Joe_Carrick

Why We Have So Many Questions On These Forums

Recommended Posts

Greg,

 

No, I'm just trying to think of better ways to make all the info available.  ie: easier to find and/or understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark - good post.

 

Why are there some many questions?  Because there are so many ANSWERS!   ;o)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great way to learn and head-off issues when under the gun is I go through the MOST complex jobs I have completed and think "how to do that in Chief?". I read the Forum and find solutions to these and add them to my Evernote "wiki" for my easy searching later...  Chief basically needs a "Best Practices" Wikipedia that once built is editable by a few...

 

Chief is NOT a program to learn (re-learn for me) under pressure.. It's the reason I left before (X1)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many questions (in some cases - Why can't I......) posted here.  Many (and I really think most) of these questions result in an answer of "You Can".

 

There are several reasons for all these questions:

 

1.  It's easier to just ask than to go searching the help files or searching the Forums for previous answers.

2.  Most of the time someone will answer the query so the person asking the question is not encouraged to search.

3.  This software is very complex - with many different ways of doing something, but not necessarily the same way as other software such as AutoCAD.

4.  Few new users take the time to view the training videos, study the help docs, etc.

5.  There are several "Hidden Handshakes" that even experienced users may be unaware of - things that get you into an edit mode that you didn't know about.

 

There are probably a lot more reasons, but I believe the 5 above are the main culprits.  What do we do about it?  What can we?  Should we?

Chief has become overly complicated with many areas with big holes which adds to the problem.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greg,

 

No, I'm just trying to think of better ways to make all the info available.  ie: easier to find and/or understand.

I understand now.  I agree that the training videos are disorganized and sometimes for older versions of CA.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I can assure you that no engineer here is laughing when you hit one of the land mines or speed bumps in Chief that confuse you. Quite the opposite is true. In some cases your confusion keeps our engineers up at night worrying about how to make things better.

 

The best thing to do when you hit one of these issues is to let us know. Suggestions is a good place to do this on this forum. But if you are talking to anyone here on the phone or in person you are encouraged to mention these things as well. You can always drop our support team an email as well.

 

An example: For a long time we had a common question on our forum. "Why are my lines not connecting?" This was generally because the program was in the Edit Object Parts mode. What we did was add an icon that floats along next to your cursor that matched the Edit Object Parts icon. The nearly eliminated the questions about this and a few other cases that were common states that you could get into that had behavior that you normally don't want.

 

When we can we like to fix these issues.

 

The best way to keep these annoyances visible is to continue to comment about them.

 

Thanks for the good suggestions on how to improve Chief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doug,

       Are you working on arrows disconnecting from macros, it sure would be nice. I would like to use macro's for stairs and headers but I can't because somewhere along the line they disconnect and I get the dreaded "evaluation error" on the printed plan (embarrassing ). Those pages are expensive to re print. Also happens with annotating a header in the framing plans. If we just didn't need the arrow, it would really be nice. Other than that I can't use them as they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chief has become overly complicated with many areas with big holes which adds to the problem.

 

I agree with this.  Chief is the most un-intuitive app i've ever spent money on.  Taking the "lines" connecting issue that Doug mentions is actually a fairly good example.  

 

In most apps i've used, lines don't connect unless you want them to connect by operation or specific poly tool - or even if you start to create lines that turn into poly shapes (like in Autocad) you have instant control over individual lines or ploy creation.  In Chief, they have a line tool that automatically connects (regardless if you are drawing contiguously or individually) unless you are in a "mode" so you can then draw or modify individual lines.  Instead of having a line tool and poly tool, Chief seeks to place you in an overall mode where you have to track being in or out of said mode.  Even if this was somehow logical to Chief (which I think its not), the fact most apps don't operate this way causes an unfamiliar orientation to occur - and yet Chief gains no real efficiency in their approach... you still have 2 buttons to do 2 different things.  Pointless and illogical method IMO.

 

...but there are many examples like this.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonny,

 

I don't get it.

What's wrong with drawing a continuous line (individual lines - not a polyline) using the Edit Object Parts mode. 

You get the graphical indication at the cursor that you are drawing individual lines and not a polyline - how simple is that.

What's the difference between having a "mode" or a separate tool - same thing in my book (maybe even better to have the mode - then there is only one tool).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for you feedback Johnny.

 

I do agree that how we draw lines is different than what is traditionally done in CAD programs.

 

I think that there is value in adding a tool that draws lines that won't connect with each other.

 

We continue to attempt to make Chief work better so any holes in the program that you see are things that we want to hear about.

 

Again thank you for your feedback. It is the interaction with and response to our customers to improve the program that has made Chief as good as it is and will continue to make it better in versions to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonny,

 

I don't get it.

What's wrong with drawing a continuous line (individual lines - not a polyline) using the Edit Object Parts mode. 

You get the graphical indication at the cursor that you are drawing individual lines and not a polyline - how simple is that.

What's the difference between having a "mode" or a separate tool - same thing in my book (maybe even better to have the mode - then there is only one tool).

 

Chief is laced with mode entering or having to draw certain items in certain views or the functionality (even simple rotation) doesn't work.  For me, I have to hire outside help for many of my projects, and those people are coming from main-stream apps which don't have this type of behavior.  All these proprietary methods makes Chief very difficult to pickup for new users.  Even my partner, who is an architect in his 70's was able to quickly learn and operate Vectorworks after spending most his life from graphite/vellum to AutoCad (+ Sketchup) - but to this day is completely lost trying to use CA, and now refuses.

 

From a position of knowing CA inside and out, perhaps the "mode" method to lines/poly is as-good.  However, I bet if you took 1000 architects/designers who use other apps and asked how they "thought" Chief would go about making a poly and editing lines, I bet 100% of them would NOT (assume) it would require entering a mode. If this was Chief's only particularity, it wouldn't be bad.  Unfortunately, this is just one of many.

 

Having used Chief Architect and Vectorworks/AutoCad/Sketchup I can tell you I feel drawing in Chief isn't even on the same scale to the other apps.  As an example in this case, in Vectorworks I can have multiple free forming lines and then "lift" any poly I want from any section of those intersecting lines....leaving the lines in tact.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points. At some point it probably makes sense to create some sort of compatibility mode for editing that mimics the more common methods established by CAD vendors prior to the advent of affordable personal computers. Although, for some coming from a non CAD world our input methods are likely to be more intuitive as they tend to follow techniques pioneered by Apple and other late comers to the interactive input of lines into a computer.

 

I think having options here is the best solution, especially given our very large, and generally somewhat satisfied, customer base that is used to our input methods.

 

When I redid the editing engine for X1, I considered the ramifications of doing this. At the time it seemed like the design of our editing engine was amenable to supporting other editing techniques, although it would require a great deal of testing and tweaking to make sure that nothing is lost.

 

As we get more and more people using Chief that are coming from the OtherCAD world having a compatibility mode is becoming more important to ease the transition. At the same time we don't want to force this on anyone who is used to and likes our current editing methods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having used Chief Architect and Vectorworks/AutoCad/Sketchup I can tell you I feel drawing in Chief isn't even on the same scale to the other apps.  As an example in this case, in Vectorworks I can have multiple free forming lines and then "lift" any poly I want from any section of those intersecting lines....leaving the lines in tact.

 

Johnny,

 

If I read you correctly, this is very easy to do in Chief.

Turn on Edit Object Parts, select the line segments, copy, paste.

If you want to form a continuous polyline from the segments, leave them selected, click Extend Objects, click in the plan.

 

I am sure I would have a very hard time doing this in any of the other cad programs - horses for courses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that in Chief I really don't use much cad at all, isn't that the reason I switched from a cad program in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johnny,

 

If I read you correctly, this is very easy to do in Chief.

Turn on Edit Object Parts, select the line segments, copy, paste.

If you want to form a continuousarrow-10x10.png polyline from the segments, leave them selected, click Extend Objects, click in the plan.

 

I am sure I would have a very hard time doing this in any of the other cad programsarrow-10x10.png - horses for courses.

 

Just a comment on this GW.  I do not remember the last time I cared if the lines were connected.  I am sure there are times when I  would want them disconnected,  and that is easy enough to do.

 

As I think about it,  I think the behavior as it is works is best for me.  I do not need to select 2 lines,  just the one,  and I can change the location of intersection of two lines at the same time.

 

Yep,  I don't know why I would care if connected.......  but if  CA can fix this for those users who want lines disconnected,  that would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that in Chief I really don't use much cad at all, isn't that the reason I switched from a cad program in the first place.

Yep,  great minds think alike,  and between the two of us,  we are half way there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott,

 

Yep,  I don't know why I would care if connected.......  but if  CA can fix this for those users who want lines disconnected,  that would be great.

 

 

Can you explain what you mean - I don't understand. I haven't had my pill today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott,

 

 

Can you explain what you mean - I don't understand. I haven't had my pill today.

If I knew what I meant I would explain it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Scott & Perry.  I use very little CAD, even for details.  I do/did use it for Layout Templates and of course for Text Objects.  For me, Chief's CAD Tools work fine.  In fact I don't even remember how the older stuff worked and I don't care.

 

I can accomplish anything I want with Chief's CAD Tools and the only thing I really need is for CA to get Multi-line Labels & Ruby attributes for everything, Stairs, Railings, 3D editing improvements, and the 5000 other things on their list fixed by XX.  ;):P:rolleyes::wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the software just doesn't think how I think, it's really not intuitive for me. Right now I am swimming in mud trying to understand floor heights/defaults/basements/foundations. This might be because I'm in the UK and we build slightly differently and call some things by different names, but you know, a picture would sometimes save 1000 words...

 

The documentation is very poor. I always look at the manual first but it's so basic it rarely helps. I simply don't know what CA means in its dialogue boxes, for example, "floor under this room". Floor could mean another storey or it could mean a built floor? "Floor" has more than one meaning, so it's confusing.

 

There's no live help. I would pay for the ability to instantly have some guru take over my screen and he could just click away as he talked me through it. Probably only take 10 minutes, job done. But when I need help NOW, I simply can't wait for a group online tutorial in two weeks or wade through countless videos hoping my precise problem might be covered.

 

Time is money and searching, reading watching, trying - often fruitlessly - costs me a tonne.

 

Also, the old forum seemed to have a lot more useful history, I rarely find anything useful in the new one and then end up going to the older one - more time wasted.

 

It's not like I'm completely stupid. I'm educated to post-graduate level and measured as top 1% of graduates in verbal critical reasoning (i.e. understanding stuff).

 

Once you know how with CA it's OK, but stepping out of your/CA's comfort zone is frequently a costly nightmare.

 

Sorry if this sounds negative, but this should be a mature product by now and I'm having a bad CA day today and have projects piling up!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for your frustration. Terminology is hard in the building industry because it varies greatly, even within the US there is a lot of inconsistency. Throw in the potential confusion of differences in terminology in the UK and it gets a lot worse.

 

We do provide personal training. Check this link out:

 

http://www.chiefarchitect.com/training/personal-training.html

 

Plus this forum has a lot of very helpful people that usually can answer your questions.

 

We want you to be successful with the program. If you do have any specific comments about terminology differences and design differences that we should be aware of please let us know, either on our suggestions forum or you can also contact our support team.

 

I have noticed that we have a lot more overseas customers using Chief these days which leads me to want to spend more time understanding your specific needs.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There isnt a way for me to defend or argue someone's preference - so I shouldn't even try.  I would say my greater point is the fact Chief's method doesn't come naturally to people transitioning from other apps.  There are some things which Chief does so well, its worthwhile to learn.....so I personally agree Chief should do what it does, how it does it, in those instances.

 

However, there are things which probably make no, or little, difference to users - perhaps like lines (as an example we've come upon).  If Chief simply used the common line making methods of most CAD apps, it would bring it just that much closer to being more user friendly for those transitioning from other apps.

 

Another point to bring up (as it effected my office), we had 4 people who didn't know Chief well - but wanted to start to integrate this app for real production drawings.  Our learning of CA would happen gradually, and sometimes to complete projects within deadlines, drawing lines was all we needed for our 2D building plan sets.  We could use Chief modeling for a majority of the items, but if we needed to say place lines on the drawings to make them readable in their final form....until the time came we could properly model.  Due to the uniqueness of nearly all the features in CA, it made things harder than they needed to be IMO....and I am the only one left in our small office working in CA.  The others quit.

 

We all know CA is the best app out there for modeling residential projects - yet its also one of the least used.  There has to be reasons for this, and I feel one of them is this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the software just doesn't think how I think, it's really not intuitive for me. Right now I am swimming in mud trying to understand floor heights/defaults/basements/foundations. This might be because I'm in the UK and we build slightly differently and call some things by different names, but you know, a picture would sometimes save 1000 words...

 

The documentation is very poor. I always look at the manual first but it's so basic it rarely helps. I simply don't know what CA means in its dialogue boxes, for example, "floor under this room". Floor could mean another storey or it could mean a built floor? "Floor" has more than one meaning, so it's confusing.

 

There's no live help. I would pay for the ability to instantly have some guru take over my screen and he could just click away as he talked me through it. Probably only take 10 minutes, job done. But when I need help NOW, I simply can't wait for a group online tutorial in two weeks or wade through countless videos hoping my precise problem might be covered.

 

Time is money and searching, reading watching, trying - often fruitlessly - costs me a tonne.

 

Also, the old forum seemed to have a lot more useful history, I rarely find anything useful in the new one and then end up going to the older one - more time wasted.

 

It's not like I'm completely stupid. I'm educated to post-graduate level and measured as top 1% of graduates in verbal critical reasoning (i.e. understanding stuff).

 

Once you know how with CA it's OK, but stepping out of your/CA's comfort zone is frequently a costly nightmare.

 

Sorry if this sounds negative, but this should be a mature product by now and I'm having a bad CA day today and have projects piling up!

 

Very well put.  You nail my personally feelings on it as well.

 

I was schooled and trained in lines/angles/shapes/form/perspectives/scale etc to produce working drawings - lines and fills to denote objects and structure.  Chief is objects/settings/menus/methods/sequence etc to make lines/angles/shapes/form/perspectives/scale etc.  The way Chief does it is fine and probably a good way to design using BIM like process, and I am sure new designers/architects will be better trained for this transition in the future.  However, I think there are many ways Chief can make this transition more friendly and intuitive.

 

I fully get that once you get to a certain ability level in this app, it all makes sense. Its just the getting there that can be challenging when you are having to do this in a real work environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johnny,

 

Your explanation is pretty vague, so it's almost impossible to know what problems you encountered and what you couldn't get modeled adequately.  Perhaps if you could be specific we could help.  I know that I use some techniques for details that make it possible for me to create a lot of a detail in a CAD window that is dimensionally accurate without actually drawing any lines at all.

 

Of course, I did at one time use Chief's CAD tools to create some CAD Blocks which I have in my Detail Template.  Those things make all the difference since my details are put together in 2D almost exactly as the 3D model is put together in 3D.  Using Chief, there's almost nothing that I need to do in CAD for Plan, Elevation & Section Views.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    27831
    Total Members
    6254
    Most Online
    Talal1975
    Newest Member
    Talal1975
    Joined