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Symbol scale weird


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 When I great a new symbol, I am very careful to draw it to the scale I want. I have been finding that if I create a symbol it will be beautiful in creating, then when I insert it into the drawing, it appears completely out of scale - usually about 9 or 10 times too big or too small - and this is unpredictable. The Object info scaling is set to 'None".

If I then try to edit the symbol in order to make it the right size, the measurements demurely tell me it is the correct size as is.?????

Using VW2021, iMac.

Edited by TessF
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Ok, so I answered my own question. But I still take exception.

It was the world-base/page-base issue. 

However, when I changed the symbol to World-base, which gives it the correct size according to the dimensions defined in the symbol components, it will keep the symbol as shown, but change the component measurements. This should not happen - components should stay the dimensions they were created at. Converting from Page to World base should show the symbol at the correct dimensions, not at the current page dimensions. To change the actual size of a symbol, it is easy to convert it to group - it will maintain dimensions shown - then back to symbol with new dimensions. But converting from world to page or vice versa should not do that.

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It actually sounds like you are misunderstanding Scales in VW.


Always draw object at real world dimensions using the rulers and Vectorworks measuring abilities.


Layer Scale is not actually a scale, but rather just a preset zoom value. You do not (should not/can not) draw something to scale and have it work right.


If you were drawing a shoe box on a layer with a Layer Scale of 1:1 you would draw it about 12 inches long x 8 inches wide x 5 inches tall.  At 1:1 scale this would take up most of your screen.


If you were to draw the same thing on a layer at 1:4 scale you would still make the object 12 x 8 x 5 using the built in measuring tools, but at 100% zoom it would only take up about 1/4 of your screen.


Page Based symbols are only for things that you want to always display at the same size regardless of what scale the layer you place them on. Things like North Arrows, Approval stamps, etc.  Everything else should be drawn as a World based symbol and it will automatically display in correct dimensions for the layer you place them on. In the example above is you drew the symbol on a 1:1 layer but them inserted it into a 1:4 scale layer, it would display at 1/4th the size, but using the built in measuring tools it would still be the correct dimensions.


If this is not clear enough, ask again and I will try to explain it better.

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  • 1 month later...

Actually I understand scale perfectly well. Yes, it is just a preset zoom, and whenever you draw a line defined as 1m long it will measure at 1m regardless of zoom or layer scale. But the object measurements in symbols change. If I draw as a 1m by 1m square, create symbol, then moved it to a new file, it might show as a 6x6m (by VW measurement - so not scale related). So the proportions are great, but if I measure the object in VW it gives me a new size. It did turn out to be a world/page issue - but it took me a while to work out how to convert a symbol from page definition to world definition. But thanks.

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