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Door Wars


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Chronicle of a war.

New users after a little struggle, at the beginning,(they mostly come from the AC world), they finally get acquainted with Architect and actually like it.

Then they get to the door schedules. End of love.

While it?s always their mistake, it is so easy to get ghost doors (doors that show up with no ID on the schedule or empty rows on the schedules and any other variation), that if the automatic spreadsheet is not given the flexibility of allowing manual editing, it becomes frightening and useless.

Afternoons spent chasing the ghost records/plug-ins in the jungle of layers and classes, destroying areas and refreshing schedules to individuate the zone where they hide. Moving doors to see if there is another one underneath. Checking every door symbols to see if the plug in within it, is set to be on schedule.

Smart custom search useless with objects within walls. Imagine what will happen if this would became a large scale conflict (very large buildings).

Frustrated Rangers end the dayonly to find out that somehow somebody Id?ed a rectangular floor pattern instead of a door.

Often we lose this WW 1 war and go to manual schedules.

I really hope VWX fixes this nightmare somehow.

Same with the referencing clipping option: they all aspect that to be there.

Please do it and let the peace reign. frown.gif" border="0

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Glad to see someone else has thrown in the towel on door/window schedule automation in this program. Even for a lowly house, it freaks out. I can't imagine a 100 person office trying to use it on a commercial building.

Manual override would be a good thing. I could stop using virtual "white out" (rectangular masks) to cover up mystery doors (deleted during the design development phase?).

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Have you ever tried to VOID a door? I have by writing Void on top of the schedule...it's ridiculous. I think that VW's version of Excel is an affront to real Excel, it offers nothing in comparison it could be really cool. It also took me awhile to figure out that VW provides boxes around the cells by default-- where Excel doesn't, so for the longest time I was getting really thick dark lines around the boxes. I once tried to automate a door schedule and it freaked out! Schedules are essential and controling their appearance, as VW hinders, is a bit of a problem. If we are designers flexibility is essential, it is afterall information design that allows us to communicate effectively on paper.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Giovanni, jnr, and Suzanne,

As moderator of this portion of the forum, and as a manager for the VWA product, I have been reading this discussion with great interest. There are several issues expressed here, and the practical solution for them might be either straight-forward or difficult, depending on what we agree the problem really is. So let me begin by posing several potential complaints, one or more of which we could be discussing here:

A. I delete doors but they still show up on the door schedule.B. I don't want doors that have no ID mark to be on the door schedule.C. I can attach a door record to anything and it will show up on the door schedule, even if it's not a door.D. It's too easy to "double-insert" a door into a wall such that one door obscures another.

It's worth noting that I have listed these problems in approximate order of their programmatic ease of fixing, from easy to difficult. Some of them might even be fixable in the settings that VWA has as defaults. Let me discuss the problems in order above:

A. I DELETE DOORS BUT THEY STILL SHOW UP ON THE DOOR SCHEDULE: At its simplest, this might be failure to recalculate the door schedule worksheet. The user can open the worksheet (most easily with a right-click) and choose recalculate off the worksheet menu. This problem might also be related to problem C below.

B. I DON'T WANT DOORS THAT HAVE NO ID MARK TO BE ON THE DOOR SCHEDULE: Door (and window) objects in VWA default to having their "on Schedule" property set to TRUE. This means when you draw a door, it's going to show up on a schedule as a "blank line" even if it's an existing door, a door in the shell building (when I'm doing a tenant finish plan), or some other door that I must represent but I don't care about. We can solve this problem by having doors and windows default to having this property FALSE (so they won't create a line in the schedule) until they are "blessed" with the ID tool, which will turn on this property and allow you to fill out the fields. However, this entails a change in the default behavior of the program, which is always an issue for existing users.

C. I CAN ATTACH A DOOR RECORD TO ANYTHING AND IT WILL SHOW UP ON THE DOOR SCHEDULE, EVEN IF IT'S NOT A DOOR: This problem arises out of a desire to have the ID tool be flexible -- who's to say that a user doesn't want that polyline-shaped thingie to be a door? However, we can make perhaps make this less of a problem by having the ID tool more stringently test the object that is selected and if it doesn't meet some basic tests (i.e., it's not a symbol or a door/window object), ask the user to confirm that he wants that group or polyline to be a door.

D. IT'S TOO EASY TO "DOUBLE-INSERT" A DOOR INTO A WALL SUCH THAT ONE DOOR OBSCURES ANOTHER: While users speak of "ghost doors" and "moving doors to see if there is another one underneath", I have personally found that while it's possible to double-insert a door, it's not easy to do so casually. Am I wrong here? Are stacked doors a common occurence in your collective experiences?

You'll notice that I have explicity NOT discussed the worksheet here. While I'm sure we can add functionality to the worksheet and ease its UI regarding borders, etc., that lies a little outside my own personal repsonsibility and I'd like to make sure that the real problems we are discussing here aren't something that can be solved at a more basic level (i.e. a level that I personally can do something about.) So I'm looking for more feedback -- does solutions of the above-stated problems substantially solve your problems with the scheduling feature? If so, I'll get these items bug-listed and we'll begin work on them. Or am I off-base here? I will follow this discussion with interest. Thank you all for your previous and future postings in this area.

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Well Robert thanks for your attention.I'm a little scared that we are close I think to the next release and we are still talking about this.

-New users a lot of times draw a demo plan with demo doors. Then put a new door to replace the demo one in the same spot. Even though sheets should separate them, they don't know that the wall itself has to be set to the demo class too in order for the door to become dashed. So they have 2 identical door one on top of each other and they forget about it when they look for the "ghost door".

-Because of sheets structure, we might have more then one plan on the same file,or in general several layers with different scale drawings. The schedule reads throughout every layer. We should be able to choose which layer we want to report, not the ?whole file?!

-Huge school building: ok, I can split the building in wings/portions, still it would be practical if the schedule could be broken in parts or it just won?t fit vertically in the Arch E page. Then what? I had to split the building plan in different files to split the door schedule!

-What is the point of using symbols and an automatic schedule if when I finally get all the required info for the doors in the CD phase, I still manually have to go into each door (even though they are the same symbol!)and type the record info. It would be much faster if I could add the info in the schedule and copy/paste (manual here being faster then automatic!!!) or even better having a command that updates the record fields that I want for the symbols I want altogether but for the existing instances too! Changing the default record field is not clean nor practical as I have different doors.

-Yes, default for doors etc should be to not be on schedule, it should be a decision that the user has to make and therefore think about it, so to avoid mistakes.

-Subscribe Excel: c?mon, even PowerCadd does that.

-Door ID should by default (shouldn?t it?) recognize only doors, unless the user checks an option to ID whatever he/she likes.

-Manual override: in case something goes awry for whoever reason, it is easier to give the boss a fixed schedule then meandering through the drawings and find out what the hell happened.

-A Star Trek feature would be this one: a door shows up in the schedule. It?s record or ID are uncompleted or missing. User highlights it in the schedule and with a menu option will select that door even if inserted in a wall (maybe it becomes red too). So he knows which one is and fixes its record or deletes it.Even so the schedule should be bi-directional.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Thanks, Giovanni, for your description of the limitations. I'm not sure what you mean we are "still talking about this" -- your first posting was on 8/29 and now it's, what, a week later? I'd say we're making progress!

With your forbearance, I'd like to restate your comments as wish statements:

1. Wish: Doors that are demolished should automatically have their 'on schedule' property set to FALSE so they don't ever show up on schedules. (This can now be done manually using the OI palette.)

2. Wish: when I create a schedule, I want an option to create the schedule for either the whole file or a subset of layers in that file. (This can now be done manually using Database Criteria.)

3. Wish: I want a quick and easy way to copy information from one door/window (i.e. any scheduled item in a wall) to another.

4. Wish: doors should not default to being on schedules. The use should consciously have to enable their presence on schedules by selecting them or clicking on them. Using the ID tool should automatically enable this property.

5. Wish: OLE of Excel worksheets. Heck, let's throw in Word documents, too. ;-)

6. Wish: automatic way to turn a database-style worksheet into a "static" worksheet, preserving all formatting, etc. (This can be done manually by exporting and then re-importing the worksheet, but formatting is not preserved.)

7. Wish: "Door auditor" that would identify in the drawing doors whose records are incompletely filled out and allow the user to fill them out easily.

8. Wish: "live" editing of database cells in worksheet.

Giovanni, are these accurate descriptions? How about you others? One very important part of our development process is to reconcile potentially divergent directions, so it's important to get input from as many users as possible.

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Yes Robert they are very accurate wishes for me at least.It will completely change my approach to the schedule feature.

My being worried about the timing is due to the fact that I believe I posted a couple of times regarding the same issue in January, on 2 treads, with many users and people from NNA replying but nothing solved or officially scheduled for next release.

Thanks for trying and fix this big issue once and for all.

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Greetings everybody, Chris don't be jealous now...just kidding. It is true that Chris and othershave been asking for the same solutions for many months.Anyway roughly my priority list would be:8,7,4,2,3,5,6,1 but as Chris said, if we can get all of them,I think those features would allow us to tackleany real-work issue and "spread" the use of the "spread-sheets".I hope other users intervene on the subjectwhich maybe should be brought into the Architectural thread as well.

Really thanks

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All this schedule/worksheet business is quite interesting. My thoughts: I've been using VW since Minicad 6. I work on Mac (now OS X on a Powerbook G4), and now use VW 9.5.2 w/Renderworks installed. We use the worksheets extensivley as legends, code review charts, and linked schedules. With schedules we have set up our own record formats, somewhat modelled after CSI divisions. When VW 7? was released we attended the Philadelphia VW users group to review the new features. One of the items raved about was the ID Object tool. To us, this seemed a little awkward- when we craet a door symbol, it is attached to our door record and a text block is added to the symbol that gives the door (or window, or sink..) its ID. We tie it in with the CSI numbering system. When we then create a worksheet schedule, the data base search range is coordinates with the CSI number, such as 8200 for doors, 8500 for windows... In this way the connection between the symbols and schedules is a straight line. The ID tool seemed to us to be an added "layer" away from the info. The Phila UG people didn't quite get it, but its very efficient, and I've rarely used the ID tool to identify symbols. As for the worksheet abilities. my only beef is that to recalculate them you need to use the "recalculate" command. The problem with that is it recalculates ALL worksheets in the file, which can take some time. I recall you used to be able to highlight a cell and hit the Tab key for that particular worksheet recalc. Anyway, I hope I've added to the discussion...

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Robert asked for more feedback in one of his posts. I was hesitant to add anything to this board because I do not understand what you guys are talking about. Then I realized that very issue by itself is an important point. I have used this program since Minicad 7, (now use VW 8.5.2 & 9.5.2). I DO NOT USE the door, window or finish schedules because I do not understand them. I have tried to figure it out and make it work, but in the end I find that it costs me more time than saves. Instead I do it the same way I did when hand-drafting. I enter the information cell-by-cell into a spreadsheet.

I thought that I could enter the information in the door and window's OIP and have a schedule spit out the results. Perhaps VW can do this, I just have not understood how.

Likewise I schedule my lighting plan. I label all of the lights as A,B,C,etc. and then schedule them in Excel. I show Manufacturer, Model, Trim, Light Bulb, Accessories, Notes. 99% of the lights I specify come from a group of about 20 different lights. I always wished I could sit down one night and imput those 20 lights as symbols. Then as each job came along I could use those symbols and have them automatically show up on a schedule with all their attributes and quantities listed.

I know nothing about the VW Landmark product or Spotlight. However I would think that this function would have to be the backbone of those programs. A landscape plan is mostly plant symbols and a table of those plants. This is the very thing that I want to do with lights, doors and windows. Am I missing something or am I having the same trouble as the others on this post?

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Hi, I figured maybe with all of you having trouble with door schedules maybe someone would have run into the problem I"m having and solved it: I've gotten rid of renegade doors and the schedule looks good.... except that none of the ID numbers are showing up. All the doors HAVE ID numbers... they just don't make it from the door to the schedule. Any suggestions? I've tried everything I can think of. confused.gif" border="0

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