Drawing sketching and snapping improvements

Last updated September 24, 2020 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Drawing sketching and snapping improvements

Drawing sketching and snapping improvements

Sketching graphical objects and snapping in drawings both contain a lot of improvements that help you to sketch in drawings in a more organized manner. These include more visual sketching tools, more flexible cover-up tools, new option for re-ordering graphical objects, and snapping to custom angles.

Increased visualization in sketching tools

  • Now when you draw graphical objects like polylines and polygons, you can see the resulting shape right away. The line lengths are also shown.

  • Radius is now shown when you draw arcs and circles.

  • The target view scale is now applied when you copy graphical objects from one view to another, which means that the scale of the object and the related numerical information adjust to the scale of the target view.

  • The temporary sketch object dimension lineline that visualizes the distance between the defined dimension points

    Separate dimensions can be combined into a longer dimension line.

    and dimension text properties, and other dimensions properties are taken from the current settings in the regular dimension properties dialog box. This means, for example, that units can be controlled in the same way as for the other dimensions.

  • Now numeric input works when you move polyline and polygon handles.

More flexibility to cover-up tools

  • Tekla Structures 2017 introduces two new cover-up tools :

    Draw cover-up polyline

    Draw cover-up polygon

  • The name of the Cover-up area command is now Cover-up rectangle.
  • You can explode a cover-up polyline into separate straight cover-up lines, and combine cover-up lines and polylines into closed cover-up polygons.
  • The cover-up object dimensions are shown while you draw the object, and also when the object is selected. You can resize and reshape the cover-up objects by dragging the handles.

  • Note that the Re-order command in the pop-up menu has no effect on the cover-up objects. To have a cover-up area hiding sketch objects, such as polygons and polylines, use Re-order for the sketch object and send it behind the model objectobject that is represented in a model

    A model object is either created in a model or imported into it.


Possibility to re-order objects

In drawings, you may want to indicate positions of openings, windows, doors and such by sketching graphical objects. You can change the mutual order of the sketch objects (graphical objects), and the mutual order of the sketch objects and model objects. You can bring sketch objects forward or in front of other sketch objects, or send them backward or behind other sketch objects, and also send sketch objects behind model objects or bring them in front of model objects. You can also re-order DWGs and images in the same way.

If you have several objects (objects on several layers), the drawing order affects the layer on which the forward and backward commands place the objects. Newly created sketch objects are placed on their own layer in the drawing order: the newest one on top of the older one.

  • To re-order, right-click a sketch object, DWG or an image and click Re-order. Then select one of the following commands:
    • Send backward : Moves the selected object one step closer to the back of all other sketch objects.
    • Send to back : Places the selected object behind all other sketch objects.
    • Bring forward : Moves the selected object one step closer to the front of all other sketch objects.
    • Bring to front : Places the selected object in front of all other sketch objects.
    • Send behind model objects : Places the object behind all model objects. You can also set this option in the sketch object propertiesproperties associated with an object type

      Usually a single object property includes a default value that the user can modify.

      dialog box ( Behind model objects > Yes ).
    • Bring in front of model objects : Places the object in front of all model objects. You can also set this option in the sketch object properties dialog box ( Behind model objects > No ).

    Showing an opening:

    Highlighting the footing area in a drawing by placing a gray polygon behind footings:

  • Note that sketch objects that are placed behind model objects cannot be re-ordered together with sketch objects that are placed in front of model objects.

Improved Copy with offset

  • When you create a line with a bulge and copy the line usingCopy with offset , the created line now has the same bulge as the original one.

  • If the rectangle has no bulges, the copied object will still be a rectangle after you use Copy with offset , just like before. But if the original rectangle has a bulge, it is not possible to copy it to a new rectangle using Copy with offset. When you use Copy with offset , the new copied object will become a polygon.

Improved snapping in drawings

  • You can now snap to custom angles in drawings. This is useful when you are sketching polylines and polygons, for example.
    • Angles become visible when you activate orthogonalview projection that displays objects in right-angles projection

      In orthogonal model view the size of the objects is the same despite of their distance to the viewing point and the zoom remains on part faces.

      snapping by pressing O (or selecting File > Settings > Ortho ) and specify custom angles and/or snapping steps in the renewed Drawing snap settings dialog box. To open this dialog box in the drawing modemode that is used for editing the appearance and content of drawings

      Tekla Structures switches to the drawing mode when the user opens any drawing.

      , click File > Settings > Snap settings.

    • Using ortho snapping to custom angles is also useful if you need to place annotation objects in a consistent manner, for example. In the example below, you first add a text with a leader lineline that connects an annotation object to the related object or point

      using a 60 degree angle to the part:

      Then you will add a new text using the same angle:

    • Note that setting the snap settings in the model has no effect on a drawing, and vice versa.
  • Free snapping in drawings is now based on the zooming level: The closer you zoom, the more exact you can sketch. For example, you can now more easily create rectangles that are of exact length when you zoom closer. The snapping step changes from 1 to 1000 (1/16" - 5') depending on the zoom level.

  • You can now snap to drawing snapshotimage of a drawing that shows the drawing as it was at a certain point in time

    Drawing snapshots make it possible to have a quick look at any drawing without opening the drawing. Snapshots are used, for example, for finding a certain drawing edition. Snapshots can be viewed in Tekla Structures but they cannot be edited.

    overlays with the Snap to geometry lines/points snap switchswitch used for controlling what kind of points Tekla Structures snaps to

    The user needs to activate snap switches to be able to pick different points, for example, line ends and intersections.

    Snap switches help the user to pick points in order to position model objects precisely without having to know the coordinates or create additional lines or points.


  • Now you can snap to drawing layoutplan of a drawing that includes the table layout and definitions of the sheet size

    Tekla Structures includes several predefined drawing layouts, which are drawing-type specific. The user can also create new drawing layouts.

    items as well as to the drawing frame using the Snap to dimensions and mark lines snap switch .

Improved pattern lines

  • It is now easier to add symbols in pattern lines. You can now select the symbol by double-clicking it in a separate window, which opens when you click Select.

  • If you use dashed lines in a line pattern, the dashes are justified to the corners of a line segment, so lines do not start with spaces. The dashes are justified if the pattern is longer than the line itself. Printing and DWG/DXF export do not support this change yet.

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