The Symbols in Area command was introduced in CC3+ long after most of the basic styles were created, meaning it is not used in those styles’ drawing tools. But since it is very useful for creating terrain features like scattered woodlands, why not set up some new tools to make use of it? In this little article I’ll take you through doing exactly that. As an example I’ll create a scattered deciduous woods for the Mike Schley overland style.

Symbols in Area1. Setting up the Symbols In Area command

  • First, load an existing or start a new Mike Schley overland and choose the Symbols in Area command from the Draw menu.
  • Click Browse and load the Vegetation catalog from /Symbols/Maps/Mike Schley/
  • Set the settings as shown in the screenshot on the right, then Save the setting under \System\Fillers\MS_WoodsDecid.symfill

If you want to test and possibly adjust the settings, draw a smooth polygon on the map and use the command on it after clicking OK in the Symbols in Area dialog.

Drawing Tools2. Creating a new Drawing Tool

Now we need to set up the new drawing tool for this setting.

  • Right-click the Terrain Drawing tools button and click the Advanced button.
  • Select the tool Terrain Default, Forest Decid and click New.
  • Name the new tool “Terrain Default, Woods Decid” and save it.
  • Click Command to Execute and enter the following macro:
  • SYMFILLLOAD @system\fillers\MS_WoodsDecid.symfill
    SELSAVE
    SELBYP
    SYMFILLM
    SELREST

  • Save the tool and you’re good to use it.

Preview3. Creating a Drawing Tool Preview.

You’ll notice that the tool doesn’t have a preview at this point. That’s because a macro-using drawing tool needs a little FCW file (CC3+ map for the preview. Let’s create this as a bonus step – it’s not really necessary but useful.

  • Load the foilowing FCW file in CC3+ from your Programdata folder (which might be different from the path show here): C:\ProgramData\Profanatsy\CC3Plus\System\Drawtools\Overland Mike Schley\Terrain Default, Forest Decid.FCW and save it in the same folder under the name Terrain Default, Woods Decid.FCW. This is the same file name as the drawing tool we created, only with a different file extension.
  • Erase all trees from the file, but leave the gray background.
  • Use the Symbols in Area command with the settings we’ve previously created, then Save the map.

And that’s all there is to creating a scattered woods drawing tool. You can do the same with pine or jungle trees, or any type of symbol you want. Here is an example created with the new drawing tool:
Example Woods

In CC3+, drawing tools are great timesavers. The basic functionality of a drawing tool is that it works as a preset that contains all the various settings required, such as line style, fill style, line width, color, sheet and layer so that when you draw using a drawing tool you don’t have to go around setting all of these manually like we did in the good old days. Drawing tools also have some built-in nice features like being able to draw two separate entities at once, being able to stay within the map border, and the option to easily edit an existing shape.

However, there is another very important feature that exists for drawing tools, and that is to attach macros to them. A drawing tool can contain an embedded macro which follow the tool and isn’t dependent on your main CC3+ macro file and can contain macros that work in tandem with what you draw using the tool, or even functionality that isn’t connected to drawing at all. Today, we’ll look at how to create these tools and have a brief look at how they can make things easier for us.

Drawing with Macros

If you have been making overland maps, you’ll probably familiar with the forest drawing tools. If you pay attention when you use them, you’ll note that they ask you to draw a smooth shape, and then fills this shape with trees after you are done drawing it. This is a macro drawing tool at work. What happens is that the tool itself is only set up to draw that forest background, but it also contain a macro that gets called when you are done drawing that calls the Fill With Symbols command to fill the area you just drew with trees. Let us make a similar macro that uses the Symbols in Area command instead. I won’t go into detail about Symbols in Area here, since this is about making a macro tool that uses the command, rather than explain the command itself, but if you need a refresher for the command, you can look at this article.

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