GeneDavis

Top five hotkey setups! Name yours and why!

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I thought it might be interesting and useful for others, like me, that have and use few to none.

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Are you talking about OOB hotkeys too or custom only?  

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For flying through Electrical Plans:

S = Switch

O = outlet

L = lights

C = Connect

 

Roof plans:

2 = Join the Roof Planes

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I personally go through phases depending on what I seem to be doing a lot of during any given period of my life.  The top 5 that seem to have stood the test of time though and that I use all the time are:

Num+* ----> Place Point

Num+/ ---->  Rotate Resize About Current Point

Num+- ---->  Delete Temporary Points

 

Those first 3 are all on the number pad, they're all right next to each other, and they're all used together most of the time.  The / just reminds me of a rotating line so its easy to remember what it does.  The * looks like a point and its right there, and the - is a minus so I can easily remember its for subtracting things.  Again, I go through phases, and sometimes use hotkeys a lot, and sometimes not so much.  These ones though I think have stuck around because of how time consuming it would be to toggle in and out of those tools that are typically just used randomly and only for very quick operations throughout the day.  Hard to pick my last 2, but I guess they would probably be...

 

Shift + K for a Perspective Full Overview

L for the Line tool

 

I use a lot more hotkeys than that and I'm leaving out some of the obvious ones like the Space Bar, Copy, Paste, etc. since those are so universally used by almost everyone.  There are periods where I might use a hotkey to get in and out of CAD Block Management or Text Macro Management a ton, but the above 5 are probably my most commonly used and consistently hotkey based operations.

 

EDIT:  Just realizing...I think I probably use Control+Alt+V (Paste Hold Position) more than the line tool.  I probably actually use that single hotkey more than any other. 

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My most used hotkeys are for "Copy and Reflect About".  Let's face it...it's probably what we do more than anything when designing a new floor plan...or even creating roofs.

 

So...I use the number keypad;  

 

1-1 is for Copy;  0-1 is for "Reflect About".  I use my left hand so I don't have to take my hand off the mouse.  I do copy/reflect so fast I hardly even notice when I'm doing it...it's become rote for me.  

 

I also use the number keys at the top of my keyboard;  I have the following that I use all the time;  

 

1-1 for Line;  1-2 for polyline;  1-3 for Slab

 

I have set all my hotkeys to use two keystrokes...but, I may re-think this.  I like Michaels "L" for line...sort of makes sense doesn't it?

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Quote

I have set all my hotkeys to use two keystrokes...but, I may re-think this.  I like Michaels "L" for line...sort of makes sense doesn't it?

 
Except that it precludes you from using L as the first key in any other sequential shortcut.

The majority of my shortcuts are 2 letter sequential - I really dislike all simultaneous shortcuts.

 

My most often used are my sequential zoom shortcuts like

ZA Zoom All

ZW Zoom Window 

ZP Zoom Previous 

etc.

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8 hours ago, glennw said:

 

 
Except that it precludes you from using L as the first key in any other sequential shortcut.

The majority of my shortcuts are 2 letter sequential - I really dislike all simultaneous shortcuts.

 

OK...you lost me.  What do you mean by "simultaneous" shortcuts. 

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44 minutes ago, SNestor said:

 

OK...you lost me.  What do you mean by "simultaneous" shortcuts. 

Pressing two keys together instead of one after another

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1 hour ago, Renerabbitt said:

Pressing two keys together instead of one after another

 

Thanks.  

 

I didn't realize you could do that...such as;  pressing c and w simultaneously...for cabinet, wall?  Instead of pressing C then pressing W for Wall Cabinet.  

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10 minutes ago, SNestor said:

 

Thanks.  

 

I didn't realize you could do that...such as;  pressing c and w simultaneously...for cabinet, wall?  Instead of pressing C then pressing W for Wall Cabinet.  

More specifically I think Glenn was referring to hotkeys using modifiers vs hotkeys using character keys. Modifiers are simultaneous only, characters are sequential when no modifier keys are present. You can do a combination of the two as well.

There are enough combinations to perform all 1200 or so CA hotkeys

I have nearly 500 programmed into my touchpad

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My typical hotkey methodology, not only for Chief, but for all the software I use, is to:

1.  Learn and use built-in hotkeys whenever possible.

2.  When there is no built-in hotkey, try to affect existing hotkeys as little as possible with any new key binding.  Because of this, I use simultaneous hotkeys a lot and they usually involve Control, Alt, Shift, or some combination thereof.

3.  Only affect existing key bindings for the occasional sake of continuity across platforms or when an existing binding is just too unusual or inefficient for me.  Again though, I try to affect existing bindings as little as possible.  
 

The main reasons I use simultaneous vs. sequential is because sequential keys almost invariably affect existing bindings or render them useless whereas simultaneous keys can typically be set up to avoid this problem (usually using modifier keys as mentioned above).  And the main reasons I don’t like to affect existing hotkeys are because...

A.  Sometimes there’s is a very good and logical reason a program set a certain hotkey like they did, and I don’t always know what that reason is or that a good reason exists until it’s already done it’s damage.
B.  It makes communication with tech support, documentation, and other users far more effective since we’re more likely to be on the same page.  Troubleshooting, teaching, learning, and just picking up on random tips are all just a lot easier when we’re speaking the same language.

C.  Sometimes a hotkey is assigned to a tool that is accessible in no other way, and I don’t want to find that out the hard way.  This is sort of related to reason A I guess.

D.  Once you change one existing binding it’s easy to force yourself into slowly but surely re-mapping all the keys.  No reason to reinvent the wheel for most of us.

 

Now for high production hotkey-only users, it makes a lot more sense to just develop your own system.  Most users land way way outside that small

circle though.

 

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20 minutes ago, Alaskan_Son said:

A.  Sometimes there’s is a very good and logical reason a program set a certain hotkey like they did, and I don’t always know what that reason is or that a good reason exists until it’s already done it’s damage.

B.  It makes communication with tech support, documentation, and other users far more effective since we’re more likely to be on the same page.  Troubleshooting, teaching, learning, and just picking up on random tips are all just a lot easier when we’re speaking the same language.

C.  Sometimes a hotkey is assigned to a tool that is accessible in no other way, and I don’t want to find that out the hard way.  This is sort of related to reason A I guess.

amen to that, I only recently reset the defaults for hotkeys after picking up some tips in a video by Rene with shortcuts editing CAD (ie. holding F for fillet or C for concentric resize)that no longer worked as the defaults intended.

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Good topic Gene!   Interesting reading.  
To me this subject touches on a huge plane of thought related to how software has developed over the years.
Having fairly closely followed the forum for the last year I know I am among a fairly sizable group of people who came to CA from other cad software, primarily AutoCad and similar.
When I began using AutoCad the GUI was pretty much just pull down lists of operations, there were no cute little clickable icons littering the screen.  To be productive I learned to use hot keys for literally everything. Probably highly influenced by my gaming usage (DOD), from the get-go I developed my own system of hot-keys that kept my right hand on the mouse and left hand at the home keys as much as possible.  Over the years those icon bars kept getting bigger and bigger in annual updates and I would just turn off 95% or more of them.  To me, it was all just fluff to hog up precious space on the small monitors of the day.  Because of not giving in to the icons, when I worked at some offices later other users were in awe of the speed which I could draft.  Honestly, I don't say this as a boast, just to express the power of hot-keys.  


Fast-forward past the '08 melt-down, now working for myself and coming to CA I wasn't able to just set AutoCad aside and spend a couple months learning CA from the ground up before becoming productive.  Having to learn CA while also using AutoCad, it was an easy decision for me to abandon CA's hot-key system for something as similar to my AutoCad system as possible.   This though highlights to me one of my pet-peeves with CA's hot-key operation.  With AutoCad I could have any single lettered key used once 'R', twice 'RR', thrice 'RRR' etc., because it was necessary to 'enter' after a typed input. Before dismissing that 'enter' as luggage on a fast hot key, realize it is exceedingly fast and easy because a click of the mouse or spacebar can be set to operate as 'enter'.  So a whole world of commands could be controlled from my left hand at home position.  With CA I am crippled into using icons for far more than I would like because in order to create 'what I consider' logical hot keys, I must use 2 and 3 key hotkey (sequential) commands in order to get more commands from a key.  Like Glenn I dislike modifier/simultaneous hotkey commands, to me they require too much contortion.  

 

IF you're starting from scratch and don't already have a hot-key system, I think Michael offers sage advice in using the system that's already set up.  But my basic theory for hot-keys is to use keys which are easily associated with a given function and also are easy to access with my left hand at the home-key position.  You can only go so far with logical connection and still keep your hand at the home keys, but if you build your system with commands you use frequently and begin using them right away after you assign them, you will learn them remarkably fast.

For instance we have a whole pull-down menu associated with BUILD.  So start with the B key, then add to it.  Build-Wall-Exterior... 'BWE'.  Though 'BWI' would be logical for Build-Wall-Interior, I can't reach 'I' without taking my hand away from home position or off of the mouse.  In that case if we had command-enter input I could just use BW for Build-Wall-Interior. Since we don't have that option, I use BWW.   Then I have Build-Window... 'BWD', Build-Door 'BDR', etc.
For Cad commands since it is Drawing instead of Building, I start with a D key.  Draw-Rectangle DRR, Draw-Crossbox DRX, Draw-Line... again, the L in 'DL' is a reach so instead 'DF' from Fence which is like a line.   
Dimension commands all have 3-letters and start with 'DD'.  

 

Okay, sorry you didn't ask for all that.. LOL.. but that's the 'system'. 
 Here's the most common I use.  I didn't limit to just the top 5 because they're probably the most common for everyone (cut, paste, undo... yada yada)
 

CC - Copy
CX - Center Object
DS - Tape Measure (Cad hold-over from 'Distance')

VV- Paste hold position
MM- Reflect about (Mirror)
SW- Selection by Window
SX- Selection by Crossing
SF- Selection by Fence
TT- Rich Text  (Because TR is Trim)
Q - Leader Line

XX- Point to Point move
ZE - Zoom Extents

 

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Okay, as this topic is garnering more and more elaborate setups, I'll share mine.

I have 3/4 of the available tools programmed to a hotkey touchpad interface...but my absolute favorite by far is one that changes the active saved plan view with one button on my touch pad. It took a bit of scripting to get it to work but man is it a time saver...changing plan views in under a second. For plan view 16, it mouse-clicks the drop down, hits page up, then pressing the down arrow key 15 times, etc.

image.thumb.png.ce328d29b202b9161d592feef92003e2.png

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Oh for crying out loud Rene, you're so behind the times! 
I just programmed myself a synaptic helmet and don't even have to touch a thing, I just think of what I want and it happens.
Seriously though.. you're a mad-man.

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38 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

Okay, as this topic is garnering more and more elaborate setups, I'll share mine.

I have 3/4 of the available tools programmed to a hotkey touchpad interface...but my absolute favorite by far is one that changes the active saved plan view with one button on my touch pad. It took a bit of scripting to get it to work but man is it a time saver...changing plan views in under a second. For plan view 16, it mouse-clicks the drop down, hits page up, then pressing the down arrow key 15 times, etc.

image.thumb.png.ce328d29b202b9161d592feef92003e2.png

 

Here are the labels that I insert under the clear plastic covers of my Keys on X Keys

XKeys labels Chief Arch.pdf

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15 minutes ago, Electromen said:

 

Here are the labels that I insert under the clear plastic covers of my Keys on X Keys

XKeys labels Chief Arch.pdf

Why not print the actual icons? :)

In PC:

Program Files/Chief Architect/Chief Architect Premier X12 (64 Bit)/Resources/Buttons/

Not sure about Mac, use finder to search "Buttons"

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54 minutes ago, DzinEye said:

Oh for crying out loud Rene, you're so behind the times! 
I just programmed myself a synaptic helmet and don't even have to touch a thing, I just think of what I want and it happens.
Seriously though.. you're a mad-man.

Ha, I wish! but then again your helmet would probably 'splode my computer on those rough days :angry::angry:

The sad part is, I found a better DIY touch interface, I have to program it all over again...if I ever get around to it, anyone could download it to ios and have it work ootb

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I use an old Logitech G13 programmable keypad.

 

I have it set up as full 10 key with foot and inch symbols.  (makes trying in ft in soooo much easier)

 

I also have floor plan and roof mode.


Floor plan and copy, paste, copy past in place, point to point.


I have a roof plan the has join roof planes, roof break and cant remember what else.

 

I use a gaming mouse that has prog buttons with open Dbx for selected item, or select next .  I think I have shirt and ctrl on there but I usually use keyboard.


There is a new(er) usb prog keypad out with little led screens on each button.  Was thinking of trying it,  Maybe when I start using x12.   Just stuck in my current mode.

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3 hours ago, VisualDandD said:

I have it set up as full 10 key with foot and inch symbols.  (makes trying in ft in soooo much easier)

I have a Genovation ControlPad CP24 programmed with the same - works great; much quicker using the left hand for the 10 key with the extra programmable buttons. Still use some hotkeys though - Ctrl G for center object is a favorite. I have Ctrl E set up on the keypad; that's another one I use extensively. I wish I had ordered the 48 key version keypad instead of the 24 key. Maybe next time.

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So Gene...  Did you start using any hot-keys ?

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Slightly off the core topic but for shortcuts I've recently starting experimenting with a Stream Deck XL  as this latest and largest version finally has enough keys (32) to make it generally useful for the software I use.  Previously I've used ever more complex key combinations or larger keyboards with more user definable keys. 

 

Compared to a small touch screen keyboard it provides tactile feedback which I find helps avoid miss keying and yet with the LCD underneath saves making labels for everything and of course it can still switch icons/functions per application.

 

It's still early days and not fully set it up for Chief but for me seems another step in productivity for some applications.  I am left handed but use it right handed next to my 3D Connexion mouse in chief so half the time I barely need to move my right hand to use it. For other apps I find the distance to move for it is still better than the both hand/multiple key press shortcuts some tools use.

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I'm interested by all the responses from keypad and touchpad users.  I remember when those came out and thought it seemed like a cool idea, but at the same time it just seemed like moving the icons from the screen to another keyboard...e.g., not really saving much time/hand movement.   Plus with a keypad it seems you get one function per key, whereas with hotkeys you can get a large number of functions from a limited number of keys by the ability to do combinations.  While you probably could do that with a keypad too I guess?...but if so, then why when you already have a keyboard at hand?   

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