Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

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bejant
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:39 am

Halfa wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 am
The underlined text is a hyperlink that works in LibreCAD but not in the PDF.
You probably meant "LibreOffice" there, not "LibreCAD".


Page 4, Fillets and Chamfers section:
Consider including a more thorough description of the Solver functions inside the "(the algoritnm..." parentheses.
I know nothing much about the Solver and its functions so I will have to study up on that and add something.
Maybe just mention that the Solver can alert the User to Redundant and Conflicting Constraints too.

Consider ticking the "Auto Remove Redundants" tickbox to True before placing the first segment.
Sounds good but I want to know if there are any downsides so I can mention them if there are.
...snip...
Why is it an option if it is always the best way to go?
Downside and why it's an option: It might remove the Redundant Constraint that the user wanted to keep. Also, some users want to see where they went wrong so they can learn from the mistake instead of having Sketcher automatically fix the mistake for them.

Halfa wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 am
I have thought of some kind of Index or Table of Contents,
Depending how you formatted you document in LibreOffice, Writer can generate those for you.
Halfa wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 am
Another thing I need to look into is how I indicate updates and additions to the document because I don't want people helping me to have to read the whole document every time I submit it just to try to figure out what has changed.
Look into Edit > Track Changes > ...

Halfa wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 am
I don't even know if LibreOffice is the best software to use or should I be looking into something like Scribus.
LibreOffice Writer should be more than adequate for what I think you want to do.

Halfa wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 am
The way I add icons is also a pain because they always need to have their Anchor and often Wrap options changed.
For the small images try a right-click on the image > Anchor > As Character, and for bigger images Anchor > To Paragraph. You probably don't want to Anchor > To Page.
Halfa
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby Halfa » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:25 am

Are there standard prefixes for the names of objects in the Model Tree such as sb for Spacebinder, ss for Spreadsheet, and dp for Datum plane? What about Pad, Pocket etc?

Arthur
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bejant
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:35 am

Halfa wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:25 am
Are there standard prefixes for the names of objects in the Model Tree such as sb for Spacebinder,
I don't know of any...
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bejant
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:42 am

Picking up where I left off; quotes in this post are from the document.

Page 7:
Now I have to select and delete constraint 9. You can start to see the disadvantages of having Auto Constraints
turned on.
Consider explaining why applying the Symmetry Constraint made the Horizontal Constraint become Redundant.
You might want to note that if "Auto Remove Redundants" had been ticked to True, that Horizontal Constraint would have silently been deleted when the Symmetry Constraint was applied.

Select the three LHS lines as shown.
People who use English as a second language may not know that the abbreviation LHS stands for. In a tutorial I'd try not to use abbreviations, especially if you think the tutorial might get translated into other languages.

Do the same on the RHS.
Consider spelling out "RHS".

While a sketch should always be fully constrained unless you are just trying things out, it does not have to be
fully constrained to close it.
Maybe something like: "While a sketch should always be fully constrained unless you are just trying things out, it a Sketch does not have to be fully constrained to close it exit the Sketch.

You can always open it again
You can always open it for editing again

Select the two bottom outside short lines and make them equal with the Equality [image] Constraint.
Do the same with the upper two outside lines.
The formatting is weird there, cut-and-pasting that text gives something like this, without the bullet point:
  • Select the two bottom outside short lines and make them equal with the Equality [image]
    Do the same with the upper two outside lines.
    Constraint.
Consider Anchor the image "As Character".

Add dimension constraints
Add "Horizontal distance constraint" or "Horizontal length constraint" (not dimension) constraints.


Page 8

2nd paragraph:
If you move the cursor the dimension will turn yellow.
If you move hover the cursor over the dimension constraint, it will turn yellow indicating that it is pre-selected
If you need to change a dimension
If you need to change a dimension constraint
Throughout the document, when referring to a "constraint", don't refer to it as a "dimension"

4th paragraph:
Use the Fix angle between two lines tool
I'd call it the "angluar constraint".

6th paragraph:
Now we add vertical dimensions.
Because the heights are referenced to the bottom of the sketch which is on the X-axis, you can select either the
X-axis or the dot where the two axes cross along with the vertex on one end of the line to add the dimension.
We can use Horozontal Distance and Vertical Distance Constraints to constrain to the origin without actually selecting the origin. Just select a point and click on either of these Constraint tools.


To be continued at Page 9.
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bejant
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Page 9

Fix formatting at the 3 smaller images in the middle of the page.

A thought for the paragraph at the images:
Sometimes trying to drag the geometry highlighted by clicking on the Solver Messages hyperlink helps too.

We could Pad this sketch to make a 3D object but then the sketch wouldn't be a master sketch
No, we can make a Feature from a master sketch and still use it as a master sketch.


Page 10

Second paragraph:
Explain your navigation style. If CAD style, a Pan can be done by clicking the scroll wheel (to me it seems you're describing the "Zoom at cursor" behavior).
Halfa
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby Halfa » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:09 am

Hi bejant,
Thank you for your continued helpful advice.
I thought my draft document wasn't too bad and hadn't intended to take up a lot of anyone's time.
The input from you and TheMarkster is very worthwhile but often causes me to have to do more research before I can move forward. I don't want to include references to things I know nothing about, particularly when I can't find a good single, easy to understand (for a beginner) reference to link to. It is pushing me to learn more, which is a good thing.
I am slowly working through your advice and updating the document with Tracking turned on.
Next time I put the document on the forum I may include two versions, one with Tracking info for people who have already read the document and only want to see the changes, and the other as the edited document for anyone who decides to read it for the first time. Is it best to stick to PDF format because everyone has a PDF reader or should I leave I put them on the forum as ODT until the document is completed?

I'm still having trouble keeping images where I want them. I have been using "Anchor to character" so far but I might try "Anchor to Paragraph" although I'm not sure it is any better.
For my purpose "Anchor to Page" seems useless as it locks the image in place on the page no matter what I do to the text. "Anchor as Character" doesn't work the way I would have expected and locks the image to the left hand margin. Unfortunately "Anchor to character" and "Anchor to Paragraph" both keep the image in the same position on the page when I delete or insert text before the image and even if I Bold some text, which causes the image to appear not in the intended place.

Searching reveals, as I had expected, that keeping images where you want them as you edit a document is, and always has been a problem in OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

I will carry on with LibreOffice because it will get me there eventually, and it would only bog me down if I try to learn new software which may not turn out to be any better overall.

Hyperlinks should now work. I only recently changed to LibreOffice and created the previous PDF file by printing to a PDF file creator. I am now Exporting directly to PDF from LibreOffice and the links now work.
Halfa
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby Halfa » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:08 am

Hi bejant,
Don't spend any more time on my document at present. As a result of all your suggestions I think I have a little bit better idea of what is required in the document and I want to go over the rest of the document that you haven't covered. I want to try to reduce the work you are doing.
Writing a quality document is a lot harder than I thought - particularly when you start out knowing very little about the subject.

Tracking changes plays havoc with page formatting, particularly with all the images, and it will all change again when I remove the tracking. Please ignore half empty pages and headings being at the bottom of one page with the relevant text on the next page because if I fix them now, I will have to do it again after removing the changes.

I'll continue working on it but will be away for most of six days starting Wednesday.

Arthur
Halfa
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby Halfa » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:43 am

What is the name of the selection method when you can select multiple items without using Ctrl?
I have read or heard it but can't remember or find it now.

Thanks,
Arthur
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bejant
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:10 am

Greedy selection (works in Sketches / Sketcher only).
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bejant
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Re: Possible documentation to help people starting to use FreeCAD

Postby bejant » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:32 am

Halfa wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:09 am
Thank you for your continued helpful advice.
You're welcome.

Halfa wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:09 am
I thought my draft document wasn't too bad and hadn't intended to take up a lot of anyone's time.
The document is good but just needs a bot of polishing. Also, we're all volunteers here so you're really not taking up anyone's time unless they choose to spend it.

Halfa wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:09 am
Is it best to stick to PDF format because everyone has a PDF reader or should I leave I put them on the forum as ODT until the document is completed?
I'm not sure, but you may want to ask chrisb for his opinion. I suspect it would be easier for you to have and control one master document, and then you wouldn't need to use Track Changes.

Halfa wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:09 am
"Anchor as Character" doesn't work the way I would have expected and locks the image to the left hand margin.
Maybe you have your image in a paragraph that only contains the image and no text? Also, center- and right-justify works on images when the anchoring is Anchor as Character (the image behaves as if it is simply a character of the alphabet).