A couple of tweets between CAD authors @thecadgeek & @SWGeek (right) combined with a need to reprint a sheet, several times, prompted me to think about the paper wasted with CAD. I read the tweels and dreamed this post up while waiting for my car pool ride, how green is that!
It spite of @thecadgeek’s comment I doubt the books you read to learn CAD are much of a factor in paper use. However, it did prompt a feature request that applies to any application that allows a user to edit and print output.
What the SWYDWBYP?
I want a special print/plot/publish preview that is not only WhatYouSeeIsWhatYouGet but also SeeWhatYouDontWantBeforeYouPrint! (SWYDWBYP).
Although the mock up shows the AutoCAD UI I think every application needs a green “Print Preview and Highlight Errors” button. It would find things like:
- Dates not updated
- The wrong project/client/site name where you’re borrowed an old job as a template
- Miss-matched styles or stupid page breaks in documents
- Links & tables that are not updated
- Hatches that look fine on screen but too light/dense when printed
- Fonts that are OK when you can zoom, unreadable so when you can’t!
- And many more…
All that stuff that makes you go “Doh!” the instant you look at the print, sometimes even the instant you press print, but previously not apparent on screen.
I always thought this was because we scan/read paper differently to a screen. That theory fails as I find reading a blog post in the editor, then a second later when published (where it looks identical) is a similarly different experience.
Maybe it’s really because when viewing a print/published item you are aware others are/will also be seeing it? The advantage with a blog is you can fix the errors, if you notice them, without wasting more trees!
(A tired blogger presses publish and waits to see how many unnoticed errors were published in this post)