The current release version of Templot is still 0.74.b (October 2001). The latest Pug version is 0.82.d (November 2006).
To find which version of Templot you are using, click the help > about Templot menu item. For information about downloading the latest version, click downloads. Upgrades are free to existing users if downloaded.
There is also a later Pug (Pilot UpGrade, or beta) version available with many additional features, click pug version for more information. The Pug version doesn't include the sample track plan files, so new users and re-installers should always first download and install the release version 0.74.b.
To keep up to date with news of Templot developments, join the friendly Templot Club.
The group mirror functions now operate about a mirror line
through the current position of the notch. By suitably positioning the notch
first, the need for a subsequent group shift is avoided.
tools > group tools > mirror group on X at
notch and mirror group on Y at
notch menu items.
New top tool buttons have been added for zoom to fit current
has a single dot symbol, and zoom to fit entire background
which has a framed double arrowhead symbol. These are not new functions,
but they are used so frequently that the option of using tool buttons for
them will be convenient. (They are also on the single key shortcuts
The four arrow keys on the keyboard can now be used to pan across the drawing pad. The keys replicate the buttons on the panning window, similarly respond to the direction setting and speed adjusters, and holding down the CTRL key causes panning at maximum speed.
Because these keys are also used in conjunction with the Tab key to navigate
Windows, they may occasionally fail to respond for panning. Just click anywhere
on the pad to get them going again.
The memo panel has been removed and replaced with a single
memo button. This has made more space
for the info details. There is a new
fit to window button for the info
area to be used after re-sizing the window, giving greater control
over the scrolling options. It is now much easier to adjust the window to
show only the lines which you want to watch. And these can be copied to the
jotter at any time by clicking the jot
There are new edit memo notes items on
the pop-up menu for each background template.
The previous two-way mouse actions for the shove timber functions have been replaced with five individual mouse actions for better control.
The dimension readouts now include the timber width, which similarly to the other readouts can be clicked to set the actual width directly, in model mm or full-size inches.
The twist read-out can now show (and have data entered as) an angle relative to the template datum (CTRL-0 position) in addition to the previous angle relative to the square-on position for each timber. This option is useful when you want to get all the timbers parallel after curving the template. For example, when improvising symmetrical Y-turnouts. Click the button to the left of the read-out to toggle these options. adjust > shove timbers menu item.
The previous limit of 30 shoved timbers maximum per template has been abolished - you can now shove as many timbers as you wish. adjust > shove timbers menu item.
If a file containing a template with more than 30 shoved timbers is reloaded into an earlier version of Templot, only the first 30 such timbers will be shown shoved in that version.
As a consequence
of this change, the option of saving template files in the old pre-version
0.48 twin-file format has been removed, although such old files can still
There is a new style of timbering called angled-on. This has
the timbers beyond the switch aligned square-on to the turnout road.
This has limited prototypical applications for a single turnout (unless you
know otherwise?) but will occasionally be useful when superimposing partial
templates and in creating turnouts with interlaced timbering.
geometry >timbering > angled-on (turnout
road) menu item.
The single mint tickbox has been replaced with
mint new / match
original option boxes to clarify its meaning. There is no change
to the actual functions. control > gauge and
scale > other gauges... menu item.
The switch selector window now has a show switch
info button to list the dimensions for the selected switch.
track > switch... menu item.
There are new adjust > notch options > notch
on radial centre menu items to position the notch at the radial
centre (curving-line centre) for the current template. This is useful when
you want to rotate a group of templates around a radial centre,
in a similar manner to the swing function for the current
Templot can now draw switches with joggled stock rails, and does so by default for the GWR range of switches. Tick or untick the joggled stock rails option box on the track > switch... or track > quick set... windows as required. Scale size joggles are barely perceptible in the smaller model scales - if you prefer a more pronounced joggle there is a generator > overscale joggles option, or any joggle dimensions can be set up for a custom switch.
Some notes and prototype information about the use of joggled switches is
included on the real track page.
There is a new peg / align tools > make transition curve from current menu item in the pop-up menu for a background template. A new transition curve current template is created on an alignment linking the existing current template to the selected background template. This is a powerful new feature which will save a lot of trial and error when inserting a link between two existing templates. It can also be used to replace two adjoining templates with a single template having a zero-length transition at the join, enabling a turnout which bridges the join to be easily inserted.
Click on a background template and then the peg
/ align tools > make transition curve from current > ? help
menu item to read some notes. There will shortly be a
mini-tutorial sequence covering these
There are new geometry > curved (transition)
> set transition start at peg and set
transition end at peg and extend transition
to peg menu items to set the
transition zone length and position.
These are useful when you want to have the transition zone accurately aligned
to a pre-set peg position, such as the heel of a switch, or the transition
zone length set to the full length of a template.
For straight and fixed-curve turnout templates there is a new concept of geometrical radius, which comes in two flavours - internal geometrical radius (tangential at the TCP) and external geometrical radius (tangential at the TVJP - CTRL-6 position). These radii are shown at the end of the information panel and will be useful for users wishing to create templates as "set-track" style geometrical elements for use in circles, ovals, reverse loops, ladders and hidden sidings, etc.
Users building visible track based on UK prototype practice will have less use for this, but the new tools > make split > make plain track turnout road > menu items will occasionally be useful in replacing the turnout road with plain track.
See also the new peg positions: adjust > set peg options > peg on EGTP ; peg on EGORG ; peg on IGTP ; peg on IGORG and the track > snap lengths > approach/plain track > snap approach to EGTP ; snap approach to IGTP menu items.
These functions are not available for turnouts on a transition curve or when slewed.
There will shortly be a mini-tutorial
sequence covering the use of these new functions.
It is now possible to set lengths for the turnout-side wing and check rails which differ from the main-side lengths, and to extend the ends of any of them beyond the normal positions. Click the new geometry > rails > wing and check rails... menu item (arrowed 1 above) and read the help notes.
( These new options now make continuous check rails possible - add approach track, extend the working length of one or both the check rails sufficiently to run back into the approach, peg at CTRL-1 and track > snap lengths > snap to peg ).
In addition it is now possible to choose bent flared ends for
the wing and check rails (for bullhead and light flat-bottom rail) or
machined flared ends (for standard-gauge flat-bottom rail on
baseplates). geometry > rails > flared
ends menu items (arrowed 2 above).
A useful application of these new options is in creating a single-blade catch or trap point - untick the geometry > rails > turnout-road crossing rail menu item, then shorten the turnout back (F4) or click the track > snap lengths > turnout > snap to catch points menu item.
There will shortly be a mini-tutorial
sequence covering the use of these new functions.
The custom gauge/scale settings now comprise only the scale, gauge, flangeway and track spacing dimensions: control > gauge and scale > other gauges... > set custom buttons. The timber spacing, wing and check rail lengths, and rail section settings have been moved to the geometry > rails > and geometry > timbering > menu items (see above), and the former track > non-standard menu item has been abolished.
As a consequence of these changes, the narrow-gauges and some other entries have been removed from the standard gauge/scale list. It is intended that these options should be provided in future by means of library .box files of such templates. This is a more flexible approach and permits a much wider range of specials to be available than can be provided by embedding the data directly in Templot.
But the standard list does now include entries for Z-NMRA, Proto-48, Gauge
1, Gauge 3, and the ground-level model engineering gauges.
The jotter window (tools > jotter (toggle) menu item or CTRL-J to toggle it on and off) provides a handy space to jot down or cut and paste odd dimensions and notes for later use. This is similar to using Windows Notepad for this purpose, but with the advantage that the jotter window remains visible on the screen in front of your drawing.
The jotter window also includes CAD-style X,Y and relative read-outs. I have been looking for somewhere for these for some time, not wanting to use up screen space with a full status bar. The jotter seems to be the natural home for them. To zero the relative dimension read-outs, ALT-click on the drawing pad at the desired position. (The less accessible X-Y read-out in the information window has been retained for the present).
There are several jotter functions for those users who like to keep a running journal of their design work, and some functions to automatically add notes of dimensions while working elsewhere in Templot. Click the tools > jotter X-Y read-out menu item (or CTRL-J) and then right-click on the jotter. Then click the ? help item on the pop-up menu for full details of all the jotter functions.
Many thanks to Donald Peters and others for useful suggestions concerning
The snap length functions now include the option of snapping
plain track to the nearest whole rail length. track
> snap lengths > approach/plain track > snap to nearest rail
joint and track > snap lengths >
exit track > snap to nearest rail joint menu items.
CTRL-L is now
track > convert to plain
CTRL-I is now track > insert turnout in plain track.
CTRL-N is now tools > swap current template end-for-end, and this menu item is now duplicated in the track menu.
CTRL-J now toggles the new jotter window, see above.
The comma key is now a single key alternative for SHIFT-F10 adjust > shove timbers.
Apologies to everyone for whom a change in keyboard shortcuts is the ultimate
The way in which a limit is applied to the transition maths has been changed, and you can now experiment with changes to the limit setting. The previous limit was relaxed too far in version 0.71, with the result that it was possible to create severely distorted transitions inadvertently while using the F6 mouse action.
The Templot transition maths have shown up interesting differences between
processors. AMD processors (Athlon, Duron) appear to produce more accurate
transitions near the limit that Intel processors (Pentium, Celeron), although
you won't notice any difference at the transition settings normally used.
For more information click the program > expert
> transition maths > max spiral... item on the control
room menus, and read the help notes.
download this version
previous version 0.68.c changes
more notes here soon
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