Worksheets allow you count and schedule stuff in VectorWorks. For example you can count all the trees in a site, schedule all the doors on a particular floor of a project, even find the weight of a bracket in a 3D model .
VectorWorks offers the possibility of creating spreadsheets within the drawing. That means you can count things, create databases, extract information from objects and do mathematical operations and functions without having to leave VectorWorks.
These spreadsheets, or worksheets as they are called in VectorWorks, are linked to the source of information so the worksheet can be updated when the source changes or to put it another way, if you edit the things in the drawing the spreadsheet can be updated easily.
The most powerful worksheets in VectorWorks are databases linked to Symbols or Plug-in Objects listing the data entered in the different fields. As you add these objects into the file you can update the worksheet and check the information. An example of this would be a bracing spreadsheet that tracks the bracing objects in the drawing. As you add bracing objects the worksheet tracks the number, type and length of the brace and puts this information into the worksheet, telling you if you have achieved enough bracing in each direction.
We can classify the worksheets into a few different groups depending on the nature of the worksheets:
Count / select objects ( generally symbols ) through the file. They do not need to have a record attached and they need not be in the same Class or Layer. We can choose to count symbols on a specific layer or assigned to a specific class.
Do mathematical operations with the parameters of drawn objects: areas, perimeters, volume etc. Name the objects ( Object Info Palette) and find properties of them and their combinations
Create reports using symbols with records and list the field values from the symbols in the report.
A classic use for worksheets is to compare the area of the building to the area of the site. Many places in the world only allow you to build on a portion of the site, so you need to compare the areas. You can use two polygons and the worksheet can be set up to find these areas, and do the maths for you as well. When you change the building area, you only need to recalculate the worksheet to see the updated calculation.
Another cool worksheet is the window schedule. This worksheet looks for all the windows in the building and gives you a customised report on them. You can choose how much information is shown on the report. The report can be sorted by the window numbers, you can change window sizes directly from the worksheet, and you can select windows directly from the worksheet.
For more information on creating worksheets, you can buy my Vectorworks Essential Tutorial Manual (http://www.archoncad.com), or you can buy a short sharp manual just on worksheets (http://www.archoncad.com/introduction-to-worksheets.html).
This month there is an online training session on more advanced worksheets, but you need to subscribe to join this. Subscribe to my Short Sharp Training (http://www.archoncad.co.nz/usergroup/join_int.php) You will get a manual with exercises and movies for this topic.