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I've moved from a Mac office to a Windows office, and so had to stop using PowerCADD. (examples of my work here, if anyone's interested: http://engsw.com/Drawings/Calarco/Calarco.html) I asked for a copy of Vectorworks, since I'd heard that it has something close to PowerCADD's usability and flexibility. And, of course it's nice to have some real 3D capabilities.

So, it's seems like a pretty good program so far. I was able to start using it without reading the manual, and that's nice. I miss my Wildtools, but I can get most of the functionality in other ways. I really like the variety of autosnaps: to top-center, for instance. There are a few nagging little things I haven't figured out, though:

1. How the heck do you get a plus-minus symbol or a diameter symbol? On the Mac, they're part of the fonts. Not so on the PC.

2. Is there something similar to the PowerCADD "move points" command/tool, where you can select an area, and all symbols and objects will automatically move or resize as part of that selection?


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I don't know PowerCADD, but if I understand your need. . .perhaps you can accomplish it by Grouping the items to be modified. Then grab the handle of the group, and it gets resized/moved depending on the cursor used to grab the handle. You can enter coordinates for accurate movements, if needed.

This won't affect embedded PIOs, however.

[ 02-22-2005, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: Travis ]

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1. On a PC, you get special characters by holding down the Alt key and typing a 4-digit code on the numeric keypad. The code can be found in the aforementioned "Character Map", which is usually at Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools, though if you use it a lot you can move or copy its icon to someplace easier to find. In the font that I use, the plus/minus symbol is 0177, and the diameter symbol is 0216.

2. Groups are the way to go. When you group a selection set it acts as if it's a single entity (but you can go inside the group, and edit the members of it without affecting anything outside the group; and there's a VectorWorks Preference as to whether you can see the other objects while editing a group). You can make a group of only some of the objects in an area, so that when you move or reshape the group those other objects stay put. For reshaping, the group pretends that there's an invisible rectangle, the smallest rectangle that could enclose everything in the group, and the 4 or 8 handles (VW Preference) of that invisible rectangle are what you stretch it with. But you don't use the invisible rectangle for moving the group; instead, you grab any object in the group. You can also move or re-shape a selection set without making a group of it, in which case it's not as easy to grab for moving, and the stretching is more flamboyant.

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Having used Powercadd for years, I know exactly what you're experiencing.

Regarding 'Move Points', there are two methods which VW employs to acccomplish that task.

1. 2D objects such as lines, polylines, etc. can be adjusted by first grouping them, then entering the group, then selecting everything you want to reshape, then drawing a marguee around the points to move and dragging one of the selected points the appropriate distance. All of the objects will adjust in this manner. This is fine, but it only works on 2d objects.

2. The tool that you are really looking for is the STRETCH tool available at the VECTORBITS site. Unfortunately for me, it is only updated through VW v.10 and although it works most of the time in v.11 it doesn't "undo" consistantly. Since you are on Windows, it may work perfectly.

Good Luck!

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Alt 0176 ? degrees

Alt 0178 ?

Alt 0179 ?

Alt 0216 ?

Alt 0162 ?

Alt 0177 ?

Some of these that I use.

Jonathans suggestion works as for certain fonts this changes so it pays to check the character map.

A trick I use is select it thru the character map and contol c to copy to clip board then control v to paste now you are in vectorworks .

Hope this helps

Regards Brendan

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Hey, Taproot,

This is probably not the right place to rapsidize about PowerCADD, but it IS a lovely program. Reading over the forum here, it seems like Vectorworks users are also very enthusiastic. Personally, I think that a piece of CAD software is just a tool and a good drafter can get good results with any program, even AutoCRAP. I've never understood why it's so hard for some people to switch tools. The fact that you enjoy drawing with mechanical pencils doesn't mean that you can't learn to use rapideograph pens, you know?

-Dee C.

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