Power Tip

From CADD Master Ray

More Than Meets the Eye
It has been said about Generic CADD 5.0 that if you think it should do something, just try it, and it probably does. This is especially true for us seasoned veterans who have been wishing for some very specific features for a long time - they're finally here.

I'd like to use this column to extend that idea even further. Even if you don't think a CADD command will do something, try it anyway...it just might. As usual, many of the commands can do things that they weren't necessarily intended to do, especially if you get creative.

For example, you can use Multi Trim (MT) to trim just one line. You might wonder why you would want to do this, since the Trim (RM) command works just fine, and was specifically designed for this job. There's the secret to this kind of thinking. Trim is a little TOO specific for certain tasks, as it automatically keeps the same side of the line that's used to select the trimmed object. But sometimes it's hard to select the line on the side that you want to keep, becaue it's too small, or it's in a crowd, or whatever. Multi Trim makes fewer assumptions, and asks you which side of the line you want to keep. This way, you can select the line (with the Object selection method), pick the object to trim to, and keep EITHER side of the line at the end.

The Undo (OO) and Redo (UU) commands present creative opportunities, together with Unerase (UE), if you don't think of them as just for fixing mistakes. You might want to make certain changes to your drawing, then print, plot, or selectively save it, and then discard the changes with Undo. The print or file that you've created in the meanwhile can't be undone. Unerase is great for erasing things that are in your way, editing your drawing, then recalling the erased entities.

CADD 5.0 presents so many new features that there are plenty more examples like these. The nested command structure alone opens up interesting possibilities for combinations of commands that do unexpected things, as does Tracking, and Ortho Angle. Attributes aren't just for data extraction, they're great for doing things like filling out title blocks and putting titles and scales on your drawings.

In short, even though they sell macaroni to put with cheese, you can use pesto instead, gule it to felt and make pictures out of it, or even put it on a string and hang it on your Christmas tree.