Chapter 3 Working with templates and shapes
SmartDraw provides hundreds of templates for you to use as
a starting point for a drawing. You will use one of these templates in this
chapter. You will open an office layout template, ungroup some objects, delete
some, add others, and design an office. (Please note, your screen may differ from the screen captures shown here. This does not interfere with the operation of the program or how you complete the exercises.)
Exercise 3-1: Opening a template
Open SmartDraw if it is not open.
Go to the File menu and choose
If you have not turned off the Welcome dialog, click on Create
a new drawing.
Double click on the Floor Plans
and Facilities button.
Go to the SmartDraw Explorer Libraries, Templates, and Examples Standard Floor Plans Templates and Examples Example Office-3.
Double Click to open the Example
- Save the file as Exercise3_1 in the folder you created.
Go to the View menu Define Rulers and Grids
Notice the scale is set to 48 inches displays as 1 inch or
¼"=1' 0". This means that a four-foot wide desk would be one inch
in the drawing. Each object you drag out from the Library will be sized
is the default setting for the Floor Plans & Facilities templates.
The ruler will display the scale, not the actual measurements.
For example, at the 1-inch tic, it says 48.
Go to the View menu and choose
You can examine the parts of the office layout in detail
at this magnification.
- Go to the Program Toolbar and choose the Scale down
Click on the picture.
You will be moved out a set percentage so you can see more
of the drawing.
Go to the View menu Fit to Window.
You will see the drawing in the upper left corner of the
working area. The working area in SmartDraw is quite large because it is
used for drawings like building blueprints and landscape designs that are
printed on wide format printers and plotters.
Go to the View and choose 100%.
This moves you close to the actual size of the drawing. The
accuracy of this display depends on the quality and size of your monitor
and the size of the SmartDraw window.
Exercise 3-2: Working with objects
Click on the arrows at the bottom
of the right hand vertical scroll bar until the Table in the corner of the
drawing is showing.
Click on the table.
Notice that the selection indication boxes are on the outside
edge of the drawing. This shows the objects in the drawing have been Grouped.
They are considered as one object for many effects and purposes such as
moving and sizing but as separate objects for things such as editing text
Go to the Edit Menu Clear.
You will not need to use the outline or informational table
for this exercise. If your work involves creating floor plans or facilities
plans, the templates will have these elements already in place for you.
Scroll back up to the top office
in the drawing.
Select the cabinet in the corner.
Hold down the Shift key and select
the plant and the scanner on cabinet to the right.
Shift Selection allows you to effect several objects at one
time. It is a Windows function and works in most Windows applications.
you can use the Select Multiple Objects tool on the Program Toolbar.
Go to the Edit menu and choose the Clear command.
Use the Shift Select to select
the chairs and the computers.
If you accidentally select the wrong object, you can unselect
it without losing the rest of the objects. This is a Windows function that
works in most Windows programs. The Select Multiple Objects tool will also
unselect one object from a selection group without unselecting the whole
Go to the Arrange menu and choose
the Group option.
Or use Ctrl+G.
- Hold down the left mouse button and move the Group
out of the room onto the page.
Notice how the cursor icon changes to signify you can move
the objects. The cursor icon gives you a cue as to which function of the program
you are using. This is very helpful because the change is dynamic, the program
does it automatically depending on where you are over an object and which
mouse button you are pressing.
The Group moves as one piece and the objects within the
group remain in the same spatial relationship to each other. You can drag
the corner boxes of the group and resize the objects within the group. They
will stay in proportion to each other but are still separate objects.
Go to the Edit menu Clear to delete the group.
You can reverse any action up to 100 steps using this function.
It is also available with the buttons on the Program Toolbar. Left is Undo last done. Right is Redo last Undo.
Go back to the room drawing and
use Select Multiple Objects on the rest of the objects in the room.
Go to the Arrange menu and Group
Move the objects out of the room.
Go to the Arrange menu and choose
the Ungroup option.
Or use Ctrl+Shift+G. The objects are still group selected
but not gathered together in a Group. You can still affect them as a group
but if you click in the space between them, they will be unselected and
attempting to move one will not move them all. To keep them together, you
must Group them.
Go to the Edit menu and choose
the Clear option or use the Delete key.
Many functions in most Windows programs will have both a
menu option and a Keyboard combination. Choose the one you are most comfortable
with. There is no right or wrong here.
Save the file.
In the next exercise, you will add furniture to the office.
You will retain the walls, and doors of the room for these exercises. As you
explore the Libraries, you will find all the elements to design offices from
a one room, home office to the layout for a cubicle maze with hundreds of
stations. In the last exercise of this chapter, you will create an office
Exercise 3-2: Adding objects
Go to the SmartDraw Explorer and
open the Work Surfaces Library.
Move the selection icon over the
various sections to see the type of surfaces available.
Choose the 24/42 corner cut out
and drag it to the drawing.
you drag the corner unit into the office, it is facing the wrong way.
Add a 24/60 surface to the left
side of the corner unit and a 24/42 surface to the right side of the corner
The 24/42 unit must also be rotated.
Go to the Arrange menu Rotate Vertical Down.
To rotate the 24/42 exactly, use Arrange Rotate Set Angle
with a setting of 90°. Notice this is much more exact and faster
than doing it by hand.
Drag the table back to the wall.
Open the Chair Library.
Drag the Desk chair with Arms
to the drawing and place it by the work surface. If needed, rotate the chair.
- Drag the chair up to the desk as if it were pushed
into the kneehole of the desk.
- Go to the Arrange menu and choose Send to the Back.
The chair now is under the desk.
Close the Chair Library and the
Work Surfaces Library.
Note: If the Snap function is keeping the objects
from being placed exactly where you want them, use the arrow keys to nudge
the objects into place or turn off the snap while you are arranging objects.
The objects in the drawing will move in the direction of the arrows, for example,
the up arrow moves the object toward the top of the screen.
Exercise 3-3: Aligning the parts of the desk
The nudge function works pretty well if you dont need
to be exact. However, few drawings are done with that little precision. The
Align function allows you to cause two or more objects to be arranges in a
straight line along a point you choose. In this exercise you will select the
work surfaces and align them along their tops, or against the wall.
Select the 24/60 work surface
unit the corner work unit.
You will align the long work surface to the corner cutout.
The guide or correctly placed object must be selected last.
Go to the Arrange menu Align.
You can choose left side,
right side, middle, top, bottom or center. The objects will align to that
point using the last object chosen as a guide.
Click here to see how this works.
To move the surfaces closer together,
use the arrow keys on your keyboard to nudge them.
Save the file when you are finished.
Exercise 3-4: Closing a docked Library
To close a docked Library, you must first undock the Library.
This can be done one of two ways.
Right click on the Library Detach toolbar.
Go to the Library menu Close the Library.
Hold down the mouse cursor over
the end of the toolbar drag to the work area.
Use the Windows close button at
the upper right corner of the floating Library window.
In the next exercise you will design an office from scratch.
SmartDraw has a Tutorial on its web site on office design. It contains may
suggestions on how far apart objects need to be such as room for file drawers
to open and traffic spaces. You can see this Tutorial at http://www.smartdraw.com/resources/centers/floorplans/tutorial1.htm
Exercise 3-5: Building an office from scratch
Open a new Floor Plan file.
You can have more than one file open in SmartDraw.
The Walls, Windows, and Doors
Library is docked it above the work area.
This is the default with the Floor Plan and Facilities basic
template. The scale will also be set the same as the previous file, ¼˝
= 1 foot.
Save the file as exercise3_5 in
your class folder.
Click on the Wall object and drag
it to the drawing area.
The default wall is 3 inches thick by 120 inches long or
Go to the Arrange menu Rotate.
Choose Vertical Up.
The wall object will be rotated 90°
Go to the Arrange menu Position and Size
Use the setting shown below.
This places the wall section two inches from the side of
the page and two inches from the top. The wall is now 144″ or 12 feet
Duplicate the wall using the Ctrl+D.
An exact copy of the first object is placed down and to the
Go to the Arrange menu and Rotate
this wall 90° down.
- Go to the Position and Size
and place it at
48″ and 21″.
This will keep the insides of the walls touching.
Place two more 12-foot walls so
you have a 12 square room.
You can drag the walls into position and then fine-tune the
positioning with the Position and Size dialog.
Go to the docked Library and drag
out a 36″ door.
In an office, you need the wider doors so you can move equipment
in and out.
Place the door in the lower right
corner of the room.
Go to the Docked Library and add
windows to two of the walls.
If the windows are difficult to place due to the snap, use
the Align function under the Arrange menu. Select both the wall object and
the window object. Choose the Center for vertical walls or middle option
for horizontal walls. The window sections will cover the gray fill used
on the wall objects.
Exercise 3-6: Putting objects into the office
In this exercise, you will transfer some of the objects from
the first office plan to the new office plan. Remember that this office is
smaller than the first one so not all the objects will fit.
Go to the Window menu and choose
You may want to close the SmartDraw Explorer so you have a
lot of working area.
Go to the first office and select
objects you want to have in the new office.
Use Copy and Paste to move that
object to the new office.
Remember to use the Multiple Object
Select tool to bring groups of objects from one drawing to the second.
Save both files and close them.
You will use these files in later chapters.
In some cases, the symbol in the Library will be close to
what you need but not exactly. For example, in the office you are designing,
they have all flat screen monitors. There is no symbol for this recently developed
device. You will now edit the Monitor symbol in the Office Furniture Library
so it resembles a flat screen monitor and add it to your Library.
Exercise 3-6: Editing a shape
Open a new file.
Open the Symbols SmartDraw Explorer
Libraries, Templates, and Examples Floor Plans & Facilities Libraries Office.
- Choose the Monitor object and drag it to the work
Zoom into the object with the
Scale up tool.
Go to the Arrange menu and Ungroup
Delete the back shape and the
Select the rectangular object
that is left and make it shorter from top to bottom.
Use the arrow keys to move the
bowed piece down to the now shorter piece.
Go to the Edit menu Select All.
Or use the Ctrl+A, a standard Windows function. Because the
monitor is the only object on your drawing area, you can use this function.
- Group the three objects together.
Select the object and drag it
to the open Library section dialog.
asks if you want to add this object to your Library.
The object is now a part of your Office Library section.
Note that this Library section was not full. If the Library section has 40
objects in it, SmartDraw will not allow you to drag the object to the Library
section dialog. The Symbol name will display on the section dialog according
to what you have typed.
Exercise 3-8: Changing the shape of a work surface to complete the office
Open the file Exercise 3_1 that
you created in the first exercise of this chapter.
Open the Work Surfaces Library
in the Standards Floor Plans Work Surfaces.
Find the surface called Extended
Drag it into the office and place
it in the upper left corner so the work surface extends the width of the
wall. The surface does not fix exactly.
Align the three parts of the work
surface by their tops.
(Hint: Align menu tops. Be sure the corner unit is the last one
selected. The other two units will be aligned to the corner unit.)
Zoom into the object with the
Scale up tool.
Use the lower right selection
indicator box and make the surface smaller until it fits in the corner of
Drag up and to the left. Now
it fits, but the edges of the table dont match!
- Go to the Arrange menu and Ungroup the object.
You know it is grouped because you can see several objects
and there are only four selection boxes showing.
Select the surface outline.
Click directly on the outline of the surface.
- Go to the Shapes menu Edit Shape Outline.
The selection indicator boxes change to Adjustment handles
and shows the lines you can change.
Move the Adjustment handle (circled
in the screen capture above) down to the edge of the surface beside it.
The curve will adjust so it curves in instead of out.
Place your cursor over the Adjustment
Handle (marked 2) and drag it so the curve is smooth.
Use the Adjustment Handles on
the end curve to extend the surface towards the door but be sure you dont
interfere with the door opening.
Select the surface size indicator
text, the small box at the upper left corner, and the circle.
Group them together.
Your office is ready!
Of course, in real life, such a custom work surface might
not be available unless you were doing several hundred offices but here in
class, we can pretend.
What is a template and where do
you find them?
What keeps objects together so
they can be sized or moved and stay in relation to each other?
How can you eliminate objects
from a drawing?
You only need to move an object
a bit to have it in the right position and the mouse is moving it too far.
What do you use?
You only want part of an object
to show. How do you move one object under another object?
What are ways to quickly make
a copy of an object?
You delete something by mistake.
How do you get it back?
What happens if you drag a new
symbol to a Library that has 39 objects already in it?