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Keynotes & General Notes: Pro's and Con's

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In the next couple months, or firm will upgrade to 2013. We have about 15-20 licenses and have thought about finally using keynotes. I have messed around with them several VW versions ago, and concluded at the time they were too finicky and unpredictable to use them consistently.

I now see many new features which didn't exist in the past, and am thinking about using them again, but I also see that people have had recent issues with them as well.

Does anyone have strong opinions out there about their use - both for and against? Could you never live without them? Or do you swear at them?

I guess the same might go with the general notes tool, although we currently reference pdf/word docs, which seems to be pretty idiot proof. It would be nice to have that data consolidated as well, however.

thanks much,


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Does anyone use these things? I was "hopeful" to have gotten someone's opinion by now....


(I am just wondering when/if I should interpret the "non response")

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Use them for Elevations and Material designations all the time. They work but with a complete understanding and logical placement of the notes and legends. If you want certain keynotes to be the same spanning pages you will have to use some work arounds.

General Notes work well enough.

If you tie all these to the note database updates across drawings can be a snap.

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Thanks Stan,

We actually set up multiple drawing sheets on a single sheet layer, so I suspect that if I want the same keyed note legend for all sheets, I'd likely viewport it from a particular design layer. (We already do that with title blocks.) I guess I have to see the notes database in action to better understand it's ultimate usefulness.

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Just curious: Why do you set up multiple drawing sheets on a single sheet layer?

I have used the keynotes feature for years. It is a real time saver. When you create the first keynote on a sheet layer VW automatically creates a keynote legend on that layer. This is then the default legend for that sheet. You can, however, assign any given keynote to any existing keynote legend. But, I do not think that you can have all notes assigned to one legend that is placed on multiple layers (like a worksheet or symbol).

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I think we are going to adopt keynotes. I especially like the fact that key notes can now be "assigned" to a particular legend. That seems to make it much simpler now.

We set up multiple drawing sheets on a single sheet layer for a several reasons:

1) Our projects typically fit on one to twenty sheets, and it is much easier and simpler to work on all the drawings and viewports on a single sheet layer, all at once.

2) Less layers = less clutter. Our Sheet layers are then organized by job status (1 sheet layer is schematic design, another is CD development, etc...)

3) We can better align viewports and labels between different sheets.

4) For printing and pdf'ing, we simply have to hit the print button once and specify which sheets are to be printed in the dialog box.

I am sure there are more reasons than that, but those are the first ones I can think of.

I highly recommend setting up sheet layers this way, especially for small stuff. Just because VW creates tools to be used in a certain way does not mean that their "intended use" is always the best way for a project workflow. I still believe the biggest room for improvement in cad software is in creating tools to better integrate the entire design process. Drafting and modeling are just a part of what we do. The entire design/production process is so much more than those two things.

hope this helps....


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