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How to : Create a Workgroup Folder

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I just want to add on to this information - It's also possible to add Plug-Ins as well as other settings to your workgroup folder.

In that instance, you would want to also create a "Plug-Ins" folder to the root of your WG folder.

(I often don't do this, but during some testing instances I realizes that my WG folder was sourcing a plugin from an outdated plugin file from a previous version, so just a useful tidbit.)

 

I host my workgroup folder on the cloud (using OneDrive), though Vectorworks does not explicitly support this. I do this so I can test different Marionette nodes on my office Win10 machine as well as my office Mac machine, and my home Win10 machine. I haven't run into issues as long as my files are downloaded to the local path on my machine.

 

And just to elaborate on @zoomer's visual on how your workgroup folder should be defined within the preferences - This is what my preferences/directory looks like.

 

 

WGsetup.PNG

WGsetup2.PNG

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It's also worth noting that it's generally required to either "Refresh Libraries" in the Resource Manager in 2017, or restart VW in order to get your custom objects to appear.

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Following on from zoomer, there are so many folders to add to workgroup folder, Maybe its easier to copy the folders you need from  a user folder and paste them in the location you have created. 

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:$

Thanks to All !
I tried to include your upgrades into the first post.

Edited by zoomer

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Yes, really useful and probably easier to follow than the help file. Have bookmarked this topic.

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While we are on the topic of Application/Workgroup/User folders I would like to add a little more information.

Any VW file containing resources stored in any of the three locations/appropriate subfolder will show up as Default Content (if you have that turned on). Normally you want to ADD custom resources to either the Workgroup or User folder. If you add them to the Application folder, especially if you just add them to an existing file, there is a possibility that a future upgrade to VW will overwrite that file and your custom resources could be lost. If you use the Workgroup or User folder, there is effectively no chance of VW overwriting the file.

If you are seeing things in the Default Content that you don't want to see, you can go into the Applications library and either ZIP or remove those files so you don't have to see those items.Worst case is then that you will have to repeat that action after a reinstall. 

 

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The Vectorworks Help file is pretty good for finding things and Workgroup and User folders are discussed, I guess that's why its there.

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Ah, sorry, I sikpped help and went directly to KB.
There I got 3 matches not related to Workgroup.
That is why I tried to sum it up - as I fail with that too each year with every VW release.

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4 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

Any VW file containing resources stored in any of the three locations/appropriate subfolder will show up as Default Content (if you have that turned on).

Really ?
That's not nice. If you copy, say, the Wall Style's Lib to your Workgroup Folder  - you will find redundant Presets in your Wall Tool ?

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4 hours ago, MarissaF said:

And just to elaborate on @zoomer's visual on how your workgroup folder should be defined within the preferences - This is what my preferences/directory looks like.

 

 

WGsetup.PNG

WGsetup2.PNG

That is exactly what @digitalmechanicsneeds to set his Dropbox.

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17 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Really ?
That's not nice. If you copy, say, the Wall Style's Lib to your Workgroup Folder  - you will find redundant Presets in your Wall Tool ?

I have not had time to fully test this. Not at all in VW2017 as I don't have a clean installation.

In 2016 I just copies the Attributes_Line Types folder from the Application folder Library to the User folder Library. This resulted in identical files with the same name (LineTypes_Default) in both locations. With this setup I got only a single instance of each line type in the Attributes palette.

I then edited the file in the User library. I changed the color of one line type and deleted some others. After doing this, only the line types from the User library showed in the attributes palette.

I then changed the name of the file in the user folder. Then I got duplicates of all of the line types that were in both files, but the object name included the name of the file they are in, but not where that file is located.

So if you want to override and not use the objects in the Application Library, it appears you can do that by just using the exact same name in the other library(ies). If you want to ADD additional objects to the ones that are in the Application Library, you will need to make sure your file uses a different name.

 

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10 minutes ago, Pat Stanford said:

I have not had time to fully test this. Not at all in VW2017 as I don't have a clean installation.

In 2016 I just copies the Attributes_Line Types folder from the Application folder Library to the User folder Library. This resulted in identical files with the same name (LineTypes_Default) in both locations. With this setup I got only a single instance of each line type in the Attributes palette.

I then edited the file in the User library. I changed the color of one line type and deleted some others. After doing this, only the line types from the User library showed in the attributes palette.

I then changed the name of the file in the user folder. Then I got duplicates of all of the line types that were in both files, but the object name included the name of the file they are in, but not where that file is located.

So if you want to override and not use the objects in the Application Library, it appears you can do that by just using the exact same name in the other library(ies). If you want to ADD additional objects to the ones that are in the Application Library, you will need to make sure your file uses a different name.

 

My understanding follows your findings. Based on the hierarchy, if you have resources with the same names, only the one at the top of the hierarchy will show. That's why when I was referencing an older build with my workgroup folder, the plug-in was using an outdated reference, causing it to not work.

 

I no longer reference older builds with my workgroup paths because of this. 

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12 minutes ago, Pat Stanford said:

So if you want to override and not use the objects in the Application Library, it appears you can do that by just using the exact same name in the other library(ies).

Maybe even at the same place, or it may appear again ?

OK, but that is exactly the same behavior as I meant.
If you copy one of the preset files to your user or workgroup folder, at the same place,
You will only see your copied files. If you delete the content in the copy, because you don't like it,
it will no more disturb you in Plugin Objects presets.

Else it does not make much sense to just copy any preset files that you want to edit, better create new ones
from duplicates with a unique name, including only your custom styles,
to not bring the old VW presets to every new release by migration manager.

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Now that the Resource Browser of Vectorworks 2016 has been enhanced and renamed as the Resource Manager for Vectorworks 2017 onward, I'd like to reinvigorate this thread and see what you think of the following... 

 

When using a tool's 'Resource Selector' - which will only show resources that can be used with the tool - to find content kept within a Workgroup folder, one must still navigate/expand the various sub-directories to where the source file is located. - This is a workflow/productivity bummer, especially when... 

 

You could instead have ONE Vectorworks resource file kept in the Workgroup 'Favourites' subfolder. Then it's the only location one must go regardless of the tool/resource-needed, and you don't have to drill down into sub-folders to access content. You can still have a unique Workgroup folder per project (if that's how you're using it) and have another Favourites file within (with a differentiated name of course). 

 

Does anyone see problems with my proposed setup above? 

 

Here's a depiction of why I think a single 'Favourite' file is better for productivity. It will also make updating a resource easier and faster too. Here it took 5 clicks to access the pertinent resource file stored in the mandatory location in a Workgroup folder. 

image.thumb.png.1849ba8f7a9eafde5c899c0596415198.png

 

Because any Resource Selector will show only resources pertinent to the tool selected it makes using a single resource file MUCH more viable. 

 

Edited by Jeremy Best
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Hi, 

 

Thank you for breaking down the steps to creating a new workspace folder. However, mine still does not show up in my resource browser and I can't for the life of me figure out what I am doing differently. 

 

I have added the file path to the user folders in preferences, have refreshed and restarted vectorworks, but the folder still does not appear under workspaces.

 

What could I doing differently?

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2 hours ago, AWil said:

I have added the file path to the user folders in preferences, have refreshed and restarted vectorworks, but the folder still does not appear under workspaces.

 

It sounds like you're mixing up Workspaces with Workgroup Folders. Also, assuming you are trying to create a Workgroup folder and have it show up in your Resource Manager: 

  1. You need to add the location of your Workgroup folder in the bottom section of the 'User Folders' tab in Vectorworks Preferences, not overwrite the path to the User Folder. 
  2. Some content of your Workgroup folders must mimic the folder names and hierarchy found in your User Folder for Vectorworks to be able to locate applicable resources, e.g. Template files. (See the comment by Jonathan Pickup above for a quick way to create them). Of course you only need to include folders for the resources you intend to put there. 
  3. On 9/20/2016 at 5:26 AM, zoomer said:
    1. If you don't add the "Libraries" Folder, Vectorworks refuses to read anything from your Workgroup Folder.

Does that help? 

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I am not certain that you can store a Workspace in the Workgroup folder. I know it works in the Application folder and if you edit one of the standard workspaces it saves it in the User folder.

 

OK, I just checked and yes you can store the Workspace in the Workgroup Folder.  You need to have a folder at the top level of the workgroup named Workspaces and you store the workspace files (*.vww) in that folder.

 

But be careful, I think that data like the current active tool and the tool preferences are stored in the workspace file. If you have multiple people using the same workspace out of the workgroup, the last one to quit at the end of the day will overwrite any previous saves. Your tools may have different settings when you open VW the next time.

 

 

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21 hours ago, AWil said:

I have added the file path to the user folders in preferences, have refreshed and restarted vectorworks, but the folder still does not appear under workspaces.

 

I also don't think I really understand what your question is.

But if it is about a Workgroup Folder not showing in Resource Manager,

 

1.

a potential problem could be the exact Path text you have to add in VW settings,

which was always a bit tricky for me when I had to redo from scratch.

 

You may expect that the Folder Path shows to the "Libraries" Folder at the end like

other Apps, but that is wrong and no Content will show up at all in Resource Manager.

Your Path text has to end with the parent Folder Name above the "Libraries" Folder.

 

And it looks like, on Windows, your Path ends with a Backslash.

While on Mac there should not be the typical Forwardslash,

but just end with the Folder Name.

 

2.

Inside of your Folder, linked by your Workgroup Path,

a "Libraries" Folder is required !

 

3.

For all Content that should show up in VW Tool Option, like Wall Styles in the Wall Tool,

That content has to reside in a special Folder Hierarchy and Naming Scheme below the

"/Libraries/Defaults" Folders.

 

4.

To not need to manually create that complicated Folder Structure by yourself,

you can just copy the whole "Libraries/..." Structure from your VW User Settings Library

to insert it into your Workgroup Folder.

With a fresh VW installation there comes such an empty Folder Structure.

(It is again the same Structure as you can find in your App itself - but that is already filled

with all default Content)

 

5.

Every else Content you just want to manually access and select from Resource Manager

must also reside in that "Libraries" Folder, but can be sorted in any custom Folder Structure

you like.

 

6.

If you have Content Files with the same name in more than one of all 3 "Libraries",

the Hierarchy of which of these Files will be preferred and finally shown in the App is :

a) User Folder

b) Workgroup Folder

c) App Folder

So if there is a File already in User Library, all same named Files in Workgroup or App

will be ignored ! So when you want to make extensive use of a Workgroup Library,

which may contain an Office Standard and is accessible for all users,

it is important to keep User's User Libraries empty, at least for those Files you want

to be used from Workgroup Library.

 

7.

After all properly set and filled with Content,

you must Refresh your Libraries (!) in RM.

Edited by zoomer

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Thank you for all your help. I realized the issue this morning, which is that the resources had not been updated and were therefore not recognized in the workgroup folder. It looks like I will have to spend some time updating the ones I need.

 

Alex

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We keep our work group library on the server.

 

Even if Im already in to the sever and the work group path is set thru VW prefrences, I still have to physically navigate to that folder on the server every morning or VW will not see it?? I can hit refresh, but that will not work if I don't navigate to the folder thru the finder window first.

 

Silly but is really annoying.  Why am I setting a path if VW needs a little push to find it every morning.🤨

 

I also echo Jeremy's comments above regarding folder structure.  I have the same gripe, Why must I click into 3 subfolders before I can get to what I want.  These little things add up and cause frustration at times.

Edited by HEengineering

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On 12/5/2018 at 10:01 AM, AWil said:

Thank you for all your help. I realized the issue this morning, which is that the resources had not been updated and were therefore not recognized in the workgroup folder. It looks like I will have to spend some time updating the ones I need.

 

Alex

 

Hi Alex, you can use 'Batch Covert' in the File menu to automatically convert the entire Workgroup Folder from a previous version of Vectorworks (including all sub-folders and files). You'll need to select the applicable settings. See the definition/blurb box at the bottom of the dialogue which defines each option as you mouse over them. 

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