Almost every day I post a short tip about an aspect of Vectorworks. These are small tips that you can read in ten seconds. There is a small paragraph about the tip, and an image that encapsulates the concept of the tip. These are a great way to improve your productivity each day.
You can control the elevation of a massing model by setting the Z value in the Object Info palette. You can also use the Send to Surface command.
When you use Send to Surface command, Vectorworks will send the insertion point of your massing model to sit on the site model. The insertion point of your massing model is generally the corner of the polygon that you started first.
So, depending on where you started your massing model, your building will end up at different elevations. You might see a blue dot on your massing model when you select it in a Top/Plan view. Moving this blue dot has no effect on the Send to Surface command.
Your workflow is the way that you work, the way that you use a tool/technique and then move onto the next tool/technique. As Vectorworks changes and updates every year you need to keep an eye on your workflows to ensure that you are using the latest and most efficient methods. This workflow is one that I use all the time to speed up modelling and drawing. Tools like the massing model, hardscape, property line, etc., are polyline-based objects that have their own modes for drawing. I often find that these modes are not the most efficient way to draw.
Most users are able to create symbols, and all users should be able to use symbols. Symbols are relatively small repeatable objects, and most Vectorworks users use symbols to speed up the drawing process. There are two workflows for using symbols: a quick workflow versus an inefficient workflow. Some users use the inefficient workflow because they don’t know how to make symbols follow the efficient workflow.
Your workflow is the way that you work, the way that you use a tool or technique and then move on to the next tool or technique. As Vectorworks changes and updates every year, you need to keep an eye on your workflows to ensure that you are using the latest and most efficient methods.
Take title blocks as an example. You might be used to the old way of using title blocks, where you selected the tool, double clicked in the drawing area, and the title block was placed and became the graphic design that you required.
I have used these so much that I often use them without thinking. It is easy to forget that other people might not know them:
G: Creates a temporary datum
U: Changes the modes on the Tool Bar
X: Selection tool
J + Click: Select coincident objects (select objects whose edges are touching)
B: X-ray mode (makes everything see-through)
Z: Snap Loupe (temporary zoom)
CTRL + ALT (control + option on Mac): Create Similar Object
I hear some users talk about setting the height of a wall. Even people that have been using Vectorworks for a while seem to be struggling with the new settings that control the top and bottom elevations of walls. The names of these settings have also changed; the top of the wall is now called the Top Bound, and the bottom elevation is called the Bottom Bound.
When you create walls and slabs, you can connect the wall components to slab components. The first step is to set up a wall style with components. One of those components should be a core (I usually use the structural part of the wall for this).
When you create the slab, you can bind slab components to wall parts. You can’t bind to all of the wall components, but you can bind to the inner component, outer component, and core.
Walls can be textured by object or by component. What does this mean? When you texture the wall by object, the textures are applied to the top, bottom, left, right, and center of the entire wall, regardless of the component textures. If you texture the wall by component, the texture of each component is applied to the entire component (top, bottom, and sides). Texturing walls by component can make the walls look more realistic.
Slabs can be textured by object or by component. What does this mean? When you texture the slab by object, the textures are applied to the top, bottom, and sides of the entire slab, regardless of the component textures. If you texture the slab by component, the texture of each component is applied to the entire component (top, bottom, and sides).
Vectorworks has a Roof Framing command that is designed to create framing members for a roof (which I covered some time ago). You can also use this to create framing for roof faces. When I create roof faces I tend to be sloppy about the pitch line of the roof face (provided that it looks OK), but this has an affect on the creation of the framing. Watch the movie to find out more.
Nudge is where you move objects a small amount using the shift+arrow keys. It can be useful, but watch out if you need to measure the objects. There are also Vectorworks Preferences that control the nudging. In this extended podcast I explain all the options.
you should be using viewports to create your drawings. But when you do you might find that it is slow to go in and out of the viewports to edit the annotations. If you change the edit dialogue box for viewports, you can make it very quick to enter a viewport to edit the annotations. If you right click on a viewport you can choose whether you want to edit the annotations, edit the design layer, edit the crop, or edit the camera. This is also a technique to speed up making changes.
When you create a Dimension Standard you will find that it is only in the file you created it. Unlike other resources, Dimension Standards cannot be exported to your library. They also do not appear in the Resource Manager. However, you can import Dimension Standards from another file. When you create a dimension standard there is an Import button on the dialog box. If you click on this button, you can navigate to the file that has the correct Dimension Standard. When you choose your Dimension Standards, they will be imported into your current file. Continue reading →
When you are creating your projects, you often want to create more objects like to ones you already have. You could copy an paste an object, but then you have to move it and edit it. The Create Similar Object command sets the same tool, class, and tool settings as the original. This allows you to move a new location and start using the correct tool instantly.
Vectorworks 2017 introduced Slab Drainage. There is a specific tool to use to create the drainage. This tool has several modes that allow you to add a drain, edit the location and direction, connect drains together, and edit the valleys. The slab drainage can change the entire slab, or it can taper a component of the slab, but it only works with slabs.
I use this tool a lot to select a group of things that are similar. You can define how similar they are. They could be the same class, the came object type, or a combination of these. You can save your favorite settings so that you can recall them easily.
If you are using Windoor, you can use the vertical divisions to create a full height door with ½ height sidelight next it. With the standard Vectorworks doors and windows you can’t create this object using the same technique, but there is a way to do it. create the door and sidelight that you require and make sure that the jam of the door in the sidelight overlap. Select the door and window. Make a symbol from them.
When you create a door, choose the option to use Symbol Geometry and use your door symbol. This allows you to use the door object and add it to your schedule.