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Line Thickness by Color - possible?


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Is there a way one can make lineweight directly determined by line color? Like change a line to color "cyan" and it automatically becomes 0.5mm thick? I would find this extremely useful when drawing with "zoom line thickness" set to off (a more accurate way of drawing)

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I'm pretty sure there's no way to do that with the basic program, but you could create a VectorScript to do it. FYI, that's a small computer program written in a programming language that comes with VW. There's a forum on scripts, to which you might address your question. Someone may have already written a script that does it, or perhaps one that toggles "Zoom Line Thickness" on and off, which might also serve your purpose.

Alternatively, you could create either of those custom features, or do practically any customization you'd ever want to do, with a macro. It only takes a few seconds to create a macro, but VW doesn't come with a macro utility, so you'd have to buy one (about $35 for a PC or $80 for a Mac), and spend an hour learning to use it. FYI, a macro utility is a program that records a series of keystrokes and/or mouse clicks and then later plays back that sequence instantly whenever you press a selected key.

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Thanks for a very helpful reply. I find zoom line thickness 'on' is just a hazard to accuracy and better suited to more graphic applications of VW. Right now line thickness "by class" is generally how I draw, and when I override this, it's a two step process to change the line thickness, and then its color. This is so I can always tell what a particlar lineweight is just by its color. A little tedious!

Appreciate your laymans' explanations of macros - sounds like this would be the way to go. Can you recommend a particular macro utility that works well with VW? What happens once one has created a macro - does it get its own icon, or pull-down item, or keyboard short-cut? Where does the macro actually "reside"?

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I use Macro Express, which has worked flawlessly with VectorWorks and all other programs on Windows 2000 and XP. You can download it for free at http://www.macros.com/ and try it out for 30 days. After that, it stops working unless you pay $40 for a key.

You have to spend an hour learning to use it, but after that it's effortless. While working in any program, you press a hotkey (on mine it's Ctrl-Alt-Shift-X) to start the "capture", or recording process. Then you do the thing that you want made into a macro -- keystrokes, mouse movements and clicks, whatever sequence you want to be able to play back later. Then you press the same hotkey to stop capture. A window pops up to ask you what you want to call this macro, how you want to "activate" it (i.e., to playback the recorded sequence), and whether you want it to apply only to this program or globally to all programs. The only activation method I've ever used is hotkey. To choose which hotkey activates it, you can just press that key. You can also choose to activate it with a mouse click. MacroExpress keeps a list of all the names and hotkeys, which you can see and edit by clicking the MacroExpress icon in the QuickLaunch bar.

I tried it to see if it would do that Autocad-like color thing you want. I've never tried to capture mouse action before, but it was easy. I started capture, then selected red and lineweight 6 on the Attributes palette, then stopped capture. I pressed F1 as the hotkey to activate it, called it "Red-6", and selected "program" as its "scope". Now any time I press F1, all selected objects become red and weight 6.

MacroExpress has a lot of settings, in Options > Preferences. To make this thing work I had to make the following settings in the "Capture" section:

-- "Capture mouse relative to screen"

-- NOT "Capture only mouse clicks"

-- NOT "Capture at" (so that it won't play back at the same speed it was recorded at)

(I think the program comes with these settings as default, but I had turned off all mouse capture, so I'm not sure.)

For the playback to work, you have to keep the Attributes palette where it was when you did the capture. The playback clicks in the same place on the screen where you clicked when recording, regardless of whether the palette is still there. As I said before, I have no experience using it for mouse action. I only record keystrokes. I use it to be able to issue VW commands by pressing a function key instead of an Alt-key combination, and also for repetitive operations in Word files, and for Osnap settings in Autocad.

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