3.3– Duplicating

There is an old saying, “Why reinvent the wheel?” I think we should pay careful attention to this simple question, especially when creating levels in WED. If there are going to be repetitious parts in your level, then why continuously build them over and over again. Not only can this become very tiring and boring for the developer, but it is a waste of your time. You can shorten the process by duplicating individual blocks or complete sections of your level for use in other areas.

Duplicating can be done in three ways:

- Pressing the SHIFT key while dragging with the mouse (left mouse button depressed)
- Pressing CTRL + D
- Using COPY and PASTE

Each method can give you slightly different results. Let's take a brief look at each one.

Pressing the SHIFT key while dragging with the mouse will create a duplicate of the selected object that will follow your mouse cursor as you move it within a view. When you release the left mouse button the object will be dropped at that location. This is the forum of duplication that I use the most. It allows you to quickly make and place duplicates as needed.

Pressing CTRL and the “D” key simultaneously will also create a duplicate. The duplicate will be offset along the X and Y axis depending on your settings WED's PREFERENCES.

Using COPY and PASTE will give you different results depending on how you COPY and PASTE. Now that may not have made a lot of sense, so let's do this again. If you use the standard Windows shortcuts for COPY and PASTE (CTRL+C and CTRL+V) then the duplicated object will appear in squarely in the the center of your view. There is another option for COPY and PASTE, though. You can access both through the right-click menu. When you right click in a view you get a menu with many options. Scanning down this menu will reveal that both COPY and PASTE are there. Using COPY from this menu will function exactly as using the Windows' shortcut. PASTE, on the other hand, functions differently. When you use PASTE from this menu the duplicated object will appear centered where you mouse pointer was when you right-clicked.

You can duplicate anything that you see in the WED views. So it won't matter if it is a piece of level geometry, a group, a sprite, light or model. If it is there then it can be duplicated. Let's take a look at that last hall again:

You can see a lot of repetition in this hall. Do you really think I created each piece of this by hand over and over? Of course not. After I got a shape that was pleasing to me I grouped it and duplicated as needed. Duplicating sections will save you a lot of time when building levels.

Return to Part 3.2 - Start Simple
Go to Part 3.4 - Rotating