Performancing Metrics

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Go Figure

Another Great Subscriber Tip
Vincent Swift wrote this in the comment section of one of our previous tips:

“here’s a tip I use a lot with the offset command we often want to draw a centreline offset from an outline and a lot of people work out the half distance in their head which is OK but if its a large number say 2975 i just enter 2975/2
saves working it out doesn’t work with decimals though still hope you find it useful”

My Response
I responded to this tip/comment by letting Vincent know that you can do calculations on the command line while you are in a command by typing ‘cal (don’t forget the ‘ to make it transparent).  This method allows you to do calculations on decimal numbers as well.

When you enter ‘cal during a command you get the prompt:  >>>> Expression:


If you are in the OFFSET command and you have a centerline and would like the overall to be 27.42, you can enter ‘cal, followed by 27.42/2 and it would return 13.71.

Another method that allows for more complex calculations is QuickCalc.   You can launch QuickCalc as a tool palette if there’s no command active or as a floating dialog box if there is one active.  You can also launch it from the Properties Dialog Box anytime you are dealing with numerical inputs and you see the little calculator icon on the side of the value you are entering.

The really awesome thing about QuickCalc is that the calculations you perform while a command is active gets passed to the command once you are finished.  To activate QuickCalc, you can type ‘qc while in a command (to make it transparent) or you can press the keystroke combination Ctrl+8.

Unit Conversion
Another great function of QuickCalc is the ability to do unit conversions.  You may need to expand the palette to see this option, but below the number pad is Unit Conversion (right below Scientific).  Need to convert imperial to metric, or sq. ft. to acres?  You can do it inside QuickCalc.  No more looking for those conversion tables!


P.S. Make sure you check out the “Comment” section below each post.  There’s usually some great additional information to be found there.

If you found this post helpful, do my a favor and please press the Facebook “like” button below. 


7 Responses to “Go Figure”
  1. Ben Jolin says:

    One thing that was not mentioned in the above post is that decimals are not really a problem. Just multiply the top and bottom by 10 or 100 or 1000. For example 24.5 / 3.5 is the same as 245/35 or 2450/350 or …. ect. I figure it’s quicker than starting the calculator everytime. thanks for the tips Mike.

  2. Ben,
    Thanks for the add-on tip. That’s a great work-around that I’ve never thought of.

  3. Jodi says:

    WOW!!!! This is one VERY useful tip that I will likely use all the time!!!!!

  4. LRaquel says:

    Thank you so much! I’m feeling more confident. I am trying to make using the tips new habits!! You rock!! : )

  5. This tip was great and got me thinking of how many other things I am going about the long way. Here is a question to that end. Is there any way to offset many construction or drawing lines with one comand. Like 10 yard lines when drawing a football field?

  6. Hey Lawrence,
    When you give the offset command, after you give the distance to offset and you select your object, you can type “M” before you pick the side to offset. This allows you to pick multiple times, offsetting additional copies each time. If you doing a straight line offset, like a copy (as in the football field example you gave), you could also use the Array command.
    Hope that helps,

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