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  • Accessing Vectorworks - Remote Working


    Working from home or remotely often requires resources that are typically stored on an office network or in another location. To limit disruptions, you will want to make sure that you have access to Vectorworks before working in a remote environment. The first thing you need to know is what type of license you own. 


    If your Vectorworks serial number starts with “E” (Series E), you have an online activated license. This means the license must be activated while connected to the internet. There are also a limited number of activations for each Series E license. 
    With Series E licenses, you may activate the software on two machines and only use Vectorworks on one at a time. If you plan on installing Vectorworks on a temporary computer, you will be granted a temporary activation to prevent any downtime. If you are permanently switching machines, you will want to make sure that you uninstall Vectorworks from the previous computer first. 
    Once it is activated online, you can use Vectorworks for up to 90 days without an internet connection. After 90 days, Vectorworks will need to activate again. Keep in mind that any changes to your machine configuration (changing hardware, upgrading your operating system) may force Vectorworks to activate again, even if within the 90 days.


    *With the ongoing and ever-changing developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to increase the ease of transitioning to a remote or work-from-home environment. In order to help, we are temporarily increasing the number of activations of Vectorworks Series E licenses by one. We intend to make this additional flexibility available for the next 90 days, while we monitor the situation globally.


    If your serial number starts with “G” (Series G), you have a network license of Vectorworks. Unlike Series E, this type of license can be installed on any number of machines. However, you will need to be connected to the network that runs the Site Protection Server application to use Vectorworks. 
    If you are working remotely, this may be a challenge. There are a few different ways you can do this. First, you can connect to your office network (whichever network the Site Protection Server is running on) using a VPN. Once connected to the VPN, you can launch Vectorworks normally and find the server on the Login Dialog at the first launch. This will allow you to access Vectorworks for as long as you are connected to the VPN. *For IT professionals, SSH tunneling (port forwarding) is also an option*
    For professional licenses using Series G, you can also borrow the license if you are unable to remain connected to the network or plan on traveling while working with Vectorworks. The Borrow button can be found in the Login Dialog of Vectorworks. The license can be borrowed for up to 30 days unless otherwise limited by the License Manager.


    If your serial number starts with "B" (Series B), you will need the dongle connected to your machine in order to launch Vectorworks successfully. To switch computers, just move the dongle to that machine and use the same installer and serial number to install Vectorworks.


    Temporary License: If you are having trouble getting Vectorworks set up from home, please contact us directly and we will happy to provide a temporary license to get you up and running today. For customers in the United States, contact customerservice@vectorworks.net. For international customers, contact your local distributor at  https://www.vectorworks.net/international


    Once you have Vectorworks installed and activated, you may need to access files or drawings. These would need to be accessed through Cloud storage or manually transferred from one machine to another.


    When using Project Sharing, the best way to transition into a remote working environment would be to move the project to a supported cloud solution, like Dropbox. 

    To move your Project File from a local server into a cloud storage solution like Dropbox, it is best to follow these steps:

    1. Open your existing Project File(PF) in Vectorworks

    2. Using the “Save A Copy As” menu command, save a copy as a PF to your Desktop

    3. Create a folder within your local Dropbox folder

    4. Move the new PF into that folder

    5. Share the entire folder with the rest of the team.

    *Note- Make sure everyone working on the project has the Dropbox client installed*


    Working with Project Sharing and Dropbox requires a specific workflow. It is important to remember:

    1. Don't duplicate, copy, or rename your Project File. You must use the "Save a Copy As" command to duplicate the file.

    2. Turn off Backups (Dropbox provides sufficient history of all changes to the PF). 

    3. Do not store your Working File in Dropbox. Always save the Working File locally.


    For more information on using Project Sharing with Dropbox, please click the link below:




    Edited by jblock

    • Like 8

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    User Feedback

    sorry guys...i know you are doing your best,  but all that information above about do's and don'ts does not exist for cloud based cad systems...there is no project sharing protocols, nor project sharing w/ dropbox protocols, no dongle protocols...nothing.  You just sign in from any device and pow! everything is operational...


    to place it in perspective..for the time it takes someone to read the above information I can be up an running on a cloud cad system on any device...I just need to type in my email and password...

    Edited by digitalcarbon
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    Fair point digitalcarbon, although given that we were already doing all the above our whole office was able to simply take their iMacs home, hook up to Wifi and carry on as if nothing happened. Our phone system is also cloud-based so we just got everyone to download the relevant app on their phone as carried on as usual.

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