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Usage Tips Volume 1 (page 2 of 4)

Topics Covered:

Local Element Coordinates
Using the Mouse Wheel
Hoops Context Menu
Hoops Manipulations
LIST Operations
ODBC Reports

Using the Mouse Wheel

Many users now have a mouse with a Wheel between the left and right buttons. In CAESAR II, the mouse wheel can be used to scroll through previously defined piping spreadsheets. This serves the same function as the [PgUp] and [PgDn] keys.

If the Element Selection mode of the HOOPS graphics has been activated, clicking on an element in the graphics jumps the spreadsheet to that element. Clicking on the spreadsheet allows the data for this element to be modified. Scrolling the mouse wheel at this point will not only change the spreadsheet, but also update the current element indicator in the graphics window. This relationship is shown in the figure below. Note the gray colored element in the vertical riser. This element corresponds to the current spreadsheet.

The HOOPS Graphics Context Menu

Most Windows software programs support Context menus, available by clicking the right mouse button. These Context menus vary in content according to the currently active software window, hence the use of the term context. The HOOPS graphics in CAESAR II also support a Context menu.

While in the HOOPS graphics, clicking the right mouse button brings up the context menu shown at the right. Each of these menu options displays a secondary menu with various graphics operations.

The first menu option is Operators, which contains options for the global manipulation of the graphic image. The second menu option is Views, which contains options to quickly orientate the image into the three standard planar views and the isometric view. The third menu option is Projections, which provides various viewing options. The fourth menu option is Properties, which presently only provides a single option to change the colors of the various plot items. Each of these menu options is discussed in the paragraphs below.

The Operators menu provides global manipulation options, as shown in the figure at the right. These operations are:

  • Annotate - Used to place user defined text on the plot, from a leader line. Note, this text can not be saved with the job.
  • Element Select - Used to select a particular element. A small information dialog pops up describing the element's node numbers and delta coordinates. The [Spreadsheet] button can be used to bring up the entire spreadsheet associated with the selected element.
  • Orbit - Used to rotate the model with the mouse.
  • Pan - Used to move the model within the Window.
  • Zoom Extents - Used to zoom out such that the entire model can be seen in the Window.
  • Real Time Zoom - Used to activate an interactive zoom, whereby moving the mouse left and right zooms the model in and out.
  • Zoom Window - Used to zoom on a specific region of the model, using a standard rubber band box.

Operators Menu


The Views menu provides four predefined views. Using these options, you can quickly rotate the model to a specific orientation. These views are:

  • XY Plane - This option produces a view looking at the model in the "XY" plane, looking down the "Z" axis.
  • XZ Plane - This option produces a view looking at the model in the "XZ" plane, looking down the "Y" axis.
  • YZ Plane - This option produces a view looking at the model in the "YZ" plane, looking down the "X" axis.
  • Isometric - This option produces a standard Isometric view.

Views Menu

The Projections menu provides three different viewing perspectives. These perspectives are:

  • Orthographic - This option produces an orthographic view of the model.
  • Perspective - This option produces a perspective view of the model. This is probably the most useful view.
  • Stretched to Window - This option produces a stretched view of the model, such that the model fills the entire Window.

Projections Menu - Stretched View

The Properties menu provides a single option to manipulate the colors of the display items. This color control option produces the dialog shown at the right. Selecting an item in this list an clicking on the [Change] button produces the standard color control dialog.

The rotating spring hanger is used to actively view the color selection combinations before altering the entire plot window. This is a useful tool to prevent selecting unsatisfactory color combinations.

Color Control Dialog

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