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Neil Barman

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Posts posted by Neil Barman

  1. Welcome to the Forum, @malonso!


    It sounds like what you are are wanting to do is what Classes can do. Using Classes, you can set the graphic attributes (pen colour, file colour, etc) for objects so that you can visually differentiate them while working with your project on a Design Layer. When it’s time to create the drawings, you would then create Viewports of what you wanted to show on the drawings. Viewports can be set to override the Class settings you previously assigned, so walls, for example, that appeared with colour when you were designing, can be set to appear black and white (or any colour really) for print/PDF.


    Since you are new to Vectorworks, I highly recommend checking out the Getting Started Guides here. The first four guides (Basics, 2D, 3D and BIM-Architectural) should be especially useful for getting you acquainted with many key core abilities of Vectorworks.


    I hope this information helps.


  2. You are most welcome! I’m happy to help.


    I made that little movie using Snagit, a great screen capture tool from Techsmith. It allows you to record just a specific region of your screen, which is very handy for focusing attention. Snagit is a superb tool for taking & saving screenshots and annotating them, but it also works well for shooting short videos. For longer videos that involve more post-production, annotations effects and audio tracks, I use Screenflow from Telestream, which is also amazing.

  3. 9 hours ago, DJMDevon said:

    Thanks for the list of shortcuts, I'll have a look through and look for any possible conflicts. We have a customised set that we've all been using in the practice for the past 10 years, initially setup by our Vectorworks supplier, hence it would be useful to be able to export / print a full set of the shortcuts setup in the customised workspace.



    To export a .txt file of your customized workspace:

    1. Go to Tools > Workspaces > Workspaces... (which opens the Workspace dialog box)
    2. Select the Workspace from which you would like to generate the list of menu commands and tools.
    3. Press the "Export" button in the right sidebar.
    4. Determine the destination of the .txt file and save it.

    I hope this is what you are looking for.

  4. For what it’s worth @DJMDevon, I have typically opted to not migrate when installing a new version, so that I get the version as the engineers built it. I have then edited a copy of a stock workspace to create my own custom workspace. My customization, which I will admit is not as “extensive” as some custom workspaces I have seen, usually takes under 5 mins. (I used to keep a list of my modifications, for easy reimplementation, but I’ve done it enough times over the years that I don’t need to review the list anymore.) I have always had good results from this method... Almost like starting from a tried-and-true recipe, then making small modifications to it over time to create your own version.


    This manual “revisiting” of customizing my workspace also provides me the focused, considered opportunity to add or remove aspects of the workspace that I realize I should be changed from my previous iteration. Sometimes a previous modification doesn’t get repeated because it wasn’t as useful as I thought it would, or I try out a new modification that subsequently proves to even more useful than I previously anticipated.


    I have even used or suggested this approach in offices where I have worked or consulted, and people have typically appreciated the results (even in cases where they insisted that doing so would take too much time... It turns out it didn’t actually take that much time and they too found it valuable to “revisit” the process of workspace modification.)


    Your mileage may vary of course, but I thought I would share that approach in case it helps.


    As for printing a list of your already modified workspace, I seem to recall that this is possible – I’ll look into it...

    • Like 1
  5. 39 minutes ago, BradLyons said:

    Thank you for your response.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  Do you know why there is that limitation?  That's a horrible design flaw!  

    My understanding is that the 8 light limit is part of the OpenGL standard as a whole because OpenGL is meant as a quick-to-render solid mode. If the OpenGL standard allowed one to add as many lights as they wished, then it is likely that the "quick" aspect of OpenGL would be gone (because rendering light can be complex and add rendering time.)

    • Like 2
  6. @DJMDevon I dont know exactly why you’re seeing what you’ve described, but the description you’ve provided makes me curious... When you first ran v2019, you would have been asked if you would like to migrate from a previous version, did you you reply Yes or No? 


    With regards to the keyboard shortcuts, Vectorworks’ built-in Help documents (available via the Help menu) have a PDF of the keyboard shortcuts. It’s available here.


  7. There shouldn’t be any issues... I was just able to do it myself and had no trouble.

    If you are still not able to, I would recommend sending an email to tech support (CAtech@Vectorworks.net) and asking them to look into it. When you email, make sure to include the last 6 digits of your serial number so they can cross reference with your account.


  8. @Jim Smith OK, but please don't let such things go on long enough to unsettle you. Tech support is there to help.


    @ericjhberg For sure, spending that long on the phone and getting no immediate solution would be frustrating. If that's what occurring (likely because the issue is either hard to reproduce or track down or actually diagnose accurately on the phone), I would suggest simply emailing in with all the relevant info you can think of, including a link to download the file, if the issue seems to be file-related. That will give the tech support team time to review what you've sent without you having to wait on the phone. If they need more info, they will ask for it. Also, if it's a something you can reproduce on your end, it's often very useful to see a screen recording of it happening... All that takes is you recording the screen while you're working, then saving & sending a link to the video.


    Believe me, having been a user and customer for many years, and now being part of the team (and working directly with the tech support team regularly,) I can honest say that they are very good at what they do and they care. 

    • Like 1
  9. I have my ways @khumenny😉


    I do get why you're wanting to show what you are showing. You are really thinking (and hence wanting to portray) how something will be built and how the elements relate to each other. It's a good thing as that will help the builder understand your project better prior to beginning work.


    As for separating slabs to their own layers, you certainly could do that and it does allow you a bit more flexibility while working and presenting. I still think @rgcn's wishlist request is a good one though... That would be a useful feature to have.

  10. 1 minute ago, MHBrown said:

    My understanding is that the "black rectangle" problem goes back aways and is not unique to my file. Also, it does the same thing with much smaller files with different items. In short, it's not my file. It has something to do with the Renderworks engine (OpenGL has no problem rendering a scene.) Thank you for your advice. I think I just need to wait for a fix from VW.

    After this much time. there is a possibility that the issue may be related to something to do with your computer, or with settings within your file(s). It's difficult to say without knowing more about either.


    Instead of simply waiting for a fix, I do recommend that you contact Vectorworks technical support so they can assist you. That is what they are there for.

    • Like 2
  11. On 1/7/2019 at 7:52 AM, line-weight said:

    Ok. I'd ask about the practicability of applying this to every downloaded object, assuming that it gives the desired results...

    Thinking of practicability and wanting detailed 3D objects in your files, it seems to me that you have two options: Build them yourself, or import them from other sources. As much as I enjoy 3D modelling, sometimes I do opt to import them from other sources. In that case, I appreciate that someone else put the time into modelling (or perhaps over-modelling) the object and it may be up to me to simplify the polygon count to suit my needs if need be. 


    About the file you referred to in that other thread, it appears to contain an actual BIMobject of a specific manufacturer's product. (My understanding that is that such objects will often be exported from a manufacturer's own design files and will therefore have more detail than I would even know about.) I'm not actually having any issues with the object & file as-is in VW2019, so I wouldn't necessarily be prompted to simplify it. But if it was important to me to use that particular, very detailed object in my file (and if I did find it to have too many polygons) then I would expect that I would need to use the Simplify Mesh as necessary to clean it up. I would also be grateful that I didn't have to model the entire object myself from scratch.


    However, are you wishing that Vectorworks would "auto-simplify" all imported objects (and sub-objects) to a particular point, without any consultation/interaction with the user?


    • Like 1
  12. 30 minutes ago, line-weight said:


    Unfortunately this effectively means you just can't use the vast majority of third party product models, because they are rarely provided in VW format and conversion from other formats invariably results in horribly overcomplex polygon meshes.

    Actually, you can use this:



    I learned long ago that before you say you can’t do something in Vectorworks, it’s always best to ask how you can do it.


    • Like 2
  13. As mentioned previously @MHBrown, it would really be best for you to contact technical support to allow them to assist you.


    In the meantime, since technical support is now closed for the weekend, you can always try posting the file here if you would like someone here to take a look. Doing so would help narrow down if the issue is related to your specific file, your particular computer and its hardware/software (since every computer is different), or Vectorworks in general.


    Whatever the case, do know that help is available if you would like it. 


  14. 13 minutes ago, MHBrown said:

    There is no reason to believe that SP5 and SP6 will result in a more stable version of VW. Just a different one.

    Actually, Service Packs are created to implement, among other things, bug fixes... so SP5 and SP6 would be more stable than SP4. I do hope that you update your VW2018 to SP6.


    15 minutes ago, MHBrown said:

    At this juncture, VW is simply not robust enough to do even simple projects if the file is used too often. I'm not building a skyscraper; my projects are very modest in size...although the latest file is over 500mb. I think it is the repetition that eventually causes things to go crazy. Even after I put my model into a blank VW2018 file the images come and go.

    A modest sized project resulting in a 500mb file? And the same model experiencing issues when it is brought into a brand new file? Those are red flags I would say. Without seeing the file it's impossible to know why they are occurring for sure, but it sounds to me like your file may be overtaxed with resources or perhaps has a number of high-polygon-count objects. Those are purely guesses though. (For context, I too have done modest-sized commercial and residential projects in the last several versions of Vectorworks, opening the files very often, and I have not run into the issues you are describing, nor have I managed to get my file to a similar size, even with many object models and textures.) 


    The Community Forum is great for many things, but since you are having the difficulties you describe, I encourage you to contact your Vectorworks technical support reps as soon as you can.

  15. @MHBrown Given what you are experiencing, I would definitely recommend first updating to VW2018 SP6, then if the problem persists, do get in touch with the Vectorworks technical support team in your country.


    Based on your description it sounds to me like you either have a corrupt object in your file or you have an object that is very far from origin. Having used the software as long as you have, I'm sure you know that such objects in a file can cause all kinds of trouble for an otherwise healthy file.

  16. Just a reminder... If you are not finding the answer to a problem here on the Forum, and if you are a Service Select member (or if you purchased Vectorworks within the last year), please do submit any issues you find via the tech support channels in your country. We obviously don’t want you to be having any technical difficulties with Vectorworks, so contacting your tech support team will give them they chance to assist you directly.

    • Like 1
  17. Hi @Jim Smith, I'd recommend giving the Property Line tool another try after a bit of a break. If it helps to know, I followed, word-by-word, Vlado's great instructions above (without relying on my previous experience with the PL Tool) and I was able to get the result below.


    One of the key aspects of Vlado's guidance that I found useful was the advice about being mindful about the direction a segment is going once you add it. I did have to use the "Previous" button in the dialog box a number of times in order to change an N to S or an E to W, and it was pretty obvious when I needed to do so – When the segment I just added wasn't going in the correct direction visually, I used the Previous button to go "back" one point, I adjusted the bearing info, then pressed Update. I could then carry on to the Next point.


    Jim Smith PL.png


    Hang in there and you'll get it!





    • Like 1
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