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MHBrown

Dimensions not working

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In VW 2018 with the latest SP. I go to edit a symbol in 3D. I want to check a dimension, so I go to a right elevation. I measure the overhang of a counter top. The dimension is distorted. Then it disappears. I switch to "Screen orientation only." Still it disappears. I change from "3D" to "working plane" in the OIP. Nothing. I know that for over 25 years I have been able to do this very, very simple action. This happens all the time in all sorts of views, not just in symbol edit. There is no reason for this and I'm sure it is an accidental change due to some addend "feature." I do NOT want to work in any mode other than screen plane due to the instability of the program. Look. It is like this. If I'm in an orthographic view--whether it's 1919 on a drafting board or 2019 on a computer--I am looking at true size projections. If that is the case I should be able to pull a dimension between two points parallel to the paper/screen. This. Is. Basic. Why are my dimensions either 1.) distorted 2.) invisible (just the blue handles) or 3.) visible, but no longer anywhere near my drawing. Do NOT tell me to put it in a viewport and use the annotation tool. I'm editing a symbol, remember? I want to be able to dimension, alter, or otherwise edit in orthographic views. Doing anything in a 3D view results in imprecise changes at best and pieces and parts slung to the far reaches of the desktop at worst. If I just wanted to slap together a massing model I'd use SketchUp or some other consumer CAD-lite system. I need precision. What is happening here with VW? By the way, "Screen view only" does not "stick." what is up with that?

 

MHBrown

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If you are drawing in screen plane and the dimensions are disappearing, it is worth checking that you have "Display Screen Objects" selected in Unified View Options. That's often a problem that I have had in the past.

 

If you are drawing in any other Plane mode like "screen aligned" then it is probable that your dimensions are snapping to objects that are not co planar and therefore are appearing skewed.

 

Just a few thoughts.....

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Thanks for the tip, but I don't see any menu that reads "Display Screen Objects" anywhere (what else would be displayed if not "screen objects"? Why would I want a blank screen?) I also don't see anything that reads Unified View Options and the VectorWorks "Help" menu is no help. Can you elaborate?

MHBrown

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View Menu>Unified View>Unified View Options. You should get a dialogue that looks like this:

 

image.thumb.png.5be5efd2e9cbc4c61d7f4c2ba28ebf5d.png

 

Just make sure that you have Display Screen Objects checked. Then they will always appear where you draw them.

 

I don't know whether you are on a Mac or a PC. If you could fill in your signature with your specs then it would save on some  of the more mundane questions that folk have.

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Of course as soon as I hit "submit" I found it. I followed your advice. Nope. Still does not work. To be honest, I don't need anything other than "screen aligned" view. The other views are far too unstable. Even when I select "screen align only" it jumps back to one of the other views. I wish there were a way to remove the lines of code that give the other two options. Thanks again for the help, but it is still not allowing dimensions in orthographic views within the symbol edit (perhaps elsewhere, it works, but I don't have time to do VW's work for them.)

MHBrown

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I am on a Mac, High Sierra OS. Sorry for the omission. I usually put all that in, but I'm in a rush.

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Sorry, I missed the bit about dimensioning inside 3D symbols. If you are doing this inside a symbol, then I don't think screen objects will work. These objects are automatically assigned to the 2D geometry portion. You will need to add the symbol to the drawing first and then use a screen dimension to dimension it from there.

Edited by markdd

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Try setting the working plane to "Screen Aligned", then place the dimensions.

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Thanks, Matt, but that doesn't work either...at least not all the time. It is a bit hit and miss. My definition of "working" does not allow for random failures, but it is always something to try when I'm stuck.

 

To respond to markdd, I appreciate the explanation so I won't bang my head against the wall anymore. I appreciate your help very much. But this flaw is simply not acceptable. That's like saying "well, the volume works except when you are on even numbered channels" and thinking that's OK. It's not. It's not even close to OK. The whole point of symbols is to only have to edit the master file instead of all the instances scattered around the drawing. I'm not putting a dimension on it as part of a presentation drawing. I'm just wanting to see how big something is (in the latest case, I wanted to see if I was in compliance with the ADA for wheelchair clearance.) Don't tell me to use the tape measure tool, draw a line and look in the OIP, or some other workaround. That is the point. VW has become a rat's nest of workarounds for things that are fundamental to drafting: such as knowing how big something is. If I want to be a fine artist I'll get some paints, canvases and brushes and slop around shapes and forms. But that's not what I want in my drawings. I want precision. I want it available wherever I am in the drawing. Previous versions of MC and VW allowed dimensioning anywhere on any orthographic view. If that is not the case, the application is fundamentally broken. I know I need to pass this along to the VW folk, not here. So sorry for the misplaced rant.

MHBrown

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56 minutes ago, MHBrown said:

Thanks, Matt, but that doesn't work either...at least not all the time. It is a bit hit and miss. My definition of "working" does not allow for random failures, but it is always something to try when I'm stuck.

 

 

I should've mentioned that this problem is considered a bug and we're working on it.

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I'm not even in a symbol or editing window now. I'm just looking at an object in front elevation. I have Screen Aligned only, all the other necessary boxes are checked and I STILL cannot draw a dimension line without it disappearing. So it is worse than I described before. I don't really see this as a "bug." A "bug" is something that was simply too odd to notice. You can't check every possible combination of moves. I know that. This, however, is more akin to putting a car into production, but forgetting to put rotors on the disc brakes. It is a fundamental feature of the car that it stop on command. It the same sense, a CAD program's number one requirement is that it show the size of things. The size, folks. That is what it needs to do. I can't believe that someone didn't try to take a dimension of an extruded square in a Design layer before this version was released. But that is apparently what happened and it is now exhausting to use. Please don't tell me VW2019 is better. I'll keep the devil I know for now until I hear that VW has staffed up or has abandoned its 18 month release cycle for something more attainable, 24 to 30 months maybe. Until then, I'll keep the bugs I know rather than trade for new ones. Thanks, however, for everyone's tips and suggestions. I have to say that usually someone has figured it out and is generous enough to take the time to let us all know. That is greatly appreciated.

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2 hours ago, MHBrown said:

I don't really see this as a "bug." A "bug" is something that was simply too odd to notice.

 

A bug is a behavior that is not intended by the software. It could be something that is barely noticeable, a crash, or anywhere in-between.
My stating that we consider the behavior a bug was to let you know that it's not "by design" and needs to be fixed. The comment was not intended to lesson the severity of the problem - quite the contrary. 

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