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I am actually quite optimistic about where VW is heading.

If the good people at NNA have take notice of the many and varied wish list items then we all should be able to look forward to an enriched VW in the future.

My domain is architecture and for me VW still beats the pants off its main rivals in archiCAD and Revit. It has:

- slightly inferior architectural modelling capability

- greatly superior basic and freeform modelling capability

- significantly superior 2D drawing capability.

- significantly superior data capability

Its flexibility and adaptability allow me to choose how I want to work, and how much 2D or 3D I want to include. With the other two programs it is 3D or nothing!

A few additional features to make it more comprehensive, and refinements to the interface to make it more intuitive will give us a program that will well and truly match it with the 'big guys'.

[ 02-27-2005, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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Primarily the lack of live sections and the problems that exist with live elevations generated from the model.

Secondary is that some of the PIOs need added capability. I would like to see for example:

- corner windows

- window walls that will automatically space mullions to rules, and can have doors and sashes inserted into them

- stairs that allow for winders and flares

- useable cabinetwork items

- floor intelligence.

Object dependency and true associative dimensioning would be nice as well.

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I too am optimistic about Vectorworks. I am, as some know, an AutoCAD user. I work with other AutoCAD users and need to edit AutoCAD documents ? almost a good (?) reason to stay with AutoCAD.

But like many I have a ?rebellious? streak ? after all, many here are Mac users in an otherwise PC world. Over at Archtiosh.com (and other places, including AutoCAD?s discussion group) there has been talk/wishing for an AutoCAD to Mac port. Well, wait no longer ? er?. Well maybe just a tiny bit more.

Vectorworks, particularly for the Mac community is quickly shaping up to become a full fledged AutoCAD drawing editor ? at least I my opinion. Like much to the DWG editing CAD software ? MicroStation, IntelliCAD for example - I presume that much of the viewport technology/interchange is due in part to OpenDWG libraries.. The only hurtle left is support of AutoCAD X-ref?s. When VW implements this, I believe there will no longer be a ?Cry? for AutoCAD for Mac ?It Will Be Here?!

Not that this will make much difference to you die-hards ? But it will to those of us who mush work with AutoCAD shops and AutoCAD drawings. VW is great bang for the buck (at least for Canadian dollars) when compared to A-cad.

Go VW Go!

Any comments from VW on this?????????

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I agree with Mike on this

We do need more options when it comes to Cnr windows and stairs.

Less American imperialism with these objects.(take that which ever way )

Its a pain not having stairs with flares and winders.

I think one thing that archicad really does have is the ability to model in isometric the full range of options on doors and also a stretch and grow fashion with vectorworks its data entry in an OIP real slow and a pain in the butt, the abilty to do both is necessary for speed.

Floor Intelligence would be great for good Viewport presentation.

Do agree tho good bang for buck.


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Vectorworks is a quality 3D package.

At the moment it just does not happen to do what you want it to.

I've never found it not to be able to create anything in 3D I need, and more importantly, what somebody can build from those 3D designs.

It has always been a good balanced mix of 2D and 3D capabilities with the potential to produce 2D working drawings from your 3D models - for a very competitive price.

Sure it may not give you 2D elevations from the 3D model without having to do some work but even in the worst case and you had to redraw it over the elevation I bet it would be quicker than from scratch.

I think its unfair to judge Vectorworks so harshly, although I also think they need to ensure they continue progress within the marketplace.

I'm sure it will in the not to distant future do what so many seem to be asking of it.

But let's face it this is a requirement thats grown from the use of such programs as Vectorworks and the potential it offers in the first place, never laid down as a requirement when computers started to be used for CAD work.

Nothing wrong in pushing for it in the future but don't criticise it because you may have changed the goalposts.

If you can find a program that does do what you require, (I think Arcicad may be one) take a look at the price tag - nuff said!

[ 02-26-2005, 07:30 AM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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Vectorworks raw 3D modelling capability is far superior to that of both ArchiCAD and Revit.

Where it does less well is on the architectural front. This is due to:

- The inability to translate the modelled information into useable elevations and live sections.

- Shortcomings in the range and capability of the architectural plug-ins.

I am optomistic about VW dealing with these shortcomings sooner rather than later and then we will have a program which can take on and beat the so called 'big boys'.

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I agree too.

I dont think this is too critical.

The way 9-10-11 versions have greatly improved it will do so in 12 without a doubt.

I dont believe that ever a computer will do what our clever little minds manually can and as you have well said

Mike it means our modelling would have to be really sharp as it represents this.

I personally want it to succeed especially in a cad world saturated with Autocad mentality.

Image .mcd being the base export fomat for drawing transfer not crappy dxf.or dwg.

I know archicad cant do freeform modelling like vectorworks and the price tag well mortgage the house and then do it agian for the upgrades.

Dont know how its DTM equivalent stacks up but I think the improvements in this have been noticable as well.

One great improvement I would really like to see and is not too difficult would be its abilty to speed up further its screen redraw rate when you have lots of objects and hatches say in an detail layer and are zooming in and out and around the place.

This is where I loose my most amount of time.

Regards Fellow optimist

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Obviously speaking to VW die hards who think its the best thing in the world!

To answer some of your points which makes plenty of room for improvement for VW:

1. I like VW but it is more of a presentation package and as a 2D construction package is not as accurate or as good as the similar priced AutoCAD light.

2. It is certainly much quicker to draw elevations from scratch in 2D rather than 3D and 2D elevations look far superior.

3. The manuel is poor, why for instance is 'stairs' not in the index - a basic draughting requireemnt.

4. Why does it take several attempts to drag and drop windows or doors in walls?

5. I agree with Mike, it does not do well on the architectural front - but is this not a basic requirement? By now VW should be getting the basics right.

6. And it is too Ammerican.

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Obviously speaking to somebody who gets a bit prickly when somebody disagrees with them !!


You made a statement in an open forum and as such we are entitled to reply and respond, disagree and qualify that response if we so choose, both in an objective and polite manner.

VW diehards who think its the best thing in the world we are not, but I for my part, think it is a good product and not deserving of your "VW is certainly not a quality 3D package yet" comment as I said before.

Current users of the program who go back more years than myself, some to the very early versions of Minicad, will I'm sure tell you of a program that has steadily increased its capabilities and features year on year. This without huge increases in the cost of the program.

There is room for improvement and it has been said many times already by many a "diehard VW user" as well as newcomers to the program.

I would challenge you to prove to me how this is not as "accurate or as good as the similar priced AutoCAD light"

Whilst we talk of the similiar priced Autocad Lt does this have even half the capabilities of VW for the similiar asking price, a list of features side by side I'm sure would reveal a much greater feature set in Vectorworks including 3D for the same money.

I'm glad you say you like it and I'm sure it will grow on you as time goes by.

Do you have Vectorworks Architect or the basic version. If its the basic version, stairs may not show up and be part of the Architect package.

"By now VW should be getting the basics right."

What basics?

What other software company, let alone CAD software company, offers you a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product within a number of days of purchasing it?

Sixty days I think it is.

Some programs may offer features that VW does not, some may do some things differently or in your opinion better, but taking all the features and capabilities it has in the one package, show me a product its equal within this price range.

I don't have some blind loyalty to Vectorworks but I do enjoy (most of the time)using it, virtually everyday of my working week, and I accept it has some faults and could do with improvements. I've seen it improve over the years, both with features I use, and with some I don't.

I don't agree with your statement about quality or your judgement of us for disagreeing.

I'm optomistic about Vectorwork and its future. I'm also optomistic about my own future because I made the choice of Vectorworks, I make no apology for that.

For the most part we are here to help and encourage our fellow users, (this is not an official NNA company forum just hosted by them)

Hopefully not confrontational (my opening line in response to yours and the need not be so aggressive) , but by the same token able to disagree without causing offence.

Hope you stay with us. All the best.


Edit due to spelling.

[ 02-28-2005, 03:17 PM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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I think criticism is good. One has to criticise so that a program can improve however I am not optimistic about VW. I have made wishes and I have criticised and VW has not answered any of those issues with v11. Therefore I am sure VW12 will not be any better in that regard.

I also think the program is too American and I'm not from Europe. (South Africa if anyones interested.)

The redraw speed with VW is TERRIBLE. I exported a drawing to AC with fills (solid hatches) and other hatches and when one zooms extents in AC the redraw is almost instantaneous whereas VW takes about 3 seconds. Thats a lot with each zoom.

BTW here in SA we don't have a money back guarantee.

VW needs to make a big jump again, just as they did from 7 to 8. That's MHO.


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I have noted this

look at my wishlist on Hatch visibilty.

Sure AC may be faster but for dollar for dollar and heaps of other areas its not as good.

But I have allways felt this has been the major time ineficiency in this programmme.

If redraw is fast you will be fast.

They have worked on this tho and it is improving but neeeds to be better without a doubt.

Especially since you can do thousands of movements in a day zooming and scrolling.

Still optimistic tho.


Ps(I would not be asking for money back)

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I know that using Macs there was an issue regarding speed compared to Windows. This if I remember correctly was related and can only be resolved by the OS rather than Vectorworks.

As point releases of OSX have come along I understand this has got better, and hopefully will one day be the same as Windows but you mentioned Autocad Shaun, so are you using Apple (which version) or Windows?

I'm currently on Windows in my own studio set up but use both operating systems when working under contract, and I think this is another plus point for Vectorworks, putting aside the speed issue which will get better (come on Apple), the way it works virtually the same on both platforms and produces little or no problems in cross platform compatibility is a credit to them.

I've found any problems such as font changes more an issue of the OS than the program, having said that they are easily changed.

Not everything is rosy, I am annoyed that my dongle does not work correctly with 10.5, upon coming out of sleep mode it does not recognise the serial number and shuts down, but hey, I just don't use sleep mode when in VW or I upgrade to VW11, which I'm told it does not happen in.

All the best


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G'day all,

VW remains FAR better than Autocad lite. Had to use it once, never again. VW has cross platform compatibilty, beautiful 2D drawings, thousands of colours and fill patterns, easy dimensioning, easy editing, easy printing, great presentation.

I use it everyday. Still having hassles with the elevations (when moving from design drawings to working drawings), but as was said above, just redraw in overlay, it's still faster than drawing from scratch.

Every human endeavour can be improved. When I look back at my first MiniCad drawing from 1988, we've come a long way. And the steps have mostly had enough continuity for me to make the transitions easily. The Australian VW Architect version has loads of useful tools - a credit to Julian @ Ozcad. (I promise I'll get the training CD's next time.)

Comments from users are valuable input enabling programmmers to make improvements. A customer who comments to the company about a product is usually a customer who wants to find a constructive outcome for the producer. The distructive complainers are those who complain to others.

One day, we will use VW create virtual buildings, and view our architecture everyway, 3D, 2D, interiors, flyovers. Take off easy and good looking 2D plans and elevations. And dimension it and annotate it easily. And the interface will be even more graphic and intuitive for us visual architect people.

Meanwhile VW is still the best value for practicing architect, as attested by its use by several leading practices in WA and many more around the globe.

(I've not stopped promoting it to my peers since 1988.)

Good discussion. Thanks.


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Whilst we talk of the similiar priced Autocad Lt does this have even half the capabilities of VW for the similiar asking price, a list of features side by side I'm sure would reveal a much greater feature set in Vectorworks including 3D for the same money.

I would prefer to compare VectorWorks with the full AutoCad, which has a command line interface and can understand Autolisp routines. AutoCad LT lacks these features.

I believe that AutoCad LT was intended for casual users, such as home owners doing simple remodeling, or architects and engineers who want to make quick sketches to pass on to the drafters for completion.

VectorWorks is intended as professional software and should stand or fall in comparison with other professional CAD software.

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I agree and have no problem with Vectorworks compared to Autocad rather than Autocad Lt. This makes the cost and value of Vectorworks even greater than its comparison to Autocad Lt that Michael made.

So we have a product the equal and in some respects, according to ex-Autocad users, better than Autocad, in the price range Autodesk want to charge for Autocad Lt.

Also I think you'll find Autodesk market Autocad Lt as a "professional " product. http://www.autodesk.co.uk/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=452932&id=4014226

Although was Autodesk Sketch or was it called Autosketch the product brought out for what you describe David?

all the best


[ 03-01-2005, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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I am feeling more positive about VW, its main functions seem to be settling down and the package as a whole is more stable, bells and whistles are pointless if the program is crashing.

I do feel Landmark is being left behind and for me it is in need of a major redesign, especially its main function the place plant tool.

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For what it's worth, VW has come a long way from MiniCad days, but as someone who trains new VW users I find that folks understand the interface and are up and running far faster than users of AC lite. I have three clients (all manufactures) who have taken the class, and bought AutoCAD LT only to have the software sit on a shelf! After a few lessons they are using VW to produce shop drawings, floor plans and in one case 3-D presentations for clients. (One client has even come over to MAC OS ; )

As for elevations & sections, no question this could be better. However if one uses the 3-D section tool to make 2-D sections and elevations this is far faster; and more accurate than starting from scratch.

I have noticed that VW can in fact be MORE accurate than AC if one uses sheets. I get AC drawings all the time THAT ARE NOT ACCURATE! Why? because floors have been drawn so plumbing, stairs, windows and colums are not stacked properly, & this is because the drawing elements are not in the same 2-D space on the screen/sheet (but in different 3-D space thanks to layers) as they are in VW.

And while we are at it, ever get an AC file with 800 coloured objects in it & have to mess with whatever this mean to a print file?

VW drawings, the finished drawings, for my money, are generally a much more hansom presentation, and look a lot less "computer-ish" than the vast majority of AC produced drawings.

Stairs, well this needs work (as noted by others), as do doors and windows.

I would also like to see something like "Sketch-Up" to do mass model presentations, and/or a easy path into Photoshop similar to what Maya has, but as others have said; the price is a fraction of what Maya is.

As someone who has worked in both the US and Canada, I like that the transition between Imperial & Metric is pretty well seamless. On another note, odd how the only country to still use the Imperial measurement system is the USA. Am I reading too much into this?

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Also I think you'll find Autodesk market Autocad Lt as a "professional " product.

I think you're right. It was Autosketch. However, those of us who used AutoCad had no interest in AutoCad LT. We saw it as a far less capable program.

VectorWorks is not in that category. One advantage that I can see with it is that the basic version of VectorWorks can edit 3D drawings made with Architect. That wasn't the case with AutoCad. The "Architectural Desktop" extension caused real problems for those of us who didn't have it.

Text handling is far better with VectorWorks than AutoCad.

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