair snap over slightly to the exact object corner. If you grab the object exactly by the corner in the first place, your action will be interpreted as dragging the corner handle for resizing, rather than the whole object for moving. Since the handle snapping distance is measured three-dimensionally, it works well to space-jump to the handle, then move the crosshair away slightly, then grab the object.

To end the move operation precisely with a snap to another object, the crosshair must again be close to the target object corner, measured three-dimensionally. While still dragging the object, align the crosshair carefully to the target corner, using the crosshair foot and projection lines, and then just release the mouse button.

Grid Tool

The tool in the first column and second row is the Grid Tool.

Turn snap-grid on and off. Each click on the tool will switch its state. The snap grid is used to make all crosshair-based operations end up at round-number measurements. The snap grid is on by default, with a snap spacing of 0.5 ft. Double-click the Grid tool to open the grid settings dialog box (also accessed through the Layout menu Preferences > section). The snap grid setting also controls the distance objects are moved when nudged with the keyboard arrow keys.

Methods Tool

The tool in the second column and second row is the Methods Tool.

This tool icon is always inactive in DesignWorkshop. It will be used for additional tool options that are being implemented for the next major version of DesignWorkshop.

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