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VW11 Viewports: Questions and Feedback


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So... I was intially thrilled with the changes to VW 11. The addition of viewports seemed to *finally* allow Vector Works to do things that most other CAD programs were able to do eons ago. But as I got to understand the new features I became a bit more frustrated. There are some issues, which I would like to mention, and perhaps others have can offer suggestions.

If one is working on a drawing with multiple viewports with multiple scales, there is the issue where to place the drawing markers/labels. If the whole point of the viewports is to allow one to work in a design space all of one scale and then develop views into this drawing in the 'paper space' of a sheet layer then the program should allow some flexibility with respect to scale of the drawing label objects (ie those object that tell you what the title and scale of your drawing.) Right now the scale of these markers isn't editable in either design space or sheet layer space. It would be nice not to have to convert them to groups to work with these smart objects.

Second, for the viewport feature to be really useful, this feature should be able to work in Design Layers as well as Sheet Layers. It would be akin to x-refs in Autocad or References in Microstation. When multiple people are working on multiple drawing files that are continuously being updated, (common in larger projects) it is ever so useful to link these files for design reference, ie plans to sections. Viewports offer the flexibilty that Workgroup Referencing never allowed, ie the flexibility to move and rotate the referenced information. But right now they only work in paper space.

Anyway, just some feedback, and hopefully you will continue to improve this feature.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I think the best place to place the drawing markers and labels is in the annotation part of the viewport. Drawing labels will automatically pick up scales of drawings (and will update if you change them.) No conversion to groups necessary, and if you decide to move your drawing (viewport) to another sheet, just copy and paste the one object.

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cberg and Robert.

What a coincidence. We were just pondering these issues ourselves as we attempt to take advantage of this new wonderful feature of viewports.

Robert, as you've suggested, we thought we could simply paste in our newly created viewport into our existing design layer of our drawing file (begun and set up prior to VWA 11). Having tried this, we get a window that tells us simply and emphatically that we CANNOT paste viewports into "design layers."

Is there another way to this with existing formatted files? This would be a boon to our productivity and a natural feature to use intuitively using cut and paste.


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Thanks again for your help. I was able to produce a viewport without any bounding lines, by establishing a viewport class with all the line attributes turned to none. That class needed to be active when I created the viewport. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that once a viewport is created, you can't go back and turn off these bounding box lines.

I like by the way, the idea of making notes in the viewport space. It allows you to move notes and text without effort, within and between sheet layers.


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My apologies for my confusion regarding sheets vs. layers. My point was that we already have files created in VWA 10 that are not set up in a way to take advantage of viewports as they are currently implemented in VWA 11.

I simply was inquiring if there was a way to cut and paste a newly created viewport within the current formatted file with design layers as opposed to sheet layers.

Or rather, is there a simple set of steps to take our existing files' design layers and make them into sheet layers so that we can use the viewports?


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Irving, viewports can be used only on sheet layers.

When the viewport system was designed, some care was taken to make sure the "old way" would still work fine, which it does. Again, I ask: if the drawing is already formatted, why re-do it?

If your old saved view based drawing sheet is of layers in a single view orientation and scale, then simply choose the saved view, and use the Create Viewport command to make your viewport. The command will pick up the active layer and class settings in the document.

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would it be useful to have a check box on the Object Info palette for

"Show Viewport Crop Object"

Then we could turn it on and off without the hassle of entering the viewport.

While we are on about viewports... can you update the eyedroper tool to pick up view port attribures.

And we need the ability to edit several viewports at the same time. if you select two viewports the the object info palette will not let you edit the rendering, classes , or anything.. So you have to edit each viewport independantly.

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