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Julia Dinu

Advice for the best way to work on the same project for a team of 5

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Is there a magical way to really make Vectorworks WORK for multiple users sharing and working with the same project, with real time updates,.... etc What would be a basic structure for a medium size project, which we currently share as a team of 5?


Disappointment comes as I don't understand how this program is made to function since all the options have so many errors.. it really should be more user friendly, better structured for people that are not at a genius level with their knowledge... more intuitive but that's another topic..


How is your team really using Vectorworks? Can you please share a structure?


At our office we are strugling to set up a working environment witch can be accesed by multiple users.

Currently we are trying to do the work separation by creating multiple files, each one containing a part of our building. 


File 1:structural elements;

File 2:hotel rooms;

File 3:restaurant;



File n:nnn

We are using the reference option to have as a base the needed environment to work - for ex for File 2 we reference File 1 

Problems appear when we reference in File 1 a part from File 2 as that may be needed for further alterations

We encounter this issue that we are creating a loop which causes crashing or just deletion of the ref file in one or both of the drawings.

So as a conclusion this way of working is not actually working as unexpected errors may crash the file.


Also did some studies about project sharing- but the forum is full of discussions about errors and I would be very scared to use it for the team as long as our VW knowledge is quite basic.

(tutorials, the project sharing video, forum discussions, consultations with local service partner and even had training in the office for the whole team..- no one is able to share a way that actually WORKS for VectorWORKS)


Looking forward for the light at the end of the tunnel!



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If you work on PC, don't worry, projectsharing is absolutely stable. On Mac there were problems because macOS is struggling with network protocols. However, Vectorworks was largely able to circumvent this. I would never be discouraged from at least trying out new functions because of such messages. You only learn through trial and error. If your team is already able to work with references, project sharing should not be a problem for you, because it is much easier and much more efficient to work in a team than with the reference method. I would also consider buying in know-how with a new employee. At least one member of the team must be an expert in the CAD used, otherwise drawing will never become efficient.

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4 hours ago, herbieherb said:

If you work on PC, don't worry, projectsharing is absolutely stable



Not so lang ago when I asked I was told that there are still issues

not only related to network or access problems.


But stated by you, as I know you are using PS extensively,

I am really happy to read this.



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Well we use project sharing extensively in a PC environment, and although it has imrpoved a lot there are still a lot of crashes and strange issues like changing door tag sizes, objects appearing on a different DL for different users (image the implications to quantity surveying!), extreme slowness when updating the working/project file etc.


It's not unusable, but it's not ready either.



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Thanks for your answers.

I am posting this as a discusion since I am very interested to know how people actually use this program.

Our system is based on Mac computers.

For single user projects we can manage to use VW properly. Since time is an issue and we also have to work with the current know-how resources I am gathering an advice to be discussed internally.


Edited by Julia Dinu

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Of course we still have problems with project sharing from time to time. But most of them have to do with the users themselves. For example, if someone moves the project file, or gets a new work file after a crash without releasing its checked out objects, or one confuses a very long lasting release with a crash and the like.
That sharing can take an eternity is really still a problem. This is usually the case if many layout levels have been processed. We have gotten used to releasing layout layers more often when editing between them.

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Just going to throw in our 2 cents here.  


We are a small Mac based office and use Project Sharing sparingly since there can be so many hiccups.  But the best solution we have found is to manually check out whole layers or sheets while working instead of letting VWX automatically check out individual object as you are working. You can right-click on a layer or sheet in the Navigation panel and click "Check Out." Then, as soon as you are done working on that sheet/layer, you save and commit and release it back to the project file.

This would help you if you set up your files so that structural elements, restaurant/hotel rooms were each on their own layer.


I personally set up a short-cut on my machine (shift+command+s) so that when I am working with project sharing, I just default save and commit every so often instead of just saving to my working file. At the end of every working day, we check each others files to make sure our latest updates are loading correctly in the Project File.


Hope this helps.

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