Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ever Feel That Critics Are Getting You Down?

Ever feel that you are not doing a good job, even though you are trying your best? Do critics get you down? I’ve got a good quote to make you feel better:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming..."

Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Monday, April 23, 2007

On-Line User Group Newsletter out today

the on-line user group newsletter is a bit late this month due to work commitments ( 2 weeks of training courses in Melbourne and Auckland), but it will be sent out this weekend (April 21st).

The main topic this month is how to build your library. You may think that your library is just a file with standard symbols but that’s not my belief. I believe that your library is really you VectorWorks system of drawing and it includes:
- symbol library
- symbol libraries for tools (drawing border, plants, repetitive unit, etc)
- hatches
- gradients
- layer and class standards
- Wall Styles
and so on. There are notes and exercises on making your office system.

The question and answer session is on dimension standards.

The two extended podcasts are:
- importing a detail from a multi-page PDF file and making a viewport
- using worksheets to count up all the landscaping on each site, for a multi-site development

As with all the on-line user group newsletters there are notes, screen shots to show you what to do and links to movies so that you can see me carrying out the exercise.

for more information and to regisiter for the on-line user group please visit:

VectorWorks training manuals and support
on-line user group

Monday, April 16, 2007

What can you do with Worksheets in Vectorworks?

Worksheets are extremely powerful for counting stuff. You can count areas, lengths, symbols and do calculations on the stuff you count. I was recently training a landscape architect who wanted to count all the plants, lawn areas, paving etc for a house development, but he also wanted to count the individual house lots as well as the overall qualtities.
Can this be done.... Sure, pretty easily.
Here you can see that we could have each site counted individually, and you could count all the sites combined.
If you want to find out more about this contact me for training

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The “None” Class in Vectorworks - what’s it for?

what is the None class for? I use the None class for things that I want to be visible all the time. On a detail I would draw everything on the None class, I would do the same thing on sections and elevations, draw nearly everything on the None Class.

I use when you draw in VectorWorks you create objects on the Active Layer and on the Active Class. So, if you make a viewport, what is the active layer? If you create the viewport on the wrong class it might get turned off by accident. So it would be better to set the active class to None.

In reality I find that you can leave your active class on None most of the time. This works fine because you can set up your walls to be automatically assigned to the correct class, you can create symbols that automatically get assigned to the correct class, commands like the roof framer can automatically be assigned to the class you choose in the dialog box.

So, beware the active class...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Constraints - Snap to Object

I was teaching a client today and they asked about the Snap to Object constraint. They had drawn a plan with Snap to Object turned off. It was amazing how much easier it was to draw accurately with this constraint turned on.

This is one constraint that I always turn on, and I leave it on nearly all the time, so I had forgotten how bad it was to draw with Snap to Object turned off... When I  turned the constraint on it was much, much easier to draw for the client , they could not believe what an improvement I had made to the way they draw.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Creating Plant Graphics in Vectorworks

I’ve been helping some landscape clients recently. It reminded me again that you have to make the plant graphics simple if you want your plans to re-draw on the screen quickly. I know that you want to make the plants look like your hand-drawn plans, but you have to be careful.

My first attempt at making complex plants was terrible. The plant was so complex that if you put several of them on the drawing, it took ages to re-draw. A simple outline looked just as good and re-drew so much more quickly...
Keep It Simple...