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Dan Kessler

scale lineweights

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When scaling objects, there really should be an option to have the lineweights scale with the object(s). If that option is already there and I don't see it, please let me know.

Thanks,Dan

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A lineweight is an attribute assigned to an object. Scaling an object has no relation to it's attributes such as line weight. If you don't like the line weight used, then change the line weight to a lighter pen.

If you don't want to see the pen weight, see if Zoom Line Thickness is turned on in VW Prefs.

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Kate,

The nature of my previous post is to suggest that perhaps there should be a relationship between attributes (line weight) and an object's scale. In fact, it really goes beyond just lineweights. It would be great to also have dash styles, arrow heads, and dimension attrubutes be "scalable".

With all due respect, your response of "just change the lineweight to a lighter pen" is a naive solution.

What if I want to scale an entire drawing with several classes and layers using multiple lineweights and dash styles? Are you suggesting I pick through each object or class and change the lineweights one at a time? That could take a long time!

What about producing a drawing on a layer that's set to 1/8", then deciding later that you'd like to change that layer's scale to 1/16"? All your lineweights are now twice as thick as they should be.

Also, what about using a referenced drawing placed into another at a reduced or enlarged scale? If you're reducing it, the lineweights stay the same and the drawing looks like a big blob of super-heavy lines. If you enlarge a referenced drawing the lineweights stay the same and the referenced drawing consists of hairlines.

It seems like there could be a fairly easy solution to this problem...Add the ability to scale lineweights with an object or within a layer. VW already has the capability of doing this with font sizes...it's the same concept.

It's definitely possible. Take a look at Adobe Illustrator. Their scale tool has had a lineweight scaling option for years.

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I have to agree with Dan. Correct lineweights are simply fundamental to producing good drawings on paper, which, at the end of the day, is what we use VW Architect for.

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As a professional engineer, preparing drawings from an imported layer from another field of expertize, be it an architectural-mechanical-electrical-civil-topo type drawing, I really need to make my input prevail over all others by making my layer/class stand out by some means other than "map colors", see what I designed, without having to modify my completed work on the "output-plotted end". Hope that is pretty straightforward, not complaining, but going back to make it look good is not part of the creative process

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I, too, agree with Dan. Trying to do something simple like scaling a layer should not require a multitude of edits to preserve the finished look of a drawing. However, the problem is not easily remedied by allowing lineweights to be scaled.

One key point that has so far been omitted in this thread is the inherent technological limit of available lineweights. From the beginning of the software as MiniCad, there have only been 256 available lineweights (0-255 mils). Even the metric weights are rounded off to the nearest mil in this range. (You can see this if you dump a metric drawing to a VectorScript text file and search for the PenSize command. The units are always in mils.) It's nice from the programmer's standpoint to have such a concise data structure to manipulate, but it severely limits the software from a draftsman's point of view.

Lineweights over 127 mils cannot be doubled accurately, and forget about tripling or quadrupling the scale. The widths will clip at 255 mils. On the other end, small lineweights cannot be drawn below 1 mil. If an object is scaled multiple times, up or down, where lineweight clipping occurs, all relationships to the original lineweights are lost.

From a drafting perspective, consider having to draw circles with varying weights. Circles up to 255 mil lineweights can be drawn with one circle. But if one circle needs to be drawn with a 0.5" line thickness, two concentric circles of 0.25" need to be drawn, and their respective radii must be calculated and adjusted accordingly. Not the hardest of tasks, but it's a real time waster. I've had to do it, and it ain't fun. Don't even think about scaling this up.

As a circuit board designer, lineweights are critical to doing exacting high tech work. Unfortunately, this software does not allow me to be as picky as I'd like. To get finished trace widths precisely etched in copper, it is necessary to plot lines 0.5 - 1.5 mils over the required finished copper trace width. The smaller the finished linewidth, the more critical this oversizing becomes. I can force the finished linewidths to the values I need to control my plots, but not inside VW. It requires an edit after the file is exported.

Katie, as to your comment << A lineweight is an attribute assigned to an object. Scaling an object has no relation to it's attributes such as line weight. >>, I could not disagree more. Although this is currently true with VW, it is not the way most draftsmen think. To cite a parallel that does exist in Vectorworks, the Scale Objects... menu allows you to scale, or not scale, associated text when scaling selected objects. Text is an attribute to an object, yet you let us choose whether or not to scale it. Why not lineweights?

This "feature", like the square drawing pen*, really needs to be updated to make VW an exemplary CAD package.

Raymond Mullin

* Square drawing pen - Sorry, I couldn't resist bringing it up again. This QuickDraw hand-me-down should be abandoned. It's hard to do precise work when the screen image is not what prints, and in some cases, is what prints but shouldn't.

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Holy Cow. Okay, I work in Tech Support. I was giving a technical solution to the problem and the way the attributes work. Making some of the statements that were made doesn't change the situation yall are in. Please keep in mind I am still a person, human being, on the other end of this forum. I am here to offer assistance and to clarify or explain how things work in the program. The rules and regulations, per se. Not to mention, I answer things on the message board to help folks out. I am not required to answer anything here. I am not required to even read answers here. I like to help our user's out; out of courtesy, I am here.

I made my statement about the relationship between objects being scaled and line weights to explain how the attributes work. I did not expect to be claimed as not giving a suitable answer to your problem or being the route for you to belittle or disrespect.

If it's a wish list item you would like added, that's all that needed to be said. That is something I CAN do for you. I cannot change the way the tool works, and I cannot think of any workaround for you at the moment. If I do, I will be happy to post it here.

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Katie;I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for all of your hard work. I also would like to comment that you have shown great patience with the vast array of questions thrown at you. Some of the posts on this board are out of frustration and anger yet you always are diplomatic and responsive.

I start every day reading this board. It has improved my abilities as a user. I would not be half as satisfied with Vectorworks if it were not for this board. It lets me know that there are people at NNA that do care and are listening to what we need and want. Thank you to you, Katie and to the other techs, (and users).

As for the previous post about circuit board design. Vectorworks is clearly marketed to Architecture, Landscape, Mechanical and Lighting. It sounds to me that a circuit board designer needs a different type of software. I doubt that the folks at Intel or Motorola are using Vectorworks to design their next chip.

In my drawings, (I am an architect), I cannot tell the difference between 2 mil and 3 mil and I don't care. My drawings are 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 mils and I am happy as a clam. If I need to draw a thick circle, then I would draw a solid circle and do a "clip surface with another circle.

Thank you again Katie. Sometimes you post to this board after your normal working hours, (as has Matthew), and I would not be surprised if it was done out of the kindness of your heart. Many a time you have gotten me out of a bind because I could not figure something out. My productivity as an architect and my statisfaction with Vectorworks is in part due to your kind and expert efforts.

Keep up the great work!!

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Thank you Kevin.

I do this job with little thanks or gratitude from user's often enough. Not that I need it, but when I do get it, it's surely appreciated.

You brought a smile to my day !

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Kevin,You are right, circuit board design is primarily done in other software packages. However, at the time I started doing designs, all the other circuit board packages could not comprehend the geometries I needed (circular arrays). MiniCad, because of it's mechanical capabilities, scripting language and price was perfect for my needs. Only the square pen feature made it a little more difficult to use, but I developed ways around that. VW still has more flexibility than any other package I have seen, and I have 12 years of tools developed that make designs easy to manage.

Chip design and PC board design are light years apart. You are right, the big silicon houses do not use VW for IC design. Board design is another issue and well within the capabilities of VW. Actually, I have been able to do things in MC/VW for over a decade that only recently have been done in other packages. I have made the right choice for software packages, and whether or not the line weight and square pen issues are addressed, I will continue to VW for my design work.

<<If I need to draw a thick circle, then I would draw a solid circle and do a "clip surface with another circle.>>

Using the knockout feature is nice, but it does not print correctly for me on all the machines I use; whereas, concentric circles always work.

Katie, I too wish to offer my thanks for a job well done - both, by the entire VW team and especially to the tech support people that answer this board. I, for one, usually only write when there is a problem. Frustration can sometimes sharpen my words, but it never lasts (the frustration, that is). If I have sounded off too harshly in the past, I apologize. I may disagree with various points of view, but I still appreciate the work you do. Mostly, I wish to say thank you. Thank you all.

Best wishes,Raymond Mullin

[ 08-30-2002: Message edited by: MullinRJ ]

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Okay here's the deal on the problem you guys are having with the scale thing.

There is a workaround IF you are planning on printing this. This doesn't affect how it displays on the screen.

If you go to File>Print, there is a printing option to scale the drawing. This option scales the entire drawing which included pen weight. I have a feeling the scaling works here because it's considered an image like object when trasnlated to a printer. That's the best quasi explaination I can give you about why it does that.

So if you have a pen weight of 40 on objects, print it using the print scaling percentage option and set that to like, 20%, then the drawing will be scaled down 20%, including pen weights.

As for the screen issue -- If you want it to change on the physical objects, you can either write a script to chnage all pen weights to a different pen weight, or change it in the class attributes edit dialog box. Those are your options for now.

I have added your request to the wish list. I can't promise whether it will be in a future version or not, that's not in my control. I can tell you that it more than likely will not be in the next major release since most of the new features of that are nearing the end of development.

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Vectorworks lacks a lot of basic functionality that makes it far less efficient than AutoCAD. I'm tired of trying to get this program to do the most basic things, like scale line weights.

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Hi, tjxj,

 

Lineweights, arrowheads, hatch scaling, all those things that you have to do all the time in ACAD, Vectorworks handles for you. It is all about Layer Scale. 

 

What is Layer Scale?

 

The "Layer Scale" used by VectorWorks comes primarily out of "WYSIWYG" drawing, pioneered on the Mac (and therefore part of Vectorworks' history). "Layer Scale" exists to allow graphic properties of the drawing or model to be represented properly, as though you were drawing at a particular scale on a piece of paper. It is a scaling value used to allow proper representation for PAGE-SCALED (as opposed to WORLD-SCALED) attributes:

    -Line weight;
    -Line style (e.g. length of dashes);
    -Marker (arrowhead) size;
    -Text size;
    -Hatch scaling;
    -Page symbol scaling;

 

In "WYSIWYG" drawing, in order to properly display these attributes, there has to be an intended output scale so you can see how the drawing will look at that intended format. The practical upshot of all this is that you should set your "layer scale" to be the same as the predominant output scale of your project. This will necessitate the least amount of attribute-scaling in viewports.

 

But in all design layers, at all times, you are drawing in world scale. An inch is always an inch, a foot is always a foot, no matter the "Layer Scale". "Layer Scale" serves only to set page-oriented graphics.
 

Note also that you can scale some or all of these attributes in individual viewports as you wish. 

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17 hours ago, tjxj said:

Vectorworks lacks a lot of basic functionality that makes it far less efficient than AutoCAD. I'm tired of trying to get this program to do the most basic things, like scale line weights.

As Robert says part of this is understanding the advantage of VW's "Layer Scale" and using Scaling in individual viewports that makes VW very, very flexible. From the coaching I've done for new users it's mostly a question of "Time On Tools" to understand the advantages and different approach of this software over others. No two softwares accomplish the same task the same way. That's why a LA I know continues to use Illustrator rather than ACad; however having seen what we can do she is interested in trying VW.

 

To put it another way, so called "Scaled Line Weight" imported from ACad users drives me nuts. So it really depends on your point of view & expectations.

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