Projects

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SoftPlan 2012 introduced the concept of Projects. Projects are a collection of drawing files and settings that all go together. The settings for a Project are saved in a special Project file which has the file extension *.spp.

You create a new Project by using File-->New-->Project. You are presented with a dialog box where you enter the Project Name and location, specify whether to create a new drawing and several other options. If you click on the Project Information tab you can enter information about the project such as Name, Contact, Address, etc. If you open a SoftPlan drawing from a folder that does not already include a Project file then one will be created for you.

In previous SoftPlan versions there were several files that were created and saved in the current working folder. There were files for saving the floor stack, building options, print options, 3d view options, etc. In 2012 all those files are combined into a single Project file.

In 2012 you can have multipe drawings open at the same time within the Project. Each drawing will have its own tab that you can click to switch from drawing to drawing. 3D views also reside in a tab so you can easily switch between 2D and 3D by simply clicking on the desired view tab.

When you open a Project file everything will be just as you left it the last time you were working on the Project. All the tabs will be present with their drawings accessible through the tab.

On the left of the screen will be the Navigation Pane. The Navigation pane allows you to see all the files that are in the current Project folder. Additionally, these files are segregated into different categories. Drawing files that you create using File-->New-->Drawing will be located under 'Floor Plans'. Elevations that you create by using Save As from an Elevation View will be located under Elevations-->Drawings. Files that are created by using Draw-->Building Outline-->Generate Building Outline are located under Site. And so on. There are different locations in the Navigation pane for every type of drawing you create. But you don't have to leave the files there. You can move them to whatever location you like. So if you want your Site to be with the Floor Plans you can drag it up to Floor Plans.

In previous versions you created a building stack by selecting Build-->Assemble Floors and then selecting each drawing in turn that you wanted to add to the building stack. In 2012 you can simply drag the drawing name up into the Model area of the Navigation pane to create your stack. Or you can right click the drawing name and select Add to Model.

Once you have your building stack assembled you can create Elevations by double clicking either Front, Left, Right, or Rear. You create 3D views by double clicking Wire Frame, Visible Line, Shaded, etc. 3D views and Elevations open up in their own tab in the Project. Note, however, that SoftPlan assumes that the Front of your building is facing the bottom of the screen so if your drawing is oriented differently, say for instance the front of the building faces the right of the screen, then you will need to mentally ignore the labels and just go by the directional arrows. Hopefully in the next version there will be the ability to define where the Front of the building is so that the labels will be correct.

When you draw a Section Line on your drawing a new entry is created under Cross Section-->Views in the Navigation pane. There will be a new entry for each section line you draw. Double click on the desired cross section letter and the cross section opens up in a new tab. If you save the cross section by going to File-->Save As the saved Cross Section file will be located under Cross Sections-->Drawings in the Navigation Pane. Double click on the file name to open it in a new tab.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

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