Internal Origin and User Origin in Vectorworks 2015

One of the problems in dealing with DXF/DWG files and Vectorworks is it they can often be imported with the information a long way from the internal origin of the Vectorworks file. This may not seem to be an issue, but it can affect things like Automatic Working Planes, the Attribute Mapping tool, etc. This can cause the file to be difficult to work with.

When you import DXF/DWG files you want to know that they will work correctly in Vectorworks and that when you export them back to the consultants they will maintain their correct coordinates. It is essential that the information that you import can be sent back to the consultant, maintaining a round-trip for the information.

In Vectorworks 2015, there are some new commands and techniques for making sure that your information is correctly located:

  • Introduction of an Internal Origin Marker
  • Show/Hide Internal Origin Marker
  • Center drawing on Internal Origin
  • Visual cue when User Origin has changed
  • Intuitive Origin options when importing DWX/DWG file
You can find more information here (search for ‘internal origin’):
This sub-link of the above shows more information also:

Question: I understand that when you import a DXF file you can choose to have Vectorworks relocate the information to bring the user origin closer to the internal origin of the file. What I am concerned about though is, if you then important a further DXF file into that document, does the new imported document use the new user origin of that file, and does this maintain all the correct coordinates for the information.
Answer from Vectorworks : If you use the new “Center first import, align all subsequent imports” option, the first DXF file imported will be centered on the internal origin, then subsequent DXF files imported will be aligned with the user origin such that objects will continue to have the correct coordinates.


Question: When these two files are worked on and exported back to AutoCAD, do they maintain the correct origin so that the AutoCAD user finds that they line up where they should do? In other words, will these two files have the correct coordinates for their information?
Answer from Vectorworks: Yes. This behavior has not changed for VW2015.

One thought on “Internal Origin and User Origin in Vectorworks 2015

  1. You still have to be careful with this because some A/CAD files will have stuff all over the place as happened to me and VWs centered its import on the whole thing and it was thousands of feet across. You would need to “clean” the drawing of extraneous lines not related to your project, like templates, symbols and junk from previous projects and then do the import. Or have the exporter do that for you beforehand.

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