Carbide Create and the inaccuracy of selecting objects

That’s all above my pay grade.

Our recommendation is that you evaluate our products based on what is currently available — we’re not fortunetellers and we don’t expect other people to be.

In addition to putting it here…try adding it as a Feature Request Here (I know, it’s a bug, not a feature…but an improved selection capability is a welcome feature).

I’ve found that Carbide addresses most defects quickly - particularly if there are no reasonable work-arounds. Nice-to-have’s have longer runways. I’m not sure where the powers that be will feel this one will fall. It’s probably one of those “#of people impacted vs. available resources vs. backlog of changes” questions.

  • G

Whoa! Was this at me? Sorry I’m not sure who you’re aiming at here.

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We use the drawing canvas provided by Qt, the cross platform framework we use. We’ve replaced a lot of their code by now, because its default behaviors are so bad for CAD applications. (Add it to the list of things we wish we knew from the start)

Selection is accurate to the tip of the pointer, as fas as I know, but when vectors are very close to one another then the selection system in the canvas might pick the first one drawn that is “close enough”, rather than the closest. We’re willing to dig in and add more code to change this, but we’d like to have some of your files to test with. If we make the wrong assumptions, this could add a lot of overhead.

Please post your files here, or send them to and we’ll dig into this more.

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Try different Mac monitor settings and scroll image mag to a higher level.
I use a Mac mini with a two button mouse and wheel and have no problem

Here is some nested squares, 1mm apart. If you are zoomed out enough that the pointer will hit two or more lines, it quite confusing what line will be selected.
For example, try to select the second line in (from either side) It’s very difficult unless you zoom in enough that the pointer only hits one line.
nested squares.c2d (44 KB)

Done, no zooming:

I will note that the cursor was a bit further away than one might want, roughly at:

so perhaps this will be a useful datapoint:

nested squares.c2d (44 KB)

(you can select the rectangle in question if one moves to the circle, then a bit up/down and clicks while it is highlighted)

Here’s another version of the nested squares where the creation order is different. Selected the second outermost of these is also difficult unless zoomed:
Nested 2.c2d (44 KB)

One thing I’ve noticed is, although the highlighting is indeed sensitive to the tip of the arrow, it highlights from a good 10 pixels away.


So you need to zoom in so close vectors are at least 20 pixels apart to select the ‘other’ vector.

No idea what to do when vectors are identical or overlapping. NX adds an ellipsis to the pointer if you pause over more than one object, then pops up a list to select from.


But it also has selection filters to help selecting only certain object types, colors, etc…

For overlapping geometry Macromedia Freehand used ctrl click to select the next object down in the stack — out of muscle memory I still try to do that.

I suspect the tradeoff which has to be considered here is what performance will be lost by the current algorithm which uses object creation order — it’s nice when it presents the recently made thing which one wants to work with, but an obstacle when one wants some other object.

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That used to be called “trap size” in older CAD systems to determine the number of pixels away from an entity for selection.

If the original design is larger, than this becomes more of an issue.
If the “scene” is not re-rendered upon a zoom, then you really can’t get by the problem.

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We added some code to try and look closer at which object is nearest to the pointer tip for the next release. Hopefully it will not add too much of a delay on older computers and larger files.

We’ll still be a little limited by the Qt framework, which may not recognize some objects under the mouse if there are a lot of candidates (seemingly in a specific, overlapping orientation), but it seems to be a step forward.


763 is up with the fix: Carbide Create Beta 760 - #27 by robgrz

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Here are a couple of other approaches to selecting / grouping which might be useful:

  • as one is selecting each of many items, while continuing to hold the shift key, periodically click the group button. This allows one to ‘group along the way’ instead of waiting to group when all have been selected. This way if an incorrect selection occurs, one does not have to go back to the beginning and start over. One can start with the last grouping.

  • if one is creating many duplicates using the array feature, there is an option to group the output when the duplicates are drawn. This takes a level of forethought I normally do not have.

  • when using zoom and selecting, while still zoomed and holding the shift key, one can move around the zoomed diagram by holding down the right mouse button and dragging, then make more selections, group, make more selections, group, etc.

I have found all of the above helpful depending on the size/complexity of what I was working on.



Not directly related here but I watched the hour long @KevBarn14 video last night and learned about the difference in the drag selection.

Drag down to draw your selection box and it only selects vectors that are fully contained within the selection.

Drag up to draw the box and it selects all vectors that are even partially within the selected boundary.

I have noticed peculiar behavior along those lines but never understood why. Not that I know I can use the behavior to my advantage.


Say What??? 2 yrs using this stuff & did not know that one. That will certainly be helpful :smiley:

I documented that at:

If anyone has any corrections or suggestions or additions for that, I’d be grateful.

I just checked the beta out, it does appear to have made the problem better, also it feels more speedy.
Thanks for adding this so quickly to the software!


AutoCad is similar with a selection box (fence) except it’s left (up or down) for all items within selection box and right (up or down) for any items crossing the selection box. very handy. A little more complicated when doing free hand rather than box selecting.

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