By Abigail Charan, an architect and CAD software user
Qleader (short for “quick leader”) is a useful tool in ZWCAD for creating leaders or “callouts” notes with arrowheads. Ever since AutoCAD 2008 added the Multileader command for creating more flexible callouts, I liked the feature so much that from then on I used it, instead of Qleader. ZWCAD is similar to AutoCAD, and it is a cost-effective drafting CAD, except that my favorite -- multileader -- was not included. But to my delight, the flaw did not last long, for multileader is now available on the latest version, ZWCAD 2011.
Maybe you are curious as to why I care about multileader so much. Let me list several points to explain the advantage of multileader compared with qleader. Even though you may be a diehard user of qleader, I believe that you will grow to prefer multileader after becoming familiar with it. Here are the three advantages:
1. Multileader has a greater variety of appearances than qleader, thanks mainly to Multileader’s own independent multileader style manager. The manager includes all the style settings of qleader, such as arrow type and annotation. In addition, multileader has more style settings than qleader style, such as a splined leader line and a specified landing distance. One of the most exciting settings is where multileader can use blocks instead of mtext as note content, which makes it easy to add bubble callouts to drawings (see the figure below).
2. It is straightforward to access multileader, as well as to switch to another multileader style (that was previously defined). To access multileader commands through a toolbar, right-click any toolbar, and then from the shortcut menu choose ZWCAD, and then Multileader (see figure below).
This places the Multileader toolbar on the screen. Choosing from the styles droplist of the Multileader toolbar makes it easy to switch among multileader styles (see the figure below).
3. One of the biggest advantages is that the leader line and the text are now a single entity. The text note and the leader maintain associatively when grip-editing them. I can add and remove leader lines with the new mleaderedit command, or else by clicking the Add and Remove buttons on toolbar.
If you are not very clear on what I wrote here, you can view this video I found on YouTube that compares qleader with multileader: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqYRyyK7lyc
I hope you enjoy this new feature in ZWCAD 2011 as much as I do.