Congratulations on your purchase!
If you are creating traffic or site plans as part of your business, rest assured that you have made the right decision in purchasing RapidPlan. It is without doubt the easiest and fastest way to create plans for your works. Please read on to learn a little more about Invarion, and our plans for RapidPlan.
Invarion is the software firm behind the design and creation of RapidPlan. Many customers will remember our original traffic control plan software Planman which was the first of our offerings. RapidPlan builds upon the functionality of the Planman system, with a brand new drawing engine and countless new features and functions. Indeed, RapidPlan has come a long way in terms of sophistication from the initial software program which is why users all over the world have made the switch.
We are committed to the continual improvement of RapidPlan, and we actively encourage feedback from users around the world who would like to see improvements, additions or modifications to the system. It's this feedback that helps us shape our future releases for our customer base. If you have an idea for a new feature, or a suggestion for an improvement or change to the version of RapidPlan you are using, please visit our website at rapidplan.com and look for the feedback forms (located in the Contact Us section).
You can communicate with us over contact form on our webpage https://rapidplan.com/Home/ContactUs or contact the Invarion technical support line in your country - please check out our website https://invarion.com/locations for contact details.
This section will help you install RapidPlan 3.2 on your system(s) and also explain the registration process that you will need to follow to unlock your system for usage.
Before downloading the software, please ensure your machine complies with the minimum specifications recommended for running RapidPlan.
A list of the minimum specifications can be reviewed here:
To start things up, you need to install the new Invarion Gateway Client. You can download the Gateway installer at:
Users of previous RapidPlan versions could only download RapidPlan directly from Invarion's download site. From RapidPlan version 3.0, we offer a whole new mechanism for downloading and accessing the software. In order to greatly simplify product activation and licensing, the entire activation process has been completely redesigned. By accessing RapidPlan via the Invarion Gateway, clients are assured of a continuous, uninterrupted use of the program based on the status of their respective subscriptions, and will always have an up-to-date program with all the latest changes and add-on features every time they use RapidPlan.
Once downloaded,you can login to the Gateway using the username and password provided by Invarion.
If it's the first time a user is logging in, a Download button will be visible on the Invarion Gateway Client window. Click the Download button to start downloading RapidPlan files to your computer.
Once download is complete, click on the 'Execute' button to load RapidPlan 3.2 and begin using the program for the first time.
If you want to change your password, just click the Account Settings button found at the bottom of the Invarion Gateway Client window.
When you click Change password, you will be directed to a https://rapidplan.com/Account/ChangePassword page.
If you have forgotten your password, just click Forgot at the Gateway Login screen and you will be directed to a https://rapidplan.com/Account/ResetPassword page. Type in your login email address or username. Click Reset. Your password will be sent to the email address you entered.
For users who have limited internet connectivity at their workstation a proxy mode is available. This setup requires a networked server with internet access. Please contact Invarion for more information on utilizing this feature.
RapidPlan also allows usage of the program even without an Internet connection with the Work Offline option. For a users login to remain valid,they will need to login online at least once every 14 days.
Based on the current License Agreement in place of "One license per user, per machine", a RapidPlan account can only be activated on a single user profile on a particular computer. Activation on another machine or on another profile on the same PC requires another RapidPlan license, otherwise, subsequent activation of the same license will render the program automatically deactivated on the original user account profile.
If a license is assigned to a new user who, presumably, would want to use a different login username, Invarion Support must be duly notified of such a change so that the necessary update will be made on the records of the license involved. Without prior notification, the new user using his own email address as username will not be able to log in due to an account mismatch.
Check Invarion website for the corresponding Support contact number of the country you're in.
Unlike in previous versions (<3.0) where users had to deactivate their license on the old machine before they can activate the same on a new one, RapidPlan no longer requires users to perform the deactivation procedure. Subsequent reactivation of the same RapidPlan account on a different computer will automatically deactivate the program on the original computer. In the event of a transfer to another PC, the program will ask the user whether they want to reactivate his account on the new PC.
If a user decides to reactivate their license, it will be disabled while being transferred. Generally the process takes approximately 24 hours, after which the user will be able to log in as normal.
When executing RapidPlan from the Invarion Gateway, you will be presented with a Welcome screen that offers several options to choose from.
New Plan Wizard
Use the New Plan Wizard to quickly specify all properties of a new plan you're creating. The wizard integrates the creation of four basic plan types: Blank canvas, Base map, From template and From PDF.
New Default Plan
This selection provides you with a default canvas. Default plan settings can be amended and saved in Tools > Preferences.
Saved plans can be loaded with this selection.
Recently saved plans can be quickly accessed from here.
New to RapidPlan?
Selecting this takes you to the Invarion RapidPlan YouTube page where you have free access to video tutorials covering topics from the basic RapidPlan overview, using available tools and controls, up to some more advanced tips and uses.
Share Online Connection Status
This section alerts you to the quality of your connection status with the Share Online feature.
This section provides you with the latest updates and news from RapidPlan.
Before you get started with RapidPlan, you should probably get to know your way around the main screen. It has been designed to be intuitive, easy to follow and to allow you the maximum available working space to create your traffic plan.
There are three main components of the RapidPlan workspace:
Organizing your workspace is simple as each of the items that sit on the canvas can be moved around. Generally, your screen will be laid out similar to as is shown below.
The toolbar houses most of the "plan-wide" tools that you will use for your plan such as the flip tools, zoom tools, and various special mode options (like toggle fax mode or sign designations - these are explained further in Chapter 4).
There are five main palettes that will appear on the screen initially, which between them contain virtually all the tools you will use in creating your plan. There are three tabs that appear vertically docked to the left of your canvas; the signs palette, the scratchpad and the tools palette, while the properties and layers tabs will appear to the right of your canvas. When hovered over with your mouse the palettes become visible, you then have the option to click on pin/unpin (right corner of the palette) or to click on the "x" to close the palette. You can also right click on the top bar of the palette and choose to have your palette float anywhere on the screen.
This palette contains road signs you will need to create your traffic guidance scheme. It also carries an array of street furniture and vehicular plant which you can use as part of your site plan. The signs are listed by state allowing you to set the region you are working in. Depending on which countries sign pack you have installed, you may have multiple regions to choose from (for instance in both the United States and Australia, there are various State signage packs available to choose from as well as the national signage). The button on the top left of the palette allows you to select your state displaying the relevant signs that you are likely to need. The other two buttons allow you to search signs by category or using a search bar.
See Chapter 12 for information on making and custom saving signs.
The Tools Palette contains most of the tools you will use to construct the features of your plan.
You can hover your mouse over each Tool to reveal its contents. Continue reading for more information on what each tool icon contains.
Roads - This displays each of the tools you can use to construct your road way.
|Road corner||Road region|
Infrastructure - This displays infrastructure you may need to construct your plan including train tracks, bicycle lanes, etc.
Chapter 7 covers this tool set.
Devices - This displays devices such as delineators, arrow board and lane status.
Chapter 9 covers this tool set
|Arrow board||VMS board|
|Lane status||LUMS board|
|Multi message sign|
Markings - This displays various lane markings.
Chapter 7 covers this tool set
|Lane marker||Flush median|
|Chevron flush median||Lane mask|
Zones - This includes a work area zone and a safety zone.
Chapter 9 covers this tool set
|Work area||Safety zone|
Annotations - This includes necessary annotation features for your plan such as a scale marker and a legend box.
Chapter 9 covers this tool set
|North Arrow||Scale marker|
|Legend box||Manifest box|
|Titlebox||Zoomed view box|
Markers - This displays distance markers, an area marker and an angle marker.
Chapter 9 covers this tool set.
|Distance marker||Combined distance marker|
|Offset distance marker||Angle marker|
|Area marker||Combined offset distance marker|
Lines - This displays various line shapes that can be used.
Chapter 10 covers this tool set
Shapes - These simple shape tools allow you to create your own objects and signs for your plans.
Chapter 10 covers this tool set
|Filled spline||Filled Bezier|
Text - These text options can allow you to add a text box, name roads and create signs.
Chapter 10 covers this tool set
|Text object||Text box|
|Text pair||Arrow text|
|Callout box||Path text|
Image - This allows you to open an image from your computer to your plan.
The Scratch Pad is used to store objects that you commonly use to make them easily accessible.
To place an object in the scratch pad palette, select the object then right click and select Add to Scratchpad.
The Properties palette displays all the information pertaining to any selected signs, tools, markers or objects. This is where you can change fonts, colors, lane markers, etc. of the selected feature.
You can also double-click an item from your plan to display the property parameters in Quick Edit mode.
The canvas is the section of the screen where you will actually create your traffic plan. The RapidPlan canvas is both versatile and powerful, and it has many features which will assist you in your plan creation. We have dedicated the entire next Chapter to the canvas and its features.
More than just a place to draw...
The RapidPlan canvas offers more than just a place for you to draw your plan. It has a number of very important features and functions that you must learn to make use of if you are going to get the most out of your system.
The first step in RapidPlan is choosing a canvas to work on. The New Plan Wizard allows you to select a type of plan and specify details of your plan (such as scale, print region, etc.) before you begin (which a New Default Plan does not).
The New Plan Wizard can be accessed from the Quick Start section of the Welcome to RapidPlan tab. If this tab is closed, the wizard can also be accessed by going to File > New Plan Wizard.
Once you have selected the New Plan Wizard option, you will have four plan types to choose from in step 1:
After you select your plan type, step 2 allows you to enter plan details, such as a title, author, comments and relevant job dates. You can also choose a print region, set a scale and enter your job location site.
If you choose not to enter any details here, a default print region and scale will be set and any details can be changed at any time from the Properties Palette.
Selecting the blank canvas option will provide you with a plain canvas to draw your plan on.
To create a Blank Canvas Plan:
Select New Plan Wizard in the Quick Start section of the Welcome to RapidPlan page.
In step 1, select Blank Canvas.
In step 2 enter your plan's details and choose a print region and scale if needed.
In this step, if you scroll down you can also add a job location to make the plan searchable by location.
Once you are ready, select Create Plan in the top right of the window.
Note: Selecting a job location with this plan type only makes it searchable by location, if you want to use the integrated mapping feature, see Base Map below.
Select this plan type if you're drawing a plan for a specific job site. It will let you display a site preview map, import aerial photos as the plan's background and draw road networks automatically.
Creating a New Plan from a Base Map:
Select New Plan Wizard in the Quick Start section of the Welcome to RapidPlan page.
In step 1, select Base Map.
In step 2 enter your plan details and choose a print region and scale, or leave them as default.
Scroll down to Job Location and type in the address for your job in the search bar and click Search. (Resources/Job_location_search.png.)
Select Create Plan and your plan will load on your canvas as shown in Resources/Base_Map_Canvas.jpg.
Note: in the Properties Palette you can change the provider of the map from omniscale, satellite and hybrid.
Integrated Mapping is covered further in Chapter 14
The bearing of a base map is adjustable, enabling you to draw plans at any orientation. To adjust the base map bearing:
The base map bearing can also be adjusted in the properties tab on the right hand side once map has already been inserted into the plan as seen in Resources/Base_map_bearing_properties.png.
Note: To fine tune the bearing adjustment hold down the CTRL key and click and drag the mouse around on the map to get the desired position.
This creates a new plan base on a TCP template selected from a library of typical jobs. Objects imported from the template are editable so you can adjust the drawing for the specific job you're planning. You can also create your own templates to access here and work from.
Creating a New Plan from Template
Select New Plan Wizard in the Quick Start section of the Welcome to RapidPlan page.
In step 1, select From Template.
A New Plan From Template window will appear as shown in Resources/New_Plan_From_Template.png, where you can select your regional template package and your template.
Once you have chosen your template, click Select Template.
You will be taken back to step 1, now select Next at the top right of the window.
You will now be at the step 2 window where you may see your template's details already there. You can keep these and the default settings or enter your own details.
Select Create Plan and your template will appear on your canvas as shown in Resources/Canvas_Plan_From_Template.png.
This creates a new plan from an external PDF document used as a background for your plan. To use this option, select From PDF at step 1 (Resources/Select_Plan_Type.png) and an Open window will appear for you to select the PDF from your computer. Select the PDF and click Import. You will see the PDF previewed in the window. If everything is correct, click Next.
You will now be at the step 2 window where you can enter your plan details. You can keep the default settings or enter your own details. Once these are entered, select Create Plan and the PDF will appear on your canvas area.
RapidPlan offers an unrestricted canvas. Virtually limitless in size, this canvas allows you to draw anywhere from a small simple plan to enormous traffic management plans when you need to. With no restriction on size, it's ideal for applications like races, parades or large scale, multi-block road closures. It has a range of printing options (see section 4.6 Print Region Guide) which allow you to print either your entire plan, or just certain sections as you need. This is especially useful for large jobs which have multiple traffic treatments which you may wish to print into individual plans.
To view or edit your plan properties just use the Properties Palette located to the right of the canvas. Properties can also be accessed through Edit > Plan Properties or default shortcut key F2.
There are essentially four ways that you will need to master when it comes to navigating around the canvas: the origin icon, scrolling, zooming and shifting between layers
If you become lost in your unrestricted canvas, you can simply click the Scroll to Plan Origin icon and it will take you back to the origin of your canvas.
Scrolling used around the RapidPlan canvas is very simple, and there are two main ways to do so.
Using the scroll bars like virtually all desktop publishing programs (and virtually all other Windows applications) RapidPlan has a set of scrollbars along the edge of the canvas allowing you to move up, down and across the canvas. This will be the primary way that you will move around in RapidPlan.
There is another way to move around the canvas which can be very helpful, especially when you are zoomed a long way in. Holding down the SPACE BAR, then dragging on the canvas with the mouse will cause the canvas to move and follow the mouse. It is an extremely efficient way of moving around, because your mouse need not leave the canvas to action the scroll bars.
Getting to grips with the various zoom techniques is also critical. Seldom will you ever construct a plan at one zoom level for the entire duration of your plan drawing. There are many zoom features catering to an array of needs.
|Reset Zoom - This first option is used to reset the canvas to the set scale|
|Zoom In - This feature is used to zoom closer into your plan in a general manner|
|Zoom out - This feature is used to zoom your plan out in a general manner|
|Select Area to Zoom to - Used by selecting a desired area to zoom to (see the Note*)|
|Adjust Zoom to see Active Print Area - This feature zooms the print region you have outlined|
|Adjust Zoom to see all Objects in Plan - This feature zooms to a range that completely encompasses all of the elements on the plan, but no more. This feature is especially helpful if you lose your bearings on the unrestricted canvas|
|Adjust Zoom to see Selected Objects - This feature is used to zoom in on a selected object|
Select Area to Zoom to can be done by:
Selecting Select Area to Zoom to in the zoom toolbar.
Click and drag (hold down the mouse button) a box around the area that you wish to magnify.
The area that you encapsulate in your zoom region will be shown in full in your drawing window.
for this feature you can simply right-click on a selected area of the canvas and select zoom to selection.
The measurement tools will enable you to quickly measure distances, angles and areas on your plan. Measurements are precise, zoom-independent and can be saved as marker objects.
Click on to the measurement tools button to bring up the toolbar - there are 6 different measurement tools to work with as well as appropriate measurement units to apply.
Each measurement tool just requires a click and then another click at desired point/s to find the measurement between different points.
|Measure distance between 2 points|
|Measure distance along a path|
|Measure a rectangular area|
|Measure circular/elliptical area|
|Measure any area|
|Measure angle between two lines|
The final aspect of navigation around the canvas is cycling through the layers. In older versions of RapidPlan (<3.0) the Layers List was not shown when initializing RapidPlan. In the new version of RapidPlan, layers palette is visible by default and it's combined along with Undo history tab. Hovering over the icons with your mouse will display their respective functions.
See Chapter 13 for more information on Layers.
An important function of the RapidPlan canvas is the ability to order objects. The following diagram demonstrates the concept of ordering.
Ordering is a very important concept to understand because inevitably during the course of your plan creation you will need to move something over or under something else that you've already drawn. Fortunately, the ordering process is simple.
To change the order of objects on the canvas with the mouse:
You can also use the keyboard shortcut keys to effect the change, which will be faster and easier.
To change the order of objects on the canvas with the keyboard:
Note: the reordering of items happens only inside the scope of the given layer. That is to say that if you are operating on a lower layer and attempt to bring an object to front, it will still be drawn behind anything on a higher layer.
There are two very special canvas modes to assist you in producing a good output from your plan: Fax mode and Sign Designation mode.
Have you ever tried to fax something that's in color, and found that it's barely readable at the other end? The reason for this is because of low contrast between items in the initial document. Fax machines are great at black and white documents, or low color documents created with fax machines in mind. But for high color documents they can be downright troublesome - that's why RapidPlan has a very clever Fax mode which converts everything to pure black and white. Every RapidPlan element has a Fax Mode form.
In order to make faxing easy, each element in RapidPlan has a fax friendly form. This applies to roads, signs, everything. A few examples are below:
|Color mode||Fax mode|
Switching Fax mode on and off is simple. Just click on the Toggle Color/Fax mode button from the Options toolbar. Your entire plan is updated with a single button click.
You can create and edit fax mode versions of your own signs and objects. This can be done by selecting View > Sign Editor.
See Chapter 12 for more information on Making Your own Signs.
Just about every sign packaged with RapidPlan has its unique sign code stored with it. When you activate Sign Designation mode, the codes are displayed as shown below:
Like fax mode, you can turn Sign Designation mode on and off by clicking on the Toggle Sign Designations button from the Options toolbar.
See Chapter 12 for more information on how to create your own signs with stored code designations
The key to the Unrestricted Canvas is the blue Print Region guide. This box allows you to build plans that "fit" the shape of a piece of paper without constraining you to a fixed page size.
Note: You can have more than one Print Region
Notice in the above example, that its possible to draw outside the bounds of the page guide. That's because (as the name suggests) it is a print region not a firm boundary.
The importance of the page guide is at it's greatest when printing, because on unrestricted canvas plans there are different printing options available to you.
You can access the Print Options by clicking on File > Print > Print Options. The Print Options box will open similar to the one below.
As you can see there are many options to choose from. Irrespective of what you have on the canvas, everything you have drawn can be stretched or shrunk to fit on the paper size you choose. There are many available page sizes to choose from as well as the option for creating a custom size. There is also the option for printing on multiple pages.
If you have more than one print region, or you want to print regions from other plans, you use the Batch printing option.
You can access Batch Printing by clicking on File > Print > Batch Print. There you can add files or add open files, select which regions you want to print (some or all of them), sort in which order to print (manual sort, sort by alphabetically, creation date or by last edit).
If there is more than one print region on added plan, there will be Three Rectangles icon on top right corner. Orange filling of every rectangle represents different option:
Print just active region
Print all regions on plan
Print just selected region(s)
RapidPlan will only print sections of your plan set inside the print region. In the example below, everything outside the print region guide is ignored. Multiple print regions can be added to your plan which allows you to designate which print regions to allow active for printing.
Note: The Print Region in this Image is displayed as red.
RapidPlan also allows you to print small sub-sections of your plan. This is especially useful on large traffic plans with multiple traffic treatments that you want to print on individual sheets of paper. Simply draw your entire plan, mark the section that you want to see on paper using the Add Print Region icon, then print (or export using File > Export).
By clicking the Add Print Region icon in the tool bar your cursor allow you to create a custom print region by clicking and dragging your cursor across your plan. Alternatively, you can select the down arrow next to the icon which will give you more size options for print regions as shown below.
Similar to the previous example, only what is inside the defined blue print region below would be printed to paper. Everything outside would be ignored.
As shown in Resources/Adjust_Print_Region.png multiple Print Regions can be added to the one plan. Print Region 3 was selected by clicking the printer icon in the bottom left corner of the print region, highlighting the region as red. If you then place the cursor over a corner of the region, it becomes an arrow and allows you to change its shape and size of the print region to your preference.
You can remove, activate or deactivate print areas. Only print areas that are Active will print. You can change the Active Print Region by selecting the printer icon in the desired print region, making the perimeter a bold blue, as seen below.
Note: These changes to the selected print region can also be made in the properties palette.
To remove a print region, select the region by clicking on the printer icon in the bottom left of the print region. Then go to Edit > Remove.
Default RapidPlan print (File > Print active plan or CTRL + P) will print only one, Active print region.
To print more than one print region, use Batch Print
Print frames can be defined either for individual print regions or for the whole plan (in which case the same frame will be used for all print regions). To create a plan frame, use the toolbar button. To create a print region frame, double click on the region's print frame icon. A popup dialog appears, confirming that you're about to create a new print frame. Once a print frame is created the corresponding icon changes color and can be used to open the frame editor view.
The print frame editor view presents a preview of the printout page with TCP contents scaled to fit inside the page (page size, orientation, margins and the content scaling mode are based on the current print options). You can now start drawing frame objects on top of this page preview and they'll be positioned exactly the same way when you actually print or export the plan. The frame editor mode allows using all kinds of objects and editing them like on a regular plan layer.
Once you're done editing the frame, you click one of the red X icons or press the Escape key to go back to close the frame editor view. Anytime you need to edit the frame again, use the plan toolbar or print region frame icon. Alternatively, right-click on the print region icon and select Edit print frame.
File > Print > Print Preview is one way of checking how your frame fits together with your plan content on the printout page, but RapidPlan is also able to overlay the print preview directly over the plan you're editing. To enable the in-place print preview, double click the icon located in the bottom right corner of the print region or right click on the print region icon and select In-place print preview.
The in-place preview is a great choice if you need to adjust the positioning of your TCP elements so they aren't obscured by the frame. In fact, you can even move or resize the whole print region and the preview will automatically adjust as required, allowing you to to quickly select areas you want to print (note that while the print region decoration displays smaller icons in preview mode, to prevent cluttering, it is still active and you can use its resize handles). On plans with multiple print regions, only one preview can be active at the same time, but you can easily toggle between regions by double clicking on their in-place preview icons. To close the preview, use red X icon or the Escape key.
Note: even if your plan or print region doesn't have a print frame, you can still use the in-place print preview to see how your print region will be laid out on the printout page.
Anchoring objects to frame edges can be used to ensure they're always positioned the same way with respect to the page border, regardless of the current page size and orientation. This makes your frames more flexible as they'll automatically adjust to any printout dimensions. To anchor an object, select it and double-click on one of the 8 anchor points represented by blue triangles. This will automatically move the object towards the anchor point. If you prefer to create the anchor without moving the object, hold the CTRL while double-clicking. In either case, the object's offset from the anchor point will be preserved when the page size changes.
You can also right-click on the anchor point to see the available options.
Going back to the full print frame example presented above, let's anchor each object to the closest page corner and check how changing page size and orientation affects the page preview. As you can see in Resources/Anchor_example.jpg, the frame contents are still positioned against the corners even after we change the page size.
It is sometimes desirable that the frame rotates its objects when page orientation changes, for example when the plan is using a single frame but has multiple print regions of different orientations. Frame rotation can be done manually with the button located on the Print Frame Editor panel, or by selecting an Auto-rotation mode from the frame Properties.
Frames you create for specific plans and print regions are saved together with the plan. The print frame editor additionally allows saving frame contents to separate .tcpf files, so they can be reused on other plans. If you have one or more standard sets of annotations you use for your TCP documents, paste each of them on a print frame and save the frames to separate files. Then anytime you create a new plan, you can load the appropriate pre-saved frame file and only upload the plan-specific details like job location or permit number.
If you're using a single frame template for most of your TCP documents, you can make it the default frame, which means it will automatically be used when printing/exporting diagrams that don't specify their own frames. Save your frame as a .tcpf file, then go to File > Print > Print Options and click Edit default print frame settings. This expands a panel letting you browse for the pre-saved frame file. Check the Use as default print frame box and the frame contents should appear on the Print Preview. Click Save to close the options dialog.
By default, when printing or exporting TCPs RapidPlan uses the application-wide settings specified in the File > Print > Print Options dialog. However, when creating a print frame it is possible to make it override the default settings and use its own options (for example when a specific print region should be printed to a different paper size). While editing a print frame, go to its Properties palette, change Print options to Custom, then click Edit. This will open a print options dialog that lets you specify settings to be used when printing the current plan or region only (depending on whether your frame is defined for the plan or region).
The flip toolbar allows you to flip selected objects, signs, roads, etc., either vertically or horizontally. You can also rotate these objects after selecting them by hitting CTRL + R on your keyboard (see Flipping Objects in Chapter 5 for more information).
This toolbar allows you to align boundaries of selected objects, signs, roads, etc. This toolbar only becomes visible when more than one object is selected.
The spacing toolbar allows you to distribute any selected objects horizontally or vertically. This toolbar only becomes visible when multiple objects (three and more) are selected and encapsulated.
Master the basics first!
A solid understanding of the RapidPlan basics will help you get the absolute most out of the program. Understanding how to correctly interact with and manipulate the plan objects is essential. All too often users make plan creation unnecessarily difficult by not mastering the basic skills.
Before you can manipulate the properties of your objects (such as the size, shape, position or rotation) you must first tell RapidPlan which item or items you want to change. You do this, by selecting your desired object(s). Sometimes you will need to select only one object, as would be the case when you want to change the size of a single sign. On other occasions you will need to select multiple items, like when you need to move and group objects at the same time. The two cases are handled slightly differently.
There are two ways to select a single item in RapidPlan:
Simply click once on your desired object and it will become selected. You will notice a number of new controls are displayed.
If you are working across multiple layers, you can switch between different objects on the fly by holding down the CTRL + ALT keys and clicking on desired objects in a different layer. This will switch to the layer on which the object is on, as shown in Resources/Selecting_objects_on_other_layers.png below
The other way to select an object is by dragging a selection box around it. Simply click outside the bounds of your object, and drag the selection box out until it completely encompasses it. Release the mouse, and your object will be selected.
Note: The selection box will only capture items that are completely surrounded by the selection box. However, if you hold right mouse button whilst dragging the selection box over the objects, it will select all of the objects in the selection box, even if partially covered.
Selecting multiple objects is useful when you want to move, duplicate, cut or copy more than one element on a plan. You will also need to select multiple objects if you wish to group a collection of items together (see section 5.2.7 Grouping Objects).
Again, there are two ways to perform a multiple selection:
Once you have selected your object, a number of new tools become available. Its important that you understand what each tool does as you will come to rely upon them heavily.
The bounding box shows you exactly which objects you have selected. In this example there is only one selected object - the Give Way sign.
The resize handles allow you to stretch or shrink the selected object. When selected, every object will have eight resize handles; three at the top, three at the bottom, and two on the lateral sides of the bounding box. Note that when the cursor hovers over a resize handle, the handle turns red and the cursor becomes a cross.
Click and drag a rotation handle to "free rotate" an item. This example has four rotation handles - an arrow in each corner of the bounding box. Note, again, when the cursor hovers over a rotation handle, the handle turns red and the cursor becomes a cross. Drag the handle in any direction to rotate an item.
To move an item, simply hover over it with your mouse and drag it anywhere around your canvas. The cursor will change to a hand pointer when you hover over an item.
Control points are special handles which allow you to alter the shape of an object. Many objects and road tools have control points and allow for the insertion of multiple control points anywhere along an item. This example has six control points.
An important feature accessed through selecting an object is editing the object's properties. Every single object in RapidPlan has a set of properties which determine how that object appears on the canvas. The available properties will vary from object to object. The table below contains a few examples of different objects and some of their properties:
|Object||Tools type||Example properties|
|Ellipse, Rectangle, Polygon, Rounded rectangle,
Filled Bezier, Filled spline
|Shapes||Stroke - width, color, style, cap
Fill - opacity, color, style
|Delineator tool||Devices||Positioning - spacing, alignment, geometry style
Delineators - type, size
|Road tool||Roads||Measurements - units
Road - auto merge, color, geometry style
Lanes - count, width, markings
Lane Markings - width, color, style, dash and gap lengths
Shoulders - show left, show right, left shoulder width, right shoulder width
Side-walks - show left, show right, left width, right width, left offset, right offset
Distance Markers - spacing, show
Each object is drawn with it's default properties set, but you will undoubtedly want to frequently change an object's properties. Fortunately, this is very simple. Default preferences can be changed by clicking on Tools > Preferences.
As discussed previously, you can edit properties from the properties palette or using quick edit mode. Double click on the object you wish to inspect to open the Quick Edit box. The object's properties screen will appear. Note that the properties will be different for each object type.
Make any necessary adjustments to the settings.
The Preview window will show you any adjustments you've made. Press Ok to complete your changes.
Of course there will be times when you will need to move a placed object on the RapidPlan canvas. This is accomplished using the move handle.
To move one or more objects on the plan:
Frequently it will be necessary to rotate an item on a plan. There are three methods of rotation:
Free rotate with the rotation handle.
Right clicking an object/tool and select Transform > Rotate clockwise, Rotate counter-clockwise, Rotate upside down or custom Rotate by degrees options.
On selected object, right click on Rotation Handles (curved arrows) on corners (see Resources/Rotate_selected_object.png).
Hit CTRL + R when an object is selected and it will rotate in 90 degrees increments.
Micro rotate clockwise with CTRL + ALT + R or counter-clockwise with CTRL + ALT + E.
Note: You can rotate one or more selected objects at the time.
Almost every element in RapidPlan has at least one control point. A control point is a handle that allows you to alter the shape of an object. They appear in RapidPlan as small red circles. Control points do different things to different kinds of objects, and different objects have different numbers of control points.
The control points along the road enable you to adjust its shape.
Callout boxes have two control points - one to position the head and one for the tail.
To view an object's control points you must select it. Once you have selected an object, you can move its control points around to change the shape and of the object.
Irrespective of what item you are drawing or altering, you can keep your control points in a perfectly straight line by holding down the SHIFT key as you are drawing. The same applies if you are moving an existing control point.
This technique is especially helpful when drawing straight roadways.
You can add a control point to an object, for example if you want to add a curve to a train track, by selecting the object, right clicking and selecting Insert Control Point.
Note: This option will only appear for objects that can utilize extra control points.
Similarly, you can remove control points by selecting the object, right clicking and selecting Remove Control Point.
Once you have selected an object and can view its control points, you can seamlessly connect objects with each other by snapping into existing control points. Hold the CTRL key while point-snapping roads/work areas or other objects and their geometries will merge.
This feature will help you to create a neat and straight-lined work area.
There will almost always be two different ways of resizing an object in RapidPlan. It is important to understand the difference between the two methods, and when to use each.
Most of the RapidPlan objects can be resized by moving their control points. Moving the control points changes the shape of the object, rather than just stretching or shrinking it.
To resize with control points:
Select the item you wish to resize.
Drag its control points until the object is the size and shape you require.
Note: The cursor has changed as it hovers over the control point. This means it is ready to move the control point.
You can also change the size of your object with the resize handles. Unlike the control points which change the shape of the object, the resizing handles stretch and shrink your selection.
To resize with the resize handles:
Select the item you wish to resize.
Drag either of the resize handles to stretch or shrink the object. (If you hold SHIFT while you resize, the length to width ratio of your object will be maintained).
Note: The cursor has changed as it hovers over the resize handle. This means it is ready to move the handle.
It is critically important to understand the distinction between resizing using control points and resize handles so we have compared the two methods below.
Below is three sections of rail line. Section A is the original piece (5 sleepers). Section B has had its control points moved, lengthening it and adding sleepers (11 sleepers). Section C is the original piece, resized using the resize handles. Notice that C still has the same number of sleepers (5) but is much larger. The resize handles have effectively rescaled the section of track.
As well as rotating objects, you can also flip them either horizontally or vertically using the flip buttons on the Flip toolbar. Note however, that the flip buttons are only ever visible when an object which can be flipped is selected. (Users of other drawing programs will recognize flipping as being equivalent to reflecting in the X or Y axes).
One of the most important techniques to master is grouping. By grouping objects together, you can manipulate them as one item. Grouping is also necessary if you wish to create and save your own signs. You can group any of the RapidPlan elements together and the technique is the same, regardless of which elements you choose to group.
There are two ways to group objects
Select All - selects all of the objects on your plan
Group - groups your selected objects together
Ungroup - ungroups the grouped objects
Note: The individual bounding boxes and move handles are replaced by just one for the entire group.
Note: Grouped objects can edited without ungrouping. Double click on the group item to launch the quick edit box - you will then have the option to change the properties of a particular object in the group.
Every sign in RapidPlan is made of a group of primitive objects - the most simple of which consist purely of a colored rectangle or square with text. These can be edited using the techniques shown above to create new signs.
See Chapter 12 for more information on modifying and creating your own signs.
RapidPlan has made it simple to duplicate objects and/or an items property onto another item.
As shown in Resources/Duplicate_Object_and_Duplicate_Style.png, you can paste the style/properties of one item onto other items. This can be useful when, for example, you have different road tools in use (eg. road, roundabout, arc road) and you want to give them all the same style/properties.
To duplicate a style onto a different item:
The very core of RapidPlan...
The road tool lies at the very heart of RapidPlan. In the vast majority of cases, you will use the road tool to create the base of your plan. Whilst it's not difficult to use, there are some tricks and traps if you don't fully understand how it works. By understanding how to use the road tool properly, you will save yourself enormous amounts of time.
The road has a number of different parts. It is well worth familiarizing yourself with them.
Drawing using the road tool is very simple. As you move the mouse after you have clicked to start drawing, the roadway will "snake" behind the cursor. Each time you click the mouse on the canvas, a new turning point for the road is placed. The turning point is represented by a control point.
A simple trick allows you to draw perfectly straight roads. By holding SHIFT, RapidPlan will make sure that each control point is placed in a perfectly straight line.
There are two simple ways to add and remove lanes to roadways:
Like any other object in RapidPlan, the shape of the road once drawn can very easily be edited by shifting it's control points.
To edit the roads shape:
In the image below, Road A is the original road. Road B has had the 2nd and 3rd control points adjusted to change the shape of the road.
There will almost certainly be circumstances where you need to add or remove a control point from a road to fine tune its shape.
Adding control points allows you to create extra turn points to your road, hence extra curves.
To add a control point:
Select the road by clicking on it once.
Right click where you want to add the control point, and select Insert Control Point from the context menu.
Removing control points is equally simple as adding them. You do need to remember that you can only delete end control points if there is at least one control point in between. That is to say, that there must be at least two control points on every road.
To remove a control point:
Select the road by clicking on it.
Right click on the desired control point and select Remove Control Point from the context menu.
There will be occasions where you need to insert a road end or a dead-end road. To do this we simply make a road and change its properties as seen in Figure 6.6.
You can select from flat, round or cul-de-sac. You can adjust sizing and control point of inserted road end.
Of all the tools in RapidPlan, the Road has by far the most power and flexibility. Accordingly, there are a great many settings you can alter to set your road up as you require. You can change:
All of the above settings are accessed through the road properties screen. You can access the properties screen by double clicking on the road you need to change from the Quick Edit mode or from the Properties palette.
The Road section of the road's properties allows you to adjust the color, the road geometry (Spline, Line or Bezier) and auto merge preferences.
To change the color of the road in the properties palette:
Select the road on your plan
Select the Road section on the properties palette
Select the Color bar (the blue bar in Resources/Road_Properties.png)
Some color options will become available for you to choose from
The auto merge feature controls whether a new road will automatically merge with the selected road. As shown below, when set to True it means the new road will automatically merge, False means it will not.
In this section you can edit the number of lanes, lane width and lane markings (including width color and style).
To change a road's lane markings in properties:
Styles of Lane Markings for your roads:
Each line marking on a road is set individually, so you can have different markings for different lanes. Each extra lane you add will accessible in the Markings section.
By default, each road is drawn with both a left and right edge line shoulder and sidewalk. You can set the width of the shoulders and sidewalks, or choose to turn them off completely. The left and right sides can be configured individually, and as such do not need to be the same in appearance.
In this section you can adjust the left/right edges (color, width), shoulders (width, color, shoulder edge) and sidewalks (width, color, offset).
To change Left Side (or Right Side) shoulder properties:
Select the road.
On the Left Side/Right Side section of the properties palette select Shoulder to adjust the width and color of the Left Shoulder (see Resources/Left_Side_Shoulder_Width_has_been_increased_and_Left_Sidewalk_changed_to_Green.png).
Note: The Edges and Sidewalks can be adjusted in a similar way.
To turn a edge/shoulder/sidewalk on or off:
Select the road.
On the Left Side/Right Side section use the check boxes to toggle the on/off state of the properties as shown in Resources/Shoulder_and_Sidewalk_turned_off.png.
This section allows you to activate distance markers on the road. On the Resources/Activated_Distance_Markers_on_a_road.png, you can see the distance markers have been set to True and are visible on the road, also font color changed to black.
To activate Distance Markers on a road:
Select the road.
On the Distance Markers section of the properties palette click False in the Show section to change it to True.
By default, roads are not included in Legend and Manifest. To change this you to activate the road object on a Legend & Manifest section.
There you can also choose the manifest value as Default or Dimensions and set custom Entry name (see Resources/Custom_Entry_name_and_Manifest_value.png)
To activate road on your plan's legend and/or manifest:
On the Legend & Manifest section of the properties palette clock on False on Show in legend section to make it True.
Some users with special needs will not want their roads drawn in the factory default format. Therefore, you can configure a different default road style. You can set a default for any or all of the properties described above.
To set the road defaults:
From the Properties palette, select all of the properties settings to the desired default settings you would like.
At the base of the palette select the Save object style > Save as default style or Save as new style.
The real power of RapidPlan lies in its ability to quickly create intersections. They are formed by "adding" new roads to existing ones. RapidPlan will automatically remove edge lines, shoulders, and sidewalks to blend at the intersecting point where a road is overlapping another road.
To form an intersection:
Select the Road tool from the Road Tools tab.
Draw your first road.
Now draw a second road overlapping the first road.
Once the added road is in place, it can be modified like any other.
See Chapter 8 for Advanced Intersections.
Often, the road tool alone will be all you need to create your roadway. Other times you will need some extra pieces to make your road look the way it should. RapidPlan has many more tools which compliment the road tool and allow you more options in your plan creation. They can be found in the Roads tab of the Tools Palette.
This tool is used for making a slip lane or a turning lane.
To create a turning lane:
Select the Turn Lane tool from the Roads tab in the Tools Palette
Assuming you are adding this to a pre-existing road, click on the road where you want the turning to start
Click again around the middle of the turning lane to place a control point
Place your final click where you want your turning lane to end
Right click to drop the tool
To create a Road Arc:
Select the Arc Road tool in the Roads tab of the Tools palette
Click once to set the radius of the road arc
The second click is where you start drawing your road arc from
Now drag your cursor in the direction you want the road
Click to place the road
Right click to drop the tool
You can also choose to set the arc's radius, angle and direction manually in the Arc tab of the Properties Palette.
The Roundabout tool is relatively simple to use and blends easily like other road tools.
To Create a Roundabout:
Select the Roundabout tool in the Roads tab of the Tools palette
Click once to place the roundabout, this is going to be a center of your roundabout
Shift your mouse up or down to make the roundabout bigger or smaller
Right click to finish
This tool allows you to easily create road corners for your roads. It is controlled by three control points to assist in the shape and positioning of the object and a single shape point that controls the shape of the curve.
To create a road corner:
The Road Region tool is free form road tool which you can use to draw irregular paved surfaces, like parking lots.
To create a road region:
These road masking and marking tools are necessary if you need to remove and/or change lane markings on the road. All of these tools can be found in the Markings tab of the Tools Palette.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove a small section of a lane marking on a road. This is often the case when building intersections. You can remove a small section of lane marking by using the Lane Mask tool. It's located within the Tools palette in the Markings tab.
To mask out a lane marking:
Hover your cursor over Markings in the Tools palette
Select the Lane Mask tool
Click and hold the left mouse button on the marking, at the point you wish to start the mask
Move the mouse along the line to lay out the mask
On curves, you will need to click in turn points for your mask as it follows the road
Right click to finish
The lane mask tool is no different to any other object in RapidPlan once it's been placed, you can select it and shift its control points if you didn't manage to completely cover the line in the first attempt.
This tool operates similar to the Lane Mask tool and removes sections of lane markers but instead of covering only a lane width, you can cover an entire road to remove markers. This comes in handy particularly when you have several lanes on roads that meet at an intersecting point and you need to remove many lane markers.
To mask out lane markings using the Road Mask Tool:
Hover your cursor over Markings in the Tools palette.
Select the Road Mask tool.
Start using the tool as you would use the Polygon tool drawing a perimeter of the road mask enclosing all the lane markers you want.
Right click to finish.
Again, there are control points and resize handles to allow you to adjust the shape and size of the road mask.
The automatic lane markings on the road always perfectly follow the curve of the road. Sometimes you will need to create something different, so RapidPlan has a custom lane marker tool. In a lot of cases, you will use the Lane Marker tool in conjunction with the lane mask tool. The example below will show you how to combine the two.
In this example we will replace the current dash lane marker with the solid double line lane marker.
Firstly, we need to remove part of the existing lines. We do this with the lane mask tool (see section 7.2.1 The Lane Mask tool).
Next we select the lane marker tool and draw in the edge merge the line.
To create a new lane marking:
Hover your cursor over Markings in the Tools palette.
Select the Lane Marker tool.
Click once on your road where you want to start.
Move the mouse, clicking to place turn points as required.
When you are finished, right click to stop drawing.
Right click again to clear the cursor.
You can change the lane marker to any of the standard lane styles (Dashed, Solid, SolidDash, DashSolid and Double) or change its color by accessing its properties screen (see section 6.3.2 Lanes). You can also set Lane Marker Defaults the same way you set the Road Defaults as specified in section 6.3.6 Setting a Default Road Style.
To change the properties of a lane marking:
This tool works like any Polygon where you click to place each of its corners and can adjust the control points to get the shape you need.
This tool also works like a polygon, with the first click forming the tip of the chevron.
To place the chevron flush median tool:
Select the Chevron Flush Median tool from the Markings tab in the Tools Palette
Your first click will be the top point of the shape (in the direction of the chevron)
Then click for all other consecutive points
Right click to finish
By using the marked path tool you can outline the way a direction of traffic will flow in a clear and easy to read visual.
The tool works like any of the other road, line tools, etc., just click to mark each turning point of the arrows to make out direction of traffic as seen in Resources/Marked_path_tool_example.png.
These tools enable you to add infrastructure to your road plans. They can be found in the Infrastructure tab of the Tools Palette.
The Train Tracks tool allows you to quickly add train or tram (light rail) lines to your plan.
To place a train line:
Select the Train Tracks tool from the Infrastructure tab in the Tools Palette
Click once to start your rail line.
Click at each turn point.
Right click to stop drawing.
To place a tram line on Properties palette change Type value from Train to Tram
The Crosswalk tool is a handy tool that creates crosswalks on roads, arcs, and roundabouts. There are a few options available when editing the crosswalk. You can change the crosswalk width and type to parallel or hatched. The stripe width and spacing can also be changed to accommodate your specifications.
To create a crosswalk:
Draw your road
Select the Crosswalk tool from the Infrastructure tab in the Tools palette
Place your cursor where you want the crosswalk to start and left click your mouse once to start drawing
Right click to finish drawing
Three different types of crosswalks have been created in the screen print above. Crosswalk type can be changed on the Properties palette.
Learning how to create traffic islands/refuge points and center medians is important. There are two tools that you can use in RapidPlan to create them - the Polygon tool and the island tool.
Creating islands with the polygon is as simple as tracing out the shape of your island on your road. This is the easier of the two methods.
To create an island with the polygon:
Select the Polygon tool from the Shapes tab in the tools palette
It is best to start your island at one of its corners. Click once to start drawing
Move in either a clockwise, or anti-clockwise order, clicking at each of your island's corner points (Note: Remember, you can hold SHIFT to keep the corners of your island perfectly straight)
When you have placed your last point, right click to stop drawing, and then right click to drop the Polygon tool
The picture above shows an example of a click sequence to create an island. Polygon is a free form tool, you can make islands of virtually any shape.
In many aspects, creating islands with the Island Tool is the same as using the polygon. This is because the Island Tool is just a special kind of polygon. The difference between the two is that the Island has shoulders that match the road.
This is definitely an advanced tool and will take some practice to master.
To create an island with the island tool:
Select the Island tool from the Infrastructure tab in the tools palette
Start your island at the smallest corner, click once to start drawing
Move in either a clockwise, or anti-clockwise order, clicking at each of your island's corner points (Note: Remember, you can hold SHIFT to keep the corners of your island perfectly straight)
When you have placed your last point, right click to stop drawing, and then right click to drop the Island tool
There are two main differences between using the polygon and Island tool:
The technique for creating control points is simple but requires some practice.
To create a curved island:
Draw your island as normal
Ensure your cursor is clear of the Island Tool by right clicking
Now select the Island that you've drawn by clicking on it once
Move your cursor over the control point that you wish to curve and hold down the CTRL button on the keyboard. The control points will then turn from red to blue and display curve handles
Drag the curve handles out (away from the control point) to increase the radius of the curve until you are happy with the islands shape
The Bike Lane tool works similarly to tools like the Polyline and the Road tool. The bike image can be changed from a Standard (as shown below) to a Shared lane symbol in Properties.
To place the bike lane:
This tool makes it simple to add parking bays to your plan. In the items Properties Palette you have a selection of Parking styles. As you can see below, they include sides & corners, full, sides, and corners.
|Parking Bay type options||Parking Bays along a road|
To place a parking bay:
The Sidewalk tool is used like any Polyline tool. In the example below, you can see that the Road tool's sidewalk and the Sidewalk tool's sidewalk are visually the same, however, you have more control over the Sidewalk tool as it is an individual item, such as putting a sidewalk through a grassy patch like in the example below.
Making great intersections...
This chapter is about giving you some clues on how to develop good looking intersections in RapidPlan. Of course, we cant show you every conceivable type of intersection and how its built, but we can expose you to an array of intersections that employ different features and techniques, which you should be able to adapt to create intersections of your own.
We will be creating five different intersections of increasing complexity. In order to present as much information as possible in the shortest space, this chapter will assume that you have all of the required knowledge from previous Chapters.
The process is fully mapped out in a step-by-step fashion, but not in so much detail as previously in this manual. Generally, we won't be showing you the forms changed throughout the process, just the screenshots of the road in progress.
The intersections this chapter will cover:
T-intersections are the easiest of intersections to create in RapidPlan because the Roads tools make the task of joining roads at angles simple.
|This simple T-intersection makes use if the following items:
- Road tool
- Turn Lane tool
- Lane Marker tool
- Lane Mask tool
- Rectangle tool
- Furniture from Signs Palette
Select the Road tool from the Roads tab in the Tools Palette and create an east-west road of two lanes.
Add a north-south road of two lanes as shown.
Select the Turn Lane tool in the Roads tab of the Tools Palette and place it next to the right lane of the north-south road.
Click once to begin drawing the Turn Lane, click again mid-way to create the curve in the lane and click once more where the lane intersects the east-west road.
Select the Lane Marker tool in the Markings tab and draw a lane marking for the turning lane.
Now double click on the north-south road, select the Lanes tab and change the lane marker to double in the Markings section.
With the Lane Mask tool, mask out the broken line on the east west road across the intersection. (To make this clearer, we have drawn the lane mask in Black for this tutorial).
Select the Rectangle tool from the Shapes tab in the Tools Palette and draw a rectangle for a stop bar. It pays to zoom right in when doing this.
Double click on your drawn rectangle and change the Stroke color to white.
Select a turn arrow from the Furniture tab located within the Signs Palette and place it in the left lane. Select another and place it in the other northbound lane. You will need to flip this one horizontally using the flip function on the Flip toolbar as shown.
Crossroads are similar to T-Intersections in many regards. Our simple crossroad will be a 4-lane east-west and 3-lane north-south junction.
|This simple Crossroad intersection makes use if the following items:
- Road tool
- Lane Marker tool
- Lane Mask tool
- Rectangle tool
- Furniture from Signs Palette
Select the Road tool from the Road Tools tab and draw an east west road. Change it to four lanes
With the Road tool already in use, draw a north south road that intersects the 4-lane road and change it to a 3-lane road as shown.
Double click on the east-west road. Select the Lane Markings tab and set marker number 2 to type double. Leave the double lines yellow and change the dashed lanes to white.
For the north-south road, set marker number 2 to solid. Change both these lanes to white.
Using the Lane Mask tool from the Markings tab, mask out each of the lines through the intersection.
As we will need to completely change the road markings on the southbound approach, mask them out as well.
Using the Lane Marker tool, draw two new lane markings to replace the ones masked out on the southern approach. They will be drawn as type solid color yellow by default. Double click on them and change their type so that they appear as below.
Using the Rectangle tool in the Shapes tab, create stop bars in the appropriate places. Ensure that your rectangle stroke color is white (it will be black by default).
Select a Left turn or straight arrow from the Furniture tab of the Signs Palette and place it on the plan somewhere. Ensure it is selected, then flip it using the flip horizontal button on the Flip toolbar. Drag it into one of the two required places.
Duplicate your modified arrow. Drag the duplicate onto the other side of the intersection as shown.
Now select a Left turn arrow and place it in both required places. Make sure you flip it accordingly.
There are two ways to make divided roadways. The first method is simply to draw another carriageway next to your first. The second method, which we will describe is more powerful.
|This Divided Roads makes use if the following items:
- Road tool
- Lane Marker tool
- Lane Mask tool
- Rectangle tool
- Polygon tool
- Furniture from Signs Palette
Select the Road tool from the Roads tab and create a north-south road of 5 lanes. There will be 2 lanes in each direction (total 4) plus the 5th to act as the median strip.
With the Road tool still selected, create a 2-lane road to form a T intersection and extend as shown below.
Select the Rectangle tool from the Shapes tab in the Tools Palette and draw a rectangle over the center lane as shown.
Now select the Polygon tool from the Shapes tab and trace out the median as shown.
Double click each of the medians, and change their line width to 2 color white and fill to green. This makes our medians look like they are grassed.
Using the Lane Mask tool from the Road Tools tab, mask out the unneeded lane lines running through the intersection.
Select the Left turn arrow from the Furniture tab of the Signs palette and position it in the turning lane.
Finally, add a stop bar to the side road with the rectangle.
One of the most important skills in RapidPlan is learning to make slip lanes. Fortunately, they are very simple to do.
|This T-intersection with a Slip Lane makes use if the following items:
- Road tool
- Lane Mask tool
- Rectangle tool
- Control Points
- Furniture from Signs Palette
Select the Road tool from the Roads tab and create an east-west road of 2 lanes, then add a north-south road.
Select the Turn Lane tool from the Roads tab and create a diagonal road as shown below.
Move half way along the Turn Lane, right click and select Insert control point. Move the control point to shape the road to a fluid curve as shown.
Add any necessary pavement markings.
Whilst being one of the least frequently created arrangements, understanding how bridges and underpasses are constructed is important because it demonstrates how ordering roads on the canvas can be used to achieve certain effects.
|Overpasses and Underpasses|
|This Overpasses Plan makes use if the following items:
- Road tool
- Ordering Canvas Objects
- Polyline tool
- Control Points
Select the Road tool from the Roads tab and create an east-west road of 2 lanes.
Add 2 north-south extended lanes either end of the road. Make these one lane.
Go to View from the status tool bar and tick the check box next to Layers List. The Layers Palette will now be visible beneath the Properties palette. Add a new layer and name it Bridge as shown.
Now stay on the Bridge layer and draw a 2-lane road that runs north south between the extended roads drawn in step 2.
Add two roads, convert them to single lanes and add 1 control point half way along each of the new side roads as shown.
Using the two control points on the side roads, shape them both down until they meet neatly with the side entrances to the east-west road. We have left a gap in the top one so that you can see how we have done it.
Double click the bridge road and change the lane markings to double.
Using the Polyline tool from the Lines tab, draw in the bridge rails.
Traffic plan specific tools...
Along with the sign tools, the marker tools are the second traffic plan specific toolset included in RapidPlan. These essential items are used to mark important information items on your scheme in short spaces of time.
Traditionally, one of the most difficult things to do when creating a traffic plan was run out lines of bollards, cones, barrels, etc. The RapidPlan delineator tool allows you to drag out lines of devices in seconds.
Types of delineators available:
There are thirteen standard types of delineators available:
All delineator lines start by default as Barrels with a size of 6 units and a spacing of 30 units. They can then be changed into the required type after placement on the plan. You can also set new default values from the Properties palette.
To create a basic delineator line:
Select the Delineator from the Devices tab in the Tools Palette.
Click once where you wish to start drawing (don't hold).
Click at each corner for your line.
After you have placed the end point, right click to stop drawing.
Right click to clear the cursor.
Once your line is on the plan, you can change the type of delineator that you use from the list on the previous page.
To change delineator types:
Select the delineator line on the plan and observe the Properties Palette.
Click on the Devices tab and choose the type of delineator required from the Type drop down box.
As always, more in depth editing is done via the Properties palette. The following properties can be edited for each delineator:
Devices - Type, Size, Spacing, Alignment
Style > Geometry - Line, Spline, Bezier
The Buffered Delineator tool works much the same as the Delineator tool with an added buffer zone. It can be manipulated to the shape you need and you can change the delineator.
They come by many names, flashing arrow boards, sequential arrow boards, arrow trailers or even illuminated trailer mounted sequential flashing arrow systems. In RapidPlan they are referred to as Arrow Boards. They are simple to place and use and come with various configurations for the required site setting.
There are six different Arrow Board patterns available in RapidPlan:
Double click on the Arrow Board placed on your plan to enter the Quick Edit screen.
From the Board tab set the desired pattern from the Style tab and click on the Icon drop-down box.
Like the Arrow Board, Variable Message System (or VMS) boards have many different names. We describe a VMS board as any electronic sign capable of cycling through multiple frames in order to display a textual message.
In order to conserve space on the plan, the VMS Board is organized with one line for each frame as shown below.
On the roadway, the top line would occupy the first frame, the middle the second and so on. The VMS Board may take up many different panels (although in many jurisdictions, VMS message sequences are mandated as being less than five panels).
Select the VMS Board from the Devices tab in the Tools Palette and place the panel in the desired location on the plan.
Set the number of panels (or frames) using the Panels section of the Properties Palette.
Enter the text for each frame in the Messages section of the Properties Palette.
Deselect the VMS board to finish.
To edit a placed board, simply double click on it and the form will reappear allowing you to make your changes.
This tool allows you to quickly and easily place lane status arrows or objects on you plan. A Lane Status Wizard box will open once this tool is selected where you can edit markers and add, flip, or remove lanes.
Upon selecting the Lane Status tool, a wizard box will open where you can make all necessary changes to lane status situations. Within the wizard there are several status arrow options to choose from and multiple lane signs can be added as shown on Resources/Lane_Status_Wizard_with_Available_Options.png.
Select the Lane Status tool from the Devices tab in the Tools Palette.
Edit these markers accordingly depending on lane closures and lane numbers needed within your plan.
Remember you can Add and Delete panels, as well as adjust an arrow horizontally/vertically if need be
Move your mouse over the individual marker you'd like to change and make the desired changes.
Click create to place the marker on your plan.
This tool helps you create a Lanes Use Management System (LUMS) across a roadway on your plan. There are 10 different LUMS styles available for your plan.
|100 km/h||80 km/h|
|60 km/h||40 km/h|
|Merge left||Merge right|
|Exit left||Exit right|
Select the LUMS Board tool in the Devices tab in the Tools Palette.
Click once to place an LUMS Board the first lane, continue this for each lane.
Once all of your LUMS Boards are set, you can select each one and change its style in the Properties Palette under the Style tab and the Icon drop down menu.
Right click to finish
This marker operates very similar to the Lane Status marker in that it allows for the creation of one message board which displays multiple signs. The main difference between the two markers is that the Multi Message marker displays actual signs with messages as the marker implies, as opposed to only allowing for Lane Status signs to be used when working with the Lane Status marker.
There are five different sign sizes you can work with, each size tab will display the signs available within that size category.
|Image||Sign size||Available signs|
|600x300||2 signs of this size can be used with one 1200x600 sign or two 600x600 signs.|
|600x600||2 signs of this size can be used or one 1200x300 sign or two 600x300 signs.|
|600x900||2 signs of this size can be used.|
|1200x300||1 sign of this size can be used with one 1200x600 sign or two 600x600 signs.|
|1200x600||1 sign of this size can be used with one 1200x300 sign or two 600x300 signs.|
When this tool is selected, a Multi Message Sign Wizard box will appear where you make all the necessary adjustments to the message board you will be utilizing in your plan. You will have many different signs to choose from and select up to four signs for the message board. You can filter signs by state's library (QLD, SA, VIC, WA) and you can have your own Custom Signs.
Multi Message sign placement:
Select the Multi Message Sign tool from the Devices tab in the Tools Palette
Toggle through the size tabs to view the signs available in each size category and preview the placement of each sign in the preview pane on the right
Select the signs and placement you want to add to the message board
Click Create to update the marker
Click on Upside down checkbox if you need to replace pane position and Flags if you need on top corners of Multi Message Sign.
If you use some of the signs very often, you can bookmark it. Right click on sign you want to place on Bookmarked panels and select Add to Bookmarks. To remove it from Bookmarked panels right click on bookmarked sign and select Remove from Bookmarks
If there are some signs that you never use them, you can hide it from your signs list. Right click on sign you want to hide and select Hide panel (Note: It will be hidden even if it is placed on Bookmarked panels).
To show hidden signs, click on Show hidden checkbox and you will see all the signs. Hidden signs will be grayed out.
You can also add a Lane Status sign to your Multi Message sign in the 600x600 size for two lanes, or 1200x600 size for four lanes.
Adding a Lane Status to you Multi Message sign:
Select the desired size depending on number of lanes.
Select the Lane Status Icon (see Resources/Adding_a_1200x600_Lane_Status_Sign_to_the_Multi_Message_Sign.png).
You will be directed to select a Lane Status Arrow for each lane.
Select Save and complete your Multi Message Sign and select Create.
There are many reasons why it's important to show exactly where the work is to be performed. Probably the most obvious is that road body scrutineers will likely want to know, and just as importantly, your work staff should also be able to see so that they can adjust their set up accordingly if site conditions are not what is depicted on the plan.
The other important feature of a work site is the indication of a safety or buffer zone between the end of the transitional or taper area and the commencement of the works. It's a good habit to include a safety zone on your plans because it will remind your site staff that they should leave sufficient room should a wayward vehicle run into the site.
Both tools are simple polygons that are drawn on the plan. Aside from the way they look they both behave identically.
To place a Work Area or Safety Zone on a plan:
Select the appropriate tool from the Zones tab in the Tools Palette.
Click at the first corner point of your required area and continue clicking to set corner points (see Resources/A_Click_Pattern_for_a_Simple_Buffer_Area.png).
When the final point is placed, right click to stop drawing.
Right click to clear the cursor.
A North pointer Arrow or Star can be placed on your plan and rotated accordingly to allow viewers to see which way is North.
Select the North Arrow tool from the Annotations tab in the Tools Palette.
Select it to see it in the Properties Palette.
Change the Style from Arrow to Star or vice versa from the Style tab and the Icon drop down menu.
This tool is handy for advising viewers of the plan that there is a scale set. You are able to set the plan distance in Imperial and Metric system.
Select the Scale Marker from the Annotations tab in the Tools Palette.
Click once anywhere on your plan to place the marker.
Edit the values for the marker within the Properties Palette.
This tool enables you to place a legend box on your plan. There is a Legend & Manifest tab in every item's properties allowing you to select to show the item on the legend. Legend Box can be used to trace entries back to the actual on-plan objects they represent.
Note: The legend box does not need to be visible on the plan for you to set an item to appear in the legend box. Therefore, you can set any item to Show in Legend as you build your plan and place the complete legend box at the end.
In the example below, a delineator has been set to True, so it will appear in the legend.
Like any other item in RapidPlan, the Legend can be customized through the Properties Palette, including title, size, color, etc. as you can see in Resources/Legend_Box_Properties.png.
The Manifest Box works similarly to the Legend Box. The difference is, when you set an item to appear in the manifest box, if it has the relevant dimension, you can set the Manifest Value to either the dimensions or the number count (considered the default). And like Legend Box, Manifest Box can be used to trace entries back to the actual on-plan objects they represent.
As you can see in the example below, the Cones Manifest Value is set to show the number count and the Work Area and Barrel is set to show the dimensions.
Below is an example of a delineator being set to Show in Manifest and selecting the Manifest Value.
Below is an image of the Manifest Properties Palette, showing all of the features that can be adjusted.
The Export Manifest Tool allows you to create manifest documents based on one or more traffic control plans, then print or export to a range of formats: PDF, Text, CSV, XML and JSON. Access the export tool by right clicking on a Manifest Box, or via File > Export > Batch Export > Export batch manifest...
Right click on Manifest and select Export manifest...
Order manifest items (by name, by value or custom/manually)
Set the units
Set document header (and optional custom description)
Select export format
And this is an example of exported manifest to PDF
The Title Box is an essential item on your plan - it captures a lot of important information about you and your works in one convenient location.
The Title Box has provisions for the following information:
Creating a title box is a simple matter of selecting, filling and placing on the canvas.
To place a Title Box:
Select the Title Box from the Annotations tab in the Properties Palette and place the box on the plan.
Double click on the Title Box to open Quick Edit.
Fill in each of the required fields and click Save.
Note: As always in RapidPlan, this editing can be done from the Properites Palette.
Entering data into the title box is very easy, but because a number of fields are quite unique in nature, we will cover them one by one.
The title box can be moved, rotated, resized, cut copied and pasted just like any other item on the canvas. Simply select it and make any changes as required.
These are all simple text entry fields. Note that the Date field doesn't have an input mask, so you can enter your date which ever way you like.
Because we don't know every field, you are likely to need, we have included a custom details field where you can give your plan a Label and a Value.
Naming the fields is simple, first click on the Add icon and enter the appropriate values for Label and Values as shown below, then click Save.
Note: Instead of entering Label and Value text, you can also delete the words Label and Value and enter your own custom information.
The north marker is a handy tool to give your audience an idea of the plan orientation. Its also very easy to use.
In the North Arrow tab of the Properties, simply click on the Show section to make it True, then adjust the direction of the arrow with the Angle bar as shown below.
An added hint of professionalism (and identification) is achieved by adding a logo to your plan.
You will need to have a high quality logo, preferably in JPG, BMP or PNG format.
To include the logo on a title box:
Click on the Company Logo tab in Properties.
Hover your cursor over the Image section until the option to Load File From becomes visible. Select this.
Browse for your image files on your computer, double click on your file once you've found it.
Do not forget to make the Show section True to make your logo visible in the Title Box.
The Zoomed View Box tool allows you to create an inset that presents a detailed view of a specific section in a larger plan.
Select the Zoomed View Box tool from the Annotations tab in the Tools Palette
Select the area you want to enlarge
Set the place where you want to put zoomed box
Set the size of box
There are six distance markers used for indicating spatial information on your plan, the Distance Marker, the Combined Distance Marker, the Offset Distance Marker, the Angle Marker, the Area Marker and the Combined Offset Distance Marker.
In essence, all six distance markers do exactly the same thing - they indicate to a reader the distance between elements. They all automatically calculate the distance and enter its amount. You can also enter your own values if needed.
Irrespective of which distance marker you are using, the technique for creating it is much the same. However, there are some differences, so this will be explained separately for each marker below.
To place a Distance Marker:
Note: It is helpful to hold SHIFT whilst drawing the distance marker to keep it straight.
Select the Marker
Double click on the distance number provided
The writing cursor will appear and will allow you to enter your desired distance
Click anywhere on your plan to finish
For each of the distance markers, you can change the arrow size, stroke width and color, font color etc. Utilize the Properties palette to edit all settings for each marker.
The Distance Marker calculates one distance.
Note: For steps for placing this distance marker see section 9.14.1 Creating a Distance Marker.
This tool does the same as the Distance Marker but with the ability to show multiple distances as shown below.
To place a Combined Distance Marker:
This tool allows you to un-clutter items on your plan by being "offset" from its true location.
To place an Offset Distance Marker:
This tool enables you to show angle degrees on your plan.
To place an Angle Marker:
Select the Angle Marker tool from the Marker tab in the Tools Palette.
Click the space you wish to measure (the first click will be the angle measured)
Click a second time to mark the base point of the angle.
Drag your mouse in the direction you want to measure and click to finish the angle once it is set to the desired degree/location.
Note: Like any item in RapidPlan, the angle marker, once made, can be moved and adjusted, with the degrees changing accordingly.
This tool calculates the area you allocate which is shown as the cross-hatched netting in the image below.
To place an Area Marker:
This tool allows you to create a combined marker that is offset on your plan.
To place an Combined Offset Distance Marker:
Frequently, you will need to draw attention to items on the plan, but will not want to use a callout box. RapidPlan provides two arrow tools for this purpose:
As the names suggest, the latter carries a text component at its base. The arrows can be curved or straight, as shown.
Select the Arrow Text tool from the Text tab in the Tools Palette.
Click to place the head of the arrow.
Click again for each subsequent turn point that you require.
When you have placed your final point, Right click and a text cursor will appear for you to write your text in (Note: This can be edited in the Properties Palette).
Note: To create a straight arrow, hold SHIFT whilst drawing the arrow.
The Callout box is a great way to draw attention to important items on your plan that need to be noticed. They look great and are simple to use. You can change their color, shape, fill style and text type to make your message clearly stand out.
Select the Callout box from the Text tab in the Tools Palette.
Click on the plan where you want to place the pointer of the callout box.
Move the mouse to where you wish to place the body of the callout and click again.
A text cursor will appear for you to write your text in the box (see Resources/Callout_Box_Ready_for_you_to_Add_your_Text.png).
Click anywhere on your plan to complete the callout box.
If you want your callout to stand out ever more, or have some sort of coding that you would like to apply on your plans, you can also change the fill type and color, stroke and color.
Refer to the Properties Palette to edit your callout box with more editing tools.
The building blocks of RapidPlan...
There will be occasions where you need to build something for your plan that isn't included in the galleries. You might want to build some sort of landmark (like a mail box, or hydrant) to indicate the start of a job or you might use special equipment in your work that we haven't included. For this reason, RapidPlan has a wide range of basic tools including a variety or shapes, line tools, text tools and image importing which you can use to draw virtually anything you need.
The other very important purpose of these basic tools is to allow you to create signs. Every sign in RapidPlan is a collection of these basic tools which have been grouped and saved.
See Chapter 12 for Creating your own Signs.
There are 20 different basic tools you can use. The majority are classed as either lines, or shapes. The Text and Image tools operate differently to all the others.
Note: The Arrow, Text Arrow and Callbox are all covered in Chapter 9.
The technique for drawing with these tools varies from object to object. Many of the objects such as Rectangles, Ellipses, and Rounded Rectangles are simple two-control point structures. Polylines, Polygons, Splines, Arcs, and Beziers can have as many points as you like. Irrespective, the process is simple.
To ease the creation of these items, there is a very useful auto align feature which allows you to keep the dimensions of your lines and shapes square.
In most cases, holding SHIFT while you draw will cause the control points you are placing to align themselves to a 90º or 45º increment. This means that you can keep your verticals and horizontals perfectly straight.
Rectangles, Rounded Rectangles and Ellipses form special cases - holding SHIFT still keeps their second control point at 90º or 45º but this of course has the effect of holding the rectangles to perfect squares and the ellipse to a perfect circle.
As is the case with all objects in RapidPlan, you can view and change the properties of a basic tool by double clicking on it to open the Quick Edit screen or from within the Properties Palette.
The properties for the Lines are very similar. This is also the case with the Shapes. Regardless of type, all the basic tools have the option to be rotated or flipped vertically and horizontally by using CTRL + R to rotate and the flip toolbar to flip the objects.
The properties of the Lines are defined by setting the style of stroke used:
|Stroke width||The weight of the line (default is 0.75).|
|Stroke color||The color of the line.|
|Stroke style||A variety of dashed, solid and dotted line styles are available.|
|Stroke caps||Choose from four line end styles: flat, square, round, and triangle.|
A shape is defined by its outline and an internal area - each handled separately. Similar to lines, the shape's outline style is set by altering the stroke settings. The properties for the internal area are set by modifying the fill used for the shape.
You have three controls for the fill: Color, Opacity and Style.
One of the color settings for lines, shapes and text is transparent. In the case of lines including shape outlines this effectively just means none. For the fill of shapes however, a transparent setting allows you to see what's underneath. Don't confuse transparent with white. As the diagram below shows, they are very different.
The Spline and Filled Spline have an extra property. They are different because they are built around what is known as a spline curve. Spline curves are formed by placing points along a desired path - RapidPlan uses a predefined curve radius and creates the curved line. (The road tool also is a spline curve).
One of the trickier techniques to master in RapidPlan is the drawing of a Bezier. Beziers offer a powerful way to create curves with great precision.
There are two components of a Bezier curve:
The center Control Point sets the apex of the curve.
The Curve Handle allow you to set the direction and sweep of the curve.
When you are using either the Filled Bezier or the Bezier tool, it is important to understand that, depending on the technique you use, there are two different types of control points you can lay down.
A regular Control Point (without the Bezier functionality) is placed if you simply click, release the mouse button then move on.
A Bezier style control point (with Curve Handles) is placed if click, hold, drag, and unclick as you drop out a point.
The tools are designed this way so that you can create a shape or line that has both curved and straight corners, such as the one below:
Using the Curve Handles may initially seem a little tricky, but once you have had some practice, most people prefer the Bezier to the Spline because of the precision it offers. The crucial factor is the location of the handles relative to the control point itself, the further from the control point, the wider the sweep of the curve and vice versa. To manipulate the curve handles, click on CTRL and one of the handles and move your mouse in any direction. Using our shape from above, the effect of the curve handles is easily seen.
If you place a regular control point on a Bezier or Filled Bezier but decided you need to turn it into a Bezier point, this is easily achieved.
To convert a standard control point to a Bezier control point:
There are three arc-based tools in RapidPlan, the Arc tool, the Pie Arc tool and the Road Arc tool. All of these tools are created from a radius, making perfect curves.
To use an arc tool:
You can also specify numeric values for the radius, start angle and end angle for the arc.
Because they are different, the text tools behave differently to the other tools. They are however exceptionally easy tools to use. You can enter and edit text in these objects on the canvas simply by double clicking directly on the text, even on grouped objects and signs.
This tool creates an object out of text that can be manipulated like any other object.
Select the Text Object tool from the Text tab.
Place it on the canvas with a click, then a writing cursor will appear in that place.
Type in your content then use the Properties Palette to make any changes.
If you wish to change the text content, font style, size or color, or to center the text, click the Text tab in properties and make any necessary adjustments.
If you wish to paint the background of the text box, click the Box tab in properties and make your adjustments.
The Text Box is created in a similar way to the Text Object tool but the products are different. The difference between the Text Object and the Text Box tools is the Text Object literally creates an object that can be stretched and manipulated like any other in RapidPlan, whereas a Text Box is literally a text box.
By default RapidPlan will create Arial 14pt text. This can be changed through the RapidPlan Preferences screen or from within the Properties palette.
From the main menu Select Tools > Preferences.
Select the Defaults tab (see Resources/Font_Default_Preferences.png).
Scroll down to the Fonts and Text section.
Set the font as you require or set any other parameters you desire.
Exit Preferences by closing its tab.
Select the Text Object tool from the Text tab.
Click on the canvas and enter you text in the allocated area.
Use the Properties Palette to set the font as you require or set any other parameters you desire.
Click Save as Default Style at the base of the palette when complete.
The Text Pair tool operates similar to the regular text tool but with limited editing capabilities. For instance, you cannot set a background color with the text pair tool nor can you set your fonts to bold. This tool only provides a Label and a Value to be set thereby giving it it's name as a text pair.
To use the Text Pair tool:
Select the Text Pair tool from the Text tab.
Click on your canvas to place the text box and enter your desired text for your Label. (In the example the Label is Invarion).
Enter your desired text for your Value. (Plan 456 is the Value in the example).
Use the Properties Palette to set the orientation of the text. (Horizontal or Vertical)
Just as the name implies, this tool allows you to create text fit to follow a path. It is used as a hybrid of a spline and text tool.
New feature in RapidPlan is Text Variables tool. The Text Variables can be used to create reusable templates and objects where text can be auto-filled based on built-in or custom variable values. Custom variables can be defined for a single plan only, or application-wide. To open the list of variables go to Tools > Text Variables.
To create a new custom variable, open the Text Variables tool, click on + Create a new variable button at the top. Name your custom variable, enter the value, then press the Save button.
Custom variables cannot start with ' _ ' (underscore) or contain '$' (dollar sign) or whitespace
When editing text, type the '$' character to see the list of available variables. Select the variable. Click off the object and the variables will be replaced with values taken directly from the diagram (Author, Date, Plan title, etc.). Note that the text is still editable and can be changed at any time. Text variables can be particularly useful when you want to copy a object containing text across to another plan. The object will not need to be edited, as the variables will adjust the text to reflect the values of the new plan. This makes the variables an excellent tool for creating generic templates or print frames that dynamically adjust to specific plan values.
Note: Text variables can be used on any object containing text (signs, etc.).
We won't get into detail with this tool since it is simply a way to import image files to your RapidPlan drawing. Once you select the Image tool from the Tools Palette, you will be presented with a typical Open box where you can search your computer for image files you want to import.
Because RapidPlan contains all the tools necessary to create your own signs, we need to devote an entire section of the user manual to this topic. Therefore, the signage section of the user guide is broken into two halves. This Chapter deals with using the signs in RapidPlan (placing/rotating/resizing/etc.). The next Chapter is for advanced users, and covers the creation, modification and saving of signs.
The sign palette is the repository for each of the signs in RapidPlan. Aside from the signs themselves, the signs palette has three main components:
The Sign Library
The Sign Categories
This drop down control allows you to select which signage pack you wish to use. In some cases you will only have one pack installed, but certain countries will have numerous state/region packs also installed. Changing the sign pack often changes sign tab options.
The signs are organized into tabs so that they are easy to find. Clicking through the tabs will reveal the signs for each category. You can view and example of the categories in Resources/Signs_Palette.png above.
New version of RapidPlan allows you to search entire signs library by a keyword, phrase, sign name or sign code. For example, if you were looking for a STOP sign, you can search it by name stop or by code R1-1.
Note: R1-1 is code for STOP sign in Australia, other countries codes may vary
You can change the size of the signs in the palette. This is helpful when using a screen at very high resolution, or just for users who are having difficulty with the small icons. By default the sign icon size on the palette is set to medium.
To change the signs icon size:
Click on the bar at the base of the Signs palette to make options appear.
The size bar will pop up enabling you to select a different size (see Resources/Icon_Size_Bar.png).
We won't bother going into too much detail about the composition of a sign here - that's what the next Chapter is for. However, it does help to know a little bit about how the signs are built as it will give you an understanding of what they can do.
Each sign in RapidPlan has its own sign file saved on your computer, and almost every sign file contains multiple variations of the same sign. A typical sign has four variations.
The reason behind the multiple variations lies in the features of the RapidPlan canvas:
Placing signs is simple. Once your sign is placed you can move, resize and rotate it.
To place a sign:
As is the case for most RapidPlan items, once a sign is placed on the canvas, there are three ways to rotate it.
Whilst free rotate is probably the easiest to do, it probably isn't ideal if you are aligning more than 1 sign. It can be fiddly to get signs all pointing in precisely the same direction, so often you are better off using the right-click Rotate option, or CTRL + R.
To rotate in set 90 degrees increments:
To Rotate by set angle:
Right click on the sign to reveal the context menu.
Click on Transform > 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees or Rotate by custom value
To free rotate:
Select the sign that you wish to rotate. The rotation handles will become available for use.
Using the rotation handle, drag the sign around until it is positioned as you require.
Note: The rotation handles are the arrows placed at each corner of the sign, the arrow will turn red when the cursor is place over of it which means it is ready to use.
Resizing signs in RapidPlan is no different to resizing any other object. Its achieved using the resize handles which appear when the sign is selected.
The sign is resized by simply dragging out the resize handles. However, there is one important factor that you should take into account when resizing your signs. If you want to keep the sign in proportion with itself while you resize, you must hold SHIFT as you resize it.
In the example below, we start with a regular sign, then resize it twice without holding shift. The final resized sign did make use of the shift key, ensuring it is kept in proportion.
Because there are often multiple versions of the same sign, you need to tell RapidPlan which version you want to use on your plan if the default variation is not suitable (by default, the standard sign with no code will be displayed). Changing the variation is easy.
To set a different variation of a selected sign:
Select the sign and go to the Properties Palette.
Make changes to sign variations as necessary. I will change the sign to allow Fax Mode (no color) and to show it's sign code as follows.
Note: To change the variations to all your signs within the plan, simply use the Toolbar and click on Toggle Color/Fax mode or Sign Designation as explained in chapter 4 of this User Manual. This option will save you lots of time if all the signs are to be changed.
One of the very powerful features RapidPlan has to offer is the capability to create new signs from inside the program itself. Basic users may only wish to create basic signs for inclusion on their plans, and may not want to save them back into the sign galleries. More advanced users however may wish to create different versions of each sign, with sign codes, multiple color schemes (day Vs night etc.) and so on. This Chapter handles both cases.
Creating and saving your sign isn't difficult, but it does take some practice. Every sign inside RapidPlan was built using these techniques, so if we can do it, so can you! This chapter does contain some advanced techniques that are covered elsewhere in the user manual. It is a section recommended for more proficient users who are comfortable with the objects and grouping/ungrouping and file manipulation (load, save, etc.).
RapidPlan signs are made in RapidPlan
That's right - every sign inside RapidPlan has been created from within the program, so you can use the same tools we did to create your own signs. It also means that you can save valuable time by simply editing the existing signs in the package to make new ones.
Before we launch into creating a sign, it's important to understand what the signs are actually made of. Every sign inside RapidPlan has been built up from basic items in the Tools palette (from the Shapes, Lines and Text tabs). Most sign faces are a Rounded Rectangle, the text is a Text object and irregular shapes are made out of filled Polygons, Filled Beziers, Ellipses and Rectangles. The items are then grouped and saved.
A couple of examples illustrate how the primitives are used:
If you aren't familiar with these base objects and how they work, see Chapter 10. It will be considered assumed knowledge for this chapter.
The basic shapes and items make up the sign images, but now we need to understand how the signs are actually stored on your computer. Quite simply, every sign in RapidPlan has its own file on the computer and stored in each file is the sign, plus all of its variations.
So what are "variations" and why are they important?
Well as you are probably aware by now, RapidPlan has a Fax mode which converts your entire plan to pure black and white for to aid faxing. Of course, this black and white mode also includes the signs.
RapidPlan doesn't do this automatically, though. There is actually a separate sign (stored in the same file) that was created using black and white objects, that is linked to the base sign. When Fax mode is selected, RapidPlan replaces the colored sign on the canvas with the black and white variation from the same file.
Similarly, when the Sign designation mode is enabled, and the signs on the plan display their codes, it's because another variation of that sign, containing the code has been built and stored.
Put the variations together and you now have four signs to make one completely functional RapidPlan sign file.
You might choose to only create the base sign and ignore the black and white and code designation variations. That's fine - it just means that if you select either of those two modes, your sign will just stay the same.
Some of the RapidPlan signs have many more variations - usually because there are different configurations of signs in different sizes that we have included. An example is below. Note that for each of these color variations, there is a black and white equivalent.
You should now have a good understanding of what is inside a RapidPlan sign file, so now we can go ahead and make one.
The basic steps for creating a sign are:
For the next section of the chapter, we will continue on in a tutorial style fashion to illustrate the steps. In order to better illustrate the process, we will be creating the fictitious sign shown below.
There are two methods that you can use to create your base sign. You can either start from scratch with new basic shapes, or you can ungroup an existing sign and use that as a template.
If your new sign is to be similar in appearance to an existing sign, or even if just the sign face is to be the same, it probably makes sense to use the existing sign as a base. Drop it onto the canvas, ungroup it and delete any unwanted elements.
If you want to start from scratch, there are a couple of guidelines you should adhere to:
You aren't limited to just using the frame of other signs - if there is a graphic on any of the other signs in the package, you can use that too. Simply ungroup the sign and move the elements that you need onto your own new sign.
When you have finished creating your sign, drag a selection box around your sign and select the Group objects icon in the toolbar , CTRL + G or right click and select Group objects.
Creating variations for your custom sign is made very simple using the Sign Editor Palette in RapidPlan.
In RapidPlan you can quickly edit text in signs. Just double-click on any text object that's part of a group or sign to edit it in-place.
To open the Sign Editor, select View and tick the Sign Editor box. The palette will then appear at the base of your screen.
How to use the Sign Editor
In the Sign Editor you can:
Produce and Save Sign Variations
Edit Sign Variations
Add a Sign Description
Add Sign Codes
Add Sign Sizes
To open a sign in the Sign Editor you have two options;
Once you have constructed your base sign in RapidPlan, select the sign on the canvas and select Import Sign Variation From Diagram in the Sign Editor. As you can see the editor will immediately provide a Fax Mode version of your sign for you.
Now that there are two signs, your standard sign and the fax mode variation, you can edit them as separate signs.
To do this either click on the desired sign directly in Sign Editor which will take you to the quick edit window, or select the Edit Sign Variation icon and select the sign from there.
As you can see in Resources/Quick_Edit_Sign_Variation_Option.png, the Quick Edit window is the same as discussed in other sections of RapidPlan, where you change the object's properties as usual.
Adding a description for you sign, and/or codes and sign sizes is very easy in the Sign Editor.
To Add a Designation Code to your Sign:
Enter your desired code in the section below Sign Codes.
Once you have completed your sign, select Save to Library to save your sign and all its variations to the Sign Palette.
Note: You must save your sign (either to your computer or to the Signs Palette in order to use all of its edited variations.
In the Sign Editor you can save your sign and variations to your computer by selecting the Save As... icon in the Sign Editor Palette or you can choose to Save to Sign Library where you can choose its location within the Sign Palette. For example, in the image below the sign is being saved to the NSW package under the Custom tab in the Signs Palette. All of the sign's variations will be saved here.
Note: Toggle Fax and Sign Codes modes from the Options toolbar to see your completed sign with all the variations we've created.
RapidPlan has a much faster and easier way to save signs when you don't need to save and edit different variations.
Using Save from the context menu allows you to save a group as a sign to the Custom tab of the Signs Palette. It is a simple process, but doesn't afford the power or flexibility that the Sign Editor allows.
In some regards, it is the "lazy man's" sign creation tool - but it is equally suited to less sophisticated users who don't need or are unable to create signs using the full sign creation process.
How to Save from the context menu:
Ensure all of the elements of your sign are grouped.
Right click on the group and select Save from the context menu that appears.
In this save option you can enter a name for the sign, a sign code and a description. You can also select whether to save it to the Custom tab or to a file.
You also have the option of editing the signs that are shipped with RapidPlan. Generally speaking, this isn't going to be necessary, but in some instances people do feel the need to make an alteration.
Simply save the sign to a different filename and input the details of your new sign within the Save Sign screen or edit variations in the Sign Editor. This is also a technique you may use if you wish to make alterations to signs that you have created.
When a sign is selected, look within the properties palette to edit any information you want. Within the Properties palette you can:
Toggle color on or off to view black and white variation.
Toggle code on or off to view the sign code.
Toggle size on or off (This works only if a size was added within the Sign Editor Palette).
Change the Name Type in the Legend & Manifest section. Whatever you change the name type to will be how it is displayed within the manifest and/or legend.
Toggle Manifest entry and Legend entry True or False.
Many schemes are on just one road base...
There will be a lot of cases where you will need to create more than one plan for a job, such as when you have multiple stages of works that need to be performed on different areas of the roadway. A good example of this is resurfacing; first, the traffic is diverted onto the right side of the road so that the left side can be asphalted, then the scheme is reversed. Some road bodies will require plans for each stage, and that's why RapidPlan offers you multiple layers on your plan. Putting the road on the background and each traffic scheme on each subsequent layer means that you only need to draw your road once.
Imagine the layers as a set of overhead transparencies placed one on top of the other. The transparencies can be added and taken away at will (we do this in RapidPlan by changing their visibility status) meaning that at any one time you can choose to see either one or many layers at the same time.
By default, every plan starts with only one layer; the Background. Unlike all other layers that you add to your plan, the Background cant be removed.
The layer tools are all housed on the Layers palette. From here you can select each of the layer functions and rename any layers that you need to. If the Layers palette is not visible just below the Properties palette, simply click on View > Layers List box from the main toolbar.
Note: Hovering over each icon will explain their functions
There are 7 general layer functions that you will use;
Adding a layer is as simple as clicking the Add Layer button on the toolbar.
You will see a new layer name appear in the Layer selector box on the main toolbar. Anything you now draw will be placed on that new layer. You will also notice that you can no longer click on any of the items stored on other layers.
This layer characteristic is especially useful if your background is complicated and has many component pieces on it (such as lane markings/corners/etc.) and you need to drop traffic control elements over the top. It means that you wont inadvertently pick up road structures for instance, when you are trying to alter a placed cone or barricade line.
To delete a layer, simply ensure that you are on the layer that you wish to delete by checking in the Layer selector then click the Delete Layer button on the toolbar. Be careful though, because once a layer is deleted, it cant be undone.
Note: All objects on that layer will also be deleted.
To merge all of your layers into one layer, simply select the Flatten Layers button. This will put all of the objects on your plan into one layer.
One of the key benefits of multiple layered plans is the ability to show or hide different layers at different times. To show or hide a layer is very simple. Just select the layer that you want to hide or show from the Layer selector then click the Toggle Layer Visibility button on the toolbar (the blue eye).
Sometimes, when you are finished drawing a layer you might want to lock it, to ensure you don't accidentally change your completed work. To do this, simply select the layer you need, then hit the Lock/unlock layer button on the toolbar.
Within the Layers palette, you can move selected layers up or down for easier access or you have the option of clicking on Send to layer from the context menu which will be discussed later.
You can select each separate layer to be in color mode or fax mode by clicking the Toggle Layer Color Mode button.
Note: Layers can be copied, duplicated and objects within the layer can be rotated at an angle specified by the user. Layers can also be copied to another plan. These actions can be done by right clicking on the layer name and selecting from the list of options that appear.
Renaming layers is useful because it allows you to better organize your file around what part of the works your layer focuses on. For instance, you might rename layers as per the below table:
To rename a layer in your plan:
There will be occasions where you want to move an object (or group of objects) between different layers. There are two ways to do this - using the Send to Layer function or simply with copy and paste.
The Send to Layer function allows you to move objects directly from one layer to another. You can elect to move one or more objects at a time. The advantage of this method is that it doesn't move the location of the moved items on the page, so it appears on its new layer, in the same place.
To use the Send to Layer function:
Select the object or objects that you wish to move.
Right click on the object (or one of the objects if there are more than one) and select Send to Layer. A list of available layers will appear.
Select the layer that you wish to send the object(s) to.
Note: You can also select Create new layer to create a new one to send to.
This method of shifting between layers is to simply cut or copy the desired objects from one layer and paste them to another. This option is best if you want to duplicate items from one layer to the next.
To cut/copy and paste items to a new layer:
Users who master using layers will find themselves considerably more productive than those who do not. As described earlier, the main (but not sole) advantage offered by layers is the ability to produce multiple plans on the same road base map, but more experienced users will figure out more productive ways to utilize layer functionality.
Here are a few general guidelines that will help you make the most out of the layer functions.
Keeping your road on the background is almost always the most sensible place. Reordering layers in RapidPlan is possible as described above, but keeping your roads on the background will be easiest since whichever layer is listed at the top of the list will always be drawn on the canvas first - all other items on following layers are drawn in subsequent order. This means that unless you want your signs and devices to appear under the road, it should be on the bottom layer.
Note: In the above example objects are in Layer 1 and the road is in Layer 2.
Even if your plan is to have only one traffic scheme on your road base, it's still usually a very good idea to have your traffic scheme on a separate layer to the road. The reason for this is simple: Once you are working on a given layer, you can't accidentally change, move or even select an object on another layer. This has the obvious advantage of making, selecting, and altering objects (particularly small ones) which overlap other items on your road base (like line markings/corner pieces/traffic islands) much easier.
It also means that if you decide you really aren't happy with the traffic guidance scheme (or need to completely change it because of feedback from a road body) you can simply wipe the traffic guidance scheme layer in a single button stroke, rather than individually pick through and delete each item one by one.
The benefits of this are obvious; one file with each stage of the works neatly packaged in a single place.
Two weeks after drawing the plan you will probably remember what each of the 6 schemes in your plan was designed for, but what about a year down the track when you are re-excavating the same site? Chances are you might have forgotten (or another user is retrieving the plans from an old site). So name your layers appropriately. Some simple, self-explanatory names might be:
This is especially important. It's never wise to have more than one road section in the same file. Doing so is likely to lead to confusion, when you have say 4 road sections, with 3 traffic schemes each. Unless you name your layers very carefully, you are likely to loose track of which layer scheme corresponds to which road base.
Sometimes, there will be elements that you wish to draw on multiple layers.
Take a look at this simple example below:
It is a simple, but very typical situation where there are works to be completed across two stages. In each case, four of the five signs are common (Road Work Next 2km, Symbolic Worker, Rough Surface and End Road Work) as are the distances between each of the elements on the plan.
The only objects that change on the plan are the Merge Right and Merge Left signs and the work site location, cones and arrow trailer.
Therefore, it would be wise to:
Create the road and common signs on the background
Place the left lane specific items on Layer 1
Place the right lane specific items on Layer 2
Notice in the image that there are no items that have been drawn more than once, meaning that the layout is optimized
Now that you have an understanding of how to use the tools available to you in RapidPlan, we can discuss building your entire plan with the integrated mapping feature.
In Chapter 4 we covered how to start a new plan from different plan types, so in this section we will focus on aspects only relevant to integrated mapping.
To access the integrated mapping feature:
Select the New Plan Wizard on the Welcome screen.
In step 1 select a Base Map plan.
In step 2 you can specify a plan scale or leave it as the default scale.
Now specify a job location. You can search location by street address or longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates.
The red cross in the center of the map points to the job location, scroll the map as necessary to the desired location.
Once the scale and location are set, select Create Plan at the top.
Note: As it is an unrestricted canvas, you can scroll and zoom to anywhere on the map you like. This means it can be important to be fairly precise when setting your job location in step 2 so that you can find the exact spot when searching plans by location in the future.
The Base Maps tab in the plan's Properties Palette allows you to control whether to show the map on the plan, choosing a Provider for the map and the opacity of the map.
By default, there are 5 types of map images to choose from:
Additional mapping providers are progressively being added to RapidPlan. To view additional mapping providers, go to the Base map section of the Properties palette. Select the Provider dropdown menu. Click More providers..., then select the providers you want to use. These will then become visible in the dropdown menu.
You can also add your own custom map provider. It is disabled by default and to change it go on Properties palette in the Base map section open Provider selection dropdown, click More providers.... On bottom of the list check Custom ArcGIS Service and press Save button. Now on Provider selection dropdown click on Custom ArcGIS Service which will open a new window where you can enter your custom map provider Service address. Press Get Details button and if your service address is valid, you can save it and/or add it to bookmarks.
In RapidPlan, go to File > New Plan Wizard. Select Base map as the plan type.
Click Add files... and select the images you want to import. Remember that you can only import images accompanied by georeferenced data, either in a World File format (for example for a .jpg image the corresponding world file will have a .jgw extension) or a MapInfo .TAB format. You can also select zip files that contain both the image and the georeferenced file (such as files exported from NearMap) - these will be extracted automatically.
The files you selected will appear on the scrollable list, displaying data extracted from the georeferenced file: location, scale and bearing. By checking the box on the right side of the list you can select which image is to be placed at the center of your plan. The selected image will also be used to preset the plan location, scale and bearing (other images will have their scale and rotation automatically adjusted to match).
Once you've selected the files, scroll up and click the Next button. In the second Wizard step you can confirm that your plan location and scale have been set correctly, then click Create Plan. The created plan will contain a dedicated Georeferenced Images layer with all the imported images automatically arranged to form a continuous base map.
Once you have created a base map plan using the New Plan Wizard you can add additional georeferenced images to it by clicking Tools > Import > Georeferenced images. Select the files you want to import and they will be laid out on the plan automatically, adjusted to match the plan scale and bearing. Note that the files you're adding must cover areas adjacent to the plan location.
You can also import georeferenced images to blank canvas plans. Such plans don't have a scale and location set, so these values will be copied from the image(s) you're importing.
In order to create georeferenced images from NearMap, open the NearMap viewer, navigate to your desired location and select the area you want to export. Click the Export button at the top, select Georeferenced image format and make sure the projection is set to WSG84 / Spherical Mercator. Click Download files - this will download a zip file containing both the exported image and its georeferenced file. The zip file can be imported to RapidPlan as described above (its contents will get extracted automatically). You can also export multiple adjacent areas into separate zip files, then import them into RapidPlan all together.
In MapInfo Pro, navigate to the area you want to export and click Output > Save Image. In the options dialog, check the Create a Geographically Referenced Tab File box, then click Save. The image will be saved together with an accompanying .TAB file, allowing it to be imported to RapidPlan as described above. You can also export multiple adjacent areas into separate files, then import them into RapidPlan all together.
You are now ready to add your necessary features to the plan...
Create your plan as normal on top of the base map. An example is provided below.
After you have completed your plan onto your base map, if you try to print you may notice that the base map is not printed with your plan. This is because the base map preview is not a part of the diagram.
In order to use the map as the plan's background so it is available when printing or in offline mode, you can use the Import Aerial Photos tool.
Right click on the print region icon (the printer in the bottom left of the print region).
Select Import Aerial Photos.
Then you can disable the base map preview with the Toggle Base Map Visibility icon in the toolbar so you are only working with the printable map(see Resources/Base_Map_Preview_turned_Off.png).
Note: Individual tiles can also be imported individually by right clicking on the area you want to import and selecting Import Aerial Photo.
You can also import aerial photos for a custom area of the plan outside of the Print Region.
To Import Custom Area:
Select Tools > Import > Aerial Photos.
The cursor will become a cross for you to drag your mouse over the plan, selecting your custom area.
RapidPlan automatically places any imported aerial photos to an Aerial Photos layer. This ensures that the aerial photos remain the bottom layer of your plan, as the background.
When on the Aerial Photos layer, you can import tiles of the photo for extra coverage.
To import a tile sized area of the aerial photo, just double click on the area of the plan.
However, you cannot move or transform these tiles on this layer as the layer needs to keep track of the map region. To manipulate a tile, for example to create a separate section of the plan with a different scale, you need to copy and paste the tiles onto a different layer.
To select and move tiles to a different layer:
Select the tiles you want to move by clicking once on the tile, (hold SHIFT and continue to click other tiles if you want to move multiple at a time).
Right click, select copy.
Select the layer you wish to move them to.
Right click in new layer and select paste.
Note: The tiles will now be fully editable images, like any other object in RapidPlan.
You can also use integrated mapping as a guide when drawing your road layout without using the map as an imported background. The mapping can be used in preview form to import roads and draw lane markings to form the base of your plan, then hide the mapping to work further on your plan. This can be beneficial as it is more readable when printed and easier to convert to fax mode.
Importing roads onto integrated mapping creates a road object with properties that can be manipulated.
There are three ways of importing your roads;
Import all roads in Print Region by right clicking on the print region printer icon and selecting Import Roads.
Select a custom area via Tools > Import > Road Layout to import all roads in the custom area.
Select individual roads by right clicking on the road and selecting Import Roads.
As you can see in above in Resources/Imported_Roads.jpg the imported road objects do not fit the actual roads in the satellite image. This section will cover developing your plan to match the base map using the above example.
As you have a set scale, you can accurately measure the width of the satellite road with a distance marker tool and adjust the road object properties accordingly.
Once your road widths are adequate, you may need to make some manual adjustments, such as adding Road Corners and Lane Markings.
To adjust the road objects to match the satellite image:
Firstly, adjust the road layer opacity in the layers list to see the satellite image through the road object. This will make transferring lane markings much easier.
You may need to adjust the roads by adding road corners or turning lanes, etc. Make sure to copy the style of the road to each road tool by copying the style from the main road, selecting the new object and using CTRL + SHIFT +V to paste the style.
In the image below, the provider has been changed to the Omniscale, so you can see the road corners are the same style as the road.
Note: The Road Corners were placed with the satellite provider to trace the exact shape.
When you are satisfied with your roads, add other necessary features such as lane markings.
For more information on how to use Lane Markers, see Chapter 7.
Once your base road layout is drawn up, you can print it, use the fax mode icon to convert it or start adding your traffic management information.