Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hot Keys with Vectorworks 2

Yesterday I told you how to find the Hot Keys for tools that you use. One of the things that I didn’t mention was that if you double-hit the hot key VectorWorks will carry out an action.
For example:
double X key = Deselect All
double C key = Zoom in 2x
double 1 key = opens the Create Line dialog box
double 4 key = opens the Create Rectangle dialog box
and so on. 

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hot Keys with Vectorworks

Hot Keys in VectorWorks, this is where you push a key on your keyboard and VectorWorks chooses a tool for you. There are many hot keys assigned to the keys on the keyboard, but how do you find these useful things? 
If you move your cursor to a tool on a palette, and leave your mouse there for a short time, a tool tip will pop-up to tell you what tool it is and what the hot key is. Notice the letter ‘X’ inside the brackets? That’s the hot key for the 2D Selection Tool. Now whenever you want the 2D Selection Tool, you can it the X key on your keyboard. 

Another tool that I use a lot is the Zoom Tool. Notice that you can use the letter C for selecting the Zoom tool. Double tapping the C key will Zoom you in 2X. 
Now you can find the hot keys for you favorite tools and get quicker at using VectorWorks.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Object Editing 2

As well the editing I showed you in the last blog, you can also edit the objects that can be created from a Polyline, such as hardscapes, plant groups, spaces, ceiling grids, property lines and so on by double clicking on it. 
Here is an example. Draw an area of hardscape.  You can use the hardscape tool to do this or you can draw the 2D shape that you want and then use the Objects From Polyline... command from the Modify menu.

With the 2D Selection tool, double click on the object. The handles will change from around the object to on the edges of the object. Your 2D Reshape tool is now the active tool. If you move the cursor to one of the middle handles and drag it down...
The object has been re-shaped. You can see the result, the hardscape area has been edited. This is a fast way to edit hardscapes and other similar objects like ceiling grids, spaces and so on.

New Object Editing 1

With VectorWorks 12.5 you will find it easier to edit the objects that can be created from a Polyline, such as hardscapes, plant groups, spaces, ceiling grids, property lines and so on.

Here is an example. Draw an area of hardscape.  You can use the hardscape tool to do this or you can draw the 2D shape that you want and then use the Objects From Polyline... command from the Modify menu.

Draw an area on top of your hardscape. Use a solid object like a rectangle, polygon or circle.
Select both objects.
From the Menu bar choose
Modify > Clip Surface.

You can see the result, the hardscape area has been edited to match. This will make it a lot faster to edit hardscapes and other similar objects like ceiling grids, spaces and so on.

How To Un-Sketch Your Elevations

If you set up your elevations using section viewports or a viewport from the front you will get this heavy red border. It means that the viewport needs to be updated. To update the viewport, click on the update button on the Object Info Palette. What if your elevation looks like this, but you don’t want it sketchy?

On the Object Info Palette click on the button for the Render settingS.
This will open the Hidden Line Render Settings.
If there is a tick on the Sketch Hidden Line results then click on it to turn it off.
If the tick is not on, but your elevation is still rendered you will have to go back the 3D Model layer and check the Document Default sketch style...
Click on the OK Button.

Update your elevation viewport by clicking on the update button on the Object Info Palette.
Now you have hard line elevations.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Eyedropper Tool Improvements

The new Eyedropper Tool in VectorWorks 12.5 now allows you to copy the attributes of one viewport (layers and classes assignment) and paste them on another viewport.

This will copy the class settings, the class overrides and you can copy the viewport attributes from one file to another. If a class doesn’t exist in new file you get a warning, but all the other classes are copied.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The New Offset Tool

With VectorWorks 12.5 Nemetschek North America have updated the offset tool. It would be fair to say that this is a major change to the Offset tool. 
Select the Offset tool.
Look at the Mode bar, see all the new options.  
You no longer have to choose the object that you want to offset BEFORE you choose the offset tool. If you choose the 5th mode then you click on the object to offset, then click on the side to offset it to. this is much faster than it used to be. 
The Offset preferences have been changed as well (the last button on the Mode Bar). 
Notice that you can choose all the mode bar options with the preferences.

Choose whether you use the selected object or you click on each object that you want to offset.
You can offset a duplicate or you can offset the original object. 
You can now offset walls!

This is a big improvement over the old offset tool. It will improve your workflow. 
I found that this new tool made drawing buildings easier because you can offset copies of walls, it has reduced the need to delete lines when I really only needed the offset... 
go, upgrade to 12.5...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why The 2D Selection Tool Is Your Friend

When you start learning to use VectorWorks you might find that you leave the current tool on, and then try to do something else like selecting things.

When you are learning VectorWorks you will find it easier to change back to the 2D Selection tool after you have finished with a tool. This will stop you accidentally creating more things.

After you have placed a symbol from the Resource Browser change back to the 2D Selection tool. That will stop you accidentally adding more symbols in your file.

Some people have a habit of clicking in the drawing area when they have finished with a tool. Changing to the 2D Selection Tool will stop this being a problem.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Drawing Borders, or the VAA Title Block?

When you place a title block in your drawings, you can use the VectorWorks Drawing border, or you can use the VAA Title Block. The VAA Title Block is available if you are using VectorWorks Architect in Australia or New Zealand.  It gives you more ability to control title blocks, edit the text on the title blocks and customizing the title blocks is relatively straight forward. But there is a big bonus to using the VAA title block you can easily make a Document Transmittal sheet.

From the annotation tool set choose the VAA Title block tool.  When you choose this tool you get a ghost image of the title block on the screen.

Double click anywhere to place the title block. This tool is designed to fit the title block to your piece of paper, much like the VectorWorks Drawing border tool. The title block will come in with a border and crop marks. This is the default setting that you can adjust if you want to.

To get rid of the crop marks, go to the Object Info Palette and find the pop-up menu for Draw Crop Marks. Choose the option Not for Any Title Block to turn off the crop marks for all the title blocks in the file.

Finally, to get rid of the border, don’t turn the border off from the Object Info Palette. Use the Attributes palette to give the title block no fill and a line colour of white. The title block itself won’t be affected, just the border.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Should You Put Annotation on Design Layers, or Viewports?

This is a topic that comes up at the user group on a regular basis. I think that you have to find a way that suits your style, but I do have some advice to help out. Many people put all the annotation in the viewports, and I have tried that but for me, it doesn’t work. I like to put all my annotations on the design layers, and this works for all the plan or 2D viewports, but this doesn’t work for 3D viewports.

So the answer about putting annotation on design layers or viewports depends on what you are trying to show and what you have drawn so far.

For plans, I recommend putting all the annotations, dimensions and detail references on the design layer, the same design layer as the walls.

You can make several drawings from the same wall layer if you use classes to filter the information.

For example, you can draw the foundation plan on the same layer as the walls. By putting the foundation walls on a class and putting the foundation dimensions and detail references on the same class, you can turn off all the other notes, details and details references and see the ones for the foundations.

By putting all the other walls on classes and putting the framing dimensions, notes and detail references on the same class you can turn off the foundation walls, detail references and notes, leaving the framing plan the way you want.

These two example examples show that it’s better to include your annotation on the design layers for plan type drawings, or for drawings that are 2 dimensional.

For drawings that use the 3D parts of VectorWorks, it’s better to include the notes and dimensions in the Annotation part of the viewport.

In this example the elevations and sections are live views of the building using a front view for the elevation and using the section viewports for the sections. In this example you have to put the annotations in to the viewport, there is no other way.  If you try to put the dimensions and text on the design layer it will not show in the viewport.