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Ability to add manual gridlines and "snap to grid"

jax3catsjax3cats Member Posts: 1,061
edited January 2012 in Wishlist!
Hi all! I am new to papercrafting and die cutting and am really anxious to start making cards and other craft projects. I have been using MTC for a couple of weeks and through much trial and error feel pretty comfortable with it. I apologize of the feature I am suggesting already exists and I have just overlooked it.

I am pretty familar with Photoshop and really appreciate the ability to add/move gridlines and snap various items to the gridlines. I want to make cards that have intricate lace patterns cut right into the front of the card, and correct placement on the paper is crititcal. It would make things so much easier if I could add gridlines to define the size of the paper on the mat, then add additional lines to mark the center, etc to help position objects. Right now I am doing all kinds of calculations and measurements on paper and transferring that to the work area, but one minor miscalculation can throw everything off. If I had a "visual" to keep me on track, it would make life so much easier.

Thanks!
My name is Jackie and I am a papercraft and cutting newbie from Michigan. Now the happy owner of a Sizzix eClips, Bosskut Gazelle, and KNK Zing. The CE has left the building!

Comments

  • iggyloveriggylover Moderator Posts: 11,513
    Welcome to the forum @jax3cats!

    Try the "Snap Position" and set it to the different measurements to see if that's the effect you're after. :)

    image

    If you want to keep that setting, click on the "Use this setting..." that I circled in blue.
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke Jeanette in Orange County, CA Love my Italian Greyhound --> I.G.--> iggy Own a Create: Krikee, getting used to a Black Cat Cougar: Bagheera
  • jax3catsjax3cats Member Posts: 1,061
    Thanks for the response, @iggylover. That functionality isn't quite what I have in mind. After playing with it, I realize that "snap position" in the program refers to the size of the increment by which the object increases when you click and drag on the red arrows to resize it. What I would like to do is to manually add (or move the existing) gridlines to the dimensions I need, then use the "snap to grid" functionality to MOVE the object to the gridline. IIRC in Photoshop you can snap either the center of the object or either edge to the gridline.

    It's really about being able to position the items correctly on the paper. Since posting my original message, I had an "AHA" moment and realized I could just create a square or rectangle on the mat to represnt the paper then lay out all my items on that. I still have to do some figuring when I'm using 8 1/2 x 11 paper because it doesn't play nicely with the existing gridlines, but I also realized that if I pay close attention to the X Y coordinates I can work around that issue, too.

    Now, to put my theory to the test...
    My name is Jackie and I am a papercraft and cutting newbie from Michigan. Now the happy owner of a Sizzix eClips, Bosskut Gazelle, and KNK Zing. The CE has left the building!
  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,579
    @jax3cats

    Welcome to the forum and MTC. It sounds a bit like you don't have a copy of the MTC manual to refer to. Is that correct? Of course, you can find the manual by using the Help link in MTC and choosing "Instruction and Tutorials".

    As far as the snapping goes, for clarification, the increment in snapping does control the amount an object grows or shrinks during resizing. But it also controls how far an object moves when you drag it with your mouse or use the arrow keys to move it. You can see this by setting the snapping to 1 inch and then dragging something on the mat. It will move only in one inch jumps. The amount of movement is very precise, going down all the way to 1/128th of an inch. That's certainly small enough to allow you to position something pretty much anywhere you want it on the mat.

    The rulers can be turned on and off. The View menu lets you choose. The mat uses grid lines set at 1 inch intervals. The rulers use 1/4 inch increments with 1 inch markers that match the mat's grid lines. By default the mat shows margins. You can click a box in the Main bar to turn off margins and then the mat and the ruler lines will match perfectly.

    As far as seeing your paper on the mat, if you go to the File menu and choose Print Options, you can set it so an outline of your paper will be displayed directly on the mat. In the Print Setup dialog you can choose among several standard paper sizes.

    You can use the Layers Bar, which is below the Main Bar, to simulate a piece of paper that doesn't match one of the stock sizes in the Print Setup dialog. Click the large plus sign at the bottom of the Layers Bar to add a new, empty layer. Then click that layer to select it. Use the mat's rulers and grid lines to draw a rectangle the size of your paper. Position that where you want it on the mat. Click the "lock" icon on that layer to lock it in place so it won't move. Then click on the default layer, or add another new layer, and put your pieces that you want to move on that layer. You will be able to move them very precisely within the confines of your simulated paper using the snapping set to 1/32, 1/64, etc.

    When you are ready to start cutting, you can click on the Eye icon to make the locked "paper" layer invisible to the cutter. The machine will just cut what you want.

    Just like in Photoshop, layers are a powerful design tool in MTC. Layers are your friend, especially when working with complex designs.

    I hope that these instructions are understandable. Playing with the program is certainly a good way to learn what it can and can't do. IMO though, experimentation should really be supplemented by referencing the MTC manual so you get all the info on the things that aren't immediately obvious.

    Let us know if you have more questions. Lots of very knowledgeable people here.

    Cheers,

    Gabe
  • jax3catsjax3cats Member Posts: 1,061
    HI @Gabe! Thanks for the very detailed instructions. They were very helpful. You are right, I wasn't referencing the manual. I didn't even know there was one!

    I watched Bryan's webinar last night and saw how nice it is to work with layers. Previously I had been adding new pages within a project to seperate my cuts by color. It is definitely easier / better to use the layers!

    I will look at the manual as I continue to experiment. My mind is already racing ahead to the things I want to create!
    My name is Jackie and I am a papercraft and cutting newbie from Michigan. Now the happy owner of a Sizzix eClips, Bosskut Gazelle, and KNK Zing. The CE has left the building!
  • GabeGabe Moderator Posts: 4,579
    @jax3cats,

    Hi. I'm glad I was able to help a little bit. There is so much functionality and overall "goodness" in MTC, that it is hard to stuff it all into our brains. :)

    The manual is actually a new bit of wonderfulness for MTC users. It was created by Sandy McCauley when the KNK Zing cutter was introduced. The Zing was designed from the ground up to work with MTC, so KNK knew they would need a good manual. Even though it is Zing-centric, the manual does cover pretty much everything about MTC, which makes it an invaluable resource for all MTC users, not just Zing owners.

    As you've discovered, the webinars are another invaluable resource. There are a lot of them and most can be downloaded. I would highly recommend that you watch the September 13, 2011 seminars - there are two for that date, as they cover most of the features in one of the latest releases of MTC.

    Sept. 13 webinar, part 1
    Sept. 13 webinar, part 2

    Cheers,

    Gabe
  • debzdebz Member Posts: 3,310
    HI @Gabe! Thanks for the very detailed instructions. They were very helpful. You are right, I wasn't referencing the manual. I didn't even know there was one!

    I watched Bryan's webinar last night and saw how nice it is to work with layers. Previously I had been adding new pages within a project to seperate my cuts by color. It is definitely easier / better to use the layers!

    I will look at the manual as I continue to experiment. My mind is already racing ahead to the things I want to create!
    And since you are a Photoshop user, you will love the layers!! I find that to be one of my favorite features of MTC. I wish in Photoshop you could select something and click that button "move to own layer" like you can in MTC :)

    It's funny, sometimes when I'm in MTC, I try to pull a grid line over from the ruler bar (like you do in Photoshop) and have to have that duh moment of what program I'm using. But I know what you mean about the manual grid lines and it would be a good thing to put in the requests section. I've had a bunch of instances where I could have used them. In another program I use you can set the grid lines up using specific measurements, which would be a cool feature too. The worst Andy can do is say no. :)

    Deb http://krapikreate.wordpress.com/ Cutting with 24" KNK Maxx, Silhouette SD, Expression, Cameo, and Zing Team KNK Designer
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