Opening Shapes

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Opening Shapes are the basic building blocks for Openings.

Opening Shapes are accessed by going to Draw ⇒ Detail ⇒ Opening Shapes. They are the very basic building blocks for creating an Opening. SoftPlan provides numerous Opening Shapes as shown here.

Using these basic shapes you can create most any kind of Opening, although there are some exceptions. If you need a shape not included in SoftPlan's Opening Shapes you can create one using the method described in the Custom Windows tutorial.

For windows you can define a number of different grill styles including Square, Renaissance, Craftsman, Prairie, and Jalousie. Some styles are only available for certain Elevation Openings. For instance the Renaissance style is only available for the Round Top and its variants.

In addition to the grill style you can define the number of Horizontal and Vertical grills and their spacing.

Note That:
  • The Door type is what is used to define Door shapes.
  • Some of the Opening Shapes are actually variations themselves. For instance the Hung and Sliding are variations of the Casement Opening Shape. You can make the Casement Opening Shape into a Hung or Sliding Opening Shape by adjusting the Sections and Sliding settings.
  • An Awning Opening Shape is one in which the lower sash is approximately 1/3 of the total height of the opening.
  • An Auto Slope Opening Shape will automatically adjust to the slope of the top of the wall in which it is placed.
  • An Elliptical Elevation Opening can have grills like the spokes of a wheel. If you want a round window this is what you would use and set the width and height to be the same dimension.
  • A Polygon Elevation Opening can be basically any shape. Just draw it out like you would draw a shape polygon.
  • The Triangle Opening Shape is basically a Polygon that is limited to just 3 Sides. When drawing this type the first side that is drawn determines how the grills will be oriented.
  • The Round Top can have a top that is either round, elliptical, arced, or angled. If angled, the top center can be either flat or come to a point. This type is very versatile and can be used to create openings such as windows, doors, arches, sheetrock wrapped openings, and cased openings. The options available vary depending on which top type is selected.
  • The Glass Block type is actually another variation of the Casement type. It is just pre-configured to simulate a pattern similar to glass block.
  • The Quarter Round will be a 1/4 circle when you first draw it. But it can be edited to make it a 1/2 round top by making it taller than it is wide.
  • The Door Glazing (Square) is used to add a square glass area to a door.


Once you sketch out the Opening Shape then you can edit it to represent the opening you want to create. You can turn frames on or off, define sashes, beads, grills, sections, hinge side, and a number of other options.

Additional details can be added to your Opening Shape by combining Opening Shapes and normal shapes such as lines and arcs. The doors illustrated here are created using the Door Opening Shape. The lower panels and the grills are made with lines. The glass portions are made with additional Opening Shapes. The door on the left uses the Polygon Opening Shape. The center door uses the Round Top Opening Shape. And the door on the right uses the Door Glazing (Square) Opening Shape.



I would recommend  drawing each of the Opening Shapes and experiment with editing all of the settings to get a good understanding of what they do. SoftPlan's Help system has much more information about configuring Opening Shapes.

You can also insert existing Elevation Openings into a drawing and explode them one time to see how they were created. Exploding an Elevation Opening turns it into an Opening Shape. If you explode an Opening Shape it becomes lines.

Next move on to Part 2: Creating an Elevation Opening.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

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