Enhanced Levels Tool
- by Butch Yarnell -

OLP users have voiced several requests for enhancements to the Levels Tool in Layout.  Version 28 will address the majority of the requests by adding a graphical representation of the text input, height references that can be input based on the variety of ways building plans are dimensioned for levels, and a means to reduce the chance for math errors.

The new dialogue is shown in the mock up below. The top half of the box will provide a graphical representation of the levels, while the lower half is for the text entries.

In previous versions, all dimensions were taken from the ground or zero point.  Since many architects dimension their wall heights from the top of the lower floor, this required users to constantly calculate dimensions for the levels tool.  Version 28 adds three new justification fields in order to ease input and reduce the possibility for calculation error. Simply put, the Justification field asks “Where I am measuring the previous dimension from”.  Each provides a drop-down box containing four options.  They are:

1.   Ground (default).

2.   Level X Wall Bottom (where X is a level number)

3.   Level X Wall Top

4.   Level X Top

The verbal explanation of Level One would be:

1.   The first level “Height” in this example is 9 ¼” above the default dimension for the 1st floor “Wall Top” due to 2x10 beams sitting on top of the walls.

2.   The default dimension for the 1st level “Wall Top” is 8’-1 1/8” above the Ground (0).

3.   The default dimension for the “Wall Bottom” of the 1st Floor Wall is at Ground (0).

The new graphical level display also allows users to show the levels dimensioned “As Input”, or show all the dimensions measured from the ground.

All dimensions shown "From Ground"

All Dimensions Shown "As Input"

More details can be found in “Help – Version Features Demo” of the Version 28 release. We hope this brief description gives you an idea of the efficiency and productivity this enhancement adds to Layout.


- Employee Spotlight - Kathy Newman

Kathy began with On Line Service (predecessor to On-Line Data) in 1973 working in documentation and customer service, later taking charge of the customer service department.  In 1987, she moved into software testing with UniStar.  After Robbins acquired On-Line in 1993, she assisted in testing OnLine Plus.  Over the next seventeen years, Kathy also took on responsibilities for controlling the OnLine Plus source code and building new OLP versions.  Today, Kathy splits her time between OnLine Plus testing and working with the MiTek Software Quality Assurance group in Denver.  Kathy lives in Dallas and enjoys football, Sudoku puzzles, and playing the piano. 


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