System Options vs Drawing Options

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One of the confusing aspects of SoftPlan for new users is the difference between System Options and Drawing Options.

System Options are accessed through File-->System Options-->System Options.

Drawing Options are accessed through File-->Drawing Options-->Drawing Options. Drawing Options are only available when you have a Drawing File active. It is not available if your active view is a 3D view.

In a nutshell:

  • System Options affect system wide settings such as the user interface, drawing defaults, wall definitions, file locations, icons, span tables, and a whole bevy of configurations and settings. System Options affect the Drawing Options for every new drawing file that you create.
  • Drawing Options only affect the currently open drawing that you are making options changes to. After a drawing file has been created then any changes you make to the Drawing Options only affect that drawing file and no others.

For instance if you make a change to a wall definition in the System Options it will only affect any new drawing files you create. But if you make the same changes in the Drawing Options then only the current drawing is affected.

There are many items such as Finishing Options and Keyboard Shortcuts that are only available through the System Options.

Some Drawing Options can be reset to match the System Options by selecting the Reset to System button within the Drawing Options definition dialog. Items that you can reset to the system defaults include:

  • Color Settings
  • Character Setup (text)
  • Wall Definitions
  • Beam Definitions
  • Deck Beam Definitions
  • Dimension Options
  • Layer Setup
  • Mode Visibilities
  • Pen Settings and Pen Styles

So when do you need to use System Options and when do you need to use Drawing Options? You use System Options, obviously, for items that are only available through the System Options. You also use System Options to make changes that you want to be the defaults for any new drawing file you create. If you have a wall type that you want to have available any time you create a new drawing file you would define the wall in the System Options. If the wall is a specialty wall that will only be used for one project then define it in the Drawing Options.

By using the System Options you can save a lot of time by making a change one time rather than having to make the same change over and over again for each drawing file.

By using the Drawing Options you can retain your default settings while making special changes only necessary for the current project.

Bill is the owner and maintainer of

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