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Vectorworks Preferences, Revisited

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Thanks for this Niel,

My process is very similar to this - eerily so. I prefer 3d Orthogonal however but otherwise...


I like to work with Full Screen Cursor, especially when providing training - it allows students to follow the action better:

Tools>Options>Vectorworks Preferences

>Interactive>Full Screen Cursor


24 minutes ago, Neil Barman said:

Autosave = NN Operations, custom single location

Here I turn OFF confirm before save - I always want this backup but not the interruption.

I keep 2 or 3 backups - its easy to cull unwanted backups when they're all stored in the same folder.

It's also easier to recover a file after a crash by comparing the last saved version to the last auto-saved backup and picking the more recent.


I also like to turn on - among others - the QuickPref button Show Other Objects While in Edit Modes.

It can be very handy when editing Groups, Annotations, Symbols etc to see or hide surrounding geometry



Edited by bcd
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Dear Neil,

Here are my essentials:



Cursor Pre Selection Highlighting Timer: Set to 5 seconds

Nothing more annoying than everything highlighting as you move the mouse across a busy plan.


Interactive appearance settings

(So you can easily see the difference between the two)

Object Highlighting active layer: Blue

Object Highlighting - Pre Selection - Active layer: Green


General Editing Modes Border: Red

(So you can more readily see when you're editing something).


Selection and Snap box size made slightly smaller.



Off (unless I am working on a job in which case it's set to 20 operations and 5 back ups).





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Excellent advice Neil, thanks.


On 9/15/2019 at 7:30 PM, Neil Barman said:

Edit > Offset Duplications = Unchecked

Why I adjust this pref: Even though duplicating an object can replicate the last distance & direction I moved an object by Option-Drag (Ctrl-Drag on Win), I like my duplicated objects to “stay put” until I do something with them.


One little trick to have it both ways on this one is to check Allow option-click in-place duplication, which allows you to duplicate an object in place—even with Offset duplications checked—by holding down the option key down when clicking an object. This way you have both options available without too much thought. I'm still trying to get used to this myself but it's an option.



Edited by Christiaan
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I tend to leave the option off, because when I lay up for CNC, a duplicate object just wastes machine time.

The alternatives I use is to have something with a 30% opaque fill, so if objects are doubled up, they're visibly darker and easy to weed out. Instead I use Copy->paste in place, so I can control exactly when I get an in-place duplicate.... option/alt clicking is too easy to create duplicates sometimes. (But I guess it's all about your personal workflow!)image.thumb.png.c3c6ca495c79bcb6191ae256d70bfd10.png

Edited by RussU
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@Neil Barman All good suggestions for me, and especially for your reference [intended or not] to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.


"Session > Maximum number of Undos > 42

Why I adjust this pref: I like to experiment and sometimes I need to “back out” of what I’m doing a lot. Plus, if it can be the answer to life, the universe, and everything, it must be a good number of undo’s."

Plus I do find this setting quite useful to me.



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22 minutes ago, Mark Mosher said:

"Session > Maximum number of Undos > 42

This one I change depending on the file and the operations. My default is 20

In complex files with intensive tasks I like to keep this low 2-9 to improve VW's performance and bump it back up again for general use.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I must say, I am really enjoying and appreciating all of the feedback that has been posted so far. It is making me think about modifying some of my prefs and techniques. Please do keep sharing your preference settings and your reasons for setting them as you do.


Many thanks!

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Guest Wes Gardner

Not really a preference but...Apple V = Paste In Place - because that's the way I am...

I leave "Paste" as a drop-down so that I know that I'm intentionally NOT pasting in place


In the "old days", did the number of Undos have a memory usage component?


Just as an aside...I do alot of demonstrations, training, etc. where I need to represent "what ships" so my workspace is "stock" - no smoke and mirrors...I also run the "shipping build"...




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8 hours ago, Christiaan said:

Doe maximum undos really have a significant effect on performance? I have it set to 100.


It is my understanding in tech support that it will have an effect on performance. When you think about it, the program has to 'remember' all those steps. Like grouping incessantly within groups, it's just inefficient. However I am not an engineer but this is what I have been told. The other thing is that for bug testing it is very difficult to know the cause of a crash if you have so many undos. We always recommend keeping the default number at 20. I remember the old days when we only had one!




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When NNA's own staff start and foster threads like this....Is it not time to say damn legacy?

We should build a new from scratch "Best Practice" workspace and make that the default.


Those who want to keep the legacy or their own version of best practice.

It really would go a long way to improving the reception of the product if the day to day working used the best it had to offer on the easiest to reach key commands.


Lost track how many times I've said while training people. "You should use ... it's just command-option-shift-control-escape then hit..."

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On 9/15/2019 at 10:15 PM, Peter Neufeld said:


Cursor Pre Selection Highlighting Timer: Set to 5 seconds

Nothing more annoying than everything highlighting as you move the mouse across a busy plan.


On 9/16/2019 at 5:33 AM, Christiaan said:


Cor that's a long time to wait for pre-selection though


I set mine to about 0.6 seconds; seems to be long enough to avoid everything lighting up like a pinball machine, but not too long to wait if you want the highlighting.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, Francois Levy said:

I set mine to about 0.6 seconds; seems to be long enough to avoid everything lighting up like a pinball machine, but not too long to wait if you want the highlighting.


Thanks for the suggestion, François. I was just looking for the "sweet spot" and, though I love pinball in machine form, I don't want to see it all day on-screen... a 0.6s delay is great! 

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