eNewsletter – February, 2017

John Balcom: A Little Consistency Goes a Long Way, Mark Lull: I Told You So!, Oliver Bochsler: Leader Enhancements, Eric Tanikawa: Pennsylvania Visit and Chocolate!

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISPJohn Balcom: A Little Consistency Goes a Long Way

We continue making TPC Desktop easier for you to learn and use. TPC Desktop 2017 (released January 30th, 2017) is no exception. It includes a number of changes implemented specifically with this goal in mind.

Help When You Need It – Last November, before TPC Desktop 2017 was released, I told you about our new Help When You Need It. All the prompts that pop up and ask you to press Yes, No or Cancel, now include a help topic that explains why you got the warning and what to do about it. Before it was all done, we had added over 200 new help topics and plan to include more. All so that you consistently get the information you need, when and where you need it.

Line Label Formats – We received an immediate thumbs-up from many of you on our new line label formatting when TPC Desktop 2017 was released. You now format your line labels the same way you have already been formatting your curve and point labels. This gives you lots more flexibility in how you label lines, but just as importantly, it provides consistency for all labels. Learn how to format curve labels and you know how to format line (tangent) labels or point labels.

Having consistent labeling allows us to expose more labeling options without making them overly complex. In TPC Desktop 2017 we were able to add label styles (Auto, Aligned and Stacked), stacked label orientation (Horizontal, Vertical, Perpendicular, Aligned), extra label offset and more.

Leaders – You’ll want to read Oliver’s section to learn more about how leaders work in TPC Desktop 2017. One of the changes is that leaders are now more consistent with the other drawing objects. Most of you are familiar with the benefits of our Quick View™ technology, where you start with the Traverse Drawing Settings to create drawing objects with the properties you want then override individual objects as needed. Leaders work this same way now. You set their properties in the Drawing Settings, then modify individual leaders as needed. In previous versions, this didn’t work as consistently as it should. Now it’s consistent, which once again, allowed us to expose more leader options without making them overly complex.

Take a look at TPC Desktop 2017. We think you’ll agree that a little consistency goes a long way.

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISP

Mark Lull, Technical SupportMark Lull: I Told You So!

I first started talking about how great I think TPC Desktop 2017 is in our November, 2016 eNewsletter. I talked more about it in our January, 2017 eNewsletter (which I had all to myself!). Since then, we wrapped up development and testing and we released it on January 30th. I knew that many of you were really excited to finally receive the program and I was right. The vast majority of you installed it immediately so you could start taking advantage of the new features. That’s when the feedback started coming in.

Grant Beach can’t quit talking about how much time the new version of TPC is saving him. I was working with him this morning and I showed him a tool that we have had in TPC for as long as I can remember and he said, “Another time-saver!” Grant’s efficiency and workflow have been improved greatly, not only by the new options in the program, but also by learning some of the old tried-and-true methods we have already had. (You can see more from Grant including one of his maps on our website.)

I’ve also talked to many others of you who have said things like, “It took me just a little bit of time to understand how the new line labeling options work. Now I can do the things I have wanted to do for a long time! Now it just happens automatically and I don’t have to do a lot of editing or even moving of labels!” That’s what we like to hear!

So you probably want to know if there have been any problems. Well, with any release there are bound to be a few hiccups. With a major release like this one and with changes in how something as fundamental as line labeling works, we can expect a few major issues. So what issues have we seen? So far, very few. We have run into a couple of very minor issues and have never had a release go so smoothly with so few issues!

TPC Desktop 2017 is definitely the best release ever! I told you so!

Mark Lull, Technical Support

Oliver Boschler, Software DevelopmentOliver Bochsler: Leader Enhancements

TPC Desktop 2017 has improved many things, including leaders. We’ve given you more control over how your leaders are drawn in traverses and in the draw leader command. Default values for drawn leaders are no longer taken from the Format toolbar in the Drawing View. The defaults are taken from the drawing settings. We like the idea of finding all settings related to leaders in one place.

Leader Settings

There are two new options available for leaders drawn by traverses. You have Gap size, and an option to define the proximity of the arrow to its target. The proximity can be defined by Center and Edge. Center makes the leader target the center of the object it extends to and Edge makes the leader target the outside perimeter of the object it extends to. For example, a leader using Center would extend directly to the center of a point symbol, while a leader using Edge would extend to the outside of the point symbol. The gap defines how much extra space the leader should have between itself and its target object. Adjust this option to your liking.

In previous versions of TPC the leader dialog only had three options for the leader arrow. In TPC 2017 we now have the ability to change the arrow type and size, leading to many custom options. Take some time to explore the leader improvements in TPC 2017 and while you’re at it take a few minutes to explore everything else that’s new in TPC 2017.

Oliver Bochsler, Software Development

Eric Tanikawa, SalesEric Tanikawa: Pennsylvania Visit and Chocolate!

Last month I visited the Annual Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors (PSLS) conference in Hershey, PA. This event served over 500 land surveyors, families, and exhibitors. I was greeted with great hospitality from Laurie Troutman, Executive Director, and Dennis & Carole Sheehan, Past President. PSLS filled the conference with dinners, awards, chapter meetings, board meetings, new officers and a time to fellowship with your colleagues. On a special note, our own Traverse PC user Greg Clark was awarded “Volunteer of the Year”! I would like to thank Robert Dill, Dennis Sheehan, Joe McGraw, and Dan Barry who all helped me in the TPC booth! We had many Traverse PC users who visited me like David Downey, Eric Cunard, Richard Rupert, Brian Taylor, Greg Clark and Doug Richmond.

Greg Clark - TPC User and PSLS Volunteer of the Year
Greg Clark, PLS & PE – Marble, PA
Traverse PC User and PSLS Volunteer of the Year

However, since I was in Hershey, you have to eat chocolate as a necessity! On Sunday morning, I went to visit chocolate world where I completed a Chocolate tasting course and was certified as a “Hershey’s Palateer”! A Hershey’s Palateer is someone who samples their products using all senses and provides comments on flavor and texture. I was able to understand the differences between dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and organic chocolate. Chocolate does have many tasting notes such as; Spicy Nutty, Earthy, Floral, Fruity, Sweet and Dairy. In the end, chocolate is like bacon, you can’t go wrong!

Traverse PC Hershey's Chocolate

More photos from the conference are available in the Penn. Society of Land Surveyors – 2017 Surveyors’ Conference album on our Facebook page.

Eric Tanikawa, Sales