Points On A Canvas

Configurable points for ultimate measurements.

Points On A Canvas
Points On A Canvas After you've installed Points On A Canvas you should find using the tool straightforward. You can use the tips below to get the most out of the application.
Top Tips on Getting Started Using Points On A Canvas
1. Getting Familiar With Points On A Canvas’s Interface
The main interface of Points on a Canvas consists of a main canvas, a top menu with application commands, a floating window to help create and use "Workflows" and another floating command window that’s used to control the canvas.
2. Controlling the Canvas
The canvas is your main working area in Points on a Canvas, so it makes sense that you can tweak it to your liking. Clicking and dragging the bottom right corner of the canvas lets you resize it. Need to move the canvas to a different part of your screen? Just check the Dragging Enabled box and put the canvas where you need it. Control the transparency of the canvas using the scroll bar on the right – it’s no use placing points if you can’t see what you’re placing them on!
Add at least two points to the canvas and then make the canvas completely invisible by calling the appropriate menu option in the "Window" top menu, the points will still be visible as well as the distances between them which basically means that your points will lay on your desktop or over any other application window you activate. Alternatively you could load a background image into the canvas and work with it there.
To add more items to the canvas, click on the top right green button to have the command toolbox appear. This contains a lot of useful commands to manipulate the canvas and add items to it.
3. Adding Points
Adding a point is as simple as double-clicking on the canvas. Put it in the wrong spot? Just drag the point to where it needs to go or use the arrow keys to move the point arround. Right-click on your point to add a unique name and description so you can keep track of it (super handy when you’re planning on adding lots and lots of points to your canvas). Also, you probably want to define your Point Groups at this time, which can be any descriptive character string you like and you can assign as many Point Groups as you'd like to any point. Just right click the point and choose "Modify Point Groups". There is a line and its measured distance shown between any two points which have at least one Point Group in common.
So, in summary, add your point, name and describe your point, and assign your point to a Point Group or Point Groups. Got it? Great! Just rinse and repeat until you have all of the points that you need on your canvas. Don’t worry about limits – Points on a Canvas lets you add as many points as you need to.
You can specify how the text shown around the added point is rendered. To do this click Point (top menu) -> Point Representation. You can actually use your own words along with predefined variables like this:
My name is: POINT.NAME
My X coordinate is: POINT.COORD.X
My other coordinate Y is: POINT.COORD.Y
Here is my description: POINT.DESCRIPTION

More on Point Groups: before adding points you should consider setting how the Point Groups are assigned to the newly added points.
You can choose to:
- Assign the new point to the Point Groups of the last added point. This allows to see all the distance between all the points found on the canvas.
- Assign new point and last point to a totally new group. This allows to see the distance between the new point and the previously added point. This is the default setting of Points On A Canvas.
- Do not assign any Point Groups to the new point. The new point will not be assigned any Point Groups but you can assign them later. This is useful in case you want to make connections between specific points.
- Assign a specific Point Group to the new point. This allows you to specify a Point Group (a string of characters) which will be assigned to the newly added point.
4. Quick Perimeter Tool and the Perimeter Window
After adding a number of points to the canvas, you can use the Quick Perimeter Tool or the Perimeter Window to find the distances between any sequence of points no matter how long or how many points are in that sequence. The Quick Perimeter Tool is at the top left of the canvas and you can write in it the name of the points separated by '-' For example A1-B1-C1-D1-AND_SO_ON. As you type, the distance between the recognized points will be shown right after the Quick Perimeter text box. If a point name is not recognized then that name will be shown on screen so you can edit it in the Quick Perimeter text box. Only when all points are recognized, the distance for the point sequence you've entered will be shown.
The Quick Perimeter Tool is great if you're working with a single perimeter sequence however if you need to watch more perimeter sequences in real time then you can use the Perimeter Window. To access the Perimeter Window you need to right click the canvas anywhere and choose: Show/Hide -> Perimeter Window. The Perimeter Window has a text box in which you can enter your perimeter sequence and functions just like the Quick Perimeter Tool but you can also use this text box to add more perimeter sequences to the list inside the Perimeter Window. The values of the perimeter sequences found in this list is updated in real time as you drag the points around the canvas or change the measurement unit: To measure the distances in the Simple Interface, you need add points to the Simple Interface Measurements window (using right-clicks on the points), then click the Measurements button to display the Measurements Window.
5. Creating and Using Measurement Units
The following measurement units are already defined in the application: pixel, millimeter, centimeter and inch. To make any of these units to be the current measurement unit for the entire canvas, you should right click the canvas and select "Calibrate Units" -> Pixels, or -> Millimeters, or -> Centimeters, or -> Inches
There are two ways to create a unit of measurement. You can either manually define it, by clicking on the Add New Units menu option, or choose Live Calibration, which will define the new unit of measurement based on the distance between two clicked points.
To create a new measurement unit manually you need to right click the canvas anywhere and select the "Calibrate Units" -> "Add (or Modify) Units" menu option. To create a new measurement unit using Live Calibration you need to select the "Measurement Unit" (top menu) -> "Live Calibration" menu option.
6. Performing Comparisons
Once you’ve gotten all of your points on your canvas, besides measuring them using the Perimeter Tool, the Perimeter Window you can compare any two lines formed by those points!
In the Simple Interface you can do this by first adding each desired point to the "Simple Interface Measurements Window" (right click a point while the Simple Interface is activated to find the appropriate option). Once you have several points in that window, you can measure the distances between any two points and compare the lines formed by any of the added points.
In the Complex Interface the available points on which you can do line comparisons are the ones which have a line drawn between them (in other words, which have a Point Group in common).
7. Working with Point Based Shapes
Point based shapes are shapes drawn on the canvas based on the distance between certain points. For example a point based circle has two points: one for the center and one for the radius. The circle is drawn considering that the first point is the center and the radius used to draw the circle is the distance between this first point and the second point. Both points can be dragged around the canvas freely thus obtaining circles as big or as small as you want. What is really great about this is that the radius will always be shown if the two points share a common Point Group (see the "Point" -> "New Point Mode" menu option). Or a point based ellipse has three points: one for the center, one for the horizontal axis and another one for the vertical axis. There are other point based shapes like rectangle, square, trapezoid, Bezier curve, and a few others.
8. Working with Draggable Shapes
The draggable shapes can be used as bookmarks or for storing pictures containing documentation while working on the canvas. To get more options for a draggable shape you may right click it.

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