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Tim Schultz

Managing plugins from older versions of Vectorworks.

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I am working with a Vectorworks 2011 evaluation copy.

I am trying to decide whether or not to upgrade from a very old license (Version 9.5.21).

The thing that has kept me in the old platform so long is some custom plugins I had written for me many years ago. These impart functionality that I do not think is native within Vectorworks. I use these tools to layout kitchen cabinets and cannot imagine doing without them.

In the old software there is folder within the Vectorworks master folder that is called PLUGINS. All you had to do to make a custom plugin available was drop it into this folder. To them accessible you merely added them to a tool palette within the workspace editor.

How are custom plugins managed under this new paradigm?

What do I have to do to make them accessible to me on a worksheet?

One plugin, for example, allows you to type a string of numeric text then sum them automatically. These are not auto-sized lines but rather just simple text like 6 & 4 &5 =15. You can additionally click on the result 15 and convert it to metric or vice versa. There are many more plug ins like this that I would hate to give up.

Any suggestions?

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Vectorscript evolves and responds to both program and OS changes. To do this some functions have changed and others have been replaced. Therefore you may have success and you may not have. Success is more likely if they are simple plug-ins.

Put copies of your plug-ins into the Plug-ins folder inside your User folder and then add them to your Workspace. Once you have done that trial them to make sure that they are working correctly.

If there are some that don't work then you may need to pay someone to update the plug-ins.

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Somewhat OT: I'm still on 2010 and I've encountered some older 3rd party plugins that will break other parts of Vw's standard functions unrelated to the plugins that I added (eg. being unable to place door & cabinet PIO hardware).

After uninstalling all 3rd party plugins, software preferences, etc - the door & cabinet hardware was still broken, so I had to uninstall and reinstall Vw to get it working again (which was what Vw Tech Support said I should do).

So unfortunately I've become very wary of installing any 3rd party plugins. Since I would have to reinstall Vw after each faulty plugin I find - I haven't taken the time to discover which one is the offending one. But I did burn a DVD of a clean Vw Installation because it's much quicker than reinstalling off the original DVD, go figure.

My point being that even if your custom plugins work in the new version, they may have unknowingly broken other parts of the program's functions that you won't discover until later. Quite frustrating.

Tim

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Hi Tim,

I have yet to come across a third party plug-in that breaks other parts of Vectorworks - and I've used a fair share over the years. Either you're using some really questionable plug-ins, or something else is amiss.

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Like Matt I've also never experienced a third party plug-in breaking other parts of Vw notwithstanding I've used and tried a lot of them over the years.

When you are saying older third party plug-ins what version are they originally from and what is it that they do?

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I don't want to hijack this thread any more than I already have, but since it is relatively on-topic I'll keep on...

The plugins that I wanted to use are ones that I got off Vector Depot and it's only a handful. I don't know how to tell what version they originally came from, but they can't be older than VW 8.5 (when I started using VW).

I know it sounds crazy that these 3rd party plugins are the cause of what I'm experiencing- but last week I uninstalled & reinstalled Vw two times, and the only way I could keep the door & cabinet hardware functionality was to not install any 3rd party plugins.

Here is my list of suspect plugins:

Acreage.vsm

Detail Reference Box.vso

Detail Reference Box 2.vso

Framing Indicator.vso

gazon.vso

GDP Group to None.vsm

Import DTM Data.vsm

Internal Elev mkr simple.vso

Internal elev mkr.vso

Railing.vso

Set Crop to Viewport Class.vsm

Simplify 2d Polygons.vsm

Slab.vso

I contacted Tech Support a few months ago and their only suggestion was to uninstall & reinstall Vw2010 and SP4. I haven't taken the time to figure out exactly which plugin is causing the problems because the uninstall & reinstall sequence takes at least 30 minutes each time, so it would take an entire day.

I have also not reinstalled my Key_Notes.xml back into the Common/Data folder - so that could also be the culprit.

Thanks to you both for your help.

Regards,

Tim

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Tim, the easiest way to find out where the problem would be to add the plug-ins one by one and test for where you are having problems.

The Detail Reference and Internal Elev Mkr are plug-ins I have been involved with and I have just tested those without there being any issues so leave those until towards the end.

If I had to suspect one it would be the Slab.vso because there is now a PIO with the same name provided as part of the program. Duplicate names is often a source of problems.

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Thanks Mike. When I get a break I'll add one by one until it breaks. I think the Slab.vso you mention is part of Vw2011 - I don't have another plugin with that name in Vw2010.

Regards,

Tim

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Update: I was able to confirm (with mike m oz's gracious assistance) that it was not 3rd party plug-ins that were breaking my cabinet & door hardware PIO functionality. Somehow my User folder had become corrupted, so deleting that and all preference files restored functionality.

Regards,

Tim

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