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Chris D

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Posts posted by Chris D

  1. How are people finding the standard keyboard shortcuts in VW11?

    There are a lot of grumblings in our office about the changes. We've used our own workspace that has just kept getting tweaked since Mincad 5, but have now started a new one based on the standard VW11 workspace.

    The default workspace actually seems to be missing some basic shortcuts - they are listed in the table of shortcuts, but not present in the workspace (9 for walls being an example).

    Has anyone produced a better table of shortcuts than the one in the help file - alphabetical is less than useful - we could do with one grouped into tool types - 2D tools, View shortcuts etc.

  2. Mbuck,

    I agree with most of your points, especially 3 and 9.

    SNAP - The ability to toggle through overlapping snap points is long overdue. A little more feedback such as differentiating an endpoint from a midpoint would also help.

    OBJECT HANDLES - First priority is to allow users to choose a size and colour for grips. Longer term, VW needs to leave behind the kiddie-cad handles, and highlight objects properly - see Revit or AutoCAD for good examples.

    2D WORKING PLANES - This must be the most common item on the wishlist that NNA choose to ignore. I don't know what is so difficult about this, when the program already has them in 3D. I also agree that the 2D and 3D environments should be integrated.

  3. The more I think about this, the more mad it seems.

    Am I right in thinking that if a tool is not in your workspace, you can't access it at all???

    What about offices with a standard workspace. Users are effectively barred from the tools not in their workspace...

    What is NNA's official way to call up tools not in your workspace??

  4. Katie, thanks for your prompt response:

    1. - The ability to duplicate the entire Sheet Layer and everything on it, including viewports.

    e.g. If I have set up an A1 drawing sheet, with a viewport of a ground floor plan, I want to simply copy the entire Drawing Sheet, Viewport and Page Setup to a new Sheet Layer for the first floor plan. I can then just switch which Design Layer the viewport is looking at, and notch up the drawing number on the drawing sheet.

    (It works like that with AutoCAD layout tabs..)

    I want a Duplicate button in the Layers dialog, just like on the Classes dialog

    2. I think you misunderstood my point

    I simply want to turn off the grey box that represents the print window while working in Design Layers. I don't need it anymore because I'm not printing from Design Layers. In fact I don't need a page setup at all for Design Layers, but there is always a default setup and always a grey box.

    It's the box itself which is annoying as people mistake it for an object on the screen. I want a toggle to turn it off.

    3. To switch back to the last zoom used in a Design Layer.

    It's flawed logic that equates zoom in a Design Layer with zoom in a Sheet Layer. Conceptually, one is a virtual building, the other is a piece of paper. Why would the zooms have any relationship?

    Again (sorry), there is no zoom relationship between paperspace and modelspace in AutoCAD, or the equivalents in ArchiCAD or Revit.

  5. I've now had VW11 for a week or so. It's good....but could be better...here are some early suggestions to do with viewports and Design/Sheet Layers...

    1. A Duplicate function for Sheet Layers. Bizarrely this is not included...so you spend ages setting up your sheet and viewport and page setup...and can't copy it for your next 10 sheets. Doh!

    2. Now that we have Sheet Layers with individual page/print setups, the use of page setup on Design Layers will be greatly reduced. Can we have a toggle to turn off the print window outline in Design Layers...it's annoying, always has been.

    3. When I switch to a Sheet Layer...why on earth would I want to maintain the zoom/view I was using on a Design Layer? When a sheet layer is made active, the view should zoom to the print window.

    The viewport handily saves my class/layer combinations, but I would still need to use the old saved views (was saved sheets) feature to be able to flick though my drawing sheets and see them sat nicely on the screen.

    Flawed logic NNA. [Roll Eyes]

  6. Ah but then you'd have to add it to your workspace to use it...hardly convenient.

    It would be nice to have text driven command input.... (I've seen this somewhere before... [Wink] ) so at least if you know the name of the command, you can call it up easily.

    Here's my suggestion:

    A button on the toolbar brings up a dialog. This has a text entry box and a scroll list below containing all installed commands. You can type in the command name - but to assist you the scroll list responds to the key input. Pick your command and hit enter. Hovering even tells you what the command does....

  7. Viewports was number one on my list of must haves. The next was 2D Working Planes (UCS). The bizarre thing is that VW has 3D Working Planes....just not 2D ones.

    Like you...this is a major bugbear for me

    I don't think we'll get 2D Planes in any 11.x release...but it must be the headline feature of 11.5 or 12.

    [ 05-17-2004, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: Chris D ]

  8. Katie's advice is good, but a warning about moving origins - unlike AutoCAD you can't return to World origin (the internal VW origin) easily...as there is no command for it. Trouble is - hatch patterns seem to stick doggedly to the internal VW origin, so dimension-critical hatches such as brick courses don't work after you move the origin.

    Whenever you move the origin, always make a new layer with info about the origins on it. Put a locus point on the original origin and lock it. You can always go back to it if you have a problem.

  9. Peter,...sounds like a nightmare...join tool wouldn't work, I'd get a thick line in the middle of my wall etc etc.

    As ever with VW's limitations there is a workaround (read: more work than it should be...), of not using the wall tool in Architect, but using the wall tool in the core program, which has no limit to the number of cavities.

    ...Trouble is, the wall cavity tool in core-VW is the worst designed tool I've ever come accross in any CAD program (And I've worked with ADT, ArchiCAD, Microstation, Revit).

    You'll know why I save every wall I ever make...

  10. Standard residential party wall in the UK:

    2 layers 15mm plasterboard

    70mm Metal stud

    60mm Acoustic Batt

    70mm Metal Stud

    2 layers 15mm plasterboard

    7 layers

    Standard UK walls can't be done in Vectorworks!


    I thought I'd let you know that we may be getting the message through to NNA after all....they are promising to add this feature to a future release.

    Keep up the pressure....it might appear in 11.1 rather than 12!

    Email copied below:



    this wish is requested on a regular basis. We'll eventually make this a preference, as you suggested, in a future release of Vectorworks.

    Thanks for your input.



    Quality Assurance

    Nemetschek, N.A.

    On Tuesday, April 27, 2004, Bugsubmit wrote:

    >FW: Wish List Item

    > ----------

    >From: Chris Dixon

    >Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 18:05:03 +0100


    >Subject: Wish List Item



    > VW11


    > Please can you support scroll-wheel panning and zooming in the

    >same way as AutoCAD/ArchiCAD. Scroll wheel to zoom in and out;

    >pressed wheel and mouse-drag to pan. This can be a user option

    >to cater for those who prefer the current method.


    > With the current method, having to use both hands to zoom

    >(using ALT) is unproductive and can lead to mistakes when

    >zooming mid-command while also using ALT as a command modifier

    >(e.g. to copy). Similarly, having to use the space bar and

    >mouse to pan requires both hands...for no good reason.


    > Regards



    >Chris Dixon


  12. Katie,

    Thanks for the reply. I agree with Kingram on the scroll wheel...the way AutoCAD (and ArchiCAD) does is is just better - it only needs one hand, and using modifier keys during another command can switch the command if you are not very dextrous.

    We're grown up, please give us the option. I think you'll see which way your users prefer. [smile]

  13. VW11 - excellent.

    We've sent an enquiry to our local distributor (United Kingdom) to see if they can get hold of it. Is it available internationally yet?

    VIEWPORTS/PAPERSPACE - fantastic. Life just got easier. Training all of our ex-AutoCAD users just got a hell of a lot easier. Round viewports...cool.

    BATCH FEATURES - great addition

    Does anyone know if they have added a 'rotate 2D workplane' feature?

    And have they implemented scroll-wheel panning and zooming properly (like AutoCAD)?

    And how about coloured object handles....please, please, please?

    Early additions to the VW11.5 wishlist if not...

  14. Sorry to Nihkon for leading this thread off-topic, but it's become a useful forum for other issues..


    I find Donald's way of working counter-intuitive. Some people in my office have previously drawn your way, but it leads to horrendous mistakes. Not having your plans overlaid can be a recipe for disaster.

    Only this morning I discovered a lift shaft (elevator for most of you..) on a floor plan that didn't line through with the shafts above. This could have been spotted had the plans been over-laid, where mistakes are more obvious.

    As a further example, let's take elevations - I draw them all in a row, side by side, on separate layers, so that all of the Y values are correct according to the site datum. Layer linking means I don't have to worry about the arrangement on the sheets.

    It's putting the cart before the horse to arrange your models to suit your layout sheets, when there are more important issues that determine where your models should be drawn. Layer linking isn't complicated in itself, and it's rare you have to use the multi-scale workaround.

    No one's yet convinced me VW shouldn't have Viewports, but:

    The equivalent functionality could be acheived by having layer-link clipping and layer-link scaling, which are probably strightforward to acheive.

    Anyone fancy writing a script?

  15. Donald, I'm intrigued. Without layer links, how do you arrange the items on the model layers on your sheet?

    Say for instance you have a two storey building. You draw a simple plan for each on a separate layer. The plans are directly on top of each other, so that you can paste-in-place etc. You want your plans side by side on your title sheet - how do you achieve this without layer links?

  16. Apologies, I wasn't trying to cause offence, it's just that sometimes people become blinkered about their favourite program and refuse to recognise that another program may do something in a better way. I'm no apologist for AutoCAD....it has a lot of faults itself! :-)

    I'm unclear what you mean by 'layer links are scale flexible'. Unless I'm mistaken, layer links take the scale of the layer they are are linked to. So if I take your advice and have a 1:1 title block, then layer link in my model layers, they would all be at 1:1. I recognise that you can have your sheet at 1:1 on one layer, then have other layers at your desired scale, onto which you layer link your model layers, then save the whole layer combination as a sheet. Indeed this is what I was referring to as a workaround in my original posting. I'm just saying -it can be done - but it's not as simple as viewports - and that's before you take masking into account.

    The company I work for has 30 people using Vectorworks, and they have only used Minicad/Vectorworks since the company was set up 10 years ago. The idea of having a title sheet at each paper size, for each drawing scale is standard practice here. Perhaps better documentation is all that's required...

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