Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Use this forum to ask questions about how to do things in QCAD.

Moderator: andrew

Forum rules
Always indicate Operating system, QCAD version
Attach Drawing files, Screenshots
Post one question per topic.
Post Reply
wildspidee
Full Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:00 am

Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by wildspidee » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:31 pm

When drafting, I often need reference points on existing lines (without splitting them). Sometimes I use the Point with Distance, but more often I just create a new line with the end point the distance from a prior line's start and lay them on top of each other (in the same layer). Then I just snap to the end of the new line when creating another entity.

The problem is that I often want to select those 'reference' lines to check their length or other properties. I'm having difficulty selecting one of several that are stacked. For some reason I thought that when QCAD was in doubt about what you were selecting, it would pop up a list and let you choose one. I use a lot of different software, so I could be wrong on that.

I've even tried selecting the stack and then shift clicking the long one to leave my shorter one. Sometimes it works, but not always. Is there a trick for picking which line in a stack you want to select?

Thank you,

Lori

User avatar
Clive
Moderator / Drawing Help
Posts: 1314
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Clive » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:02 am

Hi Lori

To my knowledge (I could be wrong here) there has not been any feedback info tool which asks the user which entity needs to be selected in QCAD, although I would truly love to see this be developed or some other way of defining selections.

Common best good practice in CAD is to set up as many layers as is needed for construction purposes. Setting up a dedicated layer just for auxiliary construction guide lines is the way to go here, set the layer colour to something different then you can draw as many reference lines, points etc as you need. When selecting a line for example in a stack turn off any layers at that stage you don't want to select then make the selection on the entity, turn the layers back on and you're ready to go.

This topic has come up before and proves difficulty for most users I think and I truly hope that things will improve. There is of course the selection filter tool but this is best used when selecting multiple entities with specific properties!
For the best support please state your operating system, QCAD version and add any supporting DXF/DWG files, screenshots etc...

wildspidee
Full Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:00 am

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by wildspidee » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:30 am

I wonder which software I was using that incorporated that feature. At least it could serve as a basis for some programming in QCAD.

I'm not very proactive with my layer creation. I tend to use it for organizing after the fact. I know, that's not ideal.

As you pointed out, filters aren't going to help me much since they are all lines. I see there is a Custom property available now. Does the filter recognize Custom Properties? If so, I could filter based on something line "LineName" = Reference 2 or something.

Can you tell me what logic QCAD is using to determine what you've selected? I thought it would be the last line drawn, but that isn't the case based on my experience.If I knew the logic, perhaps I could play with it a bit.

I'm just guessing here, but I would think that it's looking at the mouse coordinates and locating an entity close to that to select. It would be interesting to know how it determines a choice or if it's just random from a stack of lines.

I appreciate the detailed explanations. Thanks for your time.

Lori

User avatar
Clive
Moderator / Drawing Help
Posts: 1314
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Clive » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:04 am

wildspidee wrote:Does the filter recognize Custom Properties? If so, I could filter based on something line "LineName" = Reference 2 or something.
The filter searches by 'Entity type', so you could set up a custom property for e.g. a Line of say 13mm long with a name of 'Line 13mm' and the value of 13. Then you could set the filter to search and select any lines of length equal to 13mm long.
wildspidee wrote:Can you tell me what logic QCAD is using to determine what you've selected? I thought it would be the last line drawn, but that isn't the case based on my experience.If I knew the logic, perhaps I could play with it a bit.
I'm just guessing here, but I would think that it's looking at the mouse coordinates and locating an entity close to that to select. It would be interesting to know how it determines a choice or if it's just random from a stack of lines.
To my knowlegde entities which are drawn first are selected first.
For the best support please state your operating system, QCAD version and add any supporting DXF/DWG files, screenshots etc...

User avatar
Husky
Moderator/Drawing Help/Testing
Posts: 2132
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 9:25 am
Location: USA

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Husky » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:13 am

Hello Lori,
wildspidee wrote:The problem is that I often want to select those 'reference' lines to check their length or other properties. I'm having difficulty selecting one of several that are stacked.
Whats about to use a polyline with an extension which will leave the stack?
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-02.png
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-02.png (1.48 KiB) Viewed 5343 times
Easy to find and to select ...
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-03.png
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-03.png (1.52 KiB) Viewed 5343 times
... you can use the Info Tool to get length Information ...
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-04.png
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-04.png (3.28 KiB) Viewed 5343 times
... or you could use the "Custom Property" in the Property Editor to give this entity every Information you want.
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-01.png
Worldhusky-2015.01.14-01.png (34.47 KiB) Viewed 5343 times
Here the Test drawing:
Stacked lines.dxf
(99.33 KiB) Downloaded 133 times

Just an idea .... :wink:
Work smart, not hard: QCad Pro

User avatar
Clive
Moderator / Drawing Help
Posts: 1314
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Clive » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:55 pm

Hey Husky,Lori

Husky great idea using a polyline :)

The Polyline tool also has options for restricting the length and angle which could be used for laying down precise length construction lines.
Polyline tool use pic 1.png
Polyline tool use pic 1.png (6.23 KiB) Viewed 5108 times
[Post edited 15/01/2015]
For the best support please state your operating system, QCAD version and add any supporting DXF/DWG files, screenshots etc...

wildspidee
Full Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:00 am

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by wildspidee » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:36 pm

Husky, thank you for the great ideas. I'm going to keep those in mind, those are handy tricks.

Clive, that's a nice outline for development.

I can't seem to find the program that does what I described. I have no idea which one it was. I did a little diagram to show you what this program did. Here's a red line stacked on a blue. When you select an area on the lines where stacked, a little dialog chooser popped up.

QCAD must know that there are two entities sharing space in the mouse cursor coordinates. It just needs to pop a dialog, when that's the case, and allow a selection. Easy to explain, not so easy to program I'm sure.

Lori

PS I just thought of something else. When QCAD queries the line for the entity name, it can get the layer attributes too. Then it can display the entity name in the appropriate color of the layer? That would help figure out which line you want, if you don't know the names.
Attachments
LineChoice.jpg
LineChoice.jpg (4.57 KiB) Viewed 5294 times

User avatar
Clive
Moderator / Drawing Help
Posts: 1314
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Clive » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:44 pm

wildspidee wrote:Clive, that's a nice outline for development.
Ha, I've edited my post and removed those development ideas, after thinking about this some more I realized that it would probably cause more confusion than help, I still maintain that selected use of layer control is the best way forward for cases like this currently in QCAD.
wildspidee wrote:I can't seem to find the program that does what I described. I have no idea which one it was. I did a little diagram to show you what this program did. Here's a red line stacked on a blue. When you select an area on the lines where stacked, a little dialog chooser popped up.
Yes this is absolutely what we need, simple but effective :)
wildspidee wrote: Easy to explain, not so easy to program I'm sure.
I have full confidence in Andrew and his teams ability, I'm sure they could do this 8) .
For the best support please state your operating system, QCAD version and add any supporting DXF/DWG files, screenshots etc...

Adam912
Registered Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:43 am

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Adam912 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:52 am

Clive here's another very useful way to select from a bunch of stacked lines:
This comes from an ancient CAD package that was my still my favorite simple CAD program until I discovered QCAD...called Drafix.

In Drafix, if you hold down the Tab key and click on the stack of lines repeatedly, the Select highlight toggles through all of the entities that it finds under the pointer.
This is a really simple and sensible way to pick your way through and find the one you want.

cheers
Adam Reed

User avatar
Clive
Moderator / Drawing Help
Posts: 1314
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:28 pm
Location: UK

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by Clive » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:48 am

Hi Adam
Thanks for your feedback on this one. I am familiar with other CAD programs that use a similar selection method as you have described and this topic continues to come up time and time again.I personally think that a simple pop up window would be the most useful way forward, lets say you select 3 lines of equal length exactly on top of each other and all on the same layer - how do you select the middle one ? it's not an easy task! If once selected a pop up window gave you the selection feedback listing the 3 lines in stack order the user could simply select the middle one in this case and it would deselect the other two leaving only the middle line selected. There must be a way of doing this in QCAD because already the property editor knows how many lines are selected! ... or maybe this feature could be incorporated into the already existing property editor?

I do hope this is addressed because it seems to be a constant stumbling block.

* Feature request added:

http://www.ribbonsoft.com/bugtracker/in ... sk_id=1171

Remember to add your vote :wink:
For the best support please state your operating system, QCAD version and add any supporting DXF/DWG files, screenshots etc...

User avatar
J-J
Moderator
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:48 pm

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by J-J » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:34 pm

Hi all,

I vote for a feature that can help select the line you want. I have stumbled on that many times, resorting to hide unconcerned layers. The same thing happens when you want to trim a line, it is always the one you do not want hat gets trimmed!
JJ

tukuyomi
Active Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:15 pm

Re: Select a Specific Line When Several are Stacked

Post by tukuyomi » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:59 am

TopSolid (a 3D CAD software) has such an easy feature :
When Entities are stacked, you maintain left-click to highlight an entity (it is shown as different color and thickness), then right-click as many times as you want to switch to another stacked entity. When you get the one you want, release left-click.

Post Reply

Return to “QCAD 'How Do I' Questions”