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Lighting symbols made from other symbols only drop as multi circuit

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So, I was working on a light plot today, and I came across an issue that I've never encountered before. I was trying to place a 36 degree 750w source 4 into my drawing, but whenever I did, it dropped as a multi-circuit unit. My 750w symbols are the same as the standard 575w ones, but I've nested a "Black Cap" symbol inside of them to distinguish them from the lower wattage units. But today, the 36 degree was dropping as one instance of the "Source 4 Body" symbol, and one instance of the "black cap" symbol - each with their own channel circle. I tried other source 4s and none of them behaved this way - only the 36 degree gave me a problem.

I played around for a bit and discovered what I think the problem is: my 36 degree symbol has nothing unique it. It is purely made up of two other symbols. For example, a 26 degree has the same two symbols as a 36, but it also has a single slash in the barrel - and the slash is just drawn in. I discovered that if I converted the black cap to a group, or even simply dropped a locus into the symbol, then it would work again just fine. Apparently the symbol needs something unique in it in order to consider itself one thing. And a symbol made purely from other symbols automatically becomes a multi-circuit.

Now, I've been using these symbols for quite a while and I've never had this issue until today. Is this a new thing in SP3? What has changed? and is it going to change back? Yes, I now have a work around - but it either means making the cap no longer a symbol - which is a pain if I ever want to edit the symbol across all of the lights - or add a locus. Either way just seems rather inelegant.

I'm attaching a PDF of what it looked like as a multi circuit.

And thoughts people have would be great.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

This is nothing new, or at least noting new in the past 5 years.

In order to support multi-circuit instruments if a symbol only contains other symbols and loci then it will be inserted as a multi-circuit symbol. If there is anything else in the outermost symbol (text, line etc) it will be placed as a single lighting device.

It's the slash in the 36 that's making it insert as a single instrument while the 26 dose not have the slash and just contains symbols so it will insert as a multi-circuit with 2 parts, the body and the cap.

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