What are Stories?

Stories in Vectorworks are a way to group design layers together. It’s a way of having several design layers and grouping these together to make a story of the building. So, for example, you might have a foundation layer and a wall layer that make up the lower story of a building, as shown in this image. It means that if you have to change the setting out of the story relative to other stories of the building, Vectorworks will move all of the design layers that are part of that story.

For the upper story of this building I have included the wall layer and the roof layer. This allows me to move the upper story the building as one group, keeping the walls and the roof in the current relationship.


I was at a client’s practice recently in the question of stories came up. There seems to be some confusion about what a story is relative to what a design layer is. Design layers are not stories. Stories  are a collection of design layers grouped together to form a story of the building.

When you create a story you can choose how many design layers will be part of the story. Make sure you use the minimum number of design layers that you can. Do not create extra design layers just because you can. For example, in a recent discussion I had with the client, they often have complex reflected ceiling plans. I suggested that this is an ideal use for an extra design layer. But, if the reflected ceiling plan is simple, then an extra layer is not required because you can use classes to control the visibility of the reflected ceiling information.

What if the building only has one floor, do you still need to stories? I don’t believe so. For a single-story building I think that using stories is just adding an extra level of complexity that you don’t need. But for a two story or multistory project, stories are extremely useful. There are really powerful concept and I recommend their use on multistory projects.

Also See:

SST_1201 Setting up Layers

Split level project using stories

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