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More Frequently Asked Questions

Copying parts of a layout to another layout

Layers and Levels

Help! The layout disappeared!

The scrollbars disappeared

Curved lines are missing

What is the Parts Compiler?

WinRail Parts Compiler: Advanced Techniques

Copying parts of a layout to another layout

There are two ways to do this:

The troublesome way:

  • Load the layout containing the element(s) you wish to copy

  • Tag the desired elements and copy them to the clipboard using the Edit-menu.

  • Load the layout to which you wish to copy the elements

  • Insert the elements from the clipboard using the Edit-menu.

The quick way for multiple copying:

  • Just run a second copy of WinRail.

  • Load one of the layouts into each of the program windows.

  • Place the windows on the screen so that you can access both of them easily

  • And use the clipboard commands again

Layers and Levels

This topic confuses some users, probably because both features are in the same dialog box (View-Properties-Layers).


For better understanding a brief retrospective:

The first versions of WinRail couldn't handle elevations; the layer feature was introduced with version 3. With elevations and heights, a way was added to display only tracks placed in a certain range of heights, and to hide all others. It is possible to search all track for elements that are at a particular height.


Layers are completely independent from the "levels" mentioned above. A layer is nothing other than just a number applied to certain elements. The default layer number for elements to be inserted can be set under Element-Properties by setting the "Set Default" check box; the layer number of elements already placed on the layout can be set in the Element-Properties dialog. If you wish to, you can apply names to the layers.

Click twice on the layer name in the View-Properties-Layers dialog.

The Active Layer feature prevents the inadvertent modification of a layer.

Help! The layout disappeared!

Sometimes WinRail users find they get an empty workspace after opening an existing layout. This is caused by the settings under View-Properties-Layers in most cases. The layout may be in a hidden layer or in an invisible height range.

In a few cases, it may be that other View-Properties options have been set so that nothing displays. Try selecting different display options until you get the result you want.

The scrollbars disappeared

Well, yes, the scrollbars just disappear when they are not needed, that is, when the whole workspace fits on the screen.

You can set the size to be displayed under View-Properties-Desktop (limit size of workspace). Choose larger values or a lower value for View-Zoom, and you will get your scrollbars back.

Curved lines are missing

Depending on video driver and resolution, Windows may not be able to display large radii.

This may occur on the printer and/or on the screen, with View-Zoom set to 1:1 or 1:2 and large scale turnouts, like LGB, for example.

Most drivers just don't draw the curved lines in question. Some misbehaved drivers, however, cause a general protection fault. If your computer hangs while you try to load a layout, this could be the reason.

In this case, re-boot your computer and set a higher value for View-Zoom before you try to load the layout again. The authors of the drivers obviously couldn't imagine that someone would try to draw curves with a radius of 6 meters or more in scale 1:1. However, the drivers shouldn't crash the machine.


  • Choose a lower resolution

  • Switch to Arcs drawn by application under View-Properties-System. This slows the system down, of course, and the arcs have steps, but at least you can see them.

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