Vectorworks Tip 300 – Read the Vectorworks Essential Tutorial Manual

I have been looking for my most valuable tip, which had had me thinking for quite some time. Having been on-site recently teaching a lot of people, I think my most valuable tip Is that if you are learning Vectorworks, you should learn it by going carefully through my Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual. This might seem like an advertising stunt, to advertise a book that you’ve already got. But the reality is, when I go on-site to teach clients the main problem is a lack of fundamental knowledge. This fundamental knowledge is nearly always covered in the Essential Tutorial Manual. So I often spend time going over information clients already have because they already have a copy of my manual, but they didn’t read it.

You can get the manual here…

Book Review – Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual – Sixth Edition

Review by Neil Barman (

Jonathan Pickup’s “Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual”, now in its 6th edition, is a deceivingly simple manual. It’s simple in that it will walk you (whether you are a new user or a seasoned user who has never had any formal training in the application) through from the very basics of drawing with objects in Vectorworks. It plays a great trick on you though, because while it may seem like you are just doing the basics, you are actually learning to do 3D modelling and BIM at the same time. This is the beauty and power of the manual.

Continue reading Vectorworks training on your iPhone

In this movie I show you how you can access Vectorworks training through my website, I have created a mobile website that allows you to search through thousands of movies and posts. The movies are playable on most mobile devices, although in this movie I am using an iPhone 4S.

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Short sharp Training for Vectorworks Now Includes Special Interest Group Movies

Since February 2012 the Vector-workout subscription service has been offering special interest group webinars. These webinars are an interactive online session about a particular topic. The webinars are interactive, allowing the attendees to talk to each other, ask questions, and discuss the solution. Often these webinars cover difficult or complex situations. Sometimes they just cover situations where the users had forgotten what the solution was.

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Repetition is Important When Learning Vectorworks

Prior to running my Vectorworks courses online, I used to run them in a classroom. At the time it seemed like the best thing that I could do. I was aware at the time that repetition was important, and the way the courses were structured, it allowed time for the attendees to practice, while I would circulate the room, helping any users that were struggling. Continue reading

Feedback on Special Interest Groups for Landmark

Thanks again for creating the VW Landmark Special Interest Group.  I think yesterday’s session on plant symbols was very helpful, especially since I’m just about to embark on creating my own set of 2d symbols.  I’m definitely going to use classes to control the graphics, but keep them to a minimum.  I thought I was going to create a few extra classes just to make the tree graphics more transparent, but I now think I’ll make the tree graphics transparent to begin with.   I’m going to have a couple of classes so I can Continue reading

Productivity is Not Just About Speed

I have just spend several minutes with the designer of the Landru Design tools, Andrew Dunning. These tools are designed for the entertainment industry and they are fantastic. I interviewed Andrew so that he could show me the tools, but during the interview, it struck me that he tools offered a lot of feedback to the designer.

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How Productive Could You Be?

I often meet clients that are not aware of how powerful Vectorworks is. When I show them some productivity techniques, they are amazed at the time savings. The problem is, until I show the clients what they are missing, they have no idea that the tools or techniques are available. When you don’t know something, it’s really hard to ask for help on it.

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Training in A Recession

The New Zealand government has just completed a summit to create more jobs and to get out of this recession.  There were 20 main ideas to come out of the job summit ( and a couple of them were of interest to me:
  • Keep people in education and add a training clause to government procurement contracts.
  • Better matching of training to available job.
  • Better support people affected by redundancy.
These ideas suggest training your way out of recession. Then I discovered this article for training your way out of recession ( 
Half the companies discovered that training staff made them more likely to stay. One-third found it increased staff motivation, and almost half actually saved money in the process.
“Organisations must focus on nurturing talent if they are to survive, grow and succeed. The continuous development and growth of people is inextricably linked to business performance.
So, there you are. Training is good for the company and good for the employee. Don’t cut your training budget as the money gets tight. 

Run Your Business Like a Farm

A couple of weeks before Christmas my son went up to his Granddad’s farm to help get the hay in. Of course, these days it’s all tractors and large bails of hay that you move around with ease. 
A couple of weeks later my son was helping to spread fertilizer on the land used for hay-making. When I asked my father in law why they were spreading fertilizer he told me it so he would get a good crop of hay next year. 
That got me thinking. Why don’t we add fertilizer (learning new skills) to our careers or businesses now to make them stronger next year. This is the best time to start to get better at the CAD program that you use. 
Think like a farmer, start adding new skills right now. Learn how you use your email better, learn to use your calendar program better. Update your web site. attend regular training for your CAD program. 
I was listening to my audio book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R Covey, and he also uses this example of the farm. Your business, and your life, is not like an exam at college where you can cram in the last week. Your business and you life is much more like farm. You have to add fertilizer before you plant, and you have to plants months before the harvest. 
For my clients and myself, the fertilizer is training (courses and books). Get Vectorworks training here:

How To Get Better at VectorWorks

If you are just starting with VectorWorks you might be wondering how to get better, how long will it be until you understand this new program. The answer lies in Perseverance… You have to keep working on VectorWorks everyday and you will get it.

For some people using VectorWorks is the first time that they have drawn with a computer. Do you remember how long it took you to learn to draw the first time? This is no different. You are learning a new way to draw, so you need to learn a new way to think about drawing. Keep at it!