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Create 2D schematic symbols from lighting symbols

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I there any way to link data between 2D schematic objects and spotlight lighting instruments? It would be interesting to have the ability to import a lighting symbol from the vectorworks library that includes 2D geometry, 3D geometry AND a 2D schematic representation with all physical connections. I would love to find a workflow that links a lighting symbol in my plot to the 2D schematic instance. This way, when I update a channel number/DMX address/position on a light plot, that information would automatically update in the 2D schematic instance of that fixture.


Does that make any sense? Does anyone have a similar workflow already?

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@Daniel Dickman Schematic views are huge work in progress.  Currently, the Schematic Views function simply creates a plug-in object that is essentially a 2D "Hidden Line" representation of a fixture or hanging position from the view that you specify.  You can interact with the lighting fixtures at the schematic view level by selecting the fixture and the clicking on Lighting Device Properties.  This will open up the "Lighting Device Properties" that looks similar to what would be displayed in the OIP.  I've had some success using the Spotlight Numbering Tool on the Schematic View objects.  Unfortunately, none of this information can be displayed graphically at the schematic view level so trying to keep track of what fixtures are what is pretty difficult when you're working with a large volume of fixtures.


There are few posts in the forum discussing the inadequacies of this new feature at length.  It seems like its on the dev teams radar to make it more functional but who knows when they're going to roll out the fixes.  I've been beating my head up against this feature over the last week trying to draw vertical positions with no luck.

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@Daniel Dickman I feel like my previous post might have led you astray. Since then I, alongside a few others, have been testing the feature ad nauseam to see if we can figure out its kinks.  Here is a list of what I have discovered with this feature, some of which will be useful to you.


  • Schematic views do not like "Hanging Positions".  It will react better to simple rigging objects like a "Lighting Pipe" or a "Lighting Pipe Ladder".  I believe this was touched on in an earlier post in this thread or another.
  • Not converting to a "Hanging Position" will yield a proper 2D Schematic View complete with accessories and Label Legends when "Top" is selected.
  • Converting to a "Hanging Position" will yield an almost identical 2D version of the source geometry when "Top" is selected.  When "Front" is selected, it will yield a "Hidden Line" version of the position with no accessory or label legend information attached.
  • When label legends are populated by Schematic Views, classes that are associated with a label legend do control the Schematic Views display to a point.  Allitems need to be classed appropriately.  This means that containers need to have an appropriate class assigned to them not only at the label legend level but also within the symbol.  This will be problematic if you're utilizing the same container symbol for more than one field.
  • Schematic Views do not show "Modify Lighting Instrument Color" based on color field when selected in the Spotlight Preferences.
  • Accessories will display in a schematic view, however, they're placed at the top of the Schematic View, not with the fixture they're assigned to.
  • The spotlight numbering tool does work directly on the "Lighting Device In Schematic View" objects and the input is reflected appropriately.

I hope this helps a little more.  There is a pretty active thread on the subject matter. Here is the link:  



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@rseybert Sorry for the confusion, my post was in regards to the 2D schematic used to create signal riser diagrams within ConnectCAD not the schematic views in Spotlight. (But I do feel the pain with that tool, and have been active in that thread) I think it might benefit Vectorworks to find some better naming conventions to differentiate between these two tools. Maybe "hybrid elevations" would make more sense for the spotlight schematic tool.


@Conrad P Yes, having spotlight and ConnectCAD talk to each other would be awesome. In regards to pre-made ConnectCAD symbols/devices, do you see a time where prebuilt devices will move out of the device builder tool and into the spotlight/service select symbol libraries?

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Hi Daniel,


Finding names for stuff can be a tough call as we expand across more design disciplines.


Regarding your question, both the Device Builder and Service Select symbol libraries are valid approaches and in a way serve different needs.


Device Builder is better suited to creating schematic devices because it constructs your device out of data preserving your particular house style. I could see some fun improvements to DB like adding richer graphics assuming we can store these somehow in the database.


You can of course save devices as symbols and share them with your colleagues. But for us distributing schematic device symbols worldwide would run into the problem that designers have different preferences regarding colors, fonts, units, grid settings and therefore socket spacing. Device Builder doesn't have this problem.


Where symbol libraries really come into their own is for modelling physical equipment items. Already we are working to leverage Vectorworks existing symbol content and integrate it with ConnectCAD Equipment objects to provide accurate, rich graphics. Moving forward I can see the day where we have physical equipment symbols available to complement Device Builder makes and models.


Thanks for getting me thinking about this. As ever, it's great talking with you guys.




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