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How do I select multiple objects that exist in different design layers?

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Forgive my newness. Having to un-learn 10 years of WYSIWYG thinking.


I've got all of my truss on a "truss" layer, and all of my fixtures on a "lights" layer. My 2D plot is looking fine. I'm needing to reposition things that went in with improper X coordinates for a 3D rendering.

I want to select truss and lights together and move them to proper trim heights. I don't want to see all of my 2D layers (venue, rigging, etc.) while doing this. I can't seem to figure that out. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.


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Thanks. That was working well for me in plan view. Still a bit stuck (but not quite as stuck as earlier). Here's a different view on what I'm trying to do:

Three layers. Lights, truss, and venue.

Everything was drawn with a z coord. of 0. I want to move the lights and truss to a trim (z coord) of 30'.

Using plan view, i select specific lights, and the truss they are hanging on. How do I then specify the trim and have them move there together?

Once they are at trim, how do i use isometric views to check on their placement. It seems like i have to have one design layer selected, rotate the view, and then use "align layer views". Is there a way to spin around the rig with all layers moving in tandem? I've found that this can be done in a viewport, but then i can't directly edit without going back to plan view.

Can i have a second viewport window open on a different monitor while working with the plan view in another window?

I really appreciate any help. I feel like i'm pretty savvy with this kind of stuff, and i'm feeling bewildered by the power (and difficulty) of VW.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


If you created lighting positions and place the lights on the positions, when you change the height of the lighting position all the lights on the position will move.

If you did not create lighting positions or did not place the lights on the lighting position you will have to select the lights and set the Z height by using the OIP (Object Info Palette) using the Move 3D command or dragging them in a 3D view.

(Note: if your objects are 2D only then you will not be able to give them a Z value.)

Depending on the version you are using you may have to continually select align layer views. If you are using a more recent version you should be able to enable "Stacked Layers" or turn on "Unified View" which will automatically align all the layers with each view change. (You can use the Flyover tool to move around the view.)

There is only one drawing window available in VW.

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  • 7 months later...


You can not select objects on layers with different scales, even with layer options set to Show/Select/Modify. If yo think about it, it's probably a bad idea to move something 10' on one layer with a drag that moves it 20' on another.

VW has two solutions to your problem. The simplest is to use the move page tool (usually in a flyout behind the pan tool) to move the page border to your objects (instead of the other way around).

Ultimately, you should look at using sheet layers and viewports to set up your drawing for printing. Sheet layers are always 1:1 scale, and viewports are objects which contain a sort of snapshot of your design layers. Do some investigating and return to these bords with questions. Learning to use viewports will be well woth your time.

Hope I haven't totally misunderstood your question.


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  • 2 months later...

I haven't heard of this one. Make sure there's nothing physically pressing your option key or the key on a multi-button mouse. I've had a similar issue with a bluetooth keyboard that I forgot was connected.

Also see if other applications behave the same way. Finder, text editing, etc. all respond to option-drag copying.


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I have a similar problem that pops up occasionally. Something on my system is interacting and seemingly locking the Option key on. The only remedy I have found is to Restart the system.

The two places this shows up the most for me are Vectorworks and Quicken, but I don't think it is caused by either of them, but rather by something else and they are just effected

This is on a MacBook Pro 15" running OSX 10.6.6

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It likely IS related to Quicken, particularly the background app Quicken Scheduler (which conflicts with a bunch of other apps as well). Try quitting Quicken Scheduler via Activity Monitor when you have issues. My experience was it would prevent the option key from working, rather than locking it on, however.



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Not in this case. I am not running Quicken Scheduler. Just looked for it in Activity Monitor. It is not there even when Quicken 2007 (version I am still using) is running.

The other app it seems to impact is Super Duper which can't run a scheduled copy when the system is FUBAR.

One of these days I will make the time to sort it out. Only seems to happen when I am busiest and don't have time to research.

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