Vectorworks Tip 423 – Cool Tricks With Symbols 3 – Records





Some objects in Vectorworks already have information attached to them. Symbols allow you to attach your own information to them using record formats. This allows you to create a symbol that has your own specific information attached and this information can also link to text and the symbol so that when you update the information on the Object Info palette the text and the symbol will also update. I am covering this at the design summit in Chicago, so you might still have time to come in join my session.


Vectorworks Tip 419 – Cool tricks with symbols 2 – Auto Class


The next amazing track with symbols is the ability to control what class the symbol will be assigned to. For example, whenever I use a symbol for a lighting switch, it is always assigned to the class that I require (services – electrical), regardless of the active class on the view bar. This means that I can activate my symbol and not have to worry about what my active classes, the object will automatically be assigned to the correct class. This dramatically improves my productivity because my objects are automatically assigned to their required classes. I will be looking at using symbols to create and manage your libraries at the design summit in Chicago

Vectorworks Tip 415 – Cool tricks with symbols-1


The first trick with symbols is that you can control their insertion point. If you would rather use groups you will find that you cannot control the insertion point of the group. For example if I create a symbol for furniture, I can choose where the insertion point of that furniture might be. For a bed, it might be the centre of the bed head. For a table and chairs, it might be the centre of the table. If I’m using a symbol for electrical switches, I might set the insertion point an inch off the switch so that my switch appears to hover just off the wall. Creating suitable insertion points for your symbols dramatically improves your productivity. I will be looking at using symbols to create and manage your libraries at the design summit in Chicago

Landscape Special Interest Group April (pm) 2016



Topics Covered:

  • 00:40   Ozbreed Plants website
  • 01:43   download the plants from the website
  • 02:14   two sorts of image file to open, higher resolution and low-resolution
  • 03:29   find the image props in the resource browser
  • 04:20   import the image prop into a current file
  • 04:56   create a hardscape
  • 05:48   edit the elevation of a hardscape
  • 06:12   edit the elevation of an image prop
  • 08:42   image props rotate to viewer
  • 09:45   VBVisual plants
  • 12:37   foliage tool  from the website of Andrea Faccinello
  • 13:35   epodcast on making image props for plants
  • 14:52   creating a 3D form for the groundcover plant
  • 19:53   creating a plant
  •  29:19   exporting a plant to the user library
  • 34:37   creating a hanging basket symbol

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Vectorworks Tip 411 – Why Use Symbols Instead of Groups?


Symbols give you incredible abilities to attach information edit the information and control repeatable objects. In this example I’ve created a file with 100 tables. In the first file the tables are using the table and chair object. This file size is 10 MB. In the second example I’ve created one table and chair (exactly the same table and chair as the other file) made it into a symbol and repeated the symbol instance 100 times. This file size is .3 MB. This is a dramatic reduction in the size the file by using symbols. So my first reason for using symbols is that they’re much more memory efficient. I will be looking at using symbols to create and manage your libraries at the design summit in Chicago

Vectorworks Tip 407 – Symbols And Groups


Groups are a collection of objects, while a symbol is a special object in Vectorworks that is designed to be used with repeatable objects. The symbol uses the concept of an instance (a symbol on the drawing) and the definition (the information used to create the symbol). When you place a similar new drawing you are placing an instance, when you edit the symbol either from the drawing or from the resource browser you are editing the definition. When you edit the definition of a symbol every instance of that symbol in the drawing will update. I will be looking at symbols at the Design Summit in Chicago.

Landscape Special Interest Group February (pm) 2016


Topics Covered:

  • 00:00   using the brick symbol to create a barbecue
  • 01:27   regular polygon tool
  • 03:25   laying out the first course of 22 bricks in a circle
  • 04:30   create a copy of the first course to create the second course of bricks
  • 05:47   duplicate array command to create subsequent brick courses
  • 07:00   automatic working planes
  • 08:29   split tool
  • 18:30   creating the barbecue into a symbol
  • 23:05   creating auto-hybrid
  • 24:04   creating IFC object from barbecue
  • 28:33   select model modifiers on different layers
  • 33:50   extrude along path
  • 39:18   using balustrade symbols from VSS  library
  • 40:51   scaling symbols
  • 43:58   hardscape objects

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3D Modelling Special Interest Group – November 2015



Topics covered:

  • subdivision modelling basics
  • subdivision primitives
  • more subdivision modeling to make a hedge
  • revolve with rail
  • sweep to make a balustrade
  • extrude along path
  • subdivision modeling with shell solid
  • solid modeling to make a furniture unit
  • getting textures form VSS
  • creating a special light fixture

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Architect_070 Architect Special Interest Group May 2015 (pm)

IMG_0005In this session we looked at the Attributes Defaults, as there still seems to be some confusion on the 2 types of defaults that you can have. After this we looked at creating symbols and the relevance of creating classes to use inside the symbol, and classes that should be applied to the overall symbol. This sometimes causes some confusion, and there is a blog that might explain this concept. The rest of the session looked at this in detail.

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Architect_066 Architect Special Interest Group March 2015(pm)

image078In this session we looked at how to create a window with a sloping (raking) head and a sloping (raked) sill. It is possible to make a window or windoor object that has a sloping or raking head, but not a sloping or raking sill. If you create a symbol for the 3D component of the window you want, it can be used with the Vectorworks Window (Use Symbol Geometry). This technique cannot be used with Windoor, but you can get around this by adding a dummy window for the schedule.  Continue reading

Architect_065 Architect Special Interest Group March 2015 (am)

image077In this session we looked at note databases and how they work with the Callout tool. This includes how to place a callout, how the callout can get the text form a database, how to place the callout as a keynote and how to connect the callout to a legend. We looked at how the note database is structured, how to create your own notes database, how reconcile notes in a file if the notes in the database are updated. We also looked at how to create a series of internal room elevations using a plan viewport.

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Landmark_SIG_060 Special Interest Group November (pm) 2014

In this session we covered creating an outside patio / deck with steps (on two sides), a quick way to create a planting area, roadways, making symbols, controlling textures on roads, the major difference between Roadway (Poly) and Roadway (NURBS), the power of Roadways (Custom Kerb), how to make sure that a symbol, e.g. a car, follows the rise of let’s say a car park, using the Heliodon Tool, and changing the OpenGL settings to show shadows

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Vectorworks Tip #147 – Basic Tools – Class Options

One of the class options I’m not very keen on is Active Only. The reason I don’t like this very much is that always causes trouble with objects that are inside groups or symbols. It goes back to the basic concepts of Vectorworks that groups and symbols are container objects that have classes separate from the objects inside the container.

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Interactive Workshops July 2014 (1407) – Libraries – Managing and Creating Your Library

Libraries seems to be the one area of Vectorworks the causes the most confusion. It seems that users get confused about their own Vectorworks library, where they should store parts of it and where is the best place to store all their information. It’s tempting to think that you only need to have one library file and you can put all your resources in there, but this is not the way that Vectorworks likes to work.

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Vectorworks Tip #064 – Basic Tools – Scale Symbols

Older versions of Vectorworks did not allow you to scale symbols, you have to break them up into groups first. Later versions of Vectorworks allow you to scale symbols. This makes it easy to use the same symbol (which is much more memory efficient) in several different places, but at several different sizes. You can activate simple scaling by using the Object Info palette.