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2021: Return of the Crash monster


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OK, this is for @Mark Aceto, because I know he'll chuckle…


Couldn't help myself, so D/L'ed and installed 2021. Install went super smoothly, yay.

Migration seemed ok too, except almost none of the cherished plugins from my vendors worked or even installed. Not too surprising, after all, it's still spankin new, smell those digital pheromones!


Opened a 2020 file from latest project (this is what I do in my business: take old data and update / change / amend it to fit the need of the moment). 

I first noticed that 21 seems to have a problem holding onto palette positions, even after clicking the palette menu item to save them.

One crash was for nothin: could not tell you what happened, it just went away.

Restart VWX & open file.

Two for the money: this crash happened deleting sheet layer through the navigation palette. Hmm

Three for the show: Restart the entire 2019 MBP & VWX & re-delete the sheet layer again. Beachball!

After three crashes in a space of less than an hour, I have uninstalled it. Just thought I'd try, in case 🐷 were 🛸 today 😉

Not making' cash dollars with that app just yet, no sir.

Over and out.


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@mjm thanks?


Initial thoughts:

  • I never migrate anything (with any app / OS / device other than my iPhone), and I never rarely have issues
  • There's some new thing called the "Vectorworks Partner Products system" so maybe that's causing an issue?
    • I haven't installed any third party plugins yet. This may even be the year I just stick with the stock tools... 
  • Based on your signature, I'm guessing your laptop is a mid-2012 MBP which is legacy , especially with that storage.
    • How much free space do you have?
    • You also mention a 2019 MBP though, so maybe your signature is old?
  • Yosemite is 6 years old (unless you're running Mojave or Catalina on a 2019 MBP)
    • Windows is more backward compatible than macOS but, speaking of third party plugins, from Landru Design: "The oldest version of Vectorworks® in which the tools will work is now 2018.  We truly value our legacy users but had to drop support of older versions in order to move forward."
  • My personal recommendation would be a Mac that's less than 5 years old running High Sierra or Mojave
    • I attached the PDF of system requirements below
  • I also do a bunch of Mac voodoo, clearing caches, lighting candles, various restarts, first aid, burning sage...  before installing VW (or pretty much anything Mac-related)
1 hour ago, mjm said:

Not making' cash dollars with that app just yet, no sir.


As a rule, I wait until SP 2.1 or later to use any VW release for work projects. Meanwhile, I'll test drive the new release for personal projects on the side to learn new features, report bugs, and provide feedback before the VW team starts shifting gears to the next version. That said, a silver lining of this terrible year is that we all have the opportunity to test drive VW21 hard this fall, and report as many bugs as possible to engineering, effectively giving us the maintenance release we've all wanted.


I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir with all of the above, so apologies if I'm pointing out the obvious (I'm an equal opportunity offender).


I haven't had any issues with VW21 on my old faithful 2014 MBP running Mojave attached to a 4k display yet but I'll report them when I do.

Vectorworks 2021 Readme.pdf

Edited by Mark Aceto
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I've been meaning to revise Alex Payne's words of wisdom from over a decade ago (much of it still applies today but some of it obviously does not). This has influenced how I approach tech choices to avoid frustration over the years, so I hope it helps other folks here in the forum that are feeling frustrated. The title is a link to the author's OP.


For clarification, absolutely take the list below with a grain of salt. This is what worked for Alex 12 years ago, and he doesn't CAD. I've come up with my own rules of happiness with Mac and VW (patience is a virtue). From the last line, "These are my rules and they make me happy. I hope they make you happy too. If you have computing rules of your own that make you happy, I encourage you to publish them."


al3x's Rules for Computing Happiness


Sep 7, 2008 


A list.



  • Use as little software as possible.
  • Use software that does one thing well.
  • Do not use software that does many things poorly.
  • Do not use software that must sync over the internet to function.
  • Do not use web applications that should be desktop applications.
  • Do not use desktop applications that should be web applications.
  • Do not use software that isn’t made specifically for your operating system. (You’ll know it when you see it because it won’t look right or work correctly.)
  • Do not run beta software unless you know how to submit a bug report and are eager to do so.
  • Use a plain text editor that you know well.  Not a word processor, a plain text editor.
  • Do not use your text editor for tasks other than editing text.
  • Use a password manager. You shouldn’t know any of your passwords save the one to your primary email account and the one to your password manager.
  • Do not use software that’s unmaintained.
  • Pay for software that’s worth paying for, but only after evaluating it for no less than two weeks.
  • Thoroughly delete all traces of software that you no longer use.


  • Do not buy a desktop computer unless your daily computing needs include video/audio editing, 3D rendering, or some other hugely processor-intensive computing task.  Buy a portable computer instead.
  • Do not use your phone/smartphone/PDA/UMPC for tasks that would be more comfortably and effectively accomplished on a full-fledged computer.
  • Use a Mac for personal computing.
  • Use Linux or BSD on commodity hardware for server computing.
  • Do not use anything other than a Mac at home and Linux/BSD on the server.
  • The only peripheral you absolutely need is a hard disk or network drive to put backups on.
  • Buy as large an external display as you can afford if you’ll be working on the computer for more than three hours at a time.
  • Use hosted services in lieu of hosting on your own hardware (or virtual hardware) for all but the most custom applications.

File Formats

  • Keep as much as possible in plain text. Not Word or Pages documents, plain text.
  • For tasks that plain text doesn’t fit, store documents in an open standard file format if possible.
  • Do not buy digital media crippled by rights restriction technologies unless your intention is to rent the content for a limited period of time.
  • These are my rules and they make me happy. I hope they make you happy too. If you have computing rules of your own that make you happy, I encourage you to publish them.


Edited by Mark Aceto
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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Thanks, @JuanP. I included my main machine's info in my signature. I used to use MacBook Pro from 2015 during most of the lockdown, but this is a bit too far behind for VW 2021, unfortunately.


The issues I experience tend to come and go, but when they come, it's always when I am under enough pressure. Files sometimes go nuts in the middle of a task - sometime software restart is enough, more often the whole system requires a reboot. I try to save after every action - just in case. I don't have crash reports, because it's mostly freezing rather than abortion. I tend to quit after some prolonged Wheel of Doom spinning.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Michal Zarzecki Have you checked that your graphics card settings have to set themselves back to AutoSelect? I know we looked at this before when we visited your office (in that distant time when we were allowed out of the house!) And that the card is configured to recognise Vectorworks?
The UK support team can help you with this if you need it. I created a support case and they will be in touch tomorrow.

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@Tamsin Slatter Tamsin - I'm also experiencing a LOT of crashing and freezing and objects just disappearing unless selected or rolled over...


I've googled "setting up graphics card for vectorworks" to no avail.


I have a very new professional card (AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200) with up to date drivers.

The WX 3100 is an approved card for VW 2020 - I'm on 2021 and have the updated WX3200. 


Where can I find directions for graphic card settings?

Is there a US version of the UK support team?  - I do have service select.


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