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Insert Truss tool - Vertical truss?


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Using the new Insert Truss tool, not the straight truss tool, is there a way to make a symbol vertical?

In all of the other versions of VW I had to have 2 symbols. A Horizontal symbol, and a vertical symbol.

Do I need to do the same thing for the new tool?

I mainly work with Tomcat, or Tomcat compatible truss, and in the files included with VW2018 all of the truss symbols are labeled "Horz" which lead me to believe I need to make verts as in the past.

I've read through several threads here, and I can't find a solid answer.

So before I take the time to make a bunch of new symbols I want to know

A: Is there a way to make an already inserted truss Vertical?

B: If I have to make a new symbol will I break any of it's functions if I duplicate a symbol and  make it vertical?



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Mickey,


If you are using the Insert Truss Tool with an existing horizontal symbol you can make that truss into a vertical truss.  In order to do this using the new tool simply change the hanging angle to 90º in the Hanging Angle selection box next to your active symbol.  When you insert the symbol it will be a vertical truss instead of a horizontal truss.  As there is no existing geometry for a vertical truss the Resource Manager will create a vertical truss that is a 3D symbol with the rest of the truss symbols in the document.  I attached a quick video to show you the process.


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  • 5 weeks later...


I don't know if i can join your conversation, i recently found out about this forum, i'm really new in VW spotlight, i have been at it for only a month now, thank you for your valuable information.

I followed your short video and learned so much in a few minutes.  At this point, i would like to know how to sit a moving light on top of a vertical truss?

Thank you for taking the time.





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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Mario,


I am glad that the video was helpful.  The best way to place a moving light on top of a vertical truss is as follows:


-Insert the light using the Lighting Instrument Tool and use the insertion point for the light as the center of the end of the truss.  Be sure you are in a Top/Plan view when you do this.  If you are using a lighting       instrument from the Resource Manager they are all designed to be inserted hanging in the down position.  This of course means that your light is inside the truss as it is hanging down.  

-To correct the issue of the light hanging inside your truss, select the light and scroll down to the bottom of the Object Info Palette until you see a check box labeled "Set 3D Orientation".

-When you check the Set 3D Orientation Box you will activate a X Rotation and a Y Rotation dialog box directly below the Set 3D Orientation box.

-If you enter a value of 180 in the Y rotation dialog box your light will rotate so that it is standing up instead of hanging down.

-You may have to adjust the Z height of your light to get it to rest on top of the truss but that should be it.  In a side view your light will be sitting on top of the vertical truss and pointing up as opposed to pointing down. 


I hope that helps.


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  • 5 months later...



I stumbled upon this thread on my search regarding hanging angle.


I understand being able to change the truss hanging angle while inserting a new truss symbol.


My question, is there a way to change the hanging angle of a group of connected truss symbols? For example, if I make a square of trusses, can I grab all of the trusses and change their hanging angle after I have created it?


- Max

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee



Hi Max,


Unfortunately, at this time you cannot change the hanging angle of a truss that is already in place.  If you know the hanging angle in advance and insert your first piece using the angle all of the pieces of truss that connect will follow the original angle.  


There is somewhat of a workaround though and it is as follows:


-Select the connected trusses that you want to rotate and make sure they are all highlighted

-In the OIP check the "Draw 3D Only" box which will remove the 2D geometry and allow for rotation

-Go to a front, back, or side view so that you can see the profile of the truss and not the top

-Rotate using the Modify>Rotate command or the Rotate Tool

-My preference is to use the Rotate Tool as it allows me to choose the point from which to rotate and I can see a preview of the angle


By using the Rotate Tool in different views you can create compound angled sets of connected truss.


I hope that helps answer your question.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 11 months later...



Just jumping in on this. Im using the insert straight truss tool and then making it a flat truss (Ladder Truss as I call it) I then adjust the roll so the truss is hanging to the two chords are hanging above and below from each other. Is there a way to then make the 2d symbol look the same, so it just looks like a single pipe? It seems to always want to show itself sitting flat with the chords to the left and right of each other. 


Im using 2020,


Thanks 🙂



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Our ladder trusses each have 2 sets of symbols to address this issue, one 'flat' and one 'upright'. Depending on the truss library you may need to activate the straight truss tool and search using the toolbar drop-down rather than just selecting in the resource manager


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