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Mark Aceto

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Posts posted by Mark Aceto


    On 9/21/2020 at 11:17 AM, Tobias Kern said:

    - tags (IMPORTANT)  as separate palette for structuring objects, with option to set tags to: visible, grey, invisible.



    Are you referring to data tags? You can filter the Nav palette by tag. And in the Org window, there's a Class Tags List. However, short of creating a worksheet, I'm not sure where I could view a column of tags as they're applied... I'm guessing it's a logical limitation because you're tagging objects not layers.


    Anyway, filters have become my best friend. Especially when working with others because we can hide each other's stuff to focus on our own stuff. Hope that helps in the meantime!

  2. @Ian Lane starting a fresh thread about unifying a single workspace that adds Menus in the Menu Bar for each modality (FKA "workspace").


    Past discussions linked here.


    Issues with current workspace implementation:

    1. Redundant resizing and repositioning of all common window palettes is inefficient
      • Attributes
      • Snapping
      • Resource Manager
      • Object Info
      • Navigation
      • Visualization
      • Basic
      • Tool Sets
      • Preview Features
    2. Redundant editing of a single hotkey across mulitple workspaces (instead of just doing this once) is inefficient – why is this even edited here instead of VW Prefs?
      • Architect BIM
      • Architect
      • Braceworks
      • ConnectCAD
      • Designer
      • Fundamentals
      • Landmark
      • Spotlight
      • (popular third party plugins)
    3. Discovering / knowing / remembering which tools are available in which workspace
      • Can I ignore the Spotlight workspace if I'm using the Braceworks workspace?
    4. Switching between workspaces, primarily to access a single Menu in the Menu Bar is jarring and interrupts / slows workflow
    5. Having to remember which workspace you're working in as you switch back and forth
    6. Editing workspaces is painful
      • Cannot drag toolsets
      • Have to create a toolset (with no icon)
      • Can only drag one tool at a time (possible user error)
      • Have to recreate menus in the same manner which gets really complicated (possible user error)

    Solutions to the issues above:

    1. A single consistent workspace
    2. Replace workspaces with menus in the menu bar

    I full understand / appreciate / respect the challenge of organizing tools in the "a la carte" manner that users have purchased or subscribed. Therefore, short of a complete rewrite, I see a triage approach to solving these issues:

    • Short Term Must-Haves - v2021 SP3
      • Save all palette (and windows) positions / sizes across workspaces
        • Don't make me resize / reposition the Attributes palette 8+ times
        • This has become especially painful with all of the killer customization added in v2021 (tear-away tabs, docking) that is lost when we switch workspaces
      • Move Workspace Editor / Keys (hotkeys) to VW Prefs (there's no reason any of these settings would change from workspace to workspace)
        • Don't make me edit 8+ workspaces to change the hotkey for Launch Quick Search
    • Short Term Nice-To-Haves - v2021 SP3
      • Drag toolsets from the master library (or another workspace) to the custom edited workspace
    • Long Term Must-Haves - v2022
      • Eliminate workspaces altogether (replaced with the menu solution above)

    I realize that pace is ambitious but the UI improvements in v2021 are super slick nice-to-haves on the surface. Improving the current UI/UX of bolting on workspace after workspace is a must-have under the hood. In other words, when I draw an outdoor concert, I use every single workspace (except Fundamentals), so streamlining that workflow is a top priority for me. Honestly, if all of these proposed solutions (thought-starters for now) came to VW22, that would be epic.


    As VW continues to acquire great partner products, and third party developers continue to write great plug-ins, the current UI/UX that VW is rapidly outgrowing will continue to get clunkier and weigh it down.


    That said, everyone, please keep the criticism constructive, the conversation positive, productive and solutions-oriented (for both Mac & Windows users). 😎


    Thank you, VW team, for implementing improvements based on user feedback as demonstrated by the many UI/UX improvements in v2021!


    Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 9.25.09 AM.png

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    • Like 4

  3. 4 minutes ago, Andy Broomell said:


    Is the "Center Line Marker" tool in your currently active workspace? Since that tool is legacy it's no longer there by default and you'd have to manually add it. Quick Search only shows menus and commands that are currently in your workspace.


    Yeah, that was my point: Quick Search should show all of the tools that I've paid for that are buried in the Workspace Editor, especially if Quick Search is intended to be an efficient workaround for editing workspaces.

  4. 5 minutes ago, Art V said:

    So basically turning the Organization window into a palette instead of a dialog box, which would be quite nice to have. Though I get the impression that VW is trying to have the Navigation palette to become that equivalent over time, whether that is the better option or not remains to be seen.




    And, for the record, I love the tearaway tabs. I edited 20 imported DWG symbols yesterday, so having Shape and Render tabs open at the same time eliminated the need to click back and forth between those tabs which inevitably causes user error for such a tedious task. Also breaking off the Data tab is useful for adding Record Formats to a symbol... 


  5. On 9/21/2020 at 7:04 AM, Ian Lane said:


    Hi Mark,


    Thanks for the feedback.  Can you elaborate a bit on why you need 9 different workspaces?  I'm a little unclear on that part.


    @Ian Lane thanks for the quick reply!


    For clarification, I don't need 9 workspaces. I need one workspace to rule them all. However, these 8 workspaces (screenshot attached) are automatically generated + AutoPlot (third party plugin).




    On 9/21/2020 at 7:04 AM, Ian Lane said:

    It seems to me that what you are requesting is an "everything" workspace that has ALL of our tools and menus already added in.


    Sort of... Long story short, I don't want to have to move and resize the Attributes palette in 10 different workspaces because it's the freaking Attributes palette, and would never change across multiple workspaces. I also don't want to wait for VW to do a Triple Lindy every time I switch workspaces. I also never want to realize, "Oh, I'm still in this workspace but I need to switch to that workspace... "


    The big change I see from workspace to workspace is that workspace's menu. I don't need 10 workspaces. I need a way of managing 10 menus from a single workspace.


    On 9/21/2020 at 7:04 AM, Ian Lane said:

    With the new Quick Search tool this kind of workspace could be useful because you can still easily find everything.


    That's what I expected but when I searched for the Center Line Marker tool in BW... it can't find it. And that's true for a lot of tools... 


    Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 8.26.00 AM.png

  6. BTW one of the reasons I decided on an outdoor concert with a tower structure to test drive VW21 is because lining up the spanners and motors with panel points on the roof / grid, and then following that vector down to where the motors will attach to the truss, and then knowing where the slings will get in the way of the lights (especially when the heads move) that the LD has so carefully spaced along the LX position, where those lights will actually clamp to the truss... 


    I cannot overemphasize how valuable it is to know about these attachments and alignments before the gear gets prepped in the shop. I can't think of a show like this where we didn't have to waste valuable time and money making corrections onsite because we just roughed it in with imaginary slings and attachments. I mean 3 or 4 years ago, we had to model our own HUD from the manufacturer, and now GT is a stock symbol.


    Other notes:

    • I flipped the truss for the cable bridge and the video truss (works like a centerline), and there were no issues
      • Just make sure you roll it 180deg in the OIP instead of flipping the symbol
    • Because of the insertion point, lighting devices need to be bumped up 12" to grab the center truss chord of GT (or any HUD)
      • Just make sure you bump the Z field in the OIP, and all of the BW magic will still work
    • It's super cool and efficient that hook to motor to hook to shackle to sling to truss to light are all one integrated system that move together when changing trim height


    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 4.29.54 PM.png

  7. Screenshot attached of WIP. I made the truss silver, and the mover clamps black, so detail could be visible with lights attached.


    I know VW engineering is working on the hoist bug but I narrowed it down to adding the pickup symbol. That's what causes the flipped (up) motor to bump up above the top of the chain to a Z height that's actually higher than the real Z / high hook height.


    Btw the file size is currently at 20M (including the roof system) with all caching disabled. Very happy about that. I could knock it down to 15MB if I purged everything I'm playing around with that isn't pictured.

    Very excited to share this!


    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 4.31.21 PM.png

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    • Like 1

  8. 11 hours ago, Art V said:

    @Ian Lane


    Yes, creating/changing workspaces could definitely be more efficient.


    It would also be useful if one could copy/paste a custom toolset from one workspace to another, not to mention being able to even simply drag a complete existing toolset from from the left into the toolsets section on the right instead of having to create a new toolset first and then drag all the items one by one into the new toolset as you mentioned.


    Another option could be to have a master workspace editor window with a layout similar to the visibilities setting of the organization window where you can see all tools etc. on the left and all workspaces on the right and then be able to select multiple workspaces that you want to update with the  same new/customized toolset shown in the middle column. Sort of, I'm sure it will need some further thought and fine-tuning but you probably get the idea.


    There are quite a few things that could be optimized in VW by removing unnecessary redundancy or by grouping relating things into fewer tools/menu options to make it more streamlined.


    All of that sounds wonderful!


    Especially now that I can do this (which I would obviously want the same in every workspace)...


    Btw anybody else have the shrunken "Exit Edit" button? Assuming this is a bug to report... 


    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 9.38.03 PM.png

  9. 20 minutes ago, Mark Aceto said:


    @Ian Lane speaking of "preference overload", let's say I want to change the hotkey for Launch Quick Search to "Command-F". I have to do that in every single workspace (I'm currently up to 9 "stock" workspaces), which will duplicate (modified versions of) every single workspace. Then when I inevitable have to dump my user folder as a troubleshooting step, I have to reimport them. Et cetera et cetera et cetera... 


    There has to be some common denominator efficiency built into switching between workspaces. 80% of the palettes and settings do not change for us. And that's not to mention that creating or modifying a workspace, we can only drag 1 tool / menu item at time. There's waaaaaaaaaaaay too much fiddling with redundant settings.


    The UI/UX should not be "additive" for Designer licenses. It should be "subtractive" for a la carte licenses. And honestly it's not even about a Designer license. If I have a Spotlight license, and then install Landru and AutoPlot tools, customize the Spotlight workspace... here comes the workspace parade!


    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 8.47.30 AM.png


    @Ian Lanehere's my thought-starter solution (screenshot attach for reference):


    When I'm in the Braceworks workspace *, there are also Spotlight and Event Design menus (both native to the Spotlight workspace). We're already halfway there with this solution BTW... 

    • Event Design doesn't need its own dedicated menu. Make it a sub-menu of the Spotlight menu.
    • Continue adding "module" menus to the menu bar (Arch, Landmark, ConnectCAD)
    • Consolidate BIM-Arch with Arch

    You can see where I'm going with this... 


    If I'm in danger of running out of menu bar real estate, let me choose which modules to display in the menu bar. Dump the rest in a workspaces sub-menu that contains all of the same menu commands vs taking me to a different workspace. Honestly, if this was the only change, it would be a pain-point game-changer.


    * If I'm working in Braceworks, are there any Spotlight features/menus/tools...  missing? Can I just ignore the Spotlight workspace altogether? How would I know? This is like that game at the bar where I have to spot what's missing between 2 similar photos. Except that I can't see both workspaces at the same time, so I have to screenshot them to compare them... 


    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 9.11.43 AM.png

  10. On 9/19/2020 at 7:34 AM, Ian Lane said:

    We debated adding this but ultimately decided against it.  We worried it could be preference overload.


    @Ian Lane speaking of "preference overload", let's say I want to change the hotkey for Launch Quick Search to "Command-F". I have to do that in every single workspace (I'm currently up to 9 "stock" workspaces), which will duplicate (modified versions of) every single workspace. Then when I inevitable have to dump my user folder as a troubleshooting step, I have to reimport them. Et cetera et cetera et cetera... 


    There has to be some common denominator efficiency built into switching between workspaces. 80% of the palettes and settings do not change for us. And that's not to mention that creating or modifying a workspace, we can only drag 1 tool / menu item at time. There's waaaaaaaaaaaay too much fiddling with redundant settings.


    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 8.47.30 AM.png

    • Like 1

  11. On 9/18/2020 at 6:30 PM, Travis.Designer said:

    2/ Full Expanded will reduce 1 click. It make scene with me.



    @Travis.Designer thank you for pointing (pardon the pun) this out, and sharing a screenshot. So much better!


    I haven't taken a deep dive into this yet but here's my current config with a 3Dconnexion CadMouse (that has a MMB that I use for panning instead of the space bar).


    The must-haves for me are:

    • Intentionally activate it (vs getting incessantly distracted by it when I'm looking at complex geometry and it turns my view into mud)
      • Unchecked "Show after mouse idles"
    • Fewest mouse clicks possible
      • Unchecked "Show with MMB

    Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 8.36.21 AM.png

  12. On 9/18/2020 at 12:26 PM, Ian Lane said:

    Because of the integration with the spacebar for SOD and the pan tool, the interaction is a little tricky.  As the spacebar is pressed we are waiting on user input to try and determine if the user intends to pan or launch SOD.  If the mouse is moved while the spacebar is down it will invoke the pan tool.  It is tricky for us to get the SOD to appear easily while also supporting the normal workflows of spacebar to pan that so many people are used to.


    We will experiment some more and perhaps we can add a little dead zone around the cursor before the pan tool is invoked.


    But at least setting a different hot key is working well for you, and that will definitely be the best option in the meantime, especially if you are using the stylus.



    EDIT: just realized these options already exist in VW prefs (and it's even simpler lol)


    How about VW prefs where users can pick what they want for spacebar and MMB independently:

    • Space bar
      • Pan
      • SOD
      • Pan / SOD
    • MMB
      • Pan
      • SOD
      • Pan / SOD

    BTW on a Mac, any Menu item can be mapped through Sys Prefs:


    Screen Shot 2020-09-19 at 9.46.17 AM.png

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    • Like 1

  13. @Tobias Kern The computer in your signature is a beast (my current dream machine). A lot of folks thought they were overheating but they're actually designed to run hot with the fans on high (very un-Apple and a big reason why they're moving to ARM). Would love to see some screenshots of Activity Monitor and Intel Power Gadget when VW is pushing your machine hard. My guess is that you never max out that GPU (or RAM).

    • Like 1

  14. On 8/18/2020 at 11:02 AM, Josh Loy said:

    @Samuel Derenboim no improvements with hidden line this release but I wouldn't be surprised if it was next on the list.


    @Josh Loy Hidden Line rendering has used every core and thread I throw at it as long as I can remember (which is about two years).


    Am I missing something here as it relates to CPU/GPU performance in VW21?


    Here's a screenshot from today:


    Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 5.52.57 PM (2).png

  15. 8 hours ago, Tobias Kern said:

    VW brings my machine to often to its thermal limits.


    This is a stab in the dark but I was using those Incase hardshell cases for years until I realized it was blocking the exhaust vents on my 2019 MacBook Pro, trapping the heat inside. I almost never heard the fans after I removed it. So, if by chance you happen to be using one of those hardshell cases, removing it will help with MBP thermals.

  16. @line-weight Understood.


    I'm reposting this here in case anyone missed it:





    "Join CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar and the Vectorworks leadership team as they discuss innovations to version 2021 and share industry perspective in these changing times. With an exclusive live Q&A... "


    Festivus is coming early this year.

  17. I've been meaning to revise Alex Payne's words of wisdom from over a decade ago (much of it still applies today but some of it obviously does not). This has influenced how I approach tech choices to avoid frustration over the years, so I hope it helps other folks here in the forum that are feeling frustrated. The title is a link to the author's OP.


    For clarification, absolutely take the list below with a grain of salt. This is what worked for Alex 12 years ago, and he doesn't CAD. I've come up with my own rules of happiness with Mac and VW (patience is a virtue). From the last line, "These are my rules and they make me happy. I hope they make you happy too. If you have computing rules of your own that make you happy, I encourage you to publish them."


    al3x's Rules for Computing Happiness


    Sep 7, 2008 


    A list.



    • Use as little software as possible.
    • Use software that does one thing well.
    • Do not use software that does many things poorly.
    • Do not use software that must sync over the internet to function.
    • Do not use web applications that should be desktop applications.
    • Do not use desktop applications that should be web applications.
    • Do not use software that isn’t made specifically for your operating system. (You’ll know it when you see it because it won’t look right or work correctly.)
    • Do not run beta software unless you know how to submit a bug report and are eager to do so.
    • Use a plain text editor that you know well.  Not a word processor, a plain text editor.
    • Do not use your text editor for tasks other than editing text.
    • Use a password manager. You shouldn’t know any of your passwords save the one to your primary email account and the one to your password manager.
    • Do not use software that’s unmaintained.
    • Pay for software that’s worth paying for, but only after evaluating it for no less than two weeks.
    • Thoroughly delete all traces of software that you no longer use.


    • Do not buy a desktop computer unless your daily computing needs include video/audio editing, 3D rendering, or some other hugely processor-intensive computing task.  Buy a portable computer instead.
    • Do not use your phone/smartphone/PDA/UMPC for tasks that would be more comfortably and effectively accomplished on a full-fledged computer.
    • Use a Mac for personal computing.
    • Use Linux or BSD on commodity hardware for server computing.
    • Do not use anything other than a Mac at home and Linux/BSD on the server.
    • The only peripheral you absolutely need is a hard disk or network drive to put backups on.
    • Buy as large an external display as you can afford if you’ll be working on the computer for more than three hours at a time.
    • Use hosted services in lieu of hosting on your own hardware (or virtual hardware) for all but the most custom applications.

    File Formats

    • Keep as much as possible in plain text. Not Word or Pages documents, plain text.
    • For tasks that plain text doesn’t fit, store documents in an open standard file format if possible.
    • Do not buy digital media crippled by rights restriction technologies unless your intention is to rent the content for a limited period of time.
    • These are my rules and they make me happy. I hope they make you happy too. If you have computing rules of your own that make you happy, I encourage you to publish them.


    • Like 3


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