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macOS Catalina (10.15) Compatibility

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I'm new to the Forum. 


Just wanted to report that I have just downloaded Catalina and it has made Vectorworks 2018 pretty much unusable. The main problem is that drawn information is not visible in the design layer on most drawings I open, although it is visible in the sheet layers. Occasionally when opening an existing drawing no information appears at all - not even the editing window. 


I'm using a 2019 iMac, 3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 with 128mb of Ram. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. 


Thank you 

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Unfortunately you will either need to upgrade to 2019 or 2020, or roll back your OS to Mojave.  2018 is not guaranteed to work in Catalina, and will more than likely not have a patch coming out.

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Thank you Rob,


This is disappointing to know as VW 2018 isn't that old !


I did do some reading before installing Catalina but I could only find information on compatibility with 2019. I guess I will have to revert back to Mojave. 



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Hopefully you are on Service Select and therefore will not be adversely affected by the new OS release.


Service Select gives you huge freedom particularly on the Mac platform to jump on to the latest version that is supported on Catalina and not be inconvenienced by the additional cost.

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Thanks for your response. I am not on Service Select, I will look into it. 


Just by way of an update, I have removed all of the cache and plists and rebooted VW (the uninstall function will not work). This has improved things slightly, the design layers are working now. It's a little slower than it was previously and drawings cannot be opened from VW only from the Finder. It appears to be be just about useable but its not ideal.

Edited by Alvar

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There is no way that I can afford to update from 2018.  Will it work with Catalina?  


This does annoy me.  I spend thousands of pounds on Vectorworks and after 2 years they don't care anymore about keeping up-to-date with current OS.  Should have a life span of at least five years.

Edited by mpalin1943
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It does work but not very well. Some files won’t open from VW only finder. Sometimes design layers do not show any content. 

I agreed it’s disappointing. I am a small practice and I can’t afford new CAD software every year. I’m currently looking for CAD alternatives now.



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On 10/16/2019 at 6:40 AM, DMcD said:



Fortunately 2019 works well and 2020 doesn't appear to have enough new features that make it worthwhile changing. I just wish I didn't have to pay for being a beta tester.


Exactly this--everyone in my office knows not to upgrade until 6 months in. VW's timing of their releases so close to annual OSX refreshes in a guarantee that we'll likely have compatibility problems. Unfortunately these forums are only used by a handful of people so the depth of the problem is probably not well represented (like I know i'm the only person in my organization that bothers to read posts on here.)


Every refresh cycle I look at the list of unrepaired bugs that i've reported in every release since 2016 and the relative cost of a Rhino license. All that 2019 introduced for us was it broke all of our organization wide title blocks. I'm not looking forward to exploring the issues of 2020.


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I have been using VW2020 Sp1 on Mojave for most of last week and most of the problems I saw with the initial release have been fixed. Under Mojave it's quite usable now. No noticeable improvement o 2019 as far as my work is concerned and the only feature which appeared to be interesting, 3D modelling history, doesn't appear in my workflow. So 2020 SP1 is vastly better than 2019 at the same point in 2019 but more or less the same as 2019 functionally. I'm not sure whether anyone deserves congratulations for standing still 🙂

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Preliminarily, I am having big problems.  Settings are reverting without being manually input and, more nefariously, I have some files that simply won't show up--models I had been working on for over a year that are loading, but nothing is visible.  

I can't say it is not some other issue--such as a suddenly corrupted file--but the timing is fairly odd.  This is brand new to a Catalina update.  Hopefully, I'll find something ELSE to be the issue.


Anyone else?

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On 11/12/2019 at 10:14 AM, FORM-DesignStudio said:

Hopefully, I'll find something ELSE to be the issue.


Seeing as you're (also) getting functional issues unrelated to files ("settings are reverting without being manually input") then I'd consider the following likely contenders, in order of likelihood: 

  1. You've migrated your Workspace and/or Settings from a prior version of Vectorworks. (Usually okay, but I've encountered a few users for whom this has caused issues). 
  2. Your installation is compromised. If this is the case: 
    • If you have antivirus installed and if it was active during installation this could be cause. 
  3. Conflicting software (when concurrently open). 
    • Historically Sketchup has caused interference with keyboard hotkeys and commands but I've encountered one or two others that do this as well. 


If you want an almost certain fix for this, skip to the third option. If you want to try the easier ones first I've listed them in order of ease. 

  • Try using an alternate workspace - preferably a default one (Tools > Workspaces). If you can't discern if it's a default one or not, quit Vectorworks and delete the Workspace folder.
  • If this doesn't resolve the issues; Quit Vectorworks, delete the entire Vectorworks User Folder, reopen Vectorworks. 
  • If that doesn't work, perform the Resetting Vectorworks Preferences process. 

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