New User - notes from first experience

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New User - notes from first experience

timg11
I just installed LibreCAD 2.1.3 on Windows x64.   I'm following the User Manual for LibreCAD 2.0

I'm familiar with drawing software, but I'm not an Autocad user. I need to make a simple 2D drawing with dimensions.

These are my observations from following the manual to create a basic drawing with no prior experience with this program - hopefully they can assist in clarifying the documentation and reducing the learning curve for others.

Application Preferences
"First, click on Edit (Options since 2.1.0) at the top of the page from the main menu. Then select Application Preferences. Notice the box that pops up and also notice that you can change quite a bit here under appearances. At this stage we are going to use the 'defaults' the program has set up for us. Make sure however that 'Graphics View > Show large crosshairs' is selected, this option turns the big Red Crosshairs in the work area on and off. "

Note: Under Application Preferences / Appearance / In the Graphics View part of the dialog there is nothing like "Show large crosshairs".  There is a selector for Snap Indicator Lines, and a selector for Snap Indicator Shape.

Units Precision
"Now click on the units tab. Here you can change units like we did earlier but the choices are only in effect for this drawing. Here we may want to change the Length from 4 decimal places to just 2. Do this by clicking precision and selecting 0.00 from the pull down menu. "

Note: Setting the units to Inch, format to Fractional, the Preview is inconsistent for precision values other than "0 1/2".   Precision 0 Preview 14 1/2.   Precision 0 1/2 Preview 14 1/2. Precision 0 1/4 Preview 14 3/8. Precision 0 1/8 Preview 14 7/16. and so on...

Drawing lines

"4) Select snap from the top menu then select snap on grid. This will make it much easier to draw straight lines. "

Note: There is no menu labeled "Snap".  My top menu has File, Options, Edit View Plugins, Tools, Widgets, Drawings, Help.
Likewise the next step (5) says "select Draw", but there is no Draw menu.  It turns out that the Draw menu has been renamed to "Tools", but I still have not found the Snap Menu renamed or moved under any other menu.



Changing Line Properties

"Ok, we have drawn our drawing and now we need to change some of the line properties. We can do this through the modify menu. We can change line colors, line thickness, type of line, and even change length and location through this menu. Let's see how that works.
    Make sure you have at least 1 line drawn on your workbench. If you don’t, then go ahead and draw one.
    Once you have this, go ahead and click on modify on the menu bar. On the pull down menu, select properties. "

Note: There is no menu option for Modify. No existing menu has a submenu option called Properties.  CUI conventions such as right-click, ctrl-click, and similar do not reveal Properties for a selected line. On a whim I tried entering the word "properties" as a command. That worked! I can get a line properties dialog for the lines forming the sides of one rectangle.  Oddly, I have another rectangle in the drawing, and when I look at the line properties for it, I get a polyline dialog that does not show the dimensions. Why?


That's enough for today. Looking forward to learning more.






   
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Re: New User - notes from first experience

dellus
The user interface has been changed a lot in the 2.1 series. The most valid manual is this:
https://wiki.librecad.org/images/2/20/LibreCAD_Users_Manual_2.1.3.pdf
The old manuals have been kept as the commands themselves are mostly working the same way. Just the place to find them has changed. It might be a good idea to move these old manuals to a place distinctly marked as "old" or "outdated".
A rectangle drawn  with the"Rectangle" command is one entity, drawn as a polyline, which means a bundle of consecutive lines, tied together. You have to"Explode" it for the "properties" dialog to show the dimensions of the single lines.
The more you study LibreCAD the more insufficiencies you will find. They are known, but we have to live with them as there are not enough developers around.
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Re: New User - notes from first experience

timg11
Thanks for the reference. Very helpful.

Even in this manual there are some differences.

For example,

"1.6  Modifying Line Attributes
The usage of Attributes   compared with  Properties : in the 'modify' menu we find action verbs"

Modify is not a top level menu. It is under Tools.


This is also seen in 1.17 Modify Properties: "The usage of  Attributes compared with Properties : in the 'modify' menu.."

where Modify is actually under Tools.
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Re: New User - notes from first experience

nerodog
In reply to this post by timg11
Am I running the wrong version of LibreCAD?  I"ve got 2.0.9.  Nothing seems to work.  Preferences menus do nothing when you click, icons too small to notice, much less read or recognise, and there's no text to tell you what they mean, nothing happens when you hover over them, and the screen is still all-black all the time.  I cannot even make a line, much less select one or get to its properties.  The user manual looks nothing like my screens, either, it's constantly showing screenshots from what looks like an entirely different program.  I'm also being told to click on something whose name is given, but since I don't know what names are associated with what icons, I'm still lost.  A lot of these free programs have experimental versions floating out there, for example, with GIMP or EMACS, every other one is for developers only.  Do I need to get ahold of 2.0.10 or 1.9.x?

Floundering Newbie Nerodog.
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Re: New User - notes from first experience

ForrestErickson
Hello timg11 and nerodog,

I too have been coming up to speed on CAD with LibreCAD. My last formal instruction was an 8th grade drafting class in about 1972 so things are nicer now.

I started with the latest version of LibreCAD 2.1.13, IIRC, but found the instructions on the LibreCAD web site WIKI substantially different and reading around learned that the GUI starting at 2.1 was changed.

Since there is so much more information written for the 2.0 version I chose to uninstall 2.1.13 and go to the last 2.0 version which I learned was 2.0.11. My learning curve is much improved and I have made drawings useful for work and I hope soon for pleasure with the small numerical CNC router I recently purchased.

Download 2.0.11 at : https://sourceforge.net/projects/librecad/files/Windows/2.0.11/

FYI,
On a second computer I have again installed 2.1.13 and occasionally check my files from 2.0.11 there. There are improvements in the 2.1.13 to the GUI so I will move there one day, but only after I more mastery of 2.0.11 due to the better documentation on 2.0.11.

Hello dellus,
Thanks for the link to the 2.1.3 manual. Perhaps it will speed my transition to 2.1.

And BIG thanks to the LibreCAD developers.

It has been fun and rewarding.

Forest Erickson


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Re: New User - notes from first experience

ForrestErickson
Regarding,

"...reducing the learning curve for others. "

Here is a Youtube that helped me understand and have a strategy for setting up layers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj2znFXv4a0

Here is a Youtube that helped me understand and have a strategy for using those layers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAxH3uxHGSM
The use of construction layer lines to snap to intersection of such lines was my most important take away from this video.

Hope this helps.
Forrest Erickson