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The PowerFlow tool uses the density database to automatically calculate a good set of parameters for the layout, including clearance, run gap, and number of rows. This data is supplied by the company that creates the LEDs currently selected.
Creating a Module Path Quickly - Drag
For single stroke letters, you can simply click and drag with the mouse and new modules will be created as you drag, spaced according to the module selected. For single module strokes, the module is automatically centered in the path. For strokes that can fit two runs, the module is positioned according to the Clearance value in the property bar. If you drag in a letter with varying strokes and start in a thin area and go into a larger area, the modules will shift from being centered to going to one side. You can control which side that is with the cursor position. It's best to take this fairly slow to get it right, but you can create layouts fairly quickly as well. You can undo any modules created if you need to back up and correct an incorrectly placed module. Use the Z key for Undo.
A tip when dragging to create modules: If you have an inline that comes close to joining itself again in a thin stroke, you might have the "other" path get picked up for new modules, so the trick in that case is make sure the cursor is always on the "right side" of the inline, which means the outside of the inline,so the closest module will always be on the part of the path you want.This is essential when bridging a gap and then coming towards a "Y" section where the stroke is widening up again - you can choose which side to use by this trick.
Dropping Modules at Specific Positions - Click and Release
If you come across areas that require special handling, a simple click and release will add a module at the cursor, exactly at the position and rotation indicated by the preview module. The distance from the edge and the rotation is automatically calculated by analyzing the letter shape around the cursor.
Free Mode: You can easily override the automatic snapping to the inline guides by holding down Control while dragging the module. When holding down Control, the angle of the module will be automatically calculated from the path created as you move the cursor to the next module position. To reset this path, release Control and then press Control again.
Populate Run with Free Drag - Press Control and Drag
To create a run of modules that doesn't have an inline guide or a simple stroke to use with Alt mode, hold down Control and click and drag from an area that doesn't have any modules. In this mode, you will be creating a free form path for the modules to follow, which is converted to a smooth path when you release the button.
The connecting wire between any two connected modules is drawn in a realistic way at all times. If there's no connecting wire, the two modules are too far apart to reach when adding modules, and a new run is created. If the modules are a part of the same run but are too far apart, a red curved line connects them. You always know if a module will actually reach another module, but sometimes having some red connectors is OK, since you can make them fit when installing the sign. But if too many modules don't reach, the layout may not work in practice.
Connecting Two Runs - Shift click
To connect two runs into a single run, select a module and then hold down Shift while you click on the other module to connect. They will be joined, even if they don't physically reach. If they don't reach, the dashed line indicates that a splice is needed.
This will also work when the second module is in the middle of a run. The target run will be broken at the module you clicked on and then selected module will be joined to the target module.
Extending a Run to the Cursor - Shift+Click
Another use of Shift Click is when you want to extend a run to the cursor. You must have a module selected already. It will figure out in which direction you intend to extend the run in and fill the modules between the two points.
Creating a New Run From a Different Inline with a Splice Wire - Shift+Click
You can easily connect two inlines with modules by holding down Shift while starting a new run with a drag on a different inline than the one that the selected module is currently on.
Create Runs One at a Time - A key
Pressing A while the cursor is snapped to a inline will create modules for the entire inline in one step. By choosing where the opening is, you can speed up connecting runs together because the opening will be close by. Many times the new run will be close enough that it becomes automatically connected to the last run.
Populate All Inlines with a Single Click - Q key
To populate all of the inlines with modules, click on the module where you want to start while pressing Alt and Shift. This will create modules for the run you clicked on, and then move to the next nearest run and repeat, until it can't find any more more runs to create modules for.
Populate a Simple Run with Modules - Shift+S
This command creates a simple run of modules from the part of a guide path that has no sharp corners. The software starts at the current position on the guide path and looks in both directions for either the end of the run or when the run takes a sharp turn. The first and last modules created are placed at the end of the guide path. If there are existing adjacent runs, they will be automatically joined with the new run.
Create a Center Guide Path for Small Letters - Ctrl+1
This will create a centered guide path for small letters. You can then use commands like Shift+S to populate the center path with modules.
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