What Design Layer Scale Should I Use in Vectorworks

When I draw in Vectorworks I like to keep the scale of the design layer at about the same as the scale of the viewports that I will be creating. This has come about from using Vectorworks for a long time, way before we had viewports, when the only way to create drawings with different scales was to use different layers with the correct scale.

Now that we have viewports, could you draw everything on one layer, then use the viewport scale to create the drawings and details? I guess you could, but it will cause trouble. Robert Anderson from Nemetschek North America puts it like this:

” The “Layer Scale” used by VectorWorks is primarily an exigency of “WYSIWYG” drawing. “Layer Scale” exists to allow graphic properties of the drawing or model to be represented properly, as though you were drawing at a particular scale on a piece of paper. It is a scaling value used to allow proper representation for these attributes:
     -Line weight;
     -Line style (e.g. length of dashes);
     -Marker (arrowhead) size;
     -Text size;
     -Hatch scaling;

In “WYSIWYG” drawing, in order to properly display these attributes, there has to be an intended output scale so you can see how the drawing will look at that intended format. The practical upshot of all this is that you should set your “layer scale” to be the same as the predominant output scale of your project. This will necessitate the least amount of attribute-scaling in viewports.”

Try to use the minimum of layer scales.

So, if you want details at 1:5, then create a layer scale at 1:5. When you draw the detail, add the notes and dimensions, the details will look correct in the final viewports, with a minimum of editing (and effort), what you draw will be what you get.

There are two short manuals I have written that will help out here:
Creating drawings for a building project
Creating Construction Details

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