Adding Draw-Your-Own Details


Use flexible shapes (lines, shapes, arrows, etc.) to draw your own details and save them for future use.

Images vs DYO Details

SpoolFab includes two ways that you can include details on a spool drawing:

(a) For a simple line drawing, use DYO Details and draw directly in SpoolFab. In some cases you might want to use a Standard Detail as well.

(b) For a complex detail that already exists in a pdf document, for example, do a graphics capture, save the capture as a .jpg file and add it to the drawing as an image.

This document covers case (a) only.

Drawing a detail directly in SpoolFab

Start a new drawing, and press ESC to skip drawing pipe and fittings at this time.

Right-Click in open space and select Draw-your-own Detail, Line as shown below.

To draw a line, click its start and end points. Note that the lines snap to a multiple of 30 degrees or 45 degrees from the horizontal.


To draw at other angles, hold down the Shift key.

To snap to the end of an existing line, hold down the Alt key. This makes a small red circle appear at the location where the line would start in response to a click. Holding down the Shift and Alt keys at the same time makes it easy to draw connected lines or a closed figure as shown.

Suppose you want a detail like this:

You can draw this detail using just four graphic elements: B-Box, L-Line, F-Half Ellipse and Q-Quarter Circle. Start by selecting L-Line. The mouse pointer changes to a cross.

To draw a line that is horizontal, vertical, or at any multiple of 30 degrees or 45 degrees, click at the desired start of the line, move the mouse to draw the line, then click again to finish the line.

Drawing a line in an odd direction is exactly the same, except that you need to hold down the Shift key.

If you hold down the Alt key, a marker consisting of a small red circle appears at the cursor. If you move the cursor close to the end of an existing line, the marker will move to that end. Clicking while the marker is on the end of an existing line will start a new line from that point. If you then hold down BOTH the Alt and Shift keys, and move the cursor close to another existing point, the marker migrates to the new point. To join the line to the new point, click while still holding down Alt and Shift.

The same technique applies to B-Box, F-Half Ellipse, Q-Quarter Circle, and others. While the plus cursor is displayed, you can switch to F-Half Ellipse just by pressing the F key, or Q-Quarter Circle by pressing the Q key. Similarly, pressing A, B, or C will switch to drawing A-Arrowhead, B-Box or C-Circle and so on.

Tips for Drawing Arcs

When drawing an arc, click on the ends of the arc first, holding down the Shift and/or Alt keys if needed. Then use the mouse to adjust the curvature. If you have trouble getting the result you want, try drawing in the opposite direction.

Drawing the Arc-with-arrows, the arrow always appears at the second end drawn. If you want arrows on both ends, hold down the shift key for the final click.

Editing Draw-Your-Own-Details

You can edit what you have drawn by selecting an element or group of elements and then move them or scale them up or down as a group.

To Select Graphic Elements:

  1. Ctrl-A selects all elements. Selected elements are shown in blue.
  2. In the Edit menu, Select DYO Line/Box/Circle. Then select any number of lines, boxes, or circles by clicking on them in turn. Each turns blue as it is selected.
  3. In the Edit menu, Select Details/Note (or press F12). You can then draw a window around any number of elements to select all elements in the window.

To Copy Selected Elements:

Move the cursor to where you want the lower left corner of the copy of the selected elements to appear. Press Ctrl-C to copy, and then Ctrl-V to paste. At this point the pasted elements are selected, so you can reposition and/or resize them with the arrow keys as described below.

To Reposition Selected Elements:

After selecting one or more graphic elements, they will appear blue and you can reposition them as a group by pressing the direction keys. The amount of movement for each keypress can be controlled by pressing the zero key to switch to small movement, or the 5 key for large movement. Press Alt-Zero to switch to very small movement.

To Edit Selected Elements:

To change the scale of the selected elements, hold down the Shift key and press the up arrow or down arrow. The selected group is scaled up or down by moving all points relative to the lower left corner of the group.

In the case of lines, boxes and circles, you can also select Edit/Edit DYO Line, Box, Circle Properties, which brings up the dialog shown.

The changes apply only to whatever lines, boxes or circles are currently selected.

Fine-Tuning DYO Details

To reposition individual points on DYO details independently, press Shift-F11, then select DYO Detail Information. <cf>

You can select one or more DYO graphic elements and reposition them using the buttons in the Move frame. Or you can put the focus on an individual point and move that point only. In that case the point being moved is the one indicated by the light blue circle.

To Save Details to a Library:

To save the currently selected group of elements, select Edit/Add to Library.

Using the above dialog, select the library to which the detail is to be saved. You can also create new libraries. Note that before replacing a detail that already exists in a given library, the detail must first be deleted from that library.

Libraries are stored directly in the SFClients folder, in files with the extension .det. This means that all jobs have access to whatever libraries you create.

To Use a Library Detail in a Drawing

To make use of library details in a drawing, right click where you want the detail to appear, and select Library Detail. <cf>

Then choose the appropriate library and detail.

When the detail first appears, it is selected and appears in blue. So you can reposition it and scale it as described above. Then press Enter to accept the detail or ESC to cancel. Library entries can include Notes, Standard Details and Draw-Your-Own Details. Library entries cannot contain pipe or fittings.