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Dealing with text and notes in VW

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Hi all, taking a bit of a poll here.. how do folks deal with the large blocks of notes and text (code citations, other paragraphs of boilerplate)?

Do you keep a library of formatted text, use the notes tool with database, edit text in an outside tool and import... all of the above

Just curious how you all have tried to become more efficient with this necessary aspect of creating a drawing set.

Thank you for your input.

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I find txt in VW a total PIA. But in spite of that I've got some ways...


My current workflow is running a file in Visual Studio Code (but any txt editor will do - altho' one with tabs is better). Since I've started this I find I recycle some of my labels and more of my specs.


I haven't found callouts and keynotes useful (also they lack graphical controls) as all my drawings are so different.


I have an growing collection of text files which I grab things from but wish VW could read-write to\from a .txt file - that would save a LOT of time.


Anything I seldom change goes into a text block inside a symbol.

If I can structure the page so labels appear in same place I put all labels in a worksheet (I hear that 2020 allows inter-operability with Excel which would make this more useful). This is useful for keys to get quick equal line spacing and alignment control. It's also how I do all my image sheets; a worksheet of large square cells (with a text block at bottom of page), linked to a list of items. 



Edited by unearthed
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@unearthed What are you thinking for read/write text files? Both from a workflow (what you want to accomplish) and an user interface point of view.


Vectorscript can read/write text files and I don't think it would be too difficult to script up something, but I need to know what you are thinking before I even consider trying to make the time.


Are you thinking a library of text files that you could import when needed? And save the contents of the text block back out to the same or a different text file for future reuse? Where should the text files be stored? Does a text block need to include information on where the contents came from? Where it has been stored to?


This is already getting to be a bigger project than I probably want to tackle, but it would still be good to spec it out.

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I use a range of native VW tools to get my text and notes on drawings. My resources include:

  1. A notes database with lots of different notes sorted into different works sections
  2. Notes listed using the General Notes PIO and saved as symbols - e.g. "Demolition Notes" etc.
  3. Legends also saved as symbols
  4. Custom finishes saved in the Room Finishes txt files in the Libraries/Defaults/Space/Space-Room Finishes workgroup library folder. These are used by space objects and can be listed in worksheets as finishes schedules.

I also use callouts and keynotes extensively. Both these and the general notes PIO have access to the notes database mentioned in 1. I've recently started using worksheets to edit callouts and keynotes globally within a file which so far is working really well. E.g. at the moment I am doing a whole bunch of detailing. I can make callouts which simply say "Wall cladding". Then once I'm done drafting the detail, in a database worksheet I can summarise all the notes that say "Wall cladding" and add more detail such as ".35 gauge colorsteel metal profile cladding etc etc" then I can also change those notes into keynotes via the worksheet. All the notes will update throughout the file (at least the ones covered in the worksheet criteria). If I later need to change the wall cladding note it's easy via the worksheet. In this way I can keep all the notes across the file accurate and consistent. 

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@Pat Stanford Hi Pat, this took a bit longer, covid makes life complicated


The text below is really only about pulling text into VW from a .txt file. After considering being able to write back to .txt file I am unsure of the utility of that, altho' it might prove very useful. Screenshot of what I'm hoping to achieve,  .vwx with linked worksheets and sample .txt file - VW_txtBase_readWrite.txt, I have subsequently


I imagine VW_txtBase_live referencing the label text from text blocks in a txt file (probably Visual Studio Code. Then the worksheet VW_txtLinkLabels would space the labels out for use in sheet. 

- If possible script ignores first text block as used for description of tile contents - maybe it's removed from being parsed by #

- each block of text is separated from the next by empty line \ carriage return

- I don't know how to handle bullet points as no formatting in worksheet cells but that is really unimportant. Would a line with only a hyphen might be able to treated as a new line?


I normally keep labels to a fixed width, say 50mm wide on an A3, so I would set my cells in VW_txtLinkLabels at that width and likewise use a fixed height cell height of 44mm - this would handle almost all labels.


Will insert empty rows and columns to space out text blocks. My labels .txt list would run top to bottom running clockwise round drawing (I already do this with my plant image labels).

This is my simple-minded approach. If it was possible to cut out the middle step; the VW_txtBase_live worksheet that would be amazing.

After that I would normally drop the worksheet in model space and viewport it into the drawing.


txt_file_linking chain.JPG



Edited by unearthed
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