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Mickey

Class and Layer Mapping tool - An open letter to Nemetschek

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Dear Nemetschek,

I have been longing for a way to mass rename classes because I have to occasionally interface with AutoCAD files and hundreds of classes those files infect into my drawing.

I recently saw a thread that described this tool. I looked all through my menus and tools only to discover that it is only available to the Designer, and Architect modules.

I have Fundamentals, Spotlight, and Renderworks. I have paid thousands of dollars for this software (and the company I worked for before 20x that). I've been a user since the title Vectorworks was created having come from Mini-CAD before that so I think that's 16 years on this platform. I have been critical of VW in the past because of buggy software releases back when I told people not to upgrade until the x.5 version came out, but nothing in the past has bothered me as much as this.

Why is such an important tool buried behind a pay wall?

This tool should be a part of Fundamentals not locked into a module for one particular discipline (since it's in 2 of 3 modules why not add it to spotlight?).

I have seen some great scripts that help with the class renaming, but they are a mass renaming tool and can't do specific groups or sub-groups.

Does anyone else out there in the VW community have this issue? Probably not since it seems it's only Spotlight users and Fundamentals that are left out.

Thanks for your time.

-mickey

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Wait, this IS an option in other versions? This is one of my most desired features.

I also frequently get drawings from AutoCAD users with class names which import as $$A5AASc$CEIL$TILE$XX42, or something ridiculous like that. All I want is to be able to add a prefix to all of these so that I can set them apart.

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Wait, this IS an option in other versions? This is one of my most desired features.

I also frequently get drawings from AutoCAD users with class names which import as $$A5AASc$CEIL$TILE$XX42, or something ridiculous like that. All I want is to be able to add a prefix to all of these so that I can set them apart.

If you search in help under mapping and classes you'll find this

Mapping Classes and Layers

Then cry. Like me.

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Disappointing but not raising my eyebrows. I think the division of products is down right idiotic and shortsighted. NV could make a lot more money by just allowing ALL of the tools to be available on their website for a miniscule fee. Buying one module(Landscape/Architect/Spotlight) would just mean that you are getting a bulk discount for the majority of tools most commonly used by your profession.

I would bet that almost every VW license user has contemplated buying another license, for another module, then said "Screw it, it's not worth the money now, I'll just do it the old fashioned way/grin and bear it." The user gets nothing, NV gets nothing, everyone waits in a standoff.

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I got fed up with not having the right tools quite a few years ago and upgraded to VW Designer. I've never looked back. There are a *lot* of poorly named tools that do a lot of powerful things if/when you find them. VW is definitely the Microsoft Excel of the CAD world - held back by curious organization and naming of tools. I know Microsoft concentrated on resolving this in the last couple of versions of Excel. VW is working on it, but its still not great.

You'll find that VW designer still has its own issues (there's still not a workspace with everything, so my Spotlight toolset has a generic icon) but in my opinion its worth the investment. Now if they could only fix some of the recent features that have been broken by 2015 I'd be happy.

Kevin

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Wait, this IS an option in other versions? This is one of my most desired features.

I also frequently get drawings from AutoCAD users with class names which import as $$A5AASc$CEIL$TILE$XX42, or something ridiculous like that. All I want is to be able to add a prefix to all of these so that I can set them apart.

This has been possible for years when doing a dwg import (maybe with exception of Fundamentals).

When using the dwg import dialog go to the properties tab (2nd tab) and you will be able to select the "prefix for dxf/dwg layers" and you can set a prefix for the imported AutoCAD drawings. This prefix will be added to the classes. (Hyphen will be inserted automatically between prefix and layer (class) names) Once set it will be used for each import during the Vectorworks session unless you update it for the next import.

e.g. if you have to import 3 dwg files you could create the prefixes dwg1, dwg2, dwg3 or anything you like as long as you update the prefix in the dialog first before every import.

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This has been possible for years when doing a dwg import (maybe with exception of Fundamentals).

When using the dwg import dialog go to the properties tab (2nd tab) and you will be able to select the "prefix for dxf/dwg layers" and you can set a prefix for the imported AutoCAD drawings. This prefix will be added to the classes. (Hyphen will be inserted automatically between prefix and layer (class) names) Once set it will be used for each import during the Vectorworks session unless you update it for the next import.

e.g. if you have to import 3 dwg files you could create the prefixes dwg1, dwg2, dwg3 or anything you like as long as you update the prefix in the dialog first before every import.

Yes I'm very familiar with that procedure.

It's helpful for sure, but if someone else started the document and didn't do that or I just want to clean up all of the sub classes then I'm out of luck.

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Dear Nemetschek,

I have been longing for a way to mass rename classes because I have to occasionally interface with AutoCAD files and hundreds of classes those files infect into my drawing.

I recently saw a thread that described this tool. I looked all through my menus and tools only to discover that it is only available to the Designer, and Architect modules.[...]

Does anyone else out there in the VW community have this issue? Probably not since it seems it's only Spotlight users and Fundamentals that are left out.

Thanks for your time.

-mickey

The class and layer mapping tool is also available in the Landmark module, though in the Dutch version it's a pain to recognize it by the name so it took me a while to figure it out.

One thing that may help to reduce the clutter is to assign a prefix for layers of each imported dwg file so that all classes are grouped by the prefix. This should reduce the clutter a lot when you collapse the classes by that class prefix. See my reply above for where to find it.

That being said, an easier rename tool might be more convenient if it could use a search and replace to strip the e.g. xref references in the imported layer/class names.

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Yes I'm very familiar with that procedure.

It's helpful for sure, but if someone else started the document and didn't do that or I just want to clean up all of the sub classes then I'm out of luck.

Yes, then you definitely would need the class and layer mapping. It should be available in all Vectorworks versions imho, especially when you are using dwg imports a lot.

This is one of these issues where (little) practical things like this would make a huge difference in convenience for Vectorworks users.

If only they would spend some time on collecting all those practical nitty gritty wishes and include them in the next upgrade instead of adding some new bells and whistles.

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But I still vote for a real "find and replace" feature ...

Agree, and if it could use regular expressions too then it would be great.

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