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Brand New Template & Ancient Classes

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My main VW template has been around for many years and has been forwarded from one version of Vectorworks to the next (maybe via migration, more likely more often by creating a .vwx file in the previous version, and then opening and saving that as a new .sta file).  So, with VW 2021, I'm attempting to create a brand new template file from scratch.  Maybe this will make some of the issues I have with Vectorworks go away... I'm always hopeful!  It's definitely exposing me to new (or at least new-to-me) features & functions.


When it comes to classes, I'd like to open a VW 2020 file in VW 2021 and, from there, simply import all of the classes (many custom classes) that I already have into my new VW 2021 template file (rather than actually re-creating some 100+ classes all from scratch, with all of their attributes and, in particular, their colors (the Apple color palette's so annoying)).  So... is it safe to assume that classes, even if they've been around for maybe as much as a decade, are fairly straight forward and extremely likely to be free of any corruptions and/or legacy-related issues???   Thanks!

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On 10/27/2020 at 4:36 AM, willofmaine said:

My main VW template has been around for many years and has been forwarded from one version of Vectorworks to the next (maybe via migration, more likely more often by creating a .vwx file in the previous version, and then opening and saving that as a new .sta file).



We see a lot of weird things with old files. Even if a template has been resaved and recycled from an old version the file itself still originated in that older version. Often unrepeatable and unexplained odd things might occur. Unfortunately it is also common to come across (lazy?) users who 'recycle' old files by doing a 'Save As' and deleting everything after a job has finished but retain the file structure. I have seen files this year (v2020) that exhibited errant behaviour that originated in version 8. This is not version 2008 - rather Vectorworks 8 released in 1999!


The reality is that to be really safe you need to be a purist. When setting up a new computer you really should install all programs from scratch and all settings accordingly. However it is too tempting to migrate everything across. Likewise with Vectorworks. Workspaces however definitely shouldn't be migrated which is why it's off by default in the Migration Manager.


The good news is that it's easy to transfer a file structure to a virgin v2021 blank file.


To Rebuild Design Layers


Create a new blank document.

  • Right click in the Design Layer tab of the Navigation Palette and select new.
  • Select the second radio button Import Design Layers.
  • Click Choose and locate the original file that needs to be re-built from your computer or server.
  • Select the Design Layers you wish to recreate in your new file from the list. 
  • Click the option to Import Layer Objects  if there is any geometry in the file you wish to use, and select OK.

The same method for classes and sheet layers.


It's not possible for viewports to be copied across but it's probably less likely that your template might have viewports already set up.






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In v2020 you had to group the viewports and individually paste into the new sheet layers. Then ungroup the viewport in the source file, use the Eyedropper tool to pick up all the viewport attributes and then go to the new file, ungroup the pasted grouped viewport and put down the viewport attributes. It worked a treat.

Unfortunately this functionality has been withdrawn from version 2021 which is why I didn't mention it. I wish we had it back.







Screenshot 2020-10-29 at 7.17.50 am.png

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Sorry, yes I should know but forgot already again ...


I am currently suffering from creating my VW 2021 Templates.

It is a nightmare with Viewports and Story/Levels defaults.

I am not far from just using my migrated ones again that originated from VW 2014 or so  ...

(Like I had to do for my Workspace anyway)


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@Peter Neufeld - Thanks for your response.  I started with Vectorworks 12, though I'm pretty sure (or at least I hope!...) my current template didn't originate back then.


I've been taking the "purist" approach to the greatest extent that I can.  Very hopefully older library resources - in particular hybrid symbols for things like appliances, furniture, and all the rest of that good stuff - shouldn't be problematic, because of course there's no feasible - or at least affordable - way to re-create years' worth of older libraries.  Hopefully Vectorworks is at least compatible with older versions of itself when it comes to such resources...


I did import classes from my previous template file, pretty much as you describe above for Design Layers.  So it's good to hear that that shouldn't be a problem.


Otherwise, I'm recreating my Stories, Level Types and Design Layers all from scratch.  I actually do have a lot of master viewports (full of visibility & attributes overrides), but I'm going to recreate those from scratch as well.


I've had some questionable experiences with migration, particularly with Vectorworks.  So for some years now I've used the feature sparingly.  Unfortunately, if nothing else, I've always migrated the Workspace (too bad there isn't more of an indication that it's not recommended beyond just leaving it off by default...).  But for 2021, I have recreated my Workspace entirely from scratch (luckily I've always a kept a list of my (many) keyboard shortcuts).


This is turning into a good opportunity to purge old, unused stuff and to streamline things.


Thanks!   -Will

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The only reason not to migrate a workspace is that any new tools or commands get orphaned and don't get placed where they were designed to go (ie they go into a 'new' menu for new commands or any new tools are popped into a 'new' toolset but not where they really should be). Also if existing tools have been re-engineered then they would have to be reloaded back into the workspace. Old migrated workspaces caused a lot of problems several versions ago when the migration was on by default.

It's probably ok to migrate templates for a few versions but just don't do it for years!





PS In the Tools>Workspaces>Workspace Editor you can export the workspace as a text file so you can keep a record of it and any customised keyboard shortcuts.


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9 hours ago, Peter Neufeld said:

Old migrated workspaces caused a lot of problems several versions ago


I wasted a few days dealing with a crash caused by a corrupt workspace in the 2019 -> 2020 conversion.  From now on I'm rebuilding my custom workspace from scratch as crash-prevention insurance.

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