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I haven't tried it yet, but was looking into the app. Saw it in conjunction with the shapr3D app, because they both support the new 3d file format from Apple. Don't know if Morpholio Trace is supporting other file formats though. Maybe Vectorworks will introduce a new export option to USDZ-file format in the 2020 version.

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  • 1 year later...

@Christiaan I'm curious if you went that way.  I tried it for a while but wasn't satisfied with it.  I also tried a number of other architectural sketching apps before finally settling on Procreate.  Digsketch has some videos on YouTube which showed me what was possible and convinced me to give it a go.  The interface is elegant and after some use - it's hands down better than everything else that I tried.

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I've been using Trace for a while now, and am pretty happy with it.  After looking at most (?) of the alternatives, I found it closest to be the best paperless way to mimic how I use a roll of trace to work through loose ideas before starting to look at them in VW.  Starting with a blank page or an image underlay (PDF, aerial photo, etc) I just start working up transparent layers, saving some, turning some off, and deleting most.  I only use a few pen styles and avoid most of the fancy tools.   Nothing is meant to look good or to be presented to clients.  For that workflow it's a great tool.  One problem is that it doesn't sync between devices.  You can export PDFs, but not native format files.


@Taproot  I found it difficult to manage layers and transparencies in the little time I tried Procreate.  Would you recommend taking a second look?

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  • 9 months later...

Hi guys !

I was about to start a post on this app ... (found someone beat me to it... LOL)


I’ve been using ‘Trace’ for a while and also have ... ‘ProCreate’ ... as well as Tayasui ‘Sketches’ ...etc..


I must say all of them have great Pro’s and also ... Con’s


As an architect I was looking for a way to go back to roots ...


(... those initial drafting stages where I could more or less draw something that comes to mind and start to get conceptual ideas down on paper (iPad) and allow me to chat with my clients...)


I needed to find an app that could give me the capacity to sketch and enhance visions ...  and also give me dimensions (...and surface areas) to what I was putting down ... and I’ve found that Morpholio Trace was the closest to giving me that capability... (using the perspective aid and surface area tools... awesome!)


Apart from this one ... have you guys found any other ‘freehand’ drafting technical drawing app ... similar to this one that can communicate with VW easily?

I tend to transfer my work afterwards, through PDF files and would love to find one that could transfer directly to VW maintaining dimensiones and any ‘vectorial traces’ ...


The others I mention ... are all Great ‘freehand’ drawing alternatives ... that can be used to enhance really nicely an idea (which Trace does fairly well)...


... but they lack that technical capacity to give me an idea of scale ... or ‘size’... which is really important ... LOL


watta ya know ... looks like SIZE does matter...! 





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@Donald G. Martin 


CONCEPTS was one of the other apps that I liked before I settled on ProCreate.  It has some nice features, but if you favor TRACE, my recommendation is to just stick with it.  I've found that once you find an app that you mostly like - practice generally reveals work-arounds for the problems. 


Case in point - Vectorworks.   Finding my way around software obstacles has definitely enhanced my problem solving skills!

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I tested ProCreate but ended up sticking with Trace.  Not perfect, but works for me.  You can set the scale in Trace, export PDFs, and import them to VW.  I don't think they're snappable, but I've never tried.  I use Trace as a digital equivalent to old school rolls of trace.  I couldn't import that stuff to VW either.

Edited by E|FA
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Thanks for the feed back ! ... I’ve also found that once you start using an app you get to know ‘work arounds’ that ease the workflow...


Procreate and Sketches are also awesome drawing apps that have great tools for expressive purposes ! ... but I was looking for a similar ‘technical freehand drafting’ app ... that may have had more tools than ‘Trace’ ...


thanks for the heads up!

Edited by Donald G. Martin
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I gave it a go. 



Simple to use and understand - great tutorials

The grid tools are excellent



The icons and text are too small for my eyes.

Importing PDF's is somewhat limited: Via Adobe Creative Cloud or iCloud (for an additional fee)

Doesn't utilize gestures well - i.e. Undo is a tiny button in the lower corner.  Redo is a tinier button in the lower corner.


That's as far as I got before I decided that I prefer what I'm using already.

Some may prefer it over TRACE and ProCreate, etc, but not me.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, Im new to Trace and quite like it.  Ive historically done all my marking up in Acrobat Pro, but I'm limited to using my laptop as the iPad version is lightweight and doesnt carry all the functions I need.  Trace is a good fit in that regard (iPad friendly).  As I still work in both platforms (Acrobat & Trace) I've discovered that any PDF's that I import into Trace that I've already started marking up in Acrobat, wont import the Acrobat mark ups only the original PDF image.  Apart from taking a screen shot of the marked up Acrobat image, is there any better way to bring in Acrobat files compete with edits?

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I'm just rediscovering TRACE after experimenting with it when it first appeared.  It's really evolved into quite a slick app in so many ways.  After looking at many of the other apps noted here I think I'm going to try it out more extensively and see if it's something I can make part of my workflow.  I would love for an app like this to have a plugin in VW to more easily and extensively exchange content.  Been longing for a workflow like that for some time. 

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On 5/8/2021 at 4:45 AM, AdamRoxby said:

Apart from taking a screen shot of the marked up Acrobat image, is there any better way to bring in Acrobat files compete with edits?


Maybe try opening and saving them in Preview.app on macOS first? Or opening them, adding an annotation of any description, then saving them in Preview.app on macOS.

Edited by Christiaan
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If TRACE is not recognizing the annotation layer within the PDF it not likely to work with Preview annotations either.  Hopefully I'm wrong but if not one would need to flatten the PDF first and then import into TRACE.  Unfortunately you can't edit them then.  Sounds like a TRACE feature request.


@Christiaan, did you ever make a decision on using this app or something else?

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I have never tried to even check to see if Trace can generate a vector PDF that is clickable in VW.  I treat it entirely as a replacement for pen & paper, and if I do bring my sketches into VW they are imported as bitmaps.  It's great for sketching, especially overlaid on photos or imported drawings, but if I need dimensional accuracy I use VW directly.

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2 hours ago, Taproot said:

For PDF markups, I prefer PDF Expert. 

I have come around to using Trace as well, but find it better for design sketching.

Same here.  I also use Notability during client meetings.  I import PDFs to mark up, but can also include photos, add sketches, and take notes.

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  • 10 months later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

If you know and love sketching for jobs, you’ll feel right at home.

How to use them both?

Here is what I’ve been doing for my projects:

you can model in vwx let’s say, some massing models, bring it into Morpholio, rotate your 3d shapes until you find the right angle, then create a sketching layer on top and start sketching.


ok, all good so far, pretty fun. Now it comes the time to bring that sketch into vwx.


Export the image and save it in a Nomad, then import it into vwx but as a reference, that’s a useful ticket. If you keep making your sketch prettier or just change a few things, and replace the image in nomad, then in vwx is just a matter of updating the reference. 

I personally like using this method for storyboarding videos o just doodling a future rendering. Or just for a quick floor plan sketch.




sketch and walls.png

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@Luis M Ruiz I need some clarification:


1. When you say "bring it into Morpholio", what file format are you using?  I typically take a screenshot or create a PDF (usually through Mac print interface) from VW, and then import that to Morpholio.  Am I missing something?


2. Similar question regarding "Export the image and save it in a Nomad".  I typically export "Image" or "PDF" from Morpholio.  Do I export "Project"?  And after that how do you open that and "save it in a Nomad"? 


3. What file format will I end up in Nomad and where will the file be stored to then reference back into VW?


Morpholio is my primary tool on the iPad, and VW is my primary tool on the Mac, so I'm looking forward to getting them to work together better.




Nomad error.pdf

Edited by E|FA
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