You can access this command from the Modify menu or from the contextual menu. I prefer to access this from the contextual menu because that makes it quick. Use this command to add two or more shapes together to create a complex shape. In my experience, this is the fastest way to create complex shapes.
This is a great way of creating utility scripts in your files. This command will create a custom script that can control the text, symbols, layers, classes, snaps, etc. To set up the utility script for your snaps, set the snaps you want first, then go to the menu bar and choose Tools > Custom Tool/Attribute. Fill in the settings on the dialog box and choose the option to create a script. This gives you a script in your file that you can use to reset the snapping whenever you need it.
This command allows you to select multiple objects and modify them. It uses the same concept as the custom selection command, where you have a dialog box to set the criteria for selecting the objects. After making your choices and clicking OK on the selection criteria, you then get the Properties dialog box with all of the objects selected. This dialog box allows you to edit all of the selected objects at the same time.
The fillet tool is used to join two linear objects. It has three ways of joining the linear objects together: placing the fillet without affecting the other objects, placing the fillet and splitting the other objects and placing the fillet and trimming the other objects.
Click on the first linear object then move your cursor and click on the second linear object. Vectorworks will then place the fillet between the two objects.
This also works with walls.
Enter Key to mimic mouse click and double enter to mimic double mouse click. I often use this technique with the enter key to mimic the mouse click. For example, if I’m drawing a wall of a specific length, I will use the numeric keypad to type on the length of the wall and then use the enter key to mimic the mouse click so that I can then draw the next wall. This is a really quick way to draw. If you double hit the enter key it mimics the double mouse click finishing your wall, polygon, etc.
You can find more information about this and other snaps on the Guide to Productivity.
Learning to use the Smart Cursor is fundamental to learning to use Vectorworks effectively. The Smart Cursor allows you to find adjacent points to line up with, it allows you to find the point between two other points on screen and it has several other options which can really speed up your drawing. This is one of the snaps that you should leave on almost all the time.
Snap to Object is one of the snaps that you absolutely must turn on if you want to draw accurately in Vectorworks. If you do not activate this snap, you cannot draw accurately relative to other objects and you will not be able to dimension accurately. If you double-click on the Snap to Object it has several options for you to choose from. If you reduce the number of choices, you can speed up your dimensioning. Reinstate all the choices for accurate designing.
If you want more information about Snaps, have a look at my Guide to Productivity…
The Floating Data Bar is extremely useful for typing the size of objects that you are drawing, and by default you have to use the Tab key to access it. However, there is a quick preference that allows you to set the numeric keypad to have instant access to the data bar. Activating this option will substantially speed up your drawing.
Some users want to be able to draw orthographically (constrained to 0, 90). I usually get this request from AutoCAD users. Hold down the Shift key to constrain linear objects (walls, lines, polygons) to orthographic and other objects (rectangles, ovals) to symmetric. You can also control the angles for ortho drawing using the Snap to Angle, so let’s look at that as well.
If you use a lot of classes, like I do, then it can be had to remember the names of the all the classes, so when you want to turn some of the classes off, you find it hard to locate the classes on the Navigation palette. I don’t bother to find them on the Navigation palette, I use the Visibility tool. Set the options on the Tool bar, then just click on the objects that you want to hide. The Visibility tool will turn off the class for you.
Object Info palette – Data Pane. Many users do not use the Data Pane, but it is used to add or edit some of the information on objects. Viewport names, light names, custom record formats, etc can be edited using the Data pane. I know you don’t want to have this pane open all the time, but it is useful to know where it is.
Object Info Palette – This is a palette that you should have open all the time. It tells you if you have an object selected, what kind of object that is and it lets you edit the settings on the object. I have some clients that do not keep this palette open, so when I ask what kind of object they have selected, they do not know. I can’t help them until I know what the object is.
Doors in Vectorworks allow you to create 2D and 3D versions of the door or opening. If you create a door, there are several types of doors you can make (hinged, bi-fold, sliding, overhead) and you can also use the door to create an opening. So if you need an opening in the wall, try using a door. The doors can show the door number in 2D and 3D and you can use the doors to create a schedule.
The Connect/Combined Tool is really useful for extending single or multiple lines to a boundary. In this movie I will give you a quick introduction to using this tool. Instead of using this tool you could use the Selection tool to extend lines, but that is slow and unreliable. This tool is fast and reliable for extending lines to meet other objects.