Choose an “Instrument” from the menubar, it will appear in the “Load-In” window, and you may drag it to the desired position on the “Stage”. “Instruments” include everything from drums to microphones, amplifiers, monitors, DI boxes, electric drops, risers, etc..
Load-In Window: If needed, use the radio buttons on the “Load-In” window to angle an instrument left or right before dragging it onto the stage. Once on-stage, you may position your instrument by dragging it. The "Riser" window and "Grand Piano" window work much the same. These will appear when you select the respective instruments from the menu-bar.
Leave on Dock: If you want to add several of the same 'instruments' to the stage, such as a monitor wedge or microphone, you may check 'Leave on Dock', and you will be able to drag the 'instrument' to the stage repeatedly without having to go to the menubar each time.
The stage may be resized by dragging it's lower right-hand corner.
Working with Instruments:
If the Rotate Window or the Draw Window are open, instruments will be unresponsive to selecting, dragging, etc.
Selecting/Positioning/Aligning: Select an instrument by double-clicking on it, Shift+Clicking on it, or select several instruments at once by holding the shift key while drawing a selection box around them. Select all using Edit>Select All. Deselect a single instrument by double-clicking on it, Shift+Clicking on it, or deselect all by clicking on an empty area of the stage, or use Edit>Deselect All.
Align instruments by their sides, top or bottom by selecting them and using Edit>Align.
It is not necessary to select an instrument to move it by dragging it with your mouse. It is necessary to select it to move it using the arrow keys. Press an arrow key to move 1 pixel. Use Shift-Arrow to move 5 pixels.
Selection color may be black, blue or red, depending on your choice in the preferences window, but blue will always be black over the grid.
|An instrument is named according to what is is - 'FenderAmp', whether another instrument like it is already, or has been, on-stage - 'FenderAmp.2', and whether it is positioned at an angle - 'FenderAmpLA' (Left Angle). To see an instrument's name, right-click (Control-click) on it. Mics on boom stands that come from the side are named L or R, according to which side of the singer/performer/instrument the stand is positioned.|
|When you have one instrument overlapping another, you may bring the lower one to the front by selecting it and choosing Edit>Bring to Front, or by selecting the upper one and using Edit>Send to Back.|
To remove an instrument from the stage, select it and press your “Delete” key, use Edit>Delete (Command+E) or, if you've just brought it onto the stage, you may use "Undo".
You may wish to resize the stage after you have positioned instruments on it. Normally, an instrument's distance from the left side or top of the stage are not affected by resizing. If you wish to have an instrument's position remain the same distance from the right side of the stage after resizing, select the instrument and choose Edit>Lock>Right. You may also choose the bottom edge the same way. If you want to spread instruments out as you resize, select them and use Edit>Lock>Horizontal, Edit>Lock>Vertical, or both. If you change the position of a locked instrument it will be locked in the new position. To unlock an instrument, select it and use Edit>Unlock> etc.
Duplicating Instruments: You may copy an instrument using option>drag or by selecting it and using Edit>Copy (Command+C) and paste it to the middle of the stage.
|Resizing Instruments: To resize an instrument, select it and choose Edit>Resize (Command+R) from the menu. A blue box will appear on the bottom right side of the selection box. Drag the blue box to scale the instrument up or down. To return the instrument to it's default size, select it and choose Edit>Default size. All instruments may be resized except notes, numbers, and monitors with mix numbers.|
|Rotating Instruments: You may rotate an instrument after it is on the stage by selecting it (alone) and choosing Edit>Rotate... Use the slider to rotate the instrument up to 180 degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise.|
Reversing Instruments: If you want to flip an instrument to create a left-handed guitar, or drumset, for instance, select it and use Edit>Reverse. You can only flip an instrument once, and you may not reverse a rotated instrument. Reverse first, then rotate.
|A Tip: If you've rotated, reversed and resized an instrument into a blur, try Edit>DefaultSize, then resize again. It might help.|
|Working with Features:
Input List: The text you enter into the Input List Window (Window>Input List) will be written to the section beneath the stage. In the preferences window, you may specify whether you want to group 8 lines of text per block, 10 lines, or use up to 3 columns of text per block. These columns are useful to list mics to be used, inserts, etc. Column widths may be adjusted by clicking on the edge of the numbered heading above the text area and dragging left or right. A section of text in a column will be limited in length to the width of the column. Text will not wrap, nor will a word that extends beyond the width of a column print to the input list. Use tab to select the next column, and the up/down arrow keys to change rows. Use the radio buttons to set the number of columns, the sets of three small arrows to change the alignment of the text, the larger arrows to go to the next or previous block of text, and the 'Write to Page' button to write to each block, according to the number at the top of the Input List Window, 1 through 6.
To re-write or clear the input list, open the Input List Window and proceed as before.
If you choose not to use sub-columns, you will be given a window to enter text into that will wrap your text automatically, the same width as a block in your input list. The length of this column will be broken up into 8 or 10 line blocks when you write it to the Stage Window.
To number the lines of the input list, check the checkbox to 'Number to', enter a number in the text area, and press "OK". If you are numbering a list that already has text, the text will be over-written.
You may choose, in the preferences window, to leave the input list off and use the entire page for the stage.
Custom Groups: You may save groups of instruments to use again. Select a group of instruments and use Groups>Save Group. You will be given a window containing the group, and a text field where you will give the group a name. Save your group, and re-use it by choosing Groups and selecting the group by name. If the group will fit in the LoadInWindow without any resizing, it will appear there. If the group is larger than the 'Dock' the group will appear in the middle of the stage and you can drag it to where you like. The group is now a single instrument. To delete a group from memory, choose Groups>Delete and choose the group by name.
Importing Graphics: You may import graphics to use as graphics, such as a logo, or to use as an instrument. Choose File>Import to import your graphic, automatically sized to fit in the 'Dock', and drag it onto the stage, where you may resize it if needed. If you expect to use the same graphic again, save it to the 'Imports' menu and it will be available without having to import it again. To delete an import from memory, use Imports>Delete and choose the import by name.
Stage Plot Title: The horizontal line on the lower half the page separates the stage from the input list, the input list being below the line. Click with your mouse just above the line to add the name of the band, or whatever title you choose. Once the editfield is selected, type your text and hit “Enter” or “Return”. Do not simply click on the stage to de-select the editfield as your title will not be saved, though you will still see it. This rectangle (the space occupied by the editfield on the stage) should be avoided when positioning instruments on the stage, as the instrument’s graphic may be clipped.
Preferences: The Preferences Window (StagePlotPro>Preferences) allows you to select the way you display measurements, i.e. U.S. Customary, or Metric, and the way you wish to group the input list, as well as whether to show the stage size (see below). Grouping the input list by eight allows visual compatibility with many digital audio applications. Grouping it by ten will give you more lines to use. Sub-Columns are meant to line up text vertically, where you may want to specify or suggest a mic to use, an insert, etc.
Show Stage Size: The stage size may be displayed, if you wish, by checking the appropriate checkbox in the Preferences Window. You may choose to have the stage size displayed according to it's size on screen, where 18 pixels = 1 foot, or 59 pixels = 1 meter, or you may designate the size to be shown by checking 'Show as' in the Preferences Window, and entering measurements. These are document preferences, so you will have to use the Preferences Window for any stage plot you wish to display the stage size on.
Undo: Use Edit>Undo or Command+Z. If you are undoing the position of several instruments moved together, they must be selected in order to undo together.
|Monitor Mixes: Numbers may be applied to the images of monitor wedges and side-fills to identify each monitor mix. While the monitor is still in the Load-In window, type the number in the text field and press "Write" or hit "Enter" or "Return" on your keyboard. The number will become part of the graphic. This instrument will not be able to be resized.|
|Notes Window: Use the “Notes” window (select Window>Notes) to add text to the stage. Type your text into the area at the top of the "Notes" window and press “OK”. Your text will appear in the field below. To make changes to your text, you may use the arrow keys to position the cursor in the upper box, then press "OK" again. You may resize the window at this point to arrange your text in a single line, or lines of text in a column. Use the re-size button on the bottom right corner of the window. Then, drag the text onto the stage. Press '?' for tips or colors for colored text. Use the Up-Down arrows to change font size. Click 'B' for bold text. If you have more than one line of text, you may use the arrows below the top edit field to align your text left, center or right. If you wish to re-use the same text, or modify it to use again, check the 'keep text' checkbox.|
Drawing on the Stage: Choose Window>Draw. To draw a straight line, click on the radio button labeled 'Line', and click and drag on the stage. To draw a strictly vertical or horizontal line, press Shift as you drag. Much the same with the other drawing tools - to draw a square, press Shift as you drag a rectangle, to draw a circle, press Shift as you drag an oval. You may choose any shade of grey, or black or white to fill a closed shape. To undo drawing, use Edit> Undo (Command-Z). Likewise, Edit>Redo to re-do. You may return to the Draw window at any point to undo drawing or to clear it.
The Grid: Should you desire to use a grid as a drawing aid or to help to arrange instruments, you may add one by opening the Drawing Window (Window>Draw) and checking 'Show Grid'. You may adjust the size of the grid with the slider above this checkbox. You may dismiss it by unchecking 'Show Grid' in the Drawing Window. The grid will not print or export.
Stagecraft: Add curtains to the stage by selecting Stagecraft>Curtain>Backdrop. At this point, you may also add wings, legs, or both. Move the curtains by choosing Stagecraft>Curtain>Adjust or by positioning your mouse cursor at the top corners or top center of the backdrop curtain until the white arrows appear. Drag the white arrows with your mouse to bring the backdrop forward or back, or to bring the wings in or out. To exit adjust mode, uncheck the menu by choosing Adjust again, hit "Enter" or "Return" on your keyboard, or click on an empty space on the stage.
Risers: You may create risers to preset sizes and angles. Choose Stagecraft>Risers and choose the width, depth and height of the riser you wish to use, whether you wish to display it's dimensions ('Include Dimensions' checkbox), press "Load", and drag it to the stage. A small 'Choir' is available by checking 'Include Choir'.
Printing/Exporting: To print, use File>Print or Command+P. To export your stage plot as a JPEG or PDF file, choose File>Export and choose the format. If you print directly from StagePlotPro, and have expanded the stage/input list, your stage plot will be reduced to fit on a letter-size page. If you wish to print it full-size, use File>Export, and print it on a larger-format printer.
Managing the software:
You must have StagePlotPro in your Applications folder in order to Activate or Deactivate it. The on-line registration process has to communicate with it, so it must know where to find it.
You may install StagePlotPro on two computers at a time. You should use File>Deactivate to deactivate any unused installations, BUT, if you deactivate an installation just to update, you'll have to re-enter your registration information. If you need to raise your limit, please contact us.