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Easy Trace Pro 8.8.1838

Anyone who has ever edited vector data (doesn't matter in which software) surely happened to ask angrily:

"I need only to [a simple action] - why could not they [a simple decision]!??"

Why is it necessary to select a new mode or even to change a tool for any small point? Why can I drive nails and scratch my back with the same hammer in real life but must take a special "scratcher" in a program?

I believe that programs behave like that because programmers wish to lighten their work. They try to write the code in the most organized way and thus avoid any blending of functions no matter how convenient it may be for the user.

Another point is talkativeness of some programs. I do remember a kind of shock I was in after a dialogue with AutoCAD (moreover, its rather late version). It was something like that:

- What to do?
- Edit.
- What to edit?
- Polylines!
- What to do with polylines?
- Edit vertex!!
- What to do with vertex?
- Delete, %№#&!!!
- OK, you may delete vertex but you will not be able...
- $#*@, *$@ #$#@ +=%*!!!!!!!!

I had to press hard for both tool multifunctionality and the interface that tries to be "telepathic". What's wrong with these non-traditional approaches if they allow you to do (figuratively) several clicks instead of several thousands ones?

Swiss knife as an instrument for vector editing

Universal editing commands

Most editing tools support the concept of the "current" object - the only object that will be affected by the next operation. In Easy Trace, one object is always marked as current even if the tool enables alteration of several objects at once. What is it for?

There are some operations you may apply to the selected (current) object besides special abilities of the tool "taken" in your right hand. For example, you may delete it. Change the layer of the object. Close / unclose the polyline, open the dialog box of attributes, cancel previous changes after all. Certainly, you do all these things with your left hand - just press one key in the keyboard.

In the current version we have unified the set of universal commands applicable to the current object. he following keyboard commands may be used regardless of the selected editing tool (key apportionment by default):
  • DEL, TAB - delete;
  • CTRL + Z - undo changes;
  • D - close / unclose the polyline;
  • X - change direction of the polyline;
  • F2 - show object attributes;
  • S - change the layer.

Double Click for line joining and integrated Eraser in Camber Editor

It seems reasonable also to diversify abilities of the tool in your right hand. Some simple operations become available depending on the situation around the cursor.

(I do remember how happy I was once playing UFO - I had no cartridge any more but managed to stun the "enemy" when flung my gun into him. I believe, it is an excellent decision of developers - the gun may be used not for shooting only).

Double Clickfor line joining

Vector data editing, after automatic tracing in particular consists of numerous operations of vector line cutting and joining. Now, it is enough to click twice in the gap between lines to join them. Joining is possible even if there are several "candidates" - the program joins the line pair nearest to the cursor.

Note that it is not a special joining tool you must select explicitly but a new ability of some usual tools:

  • Camber Editor;
  • Eraser;
  • Topology Editor;
  • (Individual) Editor.

Integrated Eraser in Camber Editor

The Camber Editor is perhaps the most useful tool at editing of winding lines. But there is often a need to use the Eraser while line form improvement - to delete a "rubbish" object "glued" to the line or an incorrect line joining. Change of tools is always a time loss and distraction, but you may avoid it now.

The Camber Editor becomes the full-blown Eraser automatically when you put the cursor on the current line. Back replacement of the tools is also automatic - just move the cursor from the line.

As usually, the Ctrl and Shift keys-modifier make the Eraser "blue" (cutting mode) and "red" (deletion mode). At that, you may cut or/and delete not the current line only. To return into Camber Editor, release the key-modifier.

Considering another new ability of the Camber Editor (line joining at double click), we have an editing tool as universal as a Swiss knife.

Automatic vectorizing

Breakup Joining utility

Automatic vectorizing in Easy Trace is advisedly designed as a series of simple operations. Unlike drawings, cartographic materials are too complex and various to be vectorized, cleaned and recognized at a stretch. No advanced set of parameters is sufficient for this task (so far).

Representation of different data in one map sheet causes gaps in lines. Vectorizing of gaped objects implies subsequent breakup joining. Total time of vectorizing depends greatly on reliability of line form restoration.

Reliability of breakup joining increases noticeably when length, curvature, direction and mutual position of line fragments is considered.  It helps to decrease number of false junctions, improves correspondence of vector lines to the image and thus reduces time of manual editing.

  • Long line parts are often broken into very short segments that may be oriented anyhow, even transverse the initial raster line. There will be gaps in lines if we do not use such fragments at breakup joining but if we do, they damage line form.

    A new group of options allows using short fragments without taking their orientation into account. The program treats the fragments as points the line must pass through.

    You may refuse from utilization of short fragments at breakup joining at all. For example, it may be reasonable at restoration of solid lines if there are a lot of dashed lines in your material. Dashed lines will be restored separately;

  • A new group of options enables you to skip remnants of text. Vectorized inscriptions cause a lot of false line joints. Useful line fragments may "adhere" to these vector artifacts, especially if the latter break the line. False joining decreases notably when you exclude short badly curved vector segments from the operation;
  • The new "Allow crossing of joining segments..." option enables joining of line segments through text. There are usually a lot of communication lines in schemes on the scale 1:500 - 1:2000. They may cross each other and lines of other layers arbitrarily. The lines may also include text symbols in gaps.
    To join segments of lines that contain text symbols, specify the search radius a little greater than gaps between the segments. Besides, minimal convergence angle should be about 150 degrees;
  • Optimized curve" joining mode is added.

    We recommend to optimize line form at the final stage of data processing at automatic vectorizing, after line fragments are united into integral lines, line ends are snapped to the frame, and gross defects of line form are corrected manually. The program optimizes every line as a single whole in that case. As a result, the lines have no sharp bends and consist of minimal possible number of vertices.

    As automatic tracing generates "dense" lines with a great number of vertices, Easy Trace sews line fragments together with "dense" curves as well. But this method is unhandy at breakup joining in already optimized lines (for example, at editing of vector data received from an external source).

    Gap filling with “dense” segments makes no sense for already optimized lines. The new option generates an optimized curve in the gap between line segments with the specified precision;

  • Parameters of Breakup Joining may be saved as a strategy.

    Work process (and therefore, utility parameters) usually remains constant at processing of single-type materials and production on the line. At that, breakup joining should be run twice as a rule at real data processing: «cautious» joining before applying of the Raw Line Filtering utility and final joining that unites line fragments.

    Saving of operation parameters as a strategy that will be inherited at prototype-based creation of new projects accelerates data processing and helps to avoid errors at independent selection of parameter by operators;

  • Descriptions of all utility parameters are added. You will find them at the bottom of the dialog box. Content of this field depends on the parameter you have moved the cursor to;
  • Formula for calculation of convergence angles is improved. Previously it caused a little overstating of results.

Raw Line Filtering utility

Filtering is powerful tool for automatic editing of data received by automatic vectorizing. Gradual adding of advanced features to the Breakup Joining, Filtering, and Automatic Recognition utilities constantly decreases application domain of manual and semi-manual tracing .

  • “Merge” option is provided now for processing of Т-joints. It helps to unite the line together with correction of junction points. For example, you may form a united line of a road or river channel and correct its connections with lines of other roads or tributaries.
  • The option acts like breakup joining in lines of special types after deletion of “branches”. For example, you may delete “branches” in vectorized scarps, then correct their T-joints with contour lines and thus automatically vectorize very “inconvenient” relief.

    The same line before and after application of T-joints correction:

  • The "Draw out Contour" option is added for branch deletion

    After branch deletion at a sharp line bend, it stretches the arc of curve up to the former top of the branch.  It is supposed that the branch was generated by automatic vectorizing of a sewn bend of a thick line.

  • The “Winding” parameter is added. It helps to separate short fragments of lines from strokes generated at vectorizing of “rubbish” objects.

    Deletion of short badly bent segments notably accelerates final editing. The segments may be vectorized remnants of sepia in polygon filling, remnants of inscriptions after deletion of loops, etc. They differ from segments of “real” lines by great sinuosity, and it may serve as a separation criterion;

  • The "Close" option at loop deletion sews ends of adjacent lines together.

    Joining of line segments through a loop (circle) included into the line is a usual task at vectorizing. It is connected with overcoming of caves in thick lines first of all, but circles may be also inserted into lines on purpose. These may be depth marks at boundaries of water bodies, flex points in long linear boundaries, or circles in lines of special types;

  • You will find descriptions of all parameters of the utility at the bottom of the dialog box. Content of this field depends on the parameter you have moved the cursor to;
  • The button with an obscure symbol "R" is substituted for the "Reset" button and moved from the header to the Parameters section. The button restores default, most strict parameters of artifact selection.

Line Form Optimization utility

“Spline” method is added for line form optimization. It cuts off corners at sharp line bends notably more seldom. The method is particularly effective for “dirty” thick lines with numerous small false spikes. The disadvantage of the method consists in possible distortion of straight parts of lines.

Tools for vectorizing and editing

Object snapping is unified

It is always useful to know results of the supposed action beforehand. The “Snap” video-mode shows you position of the vertex than will be generated, snapping point, or selected vertex before the operation.

The Snap mode is provided for all the tools it makes sense for. It is indicated by the marker that shows possible snapping variants for the object being traced or edited. Snapping control is added to the View Mode tool bar.

Tools - semiautomatic tracers

  • Snapping in manual mode has become obvious

    Future snapping point of the current line or the object to be inserted is highlighted, and snapping type (snap to vertex / snap to edge / ortho-snapping) is indicated by the marker.

  • Line part copying is improved

    The button of the Copy mode turned into an option similar to Autoclose. Line part copying is accessible just after specifying of the point of snapping to an existing line. Cursor move along the line you want to copy or along a line connected with it immediately shows the shortest route from the start point to the current cursor position. To leave the mode, click the final point, and the specified part of the line (or lines) will be copied.

  • Spline at line form control

    A new filter is added for line optimization after semiautomatic tracing. It cuts off corners at sharp line bends notably more seldom.

  • Rectangle Tracer

    At rectangle forming in manual mode, the program automatically searches for snapping for all the corners.

  • Corner rounding by Ortho Tracer

    Corner rounding mode becomes current when a key-modifier is pressed. Use the mouse wheel to control rounding radius.

Arcwise closing in tracers and editors.

The lion’s share of vectorizing is automatic, and the program sews together most line fragments at automatic tracing by arcs. Arcwise line joining and contour closing has become the default option. Keep the SHIFT modifier pressed if you want the program to generate a straight line instead of a smooth arc.

User tools

When possible, the program copies parameters of the user tool at creation of a new one to accelerate the operation.

Parameter setting for user tools - tracers

Parameters of user tools – tracers are subdivided into groups. Logic is introduced into the dialog box that prevents accidental input of absurd values.

Hatched Area Outliner

Hatched area (swamp) outliner may be used for user tool forming similar to other tracers.


  • Generation of inscriptions

    For quick setting of inscription generation parameters, click the “Setup Inscription” button in the Object Attributes dialog box.

  • Ruler tool

    Visualization of angle measurement as an arc is added. All parameters of the Ruler (DPI, scale, and distance) have become computational in the raster window. Of these three parameters, Easy Trace calculates the earliest changed one. For example, if you change DPI, and the previous changed parameter was scale, the program calculates distance.

  • Query-based object selection by Group Editor

    Similar polylines may be selected quickly with the help of automatic adjustment of selection criteria. Click any line–pattern, and the program will use its characteristics to form a filter consisting of the following criteria

    • Area not greater (for closed lines);
    • Length not greater;
    • Number of vertices (VrtCnt) not greater;
    • Winding not greater.
    For example, it is easy to select and delete vectorized topo-symbols or text applying this option – just click an example.

  • Tools' effective area

    Tools for which the area of operation concept is applicable, can use existing polygons as borders of the area (press CTRL and specify the polygon with the mouse marker). Besides, vector objects may be used at area specifying. To do it, press SHIFT and snap the border of the area to the object.  The set of tools that “understand” the concept comprises Inspector, Shears, Autotrace, Autodetect Grid, etc.

  • 3D Polyline

    Joining of 3D-polylines is improved. Line completion at beginning of editing and its capture at return to tracing are developed.

Image operations

Polyzonal (multispectral) images

Loading and review of multispectral images saved into one TIFF-file are realized. Imagery review is provided in two versions: RGB- totality of selected ranges or grayscale representation of one range.

Besides, the current representation of the multispectral image may be saved as a common raster file for further processing.

Image georeferencing and correction based on a regular grid

    Image Linking Wizard is refashioned. It enables you now:
  • To assemble the entire raster coverage or individual map sheets out of raster fragments;
  • To assemble the entire raster coverage out of raster fragments with accompanying restoration of individual map sheet images;
  • To assemble a coverage out of map sheets of different size;
  • To use a ruling grid non-aliquot to the reference grid in the maps;
  • To assemble coverages with raster «patches» superimposed on underlying images;
  • To use map sheet frames shifted relatively grid nodes;
  • To assemble a coverage out of maps on different scale and with different reference grids;
  • To minimize manual input of coordinates (and therefore errors) at coverage assembling;
  • To avoid image adding into an incorrect place as neighboring map sheets (or sheet fragments) are visible at adding of a new one.

Image merging by two points

Image merging has become even simpler. The program shows both images selected for the operation and merging result simultaneously. The result is changing together with selection of new common points in the images. So, you may estimate it even before final merging is done, though it is possible to refuse from it later as well, applying the Bask command in the dialog box.

Change of color mode

These operations have become much faster for multicore /  multiprocessor units due to paralleling of data processing. It enables you to create images – covers quickly (i.e. true color-> 256 colors), to smooth black-and-white images applying diffusion (black-&-white -> gray scale -> black-&-white), etc.

Binarization and Color Set tools

  • Forced widening / narrowing of the current mask is added. Keep CTRL key pressed during selection of the next color sample – alteration of the current mask will be done instead of adding of the new one.
  • To simplify adjustment of color ranges in the mask, the histogram in the dialog box is supplemented with numeric editors of range borders;

Combine Images utility

Optional transparent superimposing of images’ overlapped zones is added.

Interface of the package

  • Contextual menu of the project is expanded

    New commands are added to the contextual menu that appears at right click within the project field. New commands allow you to:

    • Make the image current (i.e. available for processing in the working window);
    • Delete raster layers;
    • Duplicate raster layers;
    • Export image georeferencing files (Worl-files).

  • Contextual menu is expanded in the Layer Manager dialog box fore the current image

    New commands are added to the contextual menu provided for the current image:

    • Make the image current (i.e. available for processing in the working window);
    • Duplicate raster layer;
    • Save image as TIFF;
    • Show information about image properties.
    The "Save image as TIFF" command helps to refuse from saving in lossy formats (i.e., JPEG). Besides, it is impossible to save results of JPEG-image processing and transformation into black-and-white one – JPEG format does not support binary images.

  • Project loading control

    Loading of a project with many visible raster layers may be rather long. Now you may interrupt the entire flow of image loading rather than every image separately.

  • System Settings dialog box is refashioned
    • Unwieldy Setting Wizard is substituted by a tree of pages.
    • Binarization Parameters dialog box has become a page in the System Settings dialog box (previously, the settings were accessible only from the Binarize and Color Set tools).
  • Hot key settings
    • The list of operations for which hot keys may be assigned is notably increased;
    • Optionally, hot keys may be subdivided into categories to simplify the search;
    • Optionally, hot keys may be sorted according to command name of assigned symbol to simplify the search.
  • Project Information dialog box (Project -> Information) is altered

    "Select all" option is improved. It is called "Select / unselect all" now and affects all the other options.

  • Import of JET - files is improved

    Structure of projects with a small number of layers may be imported now in demo-mode.

  • Switching of color schemes

    One command (and therefore, one hot key) is now provided for switching of color schemes intended for color and black-&-white image processing.


  • Line Form Optimization utility: the bug is corrected that caused a sharp bend of closed contours near the closure point.
  • Loss of marks at project saving is removed. Now, you may process marked objects during several working sessions.
  • The bug is corrected that generated screen artifacts sometimes at zooming with the mouse wheel.
  • The bug is corrected: the program fell at object writing to a frozen layer (it was typical for tracers and 3D-polyline).
  • Generate Frame and Grid Utility - the program generated frame and grid incorrectly at specifying of limit values for the grid step.
  • Camber Editor: the tool could change orientation of line fragments at editing of contours composed of several objects. As a result, it unclosed such contours sometimes. 
  • Create Subproject utility: the bug is corrected that allowed one to select a frozen layer for saving of frames and inscriptions. As a result, the program fell after start of the utility. Now it generates a message at selection of a frozen layer.
  • The bug is corrected in Layer Manager: it was impossible to change anything in the dialog box if you didn't press ENTER after layer renaming.
  • Wrong functioning at substitution of the Hatched Area Outliner for another tracing tool or the Editor is corrected.
  • Wrong functioning at prototype-based project creation is corrected: if you selected a prototype, moved to the next page, then returned and tried to refuse from the prototype, the program didn't consider the rejection and used the prototype all the same.
  • Now, the program fulfils visibility actualization when you select a layer to make it current. So, you may switch on a layer and select is without closing of the layer list.
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