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need help with Wall in a symbol



I can't figure this out ....  I have reason to make a small garage into a hybrid symbol.  When I insert walls inside (using, copy-paste), as part of the symbol, the height of the wall changes immediately upon pasting.  I try to manipulate the heights of various wall components (like the siding) and it does not respond in the same manner as it does when the same wall style type is not part of the symbol.  The same behavior occurs when I simply draw the wall using the wall tool while in the "edit symbol" mode.  I try to change the wall height in the OIP and by using the wall components in the wall style resource.  The height may change, but not in the same way as it does when the wall is not part of the garage symbol.  I try using "stories" but I am a novice at using "stories" and I suspect it is operator error/ignorance.     Can anyone confirm if the action of placing a wall as part of a hybrid symbol results in unpredictable wall and component height behavior ?    .... or ... confirm that i simply don't know what I'm doing.

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I have had similar problems using walls in symbols. It seems the wall height reference gets lost in the symbol definition. I think this is because the definition has it's own z height reference.


I haven't found a consistent workaround using walls in symbols yet. I'd be interested to hear if someone knows a good way.


Could you try making design layer viewports of the garage instead? 

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Boh:  thanks for allowing me to think it isn't all due to my incompetence.   I started with trying design layers and had issues so I tried making the garage as a symbol instead.    I have a surveyed site plan, and I want the units to show on the survey lines as feet-decimals.  However, I also want to make construction drawings of the garage in units "feet-inches". So the survey is on a externally referenced file.   If I make the garage a hybrid symbol, then I can make the garage show up as a 2D rectangle on the survey/site plan, without showing the walls/roof/structure on the 2D image. I thought this would allow me to duplicate the garage symbol and make several different versions, all of which could be suitably located by using the "symbol replace" option.  


Unless someone comes up with a solution that I can understand, I'll guess I will have to try something else.  (PS: I'm using VW 2015, so hopefully this "wall in a symbol" issue is fixed on more recent versions.)

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Have you tried placing the garage walls and roof in classes that you can turn off in the other file?


The reason the walls behave differently in symbols is because instances of the symbol can be placed on different layers, so walls in the symbol definition cannot be based on a layer, nor can it use story levels.  If you insist on keeping them in the symbol, you can edit the wall components, make their tops/bottom bound to the wall (with offsets, if needed), then set the wall height via the Object Info palette. I still think you can get what you need using classes - which should be a lot easier.

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This thread shows the need for unit plans, which are discussed on this site elsewhere as a Development Roadmap Item.  The only workaround to this solution that I have discovered is to ungroup the symbol and redefine it, once the wall edits are made.  I personally have not figured out a way to adjust wall heights in symbols, which is kind of a pain.  (edit: I guess offsetting the components does do the trick)


VW Development Team,  it would be useful to have another mode to establish the wall height top and bottom. Layer Wall Height, Layer Elevation, Symbol Definition.  That way the walls would be defined by the Z-axis of the symbol.



Edited by cberg
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