When working with fixtures in the layout, there are many keyboard modifiers that have been added to make your life easier.
Here’s just a few of our favourites. For the full list, take a look in Help.
For starters, a useful tool to re-centre the whole layout and zoom-to-fit the entire layout is activated by pressing CTRL/CMD + F. This is useful as a quick way to reset your view. This can then be combined easily with clicking the middle-mouse button and dragging an area. Designer will then zoom into that area.
Another useful keyboard shortcut is the TAB key. This will move the selection to the next numbered fixture; this is useful to show you the order in which objects are created and laid out, which if done in the same order as the fixtures are patched, can make patching easier.
Also, if you need to make small position adjustments to individual, consecutive fixtures, it is very quick and ergonomic to nudge a series of fixtures with a combination of TAB and the arrow keys. Set the grid spacing to a useful nudge length (or use SHIFT with the cursors for a 1 pixel adjustment, see below). And don’t forget, SHIFT + TAB will select the previous fixture!
When placing fixtures, we, by default, snap to a grid. This allows our users to create an easier to layout view, ensuring fixtures that are in straight lines can be shown as such, and helps to generate correct pixel matrices. However, there are times when some fixtures don’t need to abide by that rule – say if they are in an irregular or circular shape.
Instead of having to go into the Layout settings, turn off snap to grid, add your fixtures, then turn back on snap to grid, the user can hold down SHIFT while placing the fixture. This will allow it to bypass the Snap to Grid rule, and can be placed freely.
This same functionality applies to nudging with the arrow keys; pressing the arrow keys will move the fixture by 1 grid space (if Snap to Grid is enabled), but holding SHIFT, then pressing the arrow keys, will move the fixture by 1 pixel.