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Calling up finishes

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I am  familiar with the space tool and how that can be used to call up room finishes however it is somewhat limited as it provides for only a single floor, ceiling & baseboard (skirting) finishes and 4 wall finishes (North, South, East & West). This doesn't cater well for a retail or restaurant space for example which can have dozens of different finishes?


We have been doing it manually with keynote callouts i.e. calling up each finish wherever they may appear. This is time consuming, repetitive and prone to errors.


I really like the data tag tool and am already using it on equipment, furniture etc. I'm trying to figure out an automated way to use it for finishes. I see there is a "Material Note" data tag style in the Vectorworks library however this is just a manual tag, so not much different from using a keynote.


How do other people do this? If you have a good system then I would much appreciate it if you shared it here.


One idea I have:

As many of our finishes are often just shown graphically in plans and elevations via polygons I'm wondering about setting up "Finishes" classes with the actual finishes noted in the class descriptions. The data tag could then pull that description. If a finish is changed the poly is simply assigned to a different finish class and hey presto the data tag updates to the new class description.


So far so good however ideally we would also use finish codes for each finish and the tag show the code. (The actual finish would be displayed on the drawing in a Finishes Key worksheet). I guess the class name could be the code so the data tag shows the class name and the class description is listed in the worksheet. Hmmm not sure about that though...


Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance.



ED: How do you call up a class description in a worksheet?!

Edited by Boh

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I used a nested symbol, sort of a poor man's data tag.  The inner symbol has text linked to a record set: Finish name (P1, L1 etc)/Manufacturer/Type/Notes, etc.  When I need a new finish marker, I drop that into the annotations and fill out the record entry via the OIP.  Then I create a symbol out of that symbol and name it the finish I've created.  That way I can put the finish all over the drawing, even reference it across files, and if it needs updating (like say the paint finish becomes Satin over Semi gloss, or the entire paint color changes)  I update the symbol and it changes everywhere.  Also the information can be called into a worksheet.  


Downside is that it is up to you to place the finish marker correctly, it is not pulling data per se.  But I know of no way to do that, I wish there were.  

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Thanks Grant. That's a clever way to do it. I wouldn't have thought of that.


I am however looking for an automated system where the tag is pulling data so whereever it is placed it will self update to display the correct info. The reason is that we are working in teams and having a simple bullet proof system is less prone to errors creeping in whenever something needs revising.


I still like my idea of using classes and class descriptions however it falls down as I don't know a way to list in a worksheet the class description of a class of an object. Is this because the worksheet will only list record info of the object not the class of the object?


Perhaps there is another way? I already use space  objects for finishes and have an extensive set of codes for floor, wall, ceiling finishes etc. It would be great to be able to use this info but not be tied to using the limited finishes functionality of space objects.


This must be a very common issue so I'm sure there are lots of systems people use...

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