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Still struggling with organizing my 2d details. I have a grid that matches my sheet that is divided into 20 boxes. One grid is drawn 1:1 then I copy it and scale it to the scale of the details, say 16, for 3/4" details. Elements are drawn 1:1 - real world.

I have left the layer at whatever scale the majority of drawing is, say 1:48.

Then create viewport(s) on a sheet. Sometimes and I can't really nail down the circumstances but it seems that 10pt. (or whatever size) is not always consistent.

Ever had this experience?

Should I instead have a "Detail" layer and change the scale for that layer?

Seems like I have run into problems mixing scales.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I so want to have a template file because every job is a new experiment and it is time wasting.

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Sounds like the old Vectorworks dilemma of annotating/labeling on the design layer vs in the viewport annotation space on the sheet layer. No hard rules on this - office protocols vary.

Several comments:

1. If the viewport displays text objects placed on the design layer, that text can be rescaled via the selected Viewport OIP>Advanced Settings. Also in same dialog, find scale boxes for line weight, markers, and hatches. This only affects display of the text (line weight, etc) in the viewport. It does not alter the text object or other items on the design layer.

2. Suggested Vectorworks annotation workflow is to put labels, dimensions, and other annotations in the viewport annotation space. Access the annotation space by dbl click the viewport and in the dialog, choose Annotations. But, some folks prefer to annotate in the design layers, or put some annotations in the DL and some in the VP. Pick your best workflow.

3. Selected VPs can be scaled via the OIP scale field. In this method, text in the Annotation space does not rescale. Viewports can also be rescaled via the Modify>Scale menu command. With this method, the annotation space text object rescales by the menu scale factor. Explore this with dbl click the VP to enter the annotation space before and after a rescale via the menu command. Select a text object in the annotation. Note OIP text size value before and after the rescale. eg 36pt before rescale, 18pt after rescale of 1:2.

4. Note that a VP can be created by drawing a rectangle or other poly on the design layer and then View>Create Viewport and accept the option for Use the Selected Object as Viewport Crop. With this method, the VP displays only the stuff inside the poly. The poly does not remain as additional object on the Design Layer.

Rambling here. Note sure if any of this is even answering the question. Post back for more help from the forum.


Edited by Benson Shaw
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I prefer to annotate in the design layer as much as possible.

I have a Detail layer for each scale i.e. 1:50, 1:20, 1:10 etc.

I plonk my generic details (with their annotations) in the appropriate detail layer (when I create a 2D detail, I usually expect to use it at a certain scale)

Design Layer viewports also go into the Detail Layer

Sort of figured this out myself along the way so not sure if others do this but seems to work...

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Using a separate layer for each scale seems logical to me.

When you go from one layer to another do you find that the drawings move about the page? Maybe has something to do with internal scale factor verses orientation from 0,0?

I've tried using annotation viewport and for some things I still do, but when make a change you have to follow up. Almost making the changes twice.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll experiment.

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Sorry Johnathan, but I'm totally with Benson on this one.

While I have used this method for standard details, & have some saved as Symbols to be Imported into a file - this isn't my favourite workflow.

Text on the design layer is touching the third rail in our workflow. It is only used in rare cases. As I've noted on a Wish List thread recently, TEXT's in PIO's do not scale using the Advanced Property Tool so having attempted to work with PIO's to generate TEXT on the Design Layer we are going back to drawing most stuff generated by PIO's & adding TEXT associated with PIO's in Annotation Layer.

As all the text from a standard detail is already in the database, adding the txt in the Anno Layer takes very little time and generally this has to be done anyway as every project has to have a detail tweeted.

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I make heavy use Sheet Layer annotation space, but find situations where Design Layer annotation is advantageous. One frequent need is site grid construction lines. These need presence and labels in the DL.

Digital Mechanic's extensive use of text and dims in 3d models is amazing. The model space (Design Layers) fly through is loaded with valuable text, dims, locators, and other info. This is the sheetless workflow of the future.

I have seen very effective annotation and details using saved views to reference layers of different scale.


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I totally agree that a GRID & it's TEXT needs to be found on a Design Layer. We attempted to use the Grid PIO on two projects and will not use it in the future. Going back to our old work-a-round.

IMHO the solution is we need a kind of TEXT Element that works like the Drawing Label .. regardless of Scale I get a Circle that's Size X and TEXT that's Size Y. Scaling TEXT in the Design Layer, while not bad, is not a real solution as these Scaled TEXT tend to have a mind of their own in terms of where they come to rest on the Drawing.

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  • 9 months later...

@P Retondo, I think you're basically asking for "annotative scaling", which Autocad Architecture made available almost a decade ago. This typically works by allowing the viewport to determine the scale of the design layer annotation, instead of having a single scale for the design layer that is only controlled through the design layer. It's unbelievable this has not been developed in VW. I think because VW offers an annotative viewport layer, they don't want to create yet another lever to tweak settings. For typical drawings, I don't find it too difficult to make use of VW viewport settings when I need to "reverse engineer" annotative scaling issues. However, automatic annotative scaling, the way AutoCad works, would really solve a lot of these detail viewport issues. If VW had this, all your details could be organized on a single design layer. It would be WAY simpler.



Perhaps, in lieu of adding annotative scaling to the software on a global level, VW might consider creating a Detail Manager, with a dedicated Detail Design Layer used only to place details. On this layer only, annotative scaling could exist, and then you could draft 1:1 AND annotate without any hesitation. I also picture this Detail Manager helping organize library details, whether via symbols or single .vwx files.


fingers crossed...




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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Another trick I've often used is to draw the detail and its annotations in the annotation space of an "empty" viewport (with no layers visible). This eliminates the need for design layers for details and can easily change their scale (while maintaining the correct text size, line weights, etc.). This works well for isolated 2D details but not for details generated from cropped portions of another drawing.

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