Help for Help

Discussion of MicroSurvey CAD related issues and questions.

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Help for Help

Postby Ron Mak » Tue Apr 01, 2003 12:23 pm

It frequently happens to me that I go to the help system to find out about a command to do what I want, and find a full explanation in the help system, but there is no mention of what the command is! e.g., I am now looking at help on Change Layer, and it looks good. So how do I invoke the command? What is the command? Is there a way to go up a level in the help system to find the command name?
Ron Mak
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 4:31 am

Help on Help.

Postby Glen Cameron » Tue Apr 01, 2003 12:33 pm

Not all commands are tied into or are available from the menus. Some have to be typed. Now saying that, a majority of commands can be found on the menus and the help file will show you where to find those commands. The trick (as mentioned below) if you use either the SEARCH or INDEX option to find the command - pick on CONTENTS after to see where it is located on the menus.

I copied the following from our help file:

Choosing this option will bring the help file up that you are in right now. This help file is continually updated to keep current with all the advancements and new commands that are added on a regular basis. This help file also has Tutorials, Important Phone Numbers, Copyright Information, and Much more. Be sure to look through the whole help file as it will always be more current and comprehensive than the manuals.

A few tips about using Help:

You can find Help using any one of these 3 methods:

1 By clicking on the HELP button available on most dialog boxes within MicroSurvey. This will take you to the help topic on the command currently in use.

2 Quick tips are available on most dialogs within MicroSurvey by using the What's This? Help.

3 Access the Help System from the top of the Help menu or using the F1 key.

Have a look at the image below. The Help is arranged in the same basic order as the MicroSurvey Cad Menus.

· Notice that the topic for drawing a LINE is displayed. If you had located this topic using the Index or Search options, you should flip to the Contents option to locate the command in the menu system.

· Notice that the keyboard command is shown where possible as well as the corresponding toolbox / Palette button.

· The Back button will take you to the last page viewed and the forward and back arrows help you to navigate through the Help system in topic order as shown in the table of contents.

· Always look for the vertical scroll bar on the far right hand side. Its presence indicates that there is more information below that is not currently visible. Some topics are several pages long!

Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
Glen Cameron
Posts: 1395
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:18 pm
Location: Corbeil, Ontario, Canada

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 01, 2003 12:48 pm

Thanks for the tip.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work for all commands. I tried the "Line" example listed, and it works as described (although in that example, the command name is clearly shown even when you find it through the index).

I also tried it with Change Layer (in the index), but switching to Contents made no difference.

Postby Clint » Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:34 am

I as a new user am having the same problem.
I am finding the help menu extremely unhelpfull. For virtually every instance where I have consulted the help I am baffled. To give the latest example I searched for help on quadrantal bearing entry and found this

Set Quadrant Units

This option sets the program for Quadrant Bearing input and display. NE, SE, SW, NW are the four possible quadrant directions. (Do not run the UNITS command to change these settings – we do this automatically for you.)

(c) 2001 by MicroSurvey Software, Inc.

This was preceded by a small icon.

The information is good as it goes but gives no indication how to access the set quadrant units command, what pull down it resides in, what command line entry to type in or what palette the icon may reside on.
I have found this to be true for most of the help menu items. Knowing what needs to be done and actually performaing the task are not the same and the help should provide both pieces of information.

I am getting very frustrated.

Postby rwhatman » Thu Aug 07, 2003 4:57 pm


I look up Quantrant bearing in the help file.
This is what I found.

Quadrant bearings are entered as one digit for the quadrant (1=NE, 2=SE, 3=SW, 4=NW) followed by degrees, minutes and seconds. Example:

145.0 First quadrant (NE) 45 degrees
234.1234 Second quadrant (SE) 34 degrees 12 minutes 34 seconds

(c) 2001 by MicroSurvey Software, Inc.

What you found may have been the Unit Setup. This you don't touch
or inputing bearing or rotating line don't work.

If you go down the menus to the command you want, then push F1 the program goes straight to the help on this subject of most of the commands.

When I first started learning MScad there was not near the same help as
there is today.

Your right about the help files in some ways. It was written for thoes who
already know something about Cad and Survey methods.

They could not ever be able put everything in the Help Files. If they did. You would not see many updates.

I have now taught three at work MSCAD. None have read the manuals or
even looked up the help files. Why, because they have me to tell the in a
instant what to do.

The first thing I had them do is to view every Movie to get a feel of how
the program works. Thoes Movies are Gold. Manuals, Help files can not
even come close to helping one learn the program.

Don't get baffled. MicroSurvey has many Support programs.
This Forum is a great place to have your questions answered.
Posts: 299
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 6:41 am
Location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Postby Clint » Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:23 am

Thanks for the reply but all I want is the toggle or setting or command line entry to allow me to enter in quadrant mode. The help menu doesn't tell me where it is nor has the help section you have listed below. As I said the help is fine as it goes and tells me exactly how quadrant entry operates but it doesn't have any info about accessing the command. It is same for every time I have consulted the help file.
I don't have the luxury of having someone helping over my shoulder and need the help files to get me out of trouble spots quickly and efficiently (my boss doesn't want to pay me for searching endlessly for menu selections which I know exist but can't find).
I come from EMXS and roadeng, Autocad etc. and I'm not new or averse to learning software but I need help and the help isn't providing it.
Still looking for the quadrant entry and adding and subtracting in the meantime.

Quadrant Toggle

Postby Glen Cameron » Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:17 am

When you start up the program and open any job (new or existing), the General Configurations Dialog comes up. This dialog allows you to set the preference of working in Azimuths or Bearings. Bearings use the Quadrant method of entry.

Also on the MicroSurvey menu -> MicroSurvey Defaults, you can pull this same dialog up anytime by picking on the MicroSurvey Job Defaults option.

You can also bring up the toolbar found under the same MicroSurvey menu -> MicroSurvey Defaults -> Open Defaults Toolbox. It has 2 buttons on it that allow you to switch between Azimuth and Quadrant entry methods. The buttons are blue circles with either 360 (for Azimuths) or NE (for Quadrants) inside them.

The entry methods are used in the COGO portion of the program, reached by typing COGO, or under the MicroSurvey menu -> Points/Lines/Curves -> COGO, or from the option bar across the top of the diagram by picking COGO.

Once in COGO, when asked for a Bearing you can follow the entry method to type in the quadrant to travel in.

To add an angle to a quadrant bearing, inside COGO, When asked for the Bearing, type in the + sign (- sign to subtract), then follow the prompts. (or you can type in the bearing via a two point selection method +- the angle, example: 3..4-45.5634)

> cogo
Inverse:Pt..Pt/Curve Inverse:Pt..Pt..Pt
Enter From Point: <100> 1
Options: +/- or Pt..Pt+-Angle
Enter Quadrant Bearing like QDD.MMSS:<>: +
Enter first Bearing or Azimuth: 145.2209
Enter the Angle to + to the Bearing or Azimuth: 43.2354

I hope this helps.

Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
Glen Cameron
Posts: 1395
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:18 pm
Location: Corbeil, Ontario, Canada

Postby Clint » Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:48 am

Thank you very much. Now that was clear and concise.

If the help menus could be updated to be so helpfull I would be a happy camper, I hate coming to a forum to solve my problems and really would prefer to work things out myself given no time constraints.

Help issues

Postby Glen Cameron » Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:21 am

We, at MicroSurvey, are continuously working on the help files and the rest of the program, to try and bring you a better product. Unfortunately, the help portion is always changing due to program changes and some information is not linked correctly or completely. We will endeavour to correct what we can as we continue to evolve.

If you ever have questions on how something works, please feel free to ask. We will do our best to get you the answers as quickly and concisely as we are able.

I apologize for any inconvenience the help may have caused you.

Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
Glen Cameron
Posts: 1395
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:18 pm
Location: Corbeil, Ontario, Canada

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