Monday, October 28, 2013

Subtle not Random

If you've been in one of my classes you've probably heard me say, "It's subtle, not random".

I get a lot of very frustrated users telling me how their computer or software does this crazy thing and they can't figure it out.  Many times I know exactly what is causing it.

It could be where your mouse is located when you pick or that you hit escape in the middle of a command or maybe you are in the wrong "silo". Once you understand what is causing this crazy behavior you can control it, predict it, and even use it to your advantage.

One of the reasons I love training is to see the ah-ha moment. That moment when I explain "when you do this, that happens" and the student's eyes light up as they "get it".

The trouble with subtle things is figuring it out. That's my job. Discovering what is happening and sharing with you. I hate things that are random in the software. I test, test, test, read the manual, test some more, and sometimes call the developer to find out what the heck is going on. Then I share it with you.

A few months ago I was explaining to my son why the cat's were meowing for treats at 9 PM instead of 10 PM and I said, "It's subtle, not random.  Cat's don't know about time change."  That's when I realized it's not just software.  There are so many things in life that seem random. Then I dig in and find out what subtle thing is causing that seeming crazy behavior.

Here is another one for you.  Have you ever really looked at the FedEd logo?

Do you see the arrow?  They did that on purpose. 
Subtle nor Random.

Today, I don't have a software tip, I have a life tip.  If something seems random, look for the subtle action causing it. You might be able to use that info to your advantage, if nothing else it won't be a mystery any more.

Thanks for reading.  Take care.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to School Special! Two tips in one post.

Hi friends, I've taken the summer off from posting but with school about to start I thought it would be time for me to start sharing with you again.

First, a surprise new feature was added to blocks this month (or maybe it was a bug fixed, I don’t really know).  You can apply materials from schemes to blocks now without editing them!  Try it.  Or watch the video, I’ll demo it.

Second, the categories function is much more powerful.  Again, it might have just been a bug fix but there are some nice things you can do with it.  For example see your AutoCAD drawing in the Electrical View tab.  Handy when you want to place base power in feeds and dimensions to the base plan. 

Pretty slick! 

Don’t forget to sign up for the Users Conference in October.  It will be both informative and a lot of FUN!

I'm doing two presentations and attending as much of the fun things at night as possible.  :)

Hope you had a great summer and holiday weekend.  Now, it's time to get back to work!

Take care,


PS:  I just tested the materials applying to Canvas symbols and it doesn't work the same!  I'm so sorry.  If it looks like something you want to have send a Feature Request.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creating your own symbols in CET Designer or Non supported Symbols

I promised you I'd show more cool uses for the CET Designer Edit Graphics extension. Here is the second one.

Have you ever wanted to put something in your drawing that isn't supported by SmartTools, Canvas, or ProjectSymbols? I've come up with a method to create your own symbol by using ProjectSymbols and Edit Graphics.

You will need a couple things to do this procedure.
  • First you need to find a good 3D symbol either in AutoCAD or SketchUp.
  • Second you need to have a manufacturer other than Steelcase or Haworth installed in ProjectSymbols.
After that you are ready to go!

Here are the basic steps.  Watch the video to get the details.
  1. Import the AutoCAD or SketchUp symbol.
  2. Place a ProjectSpec Symbol that is about the same size as the one you are creating.
  3. Use Edit Graphics Replace Symbol to switch the PS Symbol to the new symbol.
  4. Use the Query command, Make Special to edit all the part info.
  5. Change the Install Text.
I also show you how to change the colors on the symbol.  :)

Let me know if this is helpful.

Thank you and have a great day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another quick CET Designer rendering tip

Sometimes new features are slipped in and we don't notice them or we don't really know what they are useful for.  I've found another one that Configura added to CET Designer that I think you will like.

It's the Camera Angle Step function and it helps you get the same angle on a rendering every time.  Or you can do a birds eye view of a plan. Have a client that just isn't getting the plan view?  Render it from above to help them understand.

Rendered from above
Front view; I used a clipping plane to show the inside of the workstation.
Rendered in elevation

How to use it:

As always have fun.  Let me know if you want to see something special here.

Hope you aren't snowed in.  :)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Other uses for CET Edit Graphics

Happy New Year!!

The holidays flew by as usual and now it's back to work.  I hope you all had a wonderful time.

By now I hope you have played with Edit Graphics in CET Designer.  If you haven't installed it you should, then download the reference guide from the Configura site and read the section on Edit Graphics.

A few cool ways to use Edit Graphics have occurred to me to share with you.
  1. Show a worksurface that is going to be cut to fit in the field.
  2. Apply a COM easily.
  3. Have multiple colors on the same item.
You may never have to do these things but if you do it's helpful to know how.

Here is the video on how to make a cut-to-fit worksurface.

I'll give you videos on the other two soon.

Have a great day!