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Basic Select Techniques in CC3+ (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this 2-part series on Basic Select Techniques in CC3+, we covered a lot.

If you practiced, you should have gained finer and finer control over the entities that you selected. You started by picking up everything on the map and progressed to being able to select and deselect specific entities until you only had a single entity selected.

There are, however, some situations where more specialized, but still fundamental, techniques are required.

Overview

The World of Khalkaraeon by Kalthorine.  Used with permission.
The World of Khalkaraeon by Kalthorine. Used with permission.

Just like last post, I’m going to use the Khalkaeareon map created and posted by Kalthorine to the ProFantasy Community Forums.  If you didn’t try Part 1, be sure to grab the map.  Do not download just the image of the map.

In this, Part 2, we will look at:

To get the most out of this post, you really have to begin to understand what an “Entity” is.  We’re going to start there.

What is an Entity?

This could really be an entire post on its own (I debated about it).  Its pretty meaty. Unfortunately, I don’t have any previous posts I can send you to, there isn’t any really good information on the web that I could find for you and even the CC3+ Help, User Guides, and Tome of Ultimate Mapping 1 are somewhat silent on the topic. Only a handful are even mentioned on the ProFantasy Community Forum.

CC3+ recognizes 27 different types of entities.

Given Campaign Cartographer’s CAD underpinnings and the geeky nature of the target audience, I’m guessing that the term “entity” derives in no small part from the data-modeling concept of an “entity” used by Software Engineers.  If you are not familiar with this idea, let’s keep it simple and say that an entity is anything that you can put onto the canvas of your Drawing Window.

Be careful not to confuse Symbols2 with entities.  A symbol is one type of entity.  A single line on the canvas is also an entity.

To help you to recognize the entities that may be present in your map, I created the reference below.  The references map which entity types are created by certain buttons and menu options.  Take notice that you can right-click some buttons to provide additional options.

Entities Created by Draw Toolbar Buttons

Button
Entity Created
Button
Entity Created
Line Button
  • 2D Line
Box Button
  • 2D Polygon
Freehand Sketch Button
  • 2D Path
Outline in Black Button
Varies. The entity created is a hollow version of the entity outlined.
Arc Button
  • 2D Arc
  • 2D Elliptical Arc (option)
Circle Button
  • 2D Circle
  • 2D Ellipse (option)
Path Button
  • 2D Path
Poly Button
  • 2D Polygon
  • 2D Smooth Polygon (option)
  • 2D Path (option)
Smooth Path Button
  • 2D Spline
  • 2D Bezier (option)
Smooth Poly Button
  • 2D Smooth Polygon
  • 2D Spline (option)
  • 2D Bezier (option)
Fractal Path Button
  • 2D Path
Fractal Poly Button
  • 2D Polygon
Number Label
  • 2D Text
Multi Poly Button
  • 2D Multipoly
Text Button
  • 2D Text

Two buttons on the File toolbar allow you to create entities of type Action:2D hotspot.

Entities Created by File Toolbar Buttons

Button
Entity Created
Button
Entity Created
Link with Map
  • Action:2D Hotspot
Link with File Button
  • Action:2D Hotspot

In addition to entities easily created from the Draw toolbar and the File Toolbar, an additional entity can be created from the Draw menu.  A 2D Point.

Draw > Point to create a 2D Point

Finally, every symbol you add to the map from the Symbol Catalog is of type Symbol Reference.

But wait, there’s more! 12 more in fact.  I have not yet discovered which tools are able to create these entity types. As I discover them, I’ll keep you updated.

Other CC3+ Entity Types

2D Angular Dimension 2D Linear Dimension 2D Network
2D Radius 2D Text Attribute 3D Line
3D Polygon Control Points External Reference
Ordinate Dimension Part group XP Entities
The entity type is available from the Info List.  It is at the start of each listing.
Figure 1. The entity type, circled in red, is available from the Info List. It is at the start of each listing.

TIP: Learn to use the “Info” menu item.  As I played with various buttons and menu options, I would Info > List them to get a look at their attributes.

  1. Menubar > Info > List
  2. Select the scribbles and various entities using techniques from Part 1
  3. Right-click. Select “Do It”.

A window with a blue background will open up with a lot of information about the entity. The entity type (circled in red in Figure 1 above) will be at the start of each entry.

By having a better understanding of the types of entities the various tools create, you can better zero in on the elements of your map with which you want to work.  For example, both the Landmass and Sea Contour tools simply create 2D Polygons. Knowing this may help you to select the correct entity by type.

Select by Entity Type

Why You May Want To Use This Approach: You want to change the font of all of the text on your map.  You want to select one or more entities you’ve drawn using the Draw Buttons.

Now that we know what an entity is, it should be easy to select one or more of them.

In the Khalkaraeon map, all of the text is currently on the STRUCTURES layer.  We want to move it to the TEXT LABELS layer so we can then hide it on various print-outs we hand to players.  To move the text, we need to use the Change Properties tool.

  1. Change Properties Toolbar Button
    Figure 2. The “Change Properties” Toolbar Button, circled in red
    Command Line and Command Prompt Text.  0 picked.
    Figure 3. The Command Line and Command Prompt indicate “0 picked”.
    The "Like entity:" Dialog
    Figure 4. The “2D Text” option, circled in red, in the “Like entity:” dialog.

    Click the “Change Properties” button from the”Edit” toolbox to the left of the Symbol Catalog. See Figure 2.

  2. Move your cursor to the Drawing Window.  In CC3, take note of the Command Line, it reads “Select Entities (0 picked):”.  In CC3+, you get this same text on the Command Line and, additionally, in the Command Prompt along with more detailed instructions.  See Figure 3.
  3. Right-click.  Select “Entity Type” from the pop-up menu.
  4. The “Like Entity” Dialog window will pop-up.  Click the checkbox labeled “2D Text”. See Figure 4.
  5. All of the Text entities will be selected and will turn pink in color. The Command Line reads “Select entities (13 picked):”.  If you have CC3+, the floating Command Prompt reads “Select entities to change properties [13 selected]:”
  6. Right-click. Select “Do it” to execute the “Change Properties” command.

With the text selected, you can switch it to the TEXT LABELS layer via the “Change Properties” dialog.

All of the Roads are on the STRUCTURES Layer.  They are 2D Splines.  Use the technique above to select and move them to a different layer.

Select by Entity Tag Number

Why You May Want To Use This Approach: The area of the map you are working in is very crowded.  There are multiple symbols and other entities of the same type, on the same layer, near to one another and you only want to grab a specific one; Two or more entities of the same type overlap as a result of a copy action and you want to select one of them to discard. Lots more.

Every entity in a map has a unique ID number called a “Tag #”.  While playing around with the map as I was preparing Part 1 of this series, I found a village that kept reporting 2 entities picked when I knew I had selected only a single symbol.  Let’s investigate that a bit and clean it up.

  1. On the Menubar, click Info and select List.  See Figure 5.
    Contents of the Info Menu
    Figure 5. The Info Menu. You want to select the “List” menu item.
    The Command Prompt indicates two village symbols selected even though there is only one pink box.
    Figure 6. The Command Prompt indicates two village symbols selected even though there is only one pink box.
    One selection, two symbol references.  Hmmmmm.
    Figure 7. One selection, two symbol references. Hmmmmm.
    The "More" sub-menu
    Figure 8. The “More” submenu of the Select menu.

    Command Prompt text indicates only one village is selected where  two previously were
    Figure 9. After erasing one symbol reference using “Select by Entity Tag #”, only a single entity remains.Find the city Riftspan on the map.  It is toward the center of the map, about one-third of the way up from the bottom.
  2. To the left of Riftspan, is a small, unnamed village.  See the figure to the right. Select it using your preferred technique from Part 1.  The village should be surrounded by a pink box.  See Figure 6.
  3. Take note of the Command Line and the Command Prompt.  The number of entities selected reads “(2 picked)”.  Curious.
  4. Right-click. Select “Do It”. The List dialog presents.  See Figure 7.

Interestingly, there are two copies of the same Symbol Reference entity in the same exact position (Tag #19025 and Tag #19026). The only possible way to erase one without erasing the other is to Select by Entity Tag Number.

  1. Click the “Erase” button from the”Edit” toolbox to the left of the Symbol Catalog.
  2. Move your cursor to the Drawing Window.  In CC3, take note of the Command Line, it reads “Select Entities (0 picked):”.  In CC3+, you get this same text on both the Command Line and Command Prompt.
  3. Right-click.  Select “More > Entity Tag #” from the pop-up menu (see Figure 8). The Command Line and the Command Prompt read “Tag #”.  CC3+ is waiting for your input.
  4. Enter “19026”. The village is, once again, surrounded by a pink box.
  5. Right-click. Select “Do it” to execute the “Erase” command.

One of the two symbol references is deleted but there is no visible change on the map. To verify that you completed the task correctly, complete the steps above to list the info for the village again.  This time, instead of “(2 picked)”, you should see “(1 picked)”. Figure 9.

The ability to Select by Entity Tag # provides exacting precision.  You select exactly the entity you want to select.  You will need to combine this with the Info > List command in order to identify the specific entity to pick.

Select Prior

Why You May Want To Use This Approach: You just completed a command on one or more entities and now you want to execute another command on the same group of entities.

This one is easy.  Assume you just completed a command and want to work with the same group of entities.

  1. Click the button or select the menu item to execute your next command.
  2. Move your cursor to the Drawing Window.  In CC3, take note of the Command Line, it reads “Select Entities (0 picked):”.  In CC3+, you get this same text on both the Command Line and Command Prompt.
  3. Right-click.  Select “Prior” from the pop-up menu. The same entity (or collection of entities) you just edited are selected again for you.  Confirm by taking note of the Command Line / Command Prompt.  The number of entities “picked” should be the same as the number selected for the previous command3.
  4. Right-click. Select “Do It” to execute your new command.

“Select Prior” is an easy way to pick up entities you just edited.  If you’ve spent a significant amount of time discarding excess entities to get down to just the few you want to work with, this Select technique can save you a lot of time.

At this point, you should have a firm grasp on what a Campaign Cartographer 3+ entity is and can pick them up using a variety of different select techniques.  Some techniques are broader and more general and others are very specific.  You’ve at least been introduced to the Info > List box and should grasp the importance of watching the Command Line and Command Prompt.

But wait! There’s more!  We haven’t yet discussed Select by Color, Select by Fill Type, or combining multiple select types with AND, OR and NOT to add to and subtract from a selection.  If you add in the ability to freeze and thaw layers within CC3+, you’ve got a rich and varied set of tools to work with to quickly pick up entities on your map.

Play around.  Practice. Investigate some of the techniques I have not discussed.  This is a critical skill and the better you get at it, the more control you will have over the look and feel of your maps.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

What are your go-to techniques for selecting entities in CC3+?  Which technique has had the biggest impact on your productivity?  Please share it with me in the comments. I’d love to learn it.


  1. Highly, highly recommended and worth every dollar if you want to accelerate your knowledge of the entire ProFantasy Software Suite. Even though it is written for CC3, the content is still largely applicable to CC3+ 

  2. Technically, “Symbol References” but, for this discussion, just think of them as symbols 

  3. Unless the previous command erased, split or otherwise altered the number of entities on the map 

Comments

Anthony
Reply

Just finished working through these two lessons. Very handy — thanks for making them! I’ll look forward to more. 🙂

Robert Jacobs
Reply

Glad you found them useful. Any issues with the instructions?

Anthony
Reply

No, none with the instructions. Scrolling back and forth to check a graphic to see if I got the same results could get a bit wearisome, but that was very minor. Your examples are better than the help system’s, to honest.

BTW, the instructions on how to delete-by-tag came in handy; I had to do that very thing the other night. 🙂

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