Copying and pasting items are some of the most commonly used functions of Toolbox and Dimension Tools, particularly once you get comfortable with offsets. Through this one section, you can make spirals, circles, arches, straight walls, even flooring, and much, much more. I told a story about my early Toolbox days during the guide on using the Move function, but once Izy turned me on to copy and paste, I’ve never looked back. The only thing I use the Move function for now is making minute adjustments.
To replace these floor tiles, it takes three easy steps:
1. Press COPY for the rectangle that’s already in place, and pick it up.
2. Drop a rectangle of the new material out of my bags.
3. Select the new material and press PASTE. The Greywood will be replaced in this particular example with Black Marble in the exact same position, saving me tons of time in trying to line up a replacement block with the old one. If I’ve offset correctly when I put in the Greywood, there still won’t be any flicker or excessive overlap.
For basic copy and pasting, the steps above are it! If you use Dimension Tools and are copying like items, you won’t even have to get an item out of your bags to paste–again, if you’re using like items. Switching from Greywood to Marble, I would still have to pull out a piece of Marble to paste, or otherwise, I’ll just replace Greywood with Greywood.
But, say I don’t want to replace something already there, I want to make something new. Copy and paste, in combination with Offsets, will save me tons of time. Suppose I’m making a floor with a patterned mosaic inlay in the tile. I could manually copy and paste each smaller tile in the floor, or I could use Offsets, and do all my inlays at once. First, however, I can use copy and paste with offsets to make the floor itself (and walls, and the roof…):
Once I’m ready to do the inlay, there’s just a couple things I need to figure out first:
1. How long is my total floor? In this particular example, the combined tiles are 18 game units in the X axis, which is the direction I’ll be going.
2. How big do I want my inlay pieces? Well, that’s always going to change, based upon aesthetics. But let’s pick, for the sake of the exercise, a scale of 3. I’m going to use an offset of 1.5 game units for each piece of the inlay I’m moving in the X direction (from side to side). Since I’m going opposite the arrows, my offset will be -1.5.
I can tell after running the first row that my inlay isn’t quite centered on the tiles, so when the whole thing is done, I’ll need to shift everything as a group just a bit to the side. With an offset of -1.5, and to fill 18 game units of space, I need 12 tiles for each leg of the inlay, according to my handy PC calculator. I can copy using one item (which were also copied and pasted, using rotational offsets, which we’ll talk more about with spinning), then CTRL + D to pull 11 more blocks out of my bag. As long as I have the box checked to Offset Each Item, all 11 of the new blocks will fall in line like good little boys and girls.
When rotating on multiple axes, be mindful that many times, Toolbox will flip the rotation on the Roll axis. An easy fix for that is to select all the items that were pasted crooked, save it as a set, then load the set in the original location. That fix also works for Dimension Tools, which does the same thing.
I can make a pattern as simple or complex as I wish, using offsets in conjunction with the copy and paste function. Diamonds, stars, prisms, cross-hatch, you name it, you can do it. As always, experimentation is the key in making it work and either maintaining a reference of common offsets, or making use of the Offset Calculator function within Dimension Tools.