Setup for Success in Cabinet Design Software

Computer Desk showing cabinet design software


I have always been a bit crazy about more screen space on my computers.  I am willing to pay a bit more and make more connections to maximize my view of what is on my computer.  This true for spreadsheets and for graphics and so it’s especially true for SketchList 3D cabinet design software which combines the best of spreadsheet management of sizes and location values and images.

Attaching two monitors is pretty easy these days – a snap on most laptops.  In the past, with desktop towers, an additional monitor meant putting in another graphics card.  Often that involved increasing the output of the power supply.  Frustrating and expensive it was…

But now it’s easy.   I just plug in my second monitor to my laptop.  The graphics setup will identify the second monitor and give you options as how to set it up and use it.  I’m talking Windows here – to see the setup form just right mouse click on blank part of screen.  I have attached another monitor to my MAC as well.

The way I use it is to have both screens connected so I can move windows off the right of one into the left of the other.  I think this is the most productive.

You may be able to dig that old monitor out of the shed and use that.  Make sure you get some help lifting it!  Also it has (for us in the north east) the additional benefit of heating your office.  OR you can use this as the ‘need’ to buy another flat screen.  There are deals to be had.  I bought my 28 inch screen about two years ago for around $300.

More screen space increases productivity by eliminating the need to open and close, or cover and uncover windows you need.  You can simply find a place on the screen and park the needed form there – always available at a glance.  Also because you can increase the size of the image areas you can make you designs bigger.  This brings up more detail and gives better feedback.

Even if one of the screens is a bit smaller – you can put the board forms on it.  Or put less used forms on the additional screen.  But eventually you’ll see them both as one big screen and this will help you.

I have one user who connects his SketchList 3D design software to a very large TV.  I tried this with my 50 some inch high-def and wow – it’s really cool.  I thought about bringing the TV to my shop office — but I have teenagers who watch that TV.  While I’ll do a lot to get a big screen – I won’t mess with them for it…

The other thing I really like that I feel helps my productivity is a track ball.  I can spin the cursor all the way across the screen(s) with a flick of my index finger.  The other thing is that the wheel (upper left of photo) is very useful for SketchList 3D functions like zooming the size of an image larger or smaller.  You might see there are a series of buttons.  Using the software that came with the trackball I set set up all sorts of short cuts – like click and hold.


And yes it is wireless.  Most of the time I use a wireless keyboard and my wireless trackball so on those long days of designing, testing, or writing I can squirm about in my chair without getting tangled in the wiring.

I have played with digitizing pads – which essentially are bigger versions of the pad used on most laptops for moving the mouse around.  I found the lack of feedback by having the finger movement and eye on the screen to be a problem.  I expect as more computers move to touch screen input and SketchList 3D does more with moving objects around on the screen – this might change.

Anyhow – at a minimum scrape up another monitor, even a ‘smaller’ one.  Anything you can do to increase screen size will speed your design with the SketchList 3D cabinet design software.


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