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Make VectorWorks Usefull like AutoCad



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Unfortunately, I didn't make the decision to purchase it.

But to be more specific, besides the very very basic MOVE & COPY(by implicit points) Commands and also FLEXIBILIY.

VectorWorks only allows for one order of operation in a command. For instance, in VW you have to select an object before performing a command with it. Where as in AC you can select the object(s) first then initiate the command or you can initiate the command then select the objects. Or better yet you can right-click on any object and get a contextual pop-up that has the applicable commands for the object type you selected.

Snapping is also limiting in VW. In AC I can use the tab key over an area that may have a mess of objects in close proximity to cycle through the endpoints , midpoints , whatever youmight want to snap to.


I found the Boomerang Mode in VW but that just does Zooming. In AC you can do (most Commands) up to 255 stacked I think. Boomerang is also just annoying having to hold down space bar. Graphically Selecting Objects is very limited in VW. In AC there are 8 different selection modes, all of which to a skilled computer draftsperson are necessary. VW has three. Oh and the latest annoyance is AutoSave. I don't want to open a file and have it automatically save it to self. I might just be opening a file to verify something and I might modify something but don't want to save it. If AutoSave is on then it will save the changes also modifying its date signature. AutoSave should save IN THE BACKGROUND to a temporary file located in a USER SPECIFIED location for recovery purposes only. Also when a save is issued a Backup file of the previous version of the file should be also retained (bak files in AC) if the user decides this to be. That is all for now. I can go on and on.

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I first started drawing on the computer with AutoCAD therefore I have an extremely excellent foundation on AutoCAD.

For sure VW does things differently to AC but one gets to the same destination in fact some of VW steps beat AC steps. As with any CAD program there are many ways to kill a cat so there is also flexibility in VW in fact more so in VW.

I find VW?s smart cursor superior to AC?s snap tools. Smart cursor is far more intuitive than AC?s snaps. By the way AutoCAD paid VectorWorks the greatest compliment by trying to copy the smart cursor intuitiveness by ?enhancing? their snap tools from AutoCAD 2000 onwards to 'act like the smart cursor.

I just got version10 and I love the boomerang tool - it works well.

For sure AC got some nifty features but one has to be a rocket scientist to find them whereas with VW I picked them up in flash. Therefore AC is more for technicians and VW is more for designers. VW does not distract one from the design process with difficult procedures. From a designer?s point of view, one produces better looking drawing than AC ever could in the same amount of time.

There are so much of advantages of VW over AC that I could go on and on. If you don?t believe me then take the Architectural Cadd Cup for example - VW has most of the time beaten AC.

However the technicians at Nemetschek cannot rest on their laurels because the CAD market is an ever changing industry and they can easily lose their users if a better overall package is out there. I agree with DZens about ?a backup file of the previous version of the file should be also retained when a save is issued (*.bak files in AC) if the user decides this to be?. I have been asking for this feature from Version 8.0.0. Another gripe I have with Nemetschek is that they have to come out first with leading technology and not just follow the pack.

All of the above are just my humble opinions and no one should take them personally because I know people can get offended in these forums so PLEASE.



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Peolpe are abandoning AC because it costs three times as much and the people paying the bills don't know the difference in a superior CAD package when the output is ultimately the same(or is it). Not to say AC dosent have its problems or the common problem of claiming parametric modelling and 2D drafting combo like Real Time sections and Elevations (from an Arch. perspective) . AC Arch Desktop trys to sell this, but does it pratically work NO!., neither does it in VW as you can see from the wish list. If you want a CAD package to do this stuff then your talking a whole lot more money and the use of a system that is not simple or intuitive, such as UniGraphics, Catia, SolidEdge, ProE etc. So what I am talking about is simple stuff. Like a MOVE by implicit points tool like AutoCADs (which I had to write my self with the pseudo-MiniPascal (structured language). Vector Script. My question is how is this not a BASIC part of any CAD package? That disturbs me.

I really like the worksheets though. They are very usefull. The interface could still be refined. VW10 is better now that there is not a combination of menu pull-downs and clicking on that triangle button to format text within cells. Actually does any one have a good suggestion for a source on digging deeper into VW. The manuals (like all Cad manuals) Suck. And I'll tell you VWs manuals describe more commands that don't work the way they describe than AC.

What is up with the Trim Tool in VW it does not work at all like it should. Any one got a revised script for that or something?

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I have thought of something. Rather than I just rant to all of you about how AutoCad is a more productive and powerful CAD Package (not the most productive and powerfull mind you) than VW, we should use this discussion to teach eachother and NNA the differences and how users of CAD want their CAD software to work. So I extend this challenge, anyone who knows AC and VW give me/us ex-AC users an example of something VW does that AC does not. And I will do the same I will present something that AC does that (as far as I know which I am fairly new to VW but have over nine years experience with CAD systems).

So, AC has Xefs , VW has Workgroup References. In AC you can clip an Xref to only display the portion you need. No such thing have I found in VW. Along with that it would be nice to be able to clip Layer Links as well so when you have information you need to show a different scales you can hide all of the rest. This is a use of viewports in AC. Next.

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You sound like the typical Acad user struggling with VW for the first time. Don't fight it man...just let take control. Judging by your first few posts (re: trim command) and your rants here, I'm guessing your closing in on one month of Vectorworks usage. I started using Acad with r9 and dithced at r14 to take up VW8. I was cursing the CAD gods as to why my firm decided to purchase VW. After 3 months I turned the corner and was wondering why I'd used Acad for all those years. You just have to accept the fact that you're not drawing a building as AutoDesk marketing would have you believe, you're creating a presentation as if you were using Illustrator and Quark or InDesign. And Vectorworks just happens to be the most logical graphic design program dressed up like a CAD program.

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There you have it. You are right I am used to using CAD software, not a graphics package dressed up like a CAD package. I am used to entering in percise data in a GUI that just so happens to output some way of communicating intent to another. Not just drawing pretty pictures. So, it is like arguing Photoshop is better than Word.

Unfortunately I have been using VW for more than a year now, but ACAD for 8 before that.

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Now that you understand the difference and it sounds like you're stuck using Vectorworks, its time to let go. You have to make the philisophical decision to continue thinking you're designing and building something line by line, co-ordinate by co-ordinate, or creating a presentation which best describes to the guys on site what you want built.

There's nothing wrong with admitting that you were sucked into the AutoDesk marketing ploys about , we all were at some point. If you want to design a building use a pen and paper. If you want to graphically present your building design use Vectorworks, and if you want a fancy shmancy model use Maya.

Time's up. Thanks for lying on Dr Runtime Error's couch. See you at our next session.

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You of course are entitled to your own limiting beliefs. If you believe that

computers can and will only be used for presentation purposes then you will

continue seek deeper into the dull drum of society producing idle

masturbation at best. Or you can let some gas flow past that almost burnt

out pilot light in your head and find NEW ways in which computers (CAD

software) can be used to design as a conceptual tool and not just a visual

one and ultimately contribute to the aspiration of design. For the computer

has the capability of adventuring to places where your pencil and paper have

never even begun to dream of. Just as the discovery of perspective drawing

in the Renaissance opened up an entirely new world to painting and various

art movements.

So moving onto the point of this discussion, making Vector Works better.

Lets hear some more ways to make VW useful.

Besides my stay here is only temporary, for I have seen the New World and it

is beautiful.

Truthfully Runtime, you should only make your comparisons to AC 2000 version

because r14 and lower aren't that great, but 2000 is leaps and bounds beyond

them and VW. So if your talking about AC before 2000, don't even type

because you then in all your deep frying experience have no clue what you

are talking about.

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It's funny, theres been alot of "this is better than that" kind of talk on the forum lately. What I've found in my life is that very rarely is one thing better than another, they are usually just different.

For us, VW is a really great package. We are a mid sized firm doing mostly Institutional work in the 10 to 60 million dollar range. We are on macs and have been using VW since it was called Blue Print. I've been on VW since version 7 and have to say the program has come a long way. I also used ACAD befor VW and although I was frustrated at first, I now am very comfortable with VW and the direction which NNA is taking it.

Dzens, its unfortunate that you have to use software you dont like, but just because you don't like it dosent mean it dosent have value. For alot of firms VW meets a specific set of criteria. It works well, produces good documents, is affordable, and most new employees can be productive with it in a very short period of time. I admit cropable layer links/ WGR's would make it much more powerful, but like you said, VW has built in worksheets, so it sort of looks like a draw.

I guess I'm not sure what the point of this thread is. If you are pointing out the VW is different and ACAD, well, your right. [smile]

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D Zens (I will not get involved in what VW has that AC doesn't kind of thing, reminds me of intelligent discussions like "that woman has bigger breasts so I like her more".

If you want all the tools possible imaginable get Microstation Triforma, AC by comparison is a toy, and if you want the most drafting tools for less money then get PowerCadd or TurboCadd. A sum of tool won't make a better program, there is something more to it and VW has it, others don't).

2 things:

1-No, new electronic capabilities will not get me in places (design wise) that I couldn't imagine before (perspective when discovered was a manual task) Michelangelo and Borromini did things that most of today's Architects cannot conceive Cad or not Cad. Complex shapes like Gehry's were not explored just because not harmonious, there is nothing new in a clash of shells.

2-I always noted, working with AC users and PowerCadd users, now VW users , that there is a sort of rage in the AC ones. Their minds so strictly linked to the way things were done in AC that they hate anything else at first, forgetting how incredibly frustrated they were at first, when they started using that dry program.

Then of course after years of struggle they became masters of the secret words to make it work fast, and now they don't want let go that ?Zen secret knowledge? that made them feel so better then others. That rage cannot come in my opinion from a very pleasant program.

PowerCadd users were so more flexible in the transition, so more accommodating even when they had to renounce to their shortcuts, to PC legendary easy of use, to their powerful 2d tools (some of them VW should really have).

Like your acrimonious posting Zens, about other people?s blowed mind and masturbation. Never heard these stuff on this bulletin board from VW users.

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