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Getting Started Guide - Architecture

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

We have a number of Getting Started Guides for some of the major industries we cater to. To increase their visibility, I will pin each current one to its own subforum and keep the links updated yearly.


These guides are designed to provide you with a strong base as you learn to use Vectorworks to design, communicate, and document the ideas that you are passionate about. This guide will take you through the use of the core architectural tools. As well as, introduce you to key concepts ranging from the uses for classes and layers, to symbol types and publishing you projects.





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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
4 minutes ago, Asen beginner said:

Could you please help me with the design layers..


why everything is floating in isometric layer view?

Apologies, could you post a screenshot of what you are seeing? My first guess would be that View > Unified View was turned off.

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You will see at about the middle of the pic attached a button showing a stack of sheets with a black bracket beside it highlighted in blue.  This is the "unified view" button and what it does essentially is stack your layers so that when you are creating say a multi level building like a 2 storey house the layers will show stacked instead of what you are getting...random floating layers.

ScreenHunter_42 Nov. 03 13.40.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Existing Viewports can be reassigned to any existing sheet layer:  Select the vp then in OIP click into the Layer pulldown menu near top and choose the desired layer.


New Viewports are created in a design layer view and assigned to a new or existing sheet layer in the Create Viewport dialog pane. I prefer to do it this way:

1. Set the design layer view as desired. Leave some extra space around the edges. Note the the VP about to be created will show the layers and classes visible in this view. But, if desired, that can be altered any time after the VP is created.

2. Draw a rectangle or other 2d shape surrounding the intended viewport area. This will be the viewport crop object. Everything inside the crop will be shown in the vp, everything outside the crop will be excluded,  If the view is 3d - ie anything other than Topplan or Top, set the drawing plane to Screen so that the rectangle does not appear on the layer plane. Remember that you may want to return the drawing to layer plane when next working in a layer plane.

3.  With the rectangle selected, click in menu bar View>Create Viewport. A warning dialog opens asking whether to use the rectangle as the VPs crop object. Click Yes.

4. The Create Viewport dialog opens. Near top is the Assign to Layer pull down menu. Choose an existing sheet layer in the list or choose New to create a new sheet layer. If New, then another dialog opens with options for the new sheet. Fill these options (they can be modified later as desired). Note that a VP can also be assigned to a design layer, called a Design Layer ViewPort. DLVPs have different uses.

5. Click Ok to exit the new sheet layer creation dialog  (a new sheet is added to the drawing). The Create Viewport dialog is still open. Set all options as desired, click OK to create the new Viewport and exit the dialog. 

6.  Drawing view changes to show the new VP, selected,  on the target sheet layer.

7.  Viewport OIP has pulldown field at top to adjust the layer where the VP resides. Fields lower in the dialog allow changes to layers and classes visible in the VP and other qualities of the VP.


hth. Post back if more ‘splainin’ needed.


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  • 2 years later...
  • 4 months later...

How should go about planning a whole building with mutiple floors (at least 8-11 Floors) , including all interior design aspects (Furniture, Accessories, Lighting, Surfaces, etc.), while keeping the File-size of the drawing reasonably low. I have been trying, but im noticing after only just two floors how much MBs i habe....109MB. After a while,  won't renderings just take too long?  I would appreciate any suggestions or help. Thank you.....oh but i already tried cleaning it up. Didnt' help much in this case.

Edited by hamilton-black
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