I would like to see ...

A More Versatile Line Tool

The following is the gist of what I think would enhance the line tool. I used to use a program called Freehand which acted this way. I think Adobe Illustrator has a similar line tool but I don't use it. The reason for such a tool would be to easily and flexibly draw shaped lines particularly for roads, rivers, mountain lines, and textures.

This is how I would envision a line drawing tool:

a) select the line tool icon *
b) place cursor on the spot where you want the line to begin
c) holding mouse down drag across the layout to the point where you want the line to end **
d) release the mouse and the line appears with anchor points on the line at 'key' points ***
e) in an ideal situation each anchor point could be selected and 2 controls appear which would allow the user to move the point and in turn bend i.e. reshape the line
f) click off the line and the anchor points disappear (BTW the current line tool cannot be disengaged without going back to the menu and selecting the arrow tool. Clicking on the layout without doing this creates an unwanted anchor point)
g) the line width should be selectable (perhaps with the choice of a preset of scale i.e. N, HO, etc) or just in increments up to and thicker than the current limit of 15)

p.s. lines drawn this way could be striped or dotted to add further 'coding' e.g. dotted lines could be to id paths or property fences; stripes on a thick line could represent road markings i.e. double solid, dotted, solid/dotted, etc (this could be useful for Faller car system)

* I would call it the "free form" line tool option (a "pull down" window could offer the current line tool or the optional free form line tool)

** to draw a straight line (in any direction) click the mouse once to generate an anchor point then select another location and click the mouse again which would generate a second anchor point with an adjoining line. Clicking on the line would create further anchor points which can be edited

*** to add to the line:
i) click on the line which shows the auto-generated anchor points
ii) click on the last anchor point at either end and click mouse
iii) hold and drag the mouse
iv) a new line will be added to the original one making them a single item

13 votes
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  • AdminRailModeller (Manager, RailModeller) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    That could be tricky -
    How to adjust individual points for a line with an arbitrary number of points when the length is changed?

    However, editing individual point coordinates would be nice-to-have - plus we already have implemented something very similar in the (not yet publicly available) Library Editor module.

  • Dieselfreak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Good ideas! However, we also need the option of defining the length of lines with desired values!

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