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change insertion point for a symbol


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  • 1 year later...

I have multiple symbols in my file with the symbol origins at the symbol 'center', but I need them to be at the lowest z-point of the symbol so that I can see and adjust the z-height (effectively the trim height) of my flying objects. If I could simply move the origin and leave the symbols in place, this would solve my issue.


Is there another way?

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Edit: Reading your post again, it might be better to just change the origin to where you want it. Note the amount you moved the geometry and then adjust the Z values accordingly in the drawing. It wouldn't take very long unless you have a large amount of different symbols to change. 


What I wrote below is more about reporting an altered "origin" ........


Try this

  1. If you insert a 3d locus into your symbol at the point where you want the origin to be.
  2. Convert the symbols that you need Z coordinates for to groups.
  3. Make a worksheet that reports the 3D locus and the Z coordinate.
  4. If you need the groups to be symbols again, then run the Replace with Symbols command from the modify>convert menu and all will be returned to normal but with the origins reported on a worksheet.

If you are worried about reporting other 3D loci in the file, then you could insert the 3D locus as its own symbol. Just make a worksheet that reports the Symbol name with the Z coordinate. That will distinguish it from everything else. Hope that gives you what you need.


You need to convert the symbols to groups to get the results. I wonder if anybody knows a better way to get the real world Z coordinate of an object from within a symbol rather than it reporting the Z coordinate relative to the symbol origin.



Edited by markdd
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Here is a way to change the symbols' origin without to move them on the drawing:

  1. Go into the edit mode of the symbol.
  2. With the containing objects you create a new symbol within the old one. Choose the origin as where you want it to be.
  3. Move the rest of the 2D, 3D and wall opening contents into the new symbol. Make sure they are they keep its relative position, as the origin is now at a different position.
  4. Leave the symbols edit mode.
  5. With "activate similar" you now activate all your instances of the old symbol.
  6. Convert the symbol to groups and ungroup them all.
  7. Delete the old symbol out of your library and rename the new symbol using the old name.
  • Like 3
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Correcting the symbol and moving all versions of that symbol can be pretty simple. The selction tool can be set to match symbol names, or you use the Custom Selection menu function. It probably took longer to post the problem, or for us to reply.


  • Like 2
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Vectorworks is very slow, so this would've taken quite a while. I often find myself sitting, waiting minutes for Vectorworks to do anything before it updates anything in a working file. It seems that Vectorworks can't handle larger files very well. It would be wonderful if disabling layers actually made it faster, but it doesn't really help much. 

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^this is definitely a workaround to increase speed. When I use object heavy layers that do slow down VW and I don't need them to be visible then turning of does increase the operational speed.


Referencing parts of the drawing that are not going to be edited but do have a lot of geometry may also help a bit, but turning off visibility of not-needed-at-the-moment layers with lots of geometry has the most effect.


What are your computer's hardware specifications? It could be that RAM or the GPU might be the limiting factor in your case, but as @RickR mentioned operating speed is a bit subjective.

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