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Cursor reference line

Hi there,
Now that we have version 16 installed it has been observed by some of the staff that the reference line that appears during a "move" as well as other commands now shows as a yellow dashed line (see attached). Is this something that can be controlled through setvar variables?


  • I'm finding this line unreliable - very hard to make it 'stick' by use of Shift. One dab on shift ought to make it rock-solid, undidtracted by temptation to wander, another dab on Shift to free it. Maybe it's trying to be too clever - to respond to alternative presumed intentions.

    There also seems to be an inconsistency - when trying to similarly lock the vector for a Dimension (measure) operation, you have to hold Shift down, but that gets interpreted as view rotation command.

    When it does work, this Shift lock is brilliant - begins to be match the excellence of Bentley's (patented) AccuDraw.
  • Based on other posts there is no way at this point to turn this off or to change the color or line type.  I think this is one of those "great ideas that everyone will love" that really isn't.  I can see value for new users, but I certainly would prefer to turn this off.  For me it is more of a distraction than an asset.
  • What, turn off the style of line, or the ability to lock the vector?
  • I'm finding this line unreliable - very hard to make it 'stick' by use of Shift. One dab on shift ought to make it rock-solid, undidtracted by temptation to wander, another dab on Shift to free it. Maybe it's trying to be too clever - to respond to alternative presumed intentions.
    I think you are mixing up two different features: the new move/copy tracking line and Polar tracking. Only the latter can be locked/unlocked using the Shift key. The yellow dashed line indicates the moving vector, but it cannot be locked. When the moving vector is at an angle that fits an angle defined by the POLARANG system variable, it is replaced by the polar tracking line, which you can then lock by hitting the shift key.
  • Dear Martin

    "I think this is one of those "great ideas that everyone will love" that really isn't."

    the point is, that the former "mouse vector" was a plain white/black line ... if you have dense grsphics, you can no longer distinguish between real entity graphics and the (old) mouse vector ...
    therefore it was changed to the yellow dashed rubberband line ...

    Additionally, it solves some problems when line graphics does a self-unXORing :
    in older V15/V16.1 draw a rectangle, then select it, and move a corner grip with ORTHO on ... you will see the bad effects of self-unXORing ...
    this is prevented (at least partially) with new dashed, yellow line.

    I agree it might be useful to provide some configuration for it, especially the color I think ...
    but it is by far not "great ideas that everyone will love, that really isn't." ... you can be assured that there are a lot of people (in Bricsys team, and externally) having a very close look at such stuff :-)

    As usually things are more complex than they appear in the mirror :-)
    many greetings !
  • Dear Torsten,

    Thank you for the reply.  For me the frustration has been in two categories.  One is things like the "mouse vector" where the change is distracting and the user has no control.  I ran CAD programs for many years without a "mouse vector".  I don't really need it or want it, but I can live with the concept.  What is difficult is that I have no control over it.  Another poster has stated that the color and linetype match one of his internal standards.  There should have been a way to change the color, and I think there should be a way to turn off the display of the "mouse vector". 

    My bigger complaint is with the print dialog.  I frequently need to print small sections of a large drawing.  With recent changes if I need to print multiple details from a larger drawing on a letter size printer I have to manually set parameters in the print dialog for each detail -- the dialog reverts to the previous printer selection after each detail is printed.  Before the recent changes the print dialog would maintain settings as long as the dialog was open, so all I had to do was select a new window to print then select the print button.  It is very frustrating to have operation of basic functions changed without notice, and even more frustrating to see posts from programmers that effectively say, "We think this is better and we will not restore the previous function.  Ever."  Changes like this cost your customers time and money.  We lose productivity when functions change without warning and we have to stop to try to determine what happened.  We have to take time from production to train our employees on the changes.  If the change slows down a process we do frequently we lose productivity because of the extra time the new process takes.  The old approach with the print dialog was far better for my office.  I should not have to write my own print dialog to restore the previous operation.

    Sorry for the rant.  I'm just very frustrated because I'm seeing what looks to me like Bricscad taking a "we know how you need to do your job better than you do" attitude like Microsoft and Autocad.  That was not the case in the past. 

    As a postscript, if complete documentation of changes, new features, new API functions, etc., was available at the same time a new version is released it would really help.  There is a change log, but it is not suitable for distribution to my staff, and it generally does not include any information on how to use new features or on what settings might affect the features.  Users generally don't even know what new features are officially called so it is difficult to find settings or to ask for help.  This thread is a good example.  Is "mouse vector" really how we should refer to this?  Will "mouse vector" find anything in the knowledge base?

  •  I will add to the discussion the issue of color choices.  

    When monitors were green lines on black screen, color was never an issue.  Then color monitors became common and in AutoCAD color was used to distinguish between layers, and to indicate how wide of a black pen to use when pen plotting.  And while it was possible to have a white background, many companies stayed with the black background that was the prior standard. 

    When the availability of large format color printers became universal, printing in color became common. It was now possible to print the line colors you saw on screen.  You could now see on the screen what you were going to print.  But, if you based your color choices on a black background, there would be problems.  Mostly, the color yellow is very bold on a black screen, but almost invisible on a white background or white paper printout. Conversely, a dark blue is hard to see on a black screen.

    So, I think the modern convention should be to use a black background, so that your color choices are appropriate for a color print-out. Yellow should very rarely be used, and then, only for things like fills.

    As a program enhancement, the color choices for things like polar tracking or snap locations, should ideally be automatically adjusted by the choice for color background.  I.e. a yellow line used on a black background, should be swapped out for some other color that would show up if the user changed to a white background.

  • Dear Torsten,
    I see the yellow dashed line as a mute change. Personally, I like the reference line being set apart from entities around it but for other people (who may be less flexible) any change is seen as a problem.
    I am simply making the inquiry on behalf of a client. Three of the staff spotted the change almost immediately and brought it to my attention. None cared for the change. Then low and behold two days later two of the three said "We like it. Don't change anything!"
    So there you go.
    Thank you everyone for your input (in particular Torsten). Keep up the good work.
    I wish you and the company all the best.
  • Phillip,

    I had almost the same reaction here.  Everyone noticed and asked what the "new" line was.  That stopped work activities for a short while.  A few days later no one much cares.  Me?  Past 60, and I'm in the camp that embraces change when it makes [economic] sense [for my business] but dislikes change for the sake of change.  I think that is in part because as the company owner I have to cover the costs of evaluating new versions and for training the staff when changes occur.  The ideal situation for me would be for changes to be fully explained in advance and, when possible, to have the capability to turn off new features so I can introduce them when it makes sense for my business.  I realize that in some cases it is not practical to have the option to keep an old function or style, but in those cases it is even more important to have clear documentation up front.  I remember at one time Lynn Allen had booklets available when a new version of Autocad was released.  They were small and simple, but they had enough information that a user would know what to expect and how to use new features.  Maybe today's version could be a one or two page "what's new" pdf file, with the equivalent of the Excel slides one might use in an "Introduction to Changes in Bricscad" presentation.  It would certainly make things easier in my office.
  • @ Martin:
    Apart from the ReleaseNotes.htm file there is also a 'What's new' section in the Help.
  •  Like Torsten Said
    Jason Bourhill
  • Dear Martin,

    all your comments are welcome !!
    And we are aware that such changes could be a kind of "surprise" to someone ...
    it is definitely not that we try to mimic Microsoft or similar - just the opposite.

    But you should assume, that we do not changes for the sake of changes - or to make a game more funny or colorful;
    you can really expect that there are real reasons behind - like I mentioned for the new mouse vector ...
    (and there were even more - AutoCAD also changed to such a rubberband design, for good reasons)

    Normally we do such "significant" changes only with main versions ...
    and everyone has a chance to check whether it will be suitable.

    If we would strictly follow your suggestions then there are 2 alternatives :
    - no new or changed features ever
    - or to enable settings for every little bit ... will end-up in a chaos of settings (most users are already hit by the current amount of settings)

    "I ran CAD programs for many years without a "mouse vector""
    How can you ever disable that "rubberband" ? that vector line from "start point" to "target point" was always there, in any CAD system :-)
    Have you been able to disable that by a setting ?
    If so, then I will care that the nre "rubberband" will respect that setting, for sure ...

    Also, allowing to set color (and maybe ratio for dashed line) could be accessible by settings, I agree
    (and internally, the code is already prepared) ...

    many greetings & many thanks for your postings !!
  • From the very first AutoCAD wishlist,  June 10, 1983.
    Various cross-hair types Some hardware displays can draw ``rubber band'' lines and rectangles very quickly. A rubber band could be used along with the cross-hair when entering the ``to'' point of a line or trace, and when pointing to indicate a rotation angle. A rectangle could be used when selecting the objects in a window. The core program could indicate the preferred cross-hair type, and the base point, to the ``DSMARK'' routine, which would draw a normal cross-hair if it couldn't do the preferred type. ``DSMARK'' would save the necessary information so that ``DSCMRK'' could clear the previous cross-hair when needed. 1.3.So if you want to point the finger of blame :-)

    Jason Bourhill

  • I like it,  plus its yellow, bright and happy
  • I like it,  plus its yellow, bright and happy

    Personally I'm inclined to agree with Henry Ford ...
    Remark By Henry Ford about the Model T in 1909, ; 
    "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black."
  • The most brilliant thing about Bentley Microstation is Accudraw (well patented), which is really an on-the-fly UCS by which you can instantly lock to any vector (not just current UCS's polar vectors) as you go,
    either by hovering the mouse over a reference point and dabbing Shift (well, it's Enter in Microstation) to lock that vector - or just as easily unlock it with another dag on Shift,
    or by entering X Y and Z angles in a floating dialog - though there are other clever ways of auto-filling these without having to type.
    We see something like this in the new Direction settings in dmExtrude etc, but it would be fantastic to have such a facility generally available to any mouse tracking line, if there's a way round Bentley's patents.
    Maybe there's already a way to do this via DUCS?
  • For snapping I see sketchup as the role model. Its getting better here as we go along.
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