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Dan Kessler

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Posts posted by Dan Kessler

  1. My closest setting to what you describe is under the "Image Quality" drop-down menu which allows me to change between enhanced or standard levels of grey. I don't see a "print as black and white" option.

    Assuming it's possible, it would be a nice new feature in VW to have a "print in black and white" checkbox in the prefs. Perhaps add this one to "the list" as well?


  2. I'm using Mac OS X 10.2.2, VectorWorks 9.5.3, and a HP LaserJet 5100tn printer.

    My drawings are in color, but I print to the black & white laser printer 99.9% of the time. In order to get the drawings to print properly I have to toggle the "document prefs" > "black and white display" setting on and off.

    Is there a way to have VW print black and white all of the time, regardless of my display showing color? It sure would save a lot of trips to the prefs menu, and paper for all those times I forget and print in color.


  3. I'm using VW 9.5.3. Is there a trick to getting dashed lines to end and turn corners on a dash, instead of a gap? If not, please add this to the "wish list".


    [ 11-12-2002, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: dkessler ]

  4. I also think VectorWorks could be improved with a layer (class) palette like Illustrator's. I love how Illustrator highlights the layer of picked objects. And, changing an objects layer is just a matter of dragging and dropping the highlighted square within the palette.

    As a long-time form-Z user, I like their layer palette because you can organize layers into groups. So, you might have a group called "doors", and within that group, you might have sublayers called "leaf", "swing", "jamb", etc. That way you can easily control the behavior of all layers in a group, or each sublayer individually.

    The bottom line is that I think VW needs to improve how picked objects are displayed. Ideally, object highlighting should be implemented, but layer highlighting could also help me overcome my frustration with VW's pointless "8-handled" selection indication.

  5. I'm a recovering AutoCAD user that has recently started his own architecture practice. Since I now don't have a "higher-power" telling me to use a particular drafting tool, and even a particular computing platform, I decided to invest in an Apple PowerBook and VectorWorks. I've been a "closet" Mac user for years, and since AutoCAD isn't an option, the best choice seemed to be VectorWorks. I think it was a good choice, although there are some things about the program that are driving me nuts. I use VectorWorks only for 2D drawing. I use form-Z for 3D, and Photoshop / Illustrator / InDesign for everything else. Perhaps it's because of my history with these other programs, but it seems like there's several things missing in Vectorworks; technology that is available in other programs, but not in Vectorworks.

    Don't get me wrong,VectorWorks is a very nice program. It has several features that are better than other drawing programs (i.e. font usage, classes, and lineweights), but the following is my list of items for improvement. Please let me know if something in the list is already possible:

    1) How objects are selected, moved, and resized. Why would you want a bounding box representing a picked object? Why can't the object be highlighted in a different color while showing me it's points? I know about the 2D reshape tool, but it's kind of difficult to use. I should be able to use the pick tool, select an object, and move it or it's individual points around without hunting down a different tool (a la Illustrator).

    2) Objects remain selected after they are transformed. This means that if you need to perform the same transformation on another object, you have to go back to the pick tool, deselect the object, re-activate the (transformation) tool, then pick the other object. TOO MUCH UNNECESSARY CLICKING!

    3) Curved polylines are treated like a red-headed stepchild. A lot of the tools/features don't apply. For example, they can't have arrowheads added to them, and they can't be easily divided onto equal-lenghted segments.

    4) Lineweight / Dash scaling. No ability to scale an object's lineweight and/or dash spacing when scaling the object or an entire layer. This means that if you want to simply change the scale of a layer, you'll have to go back and pick each object and adjust it's lineweight one-at-a-time! Whoa, Nelly! You can choose to scale font sizes, but not lineweights / dashes. Illustrator can do this.

    5) Workgroup references. There's no way to "clip" or "crop" an externally referenced drawing (that I know of).

    6) Arrowhead customization. I prefer a thicker lineweight for my arrowheads than for the leader line. VW can't do it.

    7) Printing. How about scale-to-fit, print display, print extents, print window. Is there such a thing in VW?

    8) More/better class and layer management: How about a tool which allows me to pick an object and have the active class and layer become that of the object's? How about the ability to quickly turn off all the classes/layers except those that are active? How about a tool wich toggles the class/layer visibility? In other words, that which is on becomes off, and vice-versa.

    9) Anti-aliased display for line-scaling. When zooming out, once you get to a certain percentage, all line weights look the same. Why can't their relationship remain constant. Adobe Illustrator does this.

    10) Mouse scroll-wheel support. Like AutoCAD's. Scroll to zoom in and out. Click and hold scroll wheel to pan.

    This is my "small" list. Hope it helps,Dan

  6. Well, I figured out how that method works. Thanks Jim.

    It works fine on a straight line, but I can't get it to work on a curved polyline! You can do this in two seconds in other programs. Not only is the VW method incredibly tedious, it's insane that I can't do this on certain shapes!

    So, you're telling me there's no way for me to equally space and align objects on a curved centerline?!!! Are you kidding me? You know what scares me even more is that I seem to be the first one in this forum to ask how to do this!

    It really makes me wonder if this is a program I should be using for construction drawings. It still seems like a "Mini" CAD program, to me.

  7. Jim & Katie,Thanks for your replies. I apologize, but I think I need some more hand-holding to get me through your suggestions confused.gif" border="0

    Please bear with me...my goal is to place rectangles (mullions) onto an "S-shaped" polyline at 5 equal spaces along the line. Also, I'd like to have each mullion rotated to the polyline's perpendicular at each placement point (if that's even possible!).

    Jim,My "line into segments" also doesn't work. I guess I have the wrong type of shape??? Who knows? It would be nice if that tool worked on more than just "lines". Hopefully that's something that will be improved. Yeah, I agree, the distribute command is confusing.

    I'm trying to figure out your last suggestion with the "snap distance" tool. OK, I have my "S" shaped polyline drawn. I have "snap to distance" as the only snap button activated. I have my "place locus" tool active. I'm not sure how or where to do the rest. Could you walk me through the "fractional separations" part?

    Katie,I have the split by point tool active. I don't understand what you mean by "use the Datum point to keep in line the distance each point is." Is this what assures me that the line is divided into equal-lengthed segments? Please explain.

    Thanks for the help,Dan

  8. I wish that the 2D selection tool would show an object's (polyline) points instead of an 8-handled bounding box around the object. And, I wish the object would become highlighted when it's selected. Most of the time I find it difficult to know some complex polygons are selected or not.

    I like how the 2D reshape tool shows the object's points, but I find that tool to be difficult to use when simply moving objects.


  9. Kate,

    The nature of my previous post is to suggest that perhaps there should be a relationship between attributes (line weight) and an object's scale. In fact, it really goes beyond just lineweights. It would be great to also have dash styles, arrow heads, and dimension attrubutes be "scalable".

    With all due respect, your response of "just change the lineweight to a lighter pen" is a naive solution.

    What if I want to scale an entire drawing with several classes and layers using multiple lineweights and dash styles? Are you suggesting I pick through each object or class and change the lineweights one at a time? That could take a long time!

    What about producing a drawing on a layer that's set to 1/8", then deciding later that you'd like to change that layer's scale to 1/16"? All your lineweights are now twice as thick as they should be.

    Also, what about using a referenced drawing placed into another at a reduced or enlarged scale? If you're reducing it, the lineweights stay the same and the drawing looks like a big blob of super-heavy lines. If you enlarge a referenced drawing the lineweights stay the same and the referenced drawing consists of hairlines.

    It seems like there could be a fairly easy solution to this problem...Add the ability to scale lineweights with an object or within a layer. VW already has the capability of doing this with font sizes...it's the same concept.

    It's definitely possible. Take a look at Adobe Illustrator. Their scale tool has had a lineweight scaling option for years.

  10. Raymond,

    I appreciate your suggestions, which are great for moving objects. I'm still frustrated, though, for the following two reasons.

    First, I'd still have to go through the same tedious process of deselecting all before I could "duplicate move" another object. Objects always seem to stay selected whenever they are transformed, no matter what tool you are using. I'm not saying I prefer to use AutoCAD, but take a look at how their offset tool works. You can click on multiple objects and offset as many times as you want without having to deselect anything.

    Secondly, by using move instead of duplicate, I'd have to do the math to know what the exact x and y coordinates should be to simulate a true parallel offset. What if I have a line that is at an unusual angle, like say, 23.15 degrees? If I use the move tool to simulate an offset, how can I be sure that the copied line is truly "delta x" distance from the original, and that both endpoints will be 90 degrees from the original?

    I think the offset tool could be improved as follows:

    1. Add an option to automatically deselect the resulting objects (or just change it to always do this)2. Add an option to offset an object a specified distance "x" number of times.3. Add an option to offset an object "x" number of times WITHIN a specified distance.

    The second and third points are to save a lot of unnecessary clicking and calculations, and it does something the duplicate array tool doesn't really seem to do very well when you have angled lines.

    - Dan

  11. I want to offset two different lines (line A and line B) the same distance. Sounds easy, but here's my frustration...

    If I activate the offset tool and click on line A, the resulting line is selected (I'll call it line A.2 for clarity). Since A.2 is automatically selected, I can't go over to line B to offset it. VW thinks I want to keep offsetting line A.2.

    In order to offset line B, I have to go back to the selection tool and click-off somewhere to deselect all, then return to the offset tool to offset line B.

    Perhaps I'm missing how to do it, but that seems like a lot of unnecessary clicking just to offset several (different) lines the same distance. If it were possible (perhaps it is, and I don't know it) to offset a line and have the resulting line automatically deselected, my productivity would be much improved.

    - Dan

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