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Eyedropper Tool - A Mind of its Own



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I use the eyedropper tool exactly as Josh does, and I can verify Josh and VG's complaint. Jonathan, I'm 99% sure this is not due to inadvertently hitting the "U" key, but as I haven't been able to pin down exactly when this problem occurs, I haven't filed a bug report. This behavior goes back at least to v2013. To clarify, with the eyedropper tool in "pick up attributes mode," I find that sometimes (not always) the default mode shifts to "put down attributes". I notice this when I ctrl-click on an object, expecting its attributes to be modified, and when that doesn't occur I notice that the default mode has switched from "pick up" to "put down." As I have used the "ctrl" hot key in such an instance, I have picked up attributes from the object, not put them down.

Again, Jim, if you're listening, this is the kind of boring, everyday problem we wish NNA would prioritize solving above glitzy new features. I attribute such problems to sloppy code.

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Thanks Josh and Pete for confirming that I am not losing my mind. Jonathan, as I said, this is happening without a mode bar change (U key or otherwise). What's weird is I can't pin down exactly when and where it happens, therefore I have also not filed a bug report.

Pete - your description is EXACTLY the same behaviour I am seeing - randomly changing modes after clicking on an object to put down the attributes.

Wondering if Jim can lend any insight...


Edited by VectorGeek
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Another similar glitchy thing, not sure if others have experience. I prefer to have all the tabs collapsed in the resource browser, if I want to edit hatches I open, edit hatch, then close. If I say open up the symbol folders then exit some of the tabs have been reopened I then have to close and go back to bottom of list, enter a folder, exit to do next and have to go through process again.

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Think ive found away to replicate the problem every time. In an Orthogonal view if I have the eyedropper selected, then hold CTRL and press the roller on mouse and rotate around model, when I release keys and mouse the eye dropper is now on the bucket. Don't know if anyone else can replicate the same?

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  • Marionette Maven

Just to follow up - although I still think it's behaving improperly - the CTRL key allows the temporary change of modes for the eyedropper. I'm assuming that when it's interrupted by the flyover tool, since that ALSO uses the CTRL key to activate it, there's some sort of interference between the tools causing the mode that's not currently active on the eyedropper to get locked on.

I'm looking forward to hearing how the engineers interpret this.

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I have experienced this in past versions and have just finished performing methodical testing to verify the conditions that make the Eye Dropper tool switch between pick up attributes to put down attributes for each of these circumstances. Here's what I've confirmed: 



In Vectorworks 2016 SP6 and in Vectorworks 2017 SP2 on EITHER Mac (10.11.5) or Windows (10): 


Holding the mouse wheel button down while pressing [Ctrl on Windows] or [alt on Mac] then releasing, causes the Eye Dropper tool to switch to the alternate mode, once both are released. This occurs in at least Top/Plan and orthogonal, but I would expect it to occur no matter the view. I believe the connection here (in terms of programming) is that the Ctrl and alt keys are also used to temporarily switch the mode of the Eye Dropper tool. 



In Vectorworks 2016 SP6 and in.vs 2017 SP2 on Windows ONLY: 

Here are the parameters required to reliably cause the mode to switch as it relates to zooming/panning: 


WITH the 'Grouping Similar View Changes' ON in Vectorworks Preferences; If you pick up attributes, then zoom or pan *extensively* before OR after putting them down, and then undo twice / until both the placed attributes and the last lot of zooming/panning are undone, the mode switches to 'put-down attributes.' 


I've confirmed on Windows only that the similar 'Grouping all view changes' preference doesn't cause ISSUE 2 symptoms, only ‘Grouping Similar View Changes’ does, so you can use the prior to prevent this behaviour.  


I believe the reason this doesn't happen on Mac is because the modifier key used to switch the tool mode (alt on Mac, ctrl on Windows) is not involved in the 'undo' key command; command-z on Mac, Ctrl-Z on Windows. 


I’ve submitted a bug report covering both the above.

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