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23 May 2011 14:53


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Summary of the main changes in Templot since version 091c of February 2008

  • support for irregular diamond-crossings and curviform ladders

  • platforms can be added alongside track templates

  • check rails can now be individually set and adjusted by mouse action

  • sketchboard layout drawing function

  • rail foot edge lines can be shown on FB templates (flat-bottom rails)

  • print menu renamed output menu

  • output in diagram mode -- solid colour infill between stock rail edges
    Important: not available for partial templates if stock rails omitted -- temporarily lay plain track templates across complex formations to create diagram-mode output.

  • output to PDF files, including large single pages for roll-paper poster printing

  • export to bitmap image files in PNG, GIF, JPG, BMP formats

  • export to vector image metafiles in EMF, WMF formats

  • easy capture of screenshots to PNG files

  • print now! function to bypass printer setup and calibration

  • background picture shapes -- support for PNG, JPG, GIF image formats

  • background picture shapes -- images saved in the BGS folder in SK8 format

  • background picture shapes -- images can be wrapped along the control template

  • additional top tool buttons: "beginner buttons" for the most common mouse actions

  • F9 mouse action adjusts V-crossing angle only, F10 adjusts K-crossing angle only

  • There is a new adjustable option and CTRL+F12 mouse action for the turnout-road exit,
    and the turnout road options have been moved from the do menu to the geometry menu

  • support for gaunt turnouts and gauntletted track

  • a dummy vehicle can be placed on the control template and adjusted to check and measure running clearances

  • notch on intersection functions

  • trackbed edges are now template-specific and saved in BOX file

  • trackbed edges can now show ballast edge and cess

  • program preferences can be saved across sessions

  • new file viewer function to browse saved template data .box files

  • rollback register (undo / re-do changes) now includes template name and memo

  • low-memory mode removed

  • on-screen refresh mode removed

  • startup dialogs simplified

  • storage box searching -- find template by name, sort group templates, find and group templates by name

  • storage box -- move to top or bottom buttons added, move up/down buttons repeat if held down

  • stored templates now have a fixed ID number in addition to an optional name. The ID number is allocated automatically when templates are stored. This makes it easier to find unnamed templates in the storage box.

  • new gauge menu with additional items in the quick list

  • option to hide the pegging notch

  • generator menu disabled for beginners

  • prototype defaults changed -- sleeper length 8ft-6in, 60ft/25 sleepers plain track, timbering square-on style with ends-in-line

  • total length of track plan templates and timbering shown in the storage box

  • prefix tags can be added to the template name labels to aid group selection functions

  • switch and V-crossings more clearly marked on printed templates

  • new options for the appearance of the fixing peg

  • page outlines on workpad -- default changed to off

  • grid in front of background shapes -- default changed to off

  • printed information page -- default changed to off

  • background shapes -- blank infill now fills with colour

  • Templot is now "dpi-aware" for much improved display on high-resolution screens and tablet computers

Here's a round-up of the bits of Templot2 which are currently not working, work-in-progress, or entirely missing:

updated to version 213b

1. In some places clicking the help and more information buttons and bars will do nothing or show empty pages. Writing the stuff to go in there is by far the most time-consuming part of developing Templot.

2. Several alerts and help notes include a more information online button or link, but it doesn't yet go anywhere specific, it will simply open the front page of the online Templot Companion in your browser.

3. Short-angle irregular half-diamonds need further work on the timbering. In most cases you will want to tidy them up with your own timber shoving. Don't put too much effort into this because if I change the program later, your work will be wasted and have to be done again.

4. Only a limited number of program settings are currently included in the program preferences. More will be added in due course.

Read all through this topic for more information about each new feature as it was introduced.

Please scroll to the end of this long topic for information about the most recent changes.


23 May 2011 16:07


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 2873    30-5-2011

  • check for slews before make transition - fixed.

  • background shapes dialog style changed to Normal (was StayOnTop).

  • intersection selector dialog - wording changed.

  • CTRL+V in Normal mode should cancel mouse action - fixed.
    (this is a legacy shortcut -- now use INSERT key instead)

  • CTRL+BACKSLASH is now on reset notch on datum (was snap plain track to nearest sleeper).

  • main-side K-crossing check rail flare -- bug fixed.

  • template > reset menu items removed.

  • CTRL+Z shortcut now on rebuild group menu item.

  • new modify on rebuild option on storage box for trackbed edges.

  • new menu item for trackbed edges geometry > modify group to match.
    The trackbed edge settings are now specific to each template. This rebuild function allows fast transfer of the settings to a group or an entire track plan. The trackbed edge settings were previously a generator setting, so this function replaces that functionality:

  • K-crossing check rail settings added to omit rails dialog:

    IMPORTANT: If you have saved from previous TDV versions any .box files containing half-diamond templates with fixed K-crossings, when you reload those files in this TDV version, these K-crossing check rails will be missing from the templates.

    You should click do > omit rails and joint marks... to see the above dialog and tick these two boxes to restore the K-crossing check rails. You will need to do this for each half-diamond template.

    Note that this applies only to .box files which have been saved from TDV.

    Files saved from 091c and earlier versions will be automatically modified when reloaded, to maintain the stored settings.

30 May 2011 16:48


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 3035    11-June-2011

  • default startup changed to Normal mode.

  • in Quick mode, retrieve from parking bay should store the existing control template first -- fixed.

  • output > export file ...  dialog is now fully working (except help notes):

    Output to exported image files and metafiles can be the full track plan on the workpad, or a rectangle can be drawn on the workpad as the image boundary. There is a new top tool button for drawing the rectangle (ringed above), and a draw new rectangle button on the export dialog for the same purpose.

    Raster images (PNG, GIF, JPG, BMP formats) will fill to the image boundary.
    PNG format is strongly recommended.
    Please don't use JPG unless the image contains a large photographic picture shape or similar. 

    But please be aware of metafile breakover on vector images (EMF, WMF formats).
    EMF format is strongly recommended.

    Breakover means that drawing elements which break across the metafile boundary do not get drawn at all. The result can look like this:

    This is not a program flaw. It is designed and intended to work this way for metafiles. In contrast, raster (bitmap) images fill completely to the boundary in the usual way.

    This has an important consequence for background picture shapes. In order to be included in a metafile (and the metafile option for the sketchboard trackplans), the picture shape must be wholly contained within the image boundary. This will often not be the case for the fit all templates option. In such cases use the current image rectangle option, and draw a rectangle to wholly contain the picture shape.

    The same consideration applies to other background shapes such as baseboard outlines.

    If this creates a much larger metafile image than is convenient, the picture shape can be split into several separate sections. Or alternatively use the bitmap image file option instead.

  • the temporary export menu has been removed.

  • the option to include the control template when printing background templates has been removed (also for PDF output). If the control template is wanted as part of a track plan it should first be stored on the background in the usual way. This happens automatically in Quick mode.

    The control template can still be printed separately for construction templates of course.

  • there are some changes to the print pages dialog:

    1. There are option buttons to change the output mode on the print pages dialog in addition to the settings on the output menu. This makes it possible to swap modes between one page and the next, should anyone want to do such a thing. :)  Mainly it is so that you can change the mode before printing if you have forgotten to do so.

    2. As a reminder of the mode in force, a splash panel now appears on the print preview screen.

    3. I have finally implemented the banner pause function long ago promised. Some printers keep feeding the paper after printing until they reach the end of the paper. This is a great nuisance if you have fixed a roll paper holder on your printer! In such cases you can now get Templot to pause before printing the final page, so that you can cut the paper from the roll. Click OK on the message box which appears, to print the final page.


11 Jun 2011 22:26


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 3088    15-June-2011

  • image rectangle outline moved in front of background templates and background shapes.

  • the transparent display option for a picture shape is now saved in the BGS file.
    Note that this setting affects only the way that Templot displays the image. There is no change to the original image file or the way the image will be displayed in other software.

  • export a file -- new option fit all background shapes.

  • approach track rails on a gaunt turnout -- fixed.
    To create gauntletted plain track, add some approach track (F3) to a gaunt turnout template, and then shorten it back to the switch front joint (F4).

  • option to change the font/size/colour for the small page numbers inside the trim margin corners on printed pages -- output > font for corner page numbers... menu item.
    (Thanks to Gordon S.)

  • alert added if attempt to add a clicked shape without clicking the workpad first:


16 Jun 2011 09:59


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 3143     20-June-2011

  • platforms now show in all output formats

  • gaunt turnouts now show correctly in all output formats

  • PDF export -- independent black & white only tickbox added (was previously linked to the printer setting).

  • corner page numbers font -- added to program preferences

  • program preferences moved to separate menu:

  • new modify on rebuild option on storage box for track centre-lines.

  • new menu item for track centre-lines: geometry > modify group to match.
    This modify-on-rebuild function allows fast transfer of the track centre-line settings to a group or an entire track plan. This is a convenient way to change a lot of hidden track to show as track centre-lines only, instead of having to change each template individually.


22 Jun 2011 03:49


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 3502     06-July-2011

  • further changes to black & white / grey-shades settings for files export and sketchboard trackplans. They were unnecessarily linked to the capabilities of the current printer.

  • new mouse actions to move the image boundary rectangle and adjust each edge individually. action > mouse actions: workpad > output boundary rectangle mouse actions.

  • this rectangle is now also used for the sketchboard (instead of setting the page origin and size % for page a/1, which was non-intuitive). trackplan tab on the sketchboard control panel.

  • transparent GIF option now implemented for files export. Ticking this box also changes the default file format to GIF instead of PNG*.

  • Note that the transparent option for displayed picture shapes in Templot uses a different mechanism and works with any image format -- there is no need to use transparent GIFs as picture shapes and if you do they won't work.

  • further work on the sketchboard -- which is now usable. There are still some unfinished settings on the sketchboard control panel, and for the file functions and menus on the copyboard.

    Please be aware that if you have saved sketchboard .sk9 files from previous builds, they may not update correctly in # 3502. For testing purposes please discard them and create new files in this build # 3502 only.

*The PNG format includes transparency features but not all software supports it, and that includes Templot exports -- if transparent export files are wanted they must be in GIF format only.


22 Jul 2011 20:01


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 3789    25-July-2011

  • sketchboard: polygon items, free and square, and polylines

  • sketchboard: lines and arrow heads

  • sketchboard: freehand tracking factor

  • sketchboard: changes to font sizes and text items

  • sketchboard: PDF export

  • sketchboard: printer setup

  • sketchboard: bitmap export -- PNG, GIF, JPG added

  • sketchboard: interface changes -- zoom buttons moved to the main window.

  • sketchboard: copyboard menu items working

  • sketchboard: copyboard load, save, print, PDF export, all working

  • background shapes: wrap picture shape image along the control template:

  • show total length of all background templates and all group templates -- box > box info menu item on the storage box. This includes all partial templates and the blanked lengths of templates, so will need some careful interpretation for complex formations. For the most useful result, group-select the required templates.


28 Jul 2011 10:50


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 3891    30-July-2011  22:00

  • output mode splash was showing on the workpad after PDF export -- fixed

  • background label shapes were not boxed correctly on image file exports and sketchboard -- fixed

  • changes to grid labels font sizes on exports and sketchboard

  • new export options to capture a screenshot -- output > export a screenshot... (workpad) and file > export screenshot... (sketchboard) menu items

  • update now button on the sketchboard trackplan tab



1 Aug 2011 11:41


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Build # 4009    07-Aug-2011

  • sketchboard Z-order: adding a trackplan item. For full-page trackplan items, an added trackplan item now replaces any previous trackplan at the same place in the Z-order. If there is no existing trackplan item, it is now placed in front of all other items. (In previous builds it was initially placed at the back of all other items.)

    If not a full-page trackplan item (i.e. manually added to a dragged rectangle), it is now placed in front of all other items in all cases.

    sketchboard: new menu items -- edit > push trackplan backwards and edit > pull trackplan forwards.

    Note that vector (metafile) trackplan items (the default option) are transparent between the tracks. Raster (bitmap) trackplan items are solid between the tracks and will obscure underlying items until pushed backwards.

  • sketchboard freehand/polygons: Delete key was not working as intended. Fixed.

  • sketchboard freehand/polygons: Line width can be pre-set.

  • sketchboard freehand/polygons: Keyboard controls while drawing --  keys: O (open polygon); C (closed polygon); L (link to previous freehand); E (empty polygon); F (infilled polygon).

  • page outlines on the workpad now fixed:
        workpad > page outlines off
        workpad > page outlines for printer
        workpad > page outlines for PDF export
        menu items.


18 Sep 2011 10:11


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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  # 4237    29-Sep-2011

  • new check rail and wing rail adjustments:

    1. click the real > adjust check rails... menu item, shortcuts SHIFT+CTRL-F9 or full-stop . (period) key.

    2. labels will appear on each rail end. Click the label to select the rail which you want to adjust.

    3. use the buttons on the new dialog to select the mouse actions, etc., for the selected rail.

    These new functions are primarily for use on partial templates in complex formations. The original prototype settings remain as before at real > V-crossing options > customize V-crossing > wing and check rails... menu item. The new adjustments modify these original settings for each rail end individually:

  • bug fix: "List index out of bounds" error occasionally when shoving timbers by mouse action. Fixed.

  • bug fix: new template (quick set) dialog. ENTER key to close dialog was not always working. Fixed.

  • bug fix: real > V-crossing options > functions. Template was not locked at peg. Fixed.

  • keyboard shortcut changed: SHIFT+CTRL-F9 is now on real > adjust check rails... (was previously "move spacing ring"). Likewise the single-key shortcut . (full-stop key, period key) does the same. (This compares with the comma key for shove timbers.)



30 Sep 2011 20:17


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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# 4309    6-Oct-2011

  • bug fix: adjust check rails... dialog window was incorrectly scaled on 96dpi screens. Fixed.

  • bug fix: check rail end-gap mouse action. Direction sense was wrong on right-hand templates. Fixed.

  • bug fix: check rail end-gap adjustments were not correctly preserved when changing gauge/scale. Fixed.

  • customize V-crossing > wing and check rails... settings: Help notes updated and references to obsolete turnout-side modifiers removed.

  • Two new option tickboxes have been added to the check rail dialog and to the shove timber dialog:

    These settings are now template-specific and saved in the .box file. This makes it easier to use the check rail adjustments and shoved timbers as prototype customizing in generic templates. For example to re-use GWR V-crossings with unequal timber spacings and check rail lengths differing from the REA sizes.

    If retain on new mint is ticked in each case, any adjusted check rail settings and/or shoved timbers will propagate into a new mint control template.

    If retain on tools:make is ticked in each case, any adjusted check rail settings and/or shoved timbers will propagate into the newly created control template when using the tools > make --- functions. These tickboxes duplicate the existing tools > make tools: options > retain --- menu options. With the difference that these options have now been moved from the program preferences to become template-specific. Propagation of settings can therefore now be pre-set and controlled on a template-by-template basis.

    If these option boxes are unticked (default) minting a new template or using the tools > make --- functions will clear/reset any shoved timbers and/or adjusted check rails. This will be the normal option setting when building complex formations from partial templates.

    Note that the tickboxes for the check rail adjustments and those for the shoved timbers are separate for each and not linked together in any way.

  • invert all rail settings button added to the do > omit rails dialog:

    This swaps the option settings in all the currently enabled (i.e. not greyed) tickboxes. This is a quick way to avoid having to click all of them. Swapping all the boxes is often needed when splitting out one or more rails to a separate partial template.

    Note: this button applies to rails only and has no effect on the joint marks settings.



15 Oct 2011 14:15


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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build # 4435    8-Nov-2011

  • bug fix: DXF import and export now uses only a dot as the decimal point, without regard to the Windows Regional Settings on the system. Users in countries where a comma is used as the decimal point should delete all DXF files created by earlier versions of Templot.

  • sketchboard new function: modify item: bitmap image > zoom to actual size button. This zooms the sketchboard so that the selected image item is displayed at actual pixel size on the screen. This is useful when using the sketchboard to add notes and call-outs to a screenshot image or drawing.

  • modify on rebuild: the rail-section settings have been added to the modify on rebuild options. Available at real > rails > modify group to match menu item, and on the storage box at options > modify on rebuild > rail section data menu options. Also on the pop-up menu for a single background template at modify and rebuild > rail section data menu item.
  • new generator settings to show foot edges for flat-bottom (FB) rail:

    generator > generator settings > rails > FB inner foot edges menu item.
    generator > generator settings > rails > FB outer foot edges menu item.

    These are on by default. The rail foot edges appear only for templates which have the real > rails > head and foot (flat-bottom rails) menu option selected:

    For background templates when output is in detail mode, the rail foot edges will appear on printed templates, in PDF files, in exported image files, and on the sketchboard.

    The rail foot edges are not available when printing the control template, and are ignored in diagram mode.

    In this version of Templot, the rail foot edges will not appear on the workpad, on the storage box, or in DXF files. Output to CAD may be possible by exporting as an EMF metafile.

  • template colours: template mapping colours are now honoured in diagram mode in all output formats. The mapping colour is used for diagram-mode infill on templates set to use a mapping colour. However, the default setting has been changed to output > output drawing options > colour options > use pad marker colours.

    This means that in the default state, output to print, PDF, sketchboard and image files will use the marker colour settings rather than the mapping colour settings. This better reflects the typical use of coloured templates for diagrammatic purposes rather than for construction templates, and means that by default output colours will match the workpad screen. 



11 Nov 2011 20:48


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Build # 4505     13-Nov-2011

  • bug-fix: some image file save dialogs were not responding to changes in the selected file type. Fixed.

  • bug-fix: some items on the workpad right-click menu did not cancel a mouse action in force. Fixed.

  • K-crossing wing rails: the wing rail length for K-crossings can now be customized. This controls the position of the wing rail joint marks and adjacent timber spacings:

    If the wing rail length is changed significantly from the default settings, some timber shoving will be needed, and/or the addition of bonus timbers.

    Click the real > K-crossing options > customize K-crossings > K-crossing wing rails... menu item:

  • rail-foot edges: changes to make (slightly) faster output times.

  • rail-foot edges: indicators added on workpad and storage box:

    To change the control template to flat-bottom rails (FB), click the real > rails > head and foot (flat-bottom rails) menu option (A below). To change existing background templates, all the settings in this sub-menu are now available as a modify on rebuild option -- click the modify group to match menu item (B):

    Note that you won't see any change on the workpad, apart from these indicators -- FB is flat-bottom rails, BH is bullhead rails:

    The rail-foot edge lines will appear only on the output, and only for background templates, and only in detail mode, like this:

    The foot infill colour is temporarily using the same colour setting as for the control template -- output > output drawing options > rail infill colours... > menu items.



14 Nov 2011 12:49


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Build # 4703    10-December-2011

  • PDF engine: The problem with hatched timber infill in black & white mode has been fixed.

  • The total length of all the timbers in a track plan is now shown at box > box info menu item on the storage box menus.

  • There are two new options for the way the fixing peg is displayed. The solid option makes the peg more prominent by making it solid red. The hollow option is useful when aligning the peg over an underlying rail intersection. The blank option corresponds to the previous peg style. These settings are at workpad > pad options for the control template > menu options. This setting is included in your program preferences.

  • If you are using Windows7 (and probably also Vista) there are now two options for the way the menus are displayed, XP style and Win7 style. These settings are on the program panel window at program > menu style > menu options. This setting is included in your program preferences.

  • Program links to the Templot Companion web site lead to the new version of the Templot Companion which at present is little more than an empty shell. In the meantime please refer instead to the original version of the Templot Companion at:

  • The Quick Intro feature has been temporarily disabled.

  • A lock-release code is not required to run this build of TDV. The licence terms should be read as if amended accordingly.



12 Dec 2011 09:16


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Build # 5030    18-January-2012
Build # 5053    19-January-2012

  • bug fix: flare length adjustment on curviform V-crossing TS check rail extension end. Fixed.

  • bug fix: display of total template timbering length moved from info panel to shove timbers dialog. Fixed:

  • bug fix: half-diamond timbering as model was not displaying correctly. Fixed.

  • bug-fix: sketchboard metafiles -- changing to a hatched infill did not erase any previous solid infill. Fixed.

  • bug-fix: ladder crossovers were incorrect for transition curve and slewed templates. Fixed.

  • bug-fix: gauge menu items were not always showing the correct current item to match the current control template. Fixed.

  • help > print F key chart: chart updated for shortcut changes since version 091c.

  • sketchboard: new add > custom item button. An existing combined item can be set as a custom item and added as often as required. Click the edit > set as custom item menu item. This is essentially the same as copying and pasting the item, but leaves the Windows clipboard free for other things. The custom item remains available until the end of the session or until it is changed to a different one. This function can be used to add multiple copies of signals, buffer stops, trees, and similar items.

  • sketchboard: new formatted text block item. This augments the existing plain text items by allowing mixed formatting -- bold, italic, different fonts and sizes, colours, backgrounds, etc., within a single sketchboard item.

    This makes it easier to create locking tables for signal box diagrams, control panel legends, and similar annotations on the sketchboard track plans. And to add attractive notes and headings to layout plans for exhibition displays, etc. 

    A basic editor is included directly in Templot to create the formatted content. For more complex content including tables, lists, margins, etc., content can be copied and pasted from Microsoft Word or Windows Wordpad, or loaded from RTF files saved from such programs (not DOC files).

    N.B. It's not recommended to include pictures in the copied content, other than small icons. Otherwise the RTF and sketchboard SK9 files will be vastly inflated and the copy/paste functions will be extremely slow. Instead, add images directly to the sketchboard using the existing add bitmap image function.

    Formatted text block items on the sketchboard:


    In the simple RTF editor. Click the OK button to add it to the sketchboard:

    Formatted text blocks showing on the workpad:

  • Maintenance build #5053:

    bug-fix: sketchboard: formatted text block: editor cut, copy, paste commands were losing the selected text. Fixed.

    bug-fix: the startup sequence was displaying duplicated dialogs. Fixed.



19 Jan 2012 11:10


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Build  # 5403    3-March-2012

  • bug-fix: display of the geometry > peg positions > sub-menu was corrupted. Fixed.

  • "Unfinished Development Version" splash removed from workpad.

  • yellow hard-hat program icon restored.

  • new dummy vehicle tool for checking and measuring running clearances.

    In addition to testing running clearance on curved double-track, this tool will be useful for checking clearances for platform gaps, clearing points in loops and sidings, and clearances for lineside features such as signal posts and bridge parapets.

    This tool works in a similar way to the spacing-ring tool, and will often be used at the same time, so both tools are combined on the same dialog -- tools > spacing ring  •  dummy vehicle menu item.

    1. A dummy vehicle outline can be rolled along the control template alignment*, and copies of it can be left at various locations as required. This allows clearances to be checked:

    The solid outline shows the actual vehicle body dimensions. The dashed lines show a clearance envelope along both sides. The centre of the vehicle is also marked for convenience.

    The default sizes used are:

    body length:  65ft (780")
    body width: 9ft-3in (111")
    bogie centres: 46ft-6in (558")

    which are typical of the larger UK vehicles.

    The default side clearance is 6" on each side.

    These dimensions can be changed to whatever you want by clicking the dimensions... button. Your vehicle dimensions are saved in your program preferences between sessions.

    6" clearance means that there is more than 1ft scale between the bodies in the above screenshot.

    The curving radius in the control template can be adjusted with the dummy vehicle present, until the desired clearance is obtained. The dummy vehicle remains in position on the control template as it is moved or adjusted in the usual way. However, the copies are not linked to any template and are simply a record on the workpad of past locations of the dummy vehicle. They remain unchanged if the underlying templates are moved or deleted. You can make up to 32 copies.

    2. The dashed clearance marker lines can be adjusted by mouse action. This makes it possible to measure the clearance between rolling stock and fixed objects:

    (To get a proper result this measurement should of course be made at the vehicle centre-marker.)

    This mouse action can also be used to measure the centre axle sideplay needed on 6-wheel vehicles at different radii. Set the body length to match the wheelbase. Set the body width to match the track gauge. The clearance marker can then be adjusted by mouse action to align with the outer rail. If there is significant gauge slop on the wheels (e.g. 00 gauge), the available slop can be subtracted from the indicated sideplay.

    Like the spacing-ring, this dummy vehicle tool works as a design aid only on the workpad. The dummy vehicles are not on the printed templates or exported to image files, and not included in .box files.

    (The calculations assume that the bogie pin is on the track centre-line. This is not strictly true, especially for long 6-wheel bogies on sharp model curves, but is a close enough approximation for practical purposes bearing in mind all the other unpredictable variables in the models. If a more accurate result is needed, the versine on the bogie wheelbase should be calculated, and the running radius adjusted accordingly.)

    * note that the dummy vehicle can be rolled only along the control template alignment. It can't roll across template boundaries onto a different alignment on a background template -- over a crossover road for example, or through complex formations created from multiple partial templates. For testing such clearances, create a separate dummy straight centre-line-only plain track template, show the dummy vehicle on it, and position it manually (F7 and F8 mouse actions) over the background templates.

  • new options when zooming with the mouse wheel:

    This option setting is saved in your program preferences between sessions.

  • important updated info after creating large size PDF files:



4 Mar 2012 19:29


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2      version: 205b      build: 5675      26-April-2012

  • bug-fix: yellow target marker on intersection remained on workpad if make diamond-crossing resulted in a straight regular diamond. Fixed.

  • bug-fix: 1-bit and 4-bit bitmaps were not saved to PNG format correctly. Fixed by conversion to 8-bit.

  • fix: auto-sizing text was not showing correctly on Linux/Wine (bug in Wine). Worked around.

  • Default installation changed to C:\TEMPLOT_DEV\templot_2.exe

  • "Development Version" references removed.
  • "small radius" warning modified to prevent display anomalies.

  • F3/F4 menu items revised.

  • spot zoom target ring changed to an octagon with cross-hairs to avoid being confused with the spacing-ring tool (trackpad > zoom and pan options > show spot zoom target menu item).

  • workpad window and menu renamed trackpad. This is a naming change only, to better reflect the function of the trackpad area and differentiate it from the sketchboard work area.

  • Fonts: changed to Linux equivalents when running under Crossover/Linux/Wine.

  • roll dummy vehicle: the travel of the dummy vehicle is now limited so that it cannot move much more than one vehicle length beyond the control template boundaries. If necessary the control template can be temporarily extended to allow such movement.

  • clicking an .sk9 file launches Templot2 and reloads the file onto the sketchboard.

  • sketchboard: new no select ! option:

    1. ticking this box for the selected item,
    2. causes this confirmation alert to be displayed.

    Once this option has been ticked for an item, the only way to cancel it is via the menu option for all items:

  • background shapes: new up/down buttons to change the order in which the shapes are drawn on the trackpad:

    The up/down buttons repeat if held down.

    The shapes are drawn on the trackpad in the order listed, so the one at the bottom of the list is displayed at the front of the stack. I know this is non-intuitive, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

    Also, when you click a shape in the list, it is initially displayed in front of all the others and outlined in red. This is a long-standing behaviour which I would prefer not to change, so this is also going to be a bit confusing. The shape returns to its place in the stack when you click these buttons.

    These buttons appear only when there is more than one background shape in the list. Please don't report a bug that the buttons have gone missing if you have only one background shape.

  • exported image files:
  • trackplan items on sketchboard: new option to omit picture shape borders.

    In both cases this option is now off by default:

  • exported image files:
  • trackplan items on sketchboard:

    For these outputs the crossed-through rectangle, which was output in place of a picture shape when picture shapes were turned off, has been removed.

    This feature remains for PDF and printed output.

  • bitmap rendering on sketchboard:

    New option setting design quality or display quality:

    More information at:



5 May 2012 11:23


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2      version: 205c      build: 5794      19-June-2012

the program executable file name has changed from templot2.exe to  templot_2.exe

If you have created your own shortcuts they will need to be changed.

bug-fix: the warning if running multiple instances of Templot was not showing. Fixed.

move peg on background template: A new function has been added to the peg/align tools menus for a background template. This is primarily intended for use when it is desired to link a group of templates to the notch:

The normal operation of this function is put the notch under the peg after moving it to the new position. If you want to move the peg on the background template without putting the notch under it, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking the sub-menu item.

Notice that the current peg position (CTRL-5 TXP in this case, boxed yellow) is greyed out in the sub-menu -- moving the peg to its existing position would be meaningless.

I've listed as many peg positions as seems sensible in the sub-menu. If you want to move it to some other position it will be necessary to delete the background template to the control template, and store it again afterwards, as previously. Or you could set one of the other peg positions as the user-defined position.

mouse action toggles:

Additional mouse action toggles have been added:

Clicking the hollow triangle symbol on the mouse action panel now toggles between these mouse actions:

F7  ~  F8  mouse actions (shift position / rotate the control template)

SHIFT+CTRL-F7  ~  SHIFT+CTRL-F8  mouse actions (shift position / rotate a group of templates) (or \  ~ / keys )

F9  ~  F10  mouse actions for a half-diamond (V-crossing angle / K-crossing angle)

F9  ~  SHIFT-F12  mouse actions for a gaunt turnout (V-crossing angle / gaunt offset)

SHIFT+CTRL-F3  ~  SHIFT+CTRL-F4  mouse actions (transition curve start / transition length) (or [ ~ ] keys )

adjust 1st end  ~  adjust 2nd end  mouse actions for the ruler tool

adjust 1st radius  ~  adjust 2nd radius  for the F6 mouse action on a transition curve template

orbit 1st radial centre  ~  orbit 2nd radial centre  for the CTRL-F5 (or 5 key) mouse action on a transition curve template

For all other mouse actions, clicking the hollow triangle symbol swaps back to the most recently used mouse action. By this means you can set up a temporary toggle between any two mouse actions.

store & background:

When the control template is stored and copied to the background (INSERT key), it will now remain hidden only briefly, and will then reappear over the background template. You can of course hide it again if you wish (HOME key).

For more experienced users there is a new option not to have the control template hidden. It's on the options menu on the storage box. Untick this menu option:

This setting is included in your program preferences.

Note that even with this option unticked, on a large track plan the control template will disappear momentarily while Templot re-draws the screen with the new background template.

This option is ignored when working in Quick Mode.



23 Jun 2012 13:54


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2 version 205d    Build: #5926    06-July-2012

bug-fix: the sketchboard control panel and copyboard windows did not remain in front of the sketchboard in 205c. And the jotter window did not remain in front of the trackpad. Both fixed.

bug-fix: aligning mixed-gauge templates

This menu item should have been greyed out when aligning partial templates to create mixed-gauge formations:

Fixed. When there is a gauge difference between the control template and the background template, only the align over and snake functions can be used. This is to ensure that the centre-line radius is used correctly.

The result of the above would be (this is not changed):

If it is desired to match the templates on a common rail (the more usual mixed-gauge requirement), it will be necessary to put the pegs on the desired rails and then use the peg and notch functions rather than the align functions, setting the radius by calculation or visually by mouse action.

These notes apply only to mixed-gauge formations. There is no change to the normal single-gauge templates and functions.

make transition curve
make diamond-crossing
notch on intersection

For these functions there are new controls on the selection dialog to allow the trackpad to be zoomed and panned behind the dialog:

This makes it easier to see which option is correct.

In addition, for make transition curve there is a new option to delete the original templates. If this box is ticked, when yes - continue is clicked the two original templates from which the transition curve was constructed will be deleted. The new transition curve template can then be extended as required at each end to replace them.

switch settings

If a new switch is selected at real > switch settings... which does not match the current rail type, a dialog like this will now be displayed to remind you:



6 Jul 2012 14:44


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2 version 206c    Build: # 6760    10 November 2012

bug-fix: sketchboard:  the option to load a sketchboard file on startup was not working (in 205d only). Fixed.

bug-fix: trackpad > show sketchboard items on trackpad menu item was not working. Fixed.

bug-fix: converting from a turnout to a regular half-diamond template while the fixing peg is on CESP caused an error. Fixed.

sketchboard performance: updating functions for the sketchboard control panel have been re-coded without nested reference counting, to improve performance and prevent occasional lock-ups. 

PDF page sizes:

There is a new tickbox on the PDF export dialog, size between trim margins :

With that box ticked (the default), the entered dimensions refer to the page size between the red trim margins. This makes it much easier to have the trim margins aligned with the grid lines, and round-figure sizes for the trimmed pages.

If the box is unticked, the page size settings refer to the full document as before, and the trimmed pages will be smaller to allow for the margins.

dummy vehicle:

The spacing-ring can now be attached to the dummy vehicle. This allows the ring to move along the centre-line of the control template, for example to check the specified track spacing is achieved. Or the ring-size mouse action can be used to measure the track clearance at any location. Tick the attach spacing-ring to vehicle option on the tools > spacing-ring • dummy vehicle dialog.

track background:

Diagram-mode output on the sketchboard and in exported image files can now show a coloured background to the tracks. This is intended to represent the area inside the railway boundary fence on layout plans. Tick the add track background in diagram mode options on the dialogs.

The settings are at output > output drawing options > track background width... / track background colour... menu items.

The track background function is available only in diagram-mode.

trackbed / ballast + cess:

The trackbed edges function can now be set to show either the cutting lines for open top baseboards, or the prototypical ballast edge and cess width. Click the geometry > trackbed intent > menu options.

The cess infill uses the same colour as the track background (above):  output > output drawing options > track background colour... menu item. To save ink, the cess infill is shown hatched (on printers which support hatching):

The trackbed edges function is available only in detail-mode.

prefix tags:

The remembered groups function has been replaced with a template tagging system. The template names can have one or more tags prefixed, which can then be used to re-create groups of templates at any time. This is especially useful for complex formations comprised of multiple partial templates. Click the group > add prefix tag to names... menu item:

start-up files:

Files saved in the default folders with the name or start.bgs will be automatically loaded on startup. This allows a quick start if you have a file containing custom templates. This is especially useful for the background shapes, since once defined these tend to remain unchanged while working on the track plan through several sessions.

make-on-click mode:

The Quick Mode option has been moved from the trackpad and renamed make-on-click mode. It is now to be found on the program > click-mode options > menu options on the program panel window. The Quick Mode and red-Z tool-buttons have been removed.

beginner buttons:

Additional beginner buttons have been added to the top row on the trackpad, for roam and rotate, and some of the other tool buttons have been rearranged.

scaling of picture shapes:

Background picture shapes can now be locked to the location of the notch or the spacing ring when being scaled to size. This makes it much easier to adjust the size to match the tracks or other known features when the auto-scaling functions cannot be used. On the background shapes dialog, click the picture options tab > when scaling lock to: options.

wrapping of picture shape images:

There is a new function to straighten along the control template, before using the wrap along the control template function. This produces a better result than straightening by wrapping to a mirrored template. The buttons are on the modify shape tab on the background shapes dialog.

obtain to the control:

This feature now includes a function to obtain the turnout radius of the background template as the main-road curving radius of the control template. This is useful when overlaying partial templates. This function is not available if the background template is plain track or contains a transition curve.

switch labels:

The significant rail locations within the switch on the printed templates are now labelled for clarity, and to prevent the marks being entirely obscured when the timbers are attached to the template:

If the labels are not wanted they can be turned off at output > output drawing options > element options... menu item:

radial end marks:

These can also now be omitted from the output at output > output drawing options > element options... menu item. See above.

rail options dialog:

The rail options dialog for partial templates, at do > omit rails and joint marks (CTRL+O) is no longer modal, and can remain visible and usable while working on the trackpad. This avoids the need to access this menu item repeatedly.

convert RAM to CLM:

This function is now also available for K-crossing angles: real > K-crossing options > convert RAM angle to CLM menu item.

f letter input conversion factor on data-entry dialog:

The f prefix has been changed to perform feet to inches input conversions, i.e. entering f2.5 is converted to 30 inches.

centre-line options:

The main-road track centre-line can now be offset to one side if desired. It is sometimes useful as a design guide to have a construction line running parallel to the track at a known distance from the track centre. This can now be provided by offsetting the centre-line. This has no effect on the geometry or track planning functions, it is simply a design aid: geometry > centre-line options (expert) > menu items.

reveal on store:

As an experiment for this update I have implemented reveal on store -- instead of hiding the control template when a copy of it is stored on the background, the control template jumps to one side to reveal the new background template and then slowly slides back into position in front of it.

This feature can be enabled via the option settings on the storage box menus:

The default store & background option has been changed to leave the control template showing on top. But just a reminder that if you don't want to see the control template after store & background, all you need do is dab the HOME key.

You can also click on a background template to obtain its menu, even if the control template is in front of it.

exported image files:

A background colour can now be used when exporting bitmap files (PNG, GIF, JPG, BMP formats).

Not available for metafile images (EMF, WMF formats).

custom gauge/scale settings A, B, C, D:

These settings are now included in the saved program preferences.



20 Nov 2012 23:33


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2 version 206d    Build: # 7528    16 February 2013

bug-fix: PDF file output was not possible if there was no printer driver installed on the system. Fixed.

sketchboard: add item

It is now possible to paste a copied image as a bitmap item.

This is useful for screenshot captures and for images copied from web pages, or from a photo editor program.

revised data-entry dialog:

The data-entry dialog has been revised to fix a problem when running under Crossover/Linux/Wine on Mac computers, and reduce battery power consumption on laptops for everyone.

1. enter the required data for each item in the white panel on the highlighted line.

2. click the ? info button on each line for information and explanation about each item.

3. click the enter button or press the ENTER key on the keyboard to enter the data and move to the next item.

4. click the more info button or press the F1 key to see general information about all the items.

5. to amend previously entered data, click on it.

6. for detailed notes about using this dialog, click the ? help button.



16 Feb 2013 21:38


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2 version 207a    Build: # 7955    15 April 2013

data-entry dialog: TABbing to the current line fixed.

bug: inserting a turnout having a parallel-type V-crossing into plain track did not set the long option for the turnout road. Fixed.

bug: FB rail-foot edges were not printed when printing group templates only. Fixed.

bug: sketchboard: exported screenshot was cropped if the page rulers were hidden. Fixed.

bug: data-entry dialog: program focus was lost after using only the keyboard on the dialog. Fixed.

quick access to files from pre-Templot2 versions:

If you have upgraded to Templot2 this new menu item provides quicker access to your old .box files:

This will be greyed out if Templot can't find the old C:\TEMPLOT\BOX-FILES\ folder -- so if you saved your old files elsewhere, or renamed this folder, this function will not be available.

track centre-line options:

There is now an additional option in the centre-line options to put the line along the ends of the sleepers/timbers. This makes a useful guide when shoving timbers:

radius warning:

A changed radius warning limit can now be applied to all of a group of background templates in one go, as an additional modify on rebuild option:

(The radius warning menu items have been moved to the geometry menu.)

sketchboard items on templates:

Printing and PDF files direct from the sketchboard (file > print... menu item) is a normal Windows print to a single page.

It is now also possible to have the sketchboard items shown on the full-size construction templates while working on the baseboard.

This is a typical sketchboard item, Brian's signal box drawing (bitmap image item):

At present this can be shown on the trackpad by ticking the show items on trackpad box (top left):

And now it can also appear on the output preview:

and can be included in the print and PDF output by ticking the new tickbox. This is the PDF preview, the print view is similar:

This the resulting PDF file showing full size in the PDF viewer:

and the printed template page:

Before any of this will work, the sketchboard items must be included in the output element options:

If you include both background shapes and sketchboard items you can control which overdraws which:

You can control the visibility of overdrawn items to some extent by using the transparency settings, but this will work only for small items. The Windows graphics systems won't zoom transparent items beyond a certain limit. If transparent items are missing from the output, try changing them back to solid. 

skewed ends on platforms:

There is a new function to skew the ends of a platform. In other words to shorten or extend the rear edge of the platform relative to the front edge:  

Combined with the option to set a different platform width at each end, this allows a much greater range of platform shapes to be created and combined.

In practice, the most useful application of a skewed end is where a platform ramp lies between diverging tracks. At present the two square ends of the half-platforms produce a mismatched end to the ramp:

With the new function, the end of each half-platform can be skewed to match, producing a much neater result:

program preferences:

The following output settings have been added to the program preferences
print in colour / grey-shades / black & white

grid lines solid / dotted
line thickness settings

rails infill style

timbers infill style

platforms infill style

The above preferences do not apply to the trackpad, they are for the print/PDF/exported image files/sketchboard trackplan item outputs (colour/grey-shades/black & white is for print only).

image viewer:

Templot now has its own internal image viewer for the created image files.

There are also now some pre-set cropped screenshot sizes for the sketchboard:

It will then open in the new viewer, with some useful menu options available:

Images are always displayed actual size, and can be scrolled as required.



18 Apr 2013 14:13


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 208b    Build: # 8510    23 August 2013

get colour at mouse:

There is a new function to pick a custom colour from anywhere on the screen. This is especially useful on the sketchboard when you want the colour of several items to match.

Note that this works from anywhere on the screen, not necessarily only within the Templot windows. For example you could display a PDF template file in your PDF viewer, and pick a custom colour from it to be re-used in a new file. Or pick a colour from an image on a web page.

Here a bitmap image item is on the sketchboard. The object is to get the concrete base colour and match the adjacent rectangle item to the same colour.

Click the new tools > get colour at mouse menu item, or press CTRL+K:

This dialog appears. Put the tip of the mouse pointer on the required colour and then press the keyboard SPACE-BAR:

This is the result.

1. check that the correct colour has been selected (if not press the SPACE-BAR again).
2. click the add custom colour button or press ENTER:

The new custom colour can now be used:

3. click the sketchboard item to select it; 4. click the modify item tab on the sketchboard control panel; and 5. click the infill colour change button:

6. The colour selector dialog appears with the picked colour now added to the custom colours. Click it to select it as the new colour for the rectangle:

And the colours now match:

A few custom colours have been added on the top row by default. If you want to make space for a lot of new picked custom colours, simply change any unwanted ones to white.

There is also a tools > get colour at mouse menu item on the trackpad for use when the sketchboard is not visible. But unfortunately there is no free keyboard shortcut available on the trackpad.

The custom colours are now included in the program preferences between sessions.

trackbed/cess edge now follows turnout TS:


platform front edge now follows turnout TS:

show switch info: the info panel can now show full-size dimensions in mm if preferred instead of inches:

storage box: box > box info menu item now includes smallest radius info and a link to the relevant template:

storage box: The box > print template info menu item now includes an option to create a PDF file containing all the template information. If you have a large track plan this makes it easier to print individual pages of template info using your PDF reader program.

storage box: The green to the control template button on the storage box has been modified. The copy / wipe / delete options can now be set directly on the button before clicking it. These were previously in the options menu:

storage box: Stored templates now have a fixed ID number in addition to an optional name. The ID number is allocated automatically when templates are stored.

For a full discussion about this, see:

output: There is a new option to omit plain track  sleeper numbers from the output:

Unticking this option causes the sleeper numbers to be omitted from plain track -- i.e. sleepers with numbers prefixed A, E, N, or R.

Plain track will then be identified with the template ID number only, at approximately 100mm intervals. This will make the print-outs a lot less cluttered.

This option is included in your saved program preferences. The option remains on by default for compatibility with previous versions.

Note that this option applies to the output only -- there is no effect on the screen (for timber shoving, etc.).

sketchboard: there is a new option setting when sketchboard items are included in the print or PDF output:

For a full discussion of this see:

output: the page origin and staggered/tiled pages option has been added to the saved program preferences.

bug: SHIFT+F9 slide mouse action failed when peg was on the end of planing or switch heel. Fixed.

bug: switch stock gauge was marked twice in error on FB templates. Fixed.

bug: switch labels were shown in error on half-diamond templates. Fixed.



18 Aug 2013 19:52


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 208c    Build: # 8571    4 November 2013

This is a maintenance update. There are no significant new features.

bug-fix: loading a .box file from an earlier version failed to load the control template, if any. Fixed.

bug-fix: the "Handy Hint" message options when attempting to shove timbers while none are showing failed. Fixed.

bug-fix: changing the timbering style on a template set to show track centre-lines only -- no warning message was shown. Fixed.

bug-fix: in Templot2 the control template is included in saved .box files. But if the storage box was empty all menu items on the storage box for saving a .box file were disabled. There is now a files > save the control template... menu option in that circumstance, which saves the control template only.

Templot checked the USA server only if the UK server failed to respond at all. Templot now won't close the program without trying both servers for a correct response. Fixed.



4 Nov 2013 20:36


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 208d    Build: # 9019    3rd April 2014

New option when changing gauge/scale using the mint new function:

This retains the scale length of the existing control template for the new template.

New expanded print options on the sketchboard:

New visual file viewer function to browse your collection of .box files:

The screenshots reflect the current trackpad settings for colours, name labels on/off, generator settings etc. They will be created much more quickly if you change to skeleton settings in the generator.

More information about this new function here:

The viewer can be accessed from 3 menu locations:

bug-fix: omit rails; adjust check rails; show platforms; stay-visible info; data lists -- dialogs were visible on the print and PDF previews. Fixed.

bug-fix: recent files lists were not always initialized correctly on start-up. Fixed.

bug-fix: sketchboard modify item tab showed invalid data if multiple items were selected. Fixed.

bug-fix: make label shape did not include the template ID number. Fixed.

bug-fix: the cancel button was not fully visible on the "please wait" dialog while making a transition curve and other calculations. Fixed.

bug-fix: the duplicate group function duplicated unused group templates, and copied them to the background. Fixed. Only background templates are now affected by the duplicate group function.

Unresolved issues deferred:

1. "Error 65" when entering dimensions for the dummy vehicle tool.

2. use of square brackets and negative values on the sketchboard control panel is inconsistent.



27 Apr 2014 22:06


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 209a    Build: # 9343    28th April 2014

turnout road exit: There is a new adjustable option for the turnout-road exit. These turnout-road options have been moved from the do menu to the geometry menu:

To adjust the exit length there is a new mouse action (CTRL+F12):

Note that this new function is not available when the V-crossing type is parallel. Parallel V-crossings always require the long option for the turnout road exit.

More information about this new function:

N.B. Please note that this new function is not backwards compatible with earlier versions of Templot. If a .box file containing templates set to adjustable is reloaded into Templot versions earlier than 209a the program will crash. If you are posting such .box files on Templot Club you may want to add a warning about this for users of old versions. If there are no templates set to adjustable in the .box file, this warning does not apply.

output: Grid co-ordinate and page origin information is now shown on the print and PDF output on every template page:

Top-right at 1 shows the current page origin setting.

Top-left at 2 shows the grid co-ordinates of the trim margins at this corner.

Bottom-right at 3 shows the grid co-ordinates of the trim margins at this corner.

These figures allow you to reset the page origin at a later date to repeat or restart the printing of required pages.

The additional data is inside the trim margins so still available after trimming, although of course it may now obscure rather more of the template. Hopefully not too much.

p.s. if the font for this text is set larger than size 8 it is shown transparent with the drawing visible under it, like this (this is not a new feature):

This feature can be turned off if not wanted:

Bear in mind that in re-using these figures at a later date you will get repeatable results only if:

it is the same printer,
the paper size is set the same as before,
the print quality is set the same as before,
all other printer settings are the same as before,
any custom trim margins are set the same as before,

and the printer calibration settings are still the same.

file viewer: Improvements and additional features. See the ? help button notes on the viewer window.

Unresolved issues deferred until the next update:

1. "Error 65" when entering dimensions for the dummy vehicle tool.

2. use of square brackets and negative values on the sketchboard control panel is inconsistent.



4 Jul 2014 17:41


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 211a    Build: # 9443    4th July 2014

Additional shortcuts:

 ENTER key can be used to show/hide the control template (in addition to HOME key).
 CTRL+ENTER keys can be used to show/hide the name labels (in addition to END key). 
CTRL+HOME keys can be used to show/hide all background templates.
SHIFT+HOME keys can be used to show/hide all background shapes.

The new keyboard shortcuts have been added to these existing menu items:

Temporarily hiding the background shapes (SHIFT+HOME toggle) is especially handy when working over a background picture shape when it's difficult to see the rails. Also on a slow system you can turn off the picture shape(s) while zooming and panning, and turn them back on when you have reached the required view.

Temporarily hiding all the background templates (CTRL+HOME toggle) can be handy when working on the finer details of the control template on a complex track plan. Bear in mind that this simply hides them on the trackpad -- they still appear in the outputs and printing. If that's not what you want, use the wipe functions instead (but note that Templot won't print empty pages without track).

These are not new functions, but the new keyboard shortcuts make them more accessible and are much handier when you just want to flash the background items on and off.

new: group function to hide the grouped templates (SHIFT+CTRL+HOME toggle). This is potentially much more useful than hiding all the background templates in one go as above. In the group menu:

Bear in mind that there is room for confusion -- if you have hidden group templates and then add another template to the group it will instantly disappear until you show them again.

The show setting is automatically restored for next time when the grouping is cancelled (CTRL+Y).

new: tools > make branch crossover function.

There is often a requirement for this formation:

Old hands won't have much trouble creating these -- make an ordinary crossover, invert the handing (CTRL-X), and then peg MXP to TXP (CTRL-7 to CTRL-5).

But I thought it might make a useful built-in function for beginners, so I have added it. :)

Following suggestions from members it has been given the name "branch crossover".

You could of course simply make branch track and insert a turnout in it. But you would then need to roam it into alignment with the double track, whereas the above method does that automatically.

Unlike an ordinary crossover there isn't usually a reverse curve at the centre, so in this case curviform V-crossings are acceptable.

Note that for accuracy the double-track section should be created as such from the first turnout and adjusted for length, rather than doing make branch track on the second turnout.

This formation works better with equalized timbering rather than the default square-on style, so you see this option:

new: There is a new option to set the track colour for diagram mode output independently of the detail-mode rail infill colour:

The above applies to all diagram-mode output including the sketchboard and exported image files.

The default is the same steel-blue colour as before.

Don't forget that you can set any colour for groups of templates in diagram-mode by giving them a marker colour -- for colourful control panels and signal box diagrams.

print colours: The default colours used when printing construction templates have been reduced in intensity to match recent developments in inkjet printers. The colours can still be changed to whatever you want in the output > output drawing options > menu options.

The default hatched timber infill has been removed when printing in black & white. If required it can be restored via the output > output drawing options > timber infill style > menu settings.

new: This program update now includes a copy of the new Templot Video Player* program. There is as yet no content for it, but you can see what the player will look like by clicking this menu item:


Note that this is a separate program from Templot. So before installing future program updates please make sure to close the video player if it is open, in addition to closing Templot.

*This is the free BB FlashBack Micro Player from Blueberry Software. Included with permission.

bug-fix: CTRL+F12 mouse action for adjustable turnout road requires the template length to be always locked (it is free after minting a NEW template). Fixed.

bug-fix: If background templates were hidden, you could still click on the empty space they would occupy and get their pop-up menu on the left. Fixed.

compatibility fix: .box files containing templates having adjustable turnout road, saved from this 211a version, can now be reloaded into the old paid-for versions of Templot. They won't be drawn correctly in any earlier version up to and including 209, but the program will not suffer a fatal error.

Unresolved issues deferred until the next update:

1. "Error 65" when entering dimensions for the dummy vehicle tool.

2. use of square brackets and negative values on the sketchboard control panel is inconsistent.



2 Dec 2014 12:42


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 211b    Build: # 10065    2nd December 2014

accessing the gauge menu did not cancel a mouse action in progress, if any. Fixed.

bug-fix: the "joggles" switch label was still shown on the printed templates even if the joggled rails were blanked off. Fixed.

bug-fix: the store tool-button wasn't showing the orange down-arrows correctly in Windows8 and Linux/Wine. Fixed.

video tutorials:

Templot can now download and play the FBR video tutorials without needing to access your browser. It will also save the downloaded file onto your computer, so that the next time you want to watch the same video it will start almost immediately without needing to be downloaded again.

A list of currently available videos will be shown in the help > watch a video > menu items. This list will be updated from the server when you start Templot, so it will always be up-to-date and show any new ones, or revised/updated old ones.

At present there are only 2 videos in FBR format, but I'm hoping to get some more done as soon as possible, so that this list will grow much longer:

The <-- symbol on the list means that the video is not yet downloaded, so there will be a slight delay while Templot downloads it. After which the <-- symbol will not show, indicating that the file is already downloaded and can play immediately as often as you wish.

The <-- symbol will therefore also indicate if any videos are new or have been revised since you last watched them.

V-crossing labels:

In track building the positioning of the vee blunt nose can be tricky because the relevant template detail is obscured when the timbers are attached to the template. So I have added new V-crossing labels in a similar style to the switch labels. The FP marker is seldom needed during construction, but I feel that it is necessary to have both so that the meaning of the blunt nose marker is clearly differentiated from it:

These labels are likely to get a bit messy in complex formations with multiple partial templates, so they can be turned off in the output element options in the same way as the switch labels:

new keyboard shortcuts:

A problem with the Microsoft Surface tablets is that there is no INSERT key on the clip-on keyboard. The alternative CTRL+V shortcut is still working for store and background as it always has done, but I have got used to having a single key shortcut for this (the other hand being on the mouse). :)

I have therefore added the key (NOT sign) as an additional shortcut for store and background (the top-left key on the keyboard). The previous function on this key (zoom to fit all background templates) is more conveniently on PAGE UP. (Zoom to fit group templates is on PAGE DOWN).

So for store and background there are now all these options, according to preference:

click top tool-button
click main > store & background menu item
press INSERT key
press CTRL+V keys
press key (top-left key)

Likewise the lack of easy access to the F function keys on tablet computers and some laptops is a nuisance. Two of which are F2 and CTRL+F2 to hide or show the trackpad info and zoom dialogs:

For CTRL+F2 the 2 key also works, but there wasn't an alternative for plain F2. So I have now added one -- the vertical bar character or pipe | (SHIFT+BACKSLASH).

menu radio bullets:

To clarify Windows behaviour for beginners without impacting too much on established users, I have modified one of the most commonly used radio groups:

Other menu groups marked with a radio bullet work similarly.

paste image into background shape:

If there is an image on the Windows clipboard you will now see this option when creating a background picture shape:

This avoids the need to save a file if you are creating the picture shape content in an image editor program. You can simply do Edit > Copy or CTRL+C.

Or you wish to use a screenshot from other software (PrintScreen key).

Or an image from a web page (right-click on it, Copy Image).

Some scanners will also scan directly to the Windows clipboard.

quick baseboard outlines:

There is a new function to add a quick baseboard outline to the background shapes.

This is simply an empty rectangle shape, but it can be added with a single click without going into the full background shapes dialog. You can add as many rectangles as you wish this way.

There is a selection of typical baseboard sizes in both inch an mm sizes. Or other sizes can be entered directly:

Note that selecting any of these does not change the grid units -- that's at trackpad > trackpad grid options > menu item.


If you normally use the mouse wheel to zoom the trackpad, you may have forgotten that you can also zoom by mouse action. This provides a much smoother response with more control, and a precise setting if you need it. That's on CTRL+F1 spot zoom mouse action or just press the 1 key.

As a reminder of this option, I have now added a button for it on the zoom/pan dialog:

Templot is now dpi-aware:

This change won't affect the majority of users. But users with high-definition screens will see a significant change to the screen scaling method. Templot is now what Windows calls "dpi-aware".

This means that on modern high-definition screens, Templot will now do its own screen scaling to make the text and controls large enough to be seen comfortably.

In all previous versions up until now, like most other software Templot has relied on Windows to zoom everything larger on high-definition screens. This is called "dpi-virtualization". It works quite well for text and controls, but produces a poor result for line graphics such as Templot's trackpad drawings. It also causes scaling errors on the sketchboard.

If you have been using one of these dpi-virtualized high-definition screens (i.e. more than 96 dpi in Windows Vista, or more than 120 dpi in Windows 7, 8, 8.1) you should see a marked improvement in this Templot update. And also a somewhat faster screen response.

But if you don't like it, I have included an option to return to dpi-virtualization if you wish. To do that:

1. click this new menu item on the program panel:

2. which will display this:

3. choosing the yes option will close Templot and display this:

These functions are still to some extent experimental, so I welcome comments and feedback. It is difficult to get the scaling just right because of the wide range of physical screen sizes.

Remember that most Templot dialog windows have up-down scaling buttons (on a blue panel, usually in the top-left corner) by which means you adjust the dialogs to a comfortable size.



6 Oct 2015 23:34


Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom

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Templot2   version 212a    Build: # 10628    6th October 2015

Templot2   version 213a    Build: # 10690    1st November 2015

1. There is a useful new V-crossing type indicator on the trackpad, showing the current type of V-crossing for the control template and allowing quick changes to/from regular/curviform:


R = regular
C = curviform
G = generic
P = parallel

I = irregular-type half-diamond

Showing in green on white for turnouts and regular half-diamonds or grey for plain track templates.

For irregular half-diamonds, it also shows I prefix (usually with C, but not necessarily).

Clicking it toggles regular/curviform as the two types most often used.

Right-click on it to access the full V-crossing dialog.

2. Sleepers adjacent to rail joints on plain track can now be automatically widened, if your prototype requires it. This should avoid a lot of timber shoving: :)

If not wanted enter the same width as the previous line (10") or zero.

The result is quite noticeable, this is a pair of 12" joint sleepers with 10" plain sleepers:

n.b. Don't use this option on templates which have already had joint sleepers shoved to 12" width. Otherwise you will end up with joint sleepers 14" wide.

I have also implemented a modify group to match function for the timbering settings. This is not a new function, it was already on the storage box. But an entry on this menu is convenient, and also avoids the risk of failing to reset the option after use:

At the same time I have made the timbering data... menu item easier to find (it was previously at the bottom of the menu):

3. More basic geometric shape items have been added on the sketchboard: square, triangle, arc, ring, segment, quadrangle, enclosure, corner are new:

These provide a bit more flexibility in creating symbols and custom combined items. For example the ring will be useful for goods line signal arms on signal box diagrams.

They can all be resized, stretched and rotated as before. And can be outlines, infill, or both, in any colours you wish, with adjustable transparency.

For the arc and ring, the inner radius can be set as a % of the outer radius. Setting zero for this produces a full arc sector -- useful for coloured pie diagrams.

4. Geometric and freehand shape items can now have their outlines edited. Red diamond marker items are added which can be dragged to new positions, deleted, inserted, etc. Click the ? help button for more information.

5. I have made some improvements to the editor for formatted text blocks on the sketchboard:

The above editor in Templot is suitable for neat formatted plain text. But for tables, icons, logos, etc., importing or pasting from Word (or other RTF source) is needed. The sketchboard is often used for signal box diagrams, so being able to import locking tables, etc., is useful. Save from Word in RTF format. For large images add these to the sketchboard separately as overlaid image items.

New options for coloured background, border, and adjustable margins have been added to the formatted text blocks.

Formatted text blocks can be rotated on the sketchboard.

6. There are some changes to the gauge/scale pre-sets:

00-SF has been renamed 4-SF. This is a name change only, there are no changes to the settings. There have been objections to the 00 designation for other than 16.5mm track gauge.

EM-SF has been added. 18.0mm gauge with 0.8mm flangeways (0.8mm check chairs are available from C&L). This maintains the 17.2mm check gauge for existing EM wheels, with the improved appearance of narrower flangeways. Minimum back-to-back 16.5mm, not suitable for RTR wheels. 

H00-DN has been added. 3.75mm/ft on 16.2mm track gauge. 1.0mm flangeways.

P-32 has been added. ScaleOne32 standard, see:

0-XF has been removed as unworkable.

7. There is a new option for centre-line-only track templates to be drawn in the style of the background shapes (colour and line width) when used as dummy templates. They are often used as such to represent curving baseboard edges and other structures, and as construction marks. This option will make them more prominent and their meaning clear. geometry > centre-lines only (dummy) menu item.

8. The make transition function has new dialogs when one or both of the original templates is itself a transition curve:

Previously only the peg location option was available, often requiring inconvenient swapping of the peg to the opposite end, and confusing beginners.

9. When running under Wine on Linux / CrossOver all modal dialogs can now be escaped via the keyboard (ESC key).

and in 213a  ...

10. Since the earliest days of Templot, the turnout road centre-line has linked directly from the V-crossing to the deflection point DP (CTRL-3), instead of following the actual turnout curve:

Until now I have left this feature unchanged, mainly because it is a useful aid when zoomed out on the trackpad, or looking at the printed templates, to identify quickly the hand of the template.

But it is not entirely convenient, so I have belatedly done something about it. The turnout-road centre-line will now follow the curve, and terminate at the switch heel:

This is still visible, just, as a hand marker when zoomed out:

This now makes it much easier to peg partial templates onto the turnout curve -- for example when inserting catch points into a turnout, or creating type-2 tandems where the second switch is in the turnout road of the first switch. Previously to do this it was necessary to run the peg along the rail rather than the centre-line to the required position. Now you can start from say CTRL-6 peg position and run it directly down the centre-line (CTRL-F8 mouse action).

Here for example I have inserted a set of catch points into this turnout:

11. Two option boxes have been missing from the V-crossing dialog for 15 years. :(

I have now added them.

This dialog is at template > V-crossing settings... menu item, or real > V-crossing options > V-crossing settings... menu item. Or by right-clicking on the green crossing-type indicator at the top left of the trackpad.

There are two likely reasons for selecting the fixed at... option for the crossing entry straight on regular-type V-crossings:

1. you are shortening this particular turnout to get a better fit to the available space, without wanting to change the switch size or crossing angle. In this case you would leave the boxes unticked, so that the setting reverts to auto-fit on subsequent templates. Or

2. you are matching a specific prototype drawing to produce a custom template. In this case you would probably want to tick the boxes, so that the setting is retained in all your subsequent templates.

Note that the fixed at... option is selected automatically when you use the the SHIFT-F11 mouse action (adjust V-crossing entry straight).

12. Sometimes the position at the left of the screen of the pop-up context menu for a selected background template is not convenient. It can now be changed:

The settings are included in your saved program preferences (if you are saving them).

13. There are new mouse actions to adjust the adjacent track centres settings, instead of entering the dimensions directly. This makes use of the geometry > centre-line options > functions* in order to see what you are doing, which means these need to be reset afterwards.

(*Unless you are already using the geometry > adjacent options > adjacent rails as guide lines option. In which case changing the centre-line to use the dummy vehicle is optional.)

The new mouse actions will be useful in two situations:

1. where you have some existing double track at an unknown spacing, and wish to create some connecting double track into which you can insert a crossover, say.

2. when using the dummy vehicle tool to determine the required spacing for running clearance at different radii. Here is a quick bit of scruffy video illustrating that:

(That's in the awful fuzzy MP4 format, so everyone on the planet should be able to see it.)

You can see that I determined that a track spacing of about 46mm centres would be preferable for this EM track at this radius, instead of the usual 6ft way (44.67mm centres).

I could then have gone on to do tools > make double-track TS if I wished.

14. Sometimes when zoomed in on the control template it is not obvious whether it is straight, curved, or a transition curve template. Which it may be necessary to know before making adjustments.

You can easily find out by clicking the geometry menu to see which of the top 3 items is showing a bullet mark.

But I thought it would be convenient to have the information visible at a glance, so I have added a curving indicator on the information panel. This shows:

st  for a straight template
co  for a constant radius template
tr  for a transition curve template

If a slew is present in the template, there is also a tilde character (swung dash) prefix:

~st    ~co    ~tr

15. Symmetrical Y-turnouts:

There is a new peg position at peg on split deflection:

This puts the peg on the TP switch toe position (CTRL-2) but at half the switch deflection angle. Which makes it easy to peg an irregular half-diamond onto a bit of plain track to create a switch front.

This makes a quick way to improvise a symmetrical Y-turnout.

In practice in many track planning situations there would be no need to create a separate switch front, it could be pegged directly onto an existing approach track. Then rolling the rails to put the switch-front rail joints in the right place.

It's not a perfect solution, because being a half-diamond template some turnout functions are not available. But as a quick alternative to a full construction using partial templates I think it will be very useful.

Taking this a bit further, there is a new option to replace the K-crossing timbering with the timber spacings and rail joint positions copied from any switch you choose (or those for a custom switch). This works best if you match the K-crossing angle with the switch tip deflection angle. For example in this case I selected a GWR 10ft curved switch, and set the K-crossing angle to 1:37 to match:

This doesn't change any of the rail alignments, so it is still not a proper prototypical switch. But it looks better, with the switch tips correctly overlapping the timber centre, etc. If you choose a curved type switch from the list, it will be quite close.

Comparing the above screenshot with the previous one, you can see the improved timbering at the switch tips, and the rail joint positions.

This is now the alert message when accessing the switch settings dialog when there is a half-diamond in the control template:

bug-fix: the track gauge was wrong after making plain track from a gaunt turnout. Fixed.

bug-fix: flat-bottom rail foot lines were being created for centre-line-only templates. Fixed.

bug-fix: the make transition function failed if the fixing peg was not on the main-road centre-line. Fixed.

bug-fix: the make diamond-crossing at intersection function was setting the V-crossing type as curviform even when the diamond-crossing was a regular pattern. Fixed.

This change-log topic is now far too long, so further update changes will be announced individually on Templot Club as they are made. September 2017.

Download the latest version of Templot:


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