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Everything posted by Mbuck

  1. jan15, You seem to have missed the whole point here. The idea of me mentioning these 2D interface enhancements is that if NNA, do not incorporated at least some of these, in my opinion; they will have little chance of enticing ACAD users to VectorWorks. You must agree that encouraging ACAD switchers will strengthen NNA place in the CAD market. This must be good for all of VW users as NNA will have more development money to incorporate those features that you won?t ?burden the wish list with?. I am perhaps uniquely placed to see how AutoCad drafters think. The 12 points that were raised are in my opinion a sound strategy to entice ACAD users to switch to VW. You must understand like you, I am also a one eyed VectorsWork user, but unfortunately the majority people in my office; and the world for that matter, are ACAD users. ACAD would not have that market share if it had an unsatisfactory 2D interface. Based on the many drawings that I translate to VW the majority of people are still drafting in 2D. Only Architects seem to be hooked on 3D. Yet VW?s current 3D interface has a long way to go before it can challenge the likes of REVIT and ArchiCad. My frustration is that on many occasions I have tried but failed to entice ACAD users to switch to VectorWorks. The 12 points are my summary of the objections that they continually raise, when they have on occasion played around with VW. By the way when was the last time you used AutoCad? From your remarks it must have been when it was running on a Mac, version 11 I think, unfortunately for NNA six ACAD versions later all but a few of VW strengths are now part of the AutoCad interface.
  2. AutoCad allows block attributes to be moved interactively anywhere around a symbol; thus allowing efficient formatting of block attributes on the fly. In VectorWorks, as one would appreciate, the point at which one links the text to a symbol, is the same place it will appear once inserted onto the drawing (assuming the symbol is not rotated at placement time). Murphy?s Law also dictates; however, that it will be the location at which that same text will obscure other important information already on the drawing. Probably other users will tell me that there is a work around; I know one of these already, define the linked text at various angles around the symbol and assign each linked record to a different class. Turn of the class for the text which obscures and turn another class on at a convenient location. Unfortunately this is very inefficient and cumbersome to setup and use attributed symbols in this way. Why is there not a tool which allows one to simple move the linked text to the desired location around the symbol?
  3. jan15, You make your case well on behalf of the many Residential Architects who use VW, but don?t forget that VectorWorks is a general CAD package. For example; my work involves Building Services and Civil Engineering where the layout of individual lines at a particular azimuth is of paramount importance ? where ?vectors? must be drawn accurately and efficiency. VectorWorks is not only used within the residential ?built environment? but should be extensible to the needs of the entire construction industry. I say maintain the good features within VW, those which set it apart from other competing CAD programs. I am convinced that the NNA CAD paradigm, makes the CAD experience enjoyable and this alone sets it apart from its competition. AutoCad in my opinion is more reminiscent of computer programming than drawing. But for the particular issues I have canvassed, I believe VW, would be ?silkiest? CAD package on the market. You must also remember that the whole idea of NNA going to a double precision floating point drawing format in Version 9 was to make VW more extensible to larger projects, i.e. industrial, university and residential precincts and campuses. I have never seen any campus or land sub-division where the buildings or land are on an orthogonal grid. In addition, most prominent contemporary public buildings that I have seen, except maybe the very boring ones, are not entirely on an orthogonal i.e. try to draw Jorn Utzon?s, Sydney Opera House with an orthogonal grid.
  4. No doubt both old and new have come across theses problems. AutoCad switchers, would be particularly pleased with such 2D drawing enhancements (NNA needs to target that market much more aggressively). In my opinion AutoCad still has a much more efficient 2D drafting interface but this list if implemented wisely will level the score. I hope my suggestions can enhance VectorWorks and are put on the VW 11 hit list. 1. A new preference setting which prevents dash line styles, which are applied to polylines, polygons or just lines, from ending with gaps at their corner points. Reason: ? The current implementation makes drawings look somewhat amateurish; ? Competing programs have this feature. 2. The ability to use previous view (zoom previous) whilst in pause/boomerang mode. Reason: ? Whilst tracing around a large closed object, the most logical thing to do is to zoom back to where you were so that you can once again see the whole object you where tracing or aligning to. The logical way to do this tool, for me anyway, is to use the "previous zoom back arrow" tool, but as you will see if you do this it is not dynamically enabled i.e. it doesn't work whilst one is drawing . This current behaviour is most illogical since all the other zoom tools seem to work in this mode. 3. The ability to lock onto nearest points by giving the user additional functionality (say pressing the P key) to dynamically toggling between a series of the nearest lock-on points. Reason ? One wouldn?t have to zoom in each time to lock the smart cursor onto the correct geometric point or locus. The correct lock-on point, would be enabled by pressing a key then pressing a particular key and then pressing enter to select the correct point be it a corner, midpoint or along line, screen hits would feed back this information to the user with each press of the key. ? Competing programs have this feature. 4. Changing the position of the fields L (Length) and A (Angle) data display bar. These parameters should be in the initial tab positions, and X and Y should be last. Reason ? To speed up 2D drafting especially for drawing lines and wall segments. ? See discussion on this subject in the wish list. Others would appear to agree. 5. The Callout tool should have an option which allows the user to dynamically change the shoulder length of the leader. Reason ? Numerical input is too slow. ? Visually athletics dictates that leader text aligns vertically and leader lines are parallel. Tying to achieve this aim with the correct callout tool is slow and frustrating endeavour. 6. Since hatch patterns are an editable characteristic, which oftentimes need to be redefined on the fly, this need is no different to editing symbols and groups. Why then doesn?t the new double click feature (which is fantastic) open up the hatch dialog so that the hatch can be redefined with the least amount of effort. Reason: ? Inconsistent interface behaviour 7. A new preference setting which sets the resource browser background colour to black when using a black background to draw. Reason: ? Especially necessary if symbols are made up of yellow objects. Yellow is very hard to see with a white symbol pallet. ? Inconsistent interface behaviour 8. The trim tool trims around cuts a line to the boundary edge of a closed object, say a rectangle tiled right at 45 degrees. Change this object to a symbol and the line is cut not to the bounding edge but to the bounding box or rather the symbols handle extent. This tool should always cut a line to the objects bounding edge and it should not matter if it is a symbol, group or closed object. Reason: ? Inconsistent interface behaviour 9. 2D User defined coordinate system. Reason: I know VW can have angled grid feature but this is very different to a user defined coordinate system. In VW the angle grid is merely a drawing aide, which allows the user to snap to an angle grid. VW underlying or internal coordinate system is still orthogonal, however. In other words the objects drawn on VW grid are independent of VW?s internal coordinate system orientation. In AutoCad objects that are drawn on an user coordinate grid would be akin to telling VW to rotate or translate its internal grid therefore allowing an object to be drawn on that grid and permanently linked to a new internal coordinate system. This may not seem to be a big deal but is a very powerful feature in AutoCad. To get the feel of what I am taking about rotate VW grid and draw a site plan (buildings and boundaries parallel to that rotated grid, save the drawing making sure the 0, 0 coordinate are set to a particular rectangle, which represents a building on the site. Then, in a new VW drawing with has an orthogonal grid, draw a single rectangle, exactly the same size as the rectangles drawn previously on the site plan. Make sure you set the rectangles 0,0 point a the bottom left corner save to a new file and then reference this rectangle into the site plan which was drawn at an angle, notice the rectangle remains orthogonal. In Autocad the rectangle would be rotated to the rotated user defined coordinate system, a local coordinate system that maybe peculiar to the site plan but not the building. In other words in AutoCad both rectangles would be coincident and at the correct angle which I hope one can appreciate has many advantages Unfortunately, explaining this is difficult is akin to trying explaining the advantages of classes to cad users who have only experienced layers but I hope NNA has got the gist of what I am saying. 10. Consolidate the custom selection tools in to one more intuitive tool who amongst us really understands the custom selection 2 tool is for. ? Clunky and Inconsistent interface behaviour. 11. Build Katerina Panagiotakis?s Class Utilities utility into VectorWorks 11 interface also extending its functionality to layer control. A complete collection of utilities for managing and manipulating classes ? Classes All On - Turns all classes in the drawing on. ? Class Current - Sets the active class to a selected object. ? Class Delete - Deletes the class of a selected object and all objects in that class. ? Class Gray - Grays all items in the class of a selected object. ? Class Hide - Hides all items in the class of a selected object. ? Class Isolate - Turns off all classes except the class) of selected object. ? Class Select - Selects all objects in the class of a selected object. ? Object Hide - Hides a selected object. Reason OBVIOUS 12. Layer linking I can?t explain why exactly but it?s a pain, especially if one layer is in plan view, but unbeknownst to the user, some other layers are in top 3D view and one wonders why he cannot select or snap to objects in on those layers. This must be very confusing for a new user because it often trips me up. Reason it?s a pain
  5. Yes I asked John Williams (NNA's chief Autocad expert) jodawi@NEMETSCHEK.NET this same question, but more specifically I asked him if VW could be set up to read Autocad's pcp (Plotter configuration settings) which are text files, which could be read in at conversion time. My recollection is that he said that it was possible with pcp files but AutoCad now uses a more complicated binary versions of this file namely: the tasks performed by plot configuration files (PCP and PC2 files) have been split between plot configuration files (PC3 files) and plot style tables (CTB and STB files), thus making the task more difficult. Maybe John would like to comment further?
  6. Try this in VW 10. Draw a large rectangle or some closed shape that extends beyond the bounds of the currently selected page size, use the lines or walls tool it doesn't matter which. This I assume would be a common occurrence and a common task that I do, and assume architects would have to do on a regular basis, is to extend a 2D polygon over the bounding area of such walls to find gross building area or room areas etc. In doing this I first select the extent of the closed object with a fit to objects zoom, and then zoom into a corner, to ensure that the smart cursor locks onto the correct vertex. Then I have to zoom out again, whilst continuing to draw with the polygon tool. The next most logical thing to do is to zoom back to where you were so that you can once again see the whole object. The logical way to do this tool, for me anyway, is to use the "previous zoom back arrow" tool, but as you will see if you do this it is not dynamically enabled i.e. it doesn't work whilst one is drawing >:-(. This behaviour is most illogical since all the other zoom tools seem to work in this mode. Can we have a fix? Also it would be great if whilst zoomed out one could dynamically toggle between a series of the nearest vertex points then you wouldn?t need to zoom in to lock smart cursor onto the correct vertex point in the first place.
  7. Robert, I think you actually know what I meant when I wrote "North by convention is along the zero y-axis" unfortunately you choose to nit pick my reply. Therefore to set the record straight, I would like to restate it ?North by convention is in the direction of the y-axis at x=0 i.e. up the page?, certainly not page right, as the property line tool would lead us to believe. I am glad romcole and his surveyor concur with me. "Alas, how many have been persecuted for the wrong of having been right?"
  8. Hi Robert, I agree that there is nothing wrong with the way the VectorWorks property line tool parses, calculates and then ultimately displays the bearing of a line, which I agree is measured relative to the North and South cardinal compass points. The problem is that some countries don't use bearings, (my guess is that land surveyors wanted to differentiate themselves from nautical navigators), but instead use azimuth deflection angles. These angles are measured clockwise from North i.e. by map convention due North is 0 degrees and faces up the page. Your property line tool, on the other hand, assumes that North is along VW zero x-axis which is really due East by convention. North by convention is along the zero y-axis. Therefore the property line tool, for general application, should have two entry fields one to enter by bearing and the other by azimuth deflection angle which as I have stated are measured clockwise from North i.e. along VW's zero y-axis.
  9. The way property line tool works is incorrect. I have told NNA about this many times but, unfortunately I have been ignored, with respect to that matter. An azimuth is given in degrees from NORTH measured in a clockwise direction, 0 - 360 degrees, where North is 0 degrees but NOT 90 degrees as currently implemented in VW property line tool, refer to diagram: A bearing is slightly different. When giving a bearing, you are measuring in degrees east and west of NORTH and east and west of SOUTH. Your maximum measurement of degrees is 90. Let's say your azimuth is 30 degrees. Your bearing would be N 30d E as shown below: http://plymouth.ces.state.nc.us/staff/ameijer/for554/graphics/slide1.gif
  10. I agree but I would add that I think NNA should change the position of the fields L (Length) and A (Angle) these parameters should be in the initial tab positions, and X and Y should be last. I could never fathom why X and Y are in the first and second tab positions. Who draws a line using their X and Y coordinates? My wish is that NNA change this tool bar so L and A are the first and second tab positions. I am sure this would enable most people to draw faster. Maybe in version 11 perhaps?
  11. Creating DTM's where there is no 3D point data available, oftentimes means that one has to covert a old 2D AutoCad survey in order to process the DTM. The contours which are from old surveys are most probably a series of unconnected lines or polylines. Usually they are not connected because they have been broken around text or other drawing elements. These gaps can be fairly large and to connect hundred and possibly thousands of line segments and convert them to 3D polys for DTM processing sometimes can take up to 2 man days work, especially for large survey drawings. At present VW "compose" command is the answer but unfortunately for this to work the end points of all segments have to be coincident, therefore requiring much manual intervention to make them so. I have also found VW algorithm very slow if multiple lines with many segments are selected. The "compose" command, algorithm is not geared for such work. My suggestion is that NNA should rewrite this code to include a tolerance setting, whereby the large gaps can be bridged by interpolation. Also VW compose algorithms speed should be looked at and any redundancies removed so that it can handle multiple lines with many segments.
  12. For some time Vectorworks has had the extrude rectangle tool. Why haven?t NNA implemented a extrude circle tool on the same tool set? This would be great for 3D piping, 3D handrails and other such things. I know someone is going to tell me you can now use nurbs and/or use the extrude command to do the same thing but these methods can be tedious if one simply wants to draw a freehand run of piping or rail. I suppose the question then is how does one turn corners and intersect a run of piping with another? The answer may be nurbs but a more elegant solution would be to use a sophisticated fillet tool for turning corners. As for t and y intersections I appreciate this would be a tricky bit of code, but probably worth it, as 3D piping type elements are used so often in construction and architecture.
  13. You must be reading mine and no doubt other users? minds. I think you list is absolutely essential but I would add: 1. True 3D text and dimensions for display with for use in isometric piping diagrams, and or dimensioning and labelling isometric buildings or other 3D objects.2. The DWG/DXF import function which would be able to read in AutoCad PCP files (PCP files store AutoCad?s printer information you create for specific drawings, which eliminates the need to completely reconfigure your print settings each time you print a drawing to a different driver), which would automatically set pen colour and weight to these Standards within VW.3. I would recommend that an option be created to allow the drawing extent to span or be mapped to multiple pages at print time (fax or printer). This would provide the user the facility to send multiple sheets over fax line for example. Whereby the remote recipient, who is assumed equipped with only a small printer or fax, would then be able to manually reassemble the single smaller fax sheets into the original drawing extents at legible scale. At present VW doesn?t have this functionality. Rather, if one has a larger drawing whose extends lie beyond the bounds of the default page size, VW simply maps or rescales the extents of the drawing, to just a single page. Obviously if the drawing is large the text and other objects become illegible when rescaled in this way.4. Improving VectorWorks redraw speed especially hatch pattern redraw speed.5. Dash lines which begin and end with a dash not a gap or space. This would probably require a rewrite of the dash styles code. Numerical entry option would be good because manipulating the dash lengths is difficult at times.
  14. Allow the editing walls like polygons, to offer greater flexibility in modelling. The ability to add nodes to walls edit the outlines and create trapezoid walls and be able to turn straight walls into curved; and control how openings will be affected. Note some building elements for example; retaining walls are thicker at the bottom than at the top. Some buildings are designed with thicker wall elements where the entry to the building occurs and tapper to narrower wall sections for the windows on the upper levels; this can give a building a fortified look. Also not all walls are rectangular in plan sometimes walls need to be thicker to create localised window and door reveals and so on.
  15. Are you aware that Vectorworks and Mathcad, which it must be said are both excellent pieces of software, have the same Windows file name extension i.e. ".mcd". As I use both of these programs extensively my wish is that Nemetschek or Mathsoft negotiate an agreement in order for one of the companies to change its file extension. It is a "pain in the butt" to double click a mathcad file only to find that the Windows operating system is launching Vectorworks or visa versa.
  16. Does Vectorworks (my version 9.5.1) have a subscripts and superscripts as a text format option? I cannot find it within the text format dialog. Therefore, is it hidden somewhere else i.e. tucked away out of view? As a work around, I have tried to cut and paste from MS Word and it seemed to work, at least initially, i.e. Vectorworks maintained the superscript, up until I clicked outside the text box, whereupon the superscript reverted to normal text. What is going on? Surely there is an easy way to generate m^2 or other such unit designations in standard abbreviated form.
  17. I have tried what you have suggested. To test your theory, I created a completely blank sheet the only classes being Dimension and None and one layer, no symbols - nothing. I even went to the trouble of purging the blank sheet just to make sure. I then import a 3d survey point data which consists of only four point records, but alas I still get the previously described error message. It must be 9.5.1 as version 9.5 doesn?t generate this error. Please validate my conclusion.
  18. I have upgraded to Version 9.5.1 and I am now getting an error when I importing survey data. The error is as follows: "Error: Could not find NNA_DTM_Hidden_Record". I am sure it has nothing to do with memory allocation as I am not on a Mac, I am running WinXP with 256MB ram. Also, Version 9.5 imports the same file with no such error. Clean installed both Version 9.5 and 9.5.1 and I am still experiencing the same error under 9.5.1 as before. Survey file has large number of points 5,823 but imports and creates DTM in Version 9.5 OK but will not import to 9.5.1. Can you suggest why?
  19. A good feature of nurbs is that individual vertices can have z values i.e nurbs don?t have to be coplanar. With this in mind one could think of the nurbs path as a road centre-line and then one should be able to draw a cross-section to define the road profile and then also convert this profile to a nurbs curve whereby one could select this curve (road centre line) and the road profile and then use the extrude along path command to model a road carriageway. Anyway, I thought this was the logical way to do such a thing, however, to my surprise it doesn't work. Is there a work-around? I have used the create road from stakes command but one is limited as to how the road profile can look and road grade transitions (vertical curves) are not handled correctly. As one can probably surmise, I am experimenting with the new 3D power pack features, which appear very powerful I am sure, therefore, that someone must know a workaround using the 3D power pack features. Can anyone help?
  20. Unless I am missing something, a bearing entered into the property line tool as N60d should give an angle / bearing of 60 degrees measured clockwise from true north, as angles go clockwise from the meridian. To my surprise one gets a line at and angle of 30 degrees from north, and if you choose the label option tick box, Vectorworks dutifully labels this line as N 30d0m0s E. I concede that if one enters N 60d E you get the desired result, but how logical is it to put a bearing definition of N 270d E to get a bearing which interpreted as due West, why not simply use the 360 degree clockwise convention.
  21. As the current discussion is in relation to the displaying property line i.e. property boundary angular and distance definitions. I thought that you should be aware that you are using the incorrect angular definition for true north. It is not 90 degrees but rather 0 degrees and therefore Whole-circle bearings: The direction of survey lines is generally expressed as an angle measured from a reference meridian, generally north, commencing from 0 degrees (0?) and increasing clockwise to 360 degrees (359?59'60"). Bearings are never expressed as "North, X degrees East". For more explanation refer: http://www.sli.unimelb.edu.au/Horizons/Documents/angle.html Please could you correct this in your next release of the program.
  22. I am a loyal supporter of Vectorworks but your programmers must keep an eye on what your competition is doing. For example take a close look at this link: http://www.graphisoft.com/products/architecture_and_design/graphisoft_archicad/online_demos.html I particularly like the multi-storey building tools within Archicad, a kind of paste to other layers command. Most of this stuff is already in Vectorworks but is having trouble busting out of an human interface which is often quirky and restrictive. I am sure most of the features in Archicad could easily be implemented within Vectorworks. However, somehow you have to improve your 3D interface - the seamlessness of your 2D to 3D environments is a must. At the moment switching from the 2D to 3D environment is almost like firing up separate cad packages, as 3D editing tools are either too limiting or have a quirky convoluted human interface. Archicad seems very strong at allowing editing within the 3D environment. Do others agree? P.S. I don't own Archicad nor do I wish to, and I must admit that Vectorwork's 2D interface is much better than Archicad?s. Therefore I am writing this because I believe Vectorworks is close to kicking Archicad?s butt in all areas including Architecture, but alas needs a little nudge in the right direction - implement viewports and make working within the 3D environment pleasurable rather than painful.
  23. There is a way, obviously, to import a text file containing 3d survey data points into Vectworks and this 3d data is then converted automatically to stake objects, which is great. However, if 3d loci where created in Vectorworks is there a way to export 3d loci/data to a text file so that it can be then re-imported to automatically create the stake objects. Obviously placing stake objects manually is a laborious and time-consuming task and should not be necessary. Is there a simple way to do this?
  24. One of the best ideas in a long time and a must have for version 10.
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