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How to create OIP text input fields for Symbols

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Hi There,

I have a symbol that I've created that has 6 inputs labelled, Input 1, Input 2 etc. I'd like the fields to be editable by the user when the Symbol is selected, so that in the OIP it says Input 1, and the user could re-name this to whatever they will be using Input 1 for, i.e Microphone or Laptop.

I've watched the videos on the Custom Title blocks and see how this works, and the object and the records work if I insert the Symbol into the Standard Title Block.vsx file I can then edit the Input Fields.

Is there a way to do this without it being a Title Block object and just a standard Symbol?



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Can you please clarify what you want?

1. Where are the inputs labeled as "Input 1", "Input 2", etc? On the Data tab of the OIP? On the drawing? What are you doing with this information in the OIP?

2. Where do you want the Custom Names to show? On the object in the drawing or in the OIP? If it is in the OIP, do you want the "labels" in the OIP to show the custom data or do you just want the custom value to show next to the standard labels?

If you want custom labels, you will definitely have to make a custom PIO instead of a symbol. If you want the data to show on the Shape Pane of the OIP you will have to make a custom PIO instead of a symbol. If you can live with having the custom names show in the Data Pane (and potentially on the drawing), then you can use a symbol with Linked Text to Record.

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Hi Pat,

I the input lables are currently on the symbol as text fields.

I'd like the custom names to replace the labels on the symbol as the user enters them. I'd like the names to stay on the drawning so when its submitted the user can see what each input is labelled.

How do I convert a symbol into a PIO i thought it might be the case. But i'm struggling to work out vectorscript to make this happen.

i've attached the .vsx file of the symbol i'm trying to use, so its easier to understand what i want to create.


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Hi Andrew, thanks for your help with this, could you explain how you made the symbol behave this way, i have 200+ symbols i need to create to work in the same way.

Also would there be a way to make it appear in the shape window as a list

Input 1

Input 2

Input 3


With text boxes that you can then fill in that add these to Symbol. I understand that this may mean i need to make the Symbol a Plugin Object, but i'm sure how to make it one.

Thank you


Edited by mouseman85
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could you explain how you made the symbol behave this way

I created the Record called "SwitchLabel, which contains 6 Text fields. I then edited your Symbol, adding 6 Text blocks. I then selected each, one-by-one, and linked them to those fields ([Tools][Records][Link Text to Record]).

You're right; a PIO will be the only way to do that. You really don't "make" a Symbol a PIO. The PIO has to be coded. That being said, it isn't all that difficult. I've attached 2 very rough unencrypted PIOs you can use as simple examples. One is something our local users' group did a few years ago and the other is a quick modification of that file to replicate your Symbol. They're quite rough, but can still give you an idea of how Point PIOs work. I'd encourage you to take them apart to get a feel for how they work ([Tools][Plug-ins][Plug-in Manager...]).

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As Andrew said, there is really not a way to "convert" a symbol to a PIO.

Based on the relatively simple geometry in you symbol, making the PIO would not be too hard.

But let's take a step back. You say you have 200 symbols. Please tell us exactly what you are trying to do and maybe we can help you figure out a better way.

If the geometry of all the symbols will be the same, you can "nest" symbols so they will store the record data, but insert as a basic symbol with the labels you want. I just talked about his on another thread yesterday.


With the "nested" version, you will only have to draw one symbol. You will then change the fields as needed and make another symbol. By using the Convert to PIO option, when you place the symbol it will eliminate the outside symbol and give you the inside one with the proper record data.


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Hi Guys,

First off thanks Andrew, this is exactly what i was hoping it would do, but looking at this process i don't think it will be work for what i need. I have about 100-200 different symbols different shapes different amount of inputs that need labelling. SO i think the easiest way would be the first option, and do it from a linked text to record.

Pat - What I'm trying to achieve is to use vectorworks to building AV schematics, for video and power, using pre-built symbols that we have already created in the past. It would be nice if the inputs and outputs could be labelled, by the user . I think looking at the PIO that Andrew sent through, this way wouldn't work for what symbols I've got as they are all different.

I wanted eventually to be able to click outputs and inputs that would create a line and be able to label this line as the type of cable used. But i think this all might be over my head as i'm not programmer and have no grasp of vectorscript. I can sort of understand what Andrew's .VSO do and how the script makes the shape.

Thanks for all the help, any more suggestions would be greatly received.

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Hi Andy,

I have seen ConnectCAD, and also stardraw, but as we've just migrated to Vectorworks I'm hoping I can implement this into the vectorworks without having to use an additional package. I'm sure its doable its just having the starting point to work from. As I'm not knowledgeable about vectorscript, and i can't find a good tutorial or video to work from, that starts from no knowledge of scripting.



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After browsing through my plugins it seems I was working on such an object in the past but shoved it backwards in my timetable for other reasons.

It would be a pio that inserts a symbol in the drawing the same way you place a symbol but it would list all the records and fields in the oip that the symbol has attached.

This would allow for anyone to convert a symbol into a tiny smart object because controlling oip fields vs record fields is a great timesaver. I'll see if I can complete it in the near future.

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...as we've just migrated to Vectorworks I'm hoping I can implement this into the vectorworks without having to use an additional package...

I completely understand the sentiment. At the same time, ConnectCAD (like many other 3rd-party VW tools) works as part of VW - not in addition to VW. Think of it as "Expanded" VW. See http://www.vectorworks.net/community/partner-products/category/entertainment for other examples that I believe might be aimed at your field.

As I'm not knowledgeable about vectorscript, and i can't find a good tutorial or video to work from, that starts from no knowledge of scripting.

You're quite correct. Simply knowing how to get started can be a bit challenging. That's part of the reason I posted unencrypted samples and why NVI has several examples posted at http://www.vectorworks.net/support/custom/vscript/example.php.

Best wishes in your endeavor...

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Driving a linked text in a symbol by wrapping it in a PIO is a good technique though you'll come up against a few VW bugs in VW2014. As a first VS project it sounds pretty advanced...

If what you actually want to do is automate the business of creating and maintaining audio visual systems drawings then buying our connectCAD plug-in solution will probably be a better use of your time. We like to hear more from you about your requirements, so please take a look at our site and let's begin a discussion.

Conrad Preen


Edited by Neatworker
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