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Tools in the Workspace

Display Options

The background of the workspace can be white or black. When a white (black) background is chosen, all wires will default to black (white) unless a different color is specified for certain wires. The workspace color can be set by going to Tools > Preferences > Workspace tab. The color of selected wires and wire grids can be changed at any time via Edit > Wire Color in the main menu. The width of the line used for drawing wires and axes in the workspace can be changed by selecting a Pen Width option in the Workspace tab of the Preferences dialog box. There are three levels: Thin, Medium, and Thick. Figure 1 illustrates the different combinations between the workspace color and pen width that can be obtained.

Fig. 1: Display options in the workspace.

Viewing 3D Axes

To change the appearance of the X, Y, Z axes in the workspace go to View > Axes (Ctrl + A) in the main menu to display the Axes dialog box, Fig. 2. There are two types of axes, the Small Axes, and the Main Axes. The small axes are displayed in the lower left corner of the workspace, while the main axes are displayed in the center of the screen.

Both positive and negative axes can be displayed. The color of the main axes can be changed by pressing the Color button.

Check the Show Ticks option to add the specified number of ticks to the Main Axes.

Fig. 2: Axes dialog box. Positive and negative axes can be displayed.

Tip

Press F7 to switch between small and main axes.

Zooming the View

Move the mouse wheel to zoom in/out the view of the structure in the workspace or use two fingers on a laptop touchpad as it is usual when zooming an image. You can also use the Zoom In (Ctrl + I) and Zoom Out (Ctrl + K) commands from the View menu. You can also zoom by first pressing the Zoom button on the toolbar and then moving the mouse over the workspace with the left button pressed.

Rotating the View

To rotate the view of the structure around the desired axis, first press one of these buttons on the toolbar: Rotate around X, Rotate around Y, or Rotate around Z.

Then, move the mouse over the screen with the left button pressed.

The view can also be rotated by pressing the following keys:

  • F1: Right-handed rotation around the x-axis.
  • F2: Left-handed rotation around the x-axis.
  • F3: Right-handed rotation around the y-axis.
  • F4: Left-handed rotation around the y-axis.
  • F5: Right-handed rotation around the z-axis.
  • F6: Left-handed rotation around the z-axis.

Moving the View

The view of the structure can be moved in the workspace. First press the Move button on the toolbar and then move the mouse over the screen with the left button pressed.

Tip

Double-click on the workspace to center the view of the structure on the screen.

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