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VW 2018 Door/Window Catalogs


Samuel Derenboim

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2 hours ago, Rob Books said:

 

It is not possible at this time for users to create a catalog.

 

 

In what way do catalogs differ from styles ?

Do manufacturers have more options in geometry settings than current international

Door/Window UI offers to users ?

(Maybe in a more technical and less user friendly way à la GDL)

Or just information data input and those, for a user less interesting, things ?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Catalogs are all the data for a product line in a spreadsheet.  that spreadsheet is then read by an XML file to create the view that is seen when you place a window.  Each symbol for the catalog has s separate xml file for it's spreadsheet.  they are then all joined somehow to create what the users sees.  I didn't have direct involvement in the creation of the catalogs, I just know that it is not simply creating the spreadsheet.

Edited by Rob Books
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Creating catalogs is most certainly an expert/power user/super geeky level task. But, It may not be TOO difficult if you want to create your own using the same set of parameters an existing catalog uses. You can duplicate a set of existing catalog files and rename them for a new catalog. You can find the shipping catalog files in the VW application folder under Libraries/Object Styles/Door (or Window)/Catalogs. If you copy, rename and move the three (xlsx, txt, xml) files for an existing catalog to the same file path in the VW User folder (you may need to add the "Catalogs" folder), a new catalog of that filename will be available in VW. The three files MUST have the same name (before the file extension) and here are their purpose:

  • XML: Defines how the catalog is organized, which parameters are used, and plenty more geeky information. I highly recommend not editing this file.
  • XLSX: This is an Excel file used to edit the parameter values for all items within the catalog. This is for content creators and not used by the VW application.
  • TXT: A Tab Delimited Text file saved (exported) from the Excel file.

You can then edit the "xlsx" file in Excel, replace parameter values with your own, and save as "Tab Delimited Text" (replacing the previous "txt" file).

 

WARNING 1: The data must be very carefully formatted.

WARNING 2: If needing to create a Window catalog containing windows using Custom Sash parameters, it gets very tricky. I recommend steering clear of this until you really want to enter maximum geekiness. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ;-)

Edited by Matt Panzer
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28 minutes ago, Matt Panzer said:

Creating catalogs is most certainly an expert/power user/super geeky level task. But, It may not be TOO difficult if you want to create your own using the same set of parameters an existing catalog uses. You can duplicate a set of existing catalog files and rename them for a new catalog. You can find the shipping catalog files in the VW application folder under Libraries/Object Styles/Door (or Window)/Catalogs. If you copy, rename and move the three (xlsx, txt, xml) files for an existing catalog to the same file path in the VW User folder (you may need to add the "Catalogs" folder), a new catalog of that filename will be available in VW. The three files MUST have the same name (before the file extension) and here are their purpose:

  • XML: Defines how the catalog is organized, which parameters are used, and plenty more geeky information. I highly recommend not editing this file.
  • XLSX: This is an Excel file used to edit the parameter values for all items within the catalog. This is for content creators and not used by the VW application.
  • TXT: A direct TXT export from the Excel file.

You can then edit the "xlsx" file in Excel, replace parameter values with your own, and save as "txt" (replacing the previous "txt" file).

 

WARNING 1: The data must be very carefully formatted.

WARNING 2: If needing to create a Window catalog containing windows using Custom Sash parameters, it gets very tricky. I recommend steering clear of this until you really want to enter maximum geekiness. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ;-)

 

 

Matt, I was going this route until I had to copy the txt file export. It looks like a csv export of some sort. Direct export to txt? how would i go about doing that? I also noticed the xml file is coded, so therefore it would be best to leave that end alone, right? Once you empty out the spreadsheets, you can create the catalogs from inside vectorworks - no need to modify one by one. But I agree, copy and paste a few dozen times for various door and window manufacturers and you have yourself a great resource without filling in the blanks just modify the rough opening and clear opening elements and possibly frame sizes / descriptions of the window and its catalog cut sheet.

 

Something we in NY specify often are Ceco doors, or other steel doors for egress / mechanical room access, etc. Surprising theres no catalog for them yet. But if I manage to get it to work, will share! Other door companies like simpson, etc... or window companies like pella. Looking forward to new releases! 

 

One huge cumbersome element however - Descriptive elements for doors / windows are parametric - and cannot be edited or modified from a worksheet! Back in 2015, it was, until a more proprietary integration system was put into Vectorworks. That I believe is the biggest downside with automating schedules and updating libraries. Just my two cents. 

 

Otherwise, this new update is a great breath of fresh air. Its faster too! Especially the additional viewports and the tabbed windows.

 

Either way, I'll come back when I've explored a bit more regarding hacking into the catalog files ;)

 

Thanks everyone! 

Edited by Samuel Derenboim
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Samuel,

Apologies. I should've said save as a "Tab Delimited Text" file. I'll edit my original post. And yes, it would be much faster to add (and manage) many catalog items in the spreadsheet.

 

Can you give me an example of "descriptive elements" that are not editable via worksheet?

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OK, this is an old post, but I'm wading in for the first time looking for a bit of magic.

 

No offense to VWX, but this is a horrible work flow - and I'm a 26 year user. There has to be a more intuitive way for a major software company that prides itself on having an intuitive program.

 

Why can't I have a window with an Andersen (or Pella or whatever style), but choose the size within the instance?

 

For now, I have to move on to something else where I enter the size manually after having the other attributes from that original style.

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25 minutes ago, leecalisti said:

OK, this is an old post, but I'm wading in for the first time looking for a bit of magic.

 

No offense to VWX, but this is a horrible work flow - and I'm a 26 year user. There has to be a more intuitive way for a major software company that prides itself on having an intuitive program.

 

Why can't I have a window with an Andersen (or Pella or whatever style), but choose the size within the instance?

 

For now, I have to move on to something else where I enter the size manually after having the other attributes from that original style.

 

Edit the Style and toggle the By Style/Instance button to "By Instance" next to the catalog button at the top of the dialog.

image.png

 

This will allow instances to choose different models from the catalog (via the "Select from Catalog" button in the Object Info palette or Settings dialog).

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@Matt Panzer  OK, that works better. However, it's a bit arcane to decipher.

 

Thanks for the tip.

 

 

41 minutes ago, Matt Panzer said:

 

Edit the Style and toggle the By Style/Instance button to "By Instance" next to the catalog button at the top of the dialog.

image.png

 

This will allow instances to choose different models from the catalog (via the "Select from Catalog" button in the Object Info palette or Settings dialog).

 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, leecalisti said:

@Matt Panzer  OK, that works better. However, it's a bit arcane to decipher.

 

Thanks for the tip.

 

I agree that this could be a little more intuitive.  We considered having the catalog item "by instance" in our content to be more convenient.  However, we wanted to reinforce the idea that a Door/Window Style typically represents a Door/Window "Type" (or a specific size and model).  We recommend importing a style with the catalog item by style and renaming it to refer to a specific "type" (eg: "Window A").  This way you will have a style for each type.  While, in the beginning stages of design, users may want more flexibility, we wanted to direct them in the direction that will make it easier to manage door/window "types" as the project progresses.

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