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Assign class to a plant

James Dawson Design


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Can't offer help on this issue, but would like to be able to have plants assigned to a particular class as you said. 

Also, apart from the overall class of plant object, we have long struggled the problem of the sub-classes of the components of a plant (they have default classes for trunk, canopy, etc).

We'd love all the classes and sub-classes to be ones that are part of our company system and not Vectorworks Defaults. 

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Guest Frank Brault

The simplest way to do this is to configure a plant once the way you need it with all the settings that your company uses, including the Class assignment, and then choose Modify->Create Symbol... to save it as a resource in the active file, or in a template file available to all, that becomes a plant object when you insert it from the Resource Browser. Make sure the 'Convert to Plug-in object...' checkbox is selected when you create the symbol, which when you configure it this way, becomes known as a 'Red Symbol' and is distinguished in the Resource Browser with Red title text.


Even better, would be to configure the plant object as above and then right-click an instance in the document window and choose 'Create Plant Style from Selection...' from the context menu at the curser. These are a little more work to create initially, but in addition to the functionality in the symbol method described above, using plant styles, you can switch multiple placed plants in the document window to the desired style without having to replace and reconfigure using the 'Right-Click->Replace Plant Style...' command in the context menu. To get started with plant styles, choose the 'Help->Vectorworks Help...' menu and enter 'Creating plant styles' in the search Box in the upper right of the Vectorworks Help documentation window.


Using one of these methods, you can set up a template or a resource document with all your company's preferred plant setting on a per plant basis and even maintain the file(s) on a shared volume so that everyone who needs them can be using the same company standard.

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Thanks for the quick response on this @Frank Brault, but it is simply too much work to do this for every plant we input into the document, especially during design phase when we are exploring different design options. 

To be Frank, this problem applies to everything from Plants, to Furniture Objects, to Technical Drawings symbols. 

On another post, we discussed a tool called SmartPaste by @GioPet, which has since been discontinued. I wonder if Giovanni can share with us whether his tool can help with a situation like this too?

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Guest Frank Brault

Frankly speaking, this feature is used in the industry by larger entities mostly, as an investment that a company such as yours can make over time to create a system that ensures company standards and provides far quicker and more flexible plant scheme development after the system is developed in-house. After it is in place, it requires only minor maintenance in return for the substantial benefits listed above. If you have a template that you use with SmartPaste with all your company standards, then you are already halfway there...

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@Frank Brault Ah, I have landscape areas set up as "red symbols". It is how I want the plants to work.
I have created a red symbol from a plant object as as a plug-in object and set the assigned class to "Design Plants".

However, when I place the symbol, it is placed on the active class (in this instance "Design Building"), not the assigned one.


I have attached my Create Symbol settings.

Annotation 2020-03-11 081017.png


(added later)...I have completed more investigation and confirmed that the Assign to Class option does not work for landscape areas either.

How I get landscape areas to be assigned a class is to edit the 2D component of the red symbol and set the class there. This class is held and used when you place a landscape area, no matter the active class.


I am unable to this with the plant. I can edit the 2D component, however cannot change the class from 'none'.

Edited by James Dawson Design
completed more testing
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Guest Frank Brault

You may find the following workaround helpful while we wait for support and engineering to come up with a fix: In non-conclusive testing, I have found that if I use the

"Modify->Create Symbol..." command as the entry point to create the Resource and then after it is created, in the Resource Manager, Right-Click the resource and choose

"Plug-in Object options..." and uncheck the Create Plug-in Object checkbox in the Create Symbol dialog, then I can assign the desired class to the image prop portion of the resource and once the class is set, the assigned class is retained when inserting from the Resource Manager.


Then I can exit the group edit container and right-click the black symbol again and choose "Plug-in Object options..." and set the check the Create Plug-in Object checkbox to convert it to aired symbol. This seems to provide a temporary way (until the feature is fixed by engineering) to get red symbols to retain the assigned class rather than pick up the active class.

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