Templot2 update version 229c now available

Martin Wynne

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A new Templot program update is now available. Version 229c.

Your copy of Templot should update automatically if you restart it and follow the instructions. If you have the Templot Video Player open, please close it first.

There is no need to uninstall your existing copy of Templot.

More information about 229c to follow.



• If you are using Templot version 227a , the automatic update will fail due to a program glitch. Sorry about that -- please download and install version 229c manually from:

https://85a.uk/templot/companion/manual_update.php



cheers,

Martin.
 
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Hi Martin,
Wow, that's some update, driving me mad.

I have created a group from a double slip and attached it to a piece of straight track.
Every time I try to change the length of the track it repeatedly brings up the box saying,

"The group templates have been shifted.
Do you now want your background shapes to be shifted by the same amount?
Any shapes which have their [ allow to sync with templates ] option box unticked will not be shifted."

The only way to get round it is to hold esc down and hopefully turn of the attachment (click here to unlink)

Needless to say, I don't find this an improvement.

Yours grumpily

Godders


PS

I have tried it again with a clean sheet; a straight attached to a turnout and got the same thing.
 
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Last edited:

Martin Wynne

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Yours grumpily
@Godders

Hi Godders,

Don't blame me -- it was Richard's idea. :)

Two solutions:

1. Untick this box on the background shapes dialog:

sync_shapes.png


2. or don't have your background shapes file loaded while track planning. The whole idea of having separate files for templates and background shapes was that you don't always need both at the same time.

I will have a further think about this. Maybe the above tickbox should default to off.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Hi Martin,

Yes, that's cured it. I don't see how it can work. When it is selected you can not make a move without interruption.

However, I do blame you for listening to the utterings of a deranged person.
Where will it end.

Next thing you know, your time will be taken up with plug plastic track and heaven knows what else.

As usual, all said in jest.

Cheers

Godders

and thanks.
 
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Martin Wynne

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I don't see how it can work. When it is selected you can not make a move without interruption.
@Godders

Hi Godders,

Glad it worked, but you have rather lost me there? Syncing of shapes happens only when moving a background template or a group of them. In ordinary track planning that's not something you need to do very often.

Unless of course you are using the peg-linked function:

notch_peg_linking.jpg


In which case, yes you are reporting a bug. Moving the peg then becomes unusable with a group linked to the notch and syncing turned on.

I will get that fixed in the next update. Thanks for finding it.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Godders

Hi Godders,

Don't blame me -- it was Richard's idea. :)

Two solutions:

1. Untick this box on the background shapes dialog:

View attachment 2466

2. or don't have your background shapes file loaded while track planning. The whole idea of having separate files for templates and background shapes was that you don't always need both at the same time.

I will have a further think about this. Maybe the above tickbox should default to off.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin

I've just had a play again, and I think I'd be inclined to go with the default for the global sync to be off. I think I'd also prefer the individual sync option for each shape to default to off, but that might be just me!

As an example, my current layout has a massive number of shapes related to the DXF baseboards import (the one for which you fixed a bug!). I wouldn't want those to move with templates, and nor do I want to have to turn the option off on each one of many hundreds of shapes. What I actually do is to have only those shapes that I do want to sync in a separate shapes file so only those are loaded whilst I'm fiddling with track, but it would be nice if I could also have the baseboards loaded to ensure I don't fall off the edge or clash with a crossmember, without them moving about! Or perhaps an "all on" or "all off" for individual shapes so I could turn the sync off them all (whilst the global sync is on) then just turn on those I want to sync.

I might be asking a bit much though :) But whatever you do, please don't take away anything from this incredibly useful and not in the least bit irritating feature! I think it might have been me that suggested it in the first place, and it's grown a bit from there

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Martin Wynne

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Location
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@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your thoughts.

The underlying problem is that the background shapes function is such a primitive format in the first place. I think I spent all of 5 minutes devising it, 25 years ago. :)

Over the years I have managed to kludge a lot of extra stuff into it, but I can't make a proper screen graphics function to replace it without breaking a lot of legacy files.

The disadvantage with setting the default for anything to off, is that a whole tranche of users will never discover that the option exists, which is a shame if they would find it useful.

Most of the time, it is only the background picture shapes, especially the maps, which folks want to sync with moves of templates which have been aligned over them. Sometimes also DXF imports if they contain track templates from CAD or other software such as XTrackCAD. Moving everything including baseboard outlines, railway room, and garden fences is wanted only when re-arranging the whole thing on the screen for easier working.

I can add some functions to make global changes to the background shapes, such as switching sync on or off for all shapes, or all picture shapes only, or all target marks (3D clips) and/or lines (3D splints) which are set to a specific colour, or not, or similar options. I will have a think about it.

p.s. You may have noticed a another new (and long overdue) function in the background shapes in 229. You can now click directly on a shape to select it, rather than having to select it in the list. It then turns red, although for thin lines it might be difficult to see on the blue colour scheme.

To select a shape, click the bottom-left corner*, or leftmost end -- but only while the shapes dialog is showing.

*for label shapes, click the top-left corner, and it doesn't turn red. For circles, click the bottom left corner of an imaginary containing square. For target marks/clips, click the centre.

However, arcs and curves imported from DXF are imported as a series of short lines, so it's still not possible to select an entire arc in one go.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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richard_t

Member
Location
nr Spalding
I'd better get my shapes moved before the next update :)

BTW It works - does take it's sweet time, but then the background shapes are stupidly large. Also I had a thought, as I have the original unshifted/rotated track plan where some of the templates are unmodified, I was pretty stupid to try to align another template on the original background image by eye to use as the template to align with ... as the resultant changes to the background shapres weren't quite correct as I'd not aligned the template as good as I thought I had ... sigh ... still the time it took to move/rotate the image wasn't wasted - I made lunch.

I do have a question: can I choose the colour Templot uses to "fill in" (for want of a better term), when it rotates an image. Currently it's using white, and I'd prefer black.

Ta

Richard
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
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I do have a question: can I choose the colour Templot uses to "fill in" (for want of a better term), when it rotates an image. Currently it's using white, and I'd prefer black.
@richard_t

Hi Richard,

Sorry no. I will add an option for that.

What you can do though is this:

shape_copy_paste.png


On the modify shape tab for a selected picture shape.

Copy the image. Paste it into your graphics editor program. Flood fill the white corners with whatever colour you want. Copy and past it back into the picture shape.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your thoughts.

The underlying problem is that the background shapes function is such a primitive format in the first place. I think I spent all of 5 minutes devising it, 25 years ago. :)

Over the years I have managed to kludge a lot of extra stuff into it, but I can't make a proper screen graphics function to replace it without breaking a lot of legacy files.

The disadvantage with setting the default for anything to off, is that a whole tranche of users will never discover that the option exists, which is a shame if they would find it useful.

Most of the time, it is only the background picture shapes, especially the maps, which folks want to sync with moves of templates which have been aligned over them. Sometimes also DXF imports if they contain track templates from CAD or other software such as XTrackCAD. Moving everything including baseboard outlines, railway room, and garden fences is wanted only when re-arranging the whole thing on the screen for easier working.

I can add some functions to make global changes to the background shapes, such as switching sync on or off for all shapes, or all picture shapes only, or all target marks (3D clips) and/or lines (3D splints) which are set to a specific colour, or not, or similar options. I will have a think about it.

p.s. You may have noticed a another new (and long overdue) function in the background shapes in 229. You can now click directly on a shape to select it, rather than having to select it in the list. It then turns red, although for thin lines it might be difficult to see on the blue colour scheme.

To select a shape, click the bottom-left corner*, or leftmost end -- but only while the shapes dialog is showing.

*for label shapes, click the top-left corner, and it doesn't turn red. For circles, click the bottom left corner of an imaginary containing square. For target marks/clips, click the centre.

However, arcs and curves imported from DXF are imported as a series of short lines, so it's still not possible to select an entire arc in one go.

cheers,

Martin.
Hi Martin

I have noticed that there's another fix - when I click on a shape in the Shapes window then delete it, Templot now automatically selects the next one above. I used to have to manually select that if I wanted to delete that as well - mouse clicks = RSI! It makes deleting a bunch of shapes (eg those making up the drawing template that I haven't worked out how to stop on the DXF export!) very much faster from just the keyboard.

What we have now in terms of syncing shapes or not does work well, so I wouldn't worry about it too much - maybe when you want a break from 3D chairs :LOL:

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
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Enjoy using Templot?
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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I used to have to manually select that if I wanted to delete that as well - mouse clicks = RSI!
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

??? I haven't changed anything. If something has changed it will be down to a Windows update. However, as far as I can remember, deleting a shape has always selected the one below it in the list (or above it if it was at the bottom of the list).

Note that RSI shouldn't be too bad -- having clicked on the list once you should be able to run up and down it on the arrow keys on the keyboard. Press the Delete key to delete a shape, and the list will remain in focus. The same applies to other lists in Templot.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
Oh! Well, I have just done a massive Windows update. I’ll have to stick an older version of Templot on to check I’m not going mad!

My anti-RSI setup does confuse anyone else using my PCs though, at home and work. Pen/tablet for my right hand, a left-handed ergonomic mouse for my left hand and a 3D navigator also for my left hand, which works very well for scrolling and zooming in 2D as well. For some reason, people think I’m left-handed!

Cheers,
Paul
 
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message ref: 2894

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
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Enjoy using Templot?
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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Can transparent be a "colour" option? I know there's all sorts of technical funnies with transparent things though!
@Paul Boyd

Hey, give me a break! :)

Templot is a track planning program, not a graphics editor. The native graphics functions can't handle any alpha channel at all, or even the old-fashioned 256-bit transparent GIFs. But you can set any picture shape to display transparently, in which case the white corners on rotated shapes will be completely transparent. Other colours will be modified according to the trackpad detail. But it plays hell with the screen response and prevents deep zooming.

There is another way, but it's more work. Instead of using a background picture shape, add it as an image item on the sketchboard. Then scale and rotate it on the sketchboard to the required size and position. Then have sketchboard items displayed on the trackpad. The rotated images won't have the corners conflicting with other images. It's about time I did some proper docs for the sketchboard.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 2895

Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
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Enjoy using Templot?
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
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I might be asking a bit much though :) But whatever you do, please don't take away anything from this incredibly useful and not in the least bit irritating feature! I think it might have been me that suggested it in the first place, and it's grown a bit from there
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

I have added some more menu items in the next update:

all_shapes_sync.png


You can change the current sync option for all the shapes, or all of one type of shape, in one go. :)

I think this should cover most requirements, but if not it will mean setting each shape individually.

Note that if you add further shapes, you would need to repeat the above -- the menu items are not option settings. It would be clearer if they were buttons, so I may change them.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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message ref: 2896

Paul Boyd

Member
Location
Loughborough, UK
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

I have added some more menu items in the next update:

View attachment 2472

You can change the current sync option for all the shapes, or all of one type of shape, in one go. :)

I think this should cover most requirements, but if not it will mean setting each shape individually.

cheers,

Martin.
That's brilliant, thank you! I'm sure that should cover every eventuality!
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
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Enjoy using Templot?
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

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Hi

Rotation and shifting works lovely ... I just can't save the background shapes:

View attachment 2474

:(

It's already 24-bit. The Image is 9650 x 7347 native dots.

The PC has 32Gb of RAM:

View attachment 2476
@richard_t

Hi Richard,

Oh :(

That's probably the XML engine for the BGS3 file format. The old SK81 format would likely have handled it fine. I was in two minds about changing it, but so many users couldn't grasp the concept of separate BGS and image files.

Try this:

shape_save.png


Save the image as a PNG file. Load any new small image into the picture shape. Save the BGS3 file.

After reloading the BGS3 file, load the PNG file back into the picture shape.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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richard_t

Member
Location
nr Spalding
Hi

Thanks - I'll try that. Might not be today, as I've reached an age when I can get a flu jab (actually I haven't quite yet, but will have by the end of March next year), so I've got that to look forward to today and I don't if people in the village are pulling my leg, but a few have said how bad they've been after it. Also Wednesday's is our puppy training night.

I did save the image to a separate file and exported the "placeholder" to DXF, so I did achieve what I wanted to do, but it would be "nice" to have the background shape in the right place on the plan. My fantasy/may-be reality layout is a multi-decked affair, and I wanted to see if I could fit in Chester-Northgate under Manchester Central, which I kind-of can*. If you ignore the goods yards around Central, CLC and GN (which I am in the layout), it's really quite surprising show small the Central site is/was. Chester Northgate is spread over a larger area - the premium of land I guess in Manchester being the cause.

* I'll be looking at "wrap along the control template..." next, another feature I've not used before.

I do have another "I wish it would", to do with DXF export, which I'll write up shortly.

Thanks, and all the best

Richard.
 
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