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doberman69

Default Line Thickness

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Where is the setting for the DEFAULT line thickness for Leaders? I've spent an hour just trying to find the place where I can set that thickness. The line thickness setting is set @ .05 but when I place a leader it changes the leader line to .25. WHY? Why is it SOOOOOOO hard to make standards settings in this program? I'm constantly chasing the settings on numerous things. CONSTANTLY.

I just migrated from 2020 to 2021. All of my standards settings for bubbles have changed though I migrated.

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I've just set my default line thickness to 0.5 and color red and then ran the leader tool. It picked up the defaults no problem.

 

Could you describe the steps that you are taking? Maybe there is a step you are missing out?

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Again the main line thickness is set to .05. So If I draw a line it comes in as .05. As for the leader procedure, I select the leader tool, then click on the object, and finally where I want the leader to be. I type into the dialogue what needs to be said. Then hit return. This is the same process I've used on all previous versions. Has something changed that requires a different process? If so, then why is there no indication of it?

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I don't understand what you are typing into what dialogue. Sorry. Line thickness can only be changed from the attributes palette. Do you mean the Callout Tool?

Edited by markdd

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Set up a class with the graphic characteristics you want.

Set the class to "use at creation".

Make that class active.

Draw the leader or callout and it will behave correctly.

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I've never set up a class layer to set the "Callout Tool" (or Leader - this is a drafting standards term) default settings. I have created drawing templates with all of the standards but those don't work anymore since I upgraded to 2021. Now if I set up a class with those new graphic characteristics then what if I'm in another class? This should not have anything to do with "class". This should be a setting regardless of what Design Layer or Class Layer you are in. When set it should almost always never change. Why did it change when going from 2020 to 2021?

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7 minutes ago, doberman69 said:

Yes, Call out tool.

 

Set up a class?

You have two choices...

Set your graphic characteristics using the attribute panel directly for each object

or 

Use classes to control the graphic characteristics.

 

I doubt this changed from 2020 to 2021, it's kind of fundamental to how the software works...

 

Personally, I prefer to use classes so I can make changes to the entire drawing quickly.  

How were you setting up your "standards" in the past?

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You don't need to use classes. However, If you are drawing using a class that is set to Use at Creation, then whatever object is drawn using that class will be forced into using the class attributes. I think that is what is happening in your situation.

 

Check which CLass is currently active when using the Callout tool and check that the Use at Creation box is not checked.

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I've never worked with a more confusing and convoluted program in my life. Every time I try to work with this I'm spending more time just trying to keep it in line. For instance the Tool pallete "Dims/notes". It lost various tools. I had to go back in and find them and then reinsert them. The drawing bubbles and section bubble styles changed. Still haven't figured out how to get them back to the way they were. All of this happened just by upgrading from 2020 to 2021. Yes it has a migration tool but what does that do. Make little lights blink? Since I started using this program I've had nothing but problems. I really loved the one where the program would lock up when the properties pallete needed to be undocked and then redocked. How is that a solution? It worked but WTF....,...

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OK, so yes I was in a class that had the line thickness @ .25. Still, why make dims and notes use the class settings? They should ALWAYS be set to whatever graphic standards your company uses. Again I've never set my dims and notes to a class. Again all of this happened once I upgraded.

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All objects in Vectorworks can use Class Settings. Its a core function within the program and when you have that functionality under control it can be incredibly powerful and dare I say it - helpful and productive.

 

Most users set up classes for different types of object and when they are drawing a Callout for instance, they would normally use a class specifically for annotations like callouts and leaders etc.etc.

 

The upgrade has not changed any of the class functions you have described however, some of the Labels and marker tools have been radically improved and most users seem delighted by the change. The reason for the improvements is in large part so that users can keep control of Styles of objects and keep up consistency from drawing to drawing. The Callout tool to my knowledge has remained un-changed though.

 

I do feel your pain a little as the program has grown and grown over the last few years and is sometimes complex. There are a few quirks, as I am sure you know, but this release is the most stable and trouble-free that I have seen since I started using the programme 15 or so years ago.

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I guess if this program is the only program one has used then the improvements have been welcome. Still, Dim standards and Callout standards should be set irrespective of class. I can completely understand other things being class driven so as to isolate objects within the Design layer and show distinctions between things. Dims and callouts should occur on the sheet layer almost exclusively. There, they should always be a singular thing and speak in a specific way. Not have different line types or text styles or bubble styles as a class distinction would provide. I can't remember when I would have drawn dims and notes on the Design layer where the scale of those notes would have come into play. The last time I saw that was Autocad 14. Even Autocad set those dims and notes to a specific standard irrespective of layers. That way a detailing manager could dictate all of the various workstations to comply with company standards. On top of that, as a designer one hops back and forth between adjusting objects in the design/class layers and making sure the sheet layers reflect those changes. So when one heads back to the sheet layer they will typically still be in the class they were when they made the change to those objects. Then Vworks requires viewport changes every time even if that viewport has not changed. Now include having to make sure you are in the correct class to add a note or insert a dim. Just saying that's way too many steps to do something that should have just been set once and not changed (i.e. dim standards and note standards). So when I insert a note it should just be on the the dim class if you like. Regardless of whatever class I'm currently in. Instead I'm chasing this program around making sure the viewports are updated and now the standards items are in the correct class, style, etc.... Why not just have a standards preferences for dims, notes, text styles, and bubbles to always have the same settings and go to the same layer regardless of what you are on? How is it I've not had this problem of line thickness on callouts till the upgrade. You can tell me the upgrade should not have had an affect. but it did. There's lots of things that should not have an affect in this program. Still, everytime there is an upgrade there is a slew of issues that need to be resolved. On some upgrades those new issues exceed the previous ones. Just seems like the programers like to add bells and whistles but fail to stabilize what is there. So I'm going to assume you are not the programmer of this software. You are just trying to help. I get it. Thank you for that. I just remember talking to the old guard. The guys who spent their whole lives on a drafting board and then had to make the transition. I did that for a short time also and I would always talk about the benefits of CAD. I still believe it provides the designer detailer with amazing power they didn't use to have. I just think the software is now wasting time and the improvements are so marginal as to be almost useless in the face of the instabilities. Then the software doesn't address things that drafting professionals of the past would have screamed about. For instance line types and thicknesses when showing a dashed hidden line drawing. All of the dashed lines are the same so one can't discern between things in that view. It's like drafting programs are more of a toy then an industry driven tool. Yeah they get close but not quite.

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@doberman69 your statement about AutoCAD is incorrect.  To get dims to behave correctly in that software, traditionally this was done by using a color that mapped to a pen thickness, or later as the software evolved, by assigning a line weight and/or plot style.  Organized folks would do this by placing dims on AutoCAD layers and make everything bylayer.

 

Same thing basically applies to Vectorworks, the lingo is just a little different.
 

Even in manual drafting, we had to select which pencil or pen we were going to use before putting it to paper.

 

i guess you are one of those folks that draws everything one the none class 😉

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Well, if you are referring to REALLY old versions of Autocad then you may be correct. Now, manual drafting. I never inked and just learned how to use a clutch pencil and then sent the drawing to a copy printer to be sent to the client. So I never personally got loopy making the copies with that amonia machine. Now I have worked with people who do everything on one layer. As if they were still manual drawing. I never ascribed to that methodology as layers make it easier to makes changes when you can isolate a layer/ component parts. So, I'm pretty sure I set up my drawings correctly and thoroughly.

 

So I'm not sure where you were going with your last line of reasoning.

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6 hours ago, doberman69 said:

Well, if you are referring to REALLY old versions of Autocad then you may be correct.

 

Please enlighten us on how you control pen thickness in modern releases of AutoCAD for dimensions.

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A layer is set for dims. That layer has line types and weight assigned to it. Then you set all dims to always be on that layer regardless of whatever layer you are currently working on. Is that what you were looking for?

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I have sympathy with what you are saying @doberman69.

 

Especially with things like dimensions and callouts, I often feel like I'm trying to play some sort of whack-a-mole to keep them consistent. I'm in a constant state of slight confusion about what is controlling what - is it the text style or the dimension style or the text size or the class or the default it's set to somewhere or what.

 

I could probably get it under control by sitting down for an hour or two, going through everything methodically and working out how best to do it all, and writing myself a set of notes so that I knew what was happening next time i came to it.

 

There are various things in Vectorworks where I reach a threshold of things being out of control, and do that - literally spending a couple of hours writing myself an instruction manual. Sometimes I don't quite reach that threshold - I just bodge along to avoid the pain of doing the working-it-all-out.

 

No doubt some of this is inevitable in a complex programme, and there may be a sound underlying logic but to me it suggests bad design, or at least it's just the result of incoherent incremental changes. I wouldn't be the first to suspect that VW has got to a point where it can't really be fixed without being rebuilt from scratch.

 

Sometimes I feel that the mental load of operating Vectorworks and managing the drawings is actually greater than the design work that I'm trying to use it to do.

 

Edited by line-weight
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5 hours ago, doberman69 said:

A layer is set for dims. That layer has line types and weight assigned to it. Then you set all dims to always be on that layer regardless of whatever layer you are currently working on. Is that what you were looking for?

 

Vectorworks can be set to work the same way.  When you use the dimension tools, they automatically go onto the Dimension class.  The callout tool unfortunately does not do this, that tool places things on your current class.  However,  you can move them to other classes if you wish.  I can see the rationale behind this because I frequently place callouts that I do not want to be on my dimension class.  I use several types of callouts in a single viewport that I may want to turn on and off for different reasons.  I use the default Dimension class for my standard linear and radial dimensions.  I create other classes for particular notes/callouts that I want to control/display differently than my standard dimensions.  Finally, when it comes to revision notes or as-built dimensioning, I like to put those on their own class too in order to visually communicate efficiently.  If all this stuff was on a single class with singular graphic control, I would not be able to achieve what I want graphically.  Same thing applies to AutoCAD layer/byclass methodology for me.

 

Personally, I set my attributes panel so everything is byclass (the AutoCAD equivilent of Bylayer) and then my objects inherit the attributes as configured in the Class.  As explained earlier, the classes are set to "use at creation" so the objects take on those characteristics.  For me, this is the key to controlling things in a predictable manner, but I used AutoCAD for 20 years before moving to Vectorworks.  Personally, I don't find a significant difference between how AutoCAD and Vectorworks manage dimensions, the lingo is just a little different.  Both softwares are equally complicated in how they manage object atttributes, text styles, and dimension styles.  Another key for me is to develop an attribute control methodology and stick with it; this greatly reduces headaches.  The one thing I fault Vectorworks on in regards to dimensioning control is the "slash thickness".  This attribute does not appear in the dimension style, rather you have to access it from the Document Properties and it is set globally instead of per each dimension style.  That is unfortunate if you use the typical architectural tick mark (or slash) instead of an arrowhead in linear dimensions.

 

My advice, set aside some time to develop a dimensioning strategy where you define the desired graphics, method of control, and staff instructions on how to use the tools.  This is no different to getting staff to be highly effective and compliant in AutoCAD, or any software for that matter.  Chaos and frustration reign when people do things differently within a single organization.

 

@doberman69 I would be curious to see the standards file you used to use and mentioned previously.  Perhaps there is some advice the community could offer on how you could set things up to reduce those frustrations.

 

Anyways, hope it helps in some way.

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