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Easter Egg: 2013 Interface???

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Is this the new interface for Vectorworks 2013?


I sure hope so...the old interface is a mess, with tool options separated from toolbars, view/navigation settings all over the place...and that stupid little Attributes Palette..

The new one seems to be really tidy:

- Tools at the top, along with tool options

- View/Navigation on the left

- Object Attributes and Info on the right

- Toggles at the bottom

Let's hope we see this arrive in September!

...of course this is a mockup...feel free to comment on it

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Don't get us started on this.

Oh, no! Too late!!

I just want flexibility. My (or your) favored UI arrangement may not be so great for everyone or even anyone else. Laptop, dual or triple screen work station, physical disabilities, etc may all effect best UI arrangement.

I am not especially in favor of permanent reductions to workspace at top and bottom of screen. What I personally want is a way to globally call and dismiss ALL the palettes, icons etc with a keystroke or oral command. I don't mean collapse them to the palette title bars, I mean totally show/hide all of them all at once. I can put things where I want them and toggle on/off. I get my entire screen for work. I can memorize oft used key commands to invoke/dismiss tools, commands, pallets, etc without calling up the whole set. A lot of gaming UI does this effectively, usually it's kind of transparent so screen action is still visible, but you get access to all your needs in one go, then dismiss to return to game.

Refine with smart "folders" or UI groups. User to create and load a folder as desired - say OIP, RB, and Nav Palette in Folder 1. Others in #2. Folder contents appear when called, screen location same as when added to Folder. Swap out items among the folders as desired. Always want the OIP visible? Don't put it in a folder. Etc, Etc

And, I can hardly read some of the little items and text - Class lists? Similar textures in the RB? etc, etc. Let me scale/zoom the palette contents as desired.

And how 'bout that little bitty triangle button which controls access to almost everything on a worksheet? Could that at least be red or green or target graphic, OR BIGGER?

Now others are invited to rant and rave . . .


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I still think that one of the greatest time saving features of Cinema 4d is their Heads Up Display, whereby pressing a key will bring up menus in a circle around your mouse arrow. The time saved by not having to move your eyes and your mouse up to the top of the screen to move through menus is great.

I wish Vectorworks had that. I wish it had full screen mode like photoshop too.

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I too feel, that all is completely right,

like the Subject line of Chris D's recent Post. (#168746 )

The Problems is that we would not think so much how things could be done better, if not every PIO would look different from the other.

My biggest Problem with VW is, that I can't get used to it, because once I think I've understood a Concept or a PIO, I stumble across inconsistencies, bugs, half ways implemented Solutions, and loose days of work time thinking about workarounds.

Due to this I never feel save with VW.

Today something works, tomorrow I can run into some puzzling behavior trying the same things.

But, on the other hand, even with all these frightening ingredients and behavior,

I get Stuff done, specially with 3D Modeling and rendering, that would just take more Engineering and people to be realized, than just me, and that I couldn't do without VW.

Most of my Colleagues are on AutoCad, but they are not happier, and not half as far with 3D modeling than I'm with VW.

Horst M.

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Palettes where you can place every tab in would be nice. That way you can for example have the Object info in one palette and Object Data in the other and even the Object Render in yet another one. So, without having to switch tabs, you can change the geometry, data and texture of an object. Plus, you can view all this information in on time.

Same with the tools, when i need for example use the Dims/Notes tools and Building Shell alot in the next hour, i should be able to place both of those in separate palettes so i don't have to switch tabs all the time.

And you can place the Classes and Layers navigation next to each other.

And why can't i put the restriction palette into the same palatte as my tools?

And each palette should be dockable everywhere!

(we can always dream :) )

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Couple of comments

Seems to take up a lot of screen real estate. Maybe that's just the navigation palette that I don't use but possibly also top/bottom of drawing screen being filled with what are currently floating palettes.

Current attributes palette also set drawing options as well as object properties so do not fit entirely in OIP.

NB. Attributes palette much bolder on Windows version.

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I'll give it a try...

First I work on two screens, so the palletes should be placable where you want them. So the positions doesn't really matter. I'll give the positions I like.

- Resource browser:

I don't see one on your mock-up, but I always put this on my second (left) screen so that it spans most of the screen. It shows now 6 rows and 10 columns of preview images.

* It should have folders, where we can place every type of resource we want.

* We should be able to set the order of the type of resources.

* We should be able to sort/filter the list.

- Restriction palette:

I put this on my second screen to the right top of the resource browser, but I like it at the bottom of the screen. This shouldn't change. I think it's fine as it is. Maybe some more restrictions possible?

- Attributes palette:

I put this next to my restriction palette now.

* Be gone with it! Attributes should be set by class or material, not by object!

- Object info palette:

This is under my restriction and attributes palette, so that it can be very long.

* Show the attributes here, but just for seeing them, not modifying them.

* The controls should be changed so that it looks better and that more type of controls can be possible. (This is for the programmers of plug-ins)

* XYZ should always shown for every object, even in 2D/Plan view.

* Be?ng able to set the order of some components like the location, properties, ...

* Being able to show the tabs or show them in one palette or different palettes.

- Tool palettes.

This is to the left of my main screen (wide screen on the right)

* I like the tabs you have done, but I would rather see a ribbon like interface that we can place on the left of the screen. This gets a better size of actual drawing area. I don't like to draw on a widescreen drawing area.

* Let this tool ribbon be contextual.

- Mode bar:

This is good. But I would like all options for all tools to be there.

- Navigation bar.

* I like your navigation/view palette. With more options so as zoom objects/page and the scale of the layer it should be wonderfull.

* I would like to get rid of the screen plane. Let's go to a more 3D/BIM workflow.

- Navigation palette:

To the right of the main sreen.

* Give us folders/groupings instead of tabs.

* Put in the stories in there.

* Give us any length of class names.

* Ability to filter/order things in this.

- Visualisation palette:

* Same as navigation palette.

- Script palette:

* Should be dockable.

* Be?ng able to set scripts for all documents, not as a resource of a document, but a resource of VW. (I know I can make commands or tools instead, but that isn't always needed).

- Working plane palette:

* Put this in the view/navigation palette.

I must say that I really like the ui of VW as it is now, but it can always be better. The big thing is that it must look nice like it is now. I mean really nice icons etc... The eye want something too you know. Not like archicad or other cad software.

Edited by DWorks
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DWorks, I admire your attention to classing. I apply those advantages when possible and convenient. But I will keep my Attributes Palette linked to objects, thank you. We already have control both through classes and attributes palette. Why restrict it to only one way?

Sometimes I just want to look at a color chart and pick a new color for an object. Picking attributes for individual objects from some long list of classes is too cumbersome. My projects do not have consistent types of objects which would fit easily into a class list template.


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This is just my opinion, but any toolbar that follows the model of MS Word's ribbon toolbar is a bloated screen hog waiting to happen. When Autodesk did this to Revit 2010, its users revolted, and even used a programming hack to get the old vertical tool palette back.

Vertical orientation is the key. Like the commands in the menu, a vertical column of tool buttons is more compact, and it's easier to navigate with the pointer in an up and down movement - whereas side to side pointer movement is more complicated. The ribbon can be a gawkish and clumsy thing, if the submenu pulldown for one of the buttons is blocking the buttons to the right of it.

I'm glad Chris' example did not eliminate the menubar, and put the file menu in a big round button (another ribbon peev of mine). But to end on a positive note, I really like the linked tool palettes.

Edited by Bob-H
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This is just my opinion, but any toolbar that follows the model of MS Word's ribbon toolbar is a bloated screen hog waiting to happen. When Autodesk did this to Revit 2010, its users revolted, and even used a programming hack to get the old vertical tool palette back.

A vertical ribbon is what I want. I believe a ribbon should be moveable so that the user can choose.

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The ribbon concept I think is good, i.e.. When you choose a tool or object what you want is for all related info, settings, modes, edits etc. to be directly available somewhere on-screen. If developed with the same look as the VWs UI at present that would be good.

-Choose an object and the attributes settings should logically appear in the OIP not in a separate palette, along with settings, edit options etc.

-Choose a tool and the attributes settings should logically appear in the tool options palette, along with mode options, settings etc.

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What's interesting about the responses in this thread are that there are as many opinions on the perfect workspace as there are users...so I guess that means the best UI is a highly customisable one...

There are a number of things that AREN'T customisable in the VW interface at the moment, that prevent me from setting up my workspace how I'd like.

1. Tools can't be associated with tool preferences. Indeed the toolsets toolbar can't even be placed at the top, at least on a Mac, as file windows open behind the toolbar. A fully docking workspace that respects toolbar positions for file windows is required.

2. View options can't be grouped with Navigation. The Working Plane / Current View / Render Mode settings are all only available on the top toolbar. If View Options were available on a palette they could at least be placed with the Nav palette.

3. There is no practical way to avoid the duplication of having Classes/Layers listed in two places on screen which is wasteful. The current drop downs on the top toolbar indicate the current class/layer but are not fully interactive so the Nav palette is required too. I'd like feedback on the current class/layer at the top of the Nav palette (like in the mock up).

4. Attributes can't be associated with the Object Info Palette. Even the ability to amend the shape of the stupid little Attributes palette (landscape instead of portrait) would help so at least I could dock it sensibly at the top of the OIP.

5. The 'chrome' on the Snapping palette stays stubbornly at the top, even when stretched out to 1x8 wide. If the chrome would jump to the left side only when stretched out, I could place this palette at the bottom of my screen where I'd prefer it, without wasting space.

These 5 wishes would be relatively simple to implement and would allow me to set up a much more productive workspace...without upsetting everybody else in the process...

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  • 3 months later...

I just want dockable pallets. I came from VW on a PC where everything had its place. Now that I am on a Mac I am constantly frustrated by my pallets ability to block important information. As hard as I try to keep everything in its place, things inevitably get dragged around, and I spend stupid time searching for buttons and commands because they are not in the same place overtime. JUST LET ME DOCK THE DARN THING.

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Do you know, what little I've learned about Revit so far, the thing I like about it is how fixed the interface is...despite my post above. You can't change the shortcuts, you can't change the toolbar positions, the palettes just dock or undock, and you have just one customisable "quick access" toolbar which you customise to suit how you work.

BUT, this is acceptable because it's a good interface to begin with, not the horrible mess that is VW's UI.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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