1.4 Short reference

This section is for people who tend to understand programs quickly and do not want to read long references.

For a very first step I recommend working through the tutorials at ’Help - Tutorials’ in the given order.

1.4.1 Navigation

While the mouse is not pointing at an object you can navigate in the scene. By pressing ALT (Linux: ctrl alt) you can navigate even if the mouse is pointing at something.

Left drag:
Rotate the scene. By letting go of the mouse-button while still moving, you canset the scene into continuous rotation.
Right drag:
Left + right drag:
Translate the scene.

1.4.2 Selection of objects

In the scene:
Clicking on an objects selects the objects and unselects the other objects.Ctrl-Click or Shift-Click selects the object while keeping the old selection intact.
In the object tree / in the list:
Clicking on a name selects the object and unselects the other objects. Ctrl-click selects the object additionally, shift-click selects a range (MacOS: select the range as usual on MacOS).

1.4.3 Deselecting objects

Click on an object:
Deselects all other objects.
Ctrl-Click on a selected object:
Deselects the object without changing the rest of the selection.

So to unselect all objects you will have to click on an object and then unselect this object by Ctrl-Clicking on this object again.

While this might seem a bit complicated at first, this makes sense in order to make the navigation in the scene as easy as possible. If left-clicking into the scene had unselected all objects, the construction of more complex objects (which requires rotating the scene inbetween) would have been impossible.

Objects behind other objects can be selected using the TAB-key. The tooltip shows which object the mouse is pointing at.

If you want a visual representation of which objects are selected, choose ”Extras - Make selected objects blink”.

1.4.4 Construction of free points

You can construct free points by

Attention: If a plane, sphere, line, segment or a circle is selected, the free point will be constructed on these objects. If you do not want this, you can use Edit - detach to detach the point from that object. See the section 4.2.9on arraching and detaching).

1.4.5 Object construction

Without selecting objects first:
Click on the button for the object you want to construct(for instance Plane - Plane by three points) and then click on the objects (here: the three points) in the scene. The object you have to click on next is displayed in the status-bar at the bottom right and on top of the OpenGL-screen. Press ESC to quit this process.
With selecting objects first:
Select suitable objects (three points, for instance) and then press the plane- button (or use Alt-E).

1.4.6 Measure and calculate

Though there are not many commands in this menu you can get practically all measurements you want by entering an expression. In expressions you can refer to points, vectors and other expressions by their names.

More complex measurements are available through the menu ’Macros - Measure’.

Example: You want to measure the angle between two planes:

As the expression contains the well known formula for the angle between two vectors, now the angle between the two planes (radian) is displayed.

The following operations, functions and variables are defined:

+ and - for number / number and vector / vector
for the addition / subtraction of two numbers or vectors
for number / number; number / vector (multiplication with a scalar) and vector / vekctor (inner product)
for number / number and vector / number (but not number / vector!)
the symbol ĝives the power for numbers, the cross-product for vectors.

sin, cos, tan:
The trigonometric functions for radian angles.
asin, acos, atan:
The inverse functions of the aforementioned functions. Be aware of the restricted domain for those functions.
: Square-root of a nonnegative number.
Absolute value of a number or length of a vector. Note: The command ’length’in the menu for vectors is much faster than using abs in an expression!
This function expects three comma-separated arguments and will generate a vector from them.
x, y, or z:
Those functions expect a point or vector as argument and give the x-, y- or z-co-ordinate of the given point or vector.

  • pi = 3.1415926535897932385
  • e = 2.7182818284590452354

1.4.7 Slider

Using the menu ’Extras - Slider’ or entering ’s=SL(1,-5,5)’ will generate a slider. Sliders are useful for adjusting parameters and for driving locus surfaces. The following example illustrates this:

The resulting function-graph can be modified by changing the value of slider a.

In the sliders settings-dialogue the current value and the range of the slider can be adjusted.

1.4.8 Defining functions

It is possible to create user-defined functions in the "enter expression"-dialogue. For instance you can define an expression x*y with list of variables  x,y . If you name this expression "‘f"’ you can use it in another expression by entering  f(1,2). You can even enter variables or more complex expressions in the function.

1.4.9 Macros

All construcions can be used as macros.

Macros without given objects:
If you use Macro - play and choose a ’normal’ construction where no objects are given, the construction will simply be merged with the current one. Only the names of the inserted construction will be changed to avoid name-clashes.
Macros with given objects:
Letīs assume that you have constructed a parallel plane to a plane and want to reuse this construction. So you select the first plane and the point the second plane goes through and use Macro - Mark as given. Then you save the macro, for instance as ’Macro parallel plane by point and plane’. Now you can select a plane and a point in a new construction and then choose Macro - Play and select the macro just saved. You get the parallel plane, together with all the other objects you used to construct it. You should hide all supplementary objects in the macro-construction if you do not want them to be seen.
Recursive macros:
If objects of the same kind as the given objects appear in the construction again, you can select them and choose Macro - Recurse on. Note that not all of the objects need to differ from the given objects, but at least one should, otherwise the macro will just be doubled (resulting in lots of unnecessary objects). If you play a macro with recursions, a dialogue appears that allows you to recursively play the macro. See 12 the section on macros for details.