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I'm trying to get my head around rooflights.  But I'm reaching dead ends.  I'd really appreciate more help.


1. I know that you must use 3d symbols.  In the resource manager how do I see which are 3d and which are 2d or hybrid?  

2.  My process so far has been to drag and drop from the Resource Manager onto the roof, which then creates a dormer, I click on it and turn it into a skylight, it creates just a hole because cannot use hybrid symbols.  Where are the symbols to use as a skylight?  Creating a skylight from scratch seems over the top.  

3. I've been onto velux and can only see dwg or pdf files...

4.  My searches on sites such as the ones depicted on https://www.scan2cad.com/cad/free-vectorworks-objects/#Sketchfab have been completely fruitless

5.  Does anyone have a library of rooflights they can share with me?  I must be missing something because to have shrubberies, for example,  built in to the Vectorworks library and not skylights seems peculiar.



The type of skylight is just a simple modular openable skylight.


Much appreciated if you can shed any light, or tutorials 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@MGilc Hello! UK Tech Support here. Happy to try to help 🙂


Which version of Vectorworks are you using?


There are libraries of skylights within Vectorworks you can use. Please see screenshot attached. If you make sure your filter is set to All Resources in your Resource Manager, then within the search type Skylight. Hopefully these should come up. 


If not you may need to refresh your libraries under the Resource Manager settings. The little cog drop down menu. 


Let me know if you find the libraries. 

Screenshot 2020-12-14 at 14.09.31.png

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@MGilc I think all the roof light symbols VW provides are 3D only.

I think you're asking whether it's possible to insert your own rooflight symbol into a roof rather than using one of the VW ones. And I think you'd like it to be a hybrid symbol so it has a 2D component as well. Much the same way that you can insert your own symbols into a wall? Or slab for that matter.

These are good questions. I have a feeling the answer is no but be great if @Helen Law could confirm. I believe the holes for skylights are created differently (without wall hole geometry) to how it works with symbols in walls + slabs.

Perhaps I've misread your questions though

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Yes it does adjust to whatever pitch the roof has been assigned.

Yep, any 3d symbol can be used. !!

My example was a bit outside the box because I used a bank of windows as the skylight.


That symbol was previously used in a crazy pyramid themed design I did a few months ago.

Note that symbol below the central portion of the residence, below the metal roof.




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The trick, indeed!  I wrestled with that for about 20 minutes trying to get the whole skylight thing to work.


I should have mentioned that maneuver in my response to Tom.  My bad. :-( 

It is a bit arcane that you need to actually drag the resource directly rom the resource browser to the roof, but I guess that is just the way it is.

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Thanks both that's really good to know! Nice for something to be relatively simple for a change!


And then does the insertion point for the symbol align with the outer face of the roof?


And does the roof object just recognise that a 3D symbol's coming it's way + automatically clip a hole that size for it? Because often a roof light will have flanges that you don't want to dictate the size of the opening - you want the opening to be smaller + the flange sit on top of the roof (or the framing rather). If there was wall hole geometry you could control the size of the hole independently but I don't think that's possible? I guess the answer is just to make the roof light the size you want to see + leave off any extra geometry that would clip the roof where you don't want it?


Just now, Kevin K said:

Actually, looking back at the post,  I did mention it. :-). 

You did don't worry (although you did say I needed to drug it first...!!)


On this subject though, when I double-click a VW roof light from the libraries to select it then insert it into a roof it works just fine. In fact it's preferable to dragging from the RM onto the roof because that way it manifests itself as a dormer by default + I then have to go in + change it into a skylight. Whereas if I insert it with insertion tool I can specify it be a skylight in advance. 


So interesting that you both say the dragging way is the only to do it - or is this only relevant to a home-made skylight rather than a VW library one?


@Kevin K are the crazy pyramids being constructed?


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The pyramid residence is not under construction.  It is waiting in the wings for a Client to buy the plans and put it on their piece of land!   :-)

Actually, this design just came to me in a dream (as often happens) , so when I awoke from the dream I booted VW and got to work. :-)


Regarding your comments:

You control how your symbol fits, in relation the the roof surface, when you create the symbol in plan view.  Meaning a bit off center in either direction from the insertion point, if that makes sense. You could try using a standard VW skylight symbol justo see how it all works, in relation to the height of the skylight, etc, off the roof surface.


It may be easier to explain all this, if you  post a small example file with what you intend to do regarding the symbol you wish to use, and your roof.

Then I can have a look and send it back to you.


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Thanks for the offer but Kevin don't trouble yourself it's fine, I'm not trying to do anything in particular, just playing around + learning how it behaves. I'm just interested. The insertion point does correspond with the upper surface of the roof I've checked that. The VW roof lights mostly come in at the wrong position as far as I've seen but easy enough to change. But what's weird is if you change the roof datum the skylight moves then if you return the datum back to it's original location the skylight remains where it moved to, in the wrong position... You have to remove it + reinsert it to get it back to where it was... All good fun!


What would be really good would be to have the same control you have for doors/windows for roof lights, so you can fine-tune the offset in the OIP + like I said before, determine the exact size of the wall hole. But far from insurmountable as things stand - as your pyramids show! 



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  • 2 months later...

Let's say you want a roof light (such as velux) to be 1340mm wide by 1400mm, how do you do that?  Vectorworks doesn't let me change the parameters.  Also in Resource Browser it doesn't even tell me what dimension each of the Rooflights are?


Am I to seriously to go in, duplicate a roof light and change the 3d component, 2d component, and the hole it creates???? Surely not...May as well use 2D drawings

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The other thing you haven't mentioned yet is that unlike doors/windows in walls (or symbols in slabs for that matter) which have a separate wall hole component that clips the wall (or slab) to the precise size/shape you want, symbols in roofs have no such control + the hole they make in the roof is simply the size of the symbol geometry. Meaning that that the flange element of the rooflight, that would normally be built into the roof, in fact clips the roof making a hole much bigger than you want.


So all in all I think you'd probably be better modelling your own velux window symbols the size + shape you want


There is no 2D component to roof light symbols, they are 3D only


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Back to the old skylight/ roof light debacle, I see. 🙂

Yes, if you can’t live with the Velux offerings, you will need to make your own 3d symbol.
MGilc, to maintain your sanity, if you can whip together a 3d roof light of your choice and post it, I am sure Tom W or myself would be happy send you a small file showing the roof light in a roof.  That way you can simply copy the symbol and place it in your actual roof at the desired location.  I am using VW 2020, 


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Thanks Kevin.  I'm not sure how to make my own roof light.  I just use the ones in the resource manager.  Sorry how do you mean whip together a 3d roof light of my choice.  If it was to be 1340 x 1400 do you use the method above or?  


 I'm using VW 2019 Mac.  

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Sorry, that may have been a bit overly simplified in my comments.

You need to decide on the exact size of the roof light and you create it in 3d.  There are a few methodologies to do so.

This 3d object can be very simple.  Don't worry about all the subtle flanges, or detailing between the glass and the roof light.

Obviously, the client/builder will probably just choose something to their liking  anyway, when the time comes.  Unless this is a project for yourself?

I have an idea....are you a Mac person ?  IF so and it is not too late in your part of the UK, the messages app lets you use audio and screen share so we could discuss in realtime in a bit more detail what you want achieve. Too difficult to get into the details in text.Let me know if you are a Mac person and I can give you a call.


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ok, I just need two things....

1) do you often use the messages app? You need to make sure it is enabled, which you can confirm in the messages app prefs.


2) I need you email address.  You can send that in a private message to me if you don't want show it here in public.


Thats it....


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/17/2021 at 3:33 PM, MGilc said:

It's really annoying.  I'm struggling to contain my frustration.  


  Thank you.  So...how do I make a 3D roof light????  Kevin above says can make a 3D component.  


Like this:  ????


Nice video. Tried this with a Dome Dormer I created.... not sure this is possible?




dome dormer.png

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I see (....i tried angle of the roof....).

Yes that worked for the direction.

Then I needed to edit the hole to become a circle, which is possible when the roof face is flat.

But ones I give the roof face an angle the hole turned into a rectangle again... 🤔



Edited by C.T
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