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A little drawing exercise

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Your exercise sounds a bit like trying to draft with one arm tied behind your back. You may want to try using additional tools that VW has to offer, like the locus tool, the duplicate command, the move command, the Object Info Palette. Using these tools should make you a faster, better drafter.

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As descibed by others there are several ways of approaching this using the flexible workings of VW. No formal CAD training here, in fact Technical Drawing at school was my last stint of formal education relating to drafting.

Draw your top line by using the line tool. Click for the line start, drag it across the x axis till you see 8" in the data bar, click to finish.

With the line tool still selected get the cursor/mouse to the right side of your drawn line using the smart cursor feedback. Click on that end point and draw a line down, in the data bar wait till you get 12" and click to finish line.

Now double click the move tool with the line still selected. Input 6" in x , -5" in the y, hit enter - its were you want it.

Use the same method for your left hand side line, with the line tool selected click on the left hand end of your first line, draw down 6". Double click the move tool, enter -4" in the x., -4" in the y, hit enter. Line now in place.

Use the dimension tool with the smart cursor facilities of VW to draw your dimensions.

This can be speeded up by knowing the keyboard shortcuts for each command.

It may not be the fastest, indeed I think Jonathan's probably is, but just shows the different ways one can do things in VW.



Edited by alanmac
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Another method.

Draw your first horizontal line.

Double click the rectangle tool. Enter the size as 6" in x, -5" in y. Make sure the insertion point is top left, and you are using next mouse click as your insertion method.

Using smart cursor get the left hand end of your line and click to place rectangle in drawing.

Line tool again. Using smart cursor, get it positioned on the bottom right corner of the rectangle, click and drag down 12" click to finish.

Remove rectangle. Your line is in place.

Same method for left hand line, using rectangle tool, alter size to suit and insertion point to top right and VW smart cursor to achieve the same.

Again just another approach.

It's up to you which is best, fastest, easiest etc.

From your other posts it sounds like you had formal training in another CAD program and are seeking the same type of approach in VW - to do it the "right way" in other words.

For that I'd look to taking a course with a qualified VW trainer. Otherwise welcome to the suck it and see club from one of its most untrained members.


Edited by alanmac
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Since you did not say in what field you are in I will give my 2 cents from an architects perspective

Use the line tool sparingly

learn the wall tool which has many features

especially inserting symbols and plug-in for doors and windows

which heals the wall automatically

and use the heal tools available to link them together

learn about the loci tool and smart cues to place walls etc..at specified distances


if you are not designing building

learn to use objects such as rectangle, polygons

think about what the object would be in a 3D world

and use that to draw in 2D

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I think Alan and cbaarch replies are on the mark. There are many ways to produce the same results.

Trying to make VWs perform as AC is to ignore VWs strengths and versatility. Focusing on lines in VWs or AC to produce drawings is to underutilize both programs capabilities.

And yet another method to perform the "drawing exercise"

- Double click on Snap to Grid tool

- Set to symmetrical 1" snap grid/show grid lines

- With line tool, draw lines with mouse. No keyboard input needed.

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This may or may not help. Here is how I would do it. Double click the line tool. In the ?X field tpye 8 and set the ?Y field tpye 0. Make sure the x and y fields are 0 and uncheck position at next click then hit ok. Double click the line tool again ?X 0 ?Y -12" X 14" Y -5" make sure the top square insertion point is selected and insert at next click is unchecked then hit ok. Finally repeat steps and enter 0, -6, -4, -4 . I find it easy to insert the information first. Hope this helps.

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I tried it in Vectorworks using Jonathan's method and in Autocad using the otrack method. On a count back of key strokes there is little in it (a small advantage to Vectorworks) and that does surprise me.

Although I've never used Autodesks products, three weeks using Inventor I don't really count, I'm would not be surprised that in a simple exercise such as this they'd be similiar.

I imagine its only when working to a higher level of detail etc. that VW's advantages widen the gap and increase user enjoyment if that's the right word.

From the perspective of a user mostly happy with his choice of software I would imagine it would take something really bad or drastic to want me to change and learn another program.

As a user of VW standard version if the further separating off in each upgrade of what I regard as basic requirements in any program of this type, to the so called Industry collections would be one reason.

Indeed this has already got me looking to see what others have to offer, something I'd never have contemplated a few years ago.


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Thank you all for the input. The reason I came up with this little exercise is that my speed with Vectorworks still seems below par. I was much faster with Autocad. It may have just seemed faster because I was so busy typing.

I would have thought that you?d all be using the ?correct? VW method. It seems to be the most economical. But it does require a lot of mental work.

I prefer using some of the methods that you mention, probably double clicking on the line tool, placing the three line segments, and then moving them around.

MikeC, I never heard of ?Otrack? and had to look it up. I probably would never use those tools ? real Autocad pro?s keyboard everything. wink.gif

FredM, your method is neat but requires doing mental math (unless I note it on paper first). So I probably wouldn?t be comfortable with that. Chewing gum and walking at the same time, you know.

Alan, the rectangle idea is good; it might come in handy for all sorts of tasks.

I have no formal training in any CAD. I learned Autocad at age 46 from a high school kid (computer whiz) who tutored me for about two months. His dad was an architect in the office. Prior to that, I worked with a very slow mainframe-based (HP 1000) CAD program. I was very proud of the fact that I almost made it productive.

My interest is classic modern architectural history. Who would have thought that modern architecture would ever be ?classic.? I like to practice CAD on those houses, though it?s hard to find dimensioned plans and elevations. So far, it?s strictly a hobby. I use my organizational talents to be more productive.

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to david

Real AutoCAD pros keyboard everything, ???. I would put my AC skills up against anyone. I would say, that pre release AC12 much was done by keyboard. Since then AC has evolved a great deal. Otrack is a great command once you get to used to it. As AC progressed I started keyboarding less. What I find that since I have two hands I use my left for keyboard commands on the left side of keyboard all commands accessed on right side I use button commands with my mouse. This avoids the constant moving your hand from mouse to keyboard that plagues a lot of AC users.

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TomK sez:

I would put my AC skills up against anyone.

Tom, I can only compare my performance to myself. You may very well be right: the newer GUI commands could make AC faster. I would have to try them out and see. In the past, I stayed away from GUI because it slowed me down. I was using rel. 2000i.

In the office from which I retired, I was usually the most productive; but then, I was also the most experienced. So it's hard to gauge performance of an interface by comparing different indivduals.

And it's true, constant moving of the right hand from keyboard to mouse and back was a problem, one I was never able to solve.

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I'm a freak, David. For 20 years I've been pumping out floor plans on my various Macs, never drawing a wall (or line/shape) with the keyboard. I?m completely ?uncorrupted? by experience with AC. I do use the keyboard consistently for shortcuts, however. Admittedly, I?m under-utilizing some of what VW has to offer. For now, I use the join commands, trim tool, split tool, nudge, and the OIP constantly (here I do enter values from time to time) to get results. The modify>convert is supremely handy. Dimensioning is pretty good since I was advised on how to avoid the totals not adding up occasionally. Designing in schematic diagrams with rectangles (or polygons), ?adding surface?, converting to walls, and bam, you?ve got a floor plan?..not using one numerical entry in the data bar, and with right-brain firmly engaged. wink.gif

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