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Workspace Setups


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  • 10 years later...
On 5/20/2011 at 9:22 AM, Pat Stanford said:

As far as I know there are no VS calls to change palette positions. This has been requested on the wish list.

 

Hi Pat! Is the above still true; There are no calls to change palette positions? (I've used the 'Find text' function on the Function Reference page of the development wiki but I don't know if this is where I should be looking or if it is described using other terms. I tried, 'workspace' and 'palette' with nothing promising turning up. 

 

I'd like to create a script that automates the re-positioning of all palettes after a fresh installation [without using saved workspace or settings files]. 

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No way that I know of in Vectorscript/Python/Marionette.  I don't know about the SDK.

 

It looks like you MIGHT be able to accomplish this using AppleScript, but with all the possible configurations, I don't know is there is a good way to identify which window you need to move. It would have to be done through the AppleScript UI extensions.

 

If AppleScript is of interest, let me know more about what you are trying to do and I will see if I can hack a sample together.

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On 1/26/2022 at 7:47 AM, Pat Stanford said:

If AppleScript is of interest, let me know more about what you are trying to do and I will see if I can hack a sample together.

 

In my support role, I reinstall Vectorworks on my machines many, many times a year. And testing certain problems requires a new User Folder every test. My wrists are failing and I love the efficiency of keyboard navigation and automations; so I'd like to reduce the mouse work needed to drag palettes to docked positions, but mostly the docking and resizing of palettes. See attached annotated screenshots. 

 

Thank you Pat! 

 

263816765_2.After(RMblindopen).thumb.png.2aa8ea3169a890e307b83c679f516873.png20000357_1.Before.thumb.png.515609ca6f983a430a8f30c9a67a826e.png

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After a quick look, I am going to have to agree with @maarten. that this can not be done in AppleScript.

 

I can't find any way to do anything in AppleScript with docked palettes and even undocked are going to be problematic as they disappear every time you click out of VW to be able to find the handles to them.

 

Sorry,

Pat

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Vectorworks palette control is quite frankly terrible, and remains a constant frustration to us. We each work on laptops with high-end docks and two external monitors. Disconnecting and then plugging back in causes a complete rearrangement of palettes, and a need to move them all each time. Also, the docking of palettes is dysfunctional. I wish VW would spend more resources on this and stop adding useless 3D functionality.

 

VG.

Former Olympic Biathlete.

Edited by VectorGeek
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When reading this, I'm not sure why nobody is using two workspaces like I suggested 11 years ago. Make a copy of your workspace, use one for a one monitor workspace, the other for working with a beamer (or multiple monitors). For each workspace, you can save the possition of the palettes (right-click in drawing area -> Palettes -> Save Palette positions).

 

Or doesn't this work on mac?

 

I'm aware this will not fix Jeremy's fresh install issue, but can't you re-use your workspaces? Or like Peter suggested place them in a Workgroup folder?

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I believe keeping Workspace files for future use is not suitable in my case, because: 

  1. At least two settings files within the Vectorworks Settings folder contain values that appear to determine the location and proportion of various palettes and/or windows. Repositioning and resizing palettes and the Resource Manager window are what take up most of my time, so it would appear I'd have to keep a copy of the pertinent Settings files too. Also, I am aware Vectorworks Settings files may be inter-reliant, so I'd need to keep/handle/use the Settings folder whole and I'm suspicious about unforeseeable implications. 
  2. I need to rule out possible file/data corruptions when verifying issues submitted to us. Using files - or copies of them - that have been around for a while reduces the soundness and reliability of the results I get when verifying issues and testing solutions, especially given that Workspace files and Settings files are the most-often corrupted files I encounter. 

 

Aside from my above point, @Pat Stanford, can this process be scripted on Windows? I guess not because VectorScript has the same capabilities on Mac and Windows and software written for Windows is even less likely to be made compatible with any scripting capabilities available on Windows. Is that right? 

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1 hour ago, Jeremy Best said:

At least two settings files within the Vectorworks Settings folder contain values that appear to determine the location and proportion of various palettes and/or windows.

 

Within the last year, just briefly I looked into writing (or having developed) a text-manipulating-script/tool that would find and replace certain values in the pertinent Vectorworks settings file to set the position and proportion of all these palettes, but my initial observation was that the content of these .xml files are not in a set order meaning this was outside my abilities. The order of the values within these files seem to change, maybe according to what data was last updated. If I were capable of using Regex or other modes of programming (and if I'm right about the palette data in these files) maybe this is the better route because it would be cross-platform, especially when used through TeamViewer: 

  1. Copy content of Settings file. 
  2. Paste into BBEdit or Notepad++ or whatever suits. 
  3. Run script that replaces various values. 
  4. Copy content and paste it back into source Settings file. 

Can I have some comments/input on this please? 

 

EDIT: After further inspection, it looks like the Workspace values in the Settings file, 'SavedSettings.xml' are copies of values found in the active Workspace file. I suspect Vectorworks saves them back to the Workspace file when quit - if it is a customised one. I'm sure it's not a good idea to modify any of the Settings files while Vectorworks is open, and would be wary of interfering with the way Vectorworks was written to use this data. I'm going to trial maintaining customised workspace files and just insert them as-required. 

 

Thanks for your contributions folks! 

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6 hours ago, Jeremy Best said:

Aside from my above point, @Pat Stanford, can this process be scripted on Windows? I guess not because VectorScript has the same capabilities on Mac and Windows and software written for Windows is even less likely to be made compatible with any scripting capabilities available on Windows. Is that right? 

Have a look at AutoIt (https://www.autoitscript.com/site/), we used to use it a lot to automate VW, all the things we couldn't do via VS or the SDK, we did with AutoIt (opening dialogs, filling in dialogs, clicking buttons, moving dialogs and palettes around, taking screenshots, importing and exporting etc). It's a very powerfull thing. However, I haven't used it in almost 10 years, mainly because we don't need it anymore, with the recent versions of VW we could do the things we needed to do via the SDK. So I'm not sure how well this program aged, the last version is from 2018...

 

Anyway, with the "AutoIt Window Information Tool" you can get the name/ID of the dialogs/palettes. That ID can then be used to resize and reposition those dialogs/palettes.

 

I did a quick test and this is how you can move and resize the Resource Browser:

WinMove("Resource Manager", "", 100, 100, 800, 600)

 

However, I couldn't find how to move the palettes around, so I think you need to do this with actual MouseClickDrag operations. And perhaps you can use the "recorder" for that. Just record the things you normally do and let AutoIt generate the code. Adjust it here and there and you should be good to go. However, I just checked and the recorder is not part of the installation anymore, but you can still find it here: https://www.autoitscript.com/forum/topic/176009-where-is-au3recordexe/


 

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13 hours ago, Jeremy Best said:

 

Within the last year, just briefly I looked into writing (or having developed) a text-manipulating-script/tool that would find and replace certain values in the pertinent Vectorworks settings file to set the position and proportion of all these palettes, but my initial observation was that the content of these .xml files are not in a set order meaning this was outside my abilities. The order of the values within these files seem to change, maybe according to what data was last updated. If I were capable of using Regex or other modes of programming (and if I'm right about the palette data in these files) maybe this is the better route because it would be cross-platform, especially when used through TeamViewer: 

  1. Copy content of Settings file. 
  2. Paste into BBEdit or Notepad++ or whatever suits. 
  3. Run script that replaces various values. 
  4. Copy content and paste it back into source Settings file. 

Can I have some comments/input on this please? 

 

EDIT: After further inspection, it looks like the Workspace values in the Settings file, 'SavedSettings.xml' are copies of values found in the active Workspace file. I suspect Vectorworks saves them back to the Workspace file when quit - if it is a customised one. I'm sure it's not a good idea to modify any of the Settings files while Vectorworks is open, and would be wary of interfering with the way Vectorworks was written to use this data. I'm going to trial maintaining customised workspace files and just insert them as-required. 

 

Thanks for your contributions folks! 

 

I would do that text editing in Python. That way you could keep it all in one Vectorworks command...

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11 hours ago, Peter Vandewalle said:

I would do that text editing in Python.

Thank you Peter, however; Although I've given two seperate bouts to learning programming in Python (and AppleScript) my attention is too often elsewhere for it to stick. It's become apparent that I frequently experience information overload, so I've decided to focus on my area of expertise and just trade my value with others. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It has been many years (20 plus) since I used a utility called Quickeys and I have read that it has been floundering with the new Apple OS. An Alternative might be Keyboard Maestro.

But we used to utilize Quickeys for the creation of macros that would send "do script" events to VW of which some were combined with repetitive mouse movements that operated at the OS level. Whether this could be useful to move palettes from a predetermined location to a new one I don't recall. But it added a level of functionality that was simply not possible within the VWs/MiniCad environment.

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