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Visual Planner Customer Support:
Email: support@visual-planner.com
Tel: 1.866.529.3920 X2


Video Tutorials


Screens


Navigational Tools
Drawings Tools
Design Tools
System Tools

FAQ

Designing an Office:

Please note: Visual Planner usability on Macs cannot be guaranteed because of the large number of operating system and browser configurations.

The Visual Planner home page contains two ways of accessing the system.  As a registered user, you can log in directly from this page using your email address and password. The Get Started button is intended for the general public (customers on your website, where applicable) as a lead generation tool.

When entering the system as a registered user, you will be presented with a Welcome page, allowing you to choose from one of the following options:

 Create a New Layout: Start a new project requiring a space layout. See Step1: WALLS for your next steps when choosing this option.

 Load a Typical Layout: Depending on your Visual Planner version, you may be presented with this option, allowing you to start a project by selecting from popular product configurations. Typical layouts are a great way of browsing through popular desk/workstation options without the need to create each one from scratch. 

 Product Selector:  If available in your version of Visual Planner, this option will allow you to bypass the “planner” altogether and instead find detailed information for individual products.  For instance, if you are only looking to find a single item to see its specification options and price, you will benefit from using Product Selector.

 Load a saved session: After logging in to the system, registered users are able to retrieve any previously saved projects/sessions.  An upgraded design for this feature now allows you to easily find and sort through your projects.

Step Navigation: Once inside the system, you can simply navigate between the sections by clicking BACK or NEXT button.

  1. Step 1 Walls: Create, modify, delete and resize design area. Add Interior Walls, as well as, Doors & Windows.
  2. Step 2 Design: Access available products and lay them out in your space. Specify finish or fabric options for your products.
  3. Step 3 Accessories: Browse through available Accessories by manufacturer name or product lines and add them to your order.
  4. Step 4 Quote: Review or print detailed bill of materials. Add additional items to your quote if needed.

To start a layout, select a pre-designed room shape or draw your own from scratch. Initial room measurements can be changed later on if necessary.

If using one of the pre-designed room shapes, the walls will be already in place after you click the continue button. In contrast, when drawing a room from scratch, you will automatically start in the "Draw Mode" where you can trace the layout of your walls by setting points on the design grid. Tutorial

Note: General Room Elements such as columns, heating/cooling elements and electrical symbols can be found in the Room Elements category in the Products drop-down menus in Step 2 Design.

 

Drawing Tools allows users to modify the shape and size of their room.

DRAW Toolbox:
Used to place Interior Walls, as well as Doors and Windows.
  Single Wall: Draw single wall segment(s).

Multi-Wall: Draw a continuous (multi-section) wall.
 
  Draw Windows: Choose the window height and floor-to-sill distance in the window options popup. Click and drag the cursor along a wall to create a new window. Release when the desired width is reached. Move a window by selecting it and dragging along the wall. Dimensions are displayed while moving the window to assist in determining the correct placement. To remove a window, select and click the delete button. Tutorial
  Draw Doors: Choose the door height in the door options popup. The direction of the door swing is determined by dragging the cursor to the left or right of your starting point. Click and drag your cursor along a wall and release when desired door width and swing direction is reached. Move a door by selecting it and dragging along the wall. Dimensions are displayed while moving the door to assist in determining the correct placement. To remove a door, select it and click the delete button. Tutorial
EDIT Toolbox:
A variety of tools are available to simplify the editing of walls. Tutorial
   
  Wall Thickness: Adjust the thickness of existing interior walls. Select the wall(s) first before changing the thickness.
   
  Delete Selection: Delete individual wall segments.
  Delete All: Interior Walls: Remove all interior walls (exterior walls will remain).
  Delete All: Exterior Walls: Remove all exterior walls (interior walls will remain).
   
  Resize Grid: Change the dimensions of the area you are currently planning.
      Reduce Grid Size: Reducing the size of your space will automatically remove all the walls AND products.Tutorial
      Increase Grid Size: Increasing the size will not affect any products you may have placed on the floor plan. Simply adjust your walls to the new size.Tutorial
     

Upgraded Wall Dimensioning and Print Options:

1-Walls have been recalibrated to display "inside wall" dimensions.


2-New option to display all wall dimensions in Visual Planner

This enhancement allows for better visualization of room dimensions by displaying all relevant wall measurements.


In Step 2: Design, you will be able to browse through available products in the system and start laying them out in your space. Tutorial

 

Product Pull-Down Menus: Start here to access all available products in the system. Pull-Down Menus may look different based on different Visual Planner setups.
Note: All lists available through the drop-down menus are sorted alphabetically.

Advanced Menus:

NOTE: The Menus shown below are one example of a Visual Planner version containing a Wholesaler Catalog as well as Manufacturer Libraries.  Your actual menus may vary depending on the system you are using.

First: Select a Catalog.

Second: Choose whether to search by Manufacturer or Product Index.

Select Manufacturer: List of available manufacturers. A selection here is required to view available options in the next menu.

Select a Product Series: List of available collections for the manufacturer selected in the previous menu. Note: The product library opens automatically once you select a collection from this menu.

or
 

Select a Product Category: of available product types (regardless of the manufacturer). A selection here is required to view available options in the next menu.

Select Manufacturer/Series: List of available manufacturer(s) and their collections that fall within the category selected in the previous menu. Note: The product library opens automatically once you select a collection from this menu.

 

Basic Menus:

Product Series: Each category is further broken down into specific product options or sizes.

 

Note about Generic Catalog:

The Generic Catalog, which contains standard furniture item shapes or symbols without any particular manufacturer item number, provides you with an option to lay out a space for visual presentation purposes only while deciding later which specific manufacturer items to assign to the product symbols on the Bill of Materials or Quote page, or to use the generic furniture item symbols as place holders to represent furniture that already exists in an area you are laying out.

If you deploy your Visual Planner on your website so your customers can lay out their own spaces, the generic catalog also provides an easy option for them to simply select the types of furniture they are looking for, and you can specify the lines you want to recommend to them.



Availability of Panel System Furniture Components within the Generic Catalog:

Without the need to follow SKU-specific rules for panel systems furniture (i.e., type of connectors used, power options for panels, etc.), the Generic Catalog includes individual systems furniture components as well as some popular systems layout typicals. Users should ensure they’ve included all critical components in their Bill of Materials list before ordering.


Viewport Tools: allows users to navigate in planning area and manipulate products.

3D/BACK: The 3D button is located on the lower right side of the screen in Step 2: DESIGN and displays an isometric 3D preview of the floor plan. Once on the 3D-view, use the Back button to return to the plan view. Tutorial

Measure: Measure button is located on the lower right side of the screen in Step 2: DESIGN. To activate the tape measure tool, simply click the "Measure : OFF" button, which will change to "Measure : ON" and highlight in orange..  Next, simply click where you would like to begin your dimension string and click again to end it. Deactivate the tool by clicking the Measure button. To remove a dimension string, select it on the plan and click the delete button. The tape measure tool must be deactivated in order to move or delete dimension strings. Dimensions can be hidden by clicking the Hide Measure button.  Your Measurements will be printed on the plan-view if left visible on the floor plan.

Tutorial

Zoom In/Out/Reset: Zoom in, out, or reset the room area.Tutorial


 

Product Tools: Perform specific operations on the selected product.

Rotate: Rotates the current product selected at 15 degree increments.
Information: Provides specific information about the current product selected.
Delete: Deletes the current product selected.

Configure: Allows user to add products (such as pedestals) below the main product if options are available.  Placing items on the floor plan from modular collections such as desk or credenza shells will automatically prompt this reminder.

The Configuration option serves as a short-cut for you to locate all available and correct storage options available for the specific work surface such as pedestals and lateral files. You no longer need to leave the Visual Planner to look up this information in a catalog. This saves you time as well as ensures you are selecting only the correct options. Tutorial

Copy: Allows User to select one or multiple items and copy them. The duplicated item/group will retain all the original choices made including finish, added Pedestals below work surfaces, etc.Tutorial
NEW Tag: Adds a tag/label to the product or product groupings on the floor plan for the purpose of listing those products together under the selected tags/labels. See below for more detailsTutorial

 

Tagging Products:

You can now tag/label your products if you would like them to be listed as a group under their own label on the quote page.  Tags can be added to individual products or a group selection of products.

When adding a tag, you will be able to enter a new tag title or choose from existing tags (if any).

Please also note the available check box on the lower left corner of the window to add a text label to the drawing.

In this example, both tags include the optional text label.

The ultimate result of tagging products is to display them appropriately grouped under the added tags, as shown in this example.

 

 

Snap On/Off: The Snap tool indicates the location where two items would "snap" together (green line or X) when you move them close to each other. You can turn the Snap tool off, by clicking on the highlighted Snap button, if you need to place items close to each other without connecting them together. Tutorial

Note: The Snap tool is activated by default when starting a design (box is highlighted).

 

 

Specify: Allows users to preview and select available Finish/Fabric options. Simply select an item on the floor plan and click the Specify button to access this page. Finish/Fabric options are shown on a sample arrangement from the selected collection. Any choices made here will be applied to the entire collection unless chosen otherwise. Please also note, for your convenience, your last choice made on this page also applies to new items dragged from the library. To select finishes per individual product, uncheck the box located under the finish choices. If unchecked, your specification choices will be applied to the currently selected product only. Tutorial

Secondly, based directly on user inquiries, you are now able to print the Specification Page, including the rendering/image as well as the list of options selected, allowing the opportunity to highlight specific furniture and options during their customer presentations.

Consistent with the 2D/3D drawings and the quote page, this new page is formatted to display your company and contact information.

In this step, you will be able to browse through available items (such as ergonomic products, door kits, etc.) not found inside the design section and enter the desired quantity to be added to the order. Tutorial

The quote page contains a detailed bill of materials. All product information such as, SKU#, Finish, Quantity and Prices are tracked here as soon as items are placed on the floor plan.

Features: Depending on your Visual Planner system, all or some of the following functionality may be available.

- Moving rows: You can change the order of rows by simply rolling over a row and dragging it up or down with the availablesymbol.

- Check boxes: Hide column content from your quote before printing or sharing the project.

- Add New Item: Manually add a new line item to the Quote regardless of the availability of the product in your Visual Planner library.

- Discount (%) field: Option to discount each individual SKU. Simply enter a percentage by which you would like the List Price to be discounted. The new price is automatically calculated and shown as the new Sell Price.

- Print: You can print your Quote directly from this page while the 2D/3D drawings are available for print under the File/Print menu.

There are also fields to enter Sales Tax as well as Design, Delivery and Installation Fee. Sub-totals as well as the grand total are calculated automatically. Additionally, any/all information entered on this page is saved along with the design when saving a session.

NEW, electronic Quote/Order submission is programmed to forward your inquiries directly to the appropriate United Stationers Care Team.

Once you've submitted your quote to United Stationers, you will receive a confirmation that we have received your quote and will respond soon with your quote.


Note: Only registered users have the ability to interact with the Quote and make entries on this page.


System Tools

Open: Used to start a new session and/or retrieve a previously saved session without the need to restart the system or entry of log-in information. (Registered Users Only.)
Save: Command allows users to save a current office layout design. Designs are given a unique session number that can be used to retrieve them in the future. (Registered Users Only.)
Save As: Allows users to save a copy of the current office layout design as a new session number. (Registered Users Only.)
Print: Print the plan view (2D drawing) and/or the 3D view of current design. Please note that the Bill of Materials (Quote) is printed directly (and separately) from the Quote page. (Registered Users Only.) Tutorial
Share: Allows users to share their design with others. When sharing a project with an unregistered user (i.e. potential customer), the recipient of the Share email will automatically receive a temporary password in order to be able to access the design. For a more detailed description of the Share Feature see the FAQ section. (Registered Users Only.)
Please Note: Designs can only be shared with one email address at a time.
Export: This option is used to export the data from the Quote page (bill of materials) into either a ".csv" or ".sif" format in order to avoid a manual entry into an Order Entry System (OES). (Registered Users Only) The ".csv" (comma separated values) format is commonly used in various databases as well as Spreadsheet Analysis software, such as Microsoft Excel. The ".sif" (Standard Interchange Format) format can be read by many OES such as DDMS(Tutorial), Britannia(Tutorial) and Ensite PRO among others.
Please Note: When using the Export feature, you are ONLY exporting the data available in Visual Planner such as, Manufacturer Name, SKU number, List Price and Sell Prices (entered or changed in the Quote). Animated Vision does NOT have access to and cannot guarantee any future integration between the data from Visual Planner and your Order Entry System.
Restart: Command allows users to log out of the system and either start a new layout or log back in to work on previous designs. Please note: If multiple users are using the same computer station to access the system, each user should restart after they complete a session and leave the station.
Contact Us: Command allows end users to contact YOU (the dealership or manufacturer) with their project or order questions. This feature serves as a lead generation tool and automatically saves customers' sessions prior to forwarding the contact request.

Tools

1. Search: This search feature (accessible through the TOOLS Menu) allows you to enter a SKU number in order to find its exact location.

Start typing the sku, then choose the exact sku from the list.

Make sure to include the appropriate prefix for available catalog items. (i.e. HON212C_ for Hon products in some catalogs versus H212C_ in Hon’s own library).

 
Products found in and will show Search Type and System, as well as the Manufacturer and Product Series. With this information, you can then use the Product Dropdown Menus, or the See Library function to locate the product. The See Library button opens the correct menus and highlights the item you searched for.  

2. Text: The new Text Tool is located under the "Tools" menu along with the Search feature.

When selected, the Text tool will open the "Text Editor"
where all entries and formatting changes are made.


Please also note the "Hide all text" option, which allows you
to generate a print out without the text previously entered if desired.

Once the Text Editor is closed, users will be able to move,
rotate, duplicate and delete the text just like furniture items. Tutorial

Edit Text: Opens the "Text Editor" where text and formatting changes are made. Tutorial

 


NOTE: Depending on the Visual Planner system you are using, this module may or may not be available for your account. 

This new module enables you to easily access the list of available products for specification and/or quoting purposes while bypassing the space-planning steps.

Accessing the Module:

As a Visual Planner subscriber, you automatically gain access to this new module through your existing Visual Planner account. Simply enter the system with your current Username & Password combination and use the "Product Selector" button to bypass the planner and access the new module:



Locating Products

Integrated "auto suggest" functionality allows for immediate access to desired item numbers while avoiding wrong entries - users select from database-verified item numbers, reducing the chance of keying errors.



Specifying Products (finish, fabric and other product options)

As in Step 2: DESIGN of Visual Planner, the SPECIFY button allows you view all of available specification choices for each collection/series.  In the Product Selector Module these options can also be entered manually by entering option codes (Auto Suggest functionality available).



FAQ

  1. I am having difficulties drawing Doors and Windows. What am I doing wrong? When approaching a wall in the DRAW Doors/Windows mode, you will notice that the cursor changes to a star/asterisks shape. If having difficulties drawing doors/windows, you may be moving the cursor too far out over the width of the wall. Simply bring back the cursor inside the space so that you can clearly see the star shape. Tutorial
  2. Where can I find pedestals to use below my worksurface? Instead of looking for those items in the general product library, you can find them inside the Configuration page for each desk, credenza, return or bridge (if applicable) within the modular collections. This is not only a short-cut but also guarantees that you will be working with correct options for that specific product. To access those storage options, simply drag your desk or credenza onto the floor plan and click the 'Configure' button associated with them. Once on the Configuration page, you will be represented with all available AND correct storage options that can be placed below the work surface. For additional information on Configuration process, please see the CONFIGURE section.Tutorial
  3. Why do all my products change to the same color? Finish/Fabric selections made in the color selection screen will be applied to the entire collection you are currently working with, unless the "Apply selection to all products in the same collection or series" button is unchecked. Individual color selections for the same collection must be made outside of the system.
  4. How do I move, rotate, or delete more than one product at a time? Hold down your left mouse button and draw a selection box that surrounds any products you want to move together. An outline will appear as you draw. When you release, all of the products selected will be grouped within red brackets. You can move, rotate, or delete all of these products at one time. To cancel this group, simply on the grid in an area away from the group and it will become separate products again. Tutorial
  5. How do I share my design? The Share feature can be accessed under the File menu on the upper right corner of the system interface. In case of unregistered users (i.e. Customers), recipients of a Share Email will automatically receive the required login information in form a temporary (21 days) password along with instruction on how to access a design. Tutorial
  6. Why can't I use any of the commands under File, such as Save, Print, Share, etc.? If you are having difficulties accessing the features listed under the File menu, you must have entered the system through the "Public Area". See the following 2 scenarios for next steps:
    • If you are a registered user, simply use the "LOGIN" button at the bottom of the Registration window that appears and enter the system with your email address and password.
    • If you have NOT previously registered for Visual Planner, simply enter the required registration email and a temporary password will be emailed to you. Use this password to continue.
  7. Can I generate a PDF from the available print pages? Yes. You can use any third-party PDF Creator/Writer software, such as Adobe Acrobat (available for purchase) or free PDF Creators such as CutePDF or PDF24 for this purpose.

    With a PDF maker/writer software installed, you are now able to “print/save” any page you would like into a PDF format. In other words, instead of getting the hardcopy from your printer, you save the page digitally, as a PDF on your computer.

    In Visual Planner, you can currently print/save the following pages:

    - 2D/3D drawings:
    To print the drawings, proceed to Step2:DESIGN, open the File Menu on the upper right side of the planner and choose PRINT.  Next, simply select the view you would like and click the Print button located below the views. When your printer selection window opens, simply scroll through your available options and select a PDF Maker Software instead of your default printer. Next, select a file name and a location where you would like to save the PDF.  Tutorial

    - Specify Page (sample, color image for the collections selected):
    To access this page, select a product on your floor plan and click the SPECIFY button on the lower right corner of the planner.  Once on the specify page, open the File Menu on the upper right side of the planner and choose PRINT.  When your printer selection window opens, simply scroll through your available options and select the PDF Writer installed on your computer instead of your default printer. Next, select a file name and a location where you would like to save the PDF.  Tutorial

    - Quote Page:
    To print the Quote Page, simply proceed to Step4:QUOTE in the planner and follow the same instructions as described above for SPECIFY Page.

    NOTE:The latest release of Chrome (The Google browser) includes a "Save as PDF option". This option negates the need to install a separate PDF writer. Visit www.google.com/chrome  to download Chrome.  Tutorial

    Disclaimer: Visual Planner has no affiliation with the aforementioned companies and cannot guarantee the functionality of their software on individual computers or be held liable for any problems as a result of their installation.

  8. How do I remove the website and date/time stamp from my printouts?
    • In Internet Explorer: Go to File/Page Setup. On the following menu, simply erase the Header and Footer information.
    • In Mozilla: Go to File/Page Setup. In the Margins&Header/Footer tab, make all Header & Footer choices BLANK.
    • In Chrome: Uncheck the "Header/Footer" box at the lower left side of the Print page.
  9. Where do I find structural elements such as Columns for my design?Columns, Cooling and Heating Elements as well as Electrical symbols can be found in the second drop-down menu in Step 2-Design under the "ROOM ELEMENTS" category. The ROOM ELEMENTS category is always available regardless of the selection made in your first drop-down menu.
  10. Are there products I can use as “place holders” in my design? Yes. Visual Planner includes over 1200 products in the Generic Library to be used as place holders for existing furniture or if you like to present different configurations and layouts without using specific manufacturer products. See "Generic Library" above.
  11. Does Visual Planner offer system furniture (panel) components? Due to the complexity of panel systems, Visual Planner product selection for these items is limited to the "Generic Library" which can be used to discuss customer requirements, footprints, etc. without the need to use specific manufacturer SKUs.  The final step in your quoting/specifying process will certainly include the manufacturers or suppliers of the actual panel system components.  See "System Furniture" section above for more details.
  12. Why doesn't my company's logo appear in the Visual Planner? Please contact the administrative contact for Visual Planner at your company if your system does not show your logo. The logo can be uploaded by your administrator at any time. You can also contact Animated Vision directly with any questions in this regard.

STILL NEED ASSISTANCE?
Please contact Animated Vision. Email support@visual-planner.com or Call 1.866.529.3920 X2

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