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Workflow & Drawing Organization

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Hi All,

I have a quick and probably basic question about drawing structure and organization.

Our office CAD standards were originally developed on VW12 by an employee who had come from a larger office that used AutoCAD.

In the standards we have Design Files with all the line work and Sheet Files which have all the layouts for a particular set of drawings.

Is this the way Vectorworks is meant to work?

I have noticed in many of the tutorials that Design Layers and Sheet Layers are combined into one document.

Are there pros and cons to one way versus the other?

I should note that we are using VW2011 but currently as a 2D program only.


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Scott, I use one file for all. Design layers contain all the objects that are part of the structure (walls, floors, rafters, fixtures, etc etc) then use Sheet Layer Viewports for each plan, section, elevation or detail required for the con docs. The beauty of this (for me at least) is that I can actually "build" (or perhaps more accurately "model") the entire thing in the computer, including site placement and grading.

That said, I'm sure others have their opinions. One of the greatest things about VW's is that you can pretty much choose your desired workflow.

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I'm no expert, but...

That seems like a tragic waste of the abilities of Vectorworks... Even if you don't model in 3d (which someone at your office should perhaps develop skills in, just to determine how useful it would be in your context), there's simpler integration when everything is in one file, I think. I don't know if you're using referenced viewports or what, now, but I don't really see the value of the separate documents. Design & Sheet layer viewports are simpler to use in a single document, it seems to me. I might be missing something, though. Things have changed a lot since VW12, and it was already pretty different than AutoCad (of that generation), though I didn't use either back in those days...


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That is definitely getting to the point of my question. With the additional drawing coordination features that exist now I have been trying to figure the best way to work as we transition into the new version.

I have a few questions regarding all information being in one file though:

How do you handle multiple people working on one project?

Doesn't the file size just become enormous and sluggish?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Blind Expert,

Our office regularly has at least 2 people working on drawing set at once and our project range from high-end residential to museums, schools, and office remodels.

The set-up we have now allows people to work on various components in different files. The separate layout file allows the drawing set to be annotated even if other people are working on the line work.

These are things I like but it would appear that the drawing coordination features may not function completely in this set-up.

I have seen demos suggesting that Design Layer viewports can provide some flexibility for multiple person jobs.

Can you elaborate on how you work with multiple people drawing on one project?


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