In BricsCAD, there is a tool called the Quad. What is it and why do they call it the Quad? I may not be able to answer that last question, but the first I can handle.
To a non-BricsCAD user, the quad is a pop-up menu that is unique to BricsCAD. It can pop-up while hovering over an object and it also pops up when you right-click. A different version displays if you have an object selected while right-clicking. You could say it is akin to the AutoCAD right-click menu but it’s actually quite different. For one thing, it has drawing and editing functions that display right next to the cursor.
The top row contains your most recently used tools. The contents of the tabbed menus depend on your workspace and whether you have an object selected or not.
There are configurations that control the appearance of the Quad in the Settings dialog. On the Manage tab of the ribbon > Customization panel, click Settings to open these options.
Under Program Options, there are many variables (settings) associated with the appearance of the quad. A couple that I find useful are:
- Quad width: The number of buttons displayed in a row.
- Quad icon size: The size of the Quad buttons.
If you want to customize the Quad to display your most consistently used tools, you may do so in the Customize dialog.
The Customize dialog can be opened from the Manage tab of the ribbon > Customization panel, click Customize tool.
In the Customize dialog, we start on the Quad tab.
This tab contains two prominent panes on the left and right that look very similar. The left contains the Quad configurations; the right contains all that is available to add to the Quad. Both are organized into subgroups representing the menu files they come from.
If I wanted to add a tab containing my most desired tools, understand that it would be stored in the menu file it is placed under. If the program is updated or reinstalled, you may lose this configuration. If you install a new version, it will not have this configuration. If you wanted to preserve this configuration, you would need to store it in your own CUI file but this post is not about custom CUI’s so we could save that discussion for a later date.
So back to creating a Quad tab containing my most desired tools:
- To create a new tab, right-click on the BricsCAD menu title in the left pane and click Append quad tab.
- Type a Label and Title for the tab.
The new tab appears on the list in the left pane under the BricsCAD menu group. This tab can be dragged and dropped to reposition itself with the items in the menu group, but BricsCAD will have reordered the list alphabetically when the Customize dialog is opened again.
- The first tool I would like to place on my Quad tab is the rectangle tool. To do this I would locate it in BricsCAD menu group in the right pane. Since this is something drawn, I would expand the Draw category and locate Rectangle, click on it, then drag and drop it over to the Cyndy Quad tab in the left pane.
- The next tool I will add will be the Edit Polyline tool. I would find this tool in the Modify category. Again, I simply drag and drop it over into my Cyndy Quad tab.Notice bottom pane changes to display details about the tool currently highlighted. The Entity Filter setting controls whether the tool is available when a certain type of item is highlighted. Since I would like this to be available if I have preselected a lightweight polyline or a polyline, then I would click the ellipsis to the right of the field.
- In the Edit Quad Button Filter dialog, I would click Add Entity Type(s).
- In the Add Entity Alias dialog, I would indicate with the check boxes whether I would like this command to be available if one or multiple entities were selected. In the white space of the dialog, I would find the entity types I need, fill the check boxes, then click OK.
- Back in the Edit Quad Button Filter dialog, I have the Entity types I need. If NO_SELECTION is still on the list, I would highlight it and click Remove. Then hit OK to close.
The Entity Filter field is now populated.
If nothing is selected, the Cyndy Quad tab will show the Rectangle tool. If a lightweight polyline or a polyline is selected, the Edit Polyline tool will be displayed. I can add and configure more tools to my custom Quad tab now.Now that my custom tab is created and configured, I can finish up by adding it to my workspace.
- Click the Workspaces tab of the Customize dialog.
The Workspaces tab arrangement is similar to the Quad tab with the left pane displaying what is already configured and the right pane displaying what is available.
- Under the workspace that I use, I would expand the Quad Tabs section to show the Quad tabs configured. To add my Cyndy tab to the workspace, I would select any of the items under Quad Tabs, right-click, then click Insert.
In the select Quad Tab dialog, I would select Cyndy, then click OK.
- I can reposition the order of the tabs by dragging and dropping.
- In the bottom pane, I would make sure Display is set to Yes.
- Then I’d click OK to close the Customize dialog.
Now when I right-click anywhere on the screen, the Quad opens displaying my custom tab.
The Quad is a convenient tool for quickly accessing tools as you work. Customizing it helps enhance workflow which speeds up production thus enabling us to work smarter and faster.
– Cyndy Davenport