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How to create a viewport of a single or multiple selected object?

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I've used Vectorworks since VW11, but only recently decided to clean up my drawings and use viewports. I've really only been producing drawings for my own use, so never worried about the lack of organization and sprawling sketches and detail drawings spread all over the document.

Its great to use viewports to create 3 ortho + iso view dimensioned drawings of objects, but I'd like to be able to do so without using the crop box. The crop box forces unnecessary items into the viewport and if I snap the crop directly on to the object, the crop box obscures the object!

I tried grouping the objects, but it seems that you can't create a viewport within a group. Selecting the objects and creating a viewport doesn't do anything.

I know I can put the objects in their own class, then view only that class, but I'll end up with so many more classes than I need, making selection and visibility a giant pain.

I have to be missing something here...any tips?

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My workflow uses a separate layer for each scenic element for this reason. I centre the object so composing viewports is easy and so when I need a new set of viewports for a different object I can cut/paste and adjust the layer visibility and the new object is also centred. I tend to make scenic elements into symbols so then I can combine them onto a stage plan (also its own layer).

My longstanding wish is for the ability to have sheet layer viewports look at symbols from a file instead of just layers. This would do away with all the extra layers and make symbols much more like "parts" in other CAD software.


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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a tough-ish one in my opinion.

Sometimes I'll do a details layer with several classes to turn items on and off. Most of the time Symbols just for ease of use.

You could make heaps of classes but you've got to be really organised then and not overlap things class wise.

You could reference the symbols in from other files, but then you've got multiple files to deal with which could be another hell entirely.

I tried just then, and this might be a wishlist item now, but to create a viewport whilst in the 3D edit for a symbol. Call it a technical viewport. Interesting concept.

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If you could look at a symbol instead of a layer with a sheet layer viewport, symbols would be like individual parts like in other software..... the only difference would be everything could be in one source file instead of spread out into multiple files.

Malex, the key to my current method is each element is centred on its own separate layer (for detail drawing viewports to look at) and also appears on an integrated layer (i.e.. site plan, stage plan, exhibit plan).


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I use a method similar to Kevin's (also for theatre. hm). Just a note: I tend to do it the other way. I build the element in the composite layer, and turn it into a symbol. That way I'm building it in context of the other elements. Then I make a unit-1 layer, and put a symbol in at 0,0. Duplicate the layer and replace the symbol with the next. Then I can have "template" viewports with all the views and visibilities I want for each unit, which I can duplicate and point at different unit layers.

I agree that being able to point a VP at a symbol would clean up the navigation pallet.

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  • 7 years later...

@lcdaI wrote a script a while back that does just this.  It will build a viewport with matching visibilities as the active view and the with the scale of the active layer and creates a crop based on the bounding box of the selected items.  It also has an option to center the viewport on the page after its constructed.


Selected Objects and Dialog Box:



Created Viewport on Page:



To install the plug-in, download the attached .vsm file and place it in the Plug-ins folder of your User Folder (easiest way to get to this is to go to Vectorworks Preferences - User Folder and click on the Explore or Open in Finder button).  Restart Vectorworks and then add it to your workspace by going to Tools - Workspaces - Edit Current Workspace.  This will open up a dialog box with two large boxes side-by-side.  Make sure the Menus tab is active, then in the left box, find and expand the category JNC, the script Create VP from Selection should be in there.  In the box on the right, find a menu for the command to live in (such as the View menu).  Then, click and drag the plug-in from the box on the left to the target menu in the box on the right.  Then click OK.

Create VP from Selection.vsm

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  • 1 month later...

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