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How many short cut keys do you typically use?

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How many short cut keys do you typically use?

I ask because I just printed the shortcut key list for 2015 and looked it over.

While I use about a dozen or so that I know have memorized, there were at least another dozen that I know would improve my work flow that I have generally forgotten about.

I got to thinking about it on the double monitor thread. I am guessing the more shortcut keys you use, the more practical it is to put some of your menus and tools on another monitor.

So, just a quick sound off on how useful you find the shortcuts, just for enlightenment!

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I've been looking at short cuts for a user group meeting.

Short answer is: Just start using them! Other user's prefs are less important than your own best workflow.

Fun Fact #1:

Any two key combo of Cmd key plus any letter of the alphabet acts as a shortcut in VWX Mac - I think Windows, too. Some of these are Mac OS shortcuts (Save, Print, Close, Open, Quit, etc), but, the whole alphabet (and most of the numbers)?? That's a wide range of 2 key short cuts!

In general, try to be aware of which shortcuts are available and therefor how any of them might help you. Look at the prompts to right of most items in most menus as a way to learn some of what is available. Start using a few and see how it goes. This might push you to learn a few more.

I am not a power shortcut user (or a power user at all, really). But I use a dozen or more VWX shortcuts daily. The 4 finger command for Compose (ShiftOptnCmdP) appeared as a menu prompt only a few versions ago. The shortcut may have been available and noted in Help>Shortcuts, but putting it in the Modify Menu made it easy to see and learn. Since then the novelty of 4 finger salutes started me using the Add and Clip Surface combos (ShiftOptnCmdA or C).

Fun Fact #2:

A bug in versions 2012 and 2013 (and earlier?), caused the info palette to evaporate when importing a PDF. Getting it back required Show/HIde the palette TWICE. I got tired of mousing into Windows>Pallets>Toggle Info Palette. The menu prompt showed me the shortcut. Cmd i twice and the OIP returns. That bug is fixed, but now I regularly use shortcuts to show/hide several of the palettes.

Can someone make Fun Fact #3 by answering this: Why does the 1 key invoke the Text tool, while 2 invokes the Line tool. Not a bad thing, but one might imagine this would be the other way around in software intensely focused on drawing and graphics. Text is important, but still, Who is #1 in the Kingdom of Vectorworks??

Sorry, running on again.


Edited by Benson Shaw
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Can someone make Fun Fact #3 by answering this: Why does the 1 key invoke the Text tool, while 2 invokes the Line tool. Not a bad thing, but one might imagine this would be the other way around in software intensely focused on drawing and graphics. Text is important, but still, Who is #1 in the Kingdom of Vectorworks??

(Raising hand and jumping up and down in seat), Me, Me, Me. I know, I know!!!

This is ancient history and stems from the original Mac OS (maybe System 4, maybe earlier, I can't remember what was running when MiniCAD was released).

Rich Diehl, when he mapped the shortcuts mapped them by physical position rather than by some obscure relative meaning. The tool pallette left hand column was

Move (hand) [C] Selection [V]

Zoom In [X] Zoom Out [Z]

Text [1] Line [2]

Arc [3] Rectangle [4]

This kept all of the shortcuts together and did not require understanding a (possibly) obscure mnemonic to remember (like L for line, Z for zoom, etc.)

This is also where the shortcuts for the Mode bar came from (U,I,O,P,{.}) for each of the six possible groups.

For the constrains palette, set is up as two wide four tall and you get ASDF down the left column and QWER down the right.

Most of these shortcuts still exist in the current default workspaces, though a few have been changed over the years as different workflows and input devices have become more popular.

The hardest one for me to get used to was the Hand tool which shifted from C to J. A double click on the C key used to generate a screen refresh. Very important when redraws where much slower. It took me about three versions to get used to is being the H key. And now I hardly ever even need that function.

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AAAAAND The chocolate fish goes to Pat Stanford!!! (tip o' the hat to Christian for long ago explaining the fish reward idea).

Thanks, Pat. Great history!

Attached is a little ditty reminiscent of the Concentration game. Shortcut key combos are shown in a grid of "boxes". Select a box guess the use, then Send to Back (CmdB) to reveal the use of the shortcut. When all are revealed, go the other way. Select a function and name the shortcut. Send to Front (CmdF) to reveal. Not a comprehensive list of all the shortcuts, Just intended as some fun for a user group meeting.

It's a little bit each of learning quiz, notice that these things exist and you could use them, reminder that it's easier to execute the shortcut by memory when it's needed than it is to cite the shortcut function when asked what a particular key combo does.


Edited by Benson Shaw
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I use a fair number of shortcuts, though most of them are ones that can be done just with the left hand. I prefer to keep my right hand on the mouse most of the time.....

Probably my most used short cuts (beyond Save (Command S)) are Add surface (Command ~) and Subtract Surface (Command Shift ~), Scale (Command =), Align (Command Option =), Move (Command M), Group (Command G), Ungroup (Command U), Edit/Enter Group (Command [), Exit Group (Command ]) and Rotate Left (Command L). A couple of these are custom....


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As many shortcuts as I remember that can be selected with my left hand, thumb and two fingers max. Otherwise I find I am looking down for where I left my mouse (right hand) and or straining my hand muscles or is that ligaments. I for as long as I have used VW/MiniCad have switched the #1 & #2 shortcuts so that #1 is line & #2 is text.

Also having a keypad at the left side has significantly reduced the frequency with which I reach across the keyboard to press enter or return. I found I used add and subtract surface when I switch the default shortcuts but forgot what keys they were while I worked in an Autocad office. It is easier to use the pull down than to release the mouse and use my right hand for the default - combinations.

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