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Mark Aceto

Vectorworks Manifesto - One Workspace to Rule Them All


@Ian Lane starting a fresh thread about unifying a single workspace that adds Menus in the Menu Bar for each modality (FKA "workspace").


Past discussions linked here.


Issues with current workspace implementation:

  1. Redundant resizing and repositioning of all common window palettes is inefficient
    • Attributes
    • Snapping
    • Resource Manager
    • Object Info
    • Navigation
    • Visualization
    • Basic
    • Tool Sets
    • Preview Features
  2. Redundant editing of a single hotkey across mulitple workspaces (instead of just doing this once) is inefficient – why is this even edited here instead of VW Prefs?
    • Architect BIM
    • Architect
    • Braceworks
    • ConnectCAD
    • Designer
    • Fundamentals
    • Landmark
    • Spotlight
    • (popular third party plugins)
  3. Discovering / knowing / remembering which tools are available in which workspace
    • Can I ignore the Spotlight workspace if I'm using the Braceworks workspace?
  4. Switching between workspaces, primarily to access a single Menu in the Menu Bar is jarring and interrupts / slows workflow
  5. Having to remember which workspace you're working in as you switch back and forth
  6. Editing workspaces is painful
    • Cannot drag toolsets
    • Have to create a toolset (with no icon)
    • Can only drag one tool at a time (possible user error)
    • Have to recreate menus in the same manner which gets really complicated (possible user error)

Solutions to the issues above:

  1. A single consistent workspace
  2. Replace workspaces with menus in the menu bar

I full understand / appreciate / respect the challenge of organizing tools in the "a la carte" manner that users have purchased or subscribed. Therefore, short of a complete rewrite, I see a triage approach to solving these issues:

  • Short Term Must-Haves - v2021 SP3
    • Save all palette (and windows) positions / sizes across workspaces
      • Don't make me resize / reposition the Attributes palette 8+ times
      • This has become especially painful with all of the killer customization added in v2021 (tear-away tabs, docking) that is lost when we switch workspaces
    • Move Workspace Editor / Keys (hotkeys) to VW Prefs (there's no reason any of these settings would change from workspace to workspace)
      • Don't make me edit 8+ workspaces to change the hotkey for Launch Quick Search
  • Short Term Nice-To-Haves - v2021 SP3
    • Drag toolsets from the master library (or another workspace) to the custom edited workspace
  • Long Term Must-Haves - v2022
    • Eliminate workspaces altogether (replaced with the menu solution above)

I realize that pace is ambitious but the UI improvements in v2021 are super slick nice-to-haves on the surface. Improving the current UI/UX of bolting on workspace after workspace is a must-have under the hood. In other words, when I draw an outdoor concert, I use every single workspace (except Fundamentals), so streamlining that workflow is a top priority for me. Honestly, if all of these proposed solutions (thought-starters for now) came to VW22, that would be epic.


As VW continues to acquire great partner products, and third party developers continue to write great plug-ins, the current UI/UX that VW is rapidly outgrowing will continue to get clunkier and weigh it down.


That said, everyone, please keep the criticism constructive, the conversation positive, productive and solutions-oriented (for both Mac & Windows users). 😎


Thank you, VW team, for implementing improvements based on user feedback as demonstrated by the many UI/UX improvements in v2021!


Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 9.25.09 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 8.06.44 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-09-20 at 8.47.30 AM.png

Edited by Mark Aceto
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Also, lobbying again for the Organization dialog to become a palette — One Palette to Rule Them All:


Screen Shot 2020-12-15 at 5.02.33 PM.png

Edited by Mark Aceto

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On 12/16/2020 at 1:47 AM, Mark Aceto said:

I undocked my palettes for a Zoom meeting earlier today (so I could resize the shared VW window on my 43” screen to fit my client’s laptop screen). VW has crashed or force quit 3 times since then. Every time, I’ve had to reassemble the palettes.

Unfortunately this is not unique to VW, I see similar behaviour in other software as well if it crashes after palettes have been changed before it could be saved and closed properly. Though I agree it should be possible to solve this except for perhaps crashing immediately after a change was made.

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