SST_1803 – Back To Basics – Worksheets


1803 – Worksheets


Beginner Topics

What is a Worksheet?

Worksheets are like simple spreadsheets. Worksheets allow you to calculate and report information in your Vectorworks files. This is a powerful technique. It has been available in Vectorworks for many years.

You can use worksheets to find objects, report them, and do calculations on the objects that have been found.

How do Worksheets work?

Worksheets are set up to look for specific information. It uses Criteria to define what the search looks for. When Vectorworks finds that information it fills in the worksheet.


When you are setting up the worksheets, it is important to plan your report. There are so many options—you have to have some idea of how you are going to find the information in your file. For example, if you are creating a report to find the site area, you could look for a property line object. If there is more than one property line, then you might look for one on a particular class. You could name the object and use the name to find it. As you can see, even with a simple object, there are so many choices.  It is best to think about all of this before you get started.

What types of Worksheets are there?

  • We can classify the worksheets into a few different groups depending on the nature of the worksheets:
  • Count/select objects (generally symbols) throughout the file. They do not need to have a record attached or 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 their properties and their combinations
  • Create reports using symbols with records and list the field values from the symbols in the report.

The most powerful worksheets in Vectorworks are databases linked to Symbols or Plug-in Objects listing the data entered in 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 a 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. Another example is a plant report. As plants are added to the design, they will automatically be added to the report when it is updated.

One of the powerful things about worksheets is that they are a resource that can be copied from one file to another. Although a worksheet often takes a lot of work to create, the time taken is well spent because you can use it on multiple projects.

Creating a Worksheet to calculate areas (site coverage)

Worksheets in Vectorworks are powerful and can be programmed to search for information in different ways. We can search for information by pen color, weight, line style, class, layer, kind, etc. You can even search for named objects.

In this file, I have a site plan (property line) and a house plan (the rectangle).

  • Select the site outline and open the Object Info palette.
  • Assign the property line to the correct class (Site-Boundary). If the class does not exist, create it.


  • Select the rectangle.
  • On the Object Info palette name the object House.


We want to build a worksheet that will find these two elements, report their areas in a useful format and calculate the site coverage. In this case, we will be using the name of the house object and the object type and class for the site area.

  I have created some extremely effective content, but you have to be a member to see it, sorry. Please become a member so that you can access this content.

One thought on “SST_1803 – Back To Basics – Worksheets

Leave a Reply