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Workgroup references: symbols update?

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I'm having a problem with my workgroup referenced files. When I edit a symbol in the master, it does not update in the referenced files. I am left with the original symbol, uneditable, in the referenced file. I'm pretty sure I've never had this problem before, and I know that I've edited symbols after the referencing on other projects. Help?

VW 11.5

Mac OS 10.3.9

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I too have encountered this problem. It seems as if VW "thinks" there has been no change to the symbol, therefor it doesn't update. I also noticed that if you make a change to the "master" symbol such as cut and paste-in-place an object in the symbol it will update. If you have a lot of symbols this would take a long time....

I already attempted EJs suggestion with no results. (Note hes using VW 11.5 - Im using VW12). My symbols did not update. Then I tried selecting all the symbols in the resource browser and selected "Break Reference". When I updated the file again it finally replaced the symbols.

It would be nice if the folks at NNA changed the WG reference feature so that symbols are ALWAYS replaced, regardless of VW "thinking" there has been no change to the symbol.

A Neilson

Mac G4/OS 10.3.9

Designer 12

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't really want to remove my WGRs and re-reference them, because I have my drawing sheets set up in viewports, and it's a pain to get them looking right again after removing the layers.

Is "Break Reference" a separate, resourse browser setting? I can't find it. Does it exist in VW11?



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Do you mean that the same symbol is referenced from 2 different files? That is the case for one of the symbols, but not always. Or when more than one layer is referenced from a file? I don't know how to see if a file is referenced twice. It seems to happen when I only change the attributes of an object in the symbol (i.e. lineweights, colors). If I edit the object itself (change the size or something), then the symbol will update.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Sorry to take so long to respond.

I did a quick test to try to reproduce the problem you see, and I wasn't able to duplicate it.

Please give me a scenario, such as a name of a symbol to edit, how you edited it, and what file it is in. Then tell me what file you expect to see the symbol updated in, and what you did in that file first (I assume you updated the reference if the file was already open). Send me the file you expect to see the update in and everything it references.


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Looking back at my old post I see that I was mistaken, its not possible to select more than 1 symbol and select "Break Reference".

Karen "Break Reference" only exists in VW12.

Runtime error is referring to having the same file appear in the list of the VWG dialog. For example the file name "Plan" with "layer 1" selected. And then adding another reference to the "Plan" file and linking with a different layer say "layer 2". After tracking those reference down it did not work for me.

Heres my current solution, turn on all WGR layers, select all and unlock. Delete all objects. Note that layers of different scales will need to be repeated. Now purge only the symbols . Make sure all the symbols you have problems with are deleted from the file. Now update the reference. Because the symbol doesnt occur in the file you get the most up to date version and all the layers and class settings should be intact.

It would be nice if the folks at NNA changed the WG reference feature so that symbols are ALWAYS replaced, regardless of VW "thinking" there has been no change to the symbol.

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This happens most to us when we have multiple reference files referenced to one file to print from (kinda AutoCad style).

Part of the problem might come from the fact that we also have our reference files referenced. (plan-1 referenced into plan-2 and plan-3 and vice versa, for example). All these files are then referenced into a sheet file "A-2.1". Since a common symbol like "Unit Plan-A" is referenced to multiple files, it has trouble updating in the A-2.1 file.

I should mention that this is happening to us on townhome projects, and that we have also been changing our drawing setup approach to use classes more, and layers less in the past month. We are putting all floor plans for a building into one file, hopefully cutting down on some of these problems.

On projects already setup, we have found that the best way to deal with this is to delete all our symbols from the "sheet file" we are working from. Since this sheet file doesn't have any native symbols in it, it's a quick step to nuke all the symbols out of the file, and reload all the reference files again.

I agree that it would be nice to not have to deal with these steps when updating reference files.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I have reproduced one problem with updating of referenced symbols. After editing a symbol, make sure you exit the symbol before you save the file and before you try to update other file's references to the symbol.

This should not be necessary and will be fixed for a future version of VW.

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