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Edit a Door Leaf to make it a custom door object

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It seems I used to be able to do this:


- Insert a door into a wall

- Choose a Custom Leaf through the OIP

- Duplicate the Leaf

- Edit the leaf


I don't see a way to accomplish this other than to import a baked in door from a catalogue - Have I been cooped up to long & my tiny brain is playing trix on me. (At least that's what the cat tells me; but he was wrong about Tiger King!)

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Unless I'm very much mistaken, then the only way to add a custom door leaf is to add it from the designated Door Leaf Library file. Its not the same for some other plug-in objects that will accept symbols as long as the appropriate record is attached. Some of the Spotlight staging plugins allow this. 


The process for the door tool is labyrinthine and seems inconsistent with other objects within the application. As the most vocal of the disciplines, I can't believe that the Architect lobby hasn't been moaning about this for years!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Jim, I apologise in advance if I have misunderstood the question, but as long as your door is set to Unstyled, you can click the Leaf tab, and then click Leaf and choose Custom.


If you are unable to select this, you may have a specific Style selected, which has the option to change the leaf turned off. Again, if you have a specific style selected, you may also have a catalogue attached to that style, which contains the parameters to create specific doors, from specific manufacturers.

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@Jim Smith in my experience, @markdd is correct.  If you want a one of a kind door leaf, you need to model it out of generic solids and save it as a symbol in your Libraries/Defaults/Door - Custom Leaves folder.


Unfortunately, I've had some difficulty with leaves not scaling correctly the way @Tamsin Slatter was referring to, so you may need to make different leaves at different sizes to get a fool proof solution.

Edited by Taproot
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In order for the door tool to use your modified door leaf symbol, you need to export it to one of the default folders named Door - Custom Leaves. You can do this by right-clicking on the Door leaf symbol, select export and then navigate to the folder either in your Vectorworks Library, User Library or any Workgroup Library that has been set up with the default Library folder structure.


Then what you need to do is restart Vectorworks for the door tool to see the object! Its relatively simple when you get the hang of it but incredibly cumbersome.


@Tamsin Slatter Tamsin, do you think you could suggest to your developer colleagues that a better way is found to add custom door leaves to the Door Tool within a file? Or perhaps I am missing a trick....? 

Edited by markdd
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Just now, Tamsin Slatter said:

After exporting to Door - Custom Leaves, I think you should just be able to use the Resource Manager's Refresh Libraries option to avoid the Vectorworks restart?

I tried that but the exported symbol didn't populate the door tool until I restarted the program.... 

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@markdd @Tamsin Slatter OK, I am wrong as I must be remembering something else as I went back as far as VW 12.5 (not 2012) and it appears one could not edit a so called "Custom" Door leaf from the OIP or the Resources, so there's that.


I do get the work - a - rounds but it's a pretty shabby alternative. Not that we have much need, only every comes up once a year or 18 months. Having said this, I'll add it as a wish list item, editing a door should not be a full time occupation. 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Jim, I'm not able to reproduce your problem. I can select a Custom Leaf, choose a symbol from the library, and change some of the parameters, which updates the symbol. I have just done it again. I can change the width, height, jamb depth, operation, and much more. All of these changes can be made on the Object Info palette, and result in an updated door, but based on the Custom leaf. You could then save this as a symbol, with the option checked to Convert to Plug-in. This would give you a red symbol that you could reuse (from any library file - not just the custom door leaves file). And it would be parametric, so you would still be able to change it.

The underlying geometry of the Custom leaf symbols is a generic solid, and therefore not parametric itself, but the parameters within the Door tool will cause it to remodel.


Alternatively you can model any symbol as you wish, and then insert it using the Use Symbol Geometry checkbox on the General tab. Using THIS kind of symbol geometry creates a door that will NOT respond to changes made with parameters. 


The Door Style and Door Catalog functionality also provide the ability to start with a huge range of doors, all with preset parameters, and then change them as you wish. Depending on how the Door Style was setup, you can change 'By Instance' parameters, and those that were set as 'By Style' cannot. But to get to all the parameters, convert the Door to Unstyled and you'll be able to change what you want. But I appreciate from the start of your post that this is not what you want to use. 

In case anyone else is reading this post, this section of Vectorworks Help gives a good overview of this and includes a link to a video that explains Door Styles in more detail:

There is a link at the bottom of this page that also explains Catalogs in detail.


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@Tamsin Slatter I built a number of custom leaves a few years ago that have since broken with subsequent releases.  It seems like you have a good command of this aspect of the software, so I'll include the file here in the hopes that you might be able to direct me to a fix.  The leaves used to correctly stretch when the door was resized from say 6'-8" to 7'-0" or 8'-0".  Now they just sort of explode. 


Here's a few screen shots to illustrate what I mean.  The leaves were very carefully constructed with generic solids only and I would very much like to be able to use them again! 



Custom Leaves_Taproot.vwx

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, even those of us who studiously figure out the idiosyncrasies can't manage to make some of these tools work consistently.  It shouldn't be this hard. 


Given what I know now, I'm almost inclined to just insert doors as cased openings and then use symbols for my custom door leaves.  That way I can maintain better control over the objects and scaling.  Obviously scheduling becomes an issue, but I might give it a go anyway.



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