All the Menu commands in AutoPlot begin with "AP_". This naming convention has no functional purpose while you are making your plot. The convention was adopted so that all the AutoPlot plug-ins would be listed together in the plug-ins folder that resides with VectorWorks. The macros are listed below without their "AP_" prefix. Additionally, plug-in names are limited to 27 characters.
Align TB on Insert Pt
Align LR on Insert Pt
Beam Spread Metric
Beam Spread WKS
Change Position Name
Change Text Link
Check For Empty Type Field
Dimension from Ctr
Distribute Objects along line
Distrib. Syms along line
Distrib. Syms by Distance
Distrib. Syms in Spaces
Enter Data for Selected
Enter Data SR to SL
Enter Position for Selected
Erase Fixture Ids
Export Data to Paperwork
Export Data with Labels
Fill Selec w Bogus Data
Legend Symbol Collector
Make Fixture Count WKS
Make Fixture List
Move to closest 3 in (H)
Move to closest 6 in (H)
Number 3 Cir Strip
Number 3 Cir Strip ABC
Number 4 Cir Strip
Number 4 Cir Strip ABC
Number Selected from SL
Number Selected from SR
Number SL Boom
Number SR Boom
Select By Channel Sample
Select By Circuit Sample
Select By Polygon
Select By Position Sample
Select By Posit & Type Sample
Select By Symbol Type
Select By Type Sample
Show Text for 1/4 in Scale
Show Text for 1/2 in Scale
Show Both 1/4 & 1/2 Text
Space Horiz from Ctr
Space Horiz from SL
Space Horiz from SR
Space Horiz in Opening
Space Vert from Top
Space Vert from Bottom
Export w Labels+
"Align TB on Insert Pt
"Align LR on Insert Pt"
The alignment macros align the symbols on their insertion points not by their geometric centers or boundaries. The macros also ask you to click the mouse in order to specify the point to align to instead of using a handle or center of one of the objects as a guide. Holding down a key during the mouse click will abort the macro and move nothing.
Before using this macro, draw a line from the fixture to the center beam focus point. Leaving this line selected activate this macro and fill in the beam spread in degrees; the macro will then draw two lines with arrow ends, one on each side of the selected focus line which represents the beam 's section.
This macro requires that you select a light prior to calling the macro. The macro will then ask for the beam spread and height of the fixture. After that you are required to click on where the hot spot falls on the ground plan. The macro will then draw the floor plan of the beam. The bug requiring the useless dialog has been fixed. There are many interface issues having to do with how the height of a position is stored or determined and the same is true for beam spread. In the future, I hope to have a version that allows picking and calculating the spread of multiple fixtures
The current version of this macro was sent to me by Joshua Benghiat after he read my plea for someone to replace my convoluted trigonometry, and I think this version does the oval width slightly more accurately.
"Beam Spread Metric"
This macro does just what the "Beam Spread" macro does, except that it should be used in drawings that use metric units. When you enter the height of the fixture, use the units of the drawing. If the drawing units are meters, enter the height in meters. If the drawing units are centimeters, enter the height in centimeters, etc.
"Beam Spread WKS"
This macro was first devised by Joshua Benghiat. I have played around with some interface elements, but the muscle of this macro is essentially his.
This macro does just what the "Beam Spread" macro does, but it allows you to have the field and beam spread shown, and, if you wish you can have the macro draw the field cone. The macro uses the values in the "DialogDefaults" record to determine what to display. The beam cone will be the stated fixture height. If your fixtures are not given a z value, the cone will be correct, but you won't find the fixture at the top of the cone. Of course, if you haven't given z values to your plot you probably won't be doing sections anyway.
"Change Position Name"
This macro allows you to change the name of a position already assigned to symbols and have that change applied to all the symbols that have the position name you wish to change.
"Change Text Link"
This macro will change the field that text is linked to. If you have text linked to the "Circuit" field and you would rather have it linked to the "Dimmer" Field, use this macro. This macro requires that the text fields you wish to reassign be assigned to classes that have the field name within them, e.g. "1/4 Dimmer", "1/2 Dimmer", or just "Dimmer". First select an example of each symbol you want to change the text in; this is usually done by selecting everything. Invoke the macro. The macro will ask you what field you want to unlink from (e.g. you answer "Circuit"). It then asks what field do you wish to link text to (e.g. you answer "Dimmer".) This macro will also change the class that the text is assigned to.
"Check For Empty Type Field"
This macro checks each symbol instance to be sure that the "Type" field has an entry and that the entry is contained within the symbol name. It is very easy to forget to fill in the defaults for new symbols that you create. This macro helps check for that. The only result of a bogus type field is that you will get an annoying dialog flagging the fact when you reimport an empty or changed "Type" field.
This macro allows collects all the dimensions in the drawing and places them in a separate layer.
Registration and Shareware Info.
Sometimes you will accidentally or intentionally create symbols that have no position or unit number and it is unlikely that you will want to export those to the hookup. This macro eliminates all the symbols that are attached to the Lights database and which have no position and unit#.
"Dimension from Ctr"
This macro is a work in progress, and it is to be determined how useful it is. It will place dimensions that are calculated from the centerline between selected objects. Unfortunately, MiniPascal does not let me control the horizontal placement dimension text; it is either placed centered between witness lines or outside the witness lines or on top of a witness line. It the text is allowed to be placed centered between the center line and the off stage edge they often pile up on each other, so I have placed the dimension text on top of the witness line going to the light that is being dimensioned. The macro will use whatever dimension style is currently selected. I have made a custom dimension style called "Sam" that seems to work best with this macro. Access this dimension style through the "Preferences" dialog. The default font and font size for dimensioning is the default font and size that is selected when no other objects on the drawing are selected.
This macro will place dimensions that are calculated from one instrument to the next between selected objects. The macro will use whatever dimension style is currently selected. I have made a custom dimension style called "Sam" that seems to work best with this macro. Access this dimension style through the "Preferences" dialog. . The default font and font size for dimensioning is the default font and size that is selected when no other objects on the drawing are selected.
"Distribute Objects along line"
This macro was downloaded from the Graphsoft web site. It distributes selected objects evenly along a line that is drawn after the macro is invoked. The first and last symbols will be at the beginning and the end of the line.
"Distrib. Syms along line"
We soon discovered that the above distribution macros would distribute lights in the order that they were created instead of the order of their unit# number or original x coordinate. This macro will distribute lights along a line in the order of their unit#. The spacing used is the same as the "Distribute along line". This is probably the macro you want to use or the one following.
"Distrib. Syms by Distance"
This macro works just as the macro above, "Distribute Symbols along line", but instead of using the requested line's length to evenly space the instruments, it lets you specify the spacing in inches.
"Distrib. Syms in Spaces"
This uses the same spacing as the "Distribute variation", it uses only symbols and their unit#'s as the "Distribute Symbols along line" does.
"Enter Data for Selected"
This macro will collect the selected lights and sort them by Unit# and then present a dialogue box for data entry into the database fields. You can end entry at anytime by pushing the finish button
"Enter Data SR to SL"
This macro is the same as the one above, "Enter Data for Selected", except that the order of the cycle through the fixtures is reversed.
"Enter Position for Selected"
This macro requests a position name and puts that name in the position field of all the currently selected units. This macro is especially useful when assigning a position to fixtures that are grouped, such as strip lights.
"Erase Fixture Ids"
Occasionally the AutoPlot Export Data macro will attempt to assign a fixture ID whose value is already in use. When this happens you must use this macro to reset all the fixture IDs and then re-export. When this ID conflict problem happens, it is usually the result of importing symbols from other drawings. (See the new "`Export Data" command)
Export Data to Paperwork
Export Data with Labels
(See description of exporting and importing below)
"Fill Selec w Bogus Data"
When making symbols it is often desirable to put data in the fields of the symbol to see how the symbol is behaving. This macro will fill all selected symbols with the same set of data values, so that you see the text fields. The data is arbitrary and based on nothing in the drawing.
This macro was developed by Richard Yopung and posted on America On Line. It's a nice way to put arrowhead labels into your document. The macro keeps running until you double click which allows you to plop down a lot of labels without having to invoke the macro each time. All the labels are put in their own class and drawn on their own layer.
"Legend Symbol Collector"
This macro will look through the drawing and collect one sample of each type of fixture that you are using. The macro uses what is entered in the "Type" field of each unit. For example, once the macro has found a 6X9 it will use that symbol and it will ignore all other symbols that have 6X9 as the entry in the "Type" field. However, "6X9 iris", as an entry in the "Type" field, is different form "6X9", so that symbol is collected in addition, etc. The macro will collect the symbols, put them in a column, label them, and disconnect them from the database so that they are not exported or counted. This is only an aid in making sure you have all your symbols in your symbol key when you create it. It will not keep you from having to create and edit your symbol key.
This macro will take whatever is selected and make it a symbol that is attached to the "Lights" record. Any text that is to display field values must be assigned a class whose name contains the name of the field prior to invoking the macro.
"Make Fixture Count WKS"
This macro will create a worksheet that will count the number of each type of instrument that is on the plot. It will not make entries in the worksheet for lights that are not on the plot drawing (i.e. unused symbols). You can manually add rows for inventory that has not been used if you wish. The worksheet uses the "Type" field for comparison and counting. E.G. All the lamps that have "6X9" in the "Type" field will be counted and put in one row; all the lamps that have "6X9 Iris" in the "Type" field will be put in another row. If you manually enter your inventory amounts, in the "Inventory" column, it will due the subtraction and compute what is left. There is a Fixture Count worksheet in the "SymMacs" file that you can import if you wish.
"Make Fixture List"
This macro will make a worksheet database list of all the symbols attached to the database "Lights." This can be convenient when you are looking for info or checking for problems. This list is not editable, because such lists based on symbol records are currently not editable in VectorWorks. (I export to Panorama or LW3 anyway.)
"Move to closest 3 in (H)"
If a symbols X-coordinate is not evenly divisible by 3, the macro will look in both horizontal directions and place the symbol on the closest X-coordinate divisible by 3. The macro will perform this operation on all selected symbols.
"Move to closest 6 in (H)"
If a symbols X-coordinate is not evenly divisible by 6, the macro will look in both horizontal directions and place the symbol on the closest X-coordinate divisible by 6. The macro will perform this operation on all selected symbols.
"Number 3 Cir Strip"
This macro will number the selected units from screen right to screen left in integer increments unless the instruments have the words "STRIP" or "CYC" in the Type field of the data record. If either of those type descriptions is found the macro starts numbering in groups of 3 in the following manner:
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3. You might notice the units are not numbered in the A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 manner. The A1 system makes units difficult to count in the air and difficult to manipulate in computer paperwork, so the decision was made to do it the way described.
"Number 3 Cir Strip ABC"
This macro will number striplights in the traditional USITT approved A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3 manner. What a pain.
"Number 4 Cir Strip"
This works just as the 3 circuit striplight numbering except that the decimal increments go up to .4, e.g. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4.
"Number 4 Cir Strip ABC"
This macro will number striplights in the traditional USITT approved A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3, B4 manner. What a pain.
NOTE: It is possible to use the 3 cir or 4 cir numbering macros in place of the "Number Selected" macro since only striplights get decimalized.
This macro will number the selected symbols from screen bottom to screen top. Normally I would describe this as downstage to upstage, but the macros have no way of knowing what the orientation of the stage is on the screen.
This macro will ask for a position name and then look through the entire drawing for symbols with that name in the position field. It will then sort them and number them from screen right to screen left. Because this macro looks through the entire drawing and all the symbols, I think that it really is too slow. I think you will find it faster and easier to manually select the symbols at a position and then using the "Number Selected" macro below. That method is really convenient, since it is likely that all the symbols are still selected from using the "Enter Position on Selected" macro.
This macro will number the selected symbols from screen top to screen bottom. Normally I would describe this as upstage to downstage, but the macros have no way of knowing what the orientation of the stage is on the screen.
"Number Selected from SL"
This will number the selected symbols from screen right to screen left using integer increments. Normally I would describe this as stage left to stage right, but the macros have no way of knowing what the orientation of the stage is on the screen.
"Number Selected from SR"
Same as "Number Selected" but numbers in the opposite direction, i.e. from screen left to screen right.
"Number SL Boom"
This macro will number lights from screen top to screen bottom. Symbols at approximately the same vertical position are numbered from screen right to screen left.
"Number SR Boom"
This macro will number lights from screen top to screen bottom. Symbols at approximately the same vertical position are numbered from screen left to screen right.
NOTE: The boom numbering is based on the convention of numbering the lights that are closest to the proscenium first, so double hung booms should be numbered differently if they are on different sides of the proscenium wall. The boom numbering macros assume that the booms, ladders, or trees have been placed up stage of the proscenium wall. If you wish to use these macros to number box booms, windows or other positions downstage of the proscenium wall use the macro that is designated for the opposite side of the stage, e.g., a stage left box boom (audience right) would use the "Number SR Boom" macro.
This macro allows you to edit the "Dialog Default" Record which sets the default values used in many of the dialogs and macros.
This macro will replace the currently selected group with the active symbol in your resource palette.
Why would you want to do this?? Sometimes text in a symbol is not in a convenient place relative to other objects in the drawing. The usual way to deal with this problem is to create a special symbol with the text in the place you want. It is also possible to select a symbol instance and convert it to a group then edit the group. The group will stay attached to the record, but the text will no longer be linked to a record field. This is not a problem if the value in the records does not change, because the text doesn't change when you convert to a group. A problem will arise if you change values in the record of the group or reimport new values to the drawing from the hookup. Sometimes I have found that I wish to convert any groups I may have back into symbols before I export again, and this macro makes the replacement, retaining all record values, easy.
If the above discussion is totally opaque to you, feel free to give me a call (see credits and have MC up and running at the time).
This macro will replace all the currently selected symbols in the plot with the active symbol in your resource palette. It will preserve all the data from the old symbol except for the "Type" and "Wattage" fields which it will replace.
This macro will reset the origin to the original 0,0 of the drawing. This can be useful if you find that your spacing and alignment commands and macros are not behaving as expected. The AutoPlot spacing and alignment commands should not be dependent on the original origin, MiniCAD has had inconsistent performance in the past.
"Select By Channel Sample"
Select a fixture as a sample and then invoke this macro to select all the symbols with the same value in the "Channel" field of the "Lights" database
"Select By Circuit Sample"
Select a fixture as a sample and then invoke this macro to select all the symbols with the same value in the "Circuit" field of the "Lights" database
"Select By Polygon"
This macro requests that you draw a polygon that encloses all the objects that you wish to select. The polygon may be irregular.
"Select By Position Sample"
Select a fixture as a sample and then invoke this macro to select all the symbols with the same value in the "Position" field of the "Lights" database
"Select By Posit & Type Sample"
Select a fixture as a sample and then invoke this macro to select all the symbols with the same value in the "Position" field and the same value in the "Type" field of the "Lights" database
Be sure you understand the difference between the following 2 selection macros
New in VectorWorks,
"Select By Symbol Type"
Select a fixture as a sample and then invoke this macro to select all the symbols with the same symbol type regardless of what is in the "Type" field of the "Lights" record.
"Select By Type Sample"
Select a fixture as a sample and then invoke this macro to select all the symbols with the same value in the "Type" field of the "Lights" database
New in VectorWorks,
"Show Text for 1/4 in Scale"
This makes visible all text fields attached to record fields that have a class name preceded by "1/4 ", and it makes invisible all text fields attached to record fields that have a class name preceded by "1/2 ".
New in VectorWorks,
" Show Text for 1/2 in Scale "
This makes visible all text fields attached to record fields that have a class name preceded by "1/2 ", and it makes invisible all text fields attached to record fields that have a class name preceded by "1/4 ".
New in VectorWorks,
"Show Both 1/4 & 1/2 Text"
This makes visible all text fields attached to record fields that have a class name preceded by "1/4 " or "1/2". You will definitely want to use this macro when you are creating, duplicating, and/or editing fixture symbols.
The following spacing macros use the "DialogDefaults" record to input default values in the dialogues. If you don't have an "DialogDefaults" record the macro will make one. For all the spacing macros, except "Space Horiz in Opening", holding down a key during the mouse click will abort the macro and move nothing.
"Space Horiz from Ctr"
This macro will space the currently selected symbols a queried distance apart horizontally centered at a queried point on the screen.
"Space Horiz from SL"
This macro will space the currently selected symbols a queried distance apart horizontally starting at a queried point on the screen on the left side of where you want the symbols to start appearing.
"Space Horiz from SR"
This macro will space the currently selected symbols a queried distance apart horizontally starting at a queried point on the screen on the right side of where you want the symbols to start appearing.
"Space Horiz in Opening"
This macro will ask you to draw a line representing the distance of a horizontal opening you wish the wash to cover. It will then take the currently selected instruments, count them and use that number to determine the size of that number equal spaces on the pipe. It will then put each of the selected lights in the middle of one of those spaces.
e.g. You have already selected 5 lights on the FOH position. You then activate the macro. It asks you to draw a line representing the opening. You then draw a line that has a length of 40 feet along the X axis. The macro divides 40 feet by 5 coming up with 8 horizontal spaces and it then puts each of the selected lights in the middle of one of those spaces. The macro will not change any instrument's position on the Y axis.
"Space Vert from Top"
Same as "Space Horizontally" but spaces from the click down the screen.
"Space Vert from Bottom"
Same as "Space Horizontally" but spaces from the click up the screen.
Using Spacing Macros in Metric Drawings
When using the above macros in drawings done with metric units, enter the drawing units whenever it asks for input in inches. If the drawing units are meters, answer in meters. If the drawing units are centimeters, answer in centimeters, etc.
This macro will connect up to 20 lights with a twofering indication. If the fixtures are wider than they are tall, the twofer will run horizontal. If the fixtures are taller than they are wide, the twofer will be vertical. If you wish to have the opposite orientation, hold down the option key when clicking on the position of the twofer line. The twofer indication is sent to the back of any layer it is drawn on so that it does not obscure notes, and the twofer lines are put into a class called "Twofer" so that you can hide their display if desired.
In order for the Twofering macro to work in the manner that you expect you must ungroup any symbols that have been grouped together, e.g. strip and cyc units.
This macro will request that you draw a rectangle around the intersection where you wish to place the bump in the twofer line. It will then redraw the horizontal portion of the intersection with a bump in it. It will then expect you to select another intersection and will keep repeating until you either double click or hold down a key on the keyboard while clicking at which point the macro will terminate.
This macro Is just like "Twofer Bump-H" above except that a bump is placed on the vertical portion of the intersection.
Twofer Bump Orientation.
The Orientation of the twofer bump is always in the same direction. If you wish to change the orientation of a twofer bump you must use the mirror tool (my preferred method) or flip it and drag it back to place
I have often wanted to be able to specify the zoom percentage, especially when zoom out. This macro does that.
EXPORTING & IMPORTING THE DATABASE
One must use this export macro and NOT the "Export Database" command under the File menu. This is because the macro writes a unique name into each symbols name attribute and exports that name, (always a number) with the other fields. This name provides a unique plot link that will be used when importing data back to the plot file using the import command below. Lastly, this macro will query you for a file name with a default of "Lights.export".
"Export w Labels+"
This works just like "`Export Data" above, except that the first record that it exports has the name of each field as the value of each field. This macro is provided for those of you that use Lightwright 3, Filemaker Pro, or other database programs that put a dialog box that allows you to rearrange the order of import. Those of you using Panorama will get an extra record that you will need to delete.
This macro will import values from a tab delimited text file. The fields must be in the following order Unit #, Position, Channel, Short Purp, Type, Circuit, Color, Dimmer, Purpose, Wattage, Template, Miscl#1, Miscl#2, Miscl#3, Miscl#4, Miscl#5, PlotLink. The MiniCAD "readln" command does not seem to be implemented properly and requires a printable, non-space character in every field. Be sure that whatever generates your text file puts a "-" in any empty fields; this macro will strip the "-" out as it reads the data in.
Any record that comes in with a PlotLink field that is empty or equals "0" will be identified as a fixture that is not on the plot. The macro will then attempt to determine the location of that new fixture based on the Unit # and Position fields; it will then place a generic black box at that position and display the displayable fields and unit type. The generic black boxes can then be changed to the appropriate symbols using the "Replace Symbol" macro. For the macro to perform this part of the macro properly, it is required that you have a symbol called "Generic Unit" in your symbol list; such a symbol exists in the "Symbols & Macros" file. Be sure to import this symbol into your drawings.
After importing your data, this macro will look at all the symbols to see if any symbols did not receive an incoming record, i.e., were deleted from the paperwork. If it finds symbols that were not in the paperwork, it will place a big X through them. It put up an alert that tells you some symbols were deleted from the paperwork and gives you the option to delete all of them or leave them plot with Xx over them that you can delete yourself.
Any record comes in with a PlotLink field that equals "IGNORE" will not be imported.