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I need help understanding the page outline in the design space

Mark Taylor

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I don't see the point of having this page outline in design space. It would seem that sheet spaces are for scaling the drawing and adding views for print. Also, it seems that dashed lines are based on this page in the design space and so all of my dashed lines look like lines.

Is there a useful function for this page?

Is there a way to eliminate this page or turn it off?



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You can turn it off in Page Setup. There are separate settings for the page breaks and the page border.

The idea is that if you draw at (or close to) the scale you will be outputting, then you can get a better feel for what line weights you need to make your output look good.

You should probably also add a signature to your posts to let us know what version of VW and your operating system. This will make it easier for people to give you the proper solutions. Got to My Stuff at the top of the page and edit your profile.


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Hi Ray,

Thanks for your reply.

I'm used to TurboCAD for Windows and I used a lot of "paper space" for print layout setup.

I'm sorry if I seem a little dense, but how do you get the print borders and sheet text that you want, and work with multiple paper sizes and orientations without using a lot of sheet layers?


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If you want different paper sizes, then Sheet Layers and viewports are the easiest way to go. Especially if you want the same information at different scales.

I think Ray uses mostly a single paper size. If that is the case, then it is perfectly legal (and until VW11 the only way) to print from Design Layers.

An example would be to draw each Floors Planon a separate Design Layer. You could then print the Plans directly from the Design Layers. You could use one Sheet layer to assemble a "Model" view and another to hold larger scale details taken directly from the Design layers. The overall drawing set would then be partly printed from the Design Layers and partly from the Sheet Layers.

VW if very flexible.


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I do see some wisdom in the line weight issue. Do I make my drawing fit the page area by changing the scale?

Yes. The Layer Scale is kind of like a fixed zoom. You can still zoom in and out, but it sets your starting point. Since all of the data bars show the real world dimensions (not scaled dimensions), It really doesn't matter what scale you need to make it fit the paper.


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Most of my work is 2D and my method is probably unorthodox compared to the average user. My print size is typically always the same. I use layers for scale only and classes for visibility to define my different pages so I can have one file contain all the pages for a room, typically 1-14 pages total. I only use viewports on sheet layers if the room is to big to fit on my page size, 24"x36" 1-1/2" Scale. VW is very flexible.

I agree with Pat, draw on the design layer the same scale as your viewport will be.

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All my design layers for road design projects are either 1:500 or 1:1000 depending on the length &/or complexity of the road network, then sheet layers with viewports at different scales are set up to print to different paper sizes. Roads are long narrow entities, therefore, difficult to fit all information required by various users on a single size sheet. For example a site plan my be required on 11"x17" paper, construction drawing on 24"x36" & a intersection detail on 18"x24".

Vectorworks sheet layers, viewports & layer/class visibility have completely enhanced the ability to prepare road design drawings that are functional for a variety of users.

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I have not printed any design layers since I learned how to use sheet layers / viewports & they are used exclusively for public & client presentations. The design layers are used for sharing files with other Vw users or exporting to DWG for other consultants, I do not share/export sheet layers.

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Before VW11, the only way to print was from Design Layers as there were no sheet layers. Nothing has decreased the ability to print from Design Layers since then.

Whether you print from Design Layers or Sheet layers should depend solely on which is easier.

If you have a Design Layer that looks just like you want it printed, then go ahead and print from there. If you need to combine information from multiple layers, or crop, or annotate the information, they use Sheet layers and Viewports.

As I have said previously, there are seven ways to do (almost) anything in Vectorworks. Anyone who tells you that you have to do something in any one fashion is lying and probably doesn't really know what they are talking about.


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Hi Bruce,

Yes, thank you for this concise explanation. I think that this will be what I adopt as my way of doing things also. It makes sense to me to separate creation work from the presentation work.

Based on an earlier response, I will experiment with fitting the drawing into the "page" space via scaling in order to learn about how it affects line weights.

I consider my original question thoroughly answered.

Thanks to all who replied for your input.

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