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G Troyer

Where did "Edit Site Model Source Data" go???

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I love VW 2018 with one BIG exception. I can no longer right click on a site model and view or edit the source data! I called tech support and they said that feature went away with the 2018 release. 

 

I may very well go back to 2017 for this feature. Ask anyone who regularly imports survey data and generates topo maps and they will all tell you that it is very important to be able to go in and delete or edit bad points. Why oh why would Vectorworks remove a very basic important feature like this?

 

Hopefully tech support was wrong and someone can tell me how to edit survey points after creation of a site model.

 

Thank you,

Glenn Troyer

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Have you tried editing the contours instead (including deleting vertices)?

Edited by Christiaan

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I like being able to edit the contours when needed but that does not solve my problem. Lets say for instance that my contour map looks great with exception of a large bubble in the middle because there was a  benchmark shot I took on top of a fence post out in the field that was included during the survey data import. In VW 2016 I simply performed the following steps.

 

Right clicked on the site model

Selected "Edit Site Mode Source Data"

Select the benchmark shot

In the Object Info pallet I would select "Use as 2D/3D graphic only.

Exit and update the site model. 

 

I use VW to create contours based on my survey data. I don't want to manually edit contours (VERY time consuning) just because of  data points that I can't access anymore. This would be counterproductive.

It is very frustrating to get a new release with so many great updates only to have some key features disappear.

 

Edited by G Troyer

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That for me is an absolute no-go ...

That is why I'm back to VW 2017 and will ignore VW 2018 until I can edit, or at least extract,

source data again.

I do edit and optimize my SM Source Data all the time over the whole project duration.

 

It was stated, you asked we listened,

People asked why we can't just edit the contour lines ?

Fine.

But this new edit mode is no replacement for taking away Existing Source Data Editing !

(I can elaborate on this)

 

 

First I wondered why I was confronted with just another new arbitrary UI Element again,

the "Edit Contour Tools Palette" with grayed out and deactivated standard Palettes Icons.

Why not just use the Tools from Standard Palettes ???

 

Until I realized, the new form of UI will just tell you that you "shall not" use other Tools

beside the ones shown when editing Contours.

Unfortunately you CAN use other Tools as well, like the Tools you added to your

Custom Workspace's RMB Option Menu or all Tools from the Menu Bar.

 

And they work fine like "Simplify Polys" and such things - as long as you stay in your

"Edit Mode" Session. But as soon as you left the Edit Mode and come back later,

all these Tool Actions will be reverted again !

 

 

VW "Contours" are no Source Data at all.

They will be generated from the Site Model, which was once created on Source Data.

You will see this when Contour Height Settings differ from Source Data Heights.

Then Contours will be offset in XY direction from the Meshes Vertices.

 

So there is no more later Source Data Optimization by further Simplify Polygons anymore.

You can delete Contours Vertices as you like, that will not Simplify the Mesh.

And you can't optimize your Mesh by moving some 3D Poly vertices to the corners of your

Texture Beds, if they were positioned curtly beside those and create unnecessary Mesh Salad.

 

 

Creating proper Meshes is Art

and I hand craft my Site Model Meshes by Source Data and need 100% access to that Data.

 

 

 

Edited by zoomer
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Thanks zoomer...well said! Unfortunately I in the process of migrating all my 2018 files back to 2017 as well. At least I was only a week into 2018 so only have a dozen or so files to roll back.

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I had started playing with the new site model in 2018 and really enjoyed the contour editability, but I didn't realize that you couldn't edit the source data anymore...?!

 

This is a no-go for me too! We often have extremely complex source data that I have to manipulate just to create a usable site model. Not being able to do so iteratively will cost us significant time and headache.

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Not to get misunderstood, I also like the new features very much.

 

But I see no chance keeping existing source contour data and recreate a new Site Model

each time I have to re-edit source data - if all my contour work is gone then too.

Hard enough that re-editing existing contours may destroy your proposed contour work.

So kind of a one-way street.

May be fine for simpler terrains though with contour editing only though.

 

I need to export my site models to a 3D App and maybe do some edits there,

so I need a proper mesh without unnecessary extra vertices that make work harder.

(BTW the Face Normals are flipped)

 

 

Currently I have to rework my DTM's existing source data, because there are some kind of

"proposed" existing changes, like a street outside of the property that is in planning and

now changed. So not something you want in your cut and fill calculations by proposed changes.

And these changes caused problems in existing so I need full control over source data.

Edited by zoomer

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Wow... I have just spent a little time with the 2018 DTM, and it seems to have a lot of good features and great potential.  Especially, it seems like triangulation is much more likely to occur between contours of differing elevations, rather than between contours of the same elevation (such as seems to happen in 2017 and earlier, often creating stepped ridges & valleys...).  ((In this case, by "contours" I mean flat 3D polygons used as source data)).  But, yes, the inability to edit the source data in 2018 seems like a major drawback.  I'd gotten good at manipulating existing DTMs with 3D polygons, and only recently figured out how to similarly manipulate proposed DTMs (simply by putting the 3D polygons in the "Site-DTM-Modifiers" class...).  And now it looks like we can only use 3D polygons to manipulate the proposed DTM, and not the existing DTM??  Being able to work with contours is great, but 3D polygons make it much easier to create things like twisted surfaces (as far as I know, Pads can only have a mono pitch).  So, yes please!  Either bring back the ability to edit the source data, or maybe at least the ability to use 3D polygons, loci, etc, in both of the contour editing modes.  Also, it really seems like we should be able to edit the underlying existing DTM without losing the proposed DTM (assuming I've got my understanding of how that works correct...).  VWIS113

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I have to try a bit more in VW 2018 when my Source Data is finally finished in VW 2017.

(btw 1-3 Crashes a day)

 

@willofmaineFor a Moment I thought you will have 3D Mesh Sources and you manipulate by

"painting" 3D Polygon Triangles into that Mesh, when you talked about "flat 3D Polygons".

(Not a bad idea to do the whole Meshing by hand)

 

Now I tumbled over the Terms and Object Types used in VW.

What you want and need as Source Data, beside kind of Points or Meshes, are Contour Lines.

And I think these Lines are the most preferred Data as the new Contour Mode implementation shows.

These are fine in edibility and human readable.

 

So you want Continuous Lines with multiple Segments at one Height => 2D Multi Lines.

Because 2D Multi Lines don't exist in VW, you have to use an (open) Polygon, which is not the same

as it connects the open ends anyway and can even have a fill.

But as 2D Elements in VW have or show no Height although they can be moved in Z, we need to use

3D Polygons which are much harder to edit and you risk to that you destroy your Z height over XY plane

when editing multiple Polygons at once.

 

1.

So I vote for a new general standard continuous Line Tool with Z Height Setting and option to stay flat

according to the current plane when starting drawing.

 

2.

When switching through Vertices of a "Polygon" by the arrows in OIP I wish that the selected Vertex

stays highlighted !

 

3.

Especially for nearly linear segments, I wish to get  an Option to temporarily show all Vertices - of all Lines,

not the selected ones only.

 

4.

When editing multiple Elements with the Modify Tool, in their Sub Vertex Mode by using the Marquee,

I wish to have all standard Selection Options (SHIFT, ALT) and Selected Vertices have to be highlighted

in a different more important color to be able to see and control what you do.

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@zoomerActually, I'm looking to use 3D polygons both flat as "contours" and three-dimensionally (with vertices of varying Z heights).

 

But, absolutely, the inability to adjust 3D polygons (and perform other 3D operations for that matter) in a plane parallel to the screen when in Top or any of the Side views has always seemed like a drawback (https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/43951-working-parallel-to-the-screen/#comment-222435).  In any case...

 

I very rarely work with meshes, and I've never used meshes as source data for a site model (and isn't a DTM really a mesh of sorts itself?...).  Maybe a couple of examples of my use of 3D polygons might be helpful...

 

Let's say I've received a survey for a site that has a house with a basement on it.  Typically the survey will not address the hole for the basement.  So first I'll extend the survey's contours across the footprint of the house, with flat 3D polygons (actually, I'll draw regular polygons, convert them to 3D polygons, then move them to their correct elevations because, as I think we've been saying, if you snap to an existing survey contour at, say, 88', all subsequent vertices for that 3D polygon will be at Z=0 when, ideally, if we could work parallel to the screen, all subsequent snaps would be at the same height as the first snap... (very much like the way the new "Site Model Contour" tool works, which is great)).  Next I'll create the Site Model from a combination of the survey contours and my new infill contours.  Then in Top/Plan view I'll draw a polygon representing the footprint of the house, and I'll offset it a few inches (so that it's within the width of the foundation walls).  I'll convert both polygons into 3D polygons.  I'll send the outer 3D polygon to the surface of the DTM, which gives me a 3D polygon that represents grade at the perimeter of the building.  Then I'll set the height of the inner 3D polygon just below the basement floor elevation.  Then (and here's where it all falls apart in VW 2018...) I'll move both of these 3D polygons into the source data, exit, update the site model and, voila, I now have a basement hole in my existing site model.  Note that it was necessary to first create the site model in order to find grade at the building's perimeter, and then edit the site model and add the 3D polygons to its source data.  In VW 2018, this approach does not seem possible; it's sure to be a lot more difficult to otherwise figure out where grade is at the building's perimeter. 

 

Another example is creating a site model in the absence of a survey (maybe based on building measurements, photos, and/or a topo map of the area).  Maybe there's a "twisted" lawn (where one side of the lawn is clearly a different slope than the opposite side of the lawn).  (Not to mention parking areas, which are rarely mono pitches...)  Much easier to establish four (or however many) corner points, connect those with a warped 3D polygon, and let the site model figure out the contours, than it is to try and manually create the contours that would be necessary as source data to create such a warped surface.

 

So, there are lots of reasons to be able to manipulate the existing DTM, as well as the proposed DTM, with 3D polygons, 3D loci, maybe meshes, and whatever other geometry might be useful.

 

Maybe all we need is an additional site modifier class: one that acts on the existing site model, along with the current class that acts only on the proposed site model.  Or maybe both that and access to the source data.

 

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31 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

I'm looking to use 3D polygons both flat as "contours" and three-dimensionally (with vertices of varying Z heights).

 

Will that work ? (or until VW 2017 only)

I was too afraid to try so far.

That would be cool.

Will their segment edges also be considered for the meshing ?

Theoretically that would help a lot to control wrong edges in the Mesh,

like diagonal streets over a slope.

 

 

34 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Maybe all we need is an additional site modifier class: one that acts on the existing site model, along with the current class that acts only on the proposed site model.  Or maybe both that and access to the source data.

 

Maybe I missed something but I created a lot of Modifiers (Texture Beds only so far),

assigned to existing only, for outside of the property and currently I draw 2D geometry

where I thought these will get Modifiers assigned to proposed - and that both will work

together later automatically (?) 

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54 minutes ago, zoomer said:

 

Will that work ? (or until VW 2017 only)

I was too afraid to try so far.

That would be cool.

Will their segment edges also be considered for the meshing ?

Theoretically that would help a lot to control wrong edges in the Mesh,

like diagonal streets over a slope.

 

Absolutely, to everything you said.  A 3D polygon (either flat or with its vertices at varying Z heights) is very different than a matching set of 3D loci that correspond to all of the 3D polygon's vertices.  With the 3D loci, there's no control over how the DTM's triangles are generated between points (at the very least, two different pairs of triangles can be generated by any four points).  But with a 3D polygon, the lines between its vertices are respected by the DTM, and the edges of triangles can't cross above or below those lines (if the lines of more than one 3D polygon cross (in Top view), their draw order dictates which takes precedence).

 

1 hour ago, zoomer said:

Maybe I missed something but I created a lot of Modifiers (Texture Beds only so far),

assigned to existing only, for outside of the property and currently I draw 2D geometry

where I thought these will get Modifiers assigned to proposed - and that both will work

together later automatically (?) 

 

Not sure I'm following you here... Modifier objects (such as Texture Beds and Pads) can be applied to either the existing or proposed site model**.  But 3D polygons don't inherently have those options.  Prior to 2017, 3D polygons can be included in the source data to apply to the existing site model, or they can be placed in the "Site-DTM-Modifier" class to apply to the proposed site model.  But in Vectorworks 2018, it seems there's no longer any way to apply 3D polygons to the existing site model (unless they're included prior to the site model's creation).  Thus my suggestion for an additional class, so that we can use all applicable modeling tools to manipulate the existing DTM as well as the proposed DTM. 

 

**Which actually means you could do a hole for an existing basement easily enough using a pad and grade limits, but, not a warped surface or any of the other "sculpting" of the existing site model that could be done through 2017 with 3D polygons...

 

 

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Again, I am a little said to hear that the use of 3d polys placed in the Site-DTM-Modifier class is no longer supported as a way of sculpting site models. We spent a lot of time honing that particular workflow...

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15 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Not sure I'm following you here...

 

Thanks, got it.

 

 

16 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

(if the lines of more than one 3D polygon cross (in Top view), their draw order dictates which takes precedence).

 

My intention is to to cross MANY (2D) Contours with a 3D Polyline by snapping to one vertex of each.

Does this count as a crossing ? Or do double Vertices at the same place irritate the DTM ?

 

Have to play with that - the next time.

This time I arranged all Contours and added vertices to do mostly what I want.

Because I was afraid of the VW 2018 warnings whenever something crossed ;)

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So my current impression for a VW 2018 workflowaround :

 

- do all possible source data simplification seriously and as much as possible

(less is more)

- Make duplicates of source data to create a test DTM from time to time for examination.

(throw it away after)

- when the existing DTM is finally clean create your existing modifiers and optimize them.

- go back and forth to fit source data to modifiers and vice versa.

- create proposed modifiers and try to fit source data to these.

- If everything ok, do your first serious VW 2018 DTM.

- Do all repairs in existing contours first - and never touch again.

- Now you can start working ....

 

Edited by zoomer
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2 hours ago, ericjhberg said:

Again, I am a little said to hear that the use of 3d polys placed in the Site-DTM-Modifier class is no longer supported as a way of sculpting site models. We spent a lot of time honing that particular workflow...

 

It is still supported, but only for sculpting the proposed site model.  Previously, it was possible to also use 3D polygons in the source data to similarly sculpt the existing site model, but it's this ability that seems to have disappeared in 2018.  (Though based on your previous post, I think sculpting the existing is what you're interested in, anyway(?)...)

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2 hours ago, zoomer said:

My intention is to to cross MANY (2D) Contours with a 3D Polyline by snapping to one vertex of each.

Does this count as a crossing ? Or do double Vertices at the same place irritate the DTM ?

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "(2D) Contours".  If you mean the contours displayed by the site model in a Top/Plan view, they're entirely different from a 3D polygon that you might snap to them to use as a modifier.  The 2D contours are simply a representation of the 3D site model, however it might be subsequently modified by a 3D polygon.  So, assuming I've understood your question, there should be no "double vertices" issue.  (Though you can't really snap to the 2D contours anyway.  If your 3D source data is "contours" that happen to coincide with the 2D contours displayed in Top/Plan view, it may look like you're snapping to the 2D contours but, because the 3D polygon is a 3D tool, you're actually snapping to the corners or edges of the 3D triangles that make up the DTM.  See attached screen movie (in the middle of which I mistakenly put the grade limits in "apply to existing" at first, so ignore that (and, no, unfortunately doing that doesn't make the 3D polygon update the existing DTM, though I was hopeful!...))).

 

 

04-3D_Poly_Modification-03.mov

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I meant the typical 3D source data Polygons that are flat in Z.

Opposed to the 3D 3D Polygons I would like to add to correct problems.

 

I think it has never been allowed to cross these flat 3D Source Polys,

maybe it will be ignored at best but you can't start to build caves, right ?

 

With the new generated contours you also get a warning as soon as you cross something.

And the don't touch Modifiers order made me think that is a very fragil thing.

So I was afraid to cross anything, or cross flat contours perpendicular with new 3D helper Polys,

in this case.

Also when you create your 3D helper Polys and snap to flat source Polys, that means that there

are now 2 Vertices at the same place. Thought this might scare VW too.

 

As you said that is possible I will try that.

In VW 2018 you can do that too, you just need to do it before you create your final DTM.

Edited by zoomer

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2 hours ago, zoomer said:

I meant the typical 3D source data Polygons that are flat in Z.

Opposed to the 3D 3D Polygons I would like to add to correct problems.

 

I think it has never been allowed to cross these flat 3D Source Polys,

maybe it will be ignored at best but you can't start to build caves, right ?

 

Oh, okay, you're talking source data in VW 2017 and earlier.  In that case, you can liberally use 3D polygons as the source data, even crossing each other.  (And it's not really necessary to distinguish between "flat" 3D polygons and 3D 3D polygons; they're all the same as far as Vectorworks goes (all the vertices of the "flat" ones just happen to share the same Z value...)).  As I've mentioned before, the lines of 3D polygons are respected by the site model.  If the lines of two different 3D polygons cross each other, the site model will just ignore the one in front (draw order).  But, also... it will only ignore that one line segment, not any of the vertices or other lines of the rest of that conflicting 3D polygon.  This means it actually won't even attempt to create a cave but, rather, a depression or an open ended valley (I'm assuming a concave "contour" carved into the slope below the "contour" it crosses - all's inverted for a convex contour...).  Also, if two 3D polygons have vertices that share the same X,Y coordinates, but have different Z values, again, the vertices of the 3D polygon that's in front will be ignored.  See attached movie.  In the first edit I use a bunch of 3D polygons to remove the massive step from what should have been a ridge (so far, it seems 2018 does much better not creating such steps in the first place...).  In the next edit I snap a 3D polygon to a few of the "flat" 3D polygons and move it up a little.  It's ignored until I send it to the back.  In the third edit I cross a "flat" 3D polygon with a concave 3D polygon.  The site model isn't bothered, it just ignores the lines that cross the original lines.  Changing the draw order of the concave 3D polygon affects which line is ignored, thus creating either a depression or the open ended valley.  I pretty much will always cut and remove the portions of 3D polygons that I don't want, so that in Top view I don't have any crossing lines.  Otherwise, it just gets visually confusing, and it's hard to keep track of the draw order of everything.  (Sorry the movie is such a huge file... there must be a better way to share movies?  Compressing it only saved a few MB...). 

08-3D_Poly_Modification-VW2017-07.mov

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3 hours ago, zoomer said:

With the new generated contours you also get a warning as soon as you cross something.

 

Yes, this warning threw me at first.  Why in the world shouldn't new, proposed contours be able to cross existing contours?!?  Well, I think it has to do with the fact that, in VW 2018, when you edit the Proposed Site Model Contours, instead of encountering a greyed-out representation of the existing contours, where you would start creating an independent set of new contours, you instead find a duplicated set of the existing contours which, of course, can't cross each other (contours that cross each other will indicate a cave or cantilevered cliff (as opposed to crossed 3D polygons, which aren't contours at all...)).  But, actually, in spite of the persistent warnings, the site model does seems to take it upon itself to adjust other contours as necessary when they're crossed.  But this kind of highlights the problem of having access to contours only for editing the existing site model: previously we could use whatever means was simplest, such as a warped 3D polygon to define a sloping lawn, and the site model would then figure out the contours for us.  Now, in VW 2018, we need to figure out the contours in order to update the existing site model so that it can then turn around and... generate those contours for us!  As the OP, @G Troyer described, he can't just simply remove his one problematic benchmark shot... he needs to thoughtfully remove and/or redraw all of the affected contours.

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3 hours ago, zoomer said:

And the don't touch Modifiers order made me think that is a very fragil thing.

 

Um, yeah.  In Vectorworks 2017 you can edit the existing conditions source data at any time, even after proposed modifications have been made.  The proposed modifications simply re-modify the updated existing conditions site model if the source data is changed.

 

But in VW 2018, evidently, when trying to edit the Site Model Contours, all the warnings are not to be taken lightly.  VW 2018 seems pretty much incapable of accommodating changes to the existing site model once modifications have been made to the proposed site model.  Things just rapidly went from bad to worse when I tried.

 

So!!!  Our inability to edit source data with anything other than contours may be an entirely moot point, if we can't even edit those contours without wreaking havoc on a site model that features proposed modifications...

 

I guess your "workflow around" is the way to go.  Except that this...

 

20 hours ago, zoomer said:

- go back and forth to fit source data to modifiers and vice versa.

- create proposed modifiers and try to fit source data to these.

 

 

...is sure to be a bit of a nightmare!

 

Hopefully soon (with SP1?...) we will be able to:

 

1.) Edit the existing conditions for modified site models without issues;

2.) Be able to make those edits to the existing conditions site model contours and its source data using all of the tools (3D polygons, loci, etc.) available for editing the proposed site model.

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52 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Well, I think it has to do with the fact that, in VW 2018, when you edit the Proposed Site Model Contours, instead of encountering a greyed-out representation of the existing contours, where you would start creating an independent set of new contours, you instead find a duplicated set of the existing contours

 

VW 2018

I don't know so far exactly how Contour changes do influence the original Mesh from sources.

In a simple example It just directly changed the mesh exactly the same way, beside that

reducing points in contours  will not reduce the corners of the mesh.

But in my complex project terrain the source 3D Lines are slightly off in height raster,

so moving Contour points happens beside the actual Mesh points in Top View.

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10 minutes ago, willofmaine said:

Our inability to edit source data with anything other than contours may be an entirely moot point, if we can't even edit those contours without wreaking havoc on a site model that features proposed modifications...

 

I also think there came a new risk or unflexibility by the new feature.

What I called "one way street".

 

As for manipulating existing data, before any proposed edits that could get lost,

I first have to get used to Contour Editing to see if it can do all needed modifications

too maybe. I hope so. Otherwise, why would they have changed the system completely

if it would not have at least some improvements.

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On ‎9‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 7:45 PM, G Troyer said:

I love VW 2018 with one BIG exception. I can no longer right click on a site model and view or edit the source data! I called tech support and they said that feature went away with the 2018 release. 

 

I may very well go back to 2017 for this feature. Ask anyone who regularly imports survey data and generates topo maps and they will all tell you that it is very important to be able to go in and delete or edit bad points. Why oh why would Vectorworks remove a very basic important feature like this?

 

Hopefully tech support was wrong and someone can tell me how to edit survey points after creation of a site model.

 

Thank you,

Glenn Troyer

There is a context menu item Recreate from Source Data, right click on the model and choose it. An alert appears saying that any edits made to contours will be lost and if you accept, it enters edit mode showing the source data where they can be edited.

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