New in nanoCAD 21

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nanoCAD has a new set of tools to assist you making drawings with isometric projection. Isometric drawings simulate three-dimensional views of objects from one viewpoint.
To create isometric drawings, it is convenient to use the Isometry toolbar.


It contains:

  • The button to enable the isometric drawing mode;

  • Three buttons to set isometric planes (ISODRAFT1, ISODRAFT2 and ISODRAFT3 commands or an option on ISODRAFT command);

  • Buttons to create isorectangles, isocircles and isoarcs (rectangles, circles and arcs in an isometric projection).


Isometric drafting mode

For isometric drawing, use the Isometric drafting mode. The mode is enabled by entering the ISODRAFT command, by  button on the Isometry toolbar or by  button in the status bar.

      


The isometry mode allows for quick switch between three isometric planes (isoplanes) by F5 key or by clicking an appropriate button on the Isometry bar.

  •  Isoplane Left. The plane allows you to create objects oriented along the axes of 90 and 150 degrees.

  •  Isoplane Right. The plane allows you to create objects oriented along axes of 30 and 90 degrees.

  •  Isoplane Top. The plane allows you to create objects oriented along the axes of 30 and 150 degrees.


Isometric Mode’s Impact on Drawing Settings

When you enable isometric drafting mode, nanoCAD automatically changes the following settings to match the selected isoplane:

  • Orthogonal direction

  • Snap orientation

  • Grid orientation

  • Polar tracking angles

  • Orientation of isometric circles, arcs, and rectangles as they are created


Creating Isometric Objects

The following commands are used to create circles, arcs, rectangles in the current isometric plane:

  • To create a circle in the current plane, use  ISOCIRCLE command that starts the ELLIPSE command with the Isocircle option;

  • To create a rectangle in the current plane, use  ISORECTANGLE command that starts the RECTANGLE command with the Isorectangle option;

  • To create an elliptical arc in the current isometric plane, use  ISOARC command that starts creating an elliptical arc by the ELLIPSE with the Arc > Isoarc option.


Related System Variables

The SNAPSTYL system variable allows you to change the drawing mode. The variable values are integers.

The SNAPISOPAIR system variable allows you to change the current isometric plane in the current viewport. The variable values are integers.

nanoCAD 21 redesigns the commands you used to construct rectangular and circular arrays. 

The commands now work interactively, without needing a dialog box.



As well, nanoCAD now creates associative arrays. The objects that make up an associative array are stored as a single array object. The Array - Associativity system variable toggles arrays between associative and non-associative. Associative arrays allow you to change the number of objects and the distances between them through grips on the array or with the Properties panel.



Now it became possible to:

  • add remove and modify block objects while maintaining the integrity of dynamic block parameters. Actions concern objects that are not involved in the block parameterization;
  • convert any block to dynamic;
  • replace the insertion point.
Most of these features are available in the block editing mode by the Block editor command (BEDIT).


New Block Base Point Relocation 

The base point of blocks can be relocated with the  BBASEPT command. The base point locates the insertion point of blocks, and the position of the grip.




Reset block

Editing dynamic block inserts and then re-editing this block definition may distort the appearance of its inserts. The    Reset block (RESETBLOCK) command resets the parameters of the selected dynamic block inserts to default values. It is opened from the context menu of the selected inserts or from the command line.

Now there is a possibility to transfer and save user interface configuration. To transfer settings between versions or from one computer to another, use two commands: Import UI (UIIMPORT) and Export UI (UIEXPORT).




The Export UI command allows you to save a package of individual configuration, while the Import UI command applies it to the current version of the program.

Export UI allows you to save both the composition of interface elements (ribbon, toolbars, etc.), configured in the Customize user interface dialogue box, and the display with location of interface elements (location of toolbars, palettes, command line, visual style of interface, way of the ribbon display, size and location of the program window).

Thus, you can quickly and easily transfer user configurations for convenient work with the program, as well as save the configurations package to prevent them from being lost.

If necessary, you can also edit LSP-file, which describes Import UI and Export UI, commands and edit the list of file formats included in the configuration package being exported.

The External References manager is redesigned as a modeless panel so that you can work with external references (xrefs) at the same time as editing the drawing.



The External References panel allows you to perform the following operations on xref files:

  • Load and unload external reference files to and from the current drawing

  • Bind the elements of an external reference to the current drawing

  • Update external references in the current drawing to display the latest changes made to the xref file, without reloading the current drawing

  • Remove completely an external reference from the current drawing, along with all associated data, including layers associated with the xref. 

  • Change the name of the reference file and its location (its path)

  • Change the file type and format settings of files referencing raster images

The number of missing external references displayed by the balloon message is now limited to twenty.


Changes in design

The Layer Properties dialog box is redesigned:


  • All icons are redesigned to emphasize the most important state (such as frozen), with the icon for the second, less-important state made semi-transparent

  • Click icons to change their state

  • In the Layer Control panel, indents between rows and columns are increased

  • Current layer is marked with a square

  • A switch on the right side of the bar replaces the double arrow for displaying/hiding the tree


 New Layer Commands

The New layer command - NEWLAYER creates new layers, while the  Layer walk command - LAYWALK walks through layers, showing the content of each layer individually.

Both new commands are called from the ribbon, the menu, and the command line.




Layer Settings Dialog Box

The  Layer Settings button manages display settings for the Layers dialog box and properties of layers from external references:


  • Apply layer filter to layer toolbar – determines whether the current layer filter is taken into account layers are displayed on the toolbar. (In previous versions of the software, the list always took the filter into account.)

  • Indicate layers in use – determines whether to mark layers as in-use in the Layer Manager dialog box. (In previous versions of the software, recalculation was always performed when you opened the layer manager, and added or deleted layers. When this option was enabled, opening the Layer Manager with large files can take longer than expected.) 

 

  • Retain/Don’t retain overrides to xref layer properties – determines whether to save changes to properties of layers included in external references.


Filtering Xref Layers

When drawings contain xrefs, the filter All layers without xrefs has been added:





New Layer States

The New layer state command quickly saves layers settings in new configurations, without opening the Layers dialogue:




It is available through the drop-down list of layer states on the ribbon and on the Layers-2 bar:


  


Upon opening the list, the Layer State Name field saves changes to the current state:




Possibility to restore a layer state when importing it

When importing a layer state, now a request to restore it appears automatically:



In previous version, to do this it was necessary to additionally run the restore command from the context menu of the imported state.

Restoring Layer States with Properties

Now you can choose which layer properties to restore when restoring a layer state. When restoring a layer state with the Layer Manager dialog box, as well as when restoring a layer state during import, the new Restore Layer State dialog box displays the layer properties to be restored.




  • Turn off layers not found in layer state – determines whether layers added to a drawing after a later state is created are hidden when the state is restored

  • Apply properties as viewport overrides – determines whether to apply layer state properties as viewport overrides


New Layers with HPLAYER

HPLAYER variable specifies the name of the layer for hatch patterns. It now creates new layers directly:
Command: HPLAYE
Enter new value for HPLAYER or . for use current <"Layer1">: HatchLayerName

A new layer named HatchLayerName is created upon the placement of the first hatch, and inherits properties from layer 0.


Clearing Layer Property Overrides with -VPORTS

-VPORTS command gains a LAyer option to clear overrides of the viewport layer’s properties.

Redesigned Field Dialog Box

The FIELD command’s dialog box is redesigned:


Additional format dialogue

More detailed formatting of numeric values is now available in the field editor. The Additional format button opens the dialogue box, where you can set the conversion factor, zero suppression, additional text, numeric separator.


Option for fields inside a block

Display value for block reference – the checkbox is displayed only for object properties fields that are located inside the block. For example, when editing a field inside a block attribute definition.



The parameter obliges the property to calculate its value relative to the size and orientation of the block reference in the drawing, and not relative to the internal block description space. So, for example, the coordinates of the center of the object included in the block will be calculated relative to the drawing coordinate system, and not relative to the coordinates of the block definition.

Commands to Work with Groups

Commands for working with groups now have their own place on the ribbon (Group section of the Main tab) and Group toolbar. This makes it more convenient to carry out grouping and ungrouping outside of the Object Grouping dialog box, and allows you to create unnamed groups.


   New group (GROUP)

A new command to create a group of objects. Unlike the New option, the GROUP command allows you to create both name and unnamed group.

   Exploding a group (UNGROUP)

Exploding a group or ungrouping.

   Editing a group (GROUPEDIT)

Adding or deleting objects from a group.

   Dialogue for creating groups (CLASSICGROUP)

Displays the Object grouping dialogue box to manage groups. In the previous program versions this dialogue box was called by the Group command (GROUP).


nanoCAD offers a new way to recover drawings accidently lost when exiting drawings without saving, such as when closing all open drawings at once. In other cases, objects are erased from drawings, and then the drawings are saved and closed, after which the undo/redo mechanism no longer works.

The new rescue mechanism restores them from a temporary storage, and is enabled in the Options dialogue box: Save documents section > File History.



  • Save file history (FILEHISTORY variable) – determines whether the auto-save history is enabled (0 – disabled or 1 – enabled)

  • Number of stored file versions (FILEHISTORYMAX variable) – determines the maximum number of auto-saved version of each drawing file, up to 32767 versions.

  • File versions are stored for <15> days (FILEHISTORYDURATION variable) – determines the duration to store each auto-saved file, up to 32767 days (approximately 90 years).

  • File history folder – specifies the folder in which to store auto-saved files

The Open file history command (OPENHISTORY) opens files from the archive storage.

The earliest files are deleted from storage automatically once the number of archive files specified by FILEHISTORYMAX is reached. When closing nanoCAD, the storage period for files in the archive is checked, and files with a life of longer than FILEHISTORYDURATION are deleted automatically.


nanoCAD inserts underlays from a number of cartographic services in a variety of formats:

  • Vector maps from OpenStreetMap

  • Raster maps from ArcGis, Microsoft Bing, Google Maps, MapBox, OpenStreetMaps, OSM Topo, and Yandex Maps

  • For some providers, additions map types are supported, such as streets, satellite, hybrid, relief, and topographic




Three-dimensional terrain models can also be placed as overlays.






Improved Import and Export

  • Added import and export of clouds files in E57 and ReCAP (*.rcs) formats
  • Improved algorithm for importing cropped volumes
  • Drag and drop nanoCAD point cloud files (*.npc) into drawings
  • Set drawing measurement units in the Import dialog box
  • Export point clouds in 3D PDF format


New Commands for Clipping Clouds

  • Added commands for clipping cloud by sphere and cylinder shapes
  • Improved clipping command interface
  • New command to invert point cloud clipping boundaries


3D Geometric Snaps

The following three-dimensional snaps recognize geometry in point clouds. They are turned on and off through the Drafting Settings dialog box or at the status bar:
  • Point Cloud Edge Node
  • Point Cloud Edge Nearest
  • Point Cloud Edge Perpendicular
  • Point Cloud Plane Nearest
  • Point Cloud Plane Perpendicular
  • Point Cloud Feature Surface
  • Point Cloud Feature Axe Node
  • Point Cloud Feature Axe
  • Point Cloud Feature Center



The Windows properties associated with nanoCAD now open drawing files with the name of a sheet or a view. A drawing within a sheet set is opened with the new -list switch:
<path>/ncad.exe [<path>/drawing_file] [-list "sheet name"]
The named view saved in a drawing is displayed upon opening the drawing with the new -v switch:
<path>/ncad.exe [<path>/drawing_file] [-v "view name"]
 Either the - or the / character can be used for the switch.

Copy OLE-link Command

The new Copy OLE-link (COPYLINK) command copies the current view to the clipboard so that it can be linked in other OLE-aware applications. An object of nanoCAD drawing type is created in the other program. This means you can insert nanoCAD drawings into Word documents as OLE objects, which can then be edited in nanoCAD by just a double-click.


Renamed OLE Commands

The names of OLE- related commands are changed to be more intuitive in the toolbar/menu interface:

In the Insert menu, the Object… item becomes OLE-Object…. (The ellipsis indicates a dialog box will be opened.)

In the Edit menu, the following items are renamed:

  • Copy view becomes Copy OLE-link

  • Links… becomes OLE-links

  • Update all links becomes Update all OLE-links


OLE in the Properties Panel

Properties are added to the Properties panel for OLE objects.

With the Locator tool, you can now interactively rotate the view of a model:

  • While holding down the Alt key, and then select any point on the locator circle
  • Choosing one of the four marked points to rotate a view by 90◦.

The arrow points to the new view rotation position.




Arc Direction by Cursor Movement

nanoCAD now draws arcs (including elliptical ones) in the direction that the cursor moves. This applies to the following arc construction methods:

  • Center-Start-End

  • Start-Center-End

  • Elliptical arcs

You can also change the direction for constructing arcs by holding down the Ctrl key.


Circle by Three Tangents

Circles can now be drawn tangent to three other objects (menu Draw > Circle).


  


Circles Tangent to Splines and Ellipses

Now the command to create a circle by tangent, tangent and radius, allows you to specify splines, ellipses and elliptical arcs as tangents. As well, creating circles tangent to arcs or other circles is improved.




Breaking Ellipses and Closed Polylines by Two Points

When breaking an ellipse or a closed polyline with two points, the sequence of picking points determines which part of the objects to remove. (Previously, the same part always remained, regardless of the pick order.)


Lengthening in Both Directions

Lengthen (LENGTHEN) command now lengthens open objects symmetrically in both directions, through a new switch Two sides/One side. This is useful, for instance, for increasing the lengths of centerlines in both directions.


Editing Spline Fit Points with Ctrl

Spline fit points can now be edited by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on a grip, just as with polylines. The context menu is updated to reflect this.



New Lasso Object Selection

Objects can now be selected using the lasso method: while holding down the left mouse button, move the cursor around objects. Objects are selected by a lasso or a rectangular selection frame, depending on your actions:

  • Move the cursor in the drawing area while holding down the left mouse button, the lasso outline is drawn. To end the selection, release the mouse button.

  • A single click in an empty area of the drawing starts a rectangular selection window. To complete the selection, click a second point.

The direction of cursor movement determines which objects are selected:

  • Move the cursor to the right, and objects entirely inside the area are selected. The selection area (window or lasso) is shown with a blue semi-transparent fill. 

  • Move the cursor to the left, and objects inside and crossing the boundary are selected. The selection area (window or lasso) is shown with a green semi-transparent fill. 

While selecting objects by the lasso method, you can cycle through three lasso modes by pressing the Space key: 

  • Select only objects completely inside the lasso area

  • Select all objects inside and crossing the lasso

  • Select only objects crossing the lasso line

 

 
 


Selection Preview Filter

Three more objects types are added to the Selection Preview Filter dialog box: Group, Mesh, and Polyface Mesh.


Interactive Actions with the Right Mouse Button

When you drag-and-drop objects while holding down the right mouse button, a shortcut menu appears with additional actions: Move here, Copy here, Paste as block. Select one to perform the action.


Multiple Copies with Ctrl

While moving, rotating, scaling, or mirroring objects with grips, hold down the Ctrl key to create copies:

  • Select one or more objects

  • Click on a grip

  • Press the Spacebar to switch between copy, rotate, scale, or mirror actions

  • Hold down Ctrl, and then click to locate copies of the selected objects





Enhanced Rotate Command

The ROTATE command gains the Key point option. It combines the base point with the reference angle. When you specify a reference angle, the first point you pick for the angle is the base point, about which rotation takes place.


Isolation/Unisolate History



Two new undo/redo functions let you navigate through the sequence of isolation steps: Undo the isolation step and Redo the isolation step. Isolation and its undo are independent of the general undo-redo mechanism, so you can isolate a set of objects, edit them, and then return the isolation to a previous visibility state. Changes to the edited objects are unaffected by undoing the isolation history.



Grouping Undo/Redo 

The new BEgin and End options in the Undo and Redo commands (UNDO, REDO) combine a sequence of actions to be reversed in a single step. Those commands performed after setting BEgin and before setting the End option are undone simultaneously. You can create multiple BEgin and End sets, each of which are reversed in sequence.

1. After setting the BEgin option, the Begin of command group item appears in the command list.



2. Following this, any commands you execute are added in the undo list of operations, one by one.



3. Until the End option is applied, the commands still can be cancelled by one, right up to the Begin of command group item.
4. Once the End option is applied, all actions in the undo list between the beginning and the end collapse into a single group of undoable commands.



5. At this point, these commands can only be reversed together.


MATCHPROP Undo

When previously you copied properties to large numbers of objects with the MATCHPROP command, you may have accidentally copied them to a wrong object. In this case, you had to cancel the command and start copying properties anew.

To avoid this problem, a local undo option is added to the MATCHPROP command. The option appears when you specify the Select destination object(s) prompt.






Polar Spacing

The new Polar Spacing option specifies the spacing distance during polar snap, if the Polar snap (POLARDIST system variable) is turned on. When Polar Distance is set to zero, the polar spacing is equal to the Snap X spacing. Polar spacing is effective works when polar or object tracking modes are enabled.


New Snap Types

  • Grid snap – sets the snap as a rectangular grid with spacing specified by Grid Spacing

- Rectangular Snap – sets rectangular as the snap style and deactivate isometric drawing mode
- Isometric Snap – sets isometric as the snap style and activates the isometric drawing mode

  • Polar – sets the snap as a polar array. With polar snap and polar tracking enabled, the cursor snaps to tracking lines from the base point at angles specified on the Polar Tracking tab.
To use polar snap type in the isometric drawing mode:

  1. Turn on Grid snap

  2. Set the grid to isometric snap

  3. Switch to Polar snap




Polar spacing

Manages the spacing distance of the polar snap.

Spacing – polar snap spacing. Becomes available, if the Polar snap (POLARDIST system variable) is set. In case of zero value, the polar spacing is equal to the snap spacing interval by X. Works when polar or object tracking mode is enabled.


Follow Dynamic UCS

The new Follow dynamic UCS setting orients the grid plane to match the XY plane of dynamic UCS automatically (GRIDDISPLAY system variable).

Now you can set object snaps temporarily. To do this, enter a snap keyword during a command when you are prompted for a point, and then press Enter. The snap is set temporarily. 


  



The full list of object snap keywords is available by typing OS_ at the command prompt, or from the status bar.




The list of object snap keywords is given by the table:

Keyword

      Snap type

TT

      Tracking point

FROM

     From

M2P

     Mid between two points

END

     Endpoint

MID

     Middle

INT

     Intersect

APP

     Apparent intersection

EXT

     Line extension

CEN

     Center

QUAD

     Quadrant

TAN

     Tangent

PERP

      Perpendicular

PAR

     Parallel

INS

     Insertion point

NODE

     Node

NEAR

     Nearest

NONE

     Disabling object snap



A new option Replace Z Value with Current Elevation works with for object snaps in 3D space. When enabled, it snaps to points on the XY plane in the current UCS. 

The figure below shows two 3D polylines drawn object-snapped to the vertices of a mesh. The polyline in red uses the normal object snap modes; the one in blue with the Z-coordinate replacement option enabled.


  


In this mode, the Z coordinate value is replaced with one of the following:

  • The value of its projection to XY plane

  • The value of its projection to a plane parallel to the XY plane at the level specified by the ELEVATION variable, if it is non-zero).

Change the value of the ELEVATION variable to have the points snap at a specific distance above (positive values) or below (negative values) the XY plane. 

The option is enabled in the Snap settings section of the Options dialog box, and is synchronized with the OSNAPZ variable.



Fields are added for entering the increment of length and angle when editing objects by grips;


Support is added for the DYNDIVIS variable when editing objects by grips;

Not all dynamic dimensions can be seen on the screen simultaneously. The number of simultaneously displayed dimensions is controlled by the DYNDIVIS variable. Depending on its value, the following can be displayed simultaneously:

  • Only one dimension (DYNDIVIS = 0)




  • Only two dimensions (= 1)




  • or all dimensions (= 2)




If only one or two dimensions are displayed simultaneously, and you need to display others, this can be done by cyclically pressing the Tab key. Press Tab until the desired dimensions are visible. On subsequent cursor movement, the selected dimensions will continue to be displayed.


  



Dynamic input is enhanced through the following additions:

  • Input length and angle increment fields appear when editing objects with grips

  • Dynamic input implemented for ellipse creation

  • Dynamic input fields appear for the second and the next points when drawing a variety of objects in UCS

  • Input and editing of dynamic dimensions for 3D polylines in UCS

  • DYNDIVIS variable added for editing objects with grips

  • Bugs while using dynamic input while constructing lines and circles are corrected

Using hyphen in bulleted lists

Now you can create bulleted lists using dashes.



Aligning the last line

When you add a Tab to the end of the last line of distributed multiline text, then it is aligned to the left and remains so after editing is completed.


Blocking subdimensional text

Now the cleared Dimensions box in the Main options tab of the Design Settings dialogue box (Section Edit > by double-click) also blocks editing by double-click and subdimensional multiline text.




Hiding the text background for different type objects

To hide background for multiline text, multiline attributes and multileader multiline text use a separate command  on the ribbon.




Objects can be selected before or after the command is performed. This allows you to apply the command to several selected different type of objects.

The command displays the Background mask dialogue box, which will display parameters for hiding background for multiline text in the first selected object.




When switching the text type of the Default value from multiline text to single-line text in the Attribute definition dialog box (ATTDEF command), a warning is now issued when the text is so long that it would be truncated. Previously, the text was completely erased.




When switching from a single-line attribute to a multiline one, the text is also preserved.

The following bugs in multileaders are corrected:

  • If a TTF font was used, then spaces were not underlined

  • Text was incorrectly underlined in multileaders with Bottom or Top attachment and Underline and Middle justification

  • Text in multileaders with Top attachment had its Left alignment changed to Right

The Modify > Multileader menu gains multileader editing commands:


For dimensions and multileaders created in other CAD systems, associativity with objects is maintained when they are imported into nanoCAD.

The associative links of dimensions with objects can be broken by shifting the grips of extension lines.

The Break dimension command (DIMBREAK) is renamed MDIMBREAK.

The Restore dimension command (DIMUNBREAK) is renamed MDIMUNBREAK.

A new version of the Break and restore dimension command (DIMBREAK) combines the functions of both commands.

Sheet lists can now be generated from sheet set as a table. From the Sheet Set toolbar, select the name of a sheet set and sheet group, then from the context menu select the Insert Sheet list item.

Templates provided for sheet sets contain the required settings. To change the style of the sheet list, edit the table style with the table style dialog box (TABLESTYLE command).

You can now select multiple sheets by holding down the Ctrl or Shift buttons in the Batch Plot dialog box (PUBLISH command). Use Ctrl to select individual sheets, and/or Shift to select ranges of sheets.



As well, you can directly select a different page setup for each sheet from the drop-down list of the Page setup option.



The Rename layout command no longer requires you to re-enter a layout name when renaming it. The name can be changed directly in the tab. As well, you can reorder the list of layout tabs by drag and drop.



The Step left and Step right buttons were removed from the layout tab’s context menu as being unnecessary.
The new  Viewport align (ALIGNSPACE) command adjusts the pan and zoom factor of objects in layout viewports based on an alignment point in model and paper space. Points specified in model space are aligned to the points set in paper space.


  • Specifying a point in model space and another point in paper space offsets (pans) the view

  • Specifying two points in model space and two in paper space sets zoom scaling, panning, and rotation. The zoom factor and UCS rotation are adjusted according to the points specified.

The context menu for paper space viewports has been expanded:

Now when importing PDF files using the Import PDF (PDFIMPORT) command, text data are placed on the same layers, on which they were when creating a PDF file. Names of layers will start with PDF prefix. For this, in the Import PDF dialogue box, when selecting layers parameters, select the Use PDF layers option;

Solid fills in nanoCAD Platform are now imported by a fill, and not as a contour as before;

A bug with importing gradient fills from PDF, when some types of gradient fills were not imported into the drawing has been fixed. Gradient fills are imported as raster images.

PNG files can now have transparent backgrounds through the use of the alpha channel.



The new Transparency command (TRANSPARENCY) controls the transparency of background pixels in raster images. The command is available from the ribbon (Visualization group), the Raster menu, and the Raster toolbar.

Now, when opening files containing .dwg tables created in other CAD systems, the values in cells with formulas are recalculated and displayed correctly.

You can optimize the work in the program when connecting to a workstation remotely via RDP by using the enhanced DirectX compatibility mode in the Options dialogue.




If the box is checked, DirectX 9 is used. When cleared, the default DirectX version is used. In most cases it is DirectX 11, but if it is not supported by the system, then it is DirectX 9. You can also switch DirectX version by the NCGS_TOGGLE_DIRECTX command.

In the Linetype dialogue and in the drop-down list, linetype names can now be sorted in alphabetical order.

nanoCAD now continues to work for another hour following the loss of your license. This allows you to complete your work. You will be reminded periodically that your license has expired.



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