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Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Design
LAI4D user interface quick help
v 3.5
3.5.20221229

This document summarizes the different functions offered by the LAI4D viewer widget. For a detailed explanation of functions see the LAI4D reference manual.

On screen controls

Tools:  Shows the Tools menu which is the main access to the functions and options available in LAI4D.
Share:  Opens a new browser window offering the available sharing options. The goal of the "Share" functionality is to generate an URL with the necessary start-up instructions for sharing the current drawing directly as a link or as the "src" attribute of an IFRAME element.
Help: Opens in a new browser window the help documentation.
Full window:  Opens in a new browser window the current drawing.

Camera mode: Selector button that indicates the current camera mode and allows to select among the following options for controlling the camera orientation:
  •  Orbital: The camera can be rotated around the target point. This mode allows to explore the entity located at the target point from different points of view.
  •  Polar: The camera can be rotated around the view point. This mode allows to point the camera towards any part of the scene.
  •  Pan: The camera can be translated parallel to the projection plane.
Zoom +:  Increases the zoom according to a preconfigured magnification factor. If a long-press is applied then a progressive zoom is performed.
Zoom -:  Decreases the zoom according to a preconfigured magnification factor. If a long-press is applied then a progressive zoom is performed.

Type of projection: Selector button that indicates whether the current projection is parallel or perspective and allows to change among them.
Zoom extent: Performs a zoom that allows to view the full scene regardless of the camera orientation.
Issues:  Shows the list of issues (only when there is any).
Previous view:  Changes to the previous view stored in the view history. A new view is stored when the view configuration of the camera is changed from the UI or when an entity defining child entities (sub-drawings) is navigated with the function "Navigate into".

View source:  Shows the drawing canonical source in a non-editable text area.
Repaint:  Reinterprets the drawing source and renders again the drawing resetting the options.

Dynamic zoom: Through mouse wheel events the user can make a general exploration of the model space. Each event produces a combination of a zoom increment plus a camera movement towards the area pointed by the mouse.

Tools menu

The Tools menu is the main access to the LAI4D functionality.
Design:  Opens the current drawing in design mode in a new window.
View control: These functions cover the more commonly demanded view operations not available in the "On screen controls".
Options:  Allows to configure rendering and behavior options and parameters.
Tree explorer:  The tree explorer component allows to manage as a tree view the drawing or an entity.
Extract information:  Contains functions for extracting useful information from the existing entities.
Utilities:  Miscellaneous utilities:
  • Find: Shows the search tool. This tool searches for a string in the drawing tree returning the node where a match is found.
  • Show attachments: Finds out for each visible entity in the viewport whether it has or not attachments such as user data, link or children and, if it has attachments then shows the corresponding context tools.

Context tools

When a long press event occurs over a graphic entity a set of buttons with context tools is shown allowing to perform the following operations on that entity:
Explore as a tree:  The source of the entity is shown in the Tree explorer.
Navigate into:  If there are children in the graphic entity then the widget navigates into the entity allowing to explore them. The children are found in the "folder" member. In order to perform a backward navigation use the "Previous view" function.
Navigate link:  If the entity has a link then it is navigated as a web link opened in a new window. The link is defined in the "link" member.
View attached user data:  If user data is available in the entity then its content is shown. The user data is defined in the "user data" member.

User input

Several functions require from the user various input steps in which the user could provide:
  • A selection of graphic entities generated by double clicking over specific entities or by window capture for selecting a group of entities completely contained inside the window area.
  • Texts or numbers typed in a text box. If the number entered is not an integer then the decimal separator shall be a dot.
  • Point coordinates manually typed in a text box. LAI4D implements a parser that tries to understand the data structure entered by the user allowing a great flexibility in the input of coordinates. The user could enter "17.3,90,-10" or "17.3 90 -10" or "(17.3, 90, -10)" or even "{{17.3}{90}{-10}}" and the parser will correctly extract the three coordinates. At least one coordinate must be provided, the parser will automatically append zeroes up to complete three coordinates.
  • One or more points selected on screen that can be singular points of entities, like vertices, or points located at the coordinated planes. When the mouse is close to a singular point of an entity its coordinates and a square mark are shown for highlighting that point and, if the user clicks inside the square, the point is selected. When the user clicks over a point that is not a singular point of an entity the selected point will be that placed at the coordinated plane (XY, XZ, YZ) which is more parallel to the viewport; therefore one of the three coordinates of the point will be 0.
When the function in progress requests a user input an input area is normally shown at the bottom of the viewport.

This input area can be composed of:
  • A cancel button (): If pressed then the function is canceled.
  • A pause button (℗/►): If pressed then the command is paused and the user can change the camera configuration in the usual way. Once the camera is configured the button can be pressed again in order to resume the command. This function is typically used while selecting points in the screen that are hidden for the current camera orientation.
  • A delta button (∆): If pressed then the input of relative coordinates is enabled. In this situation the on-screen selection of points is ignored and the manually entered coordinates are treated as an offset with respect the last entered point.
  • An angle button (<): If pressed then the input of polar coordinates is enabled. The order of the coordinates must be: radius, longitude, latitude (angles expressed in degrees). The coordinates left blank by the right will be replaced by 0. In this situation the on-screen selection of points is ignored. If this button is combined with the delta button then the manually entered coordinates are treated as an offset with respect the last entered point.
  • A finish button (): It must be pressed when the user does not want to enter more input items in the current input step. For example it can be used for indicating the end of input when entering points for creating a polygonal line or for indicating the end of the entities selection step.
  • A next step button (): It must be pressed for indicating that the current input step has finished and going into the next input step. It is typically used for passing the value typed in the text box to the function and going into the next step.
  • A text box: It is used for manually input of numbers or coordinates. Most of the functions that require the input of points allow either the selection of points on screen or the manual input of coordinates. When the user types a value in the text box he must press the finish or next step button in order to pass that value to the function. If the entered value is not valid then the application warns the user with an alert message and returns to the previous input status.


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