September 08, 2012

ACA: Grip Editing of Doors and Windows with Standard Sizes

One nice feature of AutoCAD® Architecture is that you can assign standard sizes to Doors and Windows. This allows the user to select a standard size from a list of the sizes entered into the Style, saving time and minimizing the potential for error.
Better still, when grip editing an instance of a Style with standard sizes, the inital default is to restrict the grip edit to one of the values that is part of a standard size. Does that mean that you cannot use such a style to create a non-standard size Door or Window? No. You can always use the Properties palette to enter a non-standard Width or Height. But you can also use grip editing to do so.

Given the wide range of things that grips on AEC objects can do, I highly recommend turning on grip tips, if you do not already have them on. Check the toggle in the Grips area on the Selection tab of the Options dialog or set the GRIPTIPS system variable to 1.
With grip tips enabled, if you select an AEC object and hover over a grip, you will get a tip on how that grip can be used. In the image below, a Window has been placed, using one of the standard sizes assigned to its Style. The Window has been selected, and the cursor is hovering over the grip, but the grip has not been selected (made "hot") yet.
The first line of the grip tip (yellow box) indicates that the Width and Height of this Window are currently a standard size*. The rest of the tip tells you that you have two options when using this grip - either stretching to a Standard Width (the initial default, as it is first on the list) or to a Custom Width - and that you can toggle between the two by pressing the CTRL key. If you start with a Window that has a Width and Height which are not paired as a standard size, the grip tip is nearly identical, with the exception that the first line indicates that the Window is currently a Custom Width*. The initial default remains to stretch to a Standard Width.
Many AEC grips have more than one state or function, and the tip provides a handy reminder of what those are and how to activate them. In general, the CTRL key is used to toggle through the available options.

When you first make the grip hot, you will be restricted to stretching the grip to a standard Width, as defined in the Style. ACA will display a series of lines, indicating the places to which you will be permitted to stretch the Window or Door. You can stretch to any Width that is part of a standard size, even if it is not paired with the current Height as a standard size. To show this graphically, "long" gray lines are used to indicate Widths that are paired with the current Height in a standard size, and "short" red lines are used to indicate Widths that are part of at least one standard size, but which are not paired with the current height in one. A grip tip will appear to remind you of this, if grip tips are active.

If you press the CTRL key once after making the grip hot (but before left clicking to select a stretch point), you will be able to stretch the grip without any restriction.

* - Unfortunately, if the current Window Width and Height are not a standard size, the tip for the Width grip will read "Custom Width", even if that Width does appear in the standard size list, paired with a different Height. The tip really should read "Standard Size" or "Custom Size", to be less confusing. NOTE: Images in this post were made using ACA 2010. Other versions may have slightly different graphics or text.

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