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Andy Broomell

A More Efficient Workspace - Tutorial

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Thanks for this Andy. Nice work.

 

But I would also like to add a couple of small warnings.

 

1. If you are using a custom workspace, especially one with many different shortcuts than the defaults, it is harder to get help here. When I answer a question I typically will say the menu and item name. If you have moved them, you are on your own.

2. If you are in an office with multiple people and you let everyone make their own workspace, when you get asked to help them, or when you need to use there machine for something it will be painful until you realize that your workspace is not installed. Of if you are the boss you can force everyone to use your workspace.

3. Custom workspaces are just that, Custom. That means that it is up to you the user to keep them up to date. When a new version of VW comes out, it will typically import your old workspace, but there will likely be things broken (a tool has been replaced by a different version of the same thing). I think the update process now adds a New items Menu and Palette so you can see what is now available, but if you don't check that, you may be missing out on something really useful to you. Also, we have chased many problems over the years that came back to someone using a workspace that had somehow gotten corrupted over multiple years of upgrades. It is probably worth it if you use a custom workspace to take a hour when you upgrade VW versions and recreate your workspace.

 

Have fun customizing!

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Yes, I re-create my workspace each year to help avoid the corruption issue and to make sure new tools are incorporated.

 

I should also note that nothing was really "moved" around for the very reason you bring up... When getting outside help it's beneficial for commands to still be in the same menu location. So the main things that were changed include setting up better shortcuts for basic tools, and adding shortcuts to commands that didn't have one to begin with (changing only a few existing ones). I've indeed seen other folks' custom workspaces that are so different than the default that it's hard to talk the same language.

 

I would very much consider this an optimized version of the default workspace, rather than a completely "new" workspace 🙂 

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I hope I didn't imply that a completely custom WS is a bad thing. I just wanted to point out some issues to consider before completely changing it.

 

I never saw him in action, but in the Minicad days there was a designer in LA who was supremely fast, as in 2-3 times fast than an experienced users. He said his secret was his custom workspace that he carried on a 3.5" floppy disk. Would never let anyone even look over his shoulder at it.  Worked for him.  ;-)

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An additional feature that helps Windows users: When the Alt key is pressed, a letter is underlined for each menu item in the menu bar. You can reach almost every menu item by pressing the underlined letters. These combinations are also easier to remember than single letters, because we are conditioned on letter combinations respectively words. Also in the right-click menu you can get the underlined letters, if you press Alt at the same time as the right click. But these entries are also accessible without the Alt key. If you have memorized the letter, you can also access most of the entries in the right-click menus with right-click + letter.

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