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Exporting DWG - but only what you can see in the sheet layer

Liz YO


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If you go to the sheet layer and select the viewport that you want to export then, yes I believe so. Why not give it a try, and if you don't have a DWG viewer, then importing the DWG back into a fresh Vectorworks file will give you a good indication of what has worked.

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If you only have one viewport per sheet layer or if you have multiple viewports that are subsets of the largest (area of the drawing wise) you could make an export file that only contained the needed information.


The following assumes that all the design layers are at the same scale.


Save an "export" file under a different name so you don't lose any data.


In the "export file", delete any layers that are not used in any of the viewports you want to keep. Make sure your Layer Options and Class Options are set to Show/Snap/Modify Others.


Go to the "largest" viewport, the one that shows the maximum area of the drawing. Double Click the viewport and choose Edit Design Layer. Choose a layer and tell it to Add Reference Crop Object.  Marquee select the crop object and hold down the Option (Alt) key to select all objects that are touched by the marquee, not just the objects that are fulling inside the marquee.  You should now have all of the objects that are even partially contained within the viewport selected.


Go to the Edit menu and choose Invert Selection. You should now have all of the objects that are outside of the viewport area selected.  Delete the objects.


Go to the Tools menu and close Purge.  Check the settings delete the unused objects you don't want exported and click OK.


Save the file.  You should now have a VW file that contains the viewport(s) you want and the minimum amount of information on the design layer to generate those viewports.


If you export from this file to DWG you should get what you are looking for.





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OK - I will try this method if I get time to figure it all out! However I must say this is such a long winded way around what should be such a simple process.


When you mention deleting objects - does this delete them permanently from the file?  I want to work from one file alone, this should be possible.


Why is this so difficult VectorWorks?!

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I have been trying to do the same but I don't think that the method above works in my situation. I have several cropped viewports on a sheet. When you export the sheet however you don't just get the information within the cropped viewports as one would hope, you get all the information associated with the viewport including that outside the crop. I have for example a couple of viewports that are cropped sections. When exported I get every section in the project (my sections are all on one design layer in this project). So one exported sheet that should be less than 1Mb turns into a dwg of over 10Mb with all this extra information that I don't wish to send. Is it not possible to just export the visible information on a sheet and no more?

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Further to this I'm trying to export a sheet layer - successful in terms of drawing border and cropping content that is drawn directly on a design layer, but I have a site survey referenced in that though showing and updated in the sheet layer viewport is not coming through on the .dwg export. I see no options related to references in the export dialogue... familiar anyone?




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@Alan Woodwell Hello Alan,


I'm trying to export my viewports to dwg in the method you have suggested but I still get the extra information that is cropped out from my viewports. I tried both with 2018 and 2017 but I don't get the last dialog box that you shared in the image. Do you have an idea what might be the solution? Is it really not possible to only get the viewport information and nothing else in the export file?

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6 hours ago, ezgi said:

Is it really not possible to only get the viewport information and nothing else in the export file?

Not at the moment for dwg files, but there have been wish list request for this though those mostly focused on image crops and PDF export.


FYI, it works the same in AutoCAD etc.,  if you want only the part shown in the viewport to be in the model space you will have to replicate the viewport frame into model space and then trim everything outside that viewport frame.

However it is possible to crop an image in such a way that it deletes the parts outside the  crop boundary. It might be nice to have something similar for vector objects as well as a simple way of doing this instead of having to trim and delete items.


What you could do is copy the crop boundary as described above, use the knife tool to cut through all objects just outside of the boundary, group the boundary and the objects inside, use select all and then deselect the grouped boundary and then delete the rest. You may have to do some minor additional cleanup/slicing but this is a relatively fast way. This way you will be removing all remnants outside the crop boundary that would otherwise still remain with the method above. But as described in the reply above, use this on a copy of your file because you will be permanently deleting objects. (Or put them on a design layer that is not used in the viewport)

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17 minutes ago, Alan Woodwell said:

Hi, If i export DWG as i mentioned i get the sheet in total as a DWG file. Not sure if this is waht you want?

It depends on how the drawing is constructed, when the viewport shows only part of all objects and parts of those objects within the view crop extend beyond the view crop then those parts will be exported as well. The original poster does not want this to happen, i.e. the dwg file should show only what it visible in the viewport on the sheet layer and nothing else at all (e.g. not the part of a polyline extending beyond the view crop).


The above applies to the VW design layer/Acad model space items, it is assumed that all sheet layer items will have to be exported to the Acad layout (VW Sheet layer equivalent for those not familiar with Acad)

Edited by Art V
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Thank you Art V and Alan,

I was hoping to be able to have just independent 2D vector drawings of my viewports so that they can be copied to other files too if necessary. I do get a nice dwg version of my viewports but they are linked to crop layers in the same file so that they can not be copied outside of the file. Which I assume our client will need to do. But I will keep this in mind and prepare the next batch of viewports accordingly.

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