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Screen blocked when no file is open

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This is hard to describe, so I attached a screenshot. But I'll give it a try. When I open a file in VW2020 SP3.1 it puts itself into a tab. Each subsequent file I open is placed in a tab. This makes it easy to switch between files, so is generally pretty handy for me. If, however, I click the little gray "X"  to close all the files I'm left with the giant gray rectangle shown in the screenshot. There is no red dot in the upper left corner to close it; I can only either minimize it or fit it to my screen. Why would I need to minimize this box of nothing? Even worse, why would I want to have it fill my screen, hiding everything on my screen with a gray rectangle. In short, this is a pointless--and pretty obnoxious--impediment to getting work done. It must go. I've tried to find a preference like "Hide Useless Objects," but have found none. How do I rid myself of this meddlesome box? What Einstein at VW thought this was a splendid idea? Am I the only one who finds this annoying? Thanks for any advice.


Screen Shot 2020-06-03 at 8.57.12 AM.png

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First as a Moderator of the forum, you "what Einstein" comment is rude, aggressive, obnoxious, and out of place.


Second, the feature you are seeing is called "Use Application Window" and it is controlled at the bottom of the Window Menu. If you want to go back to the separate windows, just turn off the Use Application Window option.


By keeping the Application Window open (or minimized), it prevents you having to quit VW when the last document window is closed and then having to wait for a restart when you want to open the next file. Normally closing the last window will also close the application (if you follow the Apple UI guidelines), so leaving the window minimizable rather than closable is the best option.


You can either minimize the window or you can hit Command-Q and quit VW to remove the window from your screen.



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I also use "Use Application Window" as a matter of course. A related strategy that I employ when moving tp other applications is: Vectorworks > Hide Current (command-H) to dismiss the active Vectorworks window without closing the program (or drawing tabs for that matter). I've assigned it to a key on my trackball and use it all the time. 

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  • 2 months later...

As a follow up, I managed to turn off the "Application Window," so now I can see other application files on my desktop while VW is open, but no VW files are open. I then noticed that even without the Application Window that the VW files still opened in tabs, verifying (to me) that the Application Window served no purpose. Then I realized that the user cannot select the tabbed files. Let's say, for example, I open File A, then File B and File C. They all go into neat tabs (as in Illustrator, or any other Adobe product). Only File A, however, can be worked on. The user can click on Files B or C, but the file only remains active while the mouse button is being held down. Upon releasing the mouse button, File A reverts to being the active file. The user has to close File A to work on either File B or C. Even then, only B or C can be worked on, not both. The user cannot switch between the tabbed files. With the Application Window, however, it works perfectly. I'm thinking that the Application Window might have been invented to fix the tabbed file bug. I this true? Does is do something else I'm not seeing? No other application I know of that allows tabbed files has anything analogous to the Application Window, which for me does nothing but get in the way when VW is open and I want to work in another application. Does anyone else see this or is this unique to my install of VW?


By the way, Pat, closing the last open file does not quit/close the application. You must be thinking of another OS, but on the MacOS this is not the case. I have Vectorworks and Illustrator open right now with no active files. It has been this way with Macs, I think, since OS System8.



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