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WHere are the Floor/Base Wall/etc. finishes data kept by VW?


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Where are the finishes items data kept? In the project file?, In a VW preference? Where is this file located on a Mac? On a Windows Machine?

Is this file modifiable by another means besides from within the space tool? We would like to set up a master list of finishes which would be able to be distributed across all computers with licensed copies which are at various work locations (think virtual office) and the main office server.

We have the distinct impression that the finishes are too file specific. We cannot reuse finish definitions created in one file in a different file and have to re-enter laboriously.

Cases in point:

We defined some new finishes on a project computer in the office and sent it to another computer (laptop) which goes to and from the main and virtual office. (Employee works from home.)None of the finish definitions appear on that computer and it is not clear where the VW Preference files are kept in VW folders, nor if they are "portable". At least not clear to us.

Yes -we do do VW stationery (.sta) files and update them periodically by copying in new info, etc. And we do create customized .sta files from projects which go outside the box and we recognize that we need a new "building type" file.

But - there seems to be a disconnect with the finishes tools which makes them laborious to use and keep up the databases.

It would also be nice if we could create & maintain separate finish data files for residential and commercial.

Edited by Robert Anderson
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Finish data, as you have already ascertained, is not document-specific.

The data is kept in [VW folder]/Plug-ins/VW_Arch/Data/Prefs_*/Room Finish Library.txt . This is a standard tab-delimited ASCII text data file. If you look at it with a standard text editor, the meaning of the fields is pretty obvious. The first line should contain the number of records. If you want to have office standards for this information, I'm pretty sure you can have a file "alias" in this location pointing to a server, then you can update all your office finish standards at a single whack.

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Thanks Robert,

Kind of a "du-oh" experience - I got so close to the problem I hadn't thought to Look in the VW-prefs files. Neither did my employees.

We usually get away with only the default VW items and have generally ignored the VW prefs file sets because we do so much standards keeping in the .sta files for project types and do a lot with keeping up the keynotes databases.

Room finishes using the Space Tool are a new addition to our skill set here because we finally have a Space Tool which has some real functionality we can use. Previously we did finishes with an in house finish marker linked to a spreadsheet for the individual rooms with a canned boilerplate spreadsheet which contained the finish descriptions.

Our only fault finding to date is that we cannot have a finish marker diamond as we had before. Some feedback from the field (contractors) indicates they have trouble reconciling N,E,S,& W orientation of walls to the finish schedule. Despite our handy dandy North arrows on the plan and our meticulous ensuring that we show the North Wall finish. The diamond over split rectangle marker we had before was much easier for estimators and contractors to follow because the points of the square were oriented to the walls of the room and the split rectangle had the floor and base key. The way the space tool puts it on the plan is lame and un-helpful. (My opinion based on 38 years in architectural practice.)

Later this month we will take time (during post deadline breather) to see if we can restore the functionality of the old marker by linking to the 'Space.North Key', etc. data items.

Again, Thanks

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