Beginner Questions


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I feel like I'm learning to crawl again. Just installed Chief Primer Trial.
Have looked at many videos on the Internet & from Chief.

I guess I missed the Chief 101 video.
Open a sample plan & find myself in Layout #1.
How do you get back to Model Space? (If that is what you all call it)

In a new template file I want my default wall to be 5/8 stucco + 7-5/8 CMU + 3/4 furring strips @ 16" o.c. + 1/2 drywall
I found all but the furring strips, although I added a 3/4 air space/ insulation which will work for the trial but not for future BIM

I have a window I adjusted to my liking & want to update existing windows (Match Properties)
How do I copy the properties of that window to other windows?

Are there any preferances that you would suggest changeing?

One thing I prefer is to pick a start point & then pick an end point but you must pick & drag to draw a wall.
Can that behavior be changed?

When you hit Escape the current task is ended & you are put in the previous task mode.
I prefer to be returned to the Pick mode on any Escape. Can that be changed?

I want to change all text & dimensions to use Arial Narrow. Can you do a global change?


BTW I am a Autocad user which may not be in my favor for transitioning to Chief. I tried Envisioneer, even bought it but returned it at the 30 day mark.
There were too many work arounds in the basic text, dimension & CAD work areas. The basic drafting environment was too clumsy for me.
Hoping Chief will be more to my liking.

Thanks in Advance

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The biggest issue I've seen with AutoCAD users adapting to Chief has mostly to do with changing how one thinks about designing.

 

First, you are drawing 3D things, not lines. This seems obvious and is probably something that you already understand, but until you actually get a feel for what you are doing it can lead you to want things that you are familiar with. One good way of helping this sink in a bit is to keep a 3D over view open while you are drawing in a plan just to see how things are progressing.

 

Second, editing is different. We generally do the click drag release thing instead of click release, drag, click release. So it takes a bit to get used to. However, if you use the alternate input for drawing lines and walls (Right click drag release, drag, click release, drag, click release) you get into a mode that may seem a bit more comfortable.

 

Third there are lots of things features in Chief that are called by different names than similar tools in AutoCAD. This is due to a very independent development evolution. 

 

We seem to be seeing more and more AutoCAD users coming our way. It may make some sense for us to work on at least a getting started for AutoCAD users. Perhaps others who have been through this can add some advice to this thread.

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I have started using CA recently and love it. Previously I was using Autocad Architecture with the add-on VisionRez (both 3d programs) and have to go back to it for some projects that are close but not finished. The transition has actually be easier than I thought, so far at least. However, today is an example of working on 2 projects....one in CA and one in VisionRez ....and the method of drawing walls, short-cut keys, different ways to access similar commands has my fingers a little confused. But CA is totally worth it to me.

 

I plan to modify and add some short-cut keys in CA to match my habits.

I can relate to the original poster's comment on the way escape works in CA. Many times I cancel out of my command in CA, not intending to do so.

I suggest reading the user's guide and the reference manual, as well as exploring the menus, toolbars, and right-click menus in CA.

 

As I think of other things that may help others transitioning I will post, as well as follow this thread for information that may help me.

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"I guess I missed the Chief 101 video."

 

There is a pretty good overview video that covers all of the basics on the main video page.  It's almost an hour long but well worth watching.  Several times.

 

"When you hit Escape the current task is ended & you are put in the previous task mode.  I prefer to be returned to the Pick mode on any Escape. Can that be changed?"

 

Try using the space bar instead.

 

"I want to change all text & dimensions to use Arial Narrow. Can you do a global change?"

 

You should be able to modify all of the text styles in your plan defaults.  Actually, you will probably want to modify lots of things in the plan defaults and then save it as your own template plan so that new plans can use your defaults.  See if you can find a training video on templates for an overview.

 

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Thanks for the replies, good info all.

 

I am using Arch-T in ACAD which is a 2D & 3D program & had no problem understanding Envisioneer.

All the buttons in ACAD are familiar to me but all Chief buttons are new so I realize it will take some time & I'm persistant.

 

Back to the text, I wanted to do a global style change & save as a template not having to go to every style & change to Arial.

If it was ACAD I would write a LISP to do all the work. :)

 

Thanks again.

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You cannot change the default font for everything globally. You must change the font in each & every text style & your rich text defaults. Sounds cumbersome & it is, but it should only take 5-10mins or so to do.
Get your text styles & annotation defaults all created & set up (Defaults/Dimensions & Defaults/Text, Callouts & Markers) & then put together your annotation sets using the defaults you created.
A default plan font has been suggested several x's already. Maybe we'll get it in X7.

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Chief leverages defaults for a lot of things. Consider that in Chief, with the defaults set correctly 4 points in space are all that is necessary to build a 4 wall house complete with roof and foundation. A half dozen more points and you have windows and doors. If your defaults are set up correctly for the model you want to build the amount of data input required for a simple model is less than what it would take to draw the lines in 2D for a typical single wall with doors and windows in it.

 

Of course this requires planning ahead.

 

Also for changing lots of stuff don't forget about group select and also the filtering options that you get when a tool is selected. For example if you have the text tool selected and you marquee select all you pick up is text objects. At that point you can modify many properties of everything you have selected at once. 

 

But for text, use text styles, it's easier and plan wide.

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Thanks for the replies.

I have explored the defaults & preference's and set a few to my liking.

I see the mouse middle wheel pan function does not work while within a command. Quite a disappointment.

 

While in Orthographic floor overview, when started you can orbit the view but when stopped I can't seem to find how to restart the orbit function?

 

Ugh, looks like no spell check in this forum, I'm in trouble. :huh:

 

In the orthographic views how do you do a cut wall view where the walls are at perhaps 1/2 there height?

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I think you are getting your cart a little bit ahead of the horse.  You need to go check out the library and click on each category to see what is there.  You can also type in what you are looking for in the search box and if it is there, Chief will give you all that fits the description.  You'll probably get a bunch of stuff you don't need depending on what you type in the search box.  Here's where the fixtures (plumbing) are found:

 

post-191-0-20733400-1409944343_thumb.jpg

 

Welcome to using Chief.  You should just buy the program and get on board ... I think you'll like it.  If not, you have a 30-day period to give it (the full Premier version) a good test drive.  Just be prepared to put in lots of time to learn what's there.  You'll learn best by doing it yourself.  With the Premier purchase and SSA you'll have access all of Chief's videos.  And don't forget to look through the Help Database articles  ... lots of good stuff there as well.

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You should learn how to make you own symbols within Chief or with Sketchup (I prefer Chief myself - others prefer Sketchup).  As an alternative, you can download symbols form other sources including 3DWarehouse.

 

There will always be some symbols that aren't in the Chief Libraries - but you can add as many to the User Library as you want.  I currently at least a couple of thousand - which I've organized in sub-folders.  That's one of the great things about Chief - you can add and customize to the way you work and what you need.

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I found the way to import a ADA Unisex Restroom picture & then applied it to a frame. Sweet.

I purchased chief yesterday so I could save my work. I am working on a small doctors office 39' x 91'

The interior went well & I even created a walk through. (need some more work :)

I was going to do this project as a parallel to my ACAD but looks like I can do the project in Chief.

Only problem I see is getting the exterior correct.

Looks like room labels are not totally controllable. I labeled all rooms & the small ones were too small for the labels.

I scaled them in some cases & closets & mep room I did not want the dimensions or area so I had to hide the label & create a text object.

Two of the room labels have disappeared twice so I have to go back & turn them on again. What's up with that?

And the Living Area Label keeps returning to it's place of origin, moved it 5 time already. Frustrating.

 

Off to do some electrical :)

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And the Living Area Label keeps returning to it's place of origin, moved it 5 time already. Frustrating.

 

yes, it is and has been since I started with ver 9.5

 

there have been recent threads about this and the solution is to turn off the display

then use a macro to display the info

 

Lew

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Ugh, looks like no spell check in this forum, I'm in trouble. :huh:

 

Not sure what OS and web browser you are using but for me in Windows 8.1, both IE and Google Chrome web browsers are quick to alert me when I do 'creative' spelling on this forum...

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Use the Living Area Macro and it will stay where you place it. 

Using Fire Fox & does spell check on most forums but here it doesn't.

 

Yes, exploring macro now as I set up my title block, but haven't found where to get the living area macro yet.

Is there a list of macros some where?

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Using Fire Fox & does spell check on most forums but here it doesn't.

 

Yes, exploring macro now as I set up my title block, but haven't found where to get the living area macro yet.

Is there a list of macros some where?

 

Open a Text Specification dbx.

Insert Macro...Global..Plan Info...Living Area

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