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Moving objects via the keyboard
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* February 23, 2010, 09:35:01 PM
Is there a way to move selected objects via the keyboard?

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* February 23, 2010, 09:59:40 PM
#1
Use relative coordinates, pick up the object.  Shift + tab highlights the coordinate boxes, in relative they're the delta x, y, z entries.  Another way is to select the object, then use linear copy, Alt + E, Y, L, tab into the step increment boxes which equate to the delta boxes so they're relative by default, hit enter for the copy, then hit delete to dump the original.

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* February 23, 2010, 10:21:43 PM
#2
Thanks for the reply.  I think I need to clarify what I am seeking.  I would like to move objects around using the cursor keys (arrow keys) rather than the mouse.  While dragging objects around using the mouse is great for long distance movement, it's not so great for minute movements.  You are also required to have the anchor point visible, which limits how close you can zoom in.  It would be great if pressing the right arrow key would move the selected object one pixel to the right.  If I could move objects around this way, it would make lining things up much easier.

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* February 23, 2010, 11:46:56 PM
#3
Its called nudging in those applications that support it, and there has been the odd mention of it over the years, but it's not a TC function.  One of TC's key equivalents that's most useful is d, edit reference point.  It picks up what you call the anchor point so that you can snap it to any feature, so it can always be within the view, wherever it is and whatever the zoom.  Pixels aren't relevant to the object you're viewing and they're variable scale depending on zoom, they aren't accurate enough for CAD.  I use nudging myself in a program that edits nurb surfaces, because it allows independent 3D movement of each node of a control point mesh, but that program's nudge has user-defined distance increments, not pixels.  It's useful in that case because the editing is real time, which isn't how TC works.  I'd advise you to read up on TC's snaps and key equivalents to them, because they're precision aids for alignment, removing the possibility of error that's inherent to lining things up visually.  
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 11:50:31 PM by murray dickinson »

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* February 24, 2010, 05:37:05 AM
#4
re: Is there a way to move selected objects via the keyboard?

Numeric keyboard: 2, 4, 6, 8 keys.

Very carefully click on the Reference Point or better yet, float the cursor over the Reference Point (4-way arrowhead) and hit the "S" key. Now you can use the Numeric Arrow Keys to nudge the selection around. Hit the "S" to finish your moving. If you use the regular arrow keys, the selection remains in place, while the drawings' view is shifted. While this is a nifty feature, it is highly inaccurate for use in a CAD program. Most people would use the Position (Pos) or Delta fields to make moves.

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2019
Designer, Deluxe, (Professional, Expert, Basic), Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10 Pro (1803), 64-bit


February 24, 2010, 10:49:31 AM
#5
Just tried this for the first time and while I can move an object, I cannot "finish" moving it with the keyboard (have to click the mouse).  <Enter> doesn't do anything and <Alt>-F just goes into Preferences.  The only keyboard command that works is <Esc> and that takes it back to the first position.

Jeff

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* February 24, 2010, 11:23:33 AM
#6
Just tried this for the first time and while I can move an object, I cannot "finish" moving it with the keyboard (have to click the mouse).  <Enter> doesn't do anything and <Alt>-F just goes into Preferences.  The only keyboard command that works is <Esc> and that takes it back to the first position.

Jeff


I used to have the same problem until I saw John R's suggestion. It works for me: Press "S" on the keyboard to finish moving.

Henry H

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February 24, 2010, 11:54:59 AM
#7
I used to have the same problem until I saw John R's suggestion. It works for me: Press "S" on the keyboard to finish moving.

D'oh!

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* February 24, 2010, 10:45:43 PM
#8
Thanks for your tips.  The D key works as described, however the S key jumps the selected object, rather than nudging it.  Bummer.

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* February 25, 2010, 02:54:43 AM
#9
I agree with Murray that the most efficient way is to move the reference point to a relevant feature of the entity to be moved, then move that entity to a suitable feature on the target.
If suitable features don't exist naturally then it is necessary to create them.

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Gary Wooding
Win10 64-bit,
TC21.2 x64 Plat, Bld59
TC16.2 Plat, Bld54.0
TCC 3.5


* February 25, 2010, 04:44:28 AM
#10
re: Is there a way to move selected objects via the keyboard?

Numeric keyboard: 2, 4, 6, 8 keys.

Very carefully click on the Reference Point or better yet, float the cursor over the Reference Point (4-way arrowhead) and hit the "S" key. Now you can use the Numeric Arrow Keys to nudge the selection around. Hit the "S" to finish your moving. If you use the regular arrow keys, the selection remains in place, while the drawings' view is shifted. While this is a nifty feature, it is highly inaccurate for use in a CAD program. Most people would use the Position (Pos) or Delta fields to make moves.

Nice one John, I used to use the feature in an earlier version of Turbocad, but lost the knack or knowledge somewhere along the line. This feature is handy for approximate placement of objects, as not all elements of a drawing are  confined to a definite measurement or position. There are other possibilities also for a limited amount of animation using the sendkeys function in a macro or script to send the arrow key code to the keyboard buffer and thus be able to move render etc in steps. It is only a limited form of animation, but still very handy.I am not on my CAD machine at present, but does this feature work when editing also, for example resizing a rectangle or line etc ?.

Is it possible also to create a separate section on the forum for keyboard related information ?.

Many thanks for furnishing us with this very handy keyboard shortcut !.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 04:56:01 AM by Michael Geraghty »

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* February 25, 2010, 06:09:16 AM
#11
re: Is it possible also to create a separate section on the forum for keyboard related information?

Probably best in the Wiki.
Cursor Moves
Scroll Moves
Seke's



re: The D key works as described, however the S key jumps the selected object, rather than nudging it.  Bummer.

When the object is picked up or selected using the S key, you should use the arrow keys found on the Numeric Keypad, not the normal arrow keys (they scroll).

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2019
Designer, Deluxe, (Professional, Expert, Basic), Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10 Pro (1803), 64-bit


* February 25, 2010, 06:47:56 AM
#12
re: Is it possible also to create a separate section on the forum for keyboard related information?

Probably best in the Wiki.
Cursor Moves
Scroll Moves
Seke's



re: The D key works as described, however the S key jumps the selected object, rather than nudging it.  Bummer.

When the object is picked up or selected using the S key, you should use the arrow keys found on the Numeric Keypad, not the normal arrow keys (they scroll).

Thanks for putting the info on the Wiki John, and I do agree that it is the best place for the information.

Mike Geraghty.

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* February 25, 2010, 07:05:09 AM
#13
Thanks for putting the info on the Wiki John, and I do agree that it is the best place for the information.
Mike Geraghty.

You're welcome. Here's another page that may be helpful: TurboCAD Commands V16.

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2019
Designer, Deluxe, (Professional, Expert, Basic), Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10 Pro (1803), 64-bit


February 26, 2010, 11:16:51 PM
#14
Confused about SEKEs for snapping > http://www3.turbocadcommunity.com/tiki-index.php?page=SEKE%27s

1. How exactly do you use the keyboard to snap?

2. At top of page, it says, place cursor on object? Does this mean object must be selected first?

When object is selected, and for example, G key is pressed, nothing seems to happen

3. What is supposed to happen? Am I snapping to a point?

4. And another example ModesSnapSingleMirror, I click H and can't see what happened if anything.

5. Are you supposed to click another key to complete the effect?

6. And what does the phrase 'single snap to ...' mean? Is this different than 'snap to..?'


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Gene Haynes


* February 27, 2010, 02:38:49 AM
#15
Gene, big questions, I'll try to answer briefly.
1.  Snapping is using features to locate to and from.  They're the fundamental element of feature-based modeling, snap points are features of the drawing.  Open a new drawing in TC, there's nothing in it and the line tool is active.  You can click anywhere and place the end of the line where you click, or you can activate a grid in the drawing and either use the grid snap from the toolbar or the the right-click local snap, or simply press "g" key, TC's Single Entry Keyboard Equivalent (SEKE) while hovering the cursor near a grid intersection.  The grid is the drawing's first feature.  Now that you've located one end of a line, you can finish it either by clicking anywhere, or by using the grid snap again, measuring off your line by grid increments. 
Now that you've a line in the drawing, you've added four more features that you can snap to besides the grid:  Vertices (vertexes), which are the endpoints of the line, keyboard V, the middle of the line, keyboard M, divide points, dividing the line into whatever division is set, keyboard D, and nearest point of the line to the cursor, keyboard N.    You can draw more objects that are exactly related to the line and drawing from those snap features.  Any further objects that you draw add their own features and snap points.  There are more snaps that relate to circles and arcs (centre, quadrant, tangent) and their 3D derivatives, as well as those particular to lines and polygons, and to their 3D derivatives.  Snaps are what makes CAD precise.  Objects relate to one another exactly numerically, rather than visually approximate.  You don't have to enter each of the numbers into an entry box because the program derives the exact locations from the snap point.

2.  Place cursor on object means put the cursor onto the object that carries the snap point you're locating to.  If it's got more than one of the snap features, for example vertices on a box, put the cursor closest to the one that you mean to snap to.  The object doesn't have to be selected first.  It can be for another reason, but it doesn't have to be, the snap features exist whether the object is selected or not.  In the example you've quoted, if you've selected something to move to that snap point, you'll have to click on the reference point to pick it up, in order to move it. 
Related to that, the D SEKE picks up the object's reference point.  The object reference point can be placed anywhere in the drawing, or snapped to any feature in the drawing, then picking it up the point picks up the object and moves it the same amount as you move the point, even if point and object aren't visible in the field of view at the same time.  Almost like teleportation, really...

3.  What's supposed to happen?  Pick an object up by clicking on its reference point, then use a snap or SEKE (provided that the snap feature exists within the snap aperature, the "detection range" of the cursor), that'll put the reference point onto the feature you've pointed it to.  The object will follow it's reference point, ie moving the same amount as the reference point.

4.  H finishes a new line perpendicular (at right angle across) an existing one.  Click to startdraw a new line near any other line, put the cursor near either end point of that line and press H, and the new line will complete as a "crossbar" to the line you snapped H to.  Snap features exist whether the object is selected or not, whether or not an object is selected depends on what you're doing to it.  In the example you've quoted, if you've selected something to move to a snap point, you'll have to click on the reference point to pick it up, in order to move it. 

5. Snaps are part of most actions because they're a "point and shoot" shorthand for the numerical coordinates of the feature.  They're self-contained references, they don't have "effects" of their own, they help you effect actions, so many actions will finish with a snap or SEKE because the snap refers "to there", shorthand for "to point x,y,z".

6.  SingleSnap means that there are no more variables, it's a self-contained reference.  If you press L, you then have to use another click or snap to relocate the origin.  If you're drawing a line, pressing any of the "singles" locates an end immediately to a snap point, no more determination is required.

I've tried to explain clearly, but it's harder than I thought, and I've failed the "briefly" test miserably.....
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 05:09:53 AM by murray dickinson »

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February 27, 2010, 02:40:43 PM
#16
Thank you for the answer > I have copy-pasted into a document for continued basic study.

I understand that snaps are "sticky reference points" that let you stick lines and objects together at precise points > and that each line and object has sticky reference points located at midpoint or endpoint etc or on a gridpoint depending which snap choices are selected > and that TC always offers a default reference point with each line or object that can be changed by selecting object and using keyboard shortcut D.

My stumble is understanding the sequence of action needed to use SEKE keys.

You explained it <> I want to draw a line <> to use SEKE: click G and the start-point snaps to nearest grid point > then as line is being drawn, it can be completed by clicking G again and line automatically snaps to nearest gridpoint.

After drawing the first line, I want a second line perpendicular to first line >> to use SEKE: I start to draw second line, click H and the line automatically finishes itself at perpendicular angle

That is clear now.

Here's where I'm still fuzzy: Can you explain the sequence of actions needed to use SEKE with a selected object? For example I have two cylinders > what steps do you take with SEKE to stick the two cylinders together at a point?

 






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Gene Haynes


February 27, 2010, 02:48:52 PM
#17
The SEKEs are Single Entry Keyboard Equivalents.  All you need to do to use them is remember which keys are tied to each Snap type, then place your cursor near enough to an object that has that type of Snap as an option ('M' for Middle of a Line, 'G' for Grid (which doesn't have to be visible, but it helps), 'V' for Vertex, 'I' for Intersection, 'C' for Center of a Circle or Cylinder, 'Q' for a 90 degree multiple on the circumference of a Circle or Cylinder, 'E' for center of Extents, etc.).

Jeff


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* February 27, 2010, 07:53:15 PM
#18


After drawing the first line, I want a second line perpendicular to first line >> to use SEKE: I start to draw second line, click H and the line automatically finishes itself at perpendicular angle

That is clear now.

Here's where I'm still fuzzy: Can you explain the sequence of actions needed to use SEKE with a selected object? For example I have two cylinders > what steps do you take with SEKE to stick the two cylinders together at a point?


...A couple of clarifications, if you and Murray wil excuse me for jumping in...

1. About drawing a line perpendicular to an existing line: Be aware that pressing the "H" SEKE probably will do nothing at all unless your cursor is on or near that existing line. That's true of snapping and SEKEs in general: your cursor should be on or near the point you're snapping to. "Near" means within the Aperture, which by default is a circle ten pixels diameter, centered on the cursor.

2. Sticking two cylinders together at a point is not quite as straightforward as, say, sticking two 3D Boxes together -- the reason being that most of a Cylinder's stickable points are not obvious and, indeed, are not always accessible. (We can explore that topic later if you wish.)

Let's consider how to stick two 3D Boxes together. Specifically, we shall stick a Box named "Alfa" to a second 3D Box named "Bravo," assuming that we want to put the top northwest corner of Alfa at the midpoint of Bravo's southwest vertical edge. ("North" is the direction of the positive Y axis and "up" is the direction of the positive Z axis.) Go to an Isometric view so you can see all parts of both boxes and be sure you're working in 3D Select Mode.

First step is to relocate the Reference Point of Alfa. Click on any edge of Alfa and press "D" on the keyboard, signifying that you wish to relocate the RP of the selected object. The cursor will change, assuming the shape of a hand holding a set of coordinate axes. Move the cursor close to Alfa's top northwest corner and press "V" on the keyboard. You have just placed Alfa's RP (the little yellow blob) at the designated corner, where it will remain until you explicitly change it. Press Esc or click someplace distant from Alfa to deselect it.

Second step is to pick up Alfa and stick it by the RP to the intended destination. Click anyplace on the edge of Alfa to select it; move the cursor close to its RP -- the cursor will become a four-directional arrow-- click and release the left button of the mouse. When you move the mouse now, you'll be moving Alfa. Move it until the cursor is on or near Bravo's southwest vertical edge and press "M" on the keyboard. Done.

Henry H

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February 27, 2010, 09:12:27 PM
#19
Yes, thank you Henry et al > it's clear now, and very useful [after memorizing the keys per Jeff's tip]

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Gene Haynes