Grouping and Ungrouping Items

What Does "Grouping" Mean?

Smartdraw has the ability to let you "group" walls or doors or other items in your floorplan into essentially one big item. To group or ungroup items, click on the Design tab.

group1.JPG

You can see the "Group/Ungroup" option in this menu, but it is not active, in that the menu option is grayed out. That is because we have not clicked on or selected any items to group or ungroup.

Selecting Items to Group

To select items to group, press Cntl+A. Here, I have selected all the walls (note, I am on the Walls tab) by pressing Cntl+A. You can see that all the walls in the floorplan have been selected.

group2.JPG

Go to the Group menu option, which is now active, and select "Group Objects."

group3.JPG

Now, all of the walls on this site have been grouped together into one big object. This object, that is, all the walls together, can be resized, rotated, etc. The walls now basically behave as one unit for all Smartdraw operations.

group4.JPG

Selecting Items to Ungroup

You can ungroup items in the same way you grouped them. That is, we can Ungroup the walls that we just grouped. Use Cntl+A as before, then go to "Group" and "Ungroup Objects."

group5.JPG

Now the walls should separate back into their respective units, and should be editable separately.

Why Group?

Grouping is necessary if, when you print out a floorplan, items such as walls, doors, or chairs, print out in a different location than they appear on the screen. (Yes, this sounds funny, but it seems to be a Smartdraw issue.) This "group/ungroup" procedure was suggested by the tech support at Smartdraw to fix this particular printing problem.

Problems with Grouping

And yes, there are quite a few. This is the most troublesome procedure to creating and editing your floorplan.

Take a look at this floorplan we were working on. Remember, I first grouped the walls, then I ungrouped them. Take a look at the ungrouped walls.

group6.JPG

Do you notice that now, some of the walls look different? In fact, one of the rooms seems to have turned from a rectangle to a triangle. This means we will have to redraw this particular room. Fun stuff. Be aware of this as you work. Grouping and Ungrouping items does not always affect your floorplan in this way, but it might.

More Grouping Problems

Grouping can also merge items from two more layers, and put all the items on one layer. This happens when you have more than one active, or clickable, layer, and then you press Cntl+A to select All Items. Be aware of this too. Your walls, which started out on the walls layer may migrate to the doors layer if you inadvertently grouped your walls and doors together. Once grouped and then saved, the walls cannot be easily moved back to the walls layer. If this happens, take it on the chin, and rename your doors layer to walls and doors and move on. Again, this is a weakness in Smartdraw that you need to be aware of as you work.

I suspect this wall moved as it did when I grouped it and ungrouped it, due to the fact that the PDF Template layer was clickable, and so Smartdraw may have grouped both the PDF template image together with items on the walls layer.

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