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This time, I want to show you how to make a stretchable steel member markup. I got this idea from an Engineer in New Zealand, it drove me bonkers trying to work out just how he managed to do it. But in the end, I managed to resolve the puzzle. So let me now share that joy with you.

Continuing from my last blog, where I created Steel Sections for Revu Markups. This time I want to show you the next natural step in Steel Detail Markups, how to make a stretchable steel member markup, for detailed elevations and plan views. I got this idea from an Engineer in New Zealand; he said that he had steel elevations that could stretch to different lengths. So hold on, that's not just a single line of one length and edited to be longer, but several connecting lines all moving simultaneously. But, Groups and SnapShot are locked down! This was great to hear that there is a way, but it drove me bonkers trying to work out just how he managed to do it. I even sent emails around to my peers for help to overcome my growing fixation. But in the end, I managed to resolve the puzzle. And just like the YouTubers my Son watches that go off when they open a bounty crate (or whatever that is), I did my own fist punches in the air, and my nerdy heart danced with glee. So let me now share that joy with you.

What are our options for making stretchable steel Markups?

I will focus on steel elevations, 6 lines in total, 4 horizontal lines for the top and bottom flanges, then typically a vertical line at each end. So a logical idea would be to make these lines into a Group then add it to your Tool Chest. Let's pull that apart a little bit. Groups are great for locking in a collection of markups, and holding the Alt Key down while hovering over the Group will allow you to edit the Group without Ungrouping it BUT, the end-user needs to edit each markup in the Group that sounds tedious to me. Also, there is the option to Scale the Group by first selecting the Group then hover over the blue control points to shrink/grow the Group, but that will change its drawing scale. So we are going to have to do things a bit different! Have you tried using the Snapshot tool and stretch that? When pasted back on the PDF, the Snapshot provides 4 corner control points, but more importantly, mid-line control points, which allow you to stretch the Snapshot, thus keeping an accurate scale.

What are our options for making stretchable steel Markups?

The steel sections I made the other week are a perfect reference for what I need. Draw the 4 lines that make up the steel top and bottom flanges, but don't add in the ends. When Revu stretches an object, it really is a true stretch, including the end lines, they can become very thick and unusable.

Next, add in a masking region background by using the rectangle tool and setting the line thickness to 0 and the background to white, and don't use the highlighter function. Lastly, Send to Back to get the markup order right.

Now using the Snapshot button or "G" shortcut tool, create a Snapshot of the steel elevation. Paste it and test it out. Remember the end lines that we didn’t add? Go to the Setting Access Panel and increate the Line Width of the Snapshot; you should see a rectangle around your steel elevation markup. Imagine if this line could also be your end lines? To do this you will need to make the Snapshot again.

This time, make sure that your Snap to Markup in the Status Bar, option is off and create a Snapshot that is really, really close to the top left and bottom right corners. It's tricky, but the end result is a steel elevation that has the option to be open for adding different markups or closed to show solid ends. Note that Snap to Markups works on the ends of the open lines in the Snapshot.

Limitations and bonuses.

You will not be able to change your line thickness of the steel elevation once it's in a Snapshot, but you can take advantage of the right-click, Change Colours, which will help of existing steel vs new steel. You will not be able to change the solid white background to highlight, sorry, that is stuck. When you have several steel elements together, Order (send to back) will work just fine. Snapshots can be set to scale in their Tool Sets, so this will work across all your drawing scales.

Creating your content.

Just a couple of things that I picked up on the last blog that you could have missed, but will save you heaps of time.
- The first thing is, do you really need every option of every steel size? This is not CAD. It's a markup.
- Name your Tool Sets well, make it logical.
- Think of the end-users when you create your Tool Sets, add to the Subject, fill in the Comments section on how to use and edit the markup. But Label cant be used for this type of tool.

- And make a master file, if Revu breaks, you have a backup.

Hopefully this gets your brains synapses firing away as you think of other new markups that could use this type of creation technique. I plan to create a series of basic windows, mechanical duct, hydraulic lines, furniture. Let us know what you have come up with; we would love to hear about it.