Book Review – Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual, Sixth Edition

I have written a manual called the Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual, which is designed to teach new users all the important fundamental concepts of Vectorworks.  I recommend this manual as the best way to teach new users how to get the best from Vectorworks. It has now been used by thousands of people to get started and become productive with Vectorworks. Last December I went to visit an old client. This client has not used me for training for a couple of years and I was curious to see how the new staff were coping with Vectorworks.

My client pointed out that the new staff were really struggling with Vectorworks. The new staff that join the office are being taught by the last person who joined, and they have been finding that the new members of staff are dangerous when it comes to using Vectorworks. First, the new staff members are not efficient when it comes to using Vectorworks, but they also tend to delete objects and mess up the files because they do not know what they are doing. This causes the existing staff to waste their time repairing these mistakes. I suggested that they make it a policy that each new member of staff is given the Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual to work through. I went back to visit the client about three months later. The feedback from the client is that the new staff that had been through the Essentials Tutorial Manual are more efficient than those who have been using Vectorworks for six months. Not only are they more efficient, but they also do not make mistakes in the file. The result is that it is now a company policy that everybody should work through the Essentials Tutorial Manual when they start. Another interesting part is that prior to December this manual sat on the top shelf collecting dust. After March, this manual never got back onto the shelf, it was always being used by somebody. Before December the manual was in pristine condition, after March it was looking well used and dog-eared.

2 thoughts on “Book Review – Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual, Sixth Edition

  1. I’m re-posting my comments from another blog about this manual, as I think the point deserves repeating here:

    “This manual is THE best way to learn Vectorworks on your own or at your own pace.

    I’ve seen many new hires try to learn Vectorworks (while others in the office were busy working), and this manual was the only way for them to solidly and reliably pick up the application. Not all the firms I worked at had this manual, but the ones that did benefitted from it.

    Without the Essential Manual, new users found the very flexible and capable application overwhelming and had to muddle through tasks on their own, getting frustrated and often learning very bad habits and improper ways to use tools. With the manual however, new users built up a solid understanding of the application that served them well.

    As a matter of fact, given how many features are available in VW, I even found that some seasoned users would refer back to this manual (and Jonathan’s other) to refresh their knowledge of using VW. And when the users are ready to increase their knowledge, productivity and efficiency even more, Jonathan’s website offers the same clear instruction as the manuals but a practically endless resource of information on Vectorworks.

    Bottom line: If you want to start learning Vectorworks as well as you possibly can, start with this manual.”

  2. Jonathan, might there be plans to provide the CD material for future editions on USB stick or download now that Macs (so far) are no longer shipping with CD drives? Just something to consider…

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