Vectorworks Tip #186 – Preferences – Document Preferences – Plan Shadows

image023Massing Models can show shadows based on a Document Preference called Plan Shadows. You can also set the option on your plants to use the same shadows so that massing models and plants all show the same shadow direction, graphic style and size.

Vectorworks Tip #162 – Vectorworks Preferences – Center on Object After View Change

2014-10-13_12-37-55This Vectorworks preference is extremely useful for making sure that when you change your views the selected object is brought to the centre. When you do not choose this option, you will find that when you change from a plan view to an isometric view your objects don’t remain in the centre of the drawing window – sometimes they disappear altogether. When you activate this option, your selected object is always brought to the centre of your drawing window when you change views, which means that you don’t have to go looking for your objects.

Vectorworks Tip #158 – Document Preferences – Cropped Perspective

2014-10-04_11-46-44The option for showing a cropped perspective used to be in the View menu, but in Vectorworks 2015 this has now been moved to a Document Preference. The assumption is that you will always want to use a cropped perspective all that you will always want to use and a cropped perspective. Therefore you can set this up as your preference and you won’t have to go back and change it again.

Vectorworks Tip #154 – Document Preferences – Save Viewport Cache

2014-09-27_11-22-11When you open a file that has viewports in it, you will have to update those viewports if you do not turn on Save Viewport Cache. This can save you a lot of time waiting for viewports to regenerate, especially if you have a lot of rendered or section viewports. However, the downside for this is that your file sizes will be huge compared to the files that do not save the viewport cache.

 

Vectorworks Tip #150 – Preferences – Autosave

2014-09-24_21-08-54Autosave. It is really important to save your work on a regular basis and it is really important to back up your files. Autosave allows you to automatically save your work or to automatically backup your work. I choose the option to automatically back up my work and to keep the last five copies. This is saved me a lot of trouble from time to time when Vectorworks crashes or when I have a problem with a corrupted file.

Vectorworks Tip #146 – Document Preferences – Mesh Smoothing

2014-09-13_10-08-10Some of your 3D models will look like a series of triangles making a mesh. This occurs with imported objects like cars and it will also occur on site models. the answer is to use Mesh Smoothing, one of the Document Preferences. It will dramatically smooth out the 3D model.

Vectorworks Tip #056 – Preferences – Turn off Auto Classing

When you insert many of the standard Vectorworks objects, they automatically assign themselves to particular classes. If you don’t want this to happen you have to turn off Auto Classing. If you tun on Auto Classing, all of your standard Vectorworks objects will be assigned to their standard classes.

Vectorworks Tip #055 – Preferences – Use Sound

This is a Vectorworks Preference, which means it applies to all files. You will find this preference on the Session tab in the Vectorworks Preferences. If you activate Use Sound, every time you move near a clickable point you will hear a click from your computer. Some people find this useful, other people find it extremely annoying. You can turn down the volume of the sound so that when it  clicks it is quiet.

Vectorworks Tip #049 – Document Preferences – Auto Classing

When you insert many of the standard Vectorworks objects, they automatically assign themselves to particular classes. If you don’t want this to happen you have to turn off Auto Classing. If you turn on Auto Classing, all of your standard Vectorworks objects will be assigned to their standard classes.

Vectorworks Tip #047 – Preferences – Use Sound

This is a Vectorworks Preference, which means it applies to all files. You will find this preference on the Session tab in the Vectorworks Preferences. If you activate Use Sound, every time you move near a clickable point you will hear a click from your computer. Some people find this useful, other people find it extremely annoying. You can turn down the volume of the sound so that when it clicks it is quiet.

Vectorworks Tip #042 – Preferences – Save Viewport Cache

This is a Document Preference that tells Vectorworks to save the rendered viewports. The advantage of this is that you do not have to update the viewports each time you open the drawing, which could save you a lot of time. The disadvantage is that saving the rendered viewports can make your files much, much larger. In a simple example, turning on the viewport cache made the file grow from 7MB to 12MB.

Vectorworks Tip #041 – Preferences – Create Dimensions in Dimension Class

This is a Document Preference that tells Vectorworks to place all dimensions into the Dimensions class. This is OK as long as you don’t want to have dimensions for different drawings on the design layer. In that case, turn this off and have different classes for various viewports.

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Vectorworks Tip #040 – Preferences – Associate Dimensions

This is a Document Preference. It is so important. It makes the dimensions associate with the objects so that when the object moves or changes size, the dimensions update automatically. This can save you from making dimensioning errors. It has saved me so many times. If you do not activate this preference, you will have to manually check all your dimensions if you change anything.

Vectorworks Tip #032 – Preferences – Adjust Flipped Text

When you mirror objects with text in them, or when you rotate objects with text, you might find that the text is upside-down. There is a Document Preference that will fix this. Activate Adjust Flipped Text and Vectorworks will automatically adjust any text that is rotated more than 90º.

Vectorworks Tip #028 – Snap Loupe

The Z key is used to temporarily zoom into a part of the drawing. This is the quickest way I can think of to draw in Vectorworks.  Of course you could zoom in and out again if you used the scroll wheel on the mouse, but it’s not as easy as the snap loupe. This image shows the screen zoomed in with the snap loupe.

Vectorworks Tip #027 – Delete Key to Remove Last Click

When you are drawing multiple click objects like walls, polygons, etc. it is easy to make a mistake. To fix the last click, use the Delete key on the keyboard, it will remove the last click. Keep deleting to back to the start of your object. This works on almost every tool and command.