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atari2600

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Posts posted by atari2600

  1. Matt it is much easier to get good drawing output using the Vectorworks system and having multiple 'model spaces' provides the the ability to virtual build your floors as they will be in real life. That makes building drawing and modelling much easier.

    By the way Archicad also uses a Layer Scale based system. For similar WYSIWYG and modelling reasons I suspect.

    Thanks Mike, I totally agree that VW's design layer approach is "more useful" than a single model space approach that ACAD users are used to. What I don't understand is why the design layers need to still be dependent on a single specific scale... any more. As Dworks said, there is value toward having a scale for the sake of "Appearance", but that is ultimately why we now have Viewports. Having experience in AutoCad and Archicad before using VW, scale was only relevant once we were ready to create documents for annotating and printing. (I sill vividly remember the uproar when Acad introduced paper space & viewports, back in Version 10 (1988). I bet there are still Acad folks out there who draw, type, and dimension everything in model space at different sizes depended upon the output scale - and move the stuff into the single print window - one sheet at a time.)

    Well, they need to stay for several reasons: Text is dependent on it, You can see a 'preview' of your page-based hatches, You can see a 'preview' of your line thicknesses, ...

    Yes, but why are we still setting a static "Scale" for a design layer, simply for the sake of "appearance"? I feel like we are now letting the tail wag the dog a little. When 9 point text on a 1/4" scale design layer shows up as 18 point text when viewed thru a 1/2" scaled viewport, this is totally confusing to beginners and I always spend a lot of time time explaining "why" it happens. Life would be a lot easier if 9 point text were always 9 point text, regardless of where it existed. Certainly, our viewport-based drafting system doesn't recommend putting text and dimensions in the design layer anymore, but I still feel that a lot of confusion could be avoided by making "Scale" an appearance based selection, and not subject to the design (layer) based selection anymore - (like Autocad, Archicad, Sketchup, Revit, Microstation, etc....)

    Just because you don't use a feature does not mean that no one does.

    Pat, setting independent design layer scales is a feature which we all must use. We can't "NOT" use it. My point is simply that it become a choice: Either exactly what it currently is (a layer dependent setting), or a general "appearance" setting, and no longer specified to an actual design layer. If it were a preference (like black background), then "Independent Scale Control" could be turned on. The fact that this question was brought up in the first place is due to the confusion it still creates for the VW beginner, even if they have had years of other CAD training.

    In summary, I think that the most courageous thing that CAD companies can do is to work toward lessening the "learning curve" by constantly evaluating the overall "intent" of every tool and it's relevancy toward UI. Our carpenters still use hammers, screwdrivers, hand saws, and they are never too far away when the specific need arises. But these old tools sure don't get the same play time as the nail gun, impact driver, and table saw. My point: have the old tools nearby, but make sure they are not "in the way" of the newer tools.

    If a carpenter only knows how to use a hammer and isn't willing to use the new stuff, then "everything looks like a nail."

    Matt

  2. Setting design layer scales seems to be a relic of the past, a genuine necessity back when VW didn't have viewports (introduced in V.11, if I recall). I don't think people would go crazy if Nemetschek simply eliminated this feature (or perhaps toggle it on/off within preferences). It seems to cause more confusion than anything else these days.

    Matt

  3. Does holding the "Option" key down while clicking on the VW icon do anything different? Although I use VW on a PC at work, it seems that holding the option key while opening programs on my Mac seems to open things up differently - (like a default mode.)

    My wild guess is there might be an .xml document which might have the recently saved files (and their locations) written into it. I would imagine there is someone out there who know's how to locate that particular file, and remove the bad file path.

    good luck.

  4. For some reason I am can't seem to remember how to combine two different worksheet cells into one cell (text only - not arithmetic). If cell B5 says "Happy", and cell C5 says "Birthday", I'd like for Cell D5 to say "Happy Birthday".

    I keep trying to find the right place to look for this, but keep getting stumped on the right operator in my formula.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Matt

  5. I'm no expert at this, but I believe the record data in the VW Title block which automatically displays the sheet layer info originates from the "S_Sheet Number_SN" and "S_Sheet Title_SD#" fields.

    I have witnessed that when I remove the "_SN" and the "_SD" from the record fields, it will no longer automatically record the sheet layer info. I don't know if adding these to your title block record data will help, since it would not "know" what sheet layer it is on, since it is merely a reference. I also don't think this works unless it is a real "Title Block" object.

    (We have just recently started to use the title block in lieu of a viewport of a symbol on a design layer. So far, it is a good improvement.)

  6. I totally appreciate this conversation, esp. seeing how others organize their projects. Since we are involved in residential additions and remodeling, we don't have a need for a ton of classes.

    I am also responsible for looking at the way we have our classes organized, to see how to adapt to 2013. We have been on 2011 up to this point.We have wanted to do more 3d but we would likely need to modify our classes to help this along.

    First, I am delighted to see that classes can now be nested. That should help with the issues of "clutter". We have found that our designers tend to work faster when they have to spend less time dealing with improper visualization and navigation.The "clutter" of a million classes always seems to slow (the non-expert) designers down quite a bit.

    One thing I am curious with is how people deal with the concept that all of the object based classes may need to illustrate up to three different states: existing (to remain), demolition, and proposed.I am still baffled as to why most, if not all the cad programs out there haven't really addressed this. (I hear that Revit does now.)Adding two to three times the amount of classes is a "workaround" in my opinion.

    For example, we may have the same "style" of wall which may need to be seen on a single drawing in all three different states.

    Our "workaround" is to have our wall styles with the parts of the wall to be set to be class dependent. We then assign the walls to an "existing", "demo", or "new work" type class. This way we can change the state of the wall by simply changing the class, and not replacing the wall.

    The downside to all of this is we effectively create "special treatment" to certain objects, but not others. We also have to modify all the existing wall styles to work with this, not to mention create special classes to deal with the different appearance of the components. Since we have plans which show all three states on them at times, we cant control this thru viewport overrides. Obviously this seems like a workaround as well, but we end up with a need for fewer classes.

    Is there no "ideal" way?

    :)

  7. I think we are going to adopt keynotes. I especially like the fact that key notes can now be "assigned" to a particular legend. That seems to make it much simpler now.

    We set up multiple drawing sheets on a single sheet layer for a several reasons:

    1) Our projects typically fit on one to twenty sheets, and it is much easier and simpler to work on all the drawings and viewports on a single sheet layer, all at once.

    2) Less layers = less clutter. Our Sheet layers are then organized by job status (1 sheet layer is schematic design, another is CD development, etc...)

    3) We can better align viewports and labels between different sheets.

    4) For printing and pdf'ing, we simply have to hit the print button once and specify which sheets are to be printed in the dialog box.

    I am sure there are more reasons than that, but those are the first ones I can think of.

    I highly recommend setting up sheet layers this way, especially for small stuff. Just because VW creates tools to be used in a certain way does not mean that their "intended use" is always the best way for a project workflow. I still believe the biggest room for improvement in cad software is in creating tools to better integrate the entire design process. Drafting and modeling are just a part of what we do. The entire design/production process is so much more than those two things.

    hope this helps....

    Matt

  8. Thanks Stan,

    We actually set up multiple drawing sheets on a single sheet layer, so I suspect that if I want the same keyed note legend for all sheets, I'd likely viewport it from a particular design layer. (We already do that with title blocks.) I guess I have to see the notes database in action to better understand it's ultimate usefulness.

  9. In the next couple months, or firm will upgrade to 2013. We have about 15-20 licenses and have thought about finally using keynotes. I have messed around with them several VW versions ago, and concluded at the time they were too finicky and unpredictable to use them consistently.

    I now see many new features which didn't exist in the past, and am thinking about using them again, but I also see that people have had recent issues with them as well.

    Does anyone have strong opinions out there about their use - both for and against? Could you never live without them? Or do you swear at them?

    I guess the same might go with the general notes tool, although we currently reference pdf/word docs, which seems to be pretty idiot proof. It would be nice to have that data consolidated as well, however.

    thanks much,

    Matt

  10. In terms of expense, please consider the countless dollars and hours one will spend on maintenance and anti-virus software for a PC, not to mention the amount of resources this type of software occupies when you are running your computer. If you are a responsible computer user, anti virus software on a Mac is not needed whatsoever (this is my opinion, and contrary to anti-virus software salespeople). A veteran Unix programmer neighbor of mine insists that the internal architecture of the Mac OS is pretty bomb proof when it comes to outside attack, unless I were to intentionally do some absurd stuff to my admin account (which in it's default state, does not have total access the OS). Worst thing that would happen is an account would fuzz, but the OS would be intact. A new user account could easily be created, if necessary.

    I use VW on a PC at work, and use the same e-license for the Mac at home. (E-licenses allow you to do this.) I have consistently worked with both platforms for 20+ years, and have respect with both systems, but I prefer working on the Mac I have at home, but mainly due to the MacOS. I believe the OS should not get in the way of what I am trying to do, and the Mac OS has done a much better job of "not getting in the way". There are times at work when I want to torch Win7 for slowing me down. A co-worker of mine had our IT take away her Dell Precision workstation and give back her old computer, simply due to the fact that she couldn't stand Win7.

  11. As much as I love VW, I actually prefer using the redline tools available in Acrobat. We have many employees at our office who don't have VW installed on their desktops, and Acrobat is quite useful for them, too. And it automatically creates a list of the redlines for one to check off when they are complete.

    I also have a sense of comfort knowing that I am redlining exactly what will be shown to the clients, and not running the risk of a mis-print.

    Matt

  12. I know it might be misleading, but I believe "force select" is primarily intended to select objects which are either visible or grey, but on an inactive layer or outside of a current group. Just playing around with stacked objects, it seems that force select doesn't work with items underneath of eachother, since the moment I right click over an object, it will automatically select whatever object is on top. Perhaps 2012's "x-ray mode" will make this less cumbersome.

  13. In the "top/plan" 2d world, I will typically send the objects that are on top the bottom, in order to successfully grab the object below it. My shortcut for that is "ctrl B". in the menu it's under Modify/Send/Send to back. When I am done editing the object, I may either send it to the back again, or send the other stuff forward.

    hope this helps.

    Matt

  14. When the print window appears, enable the option at the bottom of the window: "Reset all plug-in objects that require a reset prior to printing..."

    as long as that is checked, it will automatically update your date stamp(s) in the drawing file.

    Matt

  15. I scanned all my apps at home the other day to see which ones were powerpc native. Although VW was fine, the VW updater wasn't. I assume any powerpc native apps will no longer work on Lion, due to Rosetta not being supported.

    Being that as it may, I wonder if the app running the dongle is powerpc native... Just a thought.

  16. Our firm has been printing our projects like this for years. For our typical project, we use a single "25 drawing" sheet layer, which has a single row of 25 sheets all next to eachother. Prior to VW2008, we had a 5 sheet by 5 sheet grid, due to a sheet layer space limitation. We use a single viewport of a design layer with our main title block in it, and then have a small "sheet layer" title block symbol which contains all the unique drawing data in it. This way we only write stuff once.

    We can print or pdf a range of drawings, so if it is only a five sheet contract, we print 1 thru 5.

    It has significantly reduced the number of layers we have, and allows us to better review our drawings.

    Let me know if you need more info on this method. I highly recommend it over the "normal" VW way (at least for our scale of work: residential)

    Matt

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