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Conrad Preen

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Everything posted by Conrad Preen

  1. Hi Thomas Maybe the Spotlight Numbering command would be a good friend to you here? Jim Woodward has put a guide to this in the Did You Know thread. Conrad
  2. @Eliot Hartzler You have a bright future as a technical author !!! Really appreciate the contribution Conrad
  3. As you know the ConnectCAD team listen very carefully. And we are moving forwards with all these matters. The input you give here is very very much appreciated. And the time you take to create pictures illustrating these points is well worth it. It's the enthusiasm of this community that keeps me and my team working to make ConnectCAD the best. Thank you all! Conrad
  4. @hihosilvey First of all, constructive comment like yours never causes offence. On the contrary these kind of explorations are what help us keep ConnectCAD out there in front of the rest. And that's why I don't like to force people into a particular workflow. That feels like the tail wagging the dog. In my view the software should support the process you find most natural. We already have plans well advanced to facilitate greater customization of arrow labels. Moving whole chunks of schematic including arrow connections between layers is a technical challenge. We will definitely look into it. But I come back to the fact that the main driver for this need is the labeling of arrows on paper printouts. The old naming paradigm of <layer> <device> <socket> is in any case somewhat dated because now an arrow can appear in a viewport on any sheet layer. That's what needs to be improved. Even a simple reference code like 'A', 'B', 'C' would do fine for navigating no paper. "Customise length and direction of arrows on both sides." Basically the problem is the lack of a control handle at the destination end. It would have to be visible and active when the destination layer is visible and active. And we don't have that facility yet. I'm aware of the issue and if we can fix it we will. Conrad
  5. That is the Vectorworks object name. You can use this as part of Criteria for selections and reports. ConnectCAD doesn't make any use of this any more. Conrad
  6. Hi @hihosilvey I've had a play with your workflow moving selected devices and circuits between layers. You were leveraging the older implementation of arrow circuits to the full. Back in the day the destination arrow was a separate object. The horribly-named Reverse Arrow. Keeping these in sync with their Circuits was a veritable nightmare with a zillion ways to go wrong. But one thing it was better at was being moved to another layer. We re-implemented the arrow Circuit to do it all in one object that can display on more one layer. This is better in so may other respects that I lose count. But changing the layer will need arrow circuits to be re-drawn and polyline circuits to be nudged so they reset after the devices have arrived on the new layer. The actual reason for your working this way in fact has to do with the labels. So here's my question: if you had more flexibility in labeling the arrow ends would you still need to move stuff between design layers? So in your dream CAD system how would your arrow labels be? Conrad
  7. Ok, we'll have a look at it . Thanks for letting me know. Conrad
  8. Yes it's the labels - I thought so. Nice drawing! In pdf the arrows are clickable links so that makes navigation very easy. For paper publishing, I think what you are doing is the best that can be done and it's actually good enough. Did the nudge thing work? Conrad
  9. @hihosilvey yes we are aware of this, and we already have a fix that we are testing right now. Thanks for reaching out! Conrad
  10. Hey @hihosilvey That's an interesting way of doing things. Moving a load of circuits and devices to another layer would need the circuits to reset AFTER the devices. So for this workflow (if it's what you really need) I would suggest adding Select Similar to your workspace (see VW help for how to), select all the circuits and nudge them up and down (shift-arrow keys). That will make them re-detect their end points. Of course I'll add this to my notes for us to look at. Do you know about Sheet Layers and viewports? It seems strange to me to move stuff to another Design Layer for printing. Maybe you have your reasons and I'd definitely like to know them. If it's just for printing though you can have multiple sheet layers with viewports showing different parts of the same Design Layer - perhaps that would suit you better? Conrad
  11. Hi @hihosilvey Sorry if this sounds a bit facetious, but... what about using All Layers Cable Report? There's nothing special about ConnectCAD Cable report commands. They do exactly the same thing as the Create Report command but with only one click. Just to get a better understanding of layer-to-layer connections. The convention we use is that the layer of the source end of a circuit is the Circuit's layer. That way we don't get duplicate entries in an all layer report. You can see this in the Object Info Palette if you select the destination end of an arrow circuit coming from another layer. Hope I've been able to clear that up and do reach out if you need any help. Conrad
  12. Well what Niko suggested was just a workaround ... It seems to me that there's a more fundamental point here. The reason for using ConnectCAD is to save designers time. That's what your boss is paying for - productivity. Yes we like you to be able to customise the look of our software, but it is also vital that ConnectCAD "just works" out of the box without a ton of fiddly clicks. The experience for the new user is very important. It's so easy to get hung up on the details and forget the big picture. Giving you the ability to disappear this text is on my list, please be patient. We need to do this the right way. Conrad
  13. Hi Jan, Funny, I thought I had replied to you about this. You are running up against a limitation of the Vectorworks database itself. And yes, one of my projects is to improve this but the right way is not to work around but to address the fundamental issue. Our Circuit object in effect does the database JOIN that you are looking for. From what you say All that information is in the Circuit object already so you extract it as a report or use our Make Cable Labels command to create a worksheet that you can export to Excel for example. You could probably parse the JOINed table which is a Circuit report and factor it back into Devices, Sockets and Circuits in an external relational database for yet mare flexible reports. That's all I can suggest for the current version. Conrad
  14. @aruk I'm not able to reproduce that gray square here (Mac OS 10.15.7 Vectorworks 2021 SP2) by the way. If you want me to investigate further please PM me the file and show me exactly where to look. Conrad
  15. Is the gray square part of the problem or did you draw it? Conrad
  16. Hi Shane @Shane Smith You just drag the Equipment Item over a Rack Frame slot and drop it. It resizes automatically to fit the slot. It's kind of too easy. If anything doesn't work for you let me know. Conrad
  17. Hi @cessnaflyer What would be really useful at this point would be for you to PM me one of your Vectorworks files so I can evaluate. BTW are a you a Beta Tester? Conrad
  18. @switchonet I have bug-listed your point. We'll see what we can do in an upcoming version. Can I ask you and everyone to take the trouble to start a new topic each time? Forums have tons of info but lousy search and no organisation. A relevant title is your key to getting noticed. This issue nearly fell off the planet FYI Conrad
  19. Hi Ean, You should be able to do this using the classes Sys-CircuitNumbers etc. If you create a text style and assign it to the class you can also change the font. No guarantees about changing the arrow lengths to fit every possible permutation. I feel that there is a danger of going overboard with customisation. The main goal of ConnectCAD is to save you time and increase accuracy. It would nice if the world would agree a limited number of drawing standards that we could support and be done with it. Conrad
  20. Use a rack frame! That's what everyone does. Conrad
  21. Hey everyone! This thread is drifting off-topic in a major way. Forums (or is the plural fora?) are notorious for being full of useful info that nobody can find. This thread is for useful nuggets of information, how-to's etc. If you have something to contribute great. If you have a question start a new thread with a useful title. Conrad
  22. Hi Jan, Are you reading my list of future projects by any chance? If I understand correctly you are looking for a socket report showing what's connected to that socket - right? Vector database is not able to do this - yet... No there isn't. I would not like to add this kind of setting unless there is a really compelling case for it. We have to fight the tendency to add complexity to the interface. The software itself should detect the right thing to do and just work. Conrad
  23. Hi Jan and others, The basic problem with trying to create devices given a cable list is that you have very limited information about the devices. Yes the cable list contains the details of each socket that is connected but there are no other clues. So this command is fighting a losing battle. A bit like the reverse engineering task which I designed it for so many years ago. I think the old Make Devices from List should retire and make way for a new workflow. Let me share my thinking with you.: We begin with a cable list. A few quick spreadsheet maneuvers extracts a list of all the device names. You add the Make and Model for each device in the list. Name, Make and Model go into a command that automates the Device Builder and puts the devices on the drawing. You shuffle the devices into a reasonable layout Connect them up using Make Connections from List It isn't a magic "design my system" button. of course. You still have to intervene but it would be a lot faster than manually drawing everything. Obviously if a device type isn't in the Device Builder database you would have to add it. But you only have to do that once. It would be interesting to hear your views. Conrad
  24. Hi Matthew, Working on a 4mm grid is your safest bet. Conrad
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