Templot  Reference  Information


 This page is still under construction, and will in time contain the complete reference information for all of Templot's many functions. Apologies for its scrappy format at present.

© revised 11-Jan-2001

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• Templot Abbreviations :

ACW Anti-clockwise

CESP Crossing entry-straight point

CW Clockwise

DP Deflection point

FP Fine point

MCP Main-side crossing point

MRP Main-side return point

MS Main-side

MVJP Main-side V point-rail joint position

MXP Main-side crossover mid-point

TCP Turnout-side crossing point

TORG Turnout radius origin (radial centre)

TP Toe point

TRP Turnout-side return point

TS Turnout side

TVJP Turnout-side V splice-rail joint position

TXP Turnout-side crossover mid-point


TEMPLOT HELP TEXTS

The following information is a compilation of most of the Help texts from within the Templot program. This was originally compiled by Dave Summers, for which many thanks.

 Please see also the Templot documentation in the Templot Companion pages, which duplicates much of this information in a more web-friendly format.

The Templot upgrade version number from which the text was extracted is shown against each topic. If you are using a later upgrade please check for any revisions within the program.


• Adjacent track spacing.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter the centre-to-centre distance in millimetres to the adjacent track. It is possible to use different spacing dimensions for the tracks on each side of the template.

TS is "turnout-side", i.e. the same side as the hand of the template.

MS is "main-side", i.e. the opposite side to the hand of the template.

Separate templates for adjacent tracks are created by selecting the TOOLS > MAKE CROSSOVER or TOOLS > MAKE DOUBLE-TRACK menu items.

Adjacent track rails can also be placed on the current template as planning aids, by selecting the GENERATOR > ADJACENT TRACKS menu items. It is necessary to select each rail separately.

The minimum spacing on straight track should normally give a 6ft way between the inner rails, i.e. 11ft 2in (134in) (scale) minimum centre-to-centre spacing for standard-gauge tracks.

Where there are sharp curves or super-elevation, this distance must be increased to allow for vehicle overhang.

The minimum spacing should also be increased when using the TOOLS > MAKE DOUBLE-TRACK functions on a transition curve, as it is not then mathematically possible to create an exact uniformly spaced adjacent track.

Where the adjacent track forms a loop or siding, the spacing should normally be increased by 4ft to 15ft 2in (182in) (scale). This is to provide a space for signal posts and other obstructions, and to ensure the safety of shunting staff.

If preferred, full-size dimensions can be entered (in inches) by using the P conversion factor. For example, to enter the scale equivalent of 15ft 2in, enter p182. For more information about conversion factors, click the WHAT? button.

Changes made here will be reset if a new gauge/scale setting is selected. Many model railway gauge standards incorporate overscale nominal spacings to allow for the use of sharp curves.


• Background Drawing List   [ v:0.66.a ]

This form can be thought of as an annexe to your storage box, listing the templates that have been copied from the box to appear on your background drawing.

To remove a template from the background, select it in the list, and then click the WIPE button. This will not delete it from the box; it simply becomes an unused template, and can be restored to the background drawing by clicking again the COPY TO BACKGROUND button on the box.

To remove all the background templates, click the WIPE ALL button.

Templates appear on the background reflecting the settings of the pad GENERATOR menu items that were in effect when they were copied to the background. They can be updated to correspond to the current settings on the GENERATOR menu by clicking the REBUILD or REBUILD ALL buttons.

But you will only see these changes if the relevant SHOW option boxes are ticked. These boxes let you customize the way background templates are shown on the screen, they have no effect on the printed output or a DXF export file.

If you are building a complete track layout in the background, it is usually less confusing to display the background templates in skeleton form only, with the rail outer-edges and perhaps the timbers omitted. But if you want to print them this way, you must remember to make the necessary changes in the GENERATOR menu and then click REBUILD or REBUILD ALL. You can if you wish then restore the GENERATOR settings for the current template on the pad without affecting the background.

(If you want to print the entire drawing including the current template without rails or timbers, a quicker way which does not affect the background drawing on the screen is to use the PRINT > PRINTED ELEMENT OPTIONS menu items. Be aware, however, that you cannot use these options to print features that were never generated.)

Clicking the BOX button shows the storage box. Read the WHAT NEXT? notes for box for more information about working with background templates.


• Background Shapes   [ v:0.66.a ]

These simple background drawing functions allow the addition to the drawing of such features as baseboard edges and joint lines, or other fixed obstructions such as a control panel space or turntable well.

Shapes might also be added to the drawing to represent architectural items on the model, such as a signal cabin or station platform.

You can also add short labels to identify different parts of the drawing. "Short" means not more than 50 characters. If you want to make detailed notes about the drawing you should enter these in the MEMO area of the INFORMATION panel for each template.

It is also possible to add target mark shapes (small cross-hairs symbols) to the drawing as alignment and reference markers.

Shapes and labels can be drawn in several different ways:

The spacing-ring tool can also be used as a "drawing pen". Select the TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item and see the help notes for more information.

Background template name labels can be converted to label shapes, so that they can appear on the printed templates. To do this click MAKE LABEL SHAPE in the pop-up menu for the template.

The size and position of existing shapes can be changed as required, either by using the mouse actions or by entering new dimensions directly. When mouse actions are used this window will be temporarily hidden to give a clearer view of the pad.

The drawn shapes are treated as part of the grid, in other words they are unaffected by the shift and rotate template functions, and are not included in the template data files saved from the storage box. They can, however, be included in a DXF export file if the background shapes layers are enabled.

Your collection of background shapes and labels can be saved (in a .bgs file) and reloaded again next time.


• Adding Background Shapes   [ v:0.66.a ]

To add a background line, shape or label to the drawing pad and printed template do this:

In the NEW panel click one of the SHAPE option buttons to select a LINE, RECTANGLE, CIRCLE, LABEL or TARGET MARK.

For a line, click one of the LINE option buttons to select a SOLID or DOTTED line. This setting also applies when drawing lines with the mouse.

For a rectangle or circle, click one of the STYLE option buttons to select one of these styles:

TRANSPARENT means that the underlying grid or other previously drawn shapes show through.

BLANK means that the shape is drawn empty, blanking out anything underlying it.

HATCHED means that the shape is drawn filled with a cross-hatched pattern.

Enter a name for the shape or the text for the label in the name box. A rectangle might be called "Lever Frame" or "Access Way", for example. (Other than for labels, this name will not appear on the drawing, it simply provides a reference in the list of shapes.)

The shapes are drawn in the order shown in the list, so blank or hatched shapes may be overdrawn by subsequent ones. Labels are always drawn as a blank rectangle containing the text. Shapes should therefore be placed in the list in an order that allows for any overlaps. They will always be overdrawn by any overlapping part of the track drawing.

If there are already some shapes in the list, click the list to select the entry below which you wish to add the new shape.

If you want to locate the new shape with the mouse, click the pad in two locations, representing the ends or opposite corners of the shape. For a circle, "opposite corners" refers to an imaginary enclosing square box.

To locate a label with the mouse, click the pad once to indicate the top left corner of the label.

To locate a target mark with the mouse, click the pad once to indicate the centre of the target.

Then click the ADD CLICKED SHAPE button to insert the shape in the list and add it to your drawing. (If you re-size the window to get a clearer view of the pad, this button will remain in view.)

If you want to enter dimensions for the shape directly, click the ENTER DIMENSIONS... button and enter the requested dimensions for your shape or label.

Bear in mind that unless you use conversion factors all shape dimensions should be entered in mm. So to avoid confusion, it is sensible to set the grid spacing in mm before adding shapes, by clicking the GRID... button.

The spacing-ring tool can also be used as a pen to draw a series of connected LINE shapes. Select the TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item for more information about this function.

By clicking the DRAW WITH MOUSE button LINE shapes can also be drawn freehand with the mouse. Click the white "more help information" bar below for more details.

To delete a shape from the drawing, select the shape in the list, then click the DELETE button or press the Delete key on the keyboard. To delete all the shapes click the CLEAR ALL button.

To change the details or dimensions of a shape, select the shape in the list, make any changes in the NEW panel, and then click the MODIFY... button.

Alternatively the selected shape can be adjusted by mouse action. Click the CORNER 1, CORNER 2 or SHIFT buttons to make the required changes.

The details of the currently selected shape are shown below the list, and the shape appears highlighted in red on the drawing pad.

Shapes drawn freehand with the mouse or added using the spacing-ring tool can be modified and deleted in the same way as shapes which have been entered here directly.

A RECTANGLE shape can be converted to 4 separate LINE shapes marking its outline, by clicking the MODIFY > REC-LINES button. This enables you to modify or delete each line separately if desired.

Click HIDE when you have finished adding, modifying and deleting shapes.

It is also possible to make changes to all the listed shapes, using these buttons in the ALL SHAPES panel:

To change the font and text colour used for labels, click the LABEL FONT... button.

To change the colour of shapes drawn on the screen, click the SHAPES COLOUR > PAD... button.

To change the colour in which shapes are printed, click the SHAPES COLOUR > PRINT... button

To move all the shapes by a specified amount, click the SHIFT ALL BY... button.

To move all the shapes by mouse action, click the MOUSE ACTION SHIFT ALL button.

To enlarge or reduce all the shapes by a specified amount, click the SCALE ALL BY... button.

To rotate all the shape locations by a specified angle, click the ROTATE ALL BY... button. The shapes will be rotated around the current location of the spacing-ring tool, which should be positioned first (TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item). Note that only the locations of the shapes will be rotated. The outlines of rectangle and label shapes, axes of elliptical circle shapes, and target mark arms will remain square to the grid.

If you want rectangle outlines to be rotated, they must first be converted to lines by clicking the ALL SHAPES > REC-LINES button.

To mirror-image all the shapes (flip them about the margins), click the MIRROR > ON X or MIRROR > ON Y buttons. After doing this you may need to zoom out to see them, and you will probably want to shift them all back into your drawing area.

To delete all the shapes from the list and from your drawing, click the CLEAR ALL button.

These background shapes are not included in template data files when they are saved from the storage box. The current collection of shapes can be saved to a separate file by clicking the SAVE AS... button, and a previously saved collection of shapes can be reloaded by clicking the RELOAD... button. You can build up a collection of shapes from more than one file by clicking the ADD FILE... button.

If the HIDE ON RELOAD option box is ticked, the shapes form will be hidden after reloading a shapes file. Otherwise it will remain visible for any additions or changes to be made.

Handy Hints:

These shapes will not actually appear on the drawing pad unless the PAD BACKGROUND OPTIONS > DRAW BACKGROUND SHAPES entry in the PAD menu is currently selected (bullet showing),

Nor on the printed templates unless the PRINTED BACKGROUND OPTIONS > BACKGROUND SHAPES ON entry in the PRINT menu is currently selected (bullet showing).

When labels are printed they appear rotated through 90 degrees relative to their position on the screen. This is to match the paper orientation. The top-left corner location remains fixed. Bear this in mind when adding labels to the drawing.

When entering dimensions directly, if you request a pre-set dimension by entering a slash "/" the relevant dimension will be taken from the positions of the most recent copies of the spacing-ring tool. This is useful if you need a shape that is a specified distance from the rails, for example. Set the size of the ring accordingly.

If there are insufficient ring copies the current spacing-ring position will be used instead. It is not necessary to request the pre-set for all four dimensions; any figures entered will be used instead, which might be useful occasionally.

Select the TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item and click the WHAT? button for more information about using the spacing-ring and making ring copies.

Remember to save your shapes before you quit Templot if you will need them again. They are saved separately from your template data files so that you can start a fresh track design with your existing baseboard outlines.


• Data for Background Shapes   [ v:0.66.a ]

Shapes are defined by entering the X, Y co-ordinate dimensions for 2 separate points as follows:

For a LINE, enter the dimensions to the 2 end points of the line, (X1, Y1) and (X2, Y2).

For a RECTANGLE, enter the dimensions to the bottom-left corner (X1, Y1) and the top-right corner (X2, Y2).

For a CIRCLE, enter the dimensions to the bottom-left corner (X1, Y1) and the top-right corner (X2, Y2) of an imaginary enclosing rectangle. If this enclosing rectangle is not a square, (with all sides of equal length), the circle will become an ellipse.

(When exported in DXF file format, an ellipse will be "averaged" to a circle. There are few elliptical features on a model railway.)

For a LABEL, enter the dimensions to the top-left corner (X, Y).

For a TARGET MARK, enter the dimensions to the centre (X, Y), and the length (each way) of the horizontal and vertical arms.

Note that unless you use conversion factors all dimensions should be entered in mm. To avoid confusion, set the grid spacing in mm before adding background shapes (click the GRID... button).

For more information about using conversion factors click the WHAT? button.

Handy Hint:

The figures that appear initially represent the most recently clicked location(s) on the drawing pad. If you want your shape or label to be at this location, just press the ENTER key for each dimension.

An easier way to do this is simply to click the ADD CLICKED SHAPE button. Click the two ends or opposite corners of the required location first. For a LABEL, just click the top-left corner. For a TARGET MARK, click the centre location.

If you request a pre-set dimension by entering a slash "/" the relevant dimension will be taken from the positions of the most recent copies of the spacing-ring tool. This is useful if you need a shape that is a specified distance from the rails, for example. Set the size of the ring accordingly.

If there are insufficient ring copies the current spacing-ring position will be used instead. It is not necessary to request the pre-set for all four dimensions, any figures entered will be used instead, which might be useful occasionally.

Select the TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item and click the WHAT? button for more information about using the spacing-ring and making ring copies.


• Blanking Length   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter a dimension in mm which represents the length of your turnout that will be blanked out and not appear in the drawing.

This length is measured from the rail-end datum (the fixing peg RESET position, CTRL-0), towards the crossing and includes the approach track length, if any.

Blanking part of the turnout is useful when superimposing two templates. For example you may want to omit the first two sleepers between the rail-joint and toe (blade tips) when creating a tandem turnout, or fitting two turnouts close together. Likewise by blanking up to the crossing you can use it as a separate component in a complex formation.

The pre-set dimension is zero, i.e. no blanking.

Note that setting a blanking length does not change the underlying overall length of the turnout, and any blanking is automatically cancelled by some Templot functions to avoid confusion.

(e.g. the CONVERT TO PLAIN TRACK function, the SWAP CURRENT END-FOR-END and MAKE DOUBLE TRACK tools, and the ADJUST PLAIN TRACK LENGTH (F3/F4), ADJUST APPROACH LENGTH (F3) and MAINTAIN LENGTH (CTRL-F9) mouse actions.)

Blanking is not available when drawing plain track. The same effect is obtained more conveniently by simply changing the plain track length (mouse action F3 or F4), having first set the fixing peg at the opposite end (CTRL-0 or CTRL-1 peg positions).

Handy Hints:

It is easier to set the blanked length by moving the peg to the desired position (with mouse action CTRL-F8) and then selecting the TRACK > SNAP LENGTHS > BLANK UP TO PEG menu item. The blanked length can be increased or reduced this way.

To blank out the part of a turnout beyond the peg (i.e towards the crossing end), select the TRACK > SNAP LENGTHS > SNAP TO PEG menu item, or simply reduce the overall length (mouse action F4).

To use the switch as a separate component (as a set of catch points, for example) select the TRACK > SNAP LENGTHS > TURNOUT > SNAP TO CATCH POINTS menu item.

To cancel blanking, set a blanking length of zero, or select the TRACK > SNAP LENGTHS > CANCEL BLANKING menu item.

It is possible to set a negative blanking length. This permits a timber to be shoved out beyond the CTRL-0 datum position, if necessary, but otherwise it has no effect. Note that if you subsequently cancel blanking, such a shoved timber will become inaccessible.

Because of the way Templot generates turnouts it is not possible to finish the rail edges exactly at the blanking point. You will need to allow a slight overlap when joining blanked templates.

(Caution: If you blank to beyond the nose of the V at the crossing, select the PRINT > PRINTED DRAWING OPTIONS > RAIL INFILL > OUTLINE ONLY menu item before printing the current template. Otherwise a risk exists that the rail INFILL colour function might fail, possibly wasting coloured ink across a large area of the paper.)


• Crossing Sizes and Unit Angles   [ v:0.66.a ]

The crossing part of a turnout is the arrangement of rails and fittings that permit the left-hand rail of one diverging road to cross the right-hand rail of the other diverging road. This part of a turnout is sometimes called the "frog".

The size of a crossing is determined by specifying the angle between these two rails at their intersection point. In British practice this angle is always specified as a ratio or unit angle. A crossing angle of 1:6, for example, means that the running edges of the rails are 1ft apart at a distance of 6ft from the intersection point. Note that this is an inverse measure, meaning that as the unit angle figure increases, so the angle between the rails decreases.

In small-scale models we are always short of space, and generally have to settle for shorter turnouts than full-size practice would use in the same situation. So the suggested minimum crossing angles for model use are these:

In yards and sidings 1:5 minimum.

Slow-speed crossovers in running lines with little curving or straight 1:6 minimum.

Higher-speed crossovers in running lines or where there is moderate curving 1:8 minimum.

Crossovers and junctions in sharply curved running lines 1:10 minimum.

If the curving radius is moderately negative, one full size less can be used, i.e. 1:4 minimum for yards, etc. If there is significant negative curving, producing a Y-turnout effect, two full sizes less can be used, i.e. 1:3 minimum for yards, etc.

The intersection point mentioned above is called the "Fine Point", and Templot marks this point with a small cross. Note that in full-size practice this point is not the tip of the V-rails. If the V were made infinitely sharp the tip would be damaged by the first wheel that ran over it. The normal bullhead practice is to blunt the V back to a tip width of 3/4", and Templot draws all Vs this way.

If you are using exact-scale flangeways you can follow prototype practice and blunt off your Vs to match the templates. If you are using wider than scale flangeways, you will usually get better running by using sharp Vs located at the fine point mark.

Because the rail chairs and other fittings have to be made to match the crossing angle, crossings normally conform to a fixed set of sizes increasing in 1/4-unit steps; for example 1:5.75, 1:6, 1:6.25, etc. If the calculations for a complex junction require an in-between size, the normal practice is to use the nearest standard size and adjust the rails slightly to fit.

When you are adjusting the crossing angle with the mouse action (F5), Templot normally snaps the crossing angle to the nearest 1/4 unit step. You can change this behaviour by selecting the ADJUST > CROSSING ANGLE OPTIONS menu items.

(N.B. Within Templot, all crossing angles use the R.A.M. unit measure. For an explanation of this and how to specify C.L.M. units instead, click the PROGRAM > EXPERT > UNIT ANGLES > ?HELP menu item in the CONTROL ROOM. To convert the current template from RAM to CLM units, click the TOOLS > CONVERT RAM TO CLM menu item.)


• Crossing Size Form   [ v:0.66.a ]

Use this form to select the size and type of crossing to be used for your turnout when you don't want to set the turnout size using either the ADJUST SIZE (F5) mouse action, or on the TRACK > QUICK SET... form.

Select the crossing you require by clicking the lists, and then click the OK button.

Clicking the RESTORE button will restore the previous settings.

The list of crossing angles contains the most common sizes for model use. To use a size not listed click OTHER and OK. The data-entry form will appear for you to enter the angle you require. (The next time you select this form the list will show the nearest listed angle. To continue using the previous angle, you must click OTHER again.)

This form is concerned only with the geometry of the rails. To change the appearance of the crossing, select the TRACK > NON-STANDARD... menu item to set the timber spacing or check rail lengths, or the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING menu items to change the timbering styles.


• Types of Crossing   [ v:0.66.a ]

Templot offers you four types of crossing geometry:

REGULAR CROSSING : This is the normal type of crossing used in crossovers and junctions. The radius in the turnout road between the switch and the crossing finishes a little way short of the crossing, and both roads through the crossing then continue at the radius of the main road.

In other words, if the whole turnout is on a straight, both roads through the crossing will be straight. If the turnout is on a curve, the curving radius applies to both roads through the crossing, i.e. the turnout road is curved to the same radius through the crossing as the main road.

Templot generates regular crossings with a short length of entry "straight" in front of the fine point, sufficient to ensure that the knuckle point between the wing rails is on the "straight" portion. The limit of the turnout curve is marked by a RADIAL END mark across between the rails.

By entry "straight" in quotes is meant that this section will be straight only if the whole turnout is on a straight. If the turnout is on a curve, this section will be curved to the same radius as the main road.

If the AUTO-FIT option button is set (recommended), Templot will calculate a suitable (usually short) length for the entry "straight" for each template.

If the FIXED AT... option button is set, after clicking OK, you can enter some other (longer) length for the entry "straight" which will be used for all subsequent new templates. This will give an easier run through the crossing, but at the expense of a significantly smaller turnout curve radius.

You will also probably want to increase the length of entry "straight" if you are blanking part of the turnout so that you can use the crossing as a separate component. For more information about blanking, select the TRACK > LENGTHS... menu item.

GENERIC CROSSING: This is similar to a regular crossing, but in this type of crossing there is no entry "straight" and the turnout radius always finishes at the fine point. This gives the maximum possible turnout radius.

Be aware, however, that if you select a short switch size with a long generic crossing a situation could arise in which the turnout radius is greater than the switch radius, which is incorrect full-size practice. When working with generic crossings you should check this by selecting the TRACK > DRAW WITH DIAGNOSTICS menu item, which will warn you when a longer switch is needed. In extreme cases, the turnout radius will be negative, causing an error condition. If DRAW WITH DIAGNOSTICS produces no screen messages, your turnout is satisfactory. You can check the actual switch and turnout radii in the INFO area in the information panel.

CURVED CROSSING: In this type of crossing the turnout radius continues through and beyond the crossing unchanged. There is no radial end mark and no entry "straight". A curved crossing requires greater care in construction to ensure correct rail alignments through the crossing, but is useful when tracks need to diverge more quickly, as in yards and sidings. Curved crossings are also used when creating symmetrical Y-turnouts with negative curving.

Do not use curved crossings in turnouts forming a crossover, as this would produce an instant reverse curve at the mid-point, leading to rough running. As for generic crossings above, it is possible for the crossing to be too long for the switch size. Use the DRAW WITH DIAGNOSTICS menu item to check, as detailed above.

PARALLEL CROSSING: This is a special-purpose type of regular crossing in which after passing through the crossing the turnout road curves back towards the main road until both roads are parallel forming double track. This is a useful way of getting a smooth entry into a running loop, especially when the turnout is significantly curved or on a transition.

The curving back part of the turnout road is called a "return curve". If the turnout itself is sharply curved it is possible for the return curve to be actually straight, or curved in the same direction as the main road.

If the AS ADJACENT TRACK option button is set, the spacing between the two roads will correspond to your current turnout-side adjacent track centres setting (GEOMETRY > ADJACENT CENTRES... menu item).

If the OTHER... option button is set, after clicking OK, you can enter some other dimension for the track spacing for parallel crossings.

You may prefer to use instead the TOOLS > MAKE RETURN CURVE menu item to produce parallel tracks, which gives you more control over the alignment and timbering (but unlike a parallel crossing is not available when the template contains a transition curve or slewing).


• Data Entry Form   [ v:0.66.a ]

This is Templot's main data entry form, which appears whenever dimensional information is to be entered. Up to 8 items of information may be requested on one form. If more than this is needed the form will re-appear as necessary.

To enter data, edit and/or enter the required information in the highlighted panel on the current line, and then press the Enter key or the down-arrow key, or click the ENTER button.

To use the figures already showing, just press Enter. To revert to these figures after making changes to them, click the RESTORE button. To enter a dimension from the clipboard (e.g. from the metric calculator) click the PASTE button.

For more details about the current line, click the ? HELP flag (if present ). For more general help click the bottom ? HELP button (if available) or press F1.

If you enter a slash (/) at the left of the highlighted panel, Templot will in most cases ignore anything else in the panel and use a pre-set value for the information required. This will usually be the exact scale equivalent of full-size British (bullhead) practice for your chosen gauge and scale. If no pre-set is possible, a note will appear near the top of the form.

If you enter a completely blank value, Templot will assume that you mean zero (0). Note that in some cases, zero is not a valid entry (as a radius figure, for example). If the figures you enter are unacceptable, Templot will ask you to try again.

You can leave or insert spaces in your figures if you wish. They will be ignored.

If you prefix your entry with an opening square bracket as:

[-123.45

your entry will be taken as negative, regardless of the presence or absence of a subsequent minus sign. This corresponds to Templot's normal display of negative numbers within square brackets. The closing bracket is optional. If you have switched off the square brackets (PROGRAM > NUMBER FORMAT menu item in the CONTROL ROOM) the bracket(s) will vanish when you press ENTER. Note that in many cases a negative entry is invalid.

Be careful to note the required units - some entries are in millimetres on the model, some in inches from the full-size to save you unnecessary calculations. They will be converted to millimetres at the current scale. Do not add other unit names to your entry. For example, if you type " 2 ft " when asked for millimetres, Templot will ignore the " ft " and assume that you mean 2 mm.

(To enter dimensions in units other than those asked for you can instead prefix your figures with the code letters for one or more input conversion factors. For example when asked for a radius dimension in mm you could enter 48 inches as i48. You can also specify your own custom conversion factors for other units. For the conversion factors to work it is necessary for the INPUT CONVERSIONS option box to be ticked. For more information see CONVERSION FACTORS)

If you find that you have made a mistake, it will be necessary to work down the whole form again - click the RE-DO button or press the up-arrow key. This is necessary to ensure that any pre-sets are calculated correctly. It will only be necessary to change the incorrect entry.

If you click the CANCEL ALL button or press the Escape (Esc) key, ALL your entries on the form will be cancelled, and ALL the previous values will be restored.

An OK button will appear at the end of the form, so that you can check all the entries before continuing. If you close the form before this button appears, ALL your entries will be cancelled as for the CANCEL ALL button.

Most of the colours used on the form can be changed - right-click on the form or click the multi-coloured button.

The ?HELP flags can be disabled by removing the tick mark from the SHOW HELP FLAGS box.

The INPUTS drop-down list contains a list of your actual entries on the form. This is useful if Templot reports an error and you want to see what caused it, or you want to check which conversion factor code letters you entered. Also, by clicking on an entry in this list it is copied to the clipboard and pasted into the current line.


• Input Conversion Factors   [ v:0.66.a ]

Templot uses the following convention when data is to be entered:

Actual dimensions on the model or the drawing are always entered in MILLIMETRES.

Full-size dimensions on the prototype railway are always entered in INCHES, and the program does the necessary conversion to your chosen scale.

This is a useful distinction and convenient for modellers of traditional steam-era British railways.

There is just one exception to this; the grid-line spacings on the drawing can be entered in any of these units: m, cm, mm, feet, inches.

For modellers of modern railways and for users in continental Europe and elsewhere where full-size information is frequently in metric units, and for users in the USA where model dimensions are frequently in decimal or fractional inches, Templot also provides "input conversion factors".

By prefixing your entered figures with a code letter, dimensions can be entered in any units of your choice.

Here is a list of all the code letters available:

prefix
code letter
data entered in is converted to example
m mm inches sleeper width: m250 = 9.843 inches (250 mm)
i inches mm radius: i48 = 1219.2 mm (48")
e 8ths of inch mm track gauge: e5 = 15.88 mm (5/8")
h 16ths of inch mm scale: h3 = 4.76 mm (3/16")
t 32nds of inch mm track gauge: t17 = 13.49 mm (17/32")
f 64ths of inch mm flangeway: f5 = 1.98 mm (5/64")
p prototype inches scale model mm track gauge: p56.5 = 18.83 mm (56.5")
s scale model mm prototype inches sleeper length: s32 = 96 inches (32 mm)
k degrees unit angle (RAM) crossing angle: k9.5 = 1:5.98 (9.5 deg)
n unit angle (RAM) degrees rotation: n6 = 9.46 degrees (1:6)
g gradient % unit angle (RAM) crossing angle: g25 = 1:4 (25 %)

Conversion factors can also be combined.

For example Templot expects the sleeper length to be entered in full-size prototype inches. If you are using model sleepers 1.25 inches long you could enter this as si1.25

The i prefix then converts the inches dimension to mm, and the s prefix converts model dimensions in mm to full-size inches. So for 4mm/ft scale si1.25 = 95.25 inches full-size.

Input conversion factors can be combined in any order and can be upper or lower case, so IS1.25 gives the same result.

It is also possible to specify your own custom conversion factors for code letters a,b,c,d. You can then use any units you choose.

For example British prototype track radius dimensions are often quoted in chains (1 chain = 66 feet), whereas Templot expects the radius to be entered in the model size in mm (because it is nearly always underscale).

If you set up custom conversion factors like this:

A = 66

B = 12

You could enter a radius of 10 chains directly as PBA10. The A prefix converts chains to feet, the B prefix converts feet to inches, and the P prefix converts full-size inches to model mm. So for 4mm/ft scale pba10 = 2640 mm radius on the model.

To set the custom conversion factors select the PROGRAM > CUSTOM INPUT FACTORS... menu item in the CONTROL ROOM.

N.B. The INPUT CONVERSIONS option box must be ticked for the above conversion factors to work. Templot makes no check that the code letters used are appropriate for the units requested, since only you know what your figures represent.


• Datum Step Size   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter the datum step size in millimetres. A minus or zero dimension is not valid.

This is the amount the datum point (green dot) will jump up or down the drawing pad when the ADJUST > JUMP DATUM menu items are selected.

The datum point is normally located on the Y-axis (i.e. where the X dimension is zero), and represents the base point from which all the template dimensions are calculated.

(It can only be moved off the Y-axis by means of RE-ORIGINATION; see the PROGRAM > EXPERT menu items in the CONTROL ROOM.)


• Explode / Shrink Step Size   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter the explosion factor for each spot zoom step.

The preset factor is 200 %, meaning that the pad width is doubled or halved each time.

To make the pad zoom in or out faster, increase this number.

To make the pad zoom in or out more slowly, reduce this number.

If you set 141.42 %, it will take 2 steps to exactly double or halve the pad width.

The preset for the slow zoom step is 110 %. The minimum setting for either is 100.5 %.

Handy Hints:

You can zoom in or out to a precise size using the SPOT ZOOM mouse action (CTRL-F1) or the SCALE ZOOM mouse action (CTRL-F2).

Or you can zoom in by drawing a rectangle on the pad. Select the PAD > ZOOM (EXPLODE/SHRINK) > CLICK-DRAG ZOOM RECTANGLE... menu item, or click the zoom rectangle button at the top of the pad.

It is also possible to enter the zoom settings directly by selecting the PAD > ZOOM/PAN OPTIONS > LOCK ZOOM AT... menu item.


• Export in DXF file format.   [ v:0.66.a ]

N.B. This export function is not Templot's normal file saving function. To save your work in the normal way for later reloading, click the SAVE ALL... or SAVE GROUP... buttons on the STORAGE BOX instead. (There is no way of reloading exported DXF files into Templot. This export function is provided only as a means of transferring Templot's drawings to other software.)

Templot will generate a DXF file from the current background drawing using these colours and styles for each layer.

(The current template is not included. To save the current template only, you should first clear the storage box and then store a copy of the current template as a background template.)

Select your required settings from the drop-down lists.

To omit a layer from the file, select NONE as the colour for that layer. You will rarely want to do this as most CAD software using this file format permits you to omit unwanted layers. The exception to this is the RADIAL CENTRES layer that should normally be omitted - see Handy Hints below. Omitting layers here does reduce the file size, which might be useful if you are saving to a floppy disk.

Don't get confused - these "layers" are only meaningful within your CAD program. To toggle elements of the drawing on or off within Templot, use the GENERATOR menu items. Each background template is exported in its present state. If timber outlines, say, were switched off in the GENERATOR menu when the background template was copied or rebuilt, they won't appear in the DXF file, regardless of which colour you choose for them.

The DXF file can be exported in millimetres (to 2 decimal places) or inches (to 4 decimal places), click the MM or INCHES option buttons accordingly. You will probably need to specify which when importing the file into your CAD program. (If you have difficulty getting the CAD drawing to import at the correct size, try using the other option.)

If the SCALED box is ticked, the DXF data will be scaled in accordance with the current PRINT > ENLARGE/REDUCE SIZE menu setting, as shown. If this box is blank, the DXF data will be exported at full-size (100%) regardless of the print size setting.

To omit some of your background templates from the file, click the SELECTED GROUP ONLY option button, having first selected the ones you do require. (By clicking them on the pad, and then clicking GROUP SELECT (TOGGLE) on the pop-up menu, or by clicking the GROUP SELECT button in the storage box.)

If the DRAWING LIMITS box is ticked, only the currently visible part of the pad drawing will be included in the file, and the drawing limit dimensions will be included in the file header.

By re-sizing the drawing pad window on the screen, and zooming in or out, you can in this way export any selected area of the drawing. Compare this option with SELECTED GROUP ONLY (see above), in which only the selected templates are exported, but without regard to whether they are currently visible.

If the DRAWING LIMITS box is left blank, the entire background area will be exported, regardless of the current pad view and zoom settings. (If your CAD software reports "Bad Header" when loading files from Templot, this box should be ticked, and you should then zoom out and re-position the pad view sufficiently to see all of the required part of your drawing.)

Your chosen colours may or may not appear correctly - some CAD software maps different colours onto the DXF pen codes or uses the current pen colour settings instead. And "black" means "white" if your CAD program uses a dark screen. Experiment with dotted and dashed lines to get the required result in the CAD program you are using.

Unlike Templot's own box file format, the DXF file contains only the template drawings. The information texts and your memo texts are not included. If these details will be needed externally to Templot, click the WRITE button in the information panel and save them as a separate text file.

In generating the DXF file, any printer calibration is ignored. The grid and page alignment marks are also omitted. If necessary for the destination software or printer, the aspect ratio and scaling can be adjusted using data distortions - see the PROGRAM / EXPERT menu items in the CONTROL ROOM.

Handy Hints:

If the DRAWING LIMITS box is left blank (see above), it is better to omit the radial centre marks. Your CAD program may otherwise scale down the drawing in order to accommodate them. If you are using very large radii your templates could then appear as little more than a smudge in the corner of the paper.

If the DRAWING LIMITS box is ticked, the radial centre marks can be included, since only those visible on the pad will be included in the file.

When using the DRAWING LIMITS option to export a selected area, set a fraction larger area to allow for the ragged edges. The margins can be cropped cleanly to your exact requirements in your CAD software.

Remember that DXF files are much larger than Templot's own box data files. A complete track layout that requires say 150KB in Templot format can be 3MB or more as a DXF file. Don't accumulate more of them than you need, and remember to omit unwanted features to save file space. It is better to save your work as Templot files and generate DXFs only as needed.

N.B. If the SCALED box is ticked, and the print size is currently set to PRINT SINGLE PAGE, it will be necessary to have actually printed such a page before this size option will take effect for the DXF file.


• Fixed Curving Radius   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter a radius dimension in millimetres onto which the whole template will be curved. This radius will apply along the full length of the main road of a turnout template and any approach or exit tracks.

The radius is measured to the track centre-line.

If the radius figure is positive the curving will be in the same direction as the hand of the turnout: a left-hand turnout will curve to the left and a right-hand turnout will curve to the right. If the radius is negative the turnout will curve in the opposite direction to the hand, producing a Y-effect turnout.

Bear in mind that despite appearances a left-hand turnout curved to the right remains a left-hand turnout, with a left-hand switch deflection to (and consequently a reduced speed restriction over) the turnout road on the left, and a constant radius in the main running road on the right.

The curving radius can also be quickly adjusted by means of the F6 mouse action, select the ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS: CURRENT > ADJUST CURVING RADIUS ONLY menu item (F6).

N.B. Plain track is also handed, so take care to enter a positive or negative radius as required. The hand of the current plain track is shown in the information panel.

The pre-set radius (enter a slash "/") is 660ft (10 chains) scale.


• Gauge/Scale Selection List   [ v:0.66.a ]

Scroll the list and click on your required combination of scale, track gauge and flangeway standards.

Then click the green OK bar or press the keyboard ENTER key.

Alternatively, double-click on the list.

Selection can also be made using the tab and arrow keys.

Click the SHOW INFO button to see full details of the dimensions that apply to the currently selected gauge.

Click SET EXACT SCALE... if you want the track gauge, checkrail and flangeway dimensions to be scaled exactly from British full-size practice (bull-head rail). Or click one of the SET CUSTOM... buttons to enter your own custom dimensions. You can have up to 4 different custom settings available for use. These will appear at the bottom of the list.

The ~ symbol prefix indicates a gauge which has not yet been implemented in the current version of Templot - please enter your requirements as a custom setting instead. More information is available by clicking the chat (=) button.

If the MINT option box is ticked, the new current template at the new gauge and scale will be a mint template. If the box is unticked, Templot will match the new current template at the new gauge and scale to the size and position of the original current template.

This option box setting also applies when using the CONTROL > GAUGE AND SCALE menu items, and can also be changed using the CONTROL > GAUGE AND SCALE > MINT NEW and MATCH ORIGINAL menu options.

For an explanation of a mint template, select the TRACK > QUICK SET... menu item and then click the WHAT? button on the QUICK SET window.

If you close the form or click the CANCEL button or the yellow panel, the previous gauge and scale settings will remain unchanged (as shown in the yellow panel).

When this form first appears, it will show the gauge/scale setting corresponding to the current template on the drawing pad. If there are any differences between the dimensions in use for the current template and the standard dimensions for this gauge/scale setting, a red warning label "N.B. Dimensions now in use differ" will appear above the list. Then clicking the SHOW INFO button will show the list of standard dimensions for this gauge/scale setting, and any that currently differ will be shown in RED.

These dimensions can also be checked by selecting the CONTROL > GAUGE AND SCALE > DETAILS... menu item.

Handy Hint:

After reloading templates from a data file which you have not saved yourself (e.g. a downloaded file or one from another Templot user) it is sensible to check for any dimension differences before continuing to use the templates for your own designs (click the CONTROL > GAUGE AND SCALE > DETAILS... menu item).

Dimensions that are often changed are the timber spacings, and the lengths of checkrails. To restore the current template to the standard dimensions for this gauge and scale setting, simply click the green OK bar. To continue using the modified dimensions, close the form or click CANCEL.


• Grid Spacings   [ v:0.66.a ]

The grid line spacings entered here will apply to both the screen drawing pad and the printed templates.

The grid lines are intended only to provide a "graph-paper" background to aid planning and alignment; changing these spacings has no effect on the design of the templates or their position on the drawing.

It is possible to use different spacings for the horizontal and vertical grid lines (so that the grid boxes are no longer squares), but the units for both must be the same (i.e. you can't for example have mm dimensions for one direction and inches for the other).

If the current pad zoom setting causes the grid lines to be too closely spaced, Templot will omit some of them from the screen.

If the current print size setting causes the grid lines to be too closely spaced, Templot will omit some of them from the printed output.

The minimum grid spacing is 0.1 mm (or 0.004"), which is useful when zooming in to examine fine detail.


• Information Panel   [ v:0.66.a ]

This panel displays information about the current turnout or plain track template drawn on the drawing pad.

The various items on this panel are:

The HIDE button removes the panel from view to give a full view of the pad area. To see the panel again, select the PAD > SHOW INFORMATION PANEL menu item. The panel can be more conveniently toggled into and out of view by pressing the F2 key repeatedly.

The EXPAND button expands the panel to its full size, if it is not already that size.

The SHRINK button reduces the panel to the bare minimum that contains useful information while remaining in view.

The MINIMUM RADIUS NOW box shows the minimum track radius at any point on the current turnout. If this is less than the limit value set in the RADIUS LIMIT box, the warning lamp flashes red. Otherwise it shows green. To change the limit value, click the CHANGE button.

(The radius warning function is not available when the template contains a turnout and a SLEW (slewing is intended mainly for plain track). For more information about slewing, select the GEOMETRY > SLEW (NUDGE) > SLEWING DAT• .. menu item.)

The PAD DATA box shows the current scale of the drawing pad, i.e. the size represented by the full width of the pad. If this is free to change as changes are made to the size of the turnout the label will show ZOOM FREE in green. If the label shows LOCKED AT in white, then the current pad scale will remain fixed. To change to free zooming, click the UNLOCK button or press the PAGE UP key. To lock the zoom again at the new scale size, press the PAGE DOWN key. To lock the pad zoom scale at any other size, click the LOCK ZOOM AT button. (These options are also available on the PAD menu and on the right-click menu.)

The PAD DATA box can also be scrolled to see more zoom data and the current position of the pegging notch.

The lower half of the information panel comprises the INFO and MEMO areas, and the split between these can be moved using the <<<< and >>>> buttons.

The INFO area contains dimensional details about the current template. By adjusting the scroll bars on this area, and also the scroll bars for the whole information panel while re-sizing it, it is possible to keep the dimensions of interest in view while the main panel is at a much reduced size to give a clearer view of the drawing pad.

The NAME of the current template is shown above the INFO area. To change the name, click the RENAME button, or click on the name itself. Or click on the status bar along the bottom of the panel to use the name showing there, which has been copied from a template in the storage box.

The MEMO area contains a simplified text editor box into which you can enter any notes you wish to make about the current template, which will be saved with the template. The OBTAIN button can be used to obtain these notes from an existing text file.

The VIEW button displays the current info data and memo texts in a more easily readable form, which then remains unchanged and visible.

The INFO button is similar but duplicates the info data only in a separate window that updates continuously.

The WRITE button will save the contents of the info and memo areas to a text file, and the PRINT button will print them on your printer. The current printer text font is used for this, to change it select the PROGRAM > PRINTER FONT + MARGINS... menu item on the CONTROL ROOM window. This information is also printed out along with each printed template if required.

The status bar along the bottom of the panel shows the name of the last template copied back from your storage box. Clicking this will enable you to use it as the reference name for the current template.

(There are a few quirks with the MEMO text entry - a double-click is needed to position the cursor with the mouse, and vertical bar characters (shift-backslash) should be avoided as these will break into a new line when reloaded from the storage box.

To enter numbers in the memo the main keyboard number keys should be used (the number-pad keys are in use for moving the mouse pointer, for more information select the HELP > SHORTCUT KEYS LIST menu item).

Also, the usual CTRL-X, CTRL-C, CTRL-V copy && paste shortcuts may not always be available. The buttons can be used instead for these functions.

You can use tabs in the memo if needed to compile neat lists - which means that tabbing directly out of the memo to a button is not possible. Press the ESCAPE (Esc) key to restore normal working. This is also necessary to restore the working of the single-key alternatives for the function key shortcuts.)


• Maximum Explode (Zoom-In)   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter a dimension in mm that represents the scale width of the drawing pad when fully exploded (zoomed all the way in).

This is an inverse measure - meaning that reducing this dimension increases the magnification of the drawing.

The minimum dimension Templot will accept is 1 mm.

The maximum dimension Templot will accept is 1000 mm.

The pre-set dimension is 25 mm.

Setting a figure greater than about 250 mm will handicap some of Templot's functions to no advantage.

Caution:

It has been found possible to "hang" the graphics system in some versions of Windows if this dimension is set too low. You should quit all other applications and save your work before experimenting with dimensions less than 25 mm. There is seldom any practical need to zoom in more than this.

If you experience problems this dimension can be increased to 50 or 100 mm without any great detriment in 4mm/ft scale and above.


• Minimum Radius Warning   [ v:0.66.a ]

The warning "lamp" in the information panel will start to flash red if any part of the current drawing is curved to a radius less than this dimension.

Changing this dimension has no effect on the design of the current turnout.


• Modifying the track gauge dimension.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter the required new track gauge in millimetres.

N.B. Changes made here affect only the distance between the rails, i.e. they do not affect the current scale ratio or timbering sizes.

To change to a different gauge/scale combination (for example to change from N Gauge to O Gauge), or to establish a custom gauge/scale setting, cancel this and select the CONTROL > GAUGE AND SCALE menu item instead.

If you change the track gauge dimension here, the information panel will continue to show the original gauge name, i.e. it would continue to show, say, EM even though you had changed the track gauge here to, say, 16.5 mm, and the flangeway gaps and other settings would continue to be those for EM Gauge.

The option of changing the track gauge here is intended for making minor adjustments only, for example to introduce some gauge-widening on sharp curves.


• Mouse Response Rate for F5 - Adjust Size   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter a setting for the mouse sensitivity when adjusting the size of the turnout (mouse action F5).

Higher figures cause the turnout size to change more slowly as the mouse is moved.

Lower figures cause the turnout size to change more rapidly as the mouse is moved.

The pre-set figure is 100. Sensible figures are in the range 20 to 2500.

Handy Hints:

Setting changes made here are intended to apply for the whole working session. A quick way to make a temporary change to the mouse response rate is to select instead the ADJUST > MODIFY MOUSE RESPONSE menu items. The change will remain in force while you make the adjustment and be reset to normal on the next F12 redraw.

If you need to set a known turnout size, it might be quicker to use the TRACK > SWITCH. or CROSSING menu items.


• Nominal Timber Length   [ v:0.66.a ]

By "nominal" is meant that this length will apply only to the first few timbers at the toe of the switch. The remaining turnout timbers increase in 6-inch increments as necessary to accommodate the rails.

Enter the timber length dimension in full-size inches.

For British standard gauge bullhead track this dimension was normally 108 inches (9ft) in the pre-grouping era, and 102 inches (8ft 6ins) subsequently. But 9ft sleepers remained in use for many years after grouping and could still be found in yards and sidings to the end of the traditional steam railway.

Templot is pre-set to draw 9ft timbers, with an additional mark on the printed templates showing the end positions for 8ft 6ins timbers.

The dimension entered here is also used for plain track sleeper lengths.

For more information select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERING DAT• .. menu item and read the help notes.

The length of individual timbers can be changed using the SHOVE TIMBERS functions. Select the ADJUST > SHOVE TIMBERS menu item and read the help notes.


• Non-standard Turnout Settings   [ v:0.66.a ]

Use this form to enter non-standard settings for the turnout timber spacings and rail lengths.

This is useful when you have specific prototype information which differs from the established norms, e.g. for old-type GWR crossings and for narrow gauge and industrial lines.

Click the help flags for each line on the form for more information.

To set the timber sizes and randomising, select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERING DAT• .. menu item.

To set the timber alignment, select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERS EQUALIZED or TIMBERS SQUARE-ON menu options.

Individual timbers can be re-positioned and re-aligned using the ADJUST > SHOVE TIMBERS functions.

For plain track settings, select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERING DAT• .. and GEOMETRY > PLAIN TRACK LENGTHS... menu items.


• Page Outlines Trip-off Limit   [ v:0.66.a ]

As you zoom out (shrink) on the drawing pad, the increasing numbers of printed page outlines become obtrusive.

Templot switches the page outlines off when more than a set number of pages would appear across the screen. The pre-set number is 15.

You can change this number here. If you set zero, no page outlines will appear. This can also be achieved by selecting the PAD > PAD GRID OPTIONS > PAGE OUTLINES OFF menu item on the drawing pad.

Sensible numbers are less than 33 pages, as this is Templot's maximum length for a single print run. The actual size this represents is determined by your currently set paper size for the printer.

To check the page layout when outlines are not being shown, select the PRINT > PREVIEW CURRENT TEMPLATE (F10) or PRINT ENTIRE PAD (CTRL-F11) menu items.

N.B. The page outlines on the drawing pad always appear as for full-size printing. Page outlines shown in PRINT > PREVIEW reflect the current print scaling size.


• Peg Arms   [ v:0.66.a ]

The length of the angled arms on the fixing peg can be changed. This is sometimes useful when aligning templates by eye on the pad to ensure maximum accuracy.

Enter the required arm length in mm. The pre-set arm length is equivalent to a scale length of 3ft.

The new length will appear immediately on the current template, but it is necessary to rebuild the background templates before the new arm length will take effect on them (GENERATOR > REBUILD ALL BACKGROUND menu item).

(N.B. The peg has two arms, one each side of the centre. The dimension here applies to each side, so the overall length is double this figure.)


• Plain Track   [ v:0.66.a ]

This setting draws plain track instead of turnouts.

This is implemented within Templot as a special case - the plain track being drawn is actually the approach track to an invisible dummy turnout.

This has several important consequences that are not immediately obvious:

To swap the plain track length end-for-end on the existing alignment, so that the numbering and joints commence from the opposite end, select the TOOLS > SWAP CURRENT END-FOR-END menu item.

To change the plain track rail lengths and sleeper spacings select the GEOMETRY > PLAIN TRACK LENGTHS... menu item.

To change the sleeper sizes and randomising settings select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING menu items.

If you change to plain track using the CONTROL > RESET TO PLAIN TRACK menu item (CTRL-N), the current template is deleted and the plain track is reset to the start-up length of 2.5 current rail lengths on a fixed curve from the datum point.

If you change to plain track using the TRACK > CONVERT TO PLAIN TRACK menu item, your current turnout is replaced with a length of plain track on the same alignment. You can restore the turnout by selecting the TRACK > INSERT TURNOUT IN PLAIN TRACK menu item.

(Note that if the turnout included any blanking, this will be cancelled and the full length of the turnout template will be converted to plain track. Blanking is not available for plain track, as the same effect is more easily obtained by simply changing the overall length.)

You can return to drawing turnouts in four ways:

The turnout size can be set in the TRACK menu beforehand; otherwise the current turnout settings will be used.

You may need to use the TOOLS > SWAP CURRENT END-FOR-END tool to get the inserted turnout correctly aligned and facing in the required direction. You can remove the inserted turnout by selecting the TRACK > CONVERT TO PLAIN TRACK menu item.

The 30ft and 45ft lengths are generally more suitable for the pre-grouping era. 60ft rails became the norm for new bullhead track after the grouping (1923) although of course shorter rails remained in use for many years and could be found on secondary routes well into the BR period.

The number of sleepers per rail length was increased on sharp curves. For 60ft rails the rules are these:

20 chains radius is over 5000 mm (17ft) in 4mm scale and over 9000 mm (30ft) in 7mm scale, so clearly most model curves should use the 26 sleeper spacing to be correct. In most cases, however, we are trying to disguise the sharpness of our curves, so a wider spacing will look more in keeping. 25 sleepers per length is a good compromise for most model track.

The sleepers are not equally spaced along the rail length. Those nearer the rail joints are progressively closed up to strengthen the joints.

If preferred you can enter a custom rail length and set of spacings. Click the CUSTOM SETTINGS... button and read the help notes for more information.


• Plain Track Form   [ v:0.66.a ]

Use this form to select the rail lengths and sleeper spacings to be used when drawing plain track lengths, and also for the approach and exit track on turnouts.

Select the rail length and sleeper spacings you require by clicking the list, and then click the OK button.

Clicking the RESTORE button will restore the previous setting.

This form is concerned only with the sleeper spacings. To change the sleeper size, select the GEOMETRY / TIMBERING / TIMBERING DAT• .. menu item.

To enter your own custom spacings for plain track, click the CUSTOM SETTINGS... button.

To actually use these custom settings, click CUSTOM RAIL LENGTH AND SPACINGS in the list and then click OK. You can swap between your custom settings and the standard settings without losing the custom dimensions. To save these custom dimensions in the storage box file, ensure that there is at least one template in the box that uses them.


• Impact Printer   [ v:0.66.a ]

Are you are using an older-pattern dot matrix or other impact printer (i.e. one using an ink ribbon like a typewriter and capable of printing carbon copies)?

If you click YES Templot will simplify some of the output to reduce wear and tear on the print-head (and also the noise). This is strongly recommended when calibrating the printer.

All line thicknesses (line widths) will be set to 1 dot, regardless of any other settings you may have made for them.

Also click YES if this is a pen-plotter, but the fact that you are seeing this message implies something amiss in the plotter driver, as Windows has failed to inform Templot that this printer is a plotter.

Click NO or just press ENTER if this printer is an ink-jet or laser printer, or other modern printer capable of printing filled areas, or a virtual printer such as a Fax sender.

Also click NO if you are not sure.

If you click CANCEL, Templot will the assume that the answer is NO for the purpose of printing templates, but you will be unable to calibrate your printer for maximum accuracy.

(Hopefully, the next version of Templot will have devised a means of answering this question for itself.)


• Banner Printing   [ v:0.66.a ]

If your printer is capable of printing banners on Z-fold or roll paper this can usefully eliminate most (or all) of the page-joins for a large template.

You must set up the printer for banner printing. Templot cannot make these settings for you.

(Refer to your printer documentation. It will probably be necessary to click a button or tab marked OPTIONS or SETUP or PROPERTIES or FEATURES in the printer set-up form to find the banner settings.)

Note that for Z-fold banner paper it is important that the paper size is set correctly. This paper is more commonly available in US Letter size (11in x 8.5in) than A4. It may also be necessary to move a switch or lever on the printer itself when loading the banner paper.

N.B. Do not set the printer for single sheets when BANNER + ROLL PAPER printing is set in Templot, otherwise you will lose the top and bottom trim margins and be unable to join the pages accurately.

Also, for Templot to print templates on banner paper correctly it is necessary to select Upright/Portrait printing on all standard printers.

For banner printing an accurate printer calibration is especially important to maintain accuracy over long print runs. Remember to do a separate calibration for the banner paper. For more information select the PRINT > PRINTER CALIBRATION > CALIBRATE PRINTER... menu item.

When printing on single sheets of paper Templot ignores any empty (blank) pages and prints only the pages of your drawing that actually contain track.

If the BANNER FILL option box on the print form is ticked, any such empty pages will be included in the print run when printing on banner paper, so that no lengthwise page joins are needed.

Bear in mind that for some track plans this could mean printing a great many blank pages (e.g. for a circular layout you would be printing blank pages to fill the whole of the centre space).

In such cases you will probably want to untick the box and separate out the individual pages from the banner print run.

This option box has no effect when printing on single sheets.

For more information click the WHAT? button on the print form when it appears.


• Print Screen Contents   [ v:0.66.a ]

Printing the screen contents produces a low-resolution copy of the drawing on the screen, dot for dot. This is not suitable for use as a construction template, but might be useful in other ways. As part of a control panel diagram, for example, or if printed on OHP transparency film it would make a colourful image for use perhaps in a club talk on pointwork construction.

Hide the information panel, scalebar, screen grid, page outlines, zoom target ring and background details if you do not want any of these to print, and set the required DRAWING COLOURS on the PAD menu (not the PRINT menu). Unless you set the paper colour to white, you will use a lot of coloured ink.

All the lines drawn on the screen are 1 dot thick, so for the best printed results you will need to experiment with the print quality (click PRINTER SETUP...) and the colours. Usually the best results will be obtained by using only the basic ink colours of black, yellow, cyan (the pre-set blue colour used for the grid lines on the printed templates), and magenta (the pre-set pink colour used for the trim margins on the printed templates).

The scale of this printout will be determined by your current screen and printer resolutions, and will in all probability be an odd size. Templot does not use the normal printer calibration corrections when printing the screen contents.

For accurate track planning purposes, print a reduced scale template instead. To do this, select the PRINT > ENLARGE-REDUCE SIZE menu item.


• Printed Line Thickness   [ v:0.66.a ]

For the final template print using Best or Letter-Quality printing a line thickness of 1 or 2 dots is usually sufficient and precise.

For trial prints using the Economy or Draft setting, a line thickness of 3 or 4 dots is more prominent.

The line thickness set here applies when printing FULL-SIZE templates. When printing at a reduced size, the line thicknesses for the drawing details (but not for the grid lines and trim margins) are scaled down accordingly, with a minimum thickness of one dot.

If you are printing a reduced size template and need a specific line thickness you must make the appropriate calculation. For example, to print a line thickness of 3 dots when printing at 1/5th size (20%) you would set a line thickness of 5x3 = 15 dots. This would then be scaled down to 3 dots for printing at 1/5th size. Remember to reset to 3 dots before printing full-size again!

The actual drawn line thickness (line width) will be determined by the dot size and dpi (dots per inch) setting for your printer. This information is shown on the printer calibration test sheet.

For lines 1 dot thick, the line width is the same as the dot size (the diameter of a single dot). Then if the printer is set for 300 dpi, for example, each extra dot increases the line thickness by 1/300th of an inch. So a line thickness of 4 dots (an extra 3 dots) will produce a line that is 3/300ths of an inch (0.010" or 10 thou) wider than a line of 1 dot thickness.

For lines which may be required to be accurately measured (grid lines, trim margins, etc) it is better to use an odd number of dots (1,3,5,7, etc) so that the printer can accurately position the centre of the line.

If you are using an old-style impact printer (or a pen plotter), Templot draws all lines 1 dot thick, and the settings that you make here will have no effect until you change to a non-impact printer.

(These settings have no effect on a template exported in DXF file format. The way the template is rendered in your CAD software is determined only in that program.)

These line thickness settings affect only the printed output; they have no effect on the screen drawing. To change the appearance of the drawing on the screen, select the PAD menu items.


• Printer Calibration   [ v:0.66.a ]

For the maximum dimensional accuracy of your printed templates it is usually necessary to calibrate the printer.

This involves carefully measuring a printed test pattern, and then entering the sizes, so that Templot can adjust the subsequent printing of your templates accordingly.

If this printer has been calibrated previously, the calibration information can be re-entered directly, or reloaded from a file.

You can choose to calibrate any or all of your printers, and switch between them without losing the calibration information for each. This allows you to do quick trial templates on one printer and the final construction templates on another, for example.

If the printer being used is uncalibrated, Templot will mark the printed templates with a warning. They may be acceptably accurate for trial planning purposes.

For the final construction templates, calibration is strongly recommended, and for maximum accuracy it is important to use the same type of paper for both the calibration test print and the finished templates.

Take your time to follow through the calibration process carefully and without hurry, as entering incorrect figures will wreck the accuracy of your templates.

To delete incorrect or unwanted calibrations, select the PRINT > PRINTER CALIBRATION > DELETE menu items.

If you are not confident of your ability to measure the test print with sufficient accuracy it would probably be better to leave the printer uncalibrated.

Click CALIBRATE THIS PRINTER NOW to start the process - there are further detailed help notes as you go along.


• Quick Set Form   [ v:0.66.a ]

Use this simplified form to quickly set a new mint template.

A "mint" template is a new current template with the following settings:

Regular crossing with auto-fit entry "straight".

Normal length turnout road.

No approach or exit track.

No slew or transition curve.

No blanking.

No shoved timbers.

No timber randomising.

Fixing peg in the CTRL-0 reset position.

No template name.

Memo notes cleared.

Other settings remain unchanged from your previous current template. For an explanation of what is meant by the current template, click the HELP > WHAT IS A TEMPLATE? menu item.

Use the option buttons and drop-down lists to select the size and curving radius for the new template.

The turnout sizes shown include REA-pattern switches (A,B,C, etc.) which are familiar to UK modellers from published pointwork plans and commercially available components.

Setting a POSITIVE radius causes the main road to curve in the same direction as the hand. A NEGATIVE radius curves in the opposite direction (Y-turnout). The radii shown in the list are full-size prototype dimensions. The equivalent model radius at your current scale is shown below it.

When you click OK the new current template will appear in the centre of the drawing pad, ready for you to print (F11), adjust as required, or incorporate into your background drawing.

If the PAD ZOOM > FIT option button is selected, the pad view will zoom in or out as necessary to just fit the new template.

If the PAD ZOOM > ON DATUM option button is selected, or the current template is already on the datum, the new template will be shifted to the datum (green dot), the pad view will zoom in or out as necessary to just fit the new template.

Otherwise the zoom settings will remain unchanged.

Handy Hints:

A much wider range of settings, including loose-heel and GWR-pattern switches, and different types of crossing, is available by selecting the TRACK > SWITCH..., TRACK > CROSSING..., GEOMETRY > CURVING DAT• .. and other menu items.

If plain track is set, the above turnout settings will apply if TRACK > INSERT TURNOUT IN PLAIN TRACK is subsequently selected.


• Refresh Modes and Screen Flicker   [ v:0.66.a ]

When you are using the mouse actions to adjust the template design, or using the panning functions to pan across the drawing pad, the screen image has to be repeatedly re-drawn. Because of the amount of calculation required for each re-draw, an instant screen refresh is not possible.

Templot has two screen refresh modes. ON-SCREEN refresh mode gives the fastest response, but on some systems this can result in an unpleasant screen flicker.

OFF-SCREEN refresh mode avoids most of this screen flicker, at the expense of a less responsive feel to the mouse movements which on older systems may make this mode frustratingly slow to use. But for the latest Pentium II and III systems, this mode is recommended as giving the most comfortable results.

The current refresh mode is indicated by a dot in the coloured panel in the top left-hand corner of the drawing pad:

ON-SCREEN refresh shows a black dot,

OFF-SCREEN refresh shows a white dot.

The refresh mode can be toggled by clicking this dot, or alternatively by pressing the INSERT (Ins) key, which is more convenient while using the mouse actions.

The refresh mode can also be set directly by selecting the PAD > SCREEN REFRESH OPTIONS menu items, or by pressing the CTRL-INSERT (for off-screen) and SHIFT-INSERT (for on-screen) keyboard shortcuts.

The difference in response speed between these two refresh modes may or may not be very noticeable, according to your system's graphics capabilities. ( Windows NT or 2000 usually draws graphics faster than Windows 9x, and it is also possible with some unusual combinations of slow processor and fast video card that off-screen refresh will be faster than on-screen.)

For the mouse actions there are also two drawing modes. The fast setting is SKELETON MOUSE DRAW that means that while the mouse is adjusting the current template it is drawn in skeleton form showing only the rail running edges. This gives a faster mouse response by reducing the amount of re-drawing needed. When the mouse action is released with a second click, the full template drawing re-appears.

The slower setting is FULL MOUSE DRAW that always draws the full template with both rail edges and timbering while a mouse action is being used.

At start-up selecting ON-SCREEN refresh also selects SKELETON DRAW mode, or selecting OFF-SCREEN refresh also selects FULL DRAW mode.

Select the PAD > SCREEN REFRESH OPTIONS menu items to toggle between these two drawing modes, or just press the ; (semicolon) key. You can change mouse-drawing modes at any time independently of the screen refresh setting.

FULL DRAW is useful when zooming in to examine a small area at high magnification, or while adjusting the timbering, but will need a system with fast graphics to avoid significant screen flicker with ON-SCREEN refresh. With OFF-SCREEN refresh, FULL DRAW may result in an inconveniently slow response when drawing a very long template.

In cases of extreme flicker, the mouse tracking can be turned off completely. Select the PAD > MOUSE OPTIONS > MOUSE TRACKING OFF menu item. The template will not then be redrawn until you release the mouse action with the second click. This option is useful if you are using Templot on a system with a slow processor or without maths co-processor functions.

In less extreme cases, here are some suggestions to minimise the effects of screen flicker:

In general, using fewer colours or a lower screen resolution will give a faster response.

To find out if you can change the colour depth, click START > SETTINGS > CONTROL PANEL > DISPLAY > SETTINGS and explore the entries under COLORS or COLOR DEPTH or COLOR PALETTE. There is little to be gained in Templot by using more than 16-bit colour, but using less than this will make it more difficult to select a comfortable range of colours for the various drawing features.

To find out if you can change the screen resolution, click START > SETTINGS > CONTROL PANEL > DISPLAY > SETTINGS and explore the entries under SCREEN or RESOLUTION or DISPLAY ARE• For many users, Templot will run best at 1024 x 768 resolution and 16-bit colour. If you make any changes you will need to quit and restart Templot for the changes to take effect.

There is a special third LOW-MEMORY on-screen refresh mode that Templot uses when there is insufficient system memory available for the normal modes. Or you can choose this mode intentionally if you wish. This is useful if you are short of memory on your system or experience problems with the normal modes. You may find it slightly faster than the normal modes, but it will be less user-friendly with significant screen flicker. The screen will occasionally get messy - just press F12 to clean up and redraw. After choosing this low-memory mode, it will be necessary to quit Templot and restart if you want to change back to the normal modes.

The LOW-MEMORY mode is indicated by the dot in the top-left corner showing grey.

IMPORTANT: If you are susceptible to photo-hypnotic effects, do not use the mouse actions or panning function with the ON-SCREEN or LOW-MEMORY refresh modes and mouse tracking turned on. Children using Templot should be supervised.

N.B. Do not confuse Templot's screen refresh modes with your monitor's display refresh rate in Hz, which is a hardware setting determined by the capabilities of your system, and should only be changed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.


• Restore on start-up.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Your storage box contents and background drawing can be restored from your previous working session with Templot.

This is done independently of any saving to storage box files which you may have performed.

If you answer "no thanks" the previous data can be restored later by selecting the FILES > RESTORE PREVIOUS menu item in the storage box menus.

The restore feature works correctly even if your previous session terminated abnormally as a result of a power failure or system malfunction, so there is no need to perform repeated saves as a precaution against these events.

If you want to have the previous data restored every time you start Templot without being asked, change the OPTIONS > RESTORE ON STARTUP menu options in the storage box accordingly.

N.B. The restore feature does not include your Background Shapes, which have to be saved and reloaded separately if wanted.

N.B. If you run two instances of Templot concurrently from the same TEMPLOT folder, the restore data will be held in common between the two. To prevent this happening, create and run the second instance from a different folder (directory).


• RH or LH B6 Reset   [ v:0.66.a ]

This function will now reset Templot to the start-up conditions for a RIGHT-HAND or a LEFT - HAND turnout.

The usual reason for doing this is to recover from an error condition, or to revert to drawing turnouts after drawing plain track.

If you simply want to change your current turnout to the opposite hand, click CANCEL RESET, or select the TRACK > HAND > SWAP HAND (CTRL-H) or INVERT HANDING (CTRL-X) menu items.

If you simply want a fresh template to work with, click CANCEL RESET and then select the TRACK > QUICK SET... or TRACK > MINT FROM CURRENT menu items.

If you will need the current template again and have not yet stored it, click STORE THIS AND RESET. The current template will then be transferred to your storage box before being replaced. But DO NOT do this if you are recovering from an error, as this may prevent the storage box file from reloading properly.

Otherwise just click OK.

Your current scale and gauge will be preserved, but the pad view and zoom settings will be reset.


• Rotate current template around peg.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter an angle in degrees for the amount by which to rotate the current template around its fixing peg.

Angles are measured positive in the anti-clockwise direction, and negative in the clockwise direction.

Rotating the current template is more usually done with the mouse action, select the

ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS: CURRENT > ROTATE AROUND PEG menu item (or press F8).


• Saving your work between sessions.   [ v:0.66.a ]

"Storing" a template in your STORAGE BOX is not the same thing as "saving" it to a file on a disk drive. "Stored" templates are held only in Templot's memory, so that each template is instantly available without the need to access files.

Templot can automatically restore the contents of your storage box and your background drawing (if any) between sessions, but it can only "remember" one set of box contents at any one time.

For future reference and reloading whenever you need them, you may also want to save the current box contents in a separate named data file before quitting Templot.

For more information about saving data files, click the WHAT? button in the storage box.

If you want to prevent an automatic restore on the next start-up, you have two options:

Change the OPTIONS > RESTORE ON STARTUP menu options in the storage box menus,

Clear the storage box before quitting.

To restore the previous box contents at any time after start-up, click the FILES > RESTORE PREVIOUS menu item in the storage box menus. This works independently of the option settings for automatic restore on start-up. You can click RESTORE PREVIOUS as often as you wish; the data from your previous Templot session remains available throughout the current session.

Likewise, the FILES > RESTORE PRIOR-PREVIOUS menu item restores the box contents from the Templot session prior to the previous one, i.e. from two sessions back.

The restore feature works independently of your own saved data files, and makes no changes to them.

The restore feature works correctly even if your previous session terminated abnormally as a result of a power failure or system malfunction, so there is no need to perform repeated saves as a precaution against these events.

N.B. Background Shapes are not included in the automatic restore feature, and must always be saved separately.

N.B. If you run two instances of Templot concurrently from the same TEMPLOT folder, the restore data will be held in common between the two. To prevent this happening, create and run the second instance from a different folder (directory).


• Selecting Group Templates   [ v:0.66.a ]

Before a group of stored templates can be subject to shift, rotate, save, or other group operations, they must first be selected.

To select a group of stored background templates from the pad window, use the CONTROL > GROUP SELECT menu items:

To select all background templates, click the GROUP SELECT ALL menu item (CTRL-A).

To select one or more background templates with the mouse, click the CLICK BACKGND TO GROUP menu item (CTRL-I) and then click on their name labels.

Or click anywhere on each template and then click the GROUP SELECT (TOGGLE) item on the pop-up menu for that template.

A group of templates can also be selected in the storage box, and the group can then also include unused stored templates. Click the WHAT? button on the storage box for more information.


• Set Datum   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter a new Y-dimension for the datum point (green dot) in millimetres.

The datum point is normally located on the Y-axis (i.e. where the X dimension is zero), and represents the base point from which all the template dimensions are calculated.

(It can only be moved off the Y-axis by means of RE-ORIGINATION; see the PROGRAM > EXPERT menu items in the CONTROL ROOM.)


• Set Fixing Peg   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter new X and Y dimensions for the fixing peg in millimetres.

The fixing peg "belongs" to the template, not the drawing pad. The dimensions to be entered here are internal to the template, i.e. they are referenced from the rail-end (CTRL-0) for the equivalent STRAIGHT turnout. Regardless of the hand of the turnout or it's orientation on the pad, X-dimensions are positive from the rail-end towards the crossing V; and Y-dimensions are positive from the running-edge of the straight stock rail towards the turnout-road side of the turnout.

To avoid mistakes, it is helpful to temporarily convert to a straight left-hand turnout when setting the fixing peg dimensions directly.

The dimensions displayed when moving the peg with the mouse will differ, and show the actual pad position of the peg after any curving or shifting of the turnout.

For plain track templates, peg X-dimensions are similarly referenced from the CTRL-0 datum end, Y-dimensions are positive from the opposite running rail-edge towards the hand of the template.

For most purposes, it is easier to move the fixing peg with the mouse actions, or select the ADJUST > SET PEG OPTIONS menu items, or use the CTRL-0 to CTRL-9 keyboard shortcuts.


• Set Notch Position   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter new X and Y dimensions for the centre of the pegging notch in millimetres.

The pegging notch "belongs" to the drawing pad, not to the templates, and there is only one notch.

The dimensions to be entered here are referenced from the drawing pad origin point, and can be determined from the grid margin scales. X-dimensions are positive across the pad from the left and read along the bottom margin, Y-dimensions are positive up the pad from the bottom and read along the left margin.

For many purposes, it is easier to move the notch with the mouse action, or by selecting the ADJUST > NOTCH OPTIONS > NOTCH UNDER PEG menu item (or pressing the DIVIDE key) after setting the position of the fixing peg within the current template.


• Setting the flangeway gap dimension.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter the required flangeway gap for the check and wing rails in millimetres.

N.B. To change to a different gauge/scale combination (for example to change from N Gauge to 0 Gauge), or to establish a custom gauge/scale setting, cancel this and select the

CONTROL > GAUGE AND SCALE menu item instead.

If you change the flangeway gap dimension here, the information panel will continue to show the original gauge name, i.e. it would continue to show, say, EM even though you had changed the flangeway gap here to, say, 1.5 mm, and the track gauge and other settings would continue to be those for EM Gauge.

The option of changing the flangeway gap here is intended for making minor adjustments (e.g. for non-standard rolling stock) and for setting narrow-gauge requirements.


• Shift current template on X and Y.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter an X (Y)-dimension in millimetres for the amount by which to shift the position of the current template.

X-dimensions are measured across the width of the screen, positive from left to right.

Y-dimensions are measured vertically on the screen; the positive direction is upwards from the bottom.

Shifting the current template is more usually done with the mouse action, select the

ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS: CURRENT > SHIFT POSITION menu item (or press F7).


• Shift radial centre to X and Y dimension.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter an X (Y)-dimension in millimetres for the new position of the radial centre on the drawing pad (the centre location from which the curving line radius is drawn).

X-dimensions are measured across the width of the screen, positive from left to right.

Y-dimensions are measured vertically on the screen; the positive direction is upwards from the bottom.

Unless the exact location of the radial centre is important, shifting the current template is more usually done with the mouse action, select the

ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS: CURRENT > SHIFT POSITION menu item (or press F7).


• Page Origin X and Y.   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter a new X (Y)-dimension in millimetres for the origin point of the printed pages.

X-dimensions are measured across the width of the screen from the left.

Y-dimensions are measured upwards from the bottom of the screen.

The page origin can also be moved with the mouse, select the ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS:PAD > MOVE PAGE ORIGIN menu item (SHIFT+CTRL-F10).


• Set Page Origin.   [ v:0.66.a ]

You can change the X and Y dimensions for the origin point of the printed pages.

The origin point is the bottom-left corner of the page outlines on the screen, and the top-left corner of page a/1 when printed.

Changing the page origin is useful if the page margins are inconveniently positioned within the drawing.

The pre-set dimensions are zero, so that the page origin normally coincides with the drawing datum.

Negative dimensions for the page origin are permissible.

Handy Hints:

The page origin setting is not saved between Templot sessions. If you will need the same setting again, make a note of the page origin dimensions in the MEMO panel for the first template in the storage box. Then you can quickly copy and paste them back here on reloading.

The size of the page outlines shown on the pad reflect the current print size setting in the PRINT > ENLARGE/REDUCE SIZE menu options.


• Shove Timbers and Sleepers   [ v:0.66.a ]

Templot normally draws templates with the timbers of the correct sizes and in positions based on full-size railway practice, or in accordance with your size and spacing settings.

The SHOVE functions permit you to change the position, alignment and size of individual timbers and sleepers within the current template, or to omit them from the template.

("Timbers" are normally used for pointwork. The standard size for British standard-gauge railways is 12 inches wide by 6 inches thick. The length of timbers varies as required. "Sleepers" are normally used for plain track. The standard size for British standard-gauge railways is 10 inches wide by 5 inches thick. Sleepers are normally of a standard fixed length, typically 9ft in the pre-grouping era and 8ft 6ins later. Sleepers can be shortened, but it is not usual for them to be longer than this; a timber would be used instead. For more information, see the help notes for the TRACK > NON-STANDARD... and GEOMETRY > TIMBERING menu items.)

You can shove or omit up to 30 timbers and/or sleepers in any one template.

Some of the reasons you might want to do this are these:

Timbers may be shoved along the track to increase the space for point-rodding runs, etc.

Timbers may be shoved along and/or twisted slightly to avoid conflicts where tracks come together in crossovers, junctions, etc.

A minimum timber spacing of 2ft (centre-to-centre) is needed for rail joints and fishplates.

Lengthened timbers can be used to support hand point-lever boxes, ground signals and detection devices, etc.

Wider than standard timbers are sometimes used when this is necessary to accommodate chairs or baseplates which are offset or set at an angle.

In the pre-grouping era, some railways used 12-inch wide timbers in place of standard sleepers adjacent to the rail joints in plain track.

Timbers might be omitted over level (grade) crossings, inspection pits, inside engine sheds, etc., or where longitudinal baulk timbers (way beams) are used (on the deck of girder bridges, over coal drops, etc.).

Frequently at crossovers and junctions adjacent running lines are carried on long timbers across both tracks. This can be done by omitting timbers on one template, and extending the length of the timbers on the adjoining template accordingly.

When a short stubby turnout for narrow gauge or industrial sidings is required, it is sometimes difficult to find a timber spacing setting (in the TRACK > NON-STANDARD... menu item) that gives the required result. It is often easier to leave the pre-set spacing and shove timbers manually to the required positions.

There are also some purely model reasons for shoving timbers. To avoid baseboard joints, for example, or to clear point-motor linkages.

Handy Hint:

Do not begin shoving timbers until you are sure that the track plan is finalised. Shoving individual timbers is a slow process, and changing the size or alignment of a template nearly always means that a new timbering layout is needed.


• Using the Timber Shove Functions   [ v:0.66.a ]

To change the size or position of a timber ("shove" it), the timber or sleeper that you want to shove must be selected.

There are two ways to do this. The easiest and quickest is to click on the NUMBER of the required timber (not the timber itself). The timber numbers will be highlighted as the mouse moves over them, and the timber selected for shoving shows in red.

Sometimes it is not possible to click the timber number, for example when zoomed a long way in or out, or when one number is obscured by another, so the timber to be shoved can also be selected by entering its number directly.

Click the blue down-arrow button to show an additional window, and enter the timber number in the box, or select a previously shoved timber from the drop-down list. Then click the OK button.

When a timber has been selected you can shove it, i.e. change its size and/or position. First try doing this using the buttons:

Clicking the FORWARD button causes the selected timber to be moved forwards by 1 inch (scale) with each click. The forward direction is away from the CTRL-0 datum end of the template.

Clicking the BACKWARD button causes the selected timber to be moved backwards by 1 inch (scale) with each click. The backward direction is towards the CTRL-0 datum end of the template.

Clicking the ACW button causes the selected timber to be twisted by 1 degree anticlockwise with each click.

Clicking the CW button causes the selected timber to be twisted by 1 degree clockwise with each click.

Clicking the LENGTHEN button causes the selected timber to be lengthened by 6 inches (scale) with each click.

Clicking the SHORTEN button causes the selected timber to be shortened by 6 inches (scale) with each click.

Changes in length normally take place at the turnout-side end of the timber only, so that a timber can easily be extended across double tracks. If the SHIFT key is held down on the keyboard, the change in length will instead take place at the main-side end of the timber only.

To move a timber lengthwise across the tracks without changing its length, alternately lengthen it at one end and shorten it at the other.

Clicking the WIDEN button causes the selected timber to be widened by 2 inches (scale) with each click. So a standard 10-inch wide sleeper can be converted to a 12-inch wide timber with a single click.

Clicking the NARROW button causes the selected timber to be narrowed by 2 inches (scale) with each click. So a standard 12-inch wide timber can be converted to a 10-inch wide sleeper with a single click.

To restore a shoved timber to its normal size and position, select it and then click the RESTORE button.

To remove a selected timber from the template, click the OMIT button. Timbers that have been omitted retain their numbers, so that they can be selected for RESTORE by clicking on the number.

It is usually quicker to "click" the buttons by using the underlined accelerator keys shown on them. To quickly lengthen a timber for example, just keep pressing or hold down the L key on the keyboard.

Now also try shoving timbers with the mouse actions. Select a timber by clicking on its number, and then do this:

Click the ALONG button. This is a 2-way mouse action. Moving the mouse from side to side shoves the selected timber along the track. Moving the mouse up and down the screen twists the timber to lie out-of-square with the rails.

A little practice with the mouse is needed to get the knack of making the 2-way adjustments simultaneously. Watch the dimension readouts in the mouse action panel to avoid making unwanted changes.

Or use the arrow keys on the number-pad to move the mouse pointer in one direction at a time (not the normal arrow keys - NUMLOCK must be on - see the ADJUST >? MOUSE ACTIONS HELP menu item).

Click the ACROSS button. This is also a 2-way mouse action. Moving the mouse from side to side shoves the selected timber lengthwise across the track. Moving the mouse up and down the screen lengthens or shortens the timber. This also needs a bit of practice to get the desired result.

If the SHOW ALL SHOVED option box is ticked, all the timbers in the current template that have been shoved will be shown in blue. You can shove or omit up to a maximum of 30 timbers and/or sleepers in any one template.

The RESTORE ALL button restores all the shoved timbers on the current template to their normal size and position.

To change the size or spacings of ALL of the timbers, you should not use these shove timber functions, but select instead the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING, the TRACK > NON-STANDARD... or the GEOMETRY > PLAIN TRACK LENGTHS... menu items.

To omit ALL of the timbers, you should not use these shove timber functions, but select instead the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > NO TIMBERING menu option.

The blue readout panel shows the current dimension to the centre of the selected timber in mm (measured along the track-centre from the CTRL-0 rail-end datum). You can use this to check the spacing of adjacent timbers after making any adjustments.

Handy Hints:

Do not begin shoving timbers until you are sure that the track plan is finalised. Shoving individual timbers is a slow process, and changing the size or alignment of a template nearly always means that a new timbering layout is needed.

Clicking the timber number works only while the SHOVE TIMBER window is showing (ADJUST > SHOVE TIMBERS menu item, or SHIFT-F10), and the shove functions work only on the CURRENT TEMPLATE. If the timbers to be shoved are part of a background template, you must first make it the current template. For notes on how to do this, click the HELP > WHAT NEXT? - STORAGE BOX menu item.

While the SHOVE TIMBER window is showing and the current template is not hidden, it is not possible to get the pop-up menu for a background template simply by clicking on it. Instead, hold down the SHIFT key and click the template's NAME LABEL, or first hide the current template (CTRL-W).

Make a note of the underlined accelerator keys shown on the buttons. Then you can resize the form much smaller to avoid obstructing the drawing and still be able to use the buttons by pressing keys on the keyboard.

For example, to widen a timber you can simply press the W key.

If you prefer to shove timbers by entering dimensions directly, click the DAT• .. button.

For a useful list of all the timbers currently shoved on this template, click the blue down-arrow button, and then the down-arrow for the drop-down list.

Do not switch off TIMBER CENTRE-LINES in the GENERATOR menu while shoving timbers.

Using the shove timber functions is confusing if an excessive amount of timber randomising is in force. Select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING menu items to cancel randomising while shoving timbers.

If the limit of 30 shoved timbers per template is a problem, split the template into two or more separate templates. (A quick way to do this is to make two copies, and then use the SNAP LENGTH TO PEG function on one, and the BLANK UP TO PEG function on the other).

N.B. Selecting the SHOVE TIMBERS function has ensured that timber centre-lines and numbers are switched on in the GENERATOR menu while the SHOVE TIMBERS function is in use.

The timber infill is also shown on the pad for the current template. If you do not want this while shoving, select the PAD > PAD CURRENT DRAWING OPTIONS > HIDE TIMBER INFILL menu item.

Using the mouse actions for shoving will also enable the FULL MOUSE DRAW screen refresh option so that you can see the timbers being shoved. You will probably want to revert to the skeleton draw option when you have finished shoving timbers. To do this select the PAD > SCREEN REFRESH OPTIONS > SKELETON MOUSE DRAW menu item or SHIFT+CTRL-F12, or just press the; (semi-colon) key.

To shove a timber out beyond the CTRL-0 datum end of a turnout, it is first necessary to apply sufficient negative blanking to accommodate the shove. This can be done by moving the fixing peg out as far as needed (CTRL-F8), and then clicking the TRACK > SNAP LENGTHS > BLANK UP TO PEG menu item. This option is not available for plain track.


• Slewing   [ v:0.66.a ]

The slewing function shifts a section of the track sideways from its normal position. There is a section between the slewed and unslewed portions called the SLEWING ZONE in which the amount of SLEW (sideways shift) is progressively increased so that the slewed and unslewed portions are joined by a smooth reverse curve.

Slewing is a useful means of nudging the track into an alignment to fit the existing site, but should normally be used for plain track only. A turnout placed in the slewing zone is likely to be distorted and/or difficult to construct, and Templot will be unable to warn you about the minimum radius within it.

A common use for slewing is to increase the space between double-track running lines to make room for a fixed obstruction such as a bridge girder, or perhaps to accommodate an island platform.

Unlike a transition curve, slewing introduces some distortion into the rail lengths and sleeper spacings. This will be negligible if slewing is used as intended to make small adjustments to the alignment. If you use the slewing functions to generate a sharp S-curve some noticeable distortion is inevitable. It is better to build up such curves with transitions whenever possible.

While slewing is in force a reminder notice appears on the drawing pad. This shows in blue normally, but will change to yellow if Templot judges the slew to be excessive.

There are two slew MODES, using different maths for the reverse curve. Mode 1 makes the centre reverse curve as gentle as possible to avoid buffer-locking problems and is suitable for slews in large radius curves or straight track.

Mode 2 eases the radius at each end of the slewing zone and is therefore more suitable for slews in sharply curving track. But it does this at the expense of a more pronounced reverse curve at the centre of the slewing zone.

For Mode 2 slews there is an adjustable SLEW FACTOR which permits fine tuning of the slewing radii by mouse action, select the ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS CURRENT > ADJUST MODE 2 SLEW FACTOR menu item. (There is no slew factor for slew mode 1.)

Slewing is enabled by selecting the GEOMETRY > SLEW (NUDGE) > SLEW USING MODE menu items, and can be cancelled without losing the current settings by selecting the GEOMETRY > SLEW (NUDGE) > CANCEL SLEW menu item.

The slewing settings can be adjusted by the mouse actions only while slewing is in force.

Note that slewing does not change the track radius (except within the slewing zone). The slewed and unslewed sections are of the same radius, and by zooming out you can see the two radial centre marks, one for each section.

If you want the radius of the slewed section to differ, you can combine a slew with a transition curve. By careful adjustment of the starting points and lengths of the transition curve and slewing zone, it is possible to make the slewed and unslewed sections concentric.

(If adjusting a slewed transition curve seems daunting, it may be simpler to contain the slew within its own template, and then combine separate templates for each section in the usual way.)

As for the other mouse actions, the way in which the template responds to the slewing adjustments is determined by the position of the fixing peg within it. Please experiment fully with the various settings before finalising a template, as there are a number of interesting effects.

A frequent need is to slide a template along a slewed alignment without disturbing the alignment. This is done using the SNAKE (CTRL-F6) mouse action. Compare the results with the otherwise similar SLIDE (F9) mouse action.

For more information about the slew settings, click the help flag for each.


• Slow Running   [ v:0.66.a ]

You can slow down Templot's drawing functions by setting a count figure greater than zero.

This is useful if an error has occurred and you need to check each feature as it is drawn.

A suitable count for your computer will need to be established by trial and error. Higher counts cause Templot to run more slowly. A count in the range 20-100 would be a starting point.

To properly see the effect of slow running you will need to be using the LOW MEMORY refresh mode, which requires a Templot restart.

N.B. Remember to come back here and reset the count to zero after use!

The count is reset to zero on a B-6 turnout reset, or when printing.


• Spacing-ring Tool   [ v:0.66.a ]

The spacing-ring is used as a design aid to check the spacing and clearances between adjacent tracks. It can also be used to make reference marks on the drawing pad, as a general measuring tool, and as a drawing pen. It can be positioned anywhere on the drawing pad using the MOVE SPACING-RING mouse action (SHIFT+CTRL-F9 or click the MOUSE ACTION MOVE RING button).

    1. Checking Track Spacings and Clearances

To set the size of the ring, click the SET RING > SIZE... button and enter the required inner diameter of the spacing-ring in mm. The outer diameter of the ring is always automatically set to correspond to a ring-width equal to the current rail-width.

This then means that you normally use the INNER diameter of the ring to check against the OUTER-EDGE of the rail, and the OUTER diameter of the ring to check against the INNER or GAUGE-FACE edge of the rail.

While using the mouse actions to adjust the template (with SKELETON DRAW - the normal setting), only the gauge-face rail edges are shown, which means that only the outer ring diameter is then relevant.

If you select the pre-set dimension by clicking the SET RING > P-S button (or enter a slash "/") the ring size will be set to give a track centre-to-centre dimension of 11ft 2in scale for your current gauge and scale. This dimension corresponds to the standard minimum 6ft way between running lines for standard-gauge track.

You should use the spacing-ring to check that no two tracks come closer than this pre-set dimension to maintain the proper clearance for passing trains, and if there is a curving radius of less than about 750ft scale (3000 mm or 10ft radius in 4mm scale), the clearance should be increased.

The pre-set dimension represents the MINIMUM spacing for running lines - there is no harm in using wider spacings if conditions permit. Also, railway regulations require increased spacing (9ft or 10ft way) for loops and sidings alongside running lines for the safety of staff on the ground, and to give room for signal posts, etc.

(If you are designing for a track gauge other than standard gauge the pre-set should not be used - enter the ring dimension as required. For Irish 5ft 3in gauge, for example, enter the 6ft way dimension directly, e.g. enter 24mm for 6ft way with exact scale Irish 21mm gauge in 4mm/ft scale.)

    2. Marking and Measuring

You can leave a temporary copy of the ring in position as a reference point. Click the RING COPIES > MAKE button. This is useful when you need to mark several clearance points while making adjustments. You can have up to 32 such copies if you wish, and each one can be a different size. While you are moving the ring its current position on the pad is shown in title bar at the top of the screen.

If the inner ring size is set to a small dimension or zero (click the MAKE TARGET button to make it 6" scale diameter), the spacing-ring and any copies of it become small target marks that are useful as general markers. The cross-hair lines are each 18" scale long.

The spacing-ring can also be used as a gauge to check any other dimensions on the drawing as required - just remember that the size you set is the inner diameter of the ring. For example, if you need to fit a locomotive that is 200mm long into an engine spur, set the ring to 200mm and check the clear length of the spur. This is easier than using the grid lines to judge dimensions when tracks are at an angle.

Or you can measure dimensions directly with the ring or the mouse. The readout panel displays the dimensions from the most recent copy of the ring to the current position. When the ring is being moved the dimensions are to the centre of the ring and the readout panel is yellow; at other times the readout panel is white and dimensions are to the mouse pointer, which can be changed to the cross-hairs symbol for accuracy by clicking the MOUSE CROSS-HAIRS button.

To measure the distance between two positions on the drawing, simply move the centre of the ring to the first position and click the RING COPIES / MAKE button. Then move the ring or the mouse to the second position and read off the dimensions from the first one. The DIAGONAL dimension is the straight-line diagonal dimension between the two positions.

    3. Handy Hints:

Moving the ring with the mouse action generates continuous pad redraws. When using the ring for marking and measuring you can get a faster response by using the mouse pointer directly. Try this:

Press the F12 key to cancel the mouse action.

Click the MOUSE CROSS-HAIRS button (or press CTRL-full stop key).

Move the cross hairs mouse pointer to the required ring position. But don't click the mouse on it otherwise you will cancel the cross-hairs symbol.

Select the JUMP RING TO > MOUSE button (not with the mouse of course, press the U key on the keyboard, shown underlined on the button).

You can now click the RING COPIES > MAKE button (or press the K key) to start measuring from the ring to the mouse pointer.

Make a note of the underlined accelerator keys on the other buttons. Then you can resize the form much smaller to avoid obstructing the drawing and still be able to use the buttons.

The JUMP RING TO > NOTCH button jumps the ring to the current position of the pegging notch. By first using the NOTCH UNDER PEG functions, you can position the ring on the fixing peg of the current template, or any background template.

Likewise the ADJUST > NOTCH OPTIONS > NOTCH ON SPACING RING menu item moves the pegging notch to the ring position, and you can then use the SHIFT ONTO NOTCH functions to position the current template at the ring position.

To temporarily hide the ring and any copies, click the RINGS > HIDE option button. They will re-appear when you click the RINGS > SHOW option button, or select the TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item.

You can choose different colours for the ring and any copies by clicking the COLOUR... buttons. But avoid choosing red if possible; otherwise at some zoom settings the ring might be confused with the fixing peg.

When accuracy is needed, always zoom in so that the ring fills a good proportion of the visible pad. At lower zoom settings, rounding effects for the screen may appear to make the two ring diameters non-concentric.

Like the pegging notch, the spacing-ring and its copies "belong" to the drawing pad, not the current template, so you can't save these items in the data files as they stand. To save a ring for future use, it can be converted to a collection of 4 background shapes (2 rings and 2 cross-hair lines) and included in your background shapes list along with any other shapes that you have defined. Click the MAKE SHAPES button to do this.

Once in the background shapes list, the shapes forming the ring image can be modified as required in the same way as any other shape. You could delete the outer ring, for example, or change it to a square without changing any dimensions. (Note that you won't actually see the underlying shapes until you move the ring, and then only if background shapes have been switched on in the PAD menu.)

The spacing ring can also be used as a means of drawing other background features. If you click the DRAWING PEN > MOVE TO RING button, an imaginary "drawing pen" is moved to the current position of the spacing ring. After moving the ring, if you then click the DRAW TO RING button, the "pen" will draw a line to the new position of the ring. By repeatedly moving the ring and clicking DRAW TO RING, an irregular outline can be produced. Each drawn line becomes a separate shape in the background shapes list, and can be deleted or modified as required.

(An easier way to draw simple free-hand shapes is to use the normal mouse drawing function - select the CONTROL > DRAW WITH MOUSE menu item.)

Ring copies can also be used to define the dimensions of other background shapes as pre-sets. This is useful if you need a shape that is a specified distance from the rails, or from another shape. Click the help buttons in the background shapes list for more information (CONTROL > BACKGROUND SHAPES menu item).

Remember to save the shapes before quitting Templot (they are not included in the storage box data files).


• Start of Slewing Zone   [ v:0.66.a ]

Enter the required distance in mm from the rail-end to the start of the slewing zone. This setting can also be adjusted by mouse action SHIFT+CTRL-F5.

If a negative dimension is entered, the start or the entire slewing zone will not be shown and the rail-end will be within or beyond the slewing zone.

If the pre-set dimension is requested (enter a "/" slash), the start of the slewing zone is set to zero. (Slewing starts at the rail-end).

While slewing is in force the start of the slewing zone is indicated by a special mark across the track.


• Switch Sizes and Selection   [ v:0.66.a ]

Templot currently provides 4 groups of switches. When you select a switch from one of these groups, subsequent changes to the switch size using the mouse actions will be limited to sizes within the same group.

In each group, the switches are listed in order of increasing size (i.e. length).

The shortest switch sizes (less than size B or 12ft) are generally only suitable for yards and sidings, and cannot usually be curved very much, if at all, without infringing your minimum radius. (Unless the curving radius is negative, i.e. to produce a Y-turnout.)

Size B or 12ft is the size most commonly used on small model railways. Although hardly a running-line size on the prototype, it can serve as such on the model without looking out of place, and can be gently curved if required.

Longer sizes are a more realistic choice for running lines where space is less of a problem, and a necessary choice when significant curving is needed.

The longest sizes in each group are used for high-speed junctions and for long curved turnouts on sharply curved running lines. In model terms they will be found to need a great deal of space.

The first group in the list are straight switches (see below). These are generally suitable for running lines on non-GWR pre-grouping railways, and for use in yards and sidings up to the present day. Using a straight switch instead of a semi-curved one can usually save some space.

The second group of switches are the British Standard semi-curved REA designs. These are the sizes that are familiar to many modellers who have been using pre-printed plans, and are suitable for use on non-GWR lines from grouping to the present day.

The third and fourth groups contain switches specific to the GWR. The third group are the more modern sizes, adopted on running lines since the grouping. The fourth group of switches are the older-pattern GWR heel switches, suitable for yards and sidings and lesser-used lines.

N.B. The above notes are very general and should be taken as a rough guide only. As in all modelling, correct pointwork has to be based on observation of the actual prototype being modelled. ("the grouping" refers to the amalgamations of U.K. railways which occurred in 1923.)

The geometry of switches can take three forms:

a) Curved Switch:

This type is normal on the GWR (except for very long switches) and for modern flat-bottom track, but is unusual elsewhere.

The switch blade is curved at a constant "switch radius" from the blade tips (called the "toe") to the "heel" (the point where the "turnout radius" begins). The switch radius is not normally less than the turnout radius, and is often greater. If the switch radius and turnout radius are equal, this size of switch is known as the "natural" size for the crossing angle.

Curved switches can be either loose-heel or flexible pattern - see below.

In model form, curved switches need careful construction to ensure that the switch blade seats properly against the stock rail, and maintains the correct gauge.

b) Semi-Curved Switch:

This type represents the final development of bullhead switches on non-GWR lines. These switches are also known as REA-pattern British Standard switches.

For the length from the tip of the blade to the end of the machined area, called the "planing", the switch blade is straight, and inclined to the stock rail at the "planing angle". From the end of the planing to the heel the switch blade is curved at the switch radius.

Semi-curved switches are usually of flexible construction - e.g. the REA design.

This is the type of switch commonly used in model form, and represented on many ready-printed plans.

c) Straight Switch:

This is the older (pre-grouping, non-GWR) type of bullhead switch and is also commonly found on narrow gauge and industrial lines, and Light Railways. Many straight switches can still be found in sidings and yards today.

The switch blade is straight from the tip to the heel, which is normally the point where the offset from the stock rail is 4.5 inches, and this length is the size of the switch. There is no switch radius; the turnout radius begins directly from the straight at the heel.

The simple geometry of straight switches is more easily reproduced in model form, and can save some space. If you are designing a custom switch to save space, a straight switch will probably be the most useful.

In addition, switches can be of the older "loose-heel" pattern, or the more modern "flexible" pattern. This does not affect the length of turnouts or the geometry of the rail edges, but does determine the position of the rail joints, which can also affect the timber spacings.

In a loose-heel switch the switch blade is shorter and the fish-bolts at the heel are not fully tightened, so that the blade can pivot slightly at the heel to give the required movement. Most straight switches and n.g. and industrial switches are of this pattern.

On post-grouping running lines flexible switches are more usual. The switch blade is longer and is firmly held in several chairs at the heel. The movement of the blade is achieved by actually flexing (bending) the rail from side to side. This requires that the point rodding is more robust than is necessary for loose-heel switches. Flexible switches are also sometimes known as "spring" or "heel-less" switches.

In model form flexible switches are the norm and generally more reliable. It's quite possible to represent the geometry of loose-heel switches using flexible construction - dummy rail joints can be added to represent the shorter switch blade. Templot is not concerned with the construction of switches, only their dimensions and geometry, so the choice of loose-heel or flexible construction can be made after the template has been printed.


• Switch Selector Form   [ v:0.66.a ]

Use this form to select the switch size to be used for your turnout when you don't want to set the turnout size using either the ADJUST SIZE (F5) mouse action, or on the TRACK > QUICK SET... form.

Select the switch size you require by clicking the list, and then click the OK button.

Clicking the RESTORE button will restore the previous setting.

Switches marked with a prefix ~ symbol are not yet implemented in this version of Templot. Sorry.

To enter your own custom switch dimensions, click the SET CUSTOM SWITCH... button.

To actually use these custom settings, click the CUSTOM SWITCH entry at the end of the list and then click OK. You can swap between your custom switch and the standard switches without losing the custom dimensions. To save your custom switch in the storage box data file for re-use, ensure that there is at least one template in the box using the custom switch.


• Non-standard Turnout Settings   [ v:0.66.a ]

Use this form to enter non-standard settings for the turnout timber spacings and rail lengths.

This is useful when you have specific prototype information which differs from the established norms, e.g. for old-type GWR crossings and for narrow gauge and industrial lines.

Click the help flags for each line on the form for more information.

To set the timber sizes and randomising, select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERING DAT• .. menu item.

To set the timber alignment, select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERS EQUALIZED or TIMBERS SQUARE-ON menu options.

Individual timbers can be re-positioned and re-aligned using the ADJUST > SHOVE TIMBERS functions.

For plain track settings, select the GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > TIMBERING DAT• .. and GEOMETRY > PLAIN TRACK LENGTHS... menu items.


• Timbering Sizes and Layout   [ v:0.66.a ]

The timbers used in pointwork normally have lengths increasing in fixed 6-inch steps. If a timber is too short to provide the minimum distance beyond the rail at each end, a timber 6 inches longer is used instead. Consequently, the timbering can be arranged in two ways - CENTRALIZED, or IN-LINE.

Centralized timbering means that the rails are centrally placed on each timber, with the result that the stepped lengths are less noticeable.

In-line timbering has all the timber ends on the main-road side of the turnout arranged in a neat line, with the stepped ends all on the turnout-road side. This only makes sense if you are using SQUARE-ON timbering through the crossing, and gives the turnout a modern "neat and tidy" look.

With the older-style EQUALIZED arrangement, centralized timbering looks more in keeping.

To change between these styles, select the

GEOMETRY > TIMBERING > EQUALIZED INCREMENTAL, EQUALIZED CONSTANT or SQUARE-ON menu items.

Templot also provides a variable amount of timber randomising, both in the positioning of the timber ends and the angle at which the timbers are aligned across the track. Experiment by changing the values to get a realistic slight variation for standard gauge or a complete "crazy-track" effect for industrial and narrow gauge lines.

(Swapping between IN-LINE and CENTRALIZED resets the randomising to zero each time.)

Be aware that when randomising is used every re-draw produces a fresh randomised effect. To "freeze" the exact timbering layout as drawn for printing identical multiple copies of the current template select the PAD > LOCK REDRAW AND PREVIEW menu item. You should make as many copies as you will need all in one session, as there is no way to store or save the exact timbering layout. When reloaded via your storage box the turnout will be redrawn with a fresh randomised timbering layout.

(Background templates are frozen between each REBUILD and do not therefore need to be locked.)

(When templates are exported in DXF file format the exact timbering layout is included in the file. But it is still necessary to lock the redraw when using randomising if you want the DXF file to match the template printed directly from Templot.)

At start-up the randomising data is set to zero, meaning no randomising, so locking the redraw is initially unnecessary.

As an alternative to randomising, some variation in timbering can be introduced manually using the shove timber functions. For help notes about these select the ADJUST > SHOVE TIMBERS menu item.

If you are using a non-standard sleeper length (not 9ft or 8ft6in scale, e.g. for 00 gauge and n.g.), the CENTRALIZED option is not available, and all timbering will be IN-LINE, unless modified with randomising or the ADJUST > SHOVE TIMBERS functions.


• Trailing Zeros   [ v:0.66.a ]

For the drawing calculations Templot always uses the maximum precision available from your processor, but normally rounds results to two decimal places when displaying or printing them, with trailing zeros omitted but at least one decimal place always shown, e.g.

4.566 rounds to 4.57 and shows as 4.57

8.203 rounds to 8.20 but shows as 8.2

0.998 rounds to 1.00 but shows as 1.0

3027 shows as 3027.0

All trailing zeros can be omitted if preferred, or both decimal places shown in full.


• Transition Curves and Easements   [ v:0.66.a ]

These are brief notes - for more information about using transition curves and linking together transition templates, please refer to the "getting started with Templot" pages on the Templot web site:

In a transition curve, the curving radius is progressively changed from the 1st or initial radius to the 2nd or final radius within the length of the transition zone.

Any track preceding the start point of the transition zone will be curved at the 1st radius. Any track beyond the end point of the transition zone will be curved at the 2nd radius.

It is possible for one of the radii to be straight, but not both.

An "easement" is a short transition curve in which one end is straight, commonly used to ease the running of rolling stock from straight track to a curve, and providing a length in which the super-elevation can be ramped up to suit the requirements of the curve.

When selecting a transition curve, you have three options for the initial settings, which can be changed subsequently, or you can enter new settings immediately:

Selecting EASEMENT FROM STRAIGHT (CTRL-T) sets the initial radius to straight and retains your existing radius as the final radius.

Selecting EASEMENT TO STRAIGHT sets the final radius to straight and retains your existing radius as the initial radius.

Before selecting these EASEMENT settings you will normally want to ensure that the fixing peg is at the curved end of the template, so that the newly modified template remains in alignment with the previous curve.

For easements the transition zone length is set to 2 chains (132ft) (scale), unless this is more than 95% of the length of the current template, and the length of the straight section is set to zero. You will probably want to change these settings afterwards to suit your requirements for each situation - see below.

Selecting AS PREVIOUS SETTINGS sets a new transition curve with the same radii and length settings that were last used for a transition curve. If transition curving is already in force for the current template, this option will have no effect.

Selecting NEW SETTINGS... brings up the Templot data entry form on which you can enter your required radii and length settings for the new transition curve.

The start and end points for the transition zone section of the curve are indicated by special marks across the track. The transition start mark is a large arrowhead symbol pointing into the transition zone, and the transition end mark resembles a set of "goalposts".

To move the transition zone along the track, select the ADJUST TRANSITION START mouse action (SHIFT+CTRL-F3) or just press the [ key.

To lengthen or shorten the transition zone, select the ADJUST TRANSITION LENGTH mouse action (SHIFT+CTRL-F4) or just press the ] key.

The transition radii are adjusted using the same ADJUST CURVING (F6) mouse action as for a fixed radius curve.

To toggle between adjusting the 1st or 2nd radius, click the triangle symbol on the mouse action panel. Or select either of the ADJUST > TRANSITION RADIUS OPTIONS menu items (SHIFT+CTRL-F1 or SHIFT+CTRL-F2), or press the - (minus) or = (equals) keys for 1st or 2nd radius respectively. You can do this while the mouse action is in force.

(These 1st or 2nd radius selections also apply to other mouse actions such as the SWING function CTRL-F5. The BACKSPACE key continues to work normally to repeat a previous mouse action.)

If the first radius is positive and the second radius negative, or vice versa, an S-curve effect is achieved. For further explanation of the meaning of a negative radius see the notes about fixed radius curves below, or select the GEOMETRY > CURVING DAT• .. menu item and read the help notes.

When using the ADJUST TRANSITION START and LENGTH mouse actions, there are two options for the way the curve is calculated (ADJUST > TRANSITION ZONE OPTIONS > menu items).

The RADII FIXED (NORMAL) option maintains the 1st and 2nd radii constant, and adjusts the transition alignment between them accordingly. The TRANSITION FIXED (ROLL-OUT) option maintains a constant alignment in the transition zone, and adjusts the 1st or 2nd radius accordingly.

This setting reverts to the RADII FIXED (NORMAL) option whenever a new transition curve is set.

As for the other mouse actions, the way in which the template responds to transition and overall length adjustments is determined by the position of the fixing peg within it. Normally, before making an adjustment, the fixing peg should be moved to a position where you want the template alignment to remain unchanged.

A frequent need is to slide a template along a transition curve alignment without disturbing the alignment. This is done using the SNAKE (CTRL-F6) mouse action. Compare the results with the otherwise similar SLIDE (F9) mouse action.

In addition, a transition curve can be combined with a SLEW to give a virtually unlimited range of alignments. For more information about slewing, see the help notes for the GEOMETRY > SLEW (NUDGE) > SLEWING DAT• .. menu item.

To enter the radius and transition length settings directly, select the GEOMETRY > CURVING DAT• .. menu item while the current template contains a transition, or click the figures showing on the lower line of text in the MOUSE ACTION panel.

When changing from a transition to a fixed-radius template, GEOMETRY > CURVED (FIXED RADIUS) menu item (CTRL-F), the new fixed radius will be the radius at the current position of the fixing peg within the transition template.

Bear in mind when using transitions that a long transition curve will significantly extend redraw times because of the amount of calculation needed to draw it. If you are using a slow processor you will want to keep transition zones as short as possible.

For more information about the transition mathematics, see the notes for the PROGRAM > EXPERT > TRANSITION MATHS > CUSTOM TERMS... menu item on the CONTROL ROOM window.


• Make Double - Track on Transition Curve   [ v:0.66.a ]

The MAKE DOUBLE-TRACK functions create double-track by first storing the current template and making a copy of it on the background, and then creating a new plain track template alongside, adjusting the curving radius according to the current setting for the turnout-side or main-side adjacent track spacings.

When the tracks are on a transition curve, additional adjustments are made to the transition start and length settings to ensure that the initial and final radii remain concentric with those of the previous template.

The calculations for these adjustments may take some time to complete, during which a PLEASE WAIT message will be displayed.

You can watch these calculations being performed by expanding the INFORMATION panel, and scrolling the INFO area to see the transition data.

Occasionally these calculations may not be able to reach a conclusion, in which case you should click the CANCEL button on the PLEASE WAIT window (or press the ESC key), and then complete the adjustment manually.

Or if preferred, you can perform the whole adjustment manually, for more information see below.

Caution: It is not mathematically possible to have two perfectly "parallel" transition curves. This means that within the transition zones it may not be possible to maintain the current adjacent track spacing dimension.

Before making double-track on a transition curve therefore, it may be advisable to increase the adjacent track spacing slightly above the minimum (GEOMETRY > ADJACENT CENTRES... menu item), and to check the spacing afterwards (TOOLS > SPACING-RING menu item).

These precautions are more important when working with a reverse S-curve transition. For easements to or from straight track and transitions where both the initial and final radii are curving in the same direction (both radii having the same sign), it will usually be found that the spacing discrepancy is small or insignificant.

If the double-track templates also contain a SLEW, the slew settings should be adjusted manually if necessary before checking the spacings.

To manually adjust the new track created, do this:

First using the ADJUST TRANSITION START (SHIFT+CTRL-F3) mouse action, move the transition start marker on the newly created track until it aligns with the transition start marker on the original track.

Then using the ADJUST TRANSITION LENGTH (SHIFT+CTRL-F4) mouse action, move the transition end marker on the newly created track until it aligns with the transition end marker on the original track.

It is helpful to zoom in on these marks while making the adjustments, and to check the rail alignments while doing so. On sharp curves the best rail alignment may require one or both of the transition marks to be displaced slightly from these positions.

(A slight discrepancy in the curving centres may remain, because it is not mathematically possible to have two perfectly "parallel" transition curves. The alternative method of applying the transition maths to the double-track centre-line is not used because this would introduce unacceptable distortion when the tracks are widely spaced, and also disrupt the alignment of the original track.)

The adjustments detailed above will produce satisfactory double-track on transition curves in the majority of situations found in practice. Use the SPACING-RING tool (SHIFT+CTRL-F9) to check the track spacings for adequate clearance.

If the double-track templates also contain a SLEW, the slew settings should be adjusted similarly if necessary before checking the spacings.

N.B. If the original track or turnout was being drawn with ADJACENT TRACKS switched on in the GENERATOR menu, these will be switched off to avoid duplication.


• Transition Curving Data

Enter the required length and radius settings in mm. It is usually easier to adjust transition curves using the mouse actions.

The pre-set dimensions (available by entering a forward slash "/") are these:

Initial Radius pre-set = STRAIGHT.

Final Radius pre-set = STRAIGHT, unless the Initial Radius is straight, in which case 660ft radius (10 chains) scale.

Length along Initial Radius pre-set = zero.

Length along Transition Zone pre-set = 66ft (1 chain) scale.

For more information, please click the white bar below and refer to the general transition help notes.


• Using Templot Mouse Actions   [ v:0.66.a ]

Much of the design work in Templot is done using the mouse, using what are called "mouse actions".

Mouse actions differ from conventional Windows drag operations in two ways:

Adjustments are made by moving the mouse. But unlike, say, a Windows scrollbar tab, there is nothing "under" the mouse to be dragged along. Only the relative movement of mouse is significant and in most cases the actual position of the mouse pointer on the screen is immaterial.

You don't need to hold down the mouse button while making the adjustment. You can do click-move-click instead if you prefer. Using the mouse this way relaxes your hand, which makes it easier to make fine adjustments. Try it. It also means that you can remove your hand from the mouse to refer to notes, drink coffee, etc., without losing or changing anything.

You can also use the number-pad keys to click the drawing pad (5 key) and move the mouse pointer in 8 directions (other keys 1-9). This is useful when you want to make a very fine adjustment. But remember not to bump the mouse when you are using these keys.

You might find it helpful to click the VISIBLE COPY button above, then click CONTINUE below. These notes will then appear in a separate window and remain visible as you try out these examples. Or you can click the PRINT button above to print them out.

To use the mouse actions do this:

Before starting for the first time, press the F12 function key, or click the arrow pointer button at the top of the pad, to ensure that the drawing pad is properly initialised. You should be seeing a drawing of a complete turnout. (If not, click the B-6 TURNOUT RESET menu item in the TRACK menu, and then click the green bar in the confirmation window which appears.)

Now you need to select which mouse action you require. This is normally done using the function keys on the keyboard, and a handy chart of them all to place behind your keyboard can be printed out - click the HELP > PRINT F KEY CHART menu item.

There are also some single-key alternative shortcuts to the function keys. For example you can simply press the \ (backslash) key instead of trying to press SHIFT+CTRL+F7 with one hand (the other hand being on the mouse). Alternatively, the mouse actions can be selected from the ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS: menu items.

For now, try pressing F6 to adjust the curving radius of the current template (or click the ADJUST > MOUSE ACTIONS: CURRENT > ADJUST CURVING RADIUS ONLY menu item).

Three things happen:

1.The mouse action panel appears, showing two lines of text: "F6 curving" (the mouse action in force) and "xxxx mm" (the current curving radius in the main road of the template).

The title bar at the top of the drawing pad now shows "F6 adjust template curving = xxxx mm".

The mouse pointer changes to a hollow triangle symbol (the mouse action symbol).

With the triangle pointer symbol somewhere near the centre of the drawing pad, click the left mouse button. The exact position doesn't matter, provided it is in the actual drawing area. After a short while several more things happen:

The mouse pointer changes to UP/DOWN arrows.

The triangle symbol in the mouse action panel changes to yellow.

If the SKELETON MOUSE DRAW mode is in force the current template is redrawn in skeleton form showing the rail running edges only.

Now SLOWLY move the mouse pointer up and down the screen. The template will be continually redrawn with a varying amount of curving, and the radius figures will change in both the title bar and the panel. If you have a fast Pentium processor the redraws will respond immediately to the mouse movement and you will be able to speed up the movements.

If you have an older or slower processor, or one lacking maths co-processor functions, the redraws will take longer and may not be able to keep up with the mouse. But the end result will be the same. (If this seems frustrating, remember that this is a hobby - there's no great rush. However slow your processor, Templot will generate a template in a fraction of the time it would take with pencil and paper!)

When you have made the required adjustment, click (or release) the mouse button again. The triangle symbol mouse pointer returns and the template is redrawn in full.

You can now repeat the "click-move-click" process as many times as necessary to complete the amount of adjustment needed. The current mouse action remains in force until you cancel it.

To cancel a mouse action, do any of these:

After cancelling or changing the mouse action, the most recently used mouse action can be quickly reselected by any of these means:

Next try the CTRL-F8 MOVE PEG mouse action. Moving the mouse from side to side slides the red "fixing peg" symbol along the track centre-line. Leave it somewhere near the middle of the turnout.

If you now repeat the F6 CURVING action you will see that the response is slightly different, with the turnout "fixed" to the pad at the peg. Try also the F8 ROTATE and F9 SLIDE actions.

Now experiment with some of the other mouse actions, some of which respond to both directions of mouse movement simultaneously.

For example F7 SHIFT that moves the turnout across the drawing pad to the desired position. Don't confuse the SHIFT mouse action with a normal Windows drag, you will find that it works regardless of where the mouse pointer is positioned on the screen.

(Don't confuse the SHIFT functions in Templot with the shift key on the keyboard.)

The F5 SIZE mouse action can be used to change the size of the current turnout, from a short stubby one to a long slender one. This mouse action might seem jerkier than the others because Templot normally "snaps" the turnout size to the nearest sensible size based on full-size railway practice. Before trying F5 SIZE, return the fixing peg to the left hand end of the turnout (CTRL-F8 MOVE PEG mouse action again), otherwise you may find the results confusing at first.

If the pad zoom setting is locked you may not see all of a long turnout. Press the PAGE UP key to free the zooming so that the whole turnout fits on the screen as you change the size. Then try pressing PAGE DOWN to lock it again and compare the effect as you move the mouse.

The turnout length may also be locked. Try pressing CTRL-PAGE UP to free the length and CTRL-PAGE DOWN to lock it as you change the turnout size with the mouse.

You can also pre-set one of the mouse actions to be available by double-clicking on the pad. This is initially set to be the CTRL-F4 MOVE PAD VIEW mouse action, but you can change it to another with the ADJUST > DOUBLE-CLICK OPTIONS menu items. After adjusting the view you can quickly revert to your previous mouse action by double-clicking again, or by pressing the BACKSPACE key, or by clicking the triangle symbol button.

As an alternative to double-clicking on the pad, you can instead click the button at the top of the pad marked with two clicks. This is safer than directly double-clicking the pad when no existing mouse action is in force, because accidentally clicking on a background template in those circumstances has a different meaning.

If you choose to make the mouse action adjustments with the mouse button down, as for a normal Windows drag operation, after a short while the upper line in the mouse action panel will be prefixed with a bullet mark (•). This shows you that Templot has recognised that you are working with the button down, and that the adjustment will terminate when you release it.

While moving the mouse you can experiment with the screen refresh modes. Press the INSERT key to toggle between ON-SCREEN and OFF-SCREEN refresh. The former will give the fastest response but with some screen flicker. For more information select the PAD > SCREEN REFRESH OPTIONS > ? REFRESH HELP menu item.

Depending on how your mouse settings are currently configured in Windows, you might find that the mouse actions respond too quickly or too slowly to movements of the mouse. You can change the response rates to suit your system and/or your own preferences by selecting the ADJUST > MODIFY MOUSE RESPONSE menu item. The response rate is also determined by the current zoom setting. Zoom in more closely to get a finer response when you need greater precision.

If you find that you still cannot get the exact setting you require when using a mouse action, click the lower line of text in the mouse action panel to enter your required figure directly.

Sometimes the mouse action panel will obstruct your view of the drawing. You can drag it and re-size it in the usual way, or you can hide it without cancelling the mouse action by clicking the upper line of text, or by pressing the Delete key on the keyboard. Pressing Delete again will show it again. Or you can prevent it appearing at all by selecting the PAD > MOUSE OPTIONS > HIDE MOUSE ACTION PANEL menu option.

Unless you intervene, the panel re-sizes itself to accommodate the text lines. If you re-size it in the usual way by dragging the sides or bottom-right corner, it will remain at whatever size you set until the mouse action is cancelled.

Handy Hints:

Occasionally if you fumble the mouse the automatic detection of button-down drag mode may catch you out. If you know which method you prefer and intend to stick to, you can lock the mode in the PROGRAM > MOUSE ACTION menu items on the CONTROL ROOM window.

When using Templot's mouse actions you will be using your mouse to make some precise adjustments. It might be a good idea to open the bottom of it and clean out any fluff that has accumulated on the spindles and rollers. The difference this can make to the ease of use is amazing.


• Using the Storage Box   [ v:0.66.a ]

This is your STORAGE BOX, the container in which you accumulate templates as you work through a Templot session.

Each time you have a current template on the drawing pad that you want to keep, you add it to your storage box by selecting STORE THIS in the drawing pad CONTROL or RIGHT-CLICK menus. You can also add the current template to the box by clicking the STORE CURRENT button on the box.

You can quickly sort through your collection of templates using the left-right arrow buttons, or the slider device above them, and view the templates either as individual drawings or in list form.

Stored templates can be copied to the background drawing, so that they appear behind the current template on the drawing pad. In this way you can build up a complete track plan. A separate list of the background templates is displayed when you select BACKGROUND LIST in the BOX menu.

Templates can be added to the box and copied to the background in a single move by selecting STORE && BACKGROUND in the pad CONTROL or RIGHT-CLICK menus.

Stored templates that have not been copied to the background, or have been wiped from the background, are called unused templates. Stored templates can be copied to the background drawing and wiped from it as often as you wish in trying different track configurations.

Stored templates can also be copied back to become the current template on the pad for further work, and you can choose whether this causes the existing stored template to remain unchanged, or be wiped from the background, or be deleted from the box completely.

(When templates are added to the box they are normally placed at the end of the stored template list, and allocated a new template number. If you select instead the CONTROL > RESTORE && BACKGROUND menu item, the new template will be inserted in the list at the position from which the last one was copied out to the pad. In this way you can modify a stored template and restore it to the box without disturbing the numbering.)

Templot maintains a continuous copy on file of your storage box contents and background drawing, and can restore them automatically at the start of the next working session.

In addition, all or part of the contents of the storage box can be saved in a named data file and reloaded at any time.

(The automatic restore function works even if the previous session terminated abnormally because of a system malfunction or power failure, so there is no need to repeatedly save your work simply as a precaution against these events.)

The working of the storage box is as follows:

As you sort through your collection of templates, several things happen:

The storage box has its own MENUS and KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS which are independent of the drawing pad. Most of the menu entries are self-explanatory. Here are some further notes about some of them:

Normally when a background template is rebuilt, the stored settings for timbering and rail lengths remain unchanged, and are used for the new background drawing. But if the TIMBERING+LENGTHS AS CURRENT option is selected, the background templates being rebuilt will have these stored settings changed to match the current template:

Plain track sleepers length and width.

Plain track rail lengths and sleeper spacings.

Turnout timbers length and width.

Turnout timber spacing, equalizing and centralizing settings.

Timber randomising settings.

This option is useful when you want to update all or part of the background drawing to correspond with the current template, for example if a custom setting has been entered for the rail lengths. It also makes it easy to produce different versions of your drawing, for example one version with equalized turnout timbering and one with square-on timbering.

Remember to reset the TIMBERING+LENGTHS AS STORED menu option afterwards, otherwise subsequent rebuilds may modify your background templates unintentionally.

N.B. Only background templates can be modified on rebuild. To modify unused templates, temporarily copy them to the background and rebuild them as a group. In the GROUP menu, click the SELECT ALL UNUSED, COPY GROUP TO BGND, REBUILD GROUP, WIPE GROUP menu items in sequence.

ON RELOAD OR ADD: When templates are saved a record is made in the data file of whether they are currently background templates, or currently unused templates. On reloading them, you can choose whether unused templates in the file should be loaded, and whether background templates in the file should be immediately copied to the background or loaded as unused.

To have them copied immediately to the background select the UPDATE BACKGROUND menu item. If IGNORE BACKGROUND is chosen, they will be loaded as unused and not go on the background until you copy them to it. These settings have no effect on templates which were originally unused when saved.

If the LOAD ALL TEMPLATES option is selected, all templates in the file will be loaded into the box. If IGNORE UNUSED TEMPLATES is selected, only background templates will be loaded into the box. Any unused templates in the file will be ignored.

ON ADD ONLY: Templates added to the box from a file can be formed into a new selected group or added to an existing group.

If the FORM NEW GROUP menu option is selected, any existing group selections will be cleared and the templates added will form a new group. If ADD TO EXISTING GROUP is selected, no changes will be made to any existing group selections, and the templates added will be selected in addition. If IGNORE GROUP is selected, no changes will be made to any existing group.

ON RELOAD ONLY: These settings apply after reloading the storage box (but not for ADD or FETCH ECHO). If MINT CURRENT FROM FINAL TEMPLATE is selected, a mint current template will be created from the final template loaded. This is useful at the start of a session as it automatically sets your previous gauge and scale ready for further work. For more information about mint templates, select the TRACK > QUICK SET... menu item and click the WHAT? button on the quick set window.

RESTORE ON STARTUP: These options permit you to customise the way the automatic restore on start-up function works. Changes you make here will take effect the next time you start a Templot session, they have no effect on the current session.

If AUTO RESTORE PREVIOUS DATA is selected, the next time you start a Templot session your storage box and background drawing will be automatically re-instated to the condition in which you leave it when you quit this session. If ASK is selected, you will first be asked whether you want this to happen. These option settings will persist for subsequent start-ups until you change them.

If START WITH CLEAR BOX AND PAD is selected, the automatic restore function will be ignored for the next start-up. This option setting will apply for one start-up only, and will revert to ASK for subsequent start-ups unless you change it each time.

Regardless of which option you choose, the previous box contents can be restored at any time by selecting the FILES > RESTORE PREVIOUS menu item. For more information see the notes for the FILES menu above.

N.B. The storage box contains the template specification for each template, not an actual drawing of it.

When a template is selected it is only then redrawn in the box using the current settings from the pad GENERATOR menu. This means that if, say, you have switched off the timber outlines since the currently selected template was added to the box, it will now appear without any timber outlines. If you then copy the drawing to the background these settings will be locked in, so that it will appear in the background without timber outlines, and remain so even after you switch them back on.

But the template specification itself has not changed. You can restore the timber outlines to the storage box drawings simply by switching them back on in the GENERATOR menu. And you can also restore them to the background drawings by clicking the REBUILD or REBUILD ALL buttons on the background list window.

For more help information about the background drawing, select the BOX > BACKGROUND LIST menu item and then click the WHAT NEXT? button on the list window.

Templot occasionally needs to use the current template itself in some storage box operations, so you may see some unexplained changes take place on the drawing pad behind the storage box. But your current template is always restored when these operations are complete.

Handy Hints:

Rename templates as soon as you store them in the box. It's not always easy to find a name that is meaningful, but it doesn't have to be - a template named "banana" or "Donald Duck" will be remembered and found much more quickly than one from a list of templates all called "no-name". The RENAME button duplicates the EDIT menu item for convenience, or you can click the name panel itself.

Don't rely on the template numbers as a means of reference. The box contents are renumbered after any deletions so the number of the template you are looking for may well have changed. The numbers shown on each background template name label are updated accordingly.

If you want to copy a background template back to the current template for further work, you can do so directly from the pad without hunting for it in the storage box. Just click on the template and select the desired copy option on the pop-up menu.

Likewise, there is no need to use the storage box to select a group of background templates for shifting or rotation, or for export. On the drawing pad click the CONTROL > CLICK BACKGND TO GROUP menu item (CTRL-I) or just press the, (comma) key. Then you can click on the name labels of the required background templates to select or de-select them to or from a group. Or click instead the SELECT (TOGGLE) item on the pop-up menu. Also, many of the box GROUP menu functions are duplicated in the pad CONTROL menu for convenience.

If you are using Windows NT or 2000, it can be useful to run two instances of Templot concurrently. It is important to run the second instance as a separate copy of Templot from a different folder, otherwise the automatic restore functions will not work as intended. Choose different screen colours for each instance so that you don't get confused. Use one to build up the complete background drawing, with its storage box containing only the finished templates needed for this. Use the other as a scratch pad for trial designs, with its storage box as a resource of assorted designs, oddments and templates reloaded from previous schemes. You can quickly transfer templates between the two storage boxes using the ECHO functions in the FILES menu. Templot can be quickly minimized when swapping instances by pressing the Pause key on the keyboard.


• What Next?   [ v:0.66.a ]

Clicking the green "?" button anywhere in Templot brings up some "What next?" notes like these, explaining what to do next.

(To keep any of these notes visible as you continue working, click the VISIBLE COPY button above. A copy of these notes will then appear in a separate window and remain visible after you click CONTINUE below to return to the program. Or you can print them out by clicking the PRINT button above. The font used for printing can be changed by clicking the PROGRAM > PRINTER FONT + MARGINS... menu item on the CONTROL ROOM window.)

What Next? - Drawing Pad

This window is called the DRAWING PAD, where all your design work takes place. It is usually maximized to full screen, but can be dragged and resized in the normal way if you prefer. This is useful if you want to have the "getting started with Templot" web page on the screen below or alongside. This can be found at www.templot.com

Much of the design work on the drawing pad is done with the mouse using the many MOUSE ACTIONS available. For users unfamiliar with detailed track design the mouse actions can be used exclusively, allowing trial template prints to be made without any regard to exact dimensions. For more information about how to use the mouse actions, click MOUSE ACTIONS HELP on the white bar below.

When working on a model trackwork design, you will find that you are repeatedly zooming in and out and moving to and fro across the pad area to see different parts of the drawing. This is inevitable with the nature of railway track, so please be prepared to take your time and adopt a relaxed unhurried approach.

To make things as easy as possible, Templot includes numerous zoom and pan functions to use when moving about the pad, but what you won't find here are the conventional Windows scrollbars. This is because they must have end-stops, whereas Templot's drawing pad is virtually limitless in size. You can keep adding to your design without ever reaching the "edge of the paper", or pan out far beyond the actual track area to see the radial centre marks, for example.

You can zoom in and out when viewing the drawing pad by repeatedly clicking the + and - ZOOM buttons, either in the panel at the top of the pad or in the window containing the zoom/pan controls.

Or you can zoom by pressing the ADD and SUBTRACT keys on the keyboard. (These are the + (plus) and - (minus) keys on the number-pad at the right-hand end of the keyboard. They may not work until you have pressed the NUMLOCK key off and then on again - indicator light showing.)

To zoom in or out more slowly, press CTRL-ADD or CTRL-SUBTRACT instead.

Another way to zoom in is to draw a rectangle on the pad of the area you want to see in more detail. Click either of the ZOOM-RECTANGLE buttons (next to the ZOOM in/out buttons). Then click down on the first corner and drag (button-down) the mouse to the opposite corner of your rectangle. When you release the mouse button, the pad will zoom in on the area contained in the drawn rectangle. Or if you simply click the pad without dragging a rectangle, the pad will zoom in to the maximum extent centred on the clicked position.

To move about the pad area, click or hold down the arrowed PANNING BUTTONS in the window containing the zoom/pan controls.

A quick way to move the area in which you are interested to the centre of the pad, is to click on it with the MIDDLE mouse button (or with the left button while the CTRL key is held down). With repeated clicks and a little practice you can quickly move about the whole pad area this way. (If a mouse action is in force you will need two clicks, the first one cancels the mouse action.)

Another useful tip is to press the DECIMAL POINT key (next to the 0 (zero) key on the number-pad) (or SHIFT-F9). This causes the pad view to be centralized on the position of the red "fixing peg" target mark on the current template.

Also very useful are the ` key (top-left of keyboard, below ESC) (or SHIFT-F12), which causes the pad to zoom in or out to just fit the current size of your whole drawing, and the . key (full stop key)(period key) (or SHIFT-F11) which fits the current template only.

There are also several other ways of changing the pad view and zoom settings, including mouse actions. You can also use the PAPER-BUNCHING function to see both ends of a long template at once. Please refer to the items in the PAD and ADJUST menus for these.

When printing individual construction templates for "trim and fit" methods directly on the baseboard, you will probably want to work in the ZOOM FREE mode. This means that the drawing pad rescales itself to just fit the template you are working on. Click the PAD > ZOOM/PAN OPTIONS > ZOOM FREE menu item, or right-button click on the pad and select ZOOM FREE on the pop-up menu, or just press the PAGE UP key on the keyboard. Free zooming works best if the current template remains on its green dot datum point (which it is at start-up).

When you start designing complete track plans on-screen, you will want to be in the ZOOM LOCKED mode. This doesn't mean that you can't change the zoom setting; it simply means that it won't change by itself. After you make any changes to the zoom setting it automatically enters the locked mode, or you can lock it directly from the free mode by pressing the PAGE DOWN key.

When the zoom is locked the coloured panel in the top left corner shows red; when the zoom is free it shows blue.

You can change the drawing pad colour scheme by clicking the multi-coloured button at the top left of the pad, or change colours individually by selecting the PAD > PAD DRAWING COLOURS menu item.

Also in the top left panel is the peg indicator code 0-9 in red. This shows the current position of the fixing peg corresponding to the keyboard shortcuts CTRL-0 to CTRL-9, and also the letters S (meaning that you have Set the peg position directly), M (meaning that the peg position is being set with a Mouse action), F (meaning that the peg position is Free) or N (meaning that the peg is on a set position for which there is No keyboard shortcut).

Clicking the peg indicator quickly toggles the fixing peg to the opposite end of the current template.

The Information Panel contains detailed dimensions and other data about the drawing currently showing. It can be toggled on and off by pressing the F2 key. The EXPAND and SHRINK buttons give rapid access to the whole panel, and the several scroll-bars enable any item of information to remain visible when the panel is shrunk.

To reduce screen flicker, Templot redraws the pad image only when necessary. This may sometimes result in a blank pad, or a double image or a messy pad. Press the F12 re-draw key at any time to clean things up, or select the PAD > RE-DRAW + SHOW CURRENT menu item. This also shows the current template again if it has previously been hidden (CTRL-W) to avoid obstructing background items.

If the pad remains blank, there is probably a mathematical problem preventing your current template from being drawn. Select the TRACK > B-6 TURNOUT RESET menu item (or CTRL-Z) to get going again.

A detailed explanation of the various menu options is beyond the scope of these brief notes, please refer to the Templot documentation on the web site for a full description, or click the various HELP buttons that appear. There is a full list of the keyboard shortcuts in the HELP menu that can be printed out if desired. You can also print a handy chart of the function key shortcuts for the mouse actions that can be placed behind your keyboard.

There is a great deal of help information within Templot. The way to find it is to attempt to change something by selecting the menu item marked with an ellipsis (three dots).

For example, to learn about how the curving radius dimension is used, click the GEOMETRY > CURVING DATA ... menu item, and then click the help buttons on the data-entry form. To find out about switches, select the TRACK > SWITCH ... menu item and click the HELP INFO button on the switch selector form that appears. Clicking SET CUSTOM SWITCH then leads on to more detailed help, and so on.

A pop-up menu of the most frequently needed items is available by right-clicking the mouse on the pad area, or by selecting the PAD > SHOW RIGHT-CLICK MENU menu item.

You can minimize the whole of Templot at any time by pressing the PAUSE key on the keyboard, which avoids the need to return to the Control Room window to do this.


• Zoom/Panning   [ v:0.66.a ]

To access the full zoom/pan window click the•• > button. To shrink the window back click the <•• button.

The + and - zoom in/out buttons correspond to the + and - (ADD/SUBTRACT) number pad keys. The amount by which the zoom setting changes for each click can be set by selecting the PAD > ZOOM (EXPLODE/SHRINK) > EXPLODE/SHRINK STEP SIZE... menu item.

Alternatively, click the +rectangle zoom button and draw a rectangle on the pad around the area that you want to zoom into. (Click down on one corner and drag to the other.)

The panning function moves the field of view across the drawing pad continuously.

Click or hold down one of the four blue arrow buttons to pan across the pad. If the PAPER option button has been selected the pad view will move in the same direction as the button. If the SCROLL option button has been selected the pad view will move in the opposite direction, in the same way as a normal Windows scroll bar.

The speed of movement is controlled by the two adjusters. The full range of the lower SPEED FINE adjuster corresponds to one interval on the upper SPEED COARSE adjuster. The combined effect of the two adjusters is to provide 550 distinct speed settings, from the minimum (with both adjusters on the left) to the maximum (with both adjusters on the right). The maximum setting causes the pad to jump half of the screen width with each click.

If the CTRL key on the keyboard is held down while using the panning buttons, panning will be at the maximum speed, regardless of the settings on the adjusters.

The actual speed of movement in mm per second will be determined by the amount of detail on the pad, the current zoom setting and the speed of your processor and graphics system.

If SCROLL LOCK is OFF and the EDGE-PANNING > ON option button is currently selected (or the PAD > PAD VIEW PANNING > EDGE PANNING ON PER SCROLL LOCK menu item is currently selected), you can also pan across the drawing pad simply by moving the mouse pointer against the edge of the pad.

To allow for access to the menus, this works for the left-hand edge of the pad only if the mouse pointer is in the lower 2/3rds of the pad, and for the top edge of the pad only at the right-hand end. The speed adjusters and CTRL key operate as for the panning buttons, but the PAPER/SCROLL direction buttons are ignored.

Edge panning is occasionally a nuisance, and can be temporarily disabled by pressing the SCROLL LOCK key to ON.

If on-screen refresh mode is in force, the panning action will cause considerable screen flicker. If you find this unpleasant, switch to off-screen refresh by pressing the INSERT (Ins) key or by selecting the PAD > SCREEN REFRESH OPTIONS menu item. If yo do this you may want to increase the speed setting to compensate for the slower screen re-draws. For more information about the screen refresh modes, click the white bar below.

Some combinations of speed setting and grid-line spacing will cause the pad to appear to be moving in the wrong direction, due to stroboscopic effects. To avoid this change the speed setting or grid spacing, or switch the pad grid off while panning (select the PAD > PAD GRID OPTIONS menu item).

Handy Hints:

When using the faster speeds it is usually better to make repeated clicks on the panning buttons instead of holding them down. Otherwise you may quickly lose your bearings. Be aware that the drawing pad is virtually limitless in area, you will not come to a stop at the "edge of the paper".

If you do lose your way on the pad, click the PAD > PAD VIEW OPTIONS > FIT ALL BACKGROUND menu item (or press SHIFT-F12 or just the ` (top-left) key).

Alternatively, click the PAD > PAD VIEW OPTIONS > PAD VIEW RESET MAX menu item. This zooms out to the full available extent, with the drawing origin located at the centre of the pad. You can then zoom back in as required (using the + button or the ADD key on the number pad).


more notes here soon

Templot Companion contents

Templot front page


page revised  © 11-Jan-2001