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Why I can't use VW10

Dave M


I can't quickly select a new layer in files with large numbers of layers.

The Layer selection drop-down box in VW10 (and 9) uses a single column scroll box that scrolls at 10 layers/second. This sounds fast but when you have 100 or more layers, it is unacceptably slow.

Please give us back the old drop-down which filled the screen with a multi-column list.

Even better, how about adding the hyphenated naming functionality like Classes have. Then we could organize our Layer names and shorten our layer lists.

Until this gets fixed, I'm stuck with VW8.

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Originally posted by Dave M:

....when you have 100 or more layers, it is unacceptably slow.


Even better, how about adding the hyphenated naming functionality like Classes have.

I strongly disagree with this hyphenation idea. I like to use hyphens in layer names, and the system you're talking about would wreck that. It would interpret any hyphen as the designation of a sub-layer.

Why on earth would you use 100 layers? Or even 20? You might use that many CLASSES, if you have to follow the AIA standard, or if you think it can "automate" the drawing process, or if you just want something to do to use up time. But layers?

Are you confusing the idea of layers with classes? AutoDesk does that, probably to conceal the fact that they don't provide any layering capability. In English, layering means placing certain things on top of other things. In well-designed graphic arts software like VectorWorks and Adobe Photoshop, layering is provided as a way to make sure that one set of objects, on the higher layer, will hide and/or won't be hidden by another set of objects on a layer below. VectorWorks goes the extra mile, as always, even providing commands to control the layering of individual objects within a layer.

[ 01-25-2003, 12:59 AM: Message edited by: jan15 ]

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Dear jan15,

Why does Vectorworks offer us the ability to use unlimited numbers of layers if we can't access them efficiently? Why does it matter what I use them for; the point is that they are there to be used.

You're right, I am proposing that hyphens in layer names be used to dop that layer into a sub-menu. This provides an additional functionality- the ability to organize layers- which the program does not already offer. This would also further synchronize class and layer syntax which appears to be where NNA is headed.

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Layers should not be organized by name.

Stacking order is how VW layers organize structure of drawing.

The only thing to improve, like in PowerCadd is to have a drop down menu always open that shows layers name and the user can click on the list to turn them on off etc.

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Originally posted by Dave M:

Why does it matter what I use them for.

It doesn't matter, as long as you do it in the privacy of your own home.

All kidding aside, of course you can use the program any way you like, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I myself sometimes use it to draw caricatures of people.

But this is a public forum, about making changes to a program we all use. You suggested a change that would be detrimental to the management of a normal number of layers, in order to facilitate the management of a very large number of layers. So the reason for you or anyone else to use 100+ layers is something that should be discussed.

If there's a good reason for it, that would suggest that a lot of other people may be doing it also, or should be doing it. Maybe I should be doing it. But you didn't give a reason -- and still haven't -- and the only reason I can think of is that you're doing something with layers that can already be done with classes in exactly the way you suggested.

The present VectorWorks layer selection process is excellent for those of us who use layers as a layering tool. Ctrl-arrow keys cycle through the list, for a very fast, easy change to a nearby layer, which is the change made most often. A single-click pulls down a list of all the layers, with their status. Then a single mouse movement and another click changes to any other layer in the list.

The sub-class-by-hyphenation process, which you want to extend to layers, makes all three of those actions more cumbersome. Ctrl-arrow cycling doesn't include sub-classes. The single-click pull-down display of class names doesn't show sub-classes. Selecting a sub-class requires the initial pull-down click, then two mouse movements in different directions, with a pause or another click in between, and then the final click.

Hyphens in layer names are a good, easy-to-type, and highly readable way of making distinctions between related layers. For example, in a file containing two or more sheets of building elevation renderings, the layers might be named:








... and so on.

Under the system you propose, using a hyphen in the layer name would force the use of sub-layers, presumably in the same cumbersome way as sub-classes.

By the way, I have no complaint about the first part of your suggestion, of returning to the version 8 style of the pull-down layers list. I didn't know it was multi-column, since I never had that many layers, but I liked the tighter line-spacing of layer names. If that could accomplish what you want, or if there were some optional system of sub-layering that didn't prevent using hyphens in layer names, I wouldn't object.

[ 02-05-2003, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: jan15 ]

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