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|Single message by Martin Wynne Topic: Changes in 219b|
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Here is a summary of the changes in Templot update version 219b:
1. When making double track and crossovers there are new one-click shortcut options to widen or reduce the adjacent track centres by 18 inches (scale):
In 4mm/ft scale, 18 inches scale is 6mm. So widening the default 6ft-way spacing of 44.67mm centres by 6mm takes it to 50.67mm, closely matching the "Peco standard" of 2-inch centres (50.8mm). This is sufficient for a running clearance on all but the sharpest model curves, and allows clearance for obstructions such as a signal post.
These options make it easy to widen the spacing when needed and reduce it again when no longer needed, without going into the settings dialog.
In addition there is now a warning for standard-gauge tracks if the spacing is less than the minimum 134 inches for 6ft way. This does not apply to narrow-gauge tracks.
2. The most recently stored background template is now shown on the trackpad with bold timber outlines. This is primarily to create a visual change for beginners when a copy of the control template is stored, hopefully to avoid the creation of duplicate templates. It is useful for everyone as a means to keep track of progress in creating a track plan:
If not wanted, this can be turned off in the background detail dialog:
(That dialog is at trackpad > trackpad background options > trackpad background templates detail... menu item.)
3. Background templates can have locations flagged for external connectors in the DXF exports:
This has no effect on track planning in Templot. Such connectors would allow exported Templot tracks to be linked to native tracks in other track planning software such as XTrackCAD.
At present this function simply allows the locations to be flagged. The actual connectors are not yet created in the DXF export files, awaiting more information from the XTrackCAD developers.
4. The shift and rotate group functions have been upgraded to allow all background shapes to be shifted or rotated in sync with the track templates:
This would normally be used only when the entire track plan has been grouped.
There is also a new function to shift templates (and background shapes if wanted) back into the positive quadrant on the grid if shifts or rotations have taken them out of it.
All group rotations take place around the current position of the notch, which can be positioned beforehand for a convenient result.
5. The functions to rotate all background shapes have been upgraded with new options for the rotation centre:
And a picture shape can be twisted around its centre in addition to the other options:
6. There is a new function in the background shapes to set all picture shapes transparent:
Previously it was necessary to select each picture shape in turn to make it transparent.
This new function is especially useful with tiled maps, where you may have several dozen picture shapes, one for each tile.
If such maps are rotated to angles other than 90 degrees or 180 degrees, rotation will cause each one to gain overlapping white corners. Making them all transparent allows the rotated map to be viewed properly:
When working over transparent background maps, it is often convenient to change to the "snow white" colour scheme:
Note that transparent picture shapes cause a restriction to the depth of zooming possible, and will slow down zooming and panning on the trackpad. You may want to cancel the transparency while zooming in close for precise alignments. These issues are more of a problem with large picture shapes such as the screenshot maps, than with the tiled maps.
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