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customizing VA class/layer standards

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We are currently trying out VA after using VectorWorks and MiniCAD (primarily for 2D drafting) for the past three+ years. In that time we developed our own class and layer standards to suit the types of projects we were working on.

Architect seems to offer some great tools but locks us into the class and layer names and attributes set up by the program.

For example, if i add a sheet using the VA Add Sheet command and i am working in black background mode, the black and white line color attributes reverse so that things like walls are drawn with white lines on a white background and black lines on a black background.

I have also noticed that any changes to class attributes are wiped out after adding a sheet.

i assume that this is due to the VA Setup Assistant recreating the class and layer set-ups from scratch, and that the only way to edit the attributes of classes would be to actually edit the worksheet which the setup assistant references. Is this correct?

We are used to being able to tell the class of a certain object just by its color, which may not be as necessary in VA, I guess.

I also read a post somewhere on this board from a Tech Support person saying that modifying the Setup Assistant worksheet is tantamount to modifying the application and therefore is strongly discouraged and unsupported by NNA. Is this true?

MiniCAD/Vectorworks was great because it was so simple and easy to learn, very intuitive. It was also very easy to customize to suit our needs and method of working.

I'm afraid Architect may be trying to do too much at the expense of simplicity and customization.

Please feel free to offer rebuttals. I am interested in how other people are using Architect.

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I also am curious about customizing the classes and layers of Vectorworks Architect. My firm uses two different CAD programs and would like the file structures to be similar. We are trying to set up our office CAD standards. We are all relatively new to Vectorworks, so everything is an experiment. We've tried renaming the classes as defined by the Set-up Assistant, but this inhibits the use of the Task Manager, and most likely changes relationships between classes/layers/sheets. We need to be able to add sheet types such as lower and upper slab/trough plans as well as add classes and layers that are specific to our work with sound studios.

Your office has gotten further in your experiments than we have, so I look forward to whatever replies are made to your topic.

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I have been using Architect for around a year now, and I basically scrapped whatever standards that I had developed over the previous years so that I could see how it works. I find that if you stick with using the Task Manager for everything, it is set up pretty well. But it does come up short if you try to customize the class colors, attributes, etc. What NNA needs to do is provide an interface like Overlay Editor that allows you to setup your own standards and integrates with Task Manager automatically, so that everytime you setup a new file, it is the way you want it. The draw back here is that all the Objects and parametric tools will still default to factory settings, so you would need to go in and modify those things separately. Once they are done though, that is it.

And I would strongly urge you not to tinker inside the code for VWA Setup, unless you are very well versed in VectorScript. It is one of the more complex pieces of scripting that I have seen in VW/MC.

Good luck.

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Log me in for asking wishing hoping for a 'User Friendly" way to customize the standards to suit my project types. Like many architects I have developed some "fringe" markets and services which help keep me in demand and my clients coming back with the plus that I can get "value added" fees. Of course this requires I have flexible CAD to support my efforts. Vectorworks far and away seems to give me the best "off the shelf" suite of tools with fleexibility (User accessible, easily undrstood Vectorscript plus point and click tools) and customizing options. Th VW Architect module needs to offer us a few more customizing options to the very useful "standardizing" features it has.

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