Category Archives: TODO List

Drawing TO-DO

This post is a work-in-progress list of things to fix in the Drawing development branch

More like bugs:

  • Rendering issue – can’t really fix without significant work, also isn’t specific to Drawing
  • Select the right (or left or top…) view so that it turns completely blue. than move the front view. You will notice the wrong movement of the selected view (figure out which is better highlight mode between dragging anchor vs child views, and use that mode consistently for both)
  • Update regions are wrong: seems that only the areas in the dotted view frame get updated, if the text below the view goes outside the view frame this becomes a problem, you see remaining artefacts while moving. this also happens a lot when repositioning dimensions
  • When adding dimensions to one view the frame of this view updates not correctly
  • The dimensions get somehow misaligned, they shift on the pages y axis downwards for some reason
  • If you change from first to third angle the positions of left and right views etc change, but not the isometric views.
  • For the A4 template it seems impossible to make the dimension font small enough, you would go to size 4 or lower to get something reasonable, but than the font looks really weird. Also 4 is small… normal size for A4 writing is 12, but this is really huge in the drawing workbench compared to text tools like word
  • Automatic scaling often doesn’t work properly
  • Repaint around the template to remove artefacts
  • Drawing viewer widget should resize
  • Update icons for isometric and orthographic views in the document tree thing. (asked for drawings in the forum)
  • Save and Save As don’t seem to work while Drawing Viewer is open?
  • Figure out what’s going on with the two properties for the template name (TODO in 8476bab)
  • BSpline problem that results in bad bounding boxes (in progress)

More like features:

  • Update template with appropriate text, First/Third angle symbol, customisable logo, etc.
  • Align isometric views too. From ickby: “Best it to anchor them to the orthographic projections, for example the FrontTopRight would be anchored to the Top view top:top, and the FrontTopRight would be anchored to the right view right:right. This would give always a nice projection grid.”
  • Selecting the view for draging should work on the whole view area, not only the dotted frame. So only omit the areas where you can select the lines/dotes etc.
  • Possibly add spinboxes for the scale selector, this would allow change the value with the mouse wheel
  • Ability to change template of an existing drawing
  • Get rid of the “exception as flow control device” in Geometry

Areas to investigate:

  • SVG/PDF/etc export

Some more bugs

I wanted a model for something a little more interesting than a cone for my Drawing work, so grabbed a copy of a vise model. My intent was to make a drawing with the entire vice in it, so I selected the whole thing (using the combo view), opened the Part workbench, and clicked the Union button…Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 2.45.47 pm

A bit later, I had a union, but not the one I wanted…Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 2.45.11 pm

Undo worked, mostly, it didn’t set the parts to their original visibility :(.Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 2.45.32 pmSo, two bugs to look at later:

  • Why did the union not work as intended?
  • Undo should restore visibility state.

Modality in Sketcher

This applies other places in FreeCAD, but the main place I run into problems with modality is in Sketcher. What is modality? In this context, when I am editing a Sketch, there’s a bunch of regular GUI stuff that I’m suddenly unable to do, sometimes with good reason (but often not), because I’m in “edit mode”. For instance, I just inadvertently minimised FreeCAD while Sketcher was in edit mode, and was then unable to close FreeCAD – it won’t save/exit, or un-minimise on Mac, while in this silly mode!

GUI-wise, modes are bad. Especially bad when there aren’t good affordances for returning to normal. So, this TODO is about re-working Sketcher to be more user friendly in terms of it’s “edit mode”.

Cost: 1/2 cup of tea

Drawing Workbench – Initial Thoughts

Drawing first impression

I’ve built a development branch for an updated version of the Drawing workbench, with the intention to do a bit of work on it. This is another part of FreeCAD that I haven’t had much to do with, so with this post I hope to record some initial thoughts. I find it’s sometimes handy to look back at notes like this, as they can give a “fresh pair of eyes”.

Overall, I’m impressed with the workbench – seems like things are going in the right direction! Quite a few little things need fixing before it feels usable though. And, this testing has shown that I have what’s perhaps a more pressing issue with the Property Editor on Mac – it’s nearly unusable on my computer…


  • What’s with the floating OpenGL view?  It doesn’t seem to respond to the mouse at all.
    • Confirmed that the same thing does not happen in my Linux virtual machine, which is mostly similar to my Mac in terms of library versions and such.
    • Right clicking and changing Renderer to OpenGL fixes that issue, but results in screen flashing white and generally behaving strangely. Renderer = Image still broken.
  • Some operations seem really slow.
  • Automatic scaling of the Orthographic projection draws the object off the paper.
    • Also doesn’t update the “Custom Scale” field below it.
    • Ditto the scale field on the sheet.
  • Need a visual cue that clicking and dragging the bounding boxes of ortho projections will let the user reposition on the sheet, but dragging elsewhere moves the sheet.
    • Is there a need for moving the sheet at all?
  • Changing to a scale that’s too “zoomed-in” can make the different ortho projections overlap (shown below).
  • Waving the dimension around leaves repaint artefacts (below).
  • SVG export has a couple obvious issues
    • Font size of the circle dimension is different.
    • Bounding boxes and their labels (Top, Side, Front, etc) of ortho projection aren’t shown.
      • Should they be?  If not, then I think it needs to be more obvious in FreeCAD.
  • “Drawing Viewer” doesn’t resize (Cascade windows before opening a drawing),

Some Drawing Bugs

Cost: A few hours worth of monkeying around with git, looking through code, setting up a Linux VM, playing with Drawing module.

GUI Scratchpad

I keep noticing little things that (in my opinion, of course) could be improved in FreeCAD. With this post, I’ll try to keep a running list of them in a scratchpad-style format.

Please don’t take anything here too seriously – I’m sure there are good reasons that things are the way they are, in many cases, and I haven’t investigated these things thoroughly. That said, if you see something here that you’d like to see fixed, leave a comment!

  • Property Editor defaults to showing the “View” tab instead of “Data”, but I use “Data” far more frequently.Fix for this merged 16 April
  • “Combo View”‘s model tree…
    • Lets me highlight some things, but not others.
  • Modality in Sketcher – this probably deserves it’s own post.
  • In the 3D views, when shortcut keys and mouse buttons are pressed that will change mouse behaviour (eg to rotate/zoom/translate), the cursor doesn’t change until the mouse actually moves.

Cost: Ongoing