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Disappearing Viewports

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I've lost 4 Viewports. One viewport on the site plan sheet and two on the cover sheet. The fourth one on the cover sheet (which I managed to find, had changed scale to 1:1 and lost its cropping and annotation.

I'm concerned that any further work might be lost and will lose time and money and clients etc!!

Has anyone else experienced this? Is it memory or some kind of compatibility problem? This happened since I upgraded to 11.0.1.

I'm using Mac OSX (just updated to 10.3) PowerBook G4 with 1MB L3 cache and 1 GB SDRAM.

Vectorworks Ind Collection 11.0.1/Renderworks

Ed Rose

Rosebud Studios


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Hi Ed, Lost viewports? That doesn't sound good. I have never experienced that. A couple things come to mind: 1) Are they actually lost or are they possibly on a different sheet layer you expected, or possibly in a different location on the sheet layer. In other words, if you zoom way out and then go through each of your sheet layers (some of which may have been created by the program, by default) do they they turn up? 2) If they were created from design layers in the first place (as I assume all viewports must be) then can't you just go back and re-create them? I know that it's not necessarily any fun to redo your work, but if all else fails? Keep us informed!


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Hi Peter, the viewport that was resized on the cover sheet is still there since I found it way off in space, but now I've lost the only viewport that I had left and one other that had gone missing is back. Other than turning off layers and classes on other design layers, I have not been working on the cover sheet. Maybe as I continue working on the rest of the project they'll all come home eventually. These viewports I created from their design layers.

I have since rebuilt the site plan sheet viewport that went missing. I created it from the sheet layer not the design layers so that the "site landscape" and "site civil" would be aligned in the viewport.

Larry, the two sheets with missing viewports were finished and ready to print. None of the design layers I was working on were related to any of the information on those two sheets except the overall class and layer visibility had been adjusted. My understanding is the viewports hold on to their own layer and class visibility and what I do elsewhere should not effect the viewports.

Another issue I had that may be related, while on a design layer made up with various landscape classes (L-deck, L-fence etc) and a S-slab class. When I went to this layer the landscape class objects were not visible, only the slab class object. I checked and all the classes were set to visible. I then proceeded to zoom out until I got to 10% then all the classes were visible. I repeated many times zooming in and out with the same results.

I don't remember what I did. I may have gone on to work on something else, turn off the computer or what, but the next time I went to that design layer everything was OK. This is what is leading me to think I may be experiencing a memory or compatibility issue.

I noticed that with the Industrial series and renderwork with gobo textures requires 2GBs. My system is maxed out at 1GB. I have since reinstalled 11.0.1 without loading the gobo textures, since I'm not using them at this point, to see if it will make any difference with the memory.

Maybe I need to update my OS from 10.3 to 10.3.5?

(Compatibility issues??)

Thanks guys for your comments.

Ed Rose

Residential Designer

The Sea Ranch, California, USA

Mac Powerbook G4 800-1G/OS 10.3

VectorWorks Industry Series 11.0.1

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Hi Ed, Yes I would update your system as recommended by Apple. I have been running 10.3.5 for a while with no apparent problems. That said, I doubt that is what is causing your problems. This may or may not be relevant but I have noticed that in my drawings, the "origin" is harder to tame in version 11. I have a feeling it has something to do with the fact that sheet layers are always at 1:1 scale, and my design layers are usually at 1/4" or 1/2" or whatever. I am a little afraid to reset the origin of my sheet layers, because I'm not sure whether it will affect the design layers. In the old paradigm, you could reset the origin to the drawing center (for example) and all the layers in the drawing would then have that origin. Now, because you can have many different size sheet layers, and becasue they can be moved around with the page move tool (indepedent of each other and of design layers) I'm not sure what will happen. I am going to spend a little time with that today (in a new blank file) and I'll get back to you if I discover anything of note. One other thing, and I will put this one the wishlist, it would be really nice if there was a "list of viewports" with their names and locations. That might make it easier to keep track :-)


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Hi Larry. OK, After messing around a bit it became apparent that while you can name a viewport, the name seems to dissappear after creation. I poked around a little and discovered that the name can be found (and modified) in the "data" pane of the OIP. I still think having a list somewhere would be good. Maybe viewports could be listed in the resource browser in their own section??? Just some thoughts.


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Dear Rosebud,

One cause of disappearing viewports that I struggle with is the fact that currently you have to manually turn on the classes assigned to the viewport. I think the selected viewport should automatically turn it's classes on, as the Saved Views do. If a major class in your viewport is not already on, your viewport may be there but invisible. Ooooh, spooky! You can feel its presence, but you can't see it.

I also agree that showing the Viewport name in the OI dialog would help in navigating and editing the VPs. I'm hoping we don't have to wait until next year to see these fixes.


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Originally posted by rosebud:

My understanding is the viewports hold on to their own layer and class visibility and what I do elsewhere should not effect the viewports.


Not true. If you turn all the class off in the design layer the viewport is from, you will not see any items in the viewport on the sheet. This seems like a bug. I would like to have a pref. option to show all classes on sheet layers. Best way to check is turn all class on then check the sheet.


That "list of viewports" dialog would be really helpful. The viewports don't have names but just being able to see that the number still exists in the file and the "from location and to location" would be valuable.

BTW - I can't believe Ed and I are the only ones losing viewports.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is what I have found so far with the help of Katie.

Go into the sheet your viewport or viewports is located and select all. Should show you all your invisible viewport boundaries designated by handles. Click on one of the handles to get into the viewport edit mode. Select crop and make your crops visible - mostly for easy of seeing what is happening. Then, readjust the viewport borders to incompass the part of the dwg that you want to show. In my case, I found the full dwg in the viewport, with the viewport acting as a "mask" to cover the portion of the dwg that was not to be shown.

[ 10-01-2004, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: tvetter ]

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I am having this problem now. I had 5 sheets each with 2 viewports. I made extensive edits to the design layers including adding classes. I went back to update the viewports and every one of them is gone on every sheet. They are not "out in space" if I do a select all on the sheet it selects nothing. I am reluctant to set them all up again now when I can do basically the same thing with saved sheets but I WANT the viewports to work again. Can someone from NNA please comment on this? Please.

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Did anyone who lost viewports by any chance change layer scale with 'all layers' option?

If so, do it again, and change the scale to 1:1, after that, change the scale of design layers by selecting them in the Layers dialog; in the Scale dialog do NOT say 'all layers.'

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Originally posted by AndyM:

I am having this problem now. I had 5 sheets each with 2 viewports. I made extensive edits to the design layers including adding classes. I went back to update the viewports and every one of them is gone on every sheet. They are not "out in space" if I do a select all on the sheet it selects nothing. I am reluctant to set them all up again now when I can do basically the same thing with saved sheets but I WANT the viewports to work again. Can someone from NNA please comment on this? Please.

Could the viewports be in classes you have set to be not visible?

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YES! [big Grin]

I didn't even think to check that. For some reason I thought that the sheet layers worked like saved sheets where they remember your class settings. It seems sort of awkward that you can have classes invisible on your sheet layer but visible on the viewport and vice versa. But I'll take it! I still love these viewports now that I have them back again.

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The viewports I have lost after doing lots of editing on the design layer were really lost. I have a view that turns on all classes on before I go to a sheet layer.

One thing that might be important. I don't remember ever losting a viewport that has had anotation drawn on it. The ones I have lost are viewports that are just views of a floor plan or something without added information. Losing the viewports hasn't lost data.

Also after I have lost the viewport it still remembers the number. So I might have 10 viewports on my drawing but if I make a new one it is viewport 19 or whatever.

Hope that helps.


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I have a similar 'lost viewport' problem in one of my files. I use the annotations feature to note my drawings. Every couple times I would come into this one file, I would find that all the design layer data had disappeared. The viewport was still there with my drawing titles, but nothing else. I would check the later and class links, and everything looked okay, but nothing was there. I haven't been able to figure out a pattern (if any) of my actions that would cause the viewport to vanish.

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  • 5 months later...

I've just come across this problem in 11.5. I've created a bunch Sheet Layers, each with one Viewport. After doing some editing I went back to my Sheet Layers and the Viewports weren't there (i.e. nothing was). The thing is they're somewhere because it won't let me recreate them with the same name (says they already exist), but they're just not visible. Anyone know what the issue is here?

Mac OS X 10.3.8, VW 11.5

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  • 7 months later...

I am having this problem as well. I have created several sheets each with a viewport for my title block and one for my drawing. I don't know what I am doing, as I don't think I'm making "extensive" edits...just working like normal. At some point I go into my sheets and my viewports have all turned to 1:1 scale, all layers are turned off and I have no idea where all of my annotations are.

A couple of times I just bit the bullet and remade them, but it keeps happening and is driving me crazy! More than anything it's all of my annotations. Creating a new viewport is easy, but ALL of my notes and dimensions are gone.

I've always been a Vectorworks advocate, but this is making me have second thoughts.

Mac OS 10.4.2 VW 11.5

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  • 2 weeks later...

Count me in. I am having this problem as well. Very frustrating.

I did note a possible clue. When I double click on the viewport, I choose Design Layer. When I am taken to the Design Layer, the screen is blank.

The odd thing is that the X and Y scales read number like this: "1.355739046e10". Clicking on the 100% button does nothing to change this.

But clicking on Fit to Object brings the scales back to what they should be, ie: 50"-0", 100'-0", etc. The design layer image also reappears.

None of these gymnastics change the viewport problem though.

VW11.5.1 and OS10.4.3

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I am sure that NNA is busy trying to track down Verson 12 bugs. However, I believe that this issue is worthy of your efforts in solving.

It is one thing to have a tool not work or have a tool cause a crash. Having your hard work simply dissappear is not acceptable.

Is NNA looking into this?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I am not sure if you all are experiencing this:

I drew a sphere and then drew a rectangle on the top of it.

I created a viewport. Rectangle is the crop.

I then turned the pen off or changed the rectangle to an invisible class in the Edit Crop mode.

I went back to design layer and moved the sphere far away from its original place.

Come back to sheet layer - and the viewport is gone - although you should still see the selection handles at the four corners.

If this is the problem - then it is working as designed. The crop determines the bounding box of the viewport in this case and the crop is invisible.

Remedy: Make crop visible or add some annotations - like a drawing label - which would indicate the existence of viewport.

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Hi Biplab: Thank you for looking into this. No that is not the problem that I am having. I do have some more information though.

It would appear that technically the images still exist in the viewport. The problem is that the viewport is 2,980,000 feet wide. That is 2.9 million feet @ 1/4 scale.

The viewport on the page is blank because the images are so extremely far away from page center.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


I think this may be a limitation of our rendering system. And this happens in design layers too when the objects are too far away from the origin. Or if the image size is too large. The size problem is no longer there in VW12 though. Are you using 11.x?

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Hi Biplab; I am using 11.5.1, OS10.4.3. Please keep in mind that this problem is not a limitation issue. It is not that I am creating an image that is too large. It is not that I placed an image too far from the origin.

I have created images and viewports that initially work. Everything looks and behaves fine. But at some point, when I go to a saved view that has viewports, the viewports are gone.

The image is a house that is 18 feet wide by 80 feet long by 30 feet high, drawn at 1/4" scale. The viewport is set to 1/4" scale. The program by itself changed the viewport to millions of feet wide.

This behaviour is more in line with corruption than with the idea of software limitations. This is sporatic and unpredictable behaviour.

By the way, I have sent the offending file to Yi at NNA. I hope that you will pursue this investigation and find a solution. Thank you for your help.

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