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Samuel Derenboim

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Posts posted by Samuel Derenboim

  1. Good afternoon Everyone,

    I'm having a real problem with calculating area summaries for the Property line plug in object. I've been trying a number functions additional to =('property line'.'area') in order to convert this string into a numeric value. I've tried =value, =area, =round, =num, =str2num, etc... and I can't for the life of me get it to work. Anyone had any similar problems - VW 2018 SP2


    PS - I checked the VW forum records, there was a similar wishlist item, but for some reason =area function worked in that instance. Any help please? 


    Thank you in advance!  

  2. Good afternoon everyone, 


    I wanted to inquire about two things today - 

    1. Is it possible to center all objects in a symbol to a center? I.E. Group all objects in the symbol and center them based on origin?

    2. Is it possible to mass convert all nested symbols inside of symbols into groups?

    3. Is there an easier way to replace or merge the same symbols inside a vectorworks folder? 


    This is a major hurdle when created libraries from existing dwg files - 

    1 - Vectorworks makes a copy of all the nested symbols from separate files after import and then renumbers them from 1 to however many copies there are. Getting rid of them and cleaning up the file becomes a very grueling task. Was hoping someone has had similar issues? Is there an easier way to replace these copies other than right clicking -> replace with? Selecting a bunch and just saying merge would be a wonderful addition to vw, unless something like that exists?


    A possible workaround this matter would be to convert all nested symbols into groups upon import and then delete all the nested symbols inside of the file. But then there is the task of eliminating or merging similar hatches, line types, records, etc...


    2. When importing dwg files directly into symbols - not all files have a 0,0 origin from the dwg file. Is it possible for vectorworks to assign it to all the symbols after they were imported? or perhaps during?

    3. Is there a way to convert mass individual groups to independent symbols? In other words - select three groups - create three independent symbols based on their internal origin?


    I'm attaching a file that shows some of the problems I'm having....


  3. Pat, thank you for that.


    Definitely makes sense. Yes, If i were to want to make a library, id use the script in the instances definition and update the symbol definition only, but surprisingly i wasn't aware this would be such a complicated task to figure out a work around. I thought there was a method inside of vectorworks that allowed for updating a symbol's default definition's from an instance definition already, thinking its one of the only natural ways to make drag and drop methods of BIM / Parametric objects inside of VW. 


    How do you guys make your own libraries? Or do you just update the spec when you need to specify after dragging in default symbols with these records?


    Here is a file with an example of what I'm referring to.

    Say i want to create a library of lighting fixtures that are compatible with a worksheet that i have already created.

    The idea scenario is to create symbols for each of the lighting fixtures, modify them in the work sheet, and then update the symbol definitions from the instances. 


    You can see i have a custom record format with many records already in order to calculate wattage and specific requirements in my jurisdiction. Furthermore, Libraries can then be shared among users in the community, allowing the BIM library to grow. Autodesk compromised the market by being first and becoming a 'standard' format. VW can combat it by using the community i think. Just some thoughts.


  4. 20 minutes ago, Pat Stanford said:

    There is currently no way to edit the Record default values from a worksheet. You would have to manually navigate to the Record Format using the Resource Manager and edit the Record field values from there.


    As Hippocode says, if you edit the values, it will not change the values associated with any of the already placed symbols. The Record attached to the symbol definition is just a template. The values stored in the Record definition are transferred to the record attached to the symbol instance when it is placed, but there is not link between the records in either direction.


    I have thought about writing a script that would allow the values from an object that had a record attached to be stored back to the record definition, but I don't think I ever saw enough use to actually write it.


    A few questions to help me decide if it is worth the effort:


    1. How often to you want to send values from a placed object back to the record defaults?

    2. When you want the values sent back to the record default, do you want all of the fields or just a subset of the fields to change?

    3. If only a subset, what kind of interface do you think would be useful to select which fields to update?

    4. How many fields does your typical record format have?



    Its a real shame. This makes making libraries much harder than i thought it would be.


    The idea is to create a library using office wide record formats. I.E. for lighting fixtures, Lighting controls, FFE, among several others. My goal is to create libraries for the office with the goal of just dropping the symbol into the file and have the worksheets already pick up the information.


    Seems there is another way, like setting up a database, and then just picking the database object to represent the symbol...but it seems complicated. 

    The typical record format i have about 10 records not including notes. Lighting controls have about 7. I wanted to create a new format that calculated light fixture spacing from the spec and standard requirements as well, which would make that a 7-8 records as well to make the formula work.


    Would love to have the record fields updated in the symbol definition...


    Can a script be written for this? or a marrionette?

  5. Hello Everyone, 


    In a bit of a bind here. Is there an easy way to update the record information from inside the workspace after the symbol has been inserted? I noticed that It's very easy modifying records from inside a work sheet, but it it doesn't update the attached record to the symbol inside of the resource manager. Is there a way to do this?


    Can anyone please help?

    Thank you in advance. 

  6. Good evening everyone,


    Perhaps there is a feature i'm unaware of, but is there a way to add attached records from inside a drawing to the global symbol ? Vectorworks seems to create a temporary record (if its custom) specifically for that symbol...I was wondering if there was a method of applying an existing record to the symbol itself - without having to re-attach records to the symbol from the resource manager.


    Any ideas?

  7. 39 minutes ago, Marissa Farrell said:


    Which version are you using? If in 2017 or 2018, have you run the Refresh Libraries command from the Resource Manager?

    I have, i never really used it before. I added the directories in the preferences folders, but whenever i add files, nothing shows up. Even after refresh.

    I'm running VW 2018

  8. hi all again, 


    Is there a way to mass import several revit libraries? It would be extremely useful to make custom libraries for vectorworks from already made revit object libraries. Currently, importing one by one is a bit cumbersome, wanted to get a take on how to do that at a faster pace? A script perhaps? or is there a way to do this via marionette tool?


    Looking forward from hearing some ideas. 





  9. 13 hours ago, Matt Panzer said:

    Hi Terrance,

    Our default content for doors and windows with attached catalogs all have the Catalog Item "by style". This means all instances of the style will use the same Catalog item. The recommended workflow is to edit the style, rename the style to something like "Window A", and choose the catalog item for the style. This way, all instances of "Window A" will use the same item from the catalog. However, if you wish to allow instances of a given style to use different catalog items, you can edit the style and set the catalog item "by instance". This will then allow each instance to use a different catalog item via the "Window Settings" dialog (or via the Object Info palette).

    Please let me know if you need more clarification.


    Best regards,



    Matt, any new ideas on how to update and create new catalog items? I can't seem to extract or eliminate the information for new catalogs, let alone modify them in excel. I do not know how to export the file so that the format will be the same as the catalog txt file. Any ideas?

  10. Hi everyone, 

    I have been wondering the new title block feature - is there a way to callout a time stamp (as opposed to a date stamp) for the titleblock?

    The time stamp tool doesn't work inside of the titleblock, and was wondering how that could be fixed? It useful in determining the latest revision of a set that might've not been issued as a new revision or a new issue set. Hoping to get some suggestions. The secret i think is in the new pop-up feature shown in the sheet and project dataset? Now, only if i knew a way to callout the timestamp function....

  11. 18 hours ago, Robert Anderson said:

    Based on the engineer's comments (see above), I think that either the moved-origin or the hidden-classes issue can cause this bad centering on conversion. I think the hidden-classes issue may be more likely than the moved origin. 


    I've had a bit of a problem with aligning the sheet because of the inherent bleed and margins for the printer. Usually its at 3/16" or so, but this configuration could vary depending on the printer you use. VW sees the margin and automatically integrates it into the paper space. So there are two ways to move it, based on dragging the edge to the bleed mark you set up in your title block (it drags by the bleed edge, not the edge of the sheet) or when you use the page tool - after pressing tab and accessing the position menu - enter 0, 0, 0 for all three components. It then resets it back to the 0 position. But if the page is offset, the tool doesn't center it to the page, it centers it to the 0,0,0 mark. That I think is the biggest problem that everyone is having.


    Hidden classes could be an issue, but with me it definitely wasn't and after experiments with a new file (no classes), I can confirm the tool doesn't position the titleblock on page center. 

  12. 17 hours ago, ericjhberg said:


    Thanks Sam, I am glad to hear you have success so far. Honestly, I haven't spent the time necessary to really assess the complete upgrades. What I am more frustrated about is that you MUST transition to the new titleblock since legacy sheet borders are no longer supported. This means I MUST spend that time up front before converting.


    It's really just an annoyance rather than a large issue. I am all for progress and I am sure we will learn the new way in time, but it is an issue that we need to resolve before even transitioning to 2018.


    I get your frustration. I'm there with you. I had to spend some time doing the same thing on my end as well, and I could see how that could be a problem if you have hundreds of sheets.


    I've noticed certain things you cannot do in the new titleblock feature - you can't put a time stamp inside. A date stamp is included, but I do not know how to integrate a time stamp. It's useful in recognizing the latest issues that were printed beforehand by seeing what time and date it was printed. But the time stamp tool doesn't work in the titleblock, nor is there an option inside the titleblock tool for one. Perhaps either a script or some command line? Will contact VW regarding that.

  13. 14 hours ago, Kevin McAllister said:

    Hi Sam,

    I'm not sure of the answer to that question. My thoughts about meshes are based on long term experience and from other threads in these forums. Its likely that a mesh converted to a generic solid is still not as efficient as rebuilding the geometry using solids or NURBS but I couldn't say for sure without some testing.



    In that case I'll experiment. What do  you supposed would be a good indicator, file size? or ease of navigation? I mean the two are interrelated, but still, don't know if a same sized mesh would operate the same sized (polycount) generic solid or nurbs object for that matter. nurbs are subdivided, so I don't know how that would reduce poly count.


    Thanks for the heads up either way, i'll experiment, see where that takes me.

  14. 2 hours ago, grant_PD said:

    Now if it could just link images to the record as well....

    That would be pretty cool :)


    Eric, I understand the frustration, but imagine if they didn't progress? Yes, sometimes the changes will affect our workflow, but generally speaking, the titleblock tool is a little better than the one before - especially since i had to work around the idea that if i had several different titleblocks in one file and some sheets i wasn't using, i would have to come up with a workaround for modifying the record info regarding sheet lists, etc... and a list of changes embedded in the sheets. 
    I'm sure things will improve. VW just got blasted with bugs right now, I'm sure they'll get resolved.

  15. 3 hours ago, Kevin McAllister said:

    Definitely a useful feature, but I still wouldn't recommend having a mesh in a symbol that's going to be used 400 times in a file. VW is just way to inefficient with meshes.





    Would it help to reconvert back to generic solid after poly reduction? Just curious, what makes the object inefficient? Right now I'm looking to make libraries, so this would be a great help for the future.



  16. On 9/14/2017 at 10:13 PM, Robert Anderson said:

    I am sorry you're having the problem with the incorrect conversion of the Title blocks. I believe it has to do with (as one poster suggested) the changing of the origin on the Sheet layers. I have created a bug report covering this issue and referencing this thread. If anyone is having trouble converting a v2017 Title Block, please send me a copy of a Vectorworks file with a single sheet layer and that title block in it. If we can reproduce the conversion error, we will fix it ASAP. Send to randerson@vectorworks.net and I will make sure the example files are attached to the bug for testing.

    The biggest problem is the centering issue. So it can be universal. If you move the page, the title block should move too. So in a new file, its easy to create a new titleblock, then move the page. Youll see even if the title block is centered on page, itll remain at the 0,0 mark.

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  17. Theres another great feature that VW snuck in this update which is a lifesaver. 

    When selecting an object, convert it to a mesh. Once converted use modify->simplify mesh.


    This thing is great because it reduces polycount right inside VW. Hope this helps.


  18. Hi Grant, 

    You can do one of two things, either use the same symbol to convert the titleblock, or just copy and paste the information into a new titleblock pio.

    I would recommend making one from scratch, its easier than modifying / or converting one.

    1. When you create a new one, go into the Titleblock menu (third from top) and click edit title block layout. Just past the linework and your titleblock in there. 

    2. When you create a new titleblock, it has margins and a grid. I would recommend disabling / turning them off. I normally use 0" sheet margins all around and sheet fit mode set to outside dimensions.

    For sheet zones / grids - turn all options off

    3. The most important part is the record information that related your titleblock info parametrically. Once you copy your line work from the symbol and paste it into the editable titleblock layout all the previous record information will be invalidated because the new pio has a new record format connection thats just for the title block plugin in object.

    4. when directing text to the record information, instead of linking text to record, under the shape info - the text has a new option all the way at the bottom called - Titleblock data link. Use the information there to link to the title block PIO.

    5. When you need custom records that isn't there, add them under Project Data or Sheet Data bars in the plugin object. Once you add them, they will show up in the link values when you use text as linked record information.


    That's all there is to it to the new tool. Took me about 30 minutes to figure it out. 


    One major problem - when exporting to Acad - it doesn't link the record information to the attributes of the block like it normally would if you were to export a symbol with record information. So, be aware of this glitch if you use acad and vw side by side.

    Hope this helps. 


  19. Good afternoon, 


    After taking a look at the Titleblock elements for VW 2018, it is indeed flexible, however there is an issue regarding exports. Normally, when any symbol is exported with record information - in autocad it automatically converts it to attributes that can be modified for the symbol - very convenient when setting up standards in between two platforms. 


    What I like - Before record information exported on a multiline field automatically converted to a single line field which made it impossible to modify multi line text without dramatically modifying the exported titleblock.

    This issue seems to have dissapeared, but for a different reason i believe.


    Now - with the new Parametric titleblock - the record information is there, however it is not exported as linkable attributes in autocad. In other words, record information for the symbol is there - however, attributes assigned to the text do not modify the text anymore. I believe it is because it was converted to a parametric record - not a database (modifiable) record. I thought I'd share this because it was quite handy to work in between platforms that links records and attributes together. Parametric constraints however do not. Perhaps theres a fix i don't know about?


    Either way, Thanks for the help in advance!! 

  20. Good afternoon, 

    I know one of the features for vectorworks was the ability to import native elements into vectorworks from Revit. So I tried to do an example door - using TRUstyle doors as a guinea pig.

    Here is the attached link : http://www.trustile.com/tools/revit


    maybe I'm doing something wrong?


    Also - Simplify Geometry - Awesome Addition to importing complex models. Breath of Fresh air!!!

  21. 28 minutes ago, Matt Panzer said:

    Creating catalogs is most certainly an expert/power user/super geeky level task. But, It may not be TOO difficult if you want to create your own using the same set of parameters an existing catalog uses. You can duplicate a set of existing catalog files and rename them for a new catalog. You can find the shipping catalog files in the VW application folder under Libraries/Object Styles/Door (or Window)/Catalogs. If you copy, rename and move the three (xlsx, txt, xml) files for an existing catalog to the same file path in the VW User folder (you may need to add the "Catalogs" folder), a new catalog of that filename will be available in VW. The three files MUST have the same name (before the file extension) and here are their purpose:

    • XML: Defines how the catalog is organized, which parameters are used, and plenty more geeky information. I highly recommend not editing this file.
    • XLSX: This is an Excel file used to edit the parameter values for all items within the catalog. This is for content creators and not used by the VW application.
    • TXT: A direct TXT export from the Excel file.

    You can then edit the "xlsx" file in Excel, replace parameter values with your own, and save as "txt" (replacing the previous "txt" file).


    WARNING 1: The data must be very carefully formatted.

    WARNING 2: If needing to create a Window catalog containing windows using Custom Sash parameters, it gets very tricky. I recommend steering clear of this until you really want to enter maximum geekiness. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ;-)



    Matt, I was going this route until I had to copy the txt file export. It looks like a csv export of some sort. Direct export to txt? how would i go about doing that? I also noticed the xml file is coded, so therefore it would be best to leave that end alone, right? Once you empty out the spreadsheets, you can create the catalogs from inside vectorworks - no need to modify one by one. But I agree, copy and paste a few dozen times for various door and window manufacturers and you have yourself a great resource without filling in the blanks just modify the rough opening and clear opening elements and possibly frame sizes / descriptions of the window and its catalog cut sheet.


    Something we in NY specify often are Ceco doors, or other steel doors for egress / mechanical room access, etc. Surprising theres no catalog for them yet. But if I manage to get it to work, will share! Other door companies like simpson, etc... or window companies like pella. Looking forward to new releases! 


    One huge cumbersome element however - Descriptive elements for doors / windows are parametric - and cannot be edited or modified from a worksheet! Back in 2015, it was, until a more proprietary integration system was put into Vectorworks. That I believe is the biggest downside with automating schedules and updating libraries. Just my two cents. 


    Otherwise, this new update is a great breath of fresh air. Its faster too! Especially the additional viewports and the tabbed windows.


    Either way, I'll come back when I've explored a bit more regarding hacking into the catalog files ;)


    Thanks everyone! 

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