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I am an ex-autocad user and one of the reasons I prefared MiniCAD 7 was because the programe handled the scaling and I liked the way MiniCAD 7 organised a drawing. That’s why I bought MiniCAD 7 in 1997 and never looked back. Now I believe that there might be viewports incorporated into future VectorWorks. Although I can see flexible uses for it in VectorWorks I would like to politely ask that Nemetschek don’t change the format of VectorWorks radically. It would be nice to have viewport capability but if it means at the cost of losing the current format of layers and classes and VectorWorks handling the scale then I would prefer not to have it.



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and much agree. there are many good things in the old minicad that made it very powerful. the challange to NNA is to take that briliance and improve on it without lossing what makes the programme unique and so powerful.

not just the scale handling, so many things.

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I agree. Though the 3D modeling and rendering has improved dramatically since the original Blueprint 4 days, for me the bread and butter of VW is 2D drafting. VW is a great 2D drafting tool. It allows me to create WYSIWYG drawings just exactly as I would if I were hand drafting individual sheets, but with certain really great advantages.

Ever since VW opened up to Windows users and was taken over by NNA, the basic program is ballooning, and fragmenting, and beginning to forget that the main reason I (and probably many others) originally bought Blueprint and have continued to upgrade. That is, it allows me to do 2D CADrafting better than I could by hand.

But just like when I was drawing by hand, my sheets are still the same size, I still make blackline prints, blah, blah, blah. We still output a traditional form of information conveyance: the standard "blueprint".

And so we still organize our drawings with that end goal in mind. And there is where VW shines over any other CADD program that creates a single building-centric database and then extrapolates plans, etc. from the central database: it has organized the data on the sheets EXACTLY as you want the final print to appear. If there is an error, or you want to move something - you just do it. No Viewports, or any of that nonsense - just simple straight forward "draw it the way you organize it" drafting. Remember the old saying: KISS (Keep it Simple Stu...)

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my 2 cents:

Viewports are good for having drawings of different scale on the same sheet, particularly details.

EG, do a cross section, then lintle detail (over the window), and the footing detail. All three drawings fit easily on the same sheet. No opaque white masks.

Also, I see a better way of organising elevations (4 per printed sheet): each viewport contains a layerlink to the 3d model, but from a different standard view (front, left, right etc). Any changes to the model automatically update on the elevation sheet.

But I agree with you guys about not forcing a new paradigm onto experienced users. Viewports would be a great feature for Acad converts though. Note that not all acad users use the viewport functionality. Some are blissfully ignorant, and still produce good drawings.

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The analogy is a piece of paper...it's the same size as the final plot will be.

You "cut holes" in the paper to form the "viewports". You then "look through" the "viewport" to the cad model (building) behind.

You can specify the scale at which to view the model. If the scale is 1:5 say, then obviously the entire model will not be seen through the viewport. You "pan" the model around so that only portion of the model you wish to print is visible through the viewport. You can can also specify the 3d view.

I guess one big advantage is the ability to move the viewports around on the sheet without moving the actual model.

I have noticed that since migrating to VW (from ACAD), I do produce more sheets per project. I think this is because I still haven't become truly comfortable with the multitude of layers and layerlinks required to produce a model.

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Hopefully this is not flogging a dead horse. I agree that the layer link system is superior to viewports, which have all kinds of fussy difficulties. What we want, which is something it would seem NNA programmers would not have too much trouble implementing, is the ability to crop a layer link in the same way ACAD viewports can be cropped. Instead of creating an image of the entire layer being linked, make it possible to create a bounded image of that layer. This is the kind of extra feature that is simple, useful, and would sell a lot of ACAD users on VW! Don't change anything else about layer links (except maybe some improved snapping and cursor cues).

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Originally posted by P Retondo:

What we want, which is something it would seem NNA programmers would not have too much trouble implementing, is the ability to crop a layer link in the same way ACAD viewports can be cropped.

I would also like to be able to crop referenced layers in the same way.

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Echoing iboymatt's sentiments, we don't necessarily want (AC) Viewports, and we definitely don't want "Viewport Support" (viewport support implying yet another translator/mapping technique to learn....)

What we do want is a way to represent multiple differing views of the same WorkGroup Reference, at different scales if necessary, on the same or multiple pages. There is currently no way to use WGRs effectively, even with Layer Links, without drawing some information twice, based on certain page layouts.

Coupled with this possible future VW improvement, Class management tools would need to be improved. If "VW views" could be controlled by class structure relative to that view, it would allow tremendous flexibility per sheet or page. This is what makes AC viewports so powerful - viewports can be managed individually via the layer structure.

Class management tools are spread out thru the menus, and selecting a fill pattern by counting to 71 or a color from the color wheel, makes it difficult to develop standards and easily manipulate custom files.

Looking forward to VW 11......(?).

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Agree with everybody. I see VW vieports

like the TurboCad ones, where you sort

of bubble the area you are interested in, and you

get that bubble (any shape) containing a portion of the whole, pannable and editable on any instance of it, editable in both directions

(something layer link should do).

Class visibility editing per view not just per layer would allow to put on the same sheet a demo plan and a new plan both based on one base drawing only

and layer links and classes creating / showing two plans simultaneously.

I like the idea of not copying ACAD, let's find the MiniCad way.

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The key to any future CAD feature or CAD program for that matter is "Simplicity". Designers don't have time to spare the brainpower on the way their tool works instead of their design.

A suggestion would be if one could just 'paste inside' a shape (eg. rectangle or circle) similar to a freehand command I think. I don't know whether this is a solution to everybody's problems but one should try to make the solution as simple as this.

Thanks for the response guys.


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Bruce, et al,

You can manage class visibility for any set of objects, including layer links, by using "Save sheet" options. Is it your complaint that this utility doesn't work the way you want it to? I find that "viewport" cropping is the only ACAD capability lacking in VW. But I don't work with Workgroups, so no insight into that problem.

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Class could be even more flexible if you

could turn them on a layer but not on another

so that in the same sheet you see on the right the new floor plan, on the left the demo. Demo c lass being on only for the left side (demo layer)

not the right, (new layer).

You would draw on one base plan (existing plan)

converting to demo some elements and adding new elements, using layer links to shift a copy of the plan, you'll get both plans, on the same sheet

drawing just ones. If a later survey requires you to change the existing plan, you edit that just once (the base plan), changes being reflected on both demo and new. Now you can do all this, but not on the same sheet, side by side, it's either or. Not sure though we want so much complexity.

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1) Class/layer management does not allow presentation of some multiple differing views per sheet. I've posed this problem to NNA (on-site no less) and they were unable to provide the solution. And saved "sheets", WGR, or layer links do not provide a complete solution. This issue is somewhat related to the ongoing discussions about viewports.

2) Class mangement dialog boxes are inadequate; weird, when you consider that classes are the backbone of the vw cad product. Class dialog boxes don't allow complete and/or accurate selection of available attributes; i.e., some class dialog boxes present different options.

3) Within a given class dialog box, selecting an attribute via the "color wheel", or by counting from 0-71 across the fill pattern box, or looking up line types in the book, is absurd. This contributes to making it difficult to develop standards which can be applied by a novice user. Should we tell our learning techs to "count from left to right, starting from 0, until you get to #37, pick that as the fill for class type X, and then...."?

4) Class/Saved Sheets - and this is a topic for a new rant - we have successfully adopted VWA10 (after 9 - a relief). HOWEVER, the class/layer structure developed via the "Setup Assistant", is completely and totally unusable, as it requires a level of management far above our level of commitment to any CAD program; e.g., we used the setup assistant on a 3-story office building, going throught the steps by selecting model setup, sheets, etc., and we were rewarded with a "matrix" of 50+ classes and 60+ layers (a matrix of 3000 possibliites....or something). We tried for a few days, and returned to our regular class structure.

I've got more stuff on this topic, but maybe our office needs to find a user group somewhere.....

We like VWA10, but we really like Macs; hence the cad platform. We'd like to stay with VW, and it would be good for us to know the next version won't only contain updated 3D tools or class tools spread around like dialog boxes in Windows 2000.....VW is becoming more of a windows program. We produce construction documents in 2D.

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