Getting Started Special Interest Group June 2018


In this session, we looked at using the Custom Selection and Custom Tool Attribute commands.

Topics covered:

  • 00:14 We started by discussing how the Assign to Selection command can be a quicker way of placing objects in a specific class, rather than choosing a class from the drop-down menu on the Object Info palette. To see the benefits of using the Custom Selection command, we opened a floor plan that had a lot of objects on it. You could use the Select Similar tool, but sometimes you need to be more careful about what you’re selecting. We talked through the settings shown in the Custom Selection dialogue box. The Execute Immediately option runs the selection command once, while the Create VectorScript or Create Python Script option can be used to save the selection command as a routine that can be run again and again. We went through some simple examples of selection routines. For example, we set up the criteria for a script to select all of the furniture on the screen plane.
  • 11:02 We double clicked on the Snapping palette to see the SmartCursor settings. Sometimes turning all of them off except for End Point or Center Point can keep you from clicking on a wrong point when doing dimension strings. When you’re done dimensioning, it can be a pain to go back in and turn the snapping options back on. The Custom Tool command can be used to avoid that hassle. We created a Snaps for Dimensioning utility, which turned the snaps off, and a Snaps On utility, which turned the snaps back on. If you need to edit a script, it is often easier to just make a new one, unless you really know what you’re doing with the programming languages.
  • 17:25 Next, we covered how to import your scripts from another project. Just find the folder with the scripts that you want—such as the Utilities folder—right click, and select the Import option. Then, you can have them displayed in your workspace by clicking on them under Script Palettes in the Window menu. In addition to making a script for resetting the options on our Attributes palette, we made a tool that would set up a pen for making an irrigation line. You can also make utilities to speed up how you create details, with custom tools for concrete, building wrap, flashing and other materials. We demonstrated how to make one for drawing concrete. We also created a custom tool for when we added a timber symbol. Having these pens and custom tools for building materials can really speed up drawing details. We made it so that the tools picked up certain classes—that way, we could easily change or override the color and line weight of the tool, without remaking the tool. Through Custom Tools, you can make Vectorworks your very own!
  • 47:14 One of the important things about detailing is separating objects so that they’re readable. You can include a loci in, for example, a symbol for a concrete block so that it includes the necessary spacing, or you can use the G key and set up a datum for your offsets. I typically space detailing objects 2mm apart so that when the detail is printed, the contractor can easily distinguish between the parts of the detail.

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