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Making styled objects in Vectorworks

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In a sense a large part of designing in BIM is assigning styles to objects, i.e. declaring that these objects are of one specific type and have the same properties. When the properties of this style are changed, all the objects, that this style is assigned to, should change as well. I have been trying to wrap my head around the system that Vectorworks has to make styled objects, but so far it does not make much sense. Below I'll outline how I understand it so far. I also tried to put then into a hierarchy and attached an image of this. Is that roughly correct? Is there some intentional logic underlying this system, or is it mostly just contingent, in the sense that these features have been added incrementally and Nemetschek hasn't taken the time to redesign them in an intentional way? Are there plans to update this system? The way this works in Revit for example, makes a lot more sense.


There seem to be only 2 real "object styles" (shown on the image below as well):

Wall, Slab, Roof styles - these work exactly how one would except styles to work

Door, Windows styles - essentially work like styles as well, but are grouped under plug-in objects for some reason.


Everything else only works as replaceable plug-in objects. In the OIP these have the save element and replace element buttons. However all of these objects have to replaced manually to reflect the changes, that have been made to the style, which will get complicated on larger projects with lots of elements that have to be changed.

Stair seem to be different from other plug-in objects. There's a button to save an existing stair as a style, which can be placed in the model, but it works the same way as the rest of plug-in object (updates to the style are not reflected in the object instances). However I cannot find a way to replace an existing stair with another saved style. Hence I have to make changes to stairs individually to every instance. Correct me on this if I'm wrong.


All the plug-in object can be turned into symbols, of course. This only works for objects that are not height parametric, e.g. columns can have a different height depending on the story they are on, in a symbol they can only have one specific height. Therefore this one only works for things like furniture.


Edit: Corrected the type in the image


Edited by taavilooke
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I think you meant "WALLS, Slab  & Roof Styles" in your right top group (?)


I think for the Stairs, there currently is no direct Style option.

There is the option from the Dialog Window to save whole or partly Presets.

You could use these, when selecting all Stairs at once, to force a new preset.
Which is similar like replacing a Style of plugin objects.



I think the intention is to "stylize" all BIM parts and give them Story Level awareness at one point.


Maybe the new Structural Members are thought to replace the old Column Tool at one point totally.

But with 2017 old Columns where again updated to be Story Level aware (great !). They have no Styles so far.

While Doors and Windows have Styles (great !) but are not Level aware.

Who knows.

Could be a hint that that certain inconsistencies stay so far because certain Tools are thought to

get greater rebuild or replacement soon (Doors/Windows).


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