President’s Message: Line Labels in TPC Desktop 2014 – Mark’s Tech Corner: Label Formats – Eric Tanikawa: Line Labels, Agile Releases and the TPC Connection –
Line Labels in TPC Desktop 2014
TPC Desktop 2014 is coming soon (look for an announcement in January) and I want to give you a heads on Line Labels .
This year, a lot of you have been making the move from your old CAD software into TPC’s drawings. Because of our Quick View™ technology, you’re discovering that doing your drawings in TPC takes just a fraction of the time it does in CAD. As a result, you’ve been sending us some great user-requests related to Line Labels which we’ve been able to meld into some great new features in TPC Desktop 2014. Here’s a snippet of what’s coming.
Label Orientation – in the drawing settings, you can now specify the label orientation (traverse line labels, curve labels, labels of lines you draw manually, etc). Choose from Top Only (the current default), Top and Left or Top and Right . TPC will orient every label so that it reads left to right when you hold up the top of the page, the left side of the page or the right side of the page. Pretty neat!
Inside/Outside – in the Traverse Settings, you can choose from Above, Below, Inside or Outside. Place all the distances inside a foundation traverse, or outside a wetland boundary.
Reverse Traverse Direction – by default, TPC labels traverse lines in the direction of the traverse, but we added a new option to reverse the direction for the entire traverse.
Reverse Direction of Any Label – once TPC has labeled a traverse line or even a line you drew manually, just right click and choose Reverse Label Direction . Don’t want it reversed? Just right click it and choose Reset Label Direction .
Stack or Align Related Labels – many of you know how TPC evaluates each tangent label and draws it off to the side with an optional leader if it doesn’t fit. You also know how TPC will stack curve and spiral information off to the side. Well, in TPC Desktop 2014, you can still let the traverse settings do all of this PLUS you can manually stack or align related labels. To stack the labels above and below a traverse line, just right click either one and choose Stack Related Labels . To put them back, right click and choose Align Related Labels . This even works with stacked vs aligned curve and spiral labels.
Dynamic Data After Edit – we’re not quite sure what to call this one, but we’ve expanded the use of drawing variables to the point where you will be able to edit a line label and still have TPC update the original value as needed. So change the distance label 120.40 FT to 120.40 FT [120.00] to include the record distance and TPC will continue to control and update the actual distance of 120.40 as needed.
Point Label Leaders – we think we’ll be able to squeeze this one into the first release of TPC Desktop 2014 and you’ll be able to turn on leaders for point labels just like you do for line labels.
More – we have a couple more, like point label leaders and optional direction arrows on direction labels, that we will work into TPC Desktop 2014 or release 1 if we can’t quite fit them in. And remember, with all of the options for individual labels, you can select a whole bunch of labels first, then what ever you do to one of the selected labels happens to all of the selected labels. It’s a really fast way to get your drawing exactly the way you want it.
John Balcom, MS, LS
With all the great new additions to line labels coming in TPC Desktop 2014 I want to remind you about the Label Format options you already have in your current version of TPC Desktop.
In the Traverse Settings dialogs, look for the Format Label button. The dialog that comes up is titled Point Label Formats , but it also controls curve and spiral formats for both stacked and aligned text.
In this dialog, you use the special characters, like C for chord length, along with your own characters like ‘LC’ that you include in single quotes. So if you ‘LC’=C in either the stacked or aligned curve format, TPC will enter something like LC=100.40FT in the curve labels it draws. Change the format to ‘Chord’=C and you’ll getChord=100.40FT .
If you haven’t explored the Format Label button yet, give it a try. You’re going to see it in a few more places in TPC Desktop 2014 as we open up more ways for you to label tangents, curves and spirals in your drawings.
Line Labels, Agile Releases and the TPC Connection
In an article above, John talked about some of the new line label features coming in TPC Desktop 2014. We’ve got quite a list and we will get as many of them into the first release of TPC Desktop 2014 as we can. But not all of them will make it. Some may have to wait for Release 1 or Release 2 of TPC Desktop 2014. It’s how we do agile releases. With each release, we include features that have made their way to the top of the list, into the code and made it through testing. We hold off on the features that weren’t ready and re-schedule them for the next release.
That’s where the TPC Connection comes in. It’s the way to get access to the new features as we release them. You get a whole year of updates. So if a feature doesn’t come out in the January release, you can get it in the April release or the July release. We’ll do our best to make it available as soon as we can, and you’ll get to start using it as soon as it’s out.
This is just one of the benefits that we feel makes the TPC Connection such a great value!