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Best practices for reusing multiple layers?
#1
Hey there,

I had a few questions regarding how to reuse a grouping of several widgets where the purpose would be to simply change a Text Field and a specific target device.

My use case is that I've used the auto-generation engine to generate some rooms and lighting loads. When I want to add lights incrementally to a room, I'd rather not re-run the auto-generation engine because I'll then have to go back and modify several fields per auto-generated widget, so I'd like to just "copy and paste" what's already been generated and just add on to the overlay.

I think my two questions are intertwined:
1) The template that's auto generated is pre sized according to the original number of loads I attached to the room. For instance, each grouping of widgets that represents one load is 189 pixels wide. So the underlying template upon which all of the widgets sit is 189*n pixels wide where n= the number of attached loads. Question: how can I easily get to the template to just widen it such that I can do the below? Right now, to get to the template such that I can right-click on it, I have to delete all of the layers sitting on top of it.

2) The auto-gen template does a really slick job of combining static image fields, field boolean images, command button, etc. to represent a very clear on/off functionality and status. I'd like to simply copy all representative items and paste them into the new width area I create in the above question. Question: what's an easy way to manage all the groupings that represent a single functionality? Is there a way to see the hierarchical view of what represents a group?

I'm using the latest betas but I posted in this forum first in case this functionality (specific to the Template Editor) is materially unchanged.

Thanks so much for any help!

Patrick
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#2
On #1, in the latest stuff you can use Shift-Right Click to drill down to lower levels. So, click on something close to the back, e.g. the background of one of the lighting slots, to select something. Then continue to Shift-RC in that area, and it will successively select things further back. When you see the selection indicator go to the template itself, then you are on it. Then Ctrl-Right Arrow to size it up horizontally.

If you just want to get to the attributes of the template, there is a button in the widget palette to bring those up. OR you can do the above, to drill down until it's selected, the hit F7 to bring up the attribute dialog for the currently selected widget.

For #2, you would use the widget palette usually to see what is selected in terms of where they lie in the z-order and such. One problem is that, originally in the source templates I generate from there is one grouped set of widgets for the first light. But, when I regenerate each copy of that, I remove the grouping so that I don't have to mess with updating group info. So in the final generated stuff each lighting slot is not grouped anymore. Else it would be easier to just select each one.

However, in this particular case, after you have sized up the template itself, you can now just do a swipe select from the right side (where you now have room to start the swipe) and just swipe it over to include all of the widgets in the right-most lighting slot. Ctrl-C to copy, then move the mouse over to the upper right corner where you want the new one to go, and do Ctrl-V to paste them there. Nudge them left/right as required with the arrow keys to get them placed just right.


ANother way is to go to the widget palette and find the first one in the last light, then just Ctrl-Click successive entries in the palette to select them until you get to the end. That'll be all of the entries for that last light.

Once you have them selected, however you do it, you could then just right click (on one of the selected widgets which will keep them all selected) and select Group to group them together. After that, it'll be easy to select them all and copy/paste them.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#3
This is awesome, thanks for all the helpful tips! After an hour of trying to figure out how to send a Shift-RC via CoRD or Mac RDC, I'm just headed to get a real, non-Mac mouse and then I think I'll be back in business. Smile

Thanks as always for the help.
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#4
Dean Roddey Wrote:However, in this particular case, after you have sized up the template itself, you can now just do a swipe select from the right side (where you now have room to start the swipe) and just swipe it over to include all of the widgets in the right-most lighting slot. Ctrl-C to copy, then move the mouse over to the upper right corner where you want the new one to go, and do Ctrl-V to paste them there. Nudge them left/right as required with the arrow keys to get them placed just right.

If you have a second, could you comment more on your note above with respect to the grouping? On first read through your response I thought this was purely aesthetic/ease of moving multiple widgets around, but I want to be sure.

What I'm seeing: when I double click an automatically created Field Boolean Image from the Widget Palette, and change its source to something real (in place of the Sim), I can't save it until I remove the Group: identifier under the "Basic" tab. I have to do this for each Field Boolean Image.

I'm having some functional issues right now which I'm happy to work through on my own but I wanted to make sure removing this Group identifier, which I don't clearly understand, wouldn't lend itself to any real functional problem.

Thanks!
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#5
Oh, OK, I may have left something undone with the grouping stuff during the auto-gen. I'm supposed to be ungrouping them. But maybe I'm only ungrouping the first one or something, and leaving the others grouped but not really grouped, which would be bad. Sorry about that if so. I'll take a look at that.

This is part of the reason why the auto-gen stuff is sort of tricky, because all of the rules and regulations that the designer normally enforces, I have to deal with separately when generating stuff on the fly. And it's easy to get wrong.

Grouping is just so that, when any widget in the group is selected, they are all selected, so they always are moved, deleted, whatever, together because they can't be separately selected.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#6
Dean Roddey Wrote:Oh, OK, I may have left something undone with the grouping stuff during the auto-gen. I'm supposed to be ungrouping them. But maybe I'm only ungrouping the first one or something, and leaving the others grouped but not really grouped, which would be bad. Sorry about that if so. I'll take a look at that.

This is part of the reason why the auto-gen stuff is sort of tricky, because all of the rules and regulations that the designer normally enforces, I have to deal with separately when generating stuff on the fly. And it's easy to get wrong.

Grouping is just so that, when any widget in the group is selected, they are all selected, so they always are moved, deleted, whatever, together because they can't be separately selected.

Great, thanks for the grouping explanation, makes perfect sense.

I do think the condition you describe above is happening - I re-ran auto-gen with a few different iterations, and had the same grouping issue. So primarily just an FYI for your list o' things you're probably tracking.
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#7
OK, I see what is going on there. That loop that is ungrouping is also building up a containing area (the area that contains all of the grouped widgets.) It gets the area of the first one, then ORs the remaining areas into that one. So the loop starts on 1, not zero. That was skipping the ungrouping of the 0th one, the field Boolean widget that was originally the root of the group. So that meant that the first one stayed as a one widget group with the same name that got replicated over and over.

So many details, so few brain cells...
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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