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flipping units in place

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Hello...Does anyone have a method for grabbing multiple instruments and rotating them in place. ie, all units on a truss flipped vertically but remaining in their X,Y position.

I ask because inevitably all of the instruments on one pipe or another will flip their circuit name and number positions turning the label "A1" into "1A". It's very tedious flipping the individual units.

Perhaps a question for the script page?


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Draw a marquee around all the instruments you need to flip.

Click on the 2D Mirror Tool, then go to the left side of the tool bar and click on the left of the two Mirror Tool choices - Mirror Object Mode. Then click once on the truss/pipe to the outside of the first unit needing flipping (or last it doesn't matter) then hold click and drag line across the pipe thru the units and release beyond the last unit needing flipping. Units will flip 180 degrees, labels follow.

Hope I explained it correctly

Ateve B.

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I think you shouldn't be having this problem. Go to the menu "Tile/Preferences/VectorWorks Preferences" click on the "Display" tab and be sure the "Adjust Flipped Text" is selected. If you have already done this and are still having the problem let me know.

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AutoPlot...I did have adjust flipped text selected. The problem isn't that the text itself is flipped, the problem is that my symbol is set up with a field for "circuit name" and one for "circuit number". When a unit is rotated, the two fields flip but the text is fine. I'm just trying to keep a uniform label through the drawing.

Steve...if I understand the mirror tool correctly, your suggestion will mirror the units to the opposite side of the reference line. I want them to stay in place and rotate about their own axis.


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The label will flip with the fixture. You may want to create a 2nd label legend for "DS Focused Units" vs. "US focused units" or whatever. Easy to do - Go to Resource Browser, open the Label Legends folder, duplicate the lable legend by right clicking on it - giving it a new name. Then open the label legend manager in Spotlight, select the new label legend, edit layout, marquee/select the entire label and use Tool - Rotate - Flip Vertical. You can then do a selection of the desired fixtures and use Find and Modify to group change the fixtures to the new label legend.

FWIW, my electricians and I went back and forth on what they wanted to see, in terms of format, and we decided to allow the label to rotate with the fixture, as it placed the dimmer, color, channel in the same place in reference to the fixture body, every time. In my case I went to a circle container for the channel, no container for the dimmer, both at the "back" of the fixture body, with color and use at the lens.

If I understood the original question, and this is my application. I have a group of fixtures on a pipe that are currently shown as focusing US. I want to group rotate so they show as focusing DS. The method I described allows all the selected fixtures to rotate 180 degrees while staying centered on the pipe. I place the Mirror Object Mode reference line on the pipe itself, as that's the mirror reference point. You can also use Click+Shift to select only those fixtures you want rotated.

Hope this makes sense.

Steve B.

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The simplest way that I know to rotate a bunch of lighting instruments without changing their relative positions is to change the rotation in the Object Info palette.

Using this method, one could take a group of instruments that currently point US, type 180? into the rotation field, and they would all point DS.

This is also very helpful if you were sloppy about dropping them with their proper rotations and you want them to all point in the same direction.

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Thanks for all the responses. Unfortunately, I think my predicament is still confusing. I'm not trying to flip a unit from an US focus to a DS focus, or SL to SR. I want to simply flip it about it's long axis. Imagine spinning it so the gel clip is at the top of the light instead of the bottom.

Selecting the individual unit and flipping it horizontally or vertically depending on it's orientation does the trick, but I have to do it one unit at a time.


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Well, now I'm confused

Isn't "flip it about it's long axis" the same thing as changing the indicated direction of focus ?

I'm visualizing this as Plan View (I'm assuming 2D here ?) - I.E. as if I was on the grid looking down at the lighing pipes. The standard drafting system that's been in use for decades is to draw an instrument symbol on a pipe so that the obvious location of the gel frame/front of instrument is generally oriented towards where the light will focus. A plan view drafting seemingly has the symbols appearing as if they were pointed straight out - parallel to the stage deck, and often "pointing" either US or DS, or perhaps at an angle towards a defined architectural item (door, chair, etc...).

If I drafted a plot that had all my Pars indicated as being focused DS and decided to focus them US, the plot still appears as if they were parallel to the floor, but now the gel frame/front of instrument is pointing US.

In VW, when you attach a label to a fixture and rotate it - 180 degrees for instance, the fixture will appear to not be hung on the pipe, but now floating somewhere in space. The method I described earlier is used to do a 180 degree rotation of the direction of focus for individual or groups of fixtures, while keeping the fixture as appearing still "hung" on the pipe. There's another method to rotate a single instrument, as if you were panning the fixture, to allow individual units to be shown as focusing to different locations.

Sorry for the seemingly beginners language, partly a response for not knowing - as well as I should, the correct VW terminology in some instances and also for wanting to start from the beginning and make sure we are talking about the same thing - with out actually seeing it. Sort of like describing a set design over the phone, or faxing the painted elevations.

Steve B.

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Now that I'm back from a fabulous backpacking trip in the Clark range..... If the individual flipping of units is what you need, go to www.autoplotvw.com and download "AutoPlot Tools for SpotLight". The package contains, among other things, 2 commands, "Flip Each Object Horiz" and "Flip Each Object Vert" which do exactly what you want. It's shareware, so if you find it useful, please register.

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Steve B....I appreciate all your efforts, but I don't know how to explain it further. I'm not interested in changing the direction the unit will focus. I have two labels that are placed next to each other. One is circuit and one is circuit number. Depending on how I rotate a unit in the drawing, the labels appear as either {circuit}{circuit number} or {circuit number}{circuit}, eg A1 or 1A. I want to flip the unit so that the information appears consistently in the drawing {A1 not 1A}, not refocus the unit. This is accomplished through VW using the rotate (flip horizontal) or rotate (flip vertical) command, but I have to do it one unit at a time.

In any case, I'm confident Autoplot has the script I'm looking for and once the new version is ready I'll be using that.

Thanks again everyone for your ideas.

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Hey Glen,

To complicate matters more:

Why is the info reading incorrectly in the first place?

I've done some experimenting.

I have a symbol for which I created a label legend. (ETC S4 36?) That legend contains "circuit name" "circuit number" They both have circles as their container. When I place the "instrument" on the drawing the unit faces up (top of the monitor, and the circles are at the bottom. In object info I add "A" in the ciruit name, and "1" in circuit number, and they are in their appropriate circles.

If I copy and paste they are in their appropriate circles.

Here comes the winner. If I select, and mirror-duplicate they are reversed.

I checked my File/Prference/VWPreferences/Display, and yes the box "adjust flipped text" is checked.

I tried unchecking it and rechecking it, and still the info gets reversed when I mirror-duplicate.

To correct this I select the individual unit and Tool/Rotate/Flip Horizontal, and the unit now reads correct.

If I select more than one unit and flip they are treated like a group, and the whole thing gets flipped which is not the desired effect.

This is a bug.

What's happening is the circles are treated as graphic objects.

The solution would be to halve a graphic object that could contain multiple data fields.

Is that possible in Spotlight?

Here's a little picture:


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