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mr. iagea

Door Schedules

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I've just placed a door schedule, and there are a huge number of doors on there, many of which have long since been deleted from the drawing. Also, they are in no order whatsoever.

Is this normal? Is this what this Report is supposed to do? It seems useless to have a tool that supposed to simplify workflow, when it in fact, increases workflow, if I have to go in and try to figure out which doors are the ones actually in the drawing, and then manually put them into order.

I could do this faster with pen and paper and paste it on my drawing.

Hmmm. Anyone have any idea why the Report is listing doors that don't exist in the drawing? Anyone else have this trouble?

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Just a quick thought .... have you checked whether the non-existent doors are overlapped by another ones? If you duplicate a door in a wall in any way it is easy to leave a copy over an existing one as they can perfectly overlap.

Btw I've seen a menu command like "Remove unreferenced objects" or something similar that would do the trick.

Edited by zgobolos

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Charlie,

The database can't list what doesn't exist. If they have truly been deleted, then they won't be in the internal file database and can't be reported.

By default, the database criteria look in ALL layers. It may be looking in layers and classes that are OFF, but doors are still in the model.

It is easy to find the dorrs from the schedule. With the schedule open, select "Recalculate" from the Worksheet menu. Then naivgate down to the door you want to find. Right-click on the row header and select the "Select Item" popup. Behind the open schedule, the view should change, navigating to the layer the door is on and slect and highlight the door.

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I considered that I had preliminary layers that had floor plan layout options for my client, and that those layers contained doors. So, I made a new version of the file and deleted all the layers that contained extraneous doors, then went through and double checked to assure that I had just the doors I wanted and then re-imported the schedule (from the "Architectural Reports.vwx" file, as instructed in the manual). I also deleted the existing Door Schedule Worksheet from the file.

The resultant new Door Schedule chart still showed doors from an early version of the file that not only had been deleted from the layers on which they were initially place, those layers don't even exist in this file (!), as they were also deleted. And the doors are not listed in numerical order (according to ID label), which is what I would have expected.

All very curious.

I did find the "recalculate" option (in the actual worksheet, a drop-down sub-menu on the worksheet itself), but that resulted in the same list. I will now try your suggestion, Jeff. What you indicate makes sense to me?that the doors shouldn't show up if they aren't in the file, which is the case and why this is so baffling.

More in a moment. Thanks for the input so far.

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Okay, I found one door that I had inadvertently assigned a class that is invisible (a class I had to make because the Window Tool glazing preferences (Clear, Smoked, etc) don't work (!). See my post "Window Glazing/Style Classes". Another grrr!). But, that's only a single door. There are easily twice as many doors in the schedule as there should be. There are multiple listings for the same ID label.

OK, so I deleted that door, and now the file contains ONLY the doors that are in the drawing. I deleted the Door Schedule to start fresh. Pulling out a new Door Schedule...

I get the same Schedule as before, and the doors listed are now the only ones in the drawing, but the schedule has listed each door twice, and again, in no order that I can understand (and no apparent way to re-arrange or sort the table).

When I choose "Select Item" for Door 1, it shows me the proper door in the drawing. When I choose "Select Item" from the duplicate listing for Door 1, it shows me the same door.

Eh?

UPDATE:

I experimented with deleting the rows in the Door Schedule that are the duplicate doors, and that action deleted ALL the doors in the schedule.

So, my questions:

1. Why would the schedule be listing each door twice?

2. How can one re-sort a database-driven worksheet?

Thanks,

Edited by mr. iagea

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Do you have any viewports created that the schedule will "see"? Maybe post up the file and let us take a look at what's up?

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By default, the door schedule lists all of the doors on all layers, both design layers and sheet layers.

The best thing to do is go in and edit the criteria for the database (Show the Data base headers [row 3 not 3.1 for example] then right click in the row header and choose edit criteria). Set it to explicitly list the design layer(s) that you want to show in the schedule.

If you want it to sort, you will need to select a row in the schedule and then drag the sort "buttons" (chiceletts? look like small bar charts) to the columns you want to sort by. Use the SUM button similarly if you wnat to summerize on the door size etc.

Pat

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Okay, I get the sorting function. That worked. That method, by the way, is the most unintuitive unclear way of sorting a database I've ever seen in a software application. Wouldn't a contextual menu item "Sort by...", when the desired column to sort by is selected, be more clear? I think so.

I finally found the "Edit Criteria" for the actual door list. I had to select "Database Headers" first before getting that option. I had to then set my criteria to show only the layers I wanted, as explained by Pat (thanks again, Pat. You've been a great help to me this week!). Okay, so that finally worked. But not until after way too much wasted time trying to get this sorted out.

This should be a default setting. And the manual should be absolutely clear about the process to get this done. And neither of those things are the case here, and in many other things I've tried to get done recently.

And this really brings me to the core of my difficulty with this software: The defaults are all wrong, as if the developers don't actually use it to make architectural drawings (or even CAD drawings, for matter, but if this is touted as an Architect solution, it should function as one). This feels like it was made by a software engineer committee that forgot to consult a UI expert.

Secondly, I find that most of the manuals are inadequate in explaining these little nuances (otherwise, why I am spending more time this week on this forum, trying to find the answers to what should be obvious solutions?). I consider myself an intelligent man, and as a university instuctor for drawing software and design for nearly 10 years now, I am confident that I know something about software, user interaction and the learning process. IMFO (F="frustrated"), this software is quite difficult to learn, because it is not explained adequately and not presented very well. Yes, it is showing itself finally to be powerful, even elegant at times, but the learning curve could be made MUCH EASIER (and the sales figures would rise as well, I expect) if NNA would take the time to present the software more clearly in the manuals. There are two volumes at nearly 1000 pages total. Cannot all those pages be used to better explain HOW to get stuff done, such as this ostensibly basic Door Schedule stuff, for example?

My 2 cents, FWIW, at the end of a frustrating and long day on deadline. Pardon my rant on UI.

Thanks for the suggestions and assistance. Much appreciated!

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Okay, I get the sorting function. That worked. That method, by the way, is the most unintuitive unclear way of sorting a database I've ever seen in a software application. Wouldn't a contextual menu item "Sort by...", when the desired column to sort by is selected, be more clear? I think so.

Except that you can have more than one database in a worksheet and each database can have it's own sort criteria. How would you handle that situation by selecting a column?

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Many pertinent points, but I beg to disagree on some. Trying to also give another angle on some others.

Okay, I get the sorting function. That worked. That method, by the way, is the most unintuitive unclear way of sorting a database I've ever seen in a software application. Wouldn't a contextual menu item "Sort by...", when the desired column to sort by is selected, be more clear? I think so.

I've trained scores of users who have never used a database program (and never will.) They find this very intuitive. It takes at max 3 tries & 15 minutes for a person to grasp the idea. After all, it is visual: I want this report sorted and summarised by this, that and that.

I finally found the "Edit Criteria" for the actual door list. I had to select "Database Headers" first before getting that option. I had to then set my criteria to show only the layers I wanted

What did you expect? For the software to read your mind? OK, the "Edit Criteria" dialog leaves much to be desired: my pet hate is that the criteria are placed in a pre-defined sequence, not left as the user wanted. With only 8 to 10 criteria, the ones you delete are not the ones you wanted to delete, but those that NNA puts at the bottom. So, if you need to get rid of Criterion #1, you have to rebuild the query. This is what "my users" cannot and will not do.

And this really brings me to the core of my difficulty with this software: The defaults are all wrong, as if the developers don't actually use it to make architectural drawings (or even CAD drawings, for matter, but if this is touted as an Architect solution, it should function as one). This feels like it was made by a software engineer committee that forgot to consult a UI expert.

VW has an emphasis on architectural work (assuming that McMansions are Architecture), but is not limited to it. Depending on what preferences you mean, it may take anything between 15 minutes and 40 hours of solid work to get them to be what you want. But I wouldn't want your defaults even if you paid for me to do so...

Secondly, I find that most of the manuals are inadequate in explaining these little nuances (otherwise, why I am spending more time this week on this forum, trying to find the answers to what should be obvious solutions?).

Obvious solutions? Well, there are obvious solutions only to obvious questions. There are 13 to a dozen with all the answers, but those who know what the question is are few and far between.

What you want to achieve may not be what others want to achieve. VW has hundreds of thousands on users in tens of countries - and you

a university instuctor

think that you are qualified to instruct them all?

[rant]Your attitude is just in line with the arrogance of NNA, where the committee knows nothing about things outside the U.S. of A - which is only one third of VW's market, as I understand.[/rant]

if NNA would take the time to present the software more clearly in the manuals. There are two volumes at nearly 1000 pages total. Cannot all those pages be used to better explain HOW to get stuff done, such as this ostensibly basic Door Schedule stuff, for example?

The sole (and only possible) purpose of a software manual is to explain the tools, commands etc etc. The "how" (Door Schedules for Dummies) is another thing. Various third parties have offered probem/solution oriented books with varying (mostly disappointing) results; there is a legion of consultants and trainers who can look at your particular problem.

[rant]The two thirds of VW users do not want to subsidise "architectural drawing" of your McMansions any more than they already do. Eg. this famous door is totally useless outside USA.[/rant]

Use that intelligence and experience of yours!

And I did say "trying", didn't I?

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In my example, a contextual menu function would be object specific, as it is in almost every other drawing software (and OS, for that matter) on the market. So, it wouldn't matter which database or worksheet item one was viewing. One would simply select with a right-click the column by which the present worksheet should be sorted. That then brings up the contextual menu with a sort function in that menu. It's basically the same thing as what's happening now with the teeny chiclet things, except that the function is moved to a contextual menu, with language prompts instead of iconic prompts. But additionally, after the sort function is performed the icon could then be placed in the column's header by the application as an indicator (as it is now, but not until the user moves it to that location).

This does several things: First, it is a known user interface method. Contextual menus are de riguer now, so it is a very intuitive action to take when a user is presented with an unknown. Second, by placing the icon of the chiclet in the column after a successful right-click sort, the software is essentially teaching the user by example what the chiclet icon is meant to do (or at least indicate). Later experimentation could result in the user learning that moving the icon ALSO sorts, but a familiar UI method should work first (and/or there is a main menu item for the function). This is essential in proper UI design. Lastly, by allowing the user to employ a known action to an unknown element, and then reinforcing that action with success, the user gains confidence both in the software and also in his/her ability to produce desired results with the software. Of course, this elegance must be prevalent elsewhere in the functionality of the software's other tools and functions, which is why it is critical that UI is considered FIRST in developing ANY software (IMHO). After all, it is the user who will drive the application down the road, not the other way around.

Going back to the chiclets for a moment: at first glance, it's very difficult to tell that the chiclet is representing a bar chart. And then, assuming that one can tell that it's a bar chart, how does a bar chart relate to sorting? Maybe to one group of the user base it does. But to the remaining group it might not, and so those people's brains may subconsciously dismiss the object. So, our sorting chiclet is greyed out until one clicks on a ROW (which is not usually how one wishes to sort). Then the chiclet becomes dark, which suggests to a first time user that the chiclet is a BUTTON that should be clicked to employ an underlying function. That is exactly what I did the first time I came across this. But, clicking on it does nothing, so again it is dismissed as a functional object and from then on thought to be an indicator (of what is not initially obvious). It is unintuitive to expect the initial use of the chiclet icon as not a button, but rather a movable object that should now be placed in a column header to sort by that column. Especially when the process suggests that it IS a button (select row, icon becomes "available" by indication of it becoming dark).

The trouble with iconic function prompts in software is that it is implicit that the user understands the icon prior to its first use. This is very difficult to convey with icons that are intended to express some kind of known object, like a bar chart, as in the case of this chiclet in the worksheet. The design of the icon is a completely subjective process, left to the skill of whomever the developer chooses to design the UI. A bad choice there can cripple the efficacy of a function or the entire application.

Unintuitive UI is damaging to software more than that the functions aren't easily learned and employed. It also leaves users with an uneasy subconscious feeling about the software?that perhaps the software is not able to do what the users needs. Or, for others with lower self-confidence levels or unique learning styles (there are seven documented learning styles, all equally valid), they feel that THEY are the problem, that there is something wrong with their abilities, or that they are daft. Regardless of the state of mind of a user, an application should always serve to assist a user in achieving the desired work, and it should do it in as invisible a manner as possible. One need only look at the UI of the Mac OS, for example. Sorting items in a window is done with a very intuitive triangle in the bar of column headers. Clicking the triangle sorts by that column. Up or down triangle indicates the current sort presentation. This is elegance at its best. The icon is both indicator and button, and a symbol that is universally understood.

I get that the Worksheets in VW may be "more complex", with several databases, but I ask: should they be? Simple database management is computing at its most basic, and yes, these databases are simple by comparison. Should a simple sorting function be made more complicated than what already exists in software and OS's already in existence?

I think not. If the developer wishes to sell more units, make the software easy to use for more people. Simple metrics, in my book.

'Nuff said from me on the topic.

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Well, I'm notorious for being one of the most frustated and critical VW users, so I can relate to how you feel.

In my example, a contextual menu function would be object specific, as it is in almost every other drawing software

So?

(and OS, for that matter) on the market.

Not so. At least in the Mac OS, you click the column heading and, lo and behold, the list is sorted. In a CAD-program or a database, one sorting order seldom is enough. So, in VW we "click" as many times as we want.

So, it wouldn't matter which database or worksheet item one was viewing. One would simply select with a right-click the column by which the present worksheet should be sorted. That then brings up the contextual menu with a sort function in that menu.

And that would be easier than dragging an icon? Includin dragging it from one column to another?

I get that the Worksheets in VW may be "more complex", with several databases, but I ask: should they be? Simple database management is computing at its most basic, and yes, these databases are simple by comparison. Should a simple sorting function be made more complicated than what already exists in software and OS's already in existence?

I happen to know that VW users aren't even remotely interested in database management. Coincidentally, just this morning I combined three database reports into one workhseet, on request by a major Government sectori client.

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Fair enough, Petri. I'm not suggesting that flexibility should be discarded or that a CAD database use foundation is flawed. I'm merely responding to "first-use" experience with the door schedule. I feel first use is essential to a users' overall understanding of an application. Yes, I did feel that dragging the icon to sort was an unintuitive first-use experience, as I clearly pointed out in my previous post. Now that I understand that that is how it works, I can use that info later.

My troubles to date are because these important pieces of info don't seem to be presented in relevant locations in the manuals or help system (or at all). So, here we are. One must ask other users. Granted, I am pretty frustrated by the time I post for help, as I do employ my intelligence and experience in ferreting out solutions prior to posting. In those cases on my own, to no avail. Perhaps it would serve me well to calm down a bit before composing?I readily admit that my tone could be perceived as angry, which I am not. I'm simply trying to get my work done and learn his application, which I'm fairly new to, if you haven't already picked that up ;) . I find the learning curve...an experience, shall we say?

Problem solved. Back to work with me now?I've spent enough time on this matter. Thanks all for the help. It's greatly appreciated.

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Charlie,

You need to search the Forums for answers sometimes. Please refer to the following post to help you with how the database worksheets work and can be manipulated:

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=114147&fpart=1

There are many things in the functionality and UI that can be improved, I'll give you that. But there is a lot of power in there when you learn how to use it.

When you dive in past merely drafting, VW, or any other BIM application, requires some intensive learning to get useful results. While we do offer some online learning resources, there are people in Cali who can help you face-to-face. I suggest contacting Pat Stanford and seeing if you can get some tutoring or attend a class to help you move in the right direction.

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Thanks, Jeffrey. I agree that tutoring would be helpful. Pat's comments here on the boards have helped me a lot already.

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The database can't list what doesn't exist. If they have truly been deleted, then they won't be in the internal file database and can't be reported.

By default, the database criteria look in ALL layers. It may be looking in layers and classes that are OFF, but doors are still in the model.

Hopefully I'm not repeating what has already been said.

In many (most?) of my reports I have a column for the layer (formula =L), often one for class (=C) and sometimes columns for x & y location (=XCENTER, =YCENTER). These help in auditing both data and the query.

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aah,

only a month ago i was beginning

to miss petri, was the absence a fit of pique?

an NNA banning? incarceration? a hectic project?

whatever...

but now, what, only a few weeks back and

he's back to venting + stirring

wherever he can find it..

i still think we need to get the medication

better balanced, amongst all the self-righteous

vitriol there are real gems to be had, there's

just so much to wade through...

petri, please put me back on your ignore list

kisses kisses

Edited by gideon scott

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Your wish shall be granted. But I'd have ignored you anyway, so why worry? I expect my correspondents to have an IQ larger than their shoe size so you don't qualify.

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Gideon,

Don't go there.

I appreciate Petri's knowledge and expertise and his willingness to participate.

But, I ask, no I EXPECT, that everyone be patient and respectful. A little humor (even a little cheeky humor) is OK. However, some of the shenanigans of the past, from or directed at ANY party, will not be tolerated.

This Board is a community, peer-based support system. Users all around the world of different backgrounds, realms of knowledge, and levels of expertise offer to help those in need and even learn something themselves in the process.

With each new version, VW moves forward more users are joining each day. Everyone at NNA hopes that their experiences are positive and lead to them becoming successful and contributors in the future. The bigger this pool of participants becomes, the more successful the product and all of its user become.

So, please give the best of yourself and be patient with those who may slip out such a spirit. Once in a while, a KINDLY reminder or gesture may help rectify a thread gone askew and re-establish an atmosphere of cooperation, collegiality, and learning.

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