- Selecting Items Graphically
- Inspect Selected Objects
- Make Changes in Project Manager
- Making Group Changes
- Delete Objects
- Undo & Redo
- Use Unit Expressions (e.g. 1.0 + sin(PI/2.0))
- Use Ft-In-16th Expressions (e.g. 3' 4 5/16")
- Use Math Expressions
Selecting Items Graphically
You can select items normally just by clicking on them with your mouse in a Model, Result or Design view. A single click selects the item and unselects everything else. A single click on the 'background' will also unselect everything.
To select multiple items, hold the Ctrl key while clicking. (The Ctrl key lets you toggle the selection state of items without unselecting anything.)
To select a group of items in an area, you can drag a Selection Box by holding the mouse (primary button) and dragging the mouse.
Depending on the direction the Selection Box is drawn, two different selection behaviors result.
- Left to Right: Objects entirely inside the selection box are selected.
- Right to Left: Objects entirely and partially inside the selection box are selected.
If you cannot see an object to select it, you can use the Ctrl+F) feature to locate a model element by name. Clicking on an element listed in the Find Tool window (for a Model View) will also select the element so you can edit it and will zoom the Model View so you can see it. Double-clicking in the Find Tool will zoom the graphics to show that element.(
Inspect Selected Objects
Use the Modify tab in Project Manager to view the properties of one or more selected objects. If you have multiple types of objects selected, you can use the type selector near the top to choose which type of object to inspect. Objects have precedence as follows: nodes, members, plates, nodal loads, member loads, plate loads, areas, design groups, design meshes, and service load cases. The first type of selected object determines what is shown by default.
Make Changes in Project Manager
Once you are inspecting an object or group of objects with the Modify tab of Project Manager, you are in a position to make changes. The tool supports distinct types of editing as shown in the table. In each case, you should click the mouse once on a control to make it active—it will display a darkened border to indicate that it is active.
|Drop Down List||Click or use the spacebar to expose the choices, then click on a choice to select it. Click away from the list to leave it unchanged.|
or use the spacebar to toggle the option on
|3-State Check Box||Yes, No, and Varies! A gray box means that some of the selected objects have this setting on while others have it off. Grey means "don't change anything" or "some objects have one setting, some have the other". Setting or clearing the box will insure that all the objects have the same setting.|
|Text or Number||Click or use the spacebar to start editing. Type your value, expression or text into the box. This is a standard edit control, so you can use the clipboard, normal editing keys (Backspace, Delete, Shift+Arrows, etc.). It also has a context menu.|
|[…]||The three dots following a menu item indicates that selecting this item will open a dialog for more options.|
Sometimes you will make a change and you will get an error message indicating why the change failed. Often this is due to something simple, like forgetting to add units to a numerical value.
Making Group Changes
The Modify tab of Project Manager and most Edit dialogs support changes to a group of objects simultaneously. If multiple objects of the same type are selected, this is the behavior you will get.
On the Modify tab you will see some properties with the word "varies" to indicate that different objects have different values. You can replace this with a valid setting to change all the objects.
In Dialog boxes, you might see a control that is blank to indicate that different objects have different settings. If you enter a value or make a choice, it will be applied to the selected objects when you click the OK button.
To delete objects, you first need to select them. This can be done graphically or with the Find tool. Use thecommand or its keyboard shortcut (the Del key by default).
The default behavior will present a warning message to confirm the operation before the item is deleted. This warning message can be turned off through the Desktop item. Be aware that when you delete items, it may affect other items that you have created. The following sketch shows some, but not all of such "cascading" effects:dialog under the
Undo & Redo
VisualAnalysis keeps an unlimited record of changes to your model and loadings. You do not need to be afraid of making a mistake. Use the Edit | Redo command is also available in case you undo too much.command to trace back through these operations to undo the additions, deletions, or modifications. An
Some operations are not undoable, notably editing design group parameters or deleting design groups. Please use more caution with these items, until we get these into the undo system.
Be aware that certain operations will reset the undo history making it unavailable. Explicitly saving your project file and other complex or import operations will empty the undo and redo lists.
Use Unit Expressions
Most VisualAnalysis edit controls accept both a value and an optional associated physical unit. If you leave off the unit, the unit that was displayed previously is assumed. The unit displayed is controlled by thecommand and the type of value displayed. You may enter data using any of the built-in units. Here are the basic units supported in VisualAnalysis.
|Length||feet (ft), inches (in), millimeters (mm), centimeters (cm), meters (m), mixed feet, inches. (',")|
|Force||pounds (lb), kips (K), Newtons (N), kilonewtons (kN), kilogram force (kgf), and tons (t)|
|Temperature||degrees Fahrenheit (F), degrees Celsius (C)|
|Time||seconds (s), 1/seconds (Hz)|
Other physical quantities are based on these units and will use some practical combination. For example a moment may be expressed in K-ft or K-in, but not in K-mm.
Feet, Inches, and Fractions of an Inch
For length units you may also enter mixed feet, inches, and fractions if you use the tick or quotation mark characters. VisualAnalysis will recognize the following expressions:
- 13 ' 5 3/16 ", as 13.4223 ft, or 161.1875 in
- 2' 3 as 27 in
- 3 1/2" as 3.5 in
Use Math Expressions
Just about every place where you enter a number in VisualAnalysis you may also enter a mathematical expression. These boxes will accept expressions including arithmetic operators. Type in expressions as you would any value. Use parentheses () to control order of evaluation. If the value is a physical quantity, place the unit last.
|Operators||+, -, *, /, ^, (, )|
|Exponential Functions||LOG, EXP|
|Trigonometric Functions||SIN, COS, TAN, ASIN, ACOS, ATAN|
VisualAnalysis evaluates the expression and stores only the result. In Project Manager, expressions are evaluated immediately after you click away from the control. In a Dialog box, the expression stays around until you dismiss the dialog or press the F2 key to cause the expression to evaluate immediately.