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Moving Reference Files


Eoin R

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A simple request for any future version of VW. Can it be made possible to move and rotate reference files. This would dramatically increase the power of the programme. (N.B. I know you can do this in the current version but any changes to the reference file causes it be reinserted in its orginal position and orientation.)

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I know you can use the layer linking tool to move and rotate reference files, but this really seems like a time consuming work around. At least compared to the way some of the other CAD packages out there are able to handle moving reference files around. I'd like to request 'better' reference file moving in the future from VW. Thanks.

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As an example, I find it very useful to have a building plan referenced into my elevation file to ensure accurate layout when drafting. Now, in order to have my plan in the proper orientation for the various elevations, it needs to be rotated into different positions. Mirroring the plan is sometimes required as well. The same setup requirements are true for drafting sections. I understand that you can accomplish this through the layer links. But to name names, moving and positioning reference files is much easier to deal with in AutoCad and Microstation. I'm not saying these are better programs, but that this is one particular area where they handle something more effectively than VW, and I hope that it is an area where there can be improvements. Thanks

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Just to add to Eric's responses to my original post. The facility to easily move and rotate reference files would be a big plus. I have started to look at layer linking but it looks very convulted. On the plus side we are relatively new VW users. I think the software is an excellent programme and this improvement of handling reference files is the only thing missing that the competition have a clear advantage at present

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quote:

Originally posted by John CPR:

I have started to look at layer linking but it looks very convulted.

I don't want to argue (and definitely don't want to be an apologist for NNA and VW!), but I can't really understand how layer linking would be convoluted - it is at most two menu commands (create LL, unlock.) After that one can eg. duplicate the link if need be.

quote:

Originally posted by eric.rktek

But to name names, mving and positioning reference files is much easier to deal with in AutoCad and Microstation.

Can't say that I would know how it works in these programs, but the underlying logic and purpose of VW's referencing is such that moving and positioning does not make sense. The reference is not a single object and the whole idea is that it is in the same coordinate system as the data in your current work file: this ensures data integrity.

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I guess the best thing I can say is that once you work in a CAD environment where you can easily move, mirror, and rotate reference files, you quickly come to appreciate how important and useful this is. I spent a few years away from VW working in Microstation and then AutoCAD, and appreciate some of the features they had or did better than VW. I am very happy using VW again, but want to provide feedback on areas that I hope can be improved.

Having reference files in VW is crucial to our workflow, and I hope that it can continue to be improved.

Isn't this what the wish list portion of the Tech Board is for?

Thanks.

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But, Jonathan - as a layer link it IS like a symbol...

Since the current system works with a consistent user interface (ie. data behaves and is handled the same way regardless of its source, current work file or referenced file) and allows easy rotating, mirroring and moving, why would we need a new confusing paradigm?

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Autocad brings in its reference files as symbols (blocks) but I wonder if that approach will create some issues with the way VW handles its layers, etc.

One alternative suggestion is to have a dialog interface with the WGR window that allows for modification of the position of files referenced in. It could have options for rotation, x & y coordinates, mirroing, etc. Ideally it would have the option to shift the origin point with a next click feature. This way, you could address all the layers that come in with the reference file in a holistic approach. One way that layer linking could be improved is to expand on what you see in the info box. It would be nice to have the layer link have the classes and layers on/off/gray controls like viewports. This would make them easier to handle as well.

Eric

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I have yet one more thought on potential ways to improve referencing. I wonder if it would be benifical to split the Layer Linking feature into two separate commands. One could be for the more 'traditional' use of the tool for linking layers for 3D model views, etc. A second tool could be tweaked to offer more specific linking features for 2D drafting issues. This might allow VW to improve the strengths of both areas without having to try to cram it all into one thing.......

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Well, Eric - now you are talking! We wanted croppable layer links, to be able to do a variety of things from drafting to presentation - but instead got viewports that are only good for printing. Very good, it seems, but they do nothing in terms of making the design process easier and more efficient. WE WAS ROBB'D!

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Eric,

Just too wonder out loud...

The question is would your wish be served by being able to look at the design layer from a different angle?

I mean that way instead of moving the plan to suit the elevation you are drawing, you could draw each plan directly related to the face of the plan (ie one, upside down, two sideways) then spin the design sheet to be looking the right way at the part you are drawing at the time. (much like traditional orthagonal hand drawing).

that way the information is in the plan once only.

(small file size, constitancy of information)

then you can use viewports as a digital cut and paste.

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I'm sorry, John. I know you didn't make all those requests for Autocad features, but I read them every day, and I guess today I just happen to be feeling more sarcastic than usual. Regulars to this forum can confirm that I'm always grousing about this subject.

I would rather see the effort go into making sure everything works the way it's supposed to, which is one of the few things I admire about Autocad (the only other one I can think of is the new zoom/pan thing with a wheel mouse), and into bringing back the quick, light feel VW used to have. I often wonder why the people who want all those Autocad features don't just buy Autocad, and I can't help but wonder if it isn't the price difference. It seems unreasonable to ask for all the features of the high-priced program, along with all the unique VW features missing from the other.

I used to argue point by point against these wishes, generally on the basis that there are terrific alternative ways of doing whatever you want to do, ways that may take a small effort at the time, but whose simplicity saves us the continual effort of coping with a complex and clunky user interface. But that takes too much time, so now I just make snide remarks from time to time. Please don't take it personally.

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No offence taken. My background is one using Minicad 8years ago and I am a recent returnee to the software after using mainly Autocad and Microstation. I am a big fan of the software and hope that someone in VW could improve the reference file functionality. I think it would be an unbeatable package.

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IboyMatt- Quick question, how do you quickly spin the design layer to rotate view (without rotating the actually data in VW)? I've been missing that capability for the longest time.

I also share Jan's desire to have VW and get the bugs out as an important point of emphasis. One of the reasons I happily left Autocad was clunky interface, and dealing with corrupt files and lost data on a regular basis. I guess I view all CAD programs as works in progress open to (and in need of) improvement. VW is great, not trying to knock it, not planning on leaving it, but trying to provide feedback to help in the improvement and upgrade cycle.

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Eric,

Sadly at this stage you can't rotate the 2d view with out rotating the data (well... or turn the screen over;-) ).

Thou i think it glue allot of the other tools together, and seems like it would address your improvements to layer links.

[ 09-28-2004, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: iboymatt ]

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Ouch. I don't think that improvements in Vectorworks should be ruled out because they are similar to existing features in Autocad or Microstation. I don't see how it should be very costly or difficult to improve the functionality of reference files in VW. The benefits are very clear from my humble view as someone who has experience of a fairly wide range of CAD software.

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