Make your own free website on

Welcome to Cutout... Version 2.5

October, 1999

Cutout is a planning program. It allows the user to easily enter, move and modify objects on the screen. Typically, these objects were meant to be spaces or rooms within a building. However, these objects could also be smaller in scale, such as furniture within a room. Think of the program as a computer version of arranging cut out paper shapes to formulate an idea.

Cutout was not meant to be another "Cad" program. It was written by an architect to investigate ways to use the computer during early design phases of a building project. (schemetic design) The relationships generated are meant to be visual, not measurement based. This allow the designer to focus on the arrangement of spaces or areas without having to deal with the dimensional accuracies demanded when drawing in typical "Cad" based programs.

New Features For Version 2.5
1. Ability to enter and modify multiple perimeters within the same project file.
2. Perimeters can now be drawn using different line types.
3. All major tools can be accessed from a new floating tool pallet.
4. An improved Print Preview Procedure.
5. Improved performance when moving spaces or perimeters when dealing with large project files.
6. A single space within a group can be moved without "ungrouping" by double clicking on that space.
7. Ability to Copy Cutout projects to the clipboard. This allows users to share files with other drawing or "CAD" programs for further development or presentation preparation..
8. And as usual, some general "bug" fixes.

Tool Pallet - new
The following actions and features can now be accessed from the floating tool pallet : Add space, Copy space, Erase space, Group, Ungroup, Create perimeter, Rotate space, Move space titles, and Panning the background grid. ( Panning the screen is always accessable by pressing the Space bar.) The following function descriptions note using the menu bar to begin an action, but the procedure is the same when begun by clicking on a tool bar button.

Entering Spaces.
Choose "Add Space" from the create menu. Upon entering the information requested in the dialog box, click "Enter" and the space will appear on the right edge of the screen. "Repeat" can be used to enter multiple spaces with the same or similar atributes.(click "Enter" to draw each space on the screen) Multiple spaces of identical atributes can also be inputed by specifing the number desired in the "# of spaces" box within the dialoge.

Spaces can be defined as an area, and the program will draw a square of that area. Spaces can also be defined with vertical and horizontal dimensions or with an area and one plan dimension.

Click "Done" to complete entering spaces, and enter the movement mode.

Additional spaces can be added any time during the project by relaunching the "Add Space" mode.

Spaces or grouped spaces can be copied by choosing "copy space" from the create menu. Picking a space to be copied and releasing the mouse will enter an idendical space in the upper right hand screen corner. To exit this mode, click outside any space or press any key.

Spaces can be linked togeather as a "group" by choosing "group spaces" from the edit menu. Pick each space to be grouped togeather. When a group is complete, hit return to link togeather. ( spaces within a group are drawn in a dark blue) This procedure can be repeated multiple times to create multiple groups. When finished grouping spaces, return to normal movement mode by picking outside of a space. Groups of spaces can be modified, copied or erased similar to individual spaces.

Moving Spaces.
Click and drag spaces to arrange on the screen. Space will highlight in red when chosen to be moved .

Multiple spaces can be dragged about by double clicking on a space. Space will highlight in red and will remain red when the mouse button is released. Additional spaces can be added to the group by single clicking each additional space. To move the group of highlighted spaces, click and drag in any one of the highlighted spaces, and the group will move together. To leave the group movement mode, click anywhere on the screen, outside of a space. Spaces will be redrawn black and the normal movement mode will be in effect.

Spaces that are grouped will be moved as a group when picked, similar to a single space.

Individual spaces within a group can be moved without "ungrouping" by double clicking on the space to be moved. The space will be highlighted in red and can then be moved by clicking and dragging the space. Clicking outside a space returns to normal movement mode. Space that was moved remains part of the group, but its relationship to the group is changed.

Modifying Spaces After Input.

Spaces or groups of spaces can be removed from the screen by dragging the lower left hand corner of the space into the red erase square in the lower left hand corner of the screen. The outline of the space will appear "screened", and will disappear upon releasing the mouse. Spaces can also be removed by choosing "erase spaces" from the edit menu. Picking spaces will then draw them "screened" in red, and upon releasing mouse will be removed from the project. Picking anywhere outside of a space, or pressing any key will exit the erase mode.

Shapes of spaces can be changed by click and dragging the lower or right edges of the space. The space outline will turn purple when in the reshape mode. The area of the space will stay the same, only the proportions of the space change. The reshape feature can be disabled for the entire project, if desired, by using the option under the settings menu. ( this may be handy when dealing with very small spaces to eliminate accidental "reshaping".) Individual spaces can have their reshaping ability disabled by checking the "disable reshape" box when entering the space, or by using the "change space info" command in the edit menu.

Rectangular shaped spaces and groups of spaces can be rotated while maintaining the space proportions. Choose "rotate space" from the edit menu to enter the rotate mode. When a space or space group is picked, the space outline will be highlighted in red as a verification that the space was chosen. Upon releasing the mouse, the space or group will rotate. Multiple spaces or groups can be rotated by repeating the procedure. Clicking anywhere on the screen, outside of a space, or by pressing any key will terminate the rotate mode and return to the normal movement mode.

Individual space characteristics (ie. space title or space area) can be changed by choosing "change space info" from the edit menu. After entering this mode, picking any space will bring up a dialoge box allowing the space atributes to be modified. Picking outside of a space, or pressing any key will return to the normal movement mode.


A perimeter can be created around a group of spaces, representing the building or room limits for example.

Choose "Create Perimeter" from the create menu, causing the cursor to appear as crosshairs. Click the mouse and hold to set the first corner of the perimeter. While still holding the mouse button down, drag the cursor across the screen to create a rectangular perimeter. Perimeter will stay red during its creation mode. Upon releasing the mouse, the perimeter will be redrawn in black, and recorded into memory.

Once created, the perimeter can be modified in several ways. By picking any corner, the perimeter will be highlighted in purple, and the perimeter side can be dragged similar to moving a space. Additional corners can be created by double clicking on any existing corner, causing the perimeter to be redrawn in blue. Keeping the mouse button down after the second click, drag the corner inward to create a "folded in" corner. To remove a "folded in" corner from the perimeter, double click on that corner and in will expand outward, eliminating the corner. Illregular perimeters can be created by holding down the apple key while picking a corner. With the mouse down, drag the corner to move the individual corner.

A perimeter can be removed from the project by clicking and draging any corner into the red erase square and releasing the mouse.

Cutout now supports multiple perimeters within a single project.

The perimeter line type can be chosen within the Settings menu. A perimeter line type must be chosen prior to entering the perimeter. Once chosen, the line type for all following perimeters will remain the same until modified again in the Settings menu.

Moving around the screen

The entire screen can be moved by choosing "Pan Screen" from the edit menu or by pressing the space bar. Pressing any key exits the pan screen mode.

The screen can also be navigated by pressing the arrow keys.

When dragging individual spaces or groups of spaces, the screen can also be panned by dragging the space to the outer edge of the screen towards the desired pan direction. Moving the space away from the edge will stop the panning.

Other Features.

Scale of spaces on the screen can be changed using the scale menu under "Settings". The default scale upon launching the program is 1/16" = 1'-0".

A background grid can be added to aid in planning or to indicate a column grid. Choose "background grid" under the settings menu and follow the dialoge box instructions. The grid can be moved around for alignment by choosing "Pan Grid" from the settings menu. Click and drag, using the blue hand cursor that appears, to move the grid indepentent from other screen objects. Entering any key will exit the grid panning mode and return to the normal movement mode.

Projects can be printed by choosing "print" from the file menu. The initial screen will show the project drawn at a reduced scale and an outline of the current page setup. A "rotated" page is also indicated as a dashed line to aid in planning the best printing format. Pan the project to compose the desired arrangement on the page. When satisified, press the return key and follow the dialoge instructions to complete the printing procedure.

Projects can be saved using standard procedures. Cutout - Version 2.0 projects can be opened and converted to Version 2.5 project files. Once converted and saved, a project cannot be opened again by Version 2.0.

A title's relationship to a space can be adjusted using the "Move Space Title" mode from the edit mode. Click on any space after entering this mode and the space title will be highlighted in red. Holding the mouse down, the title can be dragged around as needed. Pressing any key will exit this mode.

Cutout projects can be saved to the clipboard and then pasted into other drawing or "CAD" based programs for further development at the end of "schematic design".

System Requirements.

1. System 7.0 or greater, 68xx or power PC processor, and a Color Monitor.
2. Color should be set to 256 colors, or the amount of memory allocated to the program should be increased.
3. Virtural memory may need to be off when running the program for best performance.

Known Bugs

1. When rescaling with a grid, the grid does not maintain a constant relationship to other objects on the screen. Pan Grid feature must be used to re-align the grid after a scale change.

Cutout is currently freeware . Feel free to distribute it to as many people as you want. However, please try to include this "read me" file and the accompanying project examples to aid in this program's use.

I would really appreciate any comments, feedback or suggestions you may have for future enhancements or about any problems you have with the program. Thanks...

James Moravec
6421 Maywood Ave.
Middleton, WI 53562
E-mail me at:

October, 1999

Original file name: Cutout 2.5 User Guide - converted on Wednesday, 17 November 1999, 17:25

This page was created using TextToHTML. TextToHTML is a free software for Macintosh and is (c) 1995,1996 by Kris Coppieters