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ChollyO

Workgroup Customization

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Can anyone give some examples of items used in a Workgroups that are useful for your organization or yourself as a user?  At my company we are starting to dabble into the benefits of Workgroups but currently we are only sharing files and templates.  I'm curious of what other things users have done with either default attribute types, record formats, plug-ins, object types, settings or anything in general.  I am new to the scope of the Workgroups and any gems of info anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

Edited by ChollyO
wrote the incorrect word "workspace" instead of "workgroup"

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I normally work with the default workspaces, so I will leave it to others to explain what they change and why, but here are a few general thoughts (opinions) on why you might want to change your workspace and why you might not.

 

Why Not:

1. Asking for help is harder. At users group meetings people often don't know the name of the tool or command and say things like "Command-Shift M thing". If you have remapped that to something else and tell me Command-Shift J from your workspace I have no idea of what you are doing.

2. Training. If you ever go to a training class, it will almost certainly be done on a standard workspace. If you bring your workspace to the class you are likely to confuse yourself because you will have to do things differently than what the instructor is telling you.

3. Updates. We often come across people who developed a custom workspace a number of years ago and who are complaining about the lack of a feature that was already added to VW, but they didn't know about because they just brought across their workspace without checking on what was added to a newer version of VW.

4. Who gets to choose. If you set a custom workspace for your office, it is likely to be set to make sense for your brain and is probably no better for someone else than the standard default.

5. Harder for a new person in the office who already has VW experience to come up to productive speed. Coming from other programs is less of a problem as they already have a steep learning curve.

 

Why:

1. Shortcuts that don't make sense. Many of the shortcuts in VW are 20 year old holdovers and were set "geographically" so that the order of the icons in the palettes mapped to a row of keys before the workspace was configurable. Now many of the commands come in the defaults using the same shortcuts, but having been moved to a different location in the palette so they just seem random.

2. Shortcuts that are hard to remember. Many people find it hard to remember the VW shortcuts. They want to have things that make sense to them. Like "L" for Line (instead of 2), or T for Text (instead of 1). Or they want them mapped to a similar function in another application they use.

3. Custom use of tools or commands. It may be that due to the nature of your specific work, that you need easier access to certain tools that most people only use infrequently. Moving them or adding shortcuts can greatly improve your productivity.

4. Banish tools you don't like. If there are tools or PIOs that cause problems in your drawings and that you have come up with a different method (Maybe you like to use symbols instead of the Door object). You can remove those items from the workspace so they don't accidentally end up in your drawings.

5. Who gets to choose. By defining the workspace you make it easier for others in the office to "help" as the tools and shortcuts are the same. If everyone has a different customized workspace it is much harder to lean in and help with something quickly.

 

Just a few things to think about before deciding to customize a workspace or not.

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@Pat Stanford Thanks for the reply but I noticed that I wrote the wrong word in my thread, "workspace" instead of "workgroup".  I'm looking for tips on Resource Browser Workgroup Libraries.  Apologies!

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Your post was fine. It was my reading that was bad.

 

Check out these threads for a good starting point for Workgroup Folders and then ask again if you have more questions.

 

 

 

 

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Typical useful elements that can be used from a workgroup are:

- symbols

- object styles like wall styles, slab styles, roof styles, text styles, ...

- templates

- workspaces

- custom plug-in objects and scripts

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We are an office of about 7 vw users. A few years ago we were perhaps in a similar position as your team are now where files were on a server and you could dive in and grab stuff but there was no central organised library of shared resources. At least you have some templates which is a really good starting point. We didn’t even have that so old projects were used as starting points for new projects, inheriting all the bad habits along the way and adding some more for good measure.

 

Everybody worked in very different ways and there were no real office standards so drawings all looked different and were organised differently. This made it a nightmare if you had to work on someone else’s file.

 

Setting up an organised cad library along with some office standards and of course developing some templates has been quite a transformation for us. In addition we also have a standard office workspace with some shortcut keys customised to suit our workflow.

 

It may not be everyone’s preferred way to go but a key part of our setup is having a set of standard classes. We generally set object attributes to “by class” and then class everything. It can mean a lot of classes but once you get used to it there is fantastic control of visibilties and of course consistency of appearance between files as they all use the same classes attributes. It also really helps people work on each other’s files a lot. 

 

Being an architectural practice our cad library is full of symbols of almost everything you can imagine that goes into a building but as well as that the library is used to store and share worksheets, scripts, wall styles, roof and slab styles.

 

We also have custom hatches, linetype, gradients, image and tile fills, and textures too though many of these are loaded into our standard classes already.


Note I’ve used the term “Cad Library” instead of “Workgroup”. Whilst we have a workgroup set up, 90% of our cad library resources are simply a few files made into favourites in the RM on each workstation.


Of course many tools use resources and because they are “favourites” the tools have direct access to them.

 

The workgroup set up though is handy for locating custom templates and object styles like titleblocks and data tags, which are becoming more and more significant in vw.

 

It has been a bit of work to set up and does require some TLC to keep it humming but I think the benefits are substantial.

 

Hope that is helpful!

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@Boh Thanks for your input.  I feel that my company is similar to yours in that we all have our own ways of organizing our drawings that sometimes doesn't match when one person picks up where another left off.  I like your idea of creating a standard set of classes for everyone to align to. 

 

One question regarding your custom hatches/line types/gradients, etc...  How are those shared over the workgroup?  I am aware of the folder structure in the shared workgroup server location, requiring libraries and defaults, etc.  Are these shared items saved in the Libraries\Defaults\Attributes - Gradients (or Hatches or Line Types) folders?  And if so how do these files need to be formatted?  I'm guessing that they just need to be vwx files with the appropriate objects included in the files but is that correct?  

 

Thanks again!

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Yes if you want to use the workgroup / libraries / defaults folders then you need a vwx file in each folder and stick your custom resources in them. Alternately (or in addition) you can put shortcut to .vwx files in the workgroup folders. The files do not require any specific formatting other than being .vwx in the version you are using. E.g. You might have a file called “”Custom Hatches” for your hatches and this file (or a shortcut to this file ) is placed in the Libraries/ defaults/ Haches folder. The resources do not have to be actually drawn in the file- they can simply be imported into it so they are accessible in the RM. You can create resource folders in the RM to organise them if there a lot but that is optional.

 

If you have set up your workgroup folder structure correctly and have your vw / tools / options / preferences / user folders  location set up right then these custom resources will become available via the workgroup tab in the RM.. You’ll need to refresh your library or restart vw for these to load the first time you create these files. 

 

As we are using a lot of classes we have got a lot of custom hatches, lietypes etc that are used just for classes. We don’t really want these resources randomly changed so we have named these “class resources” with a “zzz” prefix to identify them.

 

Instead of putting these resources in different workgroup files what we have done is set up a single file called “Office Standard Classes and Layers”. This file contains all the office standard classes and layers which will of course also contain all the class hatches, linetypes, textures etc.These resources don’t need to be duplicated into a workgroup file. Its actually better to manage if they are kept in only one library file.

 

We keep the classes and layers file in the “standards” folder in the workgroup library. When a new class (or layer) is required in a project the new class (Or layer) dialogue defaults to this file location where they can be imported. Imported classes will bring in with them any linetypes or hatches etc into the file if they aren’t in there already.

 

Our set up may be quite peculiar to us but it does work really well for us.

 

let me know if you have any questions.

 

cheers

Edited by Boh

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@Boh I don't have time to test right now. Do you know if files in a Workgroup need to have items in the appropriate Resource Folder to show up as Object Styles? I am afraid I am not explaining this very well.

 

For Example, when you import a Data Tag or a Worksheet Border, a Resource Folder is created in the active file called Data Tag Styles or Title Block Styles.  Do the files in the Workgroup folder have to have objects in those sub-folders to show up as Style options for those objects?

 

 

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On 2/15/2020 at 9:42 AM, Pat Stanford said:

For Example, when you import a Data Tag or a Worksheet Border, a Resource Folder is created in the active file called Data Tag Styles or Title Block Styles.  Do the files in the Workgroup folder have to have objects in those sub-folders to show up as Style options for those objects?

Maybe I didn't understand your question but I just did a test and found that when I used the data tag tool the data tag did not create a new RM subfolder called "Data Tag Styles" whe it brought in the selected style. Neither did the selected tyle need to be in a sub folder of the Workgroup object style file.

 

See vid: I have no idea why in this vid when I chose the revision tag that a titleblock border tag also came into the file!??

Edited by Boh

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