The DataCAD Developer Network (DDN) is an online resource for information and support for DCAL® (DataCAD Applications Language) developers as well as anyone interested in creating fonts, toolbars, hatch patterns, or linetypes for use in DataCAD.
#76605 by dhs
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:11 pm
I am very close to completion of a new Spaces macro.

This is intended to be a replacement for Space Planner. I have included several additional features including the following:
  • Ability to assign default properties (e.g. fill colour) to Category definitions
  • Option to define label layouts with a symbol, allowing much more flexibility
  • Dimensions in Labels can now include stacked fractions
  • Ability to define your own fields to be used in labels and reports
  • The macro will allow definition of space by either the wall surface or wall centre, with the option to create one or both of those lines (if both lines are specified then one can be 'hidden' so that only the vertices of the hidden line display on the screen ... typically I envisage that if people create both lines they will hide the wall centre line). This is intended to make it easier to arrange spaces adjacent to each other, but I will be interested to see how much it gets used.
  • Multiple named reports can be created. Existing reports can be updated without the need to select entities or place the report each time. New entities can also be automatically added to reports as they are created.
  • Space definitions can be imported/exported directly to/from Excel
  • More sensible reporting of x/y dimensions of angled spaces (a 'virtual x-axis' is assumed parallel to the first straight side of the polyline)
  • A few more standard fields that can be included on reports or labels
  • Reports and labels can now be created with TTF fonts. Report columns can now be optionally left/centre/right aligned.
  • A Measure/Detail option which will highlight ALL of the space entities (outline as well as the label) in addition to providing much more information including displaying the length of each individual side on the screen.
There are admittedly 1 or 2 bits of Space Planner functionality that are not part of the new macro, the most notable being that the new macro does not support the label being part of the same entity as the space outline.

I would be interested to hear from anybody that is interested in taking a look at the new macro and doing at least some basic testing.
There is no instruction manual at this stage, so you will need to find your own way around the macro ( I would be interested to hear comments on how easy/hard it is to navigate ... I have used Windows Forms for the more complex configuration options so the menu structure is not as deep as Space Planner).

You can download the latest beta from the link at

David H.
#76672 by Neil Blanchard
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:50 am
Hi David,

We are starting a new project of apartment units, and I am using Spaces to do some footprint studies.

Can I set the color of the text separate from the outline / active color?

The Category label doesn't "remember" what I used previously.
#76676 by dhs
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:34 pm
Can I set the color of the text separate from the outline / active color?
Yes, Invoke the settings form (S6 from the main menu) and go to the Labels tab. There you can set Font, Height, Aspect, Slant, Weight and Colour of each line of the label text.

The Category label doesn't "remember" what I used previously.
ok, I'll take that on board.

Can I turn off the corner snap points? If so, how?
Yes. You can do it in the Space Properties form by unchecking the 'Create polyline at Wall Center' checkbox (bottom left of the form) and then clicking the 'Save Wall Settings as Default' button (assuming you want it permanently off and not just for the current space).
Alternatively you can uncheck the 'Create polyline at Wall Center' checkbox on the 'Wall Options' tab of the Settings form.
I'll think about making that the default for a newly installed macro ...

I have just uploaded a new version of the macro which has a start to the Instruction Manual (still very incomplete, but may be useful) in addition to various other fixes. The manual is accessed from a button on the information page that is displayed when you select F9 Help/About from the main menu.
The The latest version can be downloaded from the page

David H.
#76677 by dhs
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:42 pm
Neil wrote: The Category label doesn't "remember" what I used previously.

Just looking at this Neil. There are 2 ways to create a Category:
  1. Simply type a Category name into the Space Details form when you create a space (I assume this is what you are doing). This is then meant to create a category with the current default settings.
  2. Create a category using the 'Categories' tab on the Settings form. This allows you to specify some specific defaults for each category.
When you use the first method it is meant to create some default category settings: This is not happening and I will address this bug in the next build.
In the meantime you could create your categories using the settings form (before creating the associated spaces). If you do this then all of the categories that you have set up will display in the drop down list on the Space Details form.

David H.
#76688 by Neil Blanchard
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:29 am
Thank you David. I added the categories I need using the Settings dialog.

Is there a way to count the number of each space type? In other words, I have 9 apartment units, and I would like to count them - is this what the reports do?

When I Copy a space that I created by Group, the label is not copying.
#76691 by dhs
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:05 pm
Is there a way to count the number of each space type? In other words, I have 9 apartment units, and I would like to count them - is this what the reports do?

Good point Neil,
There is no {count} field as such in the report layout, and it is probably a reasonable suggestion so I will look to add it.
However, you could define your own field for this purpose as shown in the second line in the screen shot below:
In the reports you would then include a {Count} tag in the sub-totals and/or totals line.

David H
#76693 by dhs
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:26 pm
When I Copy a space that I created by Group, the label is not copying.

You should use the Copy logic on the 'F9 Edit Spaces' menu to copy spaces. There is an 'F2 Copy (drag)' option as well as 'S8 Copy Dist/Lyr' on this menu.

I would discourage you from using DataCAD's copy command to copy Spaces. Each entity belonging to a Space has a unique tag that defines it's relationship to the other entities. If you use the normal copy commands then that tag becomes duplicated and is therefore no longer unique. The macro does contain logic to deal with this situation (based on groupings and relative positions of the entities to each other) and this logic should work in the vast majority of circumstances so that using the Copy command should not normally cause any problems.

Having said that, the original idea was that the label would be in the same group as the outline. I must have broken that at some stage in the development, so will look at fixing it . If the groupings are maintained then the above mentioned logic to handle duplicated tags should be 100% reliable.

Can the space label be rotated after it is created?

Yes, the label can be rotated. There is an 'F5 Mov/Rot' label option on the Edit menu.

Can the label be resized (like Para/MText)?

There is no resize option as such. You could resize/reposition each individual line of text using the normal DataCAD functionality (should be ok to use the label refresh after doing so, but Label update would revert it to the label settings). You could also change the label settings and then update the label (but the settings apply to all labels in the drawing, so all labels added or updated would take on the settings at the time they were added/updated).

I'll give this some thought, as it may be possible to added an enlargement factor to the attributed of each label.

David H.

David H.
#76702 by Mark Bell
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:21 am
Hello David,

Some summary points below:
1. The pop-up menu's are all to the left side of the screen - maybe set the default in the centre of screen? and/or, remember last position?
2. Have you considered a contour search for smart walls?
3. I had the drawing freeze when using Room Contour on an open sided 3-line shape - see screenshot below. The cyan are dots that extended along the bottom selected line in both directions:
#76706 by dhs
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:16 pm
The pop-up menu's are all to the left side of the screen - maybe set the default in the centre of screen? and/or, remember last position?
Thanks, good suggestion. Personally I liked them on the left, but I'll try default to center and save the position the next build.
Having said that, you don't need to move your cursor to the form for things like the Space Details form. If you're happy with the defaults you can just type in the space name and press <enter> just as you would have with Space Planner.

Have you considered a contour search for smart walls?
I think Mark Madura has told me previously that the smart entities have not been exposed to DCAL. Maybe he meant Classic DCAL, but I'm not certain. .... Perhaps he or Dave could chime in here to clarify if it is possible for D4D to see smart walls? ... there are references to 'super entities' and databases in the D4D interface that are not documented and I have no idea what they do or how to use them (e.g. optional SuperEnt_dbget parameter to ent_get function). Perhaps these are related to smart entities? but as far as I am aware it is not possible to get details of the smart entities in DCAL.

I had the drawing freeze when using Room Contour on an open sided 3-line shape
Thanks for pointing this out. Obviously the room contour function is not designed to work with open sided spaces, but nor should it freeze up when presented with one. The room contour functionality was written pretty early in the piece, but there didn't seem to be any interest in it when I asked for feedback on this forum a year ago, so I haven't spent any further time on it, and in all honesty I haven't tested the functionality in the macro for some time. Just had a quick look at it now and it does need a bit of work. Please let me know how useful you think it would be if it worked reliably with 2D walls.

David H.
#76709 by dhs
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:40 pm
Neil wrote: Can the widths of the walls on various sides of each space be different?

Currently no, and I have no plans to add that in this release.
It is something that occurred to me when writing the functionality, but I'm not sure if there would be enough demand for that functionality to make it worth my effort (given that the vast majority of people seemed to use Space Planner on already drawn plans and my intention with the wall width functionality was that it would be useful for initial layouts etc). Feel free to try to convince me otherwise, but at this stage I doubt that I would consider this for future releases.

David H.

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