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Reports Records Database Worksheet Schedule

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Dear VW aficionados,


could anyone please explain to me the difference between the below.

Most likely I would understand a 'sketch  or visualisation' to it better in comparison to reading the Help menu where I can't digest the content.


--> Reports, Records, Databases, Worksheets & Schedules <--


Am getting utterly confused  about these ;0))

Any input is appreciated.



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Hi Gadzooks,

thank you for your suggestion, I understand your point of view.


The thing is I don't think I have used any of the Reports, Records, ... before on any project of mine.


So I have not a clear idea and I'd like to understand them.

Mainly what is the difference between them and when to use which for what.



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I feel your pain Grethe! I had the same probs understanding this stuff when I first started getting into it. 


In brief:

Essentially worksheets and records are tools that can be used to produce reports about objects in your drawings.


You can attach information to objects in your drawing through the use of records. For example you may have a symbol in your drawing that represents a light fitting. Using records you can attach information about the light. The record could be made up of one or more different "record fields" with each field used to enter different info about the light such as its make, model, output, price etc. You can create and customise records and attach them to almost any object.


You can attach records to objects as well as enter field info about the object via the data tab of the OIP. You can create records or edit extg records via the resource manager or alternatively via the tools>records menu.


Objects with the same record attached do not have to have the same info entered into their respective record fields. E.g. One instance of your light fitting symbol with the "light fitting" record attached may have a record field called "power" that has 50 watts entered and another field called "price" that says $200. Another instance of a light symbol with the same "light fitting" record attached, may have 35 watts and $75 entered into it's "power" and "price" fields.


So you may be asking what does all that really mean...


This is where worksheets come in. You may have a reflected ceiling plan with lots of different light fittings. All the light fittings are represented by symbols which have the "light fitting" record attached.


Using worksheets you can create a report of all the light fittings in the drawing. You tell the worksheet what criteria to look for, in this case the "light fitting" record. A report is produced in the form of a table contains data base info on all the objects in the drawing with the " light fitting "record attached to them. Each row of the table represents a different light fitting and the various columns each represent the info entered into the different record fields.


As well as record info you can also include other info about the objects in the table such its class or layer, it's scale, the symbol name etc. Similarly to excel you can enter functions and make calculations on the data in the report. E.g. You could sum the "price" fields or just simply count the number of fittings.


One of the cool things about reports is that they work two ways on record fields. I.e. You can edit the record data attached to objects in your drawing simply by editing it directly in the worksheet rather than from the object itself.


Once you have generated a report you can edit and format it the way you want, sum or summarise different columns, add a title and if desired place it as a Schedule on your drawing. In our light fittings example we could place the report we generated as a "Schedule of Lights".


This is just one example. You can create records and reports on almost anything - not just symbols. Window and door schedules are another common example which call up record info attached to door or window ( or WinDoor ) plug in objects. Drawing lists too are a simple example of a schedule that uses the title block record info as the reporting criteria.


There is a whole bunch of functionality about using worksheets that is too much to detail here. I hope this helps. I'm sorry I didn't put any graphics in to help illustrate as not in the office atm. Can poss send some examples tmrw.

  • Like 3
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Nicely set-out @Boh


6 minutes ago, Boh said:

There is a whole bunch of functionality about using worksheets that is too much to detail here


So - I still think its worth pursueing the basics. No point in becoming expert at moon landings when you are only journeying to the end of the street (for the moment).


Lets kick off with minimal info. What area of design are you in and what is a typical project for you.



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It's rather late here in OZ and I just saw your message fly in so I jumped on it, printed it out and it makes 100% sense now. YEAH !!!


Ok, can I please call Vectorworks Technical Support or anyone at VW to have them place @Boh 's explanations on the 'VW Help site' as THE clearest overview for users of all !!! This is incredible !


You may not have read my post here on the forum about RW Styles and my quest to generate an overview meaning trying to find a solution to compare them in an easy way.

This is the currently the main area I was hoping to use worksheets and/or data for - this in answer to your question @Gadzooks.


I know now with your detailed explanations above, that RW Styles obviously have neither a record attached nor can you generate one to create reports.


I got so frustrated therefore I created my own RW Style Overview Spread Sheet of results used for Glow, Lit Fog, Backlit, Glass Lit Edges, White Model & Caustics, which I found in VW tutorials and here on this VW Forum about RW Styles.


And then posted the Spread Sheet in my blog - see below.



Cheers, Grethe


Renderworks Styles possible to Export Settings into Worksheets or Excel


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@Grethe Connerth I wrote a long post a couple of weeks ago that I think has some of the info you are looking for.  

Here is a short version answer to your questions:


Records are a container for data that is attached to an object in the drawing. PlugIn Objects have a "Parameter Record" that contains all (most) of the data shown in the OIP and often more that is not shown. Certain complex PIOs (Stair, 2018 Drawing Border/Title Block) use a more complicated scheme and have data that is harder to access. The data in a record is stored in Fields. Fields can contain different type of data: Text; Numbers; Dimensions; Area Dimensions; etc. Normally Records (except Parameter Records) are attached to an object in the Data pane of the OIP and the field data is added there.


Worksheets are a "Table Calculation Program" built into Vectorworks. They are similar to Excel or Numbers, but have more limitations and some special features. Worksheets consist of a rectangular array of "cells", arranged in Rows and Columns. Cells can contain Text, Numbers, or Formulas. Using Formulas, the data in other cells can be "referenced" using the row and column address of the cell. Cells that contain numbers (or formulas that provide a numeric result) and be used in mathematical calculations in other cells.


Worksheets can have two different types of rows. Spreadsheet Rows work pretty much like other Excel like programs. You enter data and formulas manually. Some formulas will allow you to pull data from objects on the drawing by using Criteria to specify which objects to use. An example would be =Count(((L='Layer-1') & (C='My Class'))) which would count the number of objects that are on Layer 'Layer-1' and in the Class 'My Class'.


The second type of row is a Database Row. In a database row, you specify the Criteria for the row and then you get a subrow for each object in the drawing that meets the criteria. Any formula that you enter into the Database Header Row will be automatically applied to every subrow. You can then Summarize subrows by the data in the formulas to get a smaller number of subrows. If we Created a Database Row using a Criteria of All Objects, we would get a subrow for every object in the drawing. If we created formulas in columns for the Layer (=L), Class (=C), and Count (=Count), then you would get a Count of 1 for each subrow. If you then Summarized but the Layer Column, you would end up with a single subrow for each Layer and the Count column would display the number of objects on that layer. Summarized objects can be nested to be more detailed.


To me, Reports and Schedules are just different types of worksheets that pull the data necessary. The Create Report command is just a simplified way to generate a worksheet with a database row that uses the criteria you want and displays the data you want in the column order that you want. After using Create Report, you will probably still need to work on the formatting of the worksheet to get it to look the way you want.


Schedules are a semi-standardized way to display data about objects in a drawing. It is a Worksheet/Report that has been generated and probably has the possibility to be reused in the future. Examples of standard schedules are Window and Doors schedules in architectural drawing. An Instrument List in a light plot is similar to a schedule, but often does not use that name.


Since Worksheets are Resources, they can be moved between drawings using the Resource Browser. Once you create a door schedule you like, you can move it to your drawing, modify the database criteria if necessary, and you have a schedule in your drawing in a very short time.


Worksheet are edited and can be used entirely in a stand alone window, including printing separately. Or, they can be set to be a "Worksheet on Drawing" so you will get an image of the worksheet as an object in the drawing. If you double click the Worksheet on Drawing image, it will open an editing window for the worksheet (and display as a box with an X in it on the drawing while the editing window is open). Close the editing window and the image on the drawing will update.


I have specifically left out the detail steps on how to do any of this as I read your question to be more conceptual.


I guess this is what passes for a short answer for me on work sheets these days.  I hope it helps. If this is still unclear, please ask again. 

  • Like 1
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Ooooo! Some way of comparing rw styles, texture effects, viewport settings would be amazing!! I find that aspect of VW a bit of a struggle, as I'm sure others do. Trial and error practice of setting up 3D viewports is very time expensive, especially when you have to wait for a viewport to render every time you tweak a setting.


ill be closely following your blog!


Extending worksheet functionality to report not only on objects in the drawing but also resources in the resource manager (not actually as part of an object in the drawing) would be very useful.


Worksheets could then be developed to report on textures, hatches, images, all resource styles (including render works styles, wall styles, text styles etc etc.) and more, so that you could use the reports to compare and select the resource you want use.


Re my "brief" post above: I'm a relative novice at worksheet practice. The little I know has been gleaned from gurus such as @michaelk , @Jonathan Pickup and @Pat Stanford.


In fact in response to your post I first tried to find one of pat's posts I recall reading that had pretty much the same explanation ( but better) but I couldn't find it so just wrote my own! 


Edit: aha! He's just posted it! :)

Edited by Boh
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oooh, this is intense @Pat Stanford. I also just looked at your post in 'Worksheet Creations’. I need to take some time to digest this, but this looks VERY comprehensive. WOW! Thanks for posting it in this depth.


Yes, there are a lot of users struggling with RW Styles. Luckily there is this VW Forum and some gurus who are super helpful like @Luis M Ruiz and @JimW.


I find that we should look at RW styles in a different way. There are a lot of great resources in VW, but I don't see any guidelines on which RW settings to use for which scenes and which range of texture.


E.g. night time scenes --> use a heliodon with late arvo sun settings. Who would think to use sun at night? But this way RW works within the scene.


Or metal texture need a HDRI background in order to become reflective within the scene.

But when you have a scene with no windows you need to use HDRI in the Environment Lighting settings instead.


Who would know this unless someone points it out to you or these things were for example within a pre-set RW Styles in the Obj Info Palette alongside the other RW Styles.


So it'll be fun and helpful to have an overview as a guideline going to the next level along the lines of this great post for example --> scroll down to where it lists "Rendering mode-specific settings".



Also you @Boh mentioned Texture Effects - good one! This would be very helpful when importing images e.g. in 3D as Textures.


I do a lot of try & error with a range of textures / images to create comparisons and options when I do Renderings seeking the best outcome. 

Therefore I name all my image files very specifically - e.g. Image Texture Name --> "AV-4-Glow 125% - Emit Lig - Refl 15% - Ca & Rec” and so forth. 


However none of the images seem to show up in the Obj Info Palette nor in the Image Attributes with their names. Unless it does and I haven’t found it yet. So its easy to loose track of which image is which especially when they have slightly different settings. 


I’ll start a post in the VW Wishlist for this.



Edited by Grethe Connerth
I forgot sth ;0))
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