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Chris D

Get rid of the Attributes Palette.............Altogether

Question

Heresy?

In the style of Petri: The case for the Prosecution:

The Attributes Palette is an annoying little floating palette, that for no logical reason, separates certain attributes of an object away from it's other properties.

All object properties are amended in the Object Info palette, apart from line and fill.

This causes great annoyance in having to dart from top-right to bottom-left of the screen when changing properties such as class and fill.

Further, it is alleged that this does contribute to sloppy practice in users deviating from Class Style too often by setting manual fill colors when they would be better advised to create an appropriate class for their needs.

I propose, your honour, that attributes are reunited with the other properties, and added to the Object Info palette.

Documents presented to the court:

Badly Photoshopped (actually Gimpshopped) Palette Proposal

595566d81cfcaccf3db09b78a00e1063adde8a.png

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That mini-mode already exists -- the Attributes palette. Chris says his intent is not primarily to improve the OIP, it's primarily to get rid of the Attributes palette, and specifically so as to prevent me from working the way I do.

Not me in particular, of course. If it were just me, he wouldn't care. But he knows that most people do use the Attributes palette, and he wants to put a stop that. He says he knows what's good for them, better than they know themselves, and since he has no other way to bend so many people to his will he's asking NNA to eliminate the Attributes palette.

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That mini-mode already exists -- the Attributes palette.

It's not really the same thing is it? The AP is currently a completely separate entity from the OIP.

Richard's proposal of "collapsing" the merged pallette so that only the attributes were visible, and the OI part was not (and in fact, vice versa) would fulfill your current method of use wouldn't it?

It seems, also, if the pallettes were "merged" with the OIP such that the Attributes functions could be a 'tear-off' pallette, then both ways of working could be achieved.

It ought to be possible.

N.

Edited by propstuff

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Chris says his intent is not primarily to improve the OIP, it's primarily to get rid of the Attributes palette, and specifically so as to prevent me from working the way I do.

I've clarified my position already that I DON'T wish to prevent anyone working off-class; simply to remove the artificial slant that encourages users to work off-class, by separating out line and fill from other object properties.

I work in an office of 55 Vectorworks users and it's difficult to get them all to work to a similar standard, particularly with regard to using our office classing system (based on the national Uniclass construction classification system). I would like the program to simply help us manage that more effectively by having attributes on the OIP. If you want a mini OIP or tearable line/fill palette, or even a preference setting to retain the original attributes palette, that's fine too.

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The point Chris is making about the difficulty of getting an office full of VW users to work in a consistant manner should not be underestimated. As soon as you have more than one user having a consistent standard is essential. Considering the flak I received about making Classes paramount my proposal is obviously a bad one in most people's eyes - I'll concede to the majority wish. However that doesn't mean the problem of managing Classes will go away. It will continue to rear its ugly head and cause complications.

Chris's original idea of amalgamating the OIP and the Attributes Palette has merit, and the side issue I raised shouldn't detract from its proper consideration and discussion.

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For those who don't use classes:

How long will you work on a huge drawing when your costumer says: I want those lineweights changed to this and want those fills changed to that, etc.?

The answer: Very long, unless you use classes!

With classes you can change those things within less then a minute.

Afraid of many classes?

You can have up to 3 subclasses, so when you structure your classes, it is easy to manage and use.

Classes to group?

Well you can have two kind of classes. The kind of class depends on how you will use that class.

1) You can have classes to give attributes to objects.

2) You can have classes to group certain objects.

Export to DWG?

Well when you organize your classes well, the Acad user will understand which classes belong together! So there is no problem here.

Attributes pallette?

Well I don't use it, but there are exceptions where you'll need to overwrite a classes attribute for a certain object. So I think it should stay. Although Chrisses wish should be implemented because you then can see the objects attributes. The attributes pallette should then be used to set the active attributes. This will work better because now its not always clear which attributes you are changing.

Plus there is a bug! When drawing a polyline and then changing the attributes, VW will change the active attributes rather then changing the polyline attributes.

How I use classes:

Every attribute of every single object uses classes attributes! That way I can change the overall look of everything. I can also hide objects I do not want to see at the moment. etc...

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If everyone is agreed that it's not necessary to get rid of the attributes palette altogether, then maybe the title of the thread should be changed to prevent others getting the same wrong impression that I got.

I have no objection to the rest. I can't comment on whether attributes should be added to the OIP, since I don't use the latter enough to have an opinion. The reason I don't use it is that it dedicates a lot of space and geometry to information that I don't use, but for people who do use that information and/or don't mind the distraction, it may be best to attach the Attributes palette to it.

Of course a team has to agree on CAD standards, and that's always difficult. My experience of working in large offices suggests that's usually the fault of the standards, which are invariably designed by the most anal-retentive member of the team, and thus unintelligible to many of the others. I never had difficulty conforming to them (being fairly A-R myself), but I could understand how people without a programming background might have a problem. The knee-jerk response of those in control is always to blame those who are not in control, to think in terms of learning disorders instead of teaching disorders. If people can't follow your CAD system, you should look closer at the system. When a system makes sense to people, they can use it. When it contradicts their super-ordinate constructs, it alienates them from their natural intelligence and makes them appear stupid.

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maybe the title of the thread should be changed to prevent others getting the same wrong impression that I got.

Not sure I can amend it? I would remove the word 'altogether' if harmony might break out as a result..

My experience of working in large offices suggests that's usually the fault of the standards

Often the case, granted. It's difficult to write standards for your workflow though, when an application is designed for a different workflow (or indeed has to be all things to all people), in a different country even. If I were describing my ideal CAD or BIM application for the UK architecture industry....it would naturally be a long way from what we have with VW. I'm just spending my time in these forums trying to edge NNA towards enabling our workflow, without, hopefully, disabling somebody else's.

So, NNA, I'd love to have attributes on the OIP. Others would like the option of a separate Attributes palette too. Can't be too hard?

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Guest

You can change the subject by clicking on the reply button (not using quick reply) and altering the subject there.

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I've amended the subject to reflect the discussions.

Thanks for the reply Katie....any opinion on the discussions?

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The SIMPLE solution is to dock the Attributes Palette right above the OIP on your screen. This may not satisfy purists who want everything in the OIP, but having it right there would do the job.

This is a fine debate on the virtues of using Classes as a way to assign attributes, but doing away the AP is a quite separate issue.

What to my mind would be much more useful for power users of Classes is a check box, either in the OIP or the AP or both, called "assign attributes by class" that would automatically convert all graphic attributes (including texture) to "by class," a setting that would be reflected in the AP where it could be tweaked if you wanted an object to retain an override with respect to line color or any other attribute.

The problem with putting everything in the OIP is twofold. One, the OIP is already too long to fit on my screen for certain kinds of objects. Two, the OIP does not set defaults, where the AP does. And speaking of that, defaults are now set in more than one place (the AP, the active class, to name two). I think default settings deserves its own window, so that these can be edited in one place, and the whole set of defaults, including for the various PIOs, should be importable from one document to another.

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Defaults could easily be set in the OIP - when nothing is selected - like in the AP now.

I agree that the OIP can be unwieldy for certain objects, particularly for doors. I disagree that this is a reason not to have all object properties in one place.

It is a reason however, to take a good hard look at the OIP and see how it can be better organised. In fact it's a good reason, I believe, to consider Christiaan's unified-interface with a much more dynamic appearance, which changes depending on the task you are undertaking - but let's leave that discussion to the other thread - for now let's agree the OIP could do with a revamp.

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Chris, apart from my own interest in the Attributes palette, I don't understand why you would prefer this change over the status quo.

As it is, you can give your drones a template file with all default attributes set to Class Style, and a custom workspace in which VW starts up with the Attributes palette hidden. They'd have to open a new palette to set attributes by object, which would discourage them from doing it.

Isn't that what you want, to force them to use Class Style except in rare cases? Why clutter up the OIP with something you don't want them to use much?

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Why clutter up the OIP with something you don't want them to use much?

Well, apart from line/fill, there's also end markers stuck on the AP instead of the OIP, then there's the issue of existing files and legacy symbols with off-class objects, there are DWG imports without 'bylayer' implemented, and then not least because (if you read my original post you'll see I'm not fascist about this), there are times when you might justifiably go off-class with your line/fill

users deviating from Class Style too often

Emphasis on the 'too often'. I never said never.

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I have to say the more I think about it the more I like Chris's proposal for merging the Attributes palette with the OIP.

The layout he has come up with is better as well:

- The fill and pen parts are more obvious through being located on one line each.

- The opacity button is more logically located below the fill attribute it relates to (having it below the pen attribute as it is now is illogical).

- There is sufficient space to improve the marker portion to make its button parts larger and therefore more readable (they are a tad small at the moment).

Even an Attribute palette like he has shown would be an improvement on what we currently have.

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Mike, Chris, et al., let's step back and look at the issues raised here and ask what it's worth asking NNA to spend engineering priorities on. Frankly, the improvements to 3d smart objects Mike's been asking for have to be way higher on the list.

I think the important things to think about are: 1) how to more easily and powerfully set defaults, including rethinking what things should have default settings, and 2) how to make the use of classes as a way to set graphic styles more powerful and easier. And, along the way, how to make all the concepts involved here clearer and more intuitive for the new user.

I really don't think that the AP is an "annoying little palette with no rational reason for existence," to roughly paraphrase the opening post. It does, in its imperfect way, embody graphic characteristics common to most objects (rational reason 1), and it does act to set defaults (rational reason 2). Perhaps there is good reason to rethink and rearrange things, but not in the simplistic terms proposed.

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I think the OIP is too crowed and serves too many functions already. I don't want to put the attributes palette anywhere it can be hidden on a different pane.

If this is added to the OIP, it should only be done after (or with) every pane showing the number and type of objects selected, the lay and class and the object name.

By the time you get all of that on every pane, you will then end up scrolling every time you want to do anything with the object or render panes.

I would rather have more smaller palettes that I can move and control to my liking rather than big multi-pane monstrosities.

Pat

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If this is added to the OIP, it should only be done after (or with) every pane showing the number and type of objects selected, the lay and class and the object name.

Indeed. I have wish-listed this already years ago. Names becoming more and more important, access to them should be easier.

I've also wishlisted the ability to split PIO parameters to panes.

Panes are not a pain to me.

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I think the OIP is too crowed and serves too many functions already. I don't want to put the attributes palette anywhere it can be hidden on a different pane.

If this is added to the OIP, it should only be done after (or with) every pane showing the number and type of objects selected, the lay and class and the object name.

By the time you get all of that on every pane, you will then end up scrolling every time you want to do anything with the object or render panes.

I would rather have more smaller palettes that I can move and control to my liking rather than big multi-pane monstrosities.

Pat

Word!

If you don't like the Attributes palette, unselect it in the Windows menu.

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If you don't like the Attributes palette, unselect it in the Windows menu.

Did you bother to read any of the other posts?

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Yes, McLaugh, if you read through the thread you'll see that Chris knows there are plenty of options for different users, but he wants to eliminate that and force everyone to work the way he does. Or, rather, the way his minions are required to (sorry, Chris, I didn't mean to suggest that you do any actual drafting yourself).

Maybe there should be another industry series version, called VectorWorks Administrator. They have different needs than the individual architect who does his own drawings.

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Maybe there should be another industry series version, called VectorWorks Administrator

Brilliant!

There's also a high demand for the Architectural Retailer Version ... for those Architects who sell the work of others while claiming it as their own.

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(sorry, Chris, I didn't mean to suggest that you do any actual drafting yourself).

Actually guys, I'm not a CAD manager, but a job runner. Then again, our CAD manager is also a job runner - that's the thing about Macs and VW - they don't actually require a full time IT guy, despite having 55 VW users plus other staff.

My only input to the management side was being roped in to try and establish some CAD standards so that we can work a bit more efficiently.

Chris knows there are plenty of options for different users, but he wants to eliminate that and force everyone to work the way he does. Or, rather, the way his minions are required to

I'm the Devil incarnate apparently. Remind me never to suggest anything controversial around here...

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If you don't like the Attributes palette, unselect it in the Windows menu.

Did you bother to read any of the other posts?

Every freaking word of every freaking post, and the argument for eliminating the Attributes palette boils down to, "WE don't use it around here, so nobody else should use it either."

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