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Text Style Scale : Sheet layers Vs Design layers

Samuel Derenboim


Good evening everyone, 


Wanted to list a new request for future versions because i've been having a problem for a bit of time now. I've been standardizing my firms sheet standards, symbol standards, and template standards for drawing types.


One thing that i have ran into while drawing in vectorworks is the problems with text scale and consistency of text size. To give a bit of background - we know that we have two different types of scales that we all draft in - design layers and post the information in sheet layers. Both however, are governed by scales. Design layers have a scale for line types, etc... and sheet layers reference design layers in the viewports.


One thing that I love that Vectorworks did was the text style tool that standardized all text used in a file. Meaning, if you said that a text style for a particular drawing is to be size 12, you can use that text style consistently. However, the team didn't take into account one minor detail - 

Let's say your design layer scale is at 1/4" = 1'-0" and are using a viewport in a sheet layer viewport scale at 1/4" = 1'-0" with a text size of 12. The way VW is programmed - the nice thing about it is the size of the text stays consistent - it appears in sheet layer at 12 as it would for 1:1 scale. However, the complexity increases when the variables change.


Let's say you have the same design layer scale at 1/4"=1'-0" but have a sheet layer viewport scale at 1/2"=1'-0" - what happens? the same size 12 text appears as size text 24 - because the viewport is showing the text 2 times the size of the design layer viewport.


Now for the request - since we like to allocate different sizes on the sheet layer scale - is it possible for the text style scale to have an option to appear the size of 12 in the Viewport scale and scale the size of the text in the different design layer viewports accordingly? In the end - we inherently want all of our text to appear consistent throughout all of our drawings and the way we see from our eyes is at 1:1. So all we have to do is pick 5 or 6 different sized text sizes rather than dozens (if not hundreds) if we increase the variability of our text sizes in sheet layer viewport scale vs design layer scale.

Heres a chart below for some more information regarding the ratios.





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Hi Andy, 


Thank you for the tip. I'm aware of this trick, but there are four main reasons this is a little bit of a cumbersome workaround


1. Cannot see the size of the text change while you're designing in design layer viewport. It would be important to understand the scale difference while youre designing that way you konw that it will be in the right locations and fits inside the rooms properly.

2. As text size changes from the Viewport scale, it tends to move. When it moves it can obstruct important elements in the drawing, and consequently you still have to go back to the design layer to change the location.

3. It doesn't export properly into Autocad. Meaning - any modifications you did to the plans will most likely not reflect in any other program. An embedded function inside the text style would and could take care of that.

4. It generally slows down workflow because you constantly need to check if this option is turned on. Its very prone to user error because a user can forget to go into the viewport options.


Additionally, with the trick above - you can implement it one of two ways (using the chart). Either you set the class to have the custom size of the annotative scale that you need and use that class for annotation on that particular layer. That would mean creating one additional class and one additional text style at the appropriate size, and distinguising which classes needed to be used on which design layer viewport. (this eliminates flexibility)


The second method is to provide the appropriate text styles representing each of the conditions as shown in the chart above.

so that would mean if you use 1:1 scale, 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4", 1 1/2" scale for sheet layer viewports and say 1/4" and 1 1/2" for design layer - with 4 varying text sizes for annotation - that would mean you need 12 different text styles representing each condition. Unfortunately very laborious. That and, difficult to change font and variability globally as well.


Note - this is similar to annotative elements in autocad, but i personally think it would be easier to implement if you just simply check an option to show viewport lettering size of the appropriate scale inside the text style as a drop down - you simply select the scale this drawing will be displayed in via sheet layer viewport scale.

Edited by Samuel Derenboim
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