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FAQ’s

FAQ’S ABOUT WINSTACK

For the convenience of current users of WinStack we have identified a list of questions that users most commonly have. If you have a question, or need help on a specific item not covered either in this section or in the Help files of the individual programs, please contact us via sales@winstack.com and we will attend to your question immediately.

TENANT BOXES ARE TOO SMALL TO SEE TEXT

Tenant boxes are automatically sized, based upon tenant and floor square footages. If tenants are fairly small, the box may be so small as to make the text within it unreadable. To resolve the problem, access Configure Chart – Building. Make sure you are in the Feature Mode = Advanced option (upper right corner of Configure Chart window). In the Minimum Displayable Space Area (MDSA) box, enter a value such as 2000. In effect, you are saying any space that is 2,000 square feet or less will, for display purposes, look like 2,000 sf. The value, 2,000, is arbitrary. It could be 3,000, 5,000 or whatever value you want.

Another alternatives: At the bottom of the Configure Chart-Building screen is an option for % Font Ratio. If the value is 70%, it means the specified font size for the text in the tenant box will be displayed as 70% of the font size. If the text is too big, reduce the Font Ratio to a lower value.

MAKE THE BUILDINGS LOOK LIKE A RECTANGLE

With WinStack you can shape the Stacking Plan image to be similar to the actual building or just make the building resemble a rectangle.

Rectangle:
Access the Configure Chart – Building section and click ON the Auto Maximum Floor Area option. This option takes the largest floor of the building and makes all the floors the same size, thereby, creating a quick rectangle. The option above it, Stretch spaces to fill floors, would be another option to use also. This option stretches all the tenant boxes on the floor to fill the entire floor thus making the building look better.

Actual Shape:
Access the Building-Configure command on the menu bar. The table below the building name contains information such as the:

 Floor ID: This is an identification number for each floor. It may be the same number as the actual floor name or be negative representing floors below the ground floor.

Name: Floor title, i.e., Floor #1, First Floor, Lobby, Ground, etc.

 Area Floor: These entered values are used to shape the building. If the value is red, it means that it is smaller than the sum of the square footage of the tenants assigned to the floor. If you want to stretch the tenants to fill the floor, remember to select that option from the Configure Chart-Building-Stretch Spaces to fill the floor command sequence.

THE BUILDING DOESN'T HAVE A 13th FLOOR

How do you deal with a building that is taller than 12 floors, but has no assigned floor numbered “13”? And what do you do when you want to hide a mechanical floor or parking garage?

The best way is to hide it. In the Configure Building (Floors) dialog, floors can be individually hidden. To do this select Building on the Command bar, select the number(s) to the far left on the data grid (spreadsheet) that represent the floor(s) you want to hide. Remember that this number represents the Floor ID number. It may or may not represent your intended floor number in the physical building. With the floor(s) now selected and highlighted, press the “Hidden” button (or Alt-H). An “-H” will appear beside the number of the data grid indicating that this floor is now hidden. You can also double-click on the Floor ID to hide it. Hidden floors will not be included in the Stacking Plan. As a default, WinStack will not display a floor with no tenants.

FLOOR INFORMATION IS BEING CUT OFF

If text for your floor information is being cut off in the display, you need to size the paragraph to a specific width. Select the Configure Chart Icon, or on menu Options/Configuration/Chart (Page). In the Chart Configuration Dialog select Floor in the list (far left). Select the “Left” or “Right” button for the floor side in question. You can resize the column as you would do in a spreadsheet program by moving the “separator” bar above the column either left or right. You can also press the “Column Width” button. You are now in the Paragraph Sizing and Alignment Dialog. In the Width area, input inches for the width. Enter the dimension best suited. Because space is usually at a premium, you will probably have to experiment in finding the correct size.

When using the “Floor Layout” button to see an example of floor information for size, remember that the example layout only shows one (1) floor depiction. Other floors may render variables that require more space.

The floor information paragraphs are sized either according to longest line in the paragraph, or an absolute (given) size. The default is for longest line. Most often, you are using only floor variables in these paragraphs, i.e., %FN for Floor Name or %FA for Floor Area or square footage. Variables vary, and are not known until the time of the actual printout. Normally this is not a problem when determining size, because you can catch it during the print layout. But most charts have many floors, and if each floor comes up with a different result for variables, then the size for one floor information paragraph will most often be different than the others. In determining the size for the overall floor information area, we use database information from one particular floor. If another floor renders information that requires a larger area during the actual printout then it will get cut off.

DEALING WITH SUB-FLOORS

How do you deal with sub-floors, or floors below the first floor? Floor IDs (identification numbers) in WinStack default to starting with “-6” (-6). But, floor names can be any text you desire. So, if you have several sub-floor or basement floors, they can be sequenced starting with a floor ID of less than 1 or a negative number. In this case, the Basement may have a WinStack database floor ID of “0 or -1” to represent two sub-floors. This may sound confusing until you realize that many real buildings have floors that don’t have numbers, or that skip floor numbers (for example, floor 13).

The “Floor_ID” field is the column used in the spreadsheet to assign a space/tenant to a floor. It is not named “floor number” for the reasons cited above. There is a field named “Floor_name” that carries the name the user gives to the floor. This floor name field can be a column in the spreadsheet as an associated reference. This means that when you assign a space/tenant to a Floor ID you can immediately see the floor name. This same floor name can also be displayed in the chart using the “FloorName” (%FN) variable.

Users often think of “Floor_ID” as the “floor number”, but the Floor ID it does not always correspond to the actual floor number in the building. The Floor ID is a WinStack internal database identification number. It is used to keep in sequence all the floors in the database.

You can also access Building-Configure to change the floor names in the table at the middle of the window. An easy way to insert floor names for the bottom floors, i.e., basement, lower level, is to left click on the title tile name. Then right click to Copy the floor names. Launch a word processor and Paste the names into a document. Insert the floor names where applicable and Copy the names to the Clipboard again and then Paste them in the Name column in WinStack.

TRANSFER A STACKING PLAN TO MICROSOFT

Stacking Plans can be exported from WinStack as either a Windows Metafile or PNG file or to the Clipboard. The files can then be inserted into Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, while the Clipboard image can be pasted. The Metafile and Clipboard images are very crisp and clear while the PNG is less so.

Stacking Plans are exported by accessing File-Export-Stack Chart or clicking the Image icon in the Preview section. In the “Where” section, WinStack defaults to exporting to a PNG file, but you can select the metafile option or the Clipboard button to export to the Clipboard. The Option button allows you to control the size of the output image. The Font Ratio Percent option in the lower right corner of the Options screen is used for controlling the text font size in the image. A ratio of 80% seems to work best for most Stacking Plans, but you may need to experiment to obtain the optimal image.

There is a Trans Background option that will allow a background color or image to show through the stacking plan once inserted into Word or PowerPoint. After clicking OK, if you selected the file option, you are prompted for a file name. Otherwise, the image is copied to the Clipboard and you are returned to the spreadsheet interface.

HOW TO SAVE THE CHART PARAMETERS

Once you have customized a Stacking Plan to suit your needs, it is possible to save the control parameters to be used in the future. These parameters are saved in what are called Configuration files, like a template in a spreadsheet system. These control parameters affect different areas of the Stacking Plan such as the Fills/Patterns (colors and patterns), Queries (how tenant boxes are color-coded) and Chart Items (the actual format or layout of the Stacking Plan). The Chart Items include Header and Footer instructions, Floor information (columns on the left and right of the plan) and text within the tenant boxes. These three sections can be stored as one Configuration file, or you might save the Fills/Patterns and Queries as one Configuration file and the Chart Items as another.

To save the parameters in a Configuration file, on the menu bar, access Options-Configuration-Save. You can also click on the icon with “C” and down-arrow on the Toolbar at the main user interface or the Preview screen. Click “ON” the parameters to store on the left of the screen. For most purposes, you can ignore the “Borrow From” parameters at the top of the screen. Enter a meaningful name and description for these parameters in the appropriate boxes. After clicking OK, enter a meaningful name for the Configuration file in which these control parameters will be stored. You are then returned to the spreadsheet interface.

To use or load these Configuration files, click the icon in the middle of the Toolbar with a “C” and up-arrow on it (Preview Load Configuration files). Scroll down the list of files and either double-click on the desired file or click once on the name and click Load. You are then returned to the spreadsheet interface where you can Preview/Print the Stacking Plan or load an additional Configuration file for other control parameters.

WinStack defaults to loading and saving Configuration files in the same directory or folder as your data. If you have stored these files in a different folder, to load from a different folder, press the Ctrl key on the keyboard as you click the Preview/Load Configuration file button on the Toolbar. You will then be prompted for the desired folder to open and then the specific Configuration file to load.

CERTAIN NUMBER VARIABLES TO HAVE DECIMAL PLACES

What to do when you need variables such as “%BuildingAreaVacant” to show up on the chart as having one or more decimal places (e.g. “0.75”): To change a number’s displaying format you need to place a “%GlobalParameterFormatFloat”(“%gpff”) variable prior to the number variable you want to format. Select the Configure Chart Icon. Go to the chart paragraph (Header/Footer/Floor) containing the variable you want to format. Place the edit caret (cursor “I” beam) at a position prior to the variable to format (e.g., “%BAV”) and click. Press the Insert Variable button (or, Alt.+V), at which time the Insert Variable dialog appears.

If not already “checked”, press the Show All button (or, Alt.+S). Select in the list the GlobalParameterFormatFloat. At this time a button will appear named Parameter Assist. Press this button (or, Alt.+A) and a dialog will appear allowing you to select parameters that will format float numbers. After you make your selections, press “OK”, and again press “OK”. The float formatting will need to be returned to the default so that other variables are not effected. So, immediately after the variable or variables you are formatting, place “%GPFF” (without a number parameter). Example of resulting paragraph: “%GPFF:2048%BAV%GPFF”.

The Global Parameter Format variables change the display formatting of variables that is not directly associated to a database field column. The Global Parameter Format variables are really controllers and do not return anything to display. When a Global Parameter Format variable is inserted it will effect all variables following that it can. That is why it is important to place a “defaulting” Global Parameter Format variable (i.e., “%GPFF”, with no parameter) after the variable(s) you want effected.

The Global Parameter Format variable parameters can be rather cryptic, which is why the Parameter Assist button is available in the Insert Variable dialog.

 

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