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Hoist Origin Y (Formatted) giving me some numbers that are just wrong


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Some very strange behavior in VW here...


So, I'm making myself a layout sheet on this 100 point show I'm on and when double checking the sheet I notice that some of my hoists in the report are giving me numbers that are wrong and don't make sense. 


for example: I'm picking up a stick that is 9'7" upstage of my origin with 4 hoists. All 4 hoists are linked to that origin. Two of them read Y:9'7" as one would expect, and two of the other ones read Y:1'7".


When I click on the hoist and look into the OIP, the OIP displays the correct Y coordinate for all hoists... So There's a disconnect happening between the OIP and the worksheet.


Things I've tried:

1. making a new worksheet. (same hoists have the same issues)

2. recalculating all worksheets (changes nothing)

3. manually typing 9'7" into the worksheet (This DOES fix the problem for that one hoist, but I still have to identify something wrong with said hoist)

4. Deleting the hoists and putting new ones in (This DOES fix the issue, but I have to find the issue in order to do this)


Now the problem with my workarounds is that I'm on tour and need to spit these out quickly between shows, but now I need to go through every hoist to double check that VW isn't hanging onto a random number.


Any thoughts on what's going on here? I'd be willing to share the file with anyone who wants to take a look via DM, but it's a bit sensitive for me to post publicly here.


Thanks in advance.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

When I run the report in 2023 the hoists at Y = 9'6" (A1-A4) all return 9'7"
The hoist worksheet is NOT a database worksheet so recalculating the worksheet will not do anything you need to run the Create Host Report command again or made a database worksheet.
I ran the hoist report and created a database worksheet, both show the correct Y location for the hoists I investigated. What hoist names do you see that are reporting the wrong location?

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Thanks for looking Kevin. 

I should have been more clear in that, I can't recreate it (I'm on the road now, so I've only tried a couple times)... I was more hoping this was a known bug or something.


But it sounds like I missed the day when they covered the differences between a database and a worksheet. Is there a resource you might point me towards so I can better understand this, or do you have a quick explanation? I've been making reports for a few years now and haven't had any issues so I probably just skipped over this topic.

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I will take a crack at the different types of worksheets.


Originally (prior to VW2018??) all you had were Worksheets. Inside a Worksheet you can have spreadsheet cells (which work pretty much like a cell in Excel does) and Database Rows.


In a Database Row, you enter a criteria (something like Type is Hoist) and then you get a subrow for every item in the file that matches that criteria. You can make the Criteria a complicated as necessary to show only the objects you want (object type, layer, class, record attached, field in a record is some value, etc.)


In the Database Header for (for example 3, not the subrows of 3.1, 3.2, 3.2 etc.) you can enter formulas that are then applied to each of the subrows. These can be standard worksheet functions (Area, perimeter, XPosition, YPosition) or Record.Field values, or a combination of both. If they are Record.Field values they make what is known as a "2-Way Worksheet" meaning that you can type a value into the cell in the worksheet and it will change the record attached to the object in the subrow. Or you can change the value from the OIP and the worksheet will update with the changed value.


More recently (VW2018??), an additional type of value has been added to VW called Database By Script.  It works pretty much like a regular Database, but rather than returning items that match some criteria, it runs a script and returns subrows for each object that the script specifies to be part of the database. You can return regular objects or more custom things. This was originally developed because in Landmark there was a report that needed to have Sub-Totals ABOVE the items that were being totaled. There was not a good way to do this before.


So what Kevin is saying is that the Hoist worksheet is actually a Database by Script "Report" (read worksheet) rather than a Criteria based database. So when you recalculate or rerun the script, the objects that are listed are calculated by the script. The user (unless they edit the script) has no way to control which objects are displayed.


Database By Script provides much more control over what is shown in the database, but writing/editing the script is much harder than editing criteria.


Criteria Based Databases have less flexibility (basically they are just a list of all the items that match the criteria), but are much easier to generate.



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I might need it dumbed down a bit Pat. If I play with the database tab within the report, it seems to just generate another worksheet that won't talk back to the hoist objects.


I can recreate it now though. Basically, if I move my origin, Nothing in my Y (formatted) column changes and I would like it to automatically. My workaround is typing a random number in every single cell, and this seems to kind of force the hoist to say "no, it's actually ##'##"" and refresh the cell accordingly so there's some kind of script happening natively when I tell it to be something it's not.


Is this as simple as changing the formula to include Record.Field?


Like, here's what's there now "='BrxHoist'.'OriginY_formated'"

"='Record.Field''BrxHoist'.'OriginY_formated'" breaks it. 



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@AStein This my be related to another issue I ran into yesturday with Hoist data tag criteria not updating whenever a hoist is moved after the tag is attached to it.
I found that the issue is specific to the formatted versions of the criteria ('BrxHoist'.'OriginY_formated' and 'BrxHoist'.'OriginX_formated') but doesn't affect the un-formatted versions.
Try using 'BrxHoist'.'OriginY' instead of the formatted version

I also found that I could fix the issue for data tags by forcing a data refresh from the hoist properties, either by toggling the hoist measurement label on and off or by changing the hoists origin. But I'm not sure if this would refresh a worksheet


I've opened a bug report for it


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Close to this topic I have Custom Data Tag which sometimes does not update #BrxHoist#.#ReactionForceWeight# when Hook Weight Equivalent is given manually or new Braceworks calculation is made. Worksheet that list same information updates when information is changed.


Accidentally I got it working when I toggled Show pick-up symbol. I assume that that also triggers data refresh.


These are Tag Field Definitions I have used and all behaved same. (Normally there is just first definition but I was testing that I have not gone crazy)

#WS_ROUNDUP(BrxHoist.ReactionForceWeight/1000; 0)# kg




Would you @jcogdell like to have this file?

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I believe the "Formatted" versions are actually strings so they can include the unit marks. These values are not recalculated until the Hoist Object is reset.


The following script will reset all of the hoists objects based on the current values. If you run the script then recalculate the worksheet you will get the proper values.


The proper long term solution is to link the Hoist objects to the Hoist Origin so that if the Origin changes the Hoist automatically resets.




Procedure ResetHoists;

Procedure Execute(Hd1:Handle);
	ForEachObject(Execute, ((PON='BrxHoist')));



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