Friday, November 16, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 20 (upgrading to 2008) Object Opacity

On the Macintosh we have been able to use layer opacity (the ability to make things semi-transparent) with VectorWorks 12.5. But the Windows people have had to put up not having this ability. 
So, if you wanted to add shadows to a building, like this one, it was OK on the Macintosh, but not as easy on a Windows machine. 
Now with VectorWorks 2008 we can assign opacity to classes, or individual objects on both the Macintosh and the Windows version. 
This Option is on the Attributes palette and it allows you to choose the opacity of individual objects.

I think that looks a lot better, and it’s easy to achieve. 
We cover this in detail with the last user group online manual. Check out the on-line user group at:
Check out my line of top VectorWorks manuals:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 19 (upgrading to 2008) OpenGL Rendering Improvements

OpenGL rendering has been improved substantially in VectorWorks 2008. OpenGL is one of the fastest rendering modes and when you use the walkthrough tool it is the rendering mode that stays rendered as you walk through. So, it has been a useful mode, even if it is a bit low-fi.
The improvements let you add lines to your OpenGl render and shadows. Notice that I’ve got shadows on the ground, even though i don’t actually have a ground. 

Check out my revised manuals at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 18 (upgrading to 2008) Black/White Viewports

In the past you could only make the whole drawing show color or black/white. This limited the way that you could show your drawings.

Now with VectorWorks 2008 you can choose which viewports show color and which viewports show black/white. This will allow you to be much more flexible when you create drawings. 
This ability also applies to design layer viewports. this will mean that you could have a site plan in color with a black/white design layer viewport of the house plan.

Check out my revised manuals at

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 17 (upgrading to 2008) New Color Palette

With earlier versions of VectorWorks we were limited to 256 colors in the color palette. You could get around this by tricking VectorWorks with gradients, but with VectorWorks 2008 you don’t have to. The Color Palette has been completely overhauled. You are no longer limited to 256 colors.

You could have less that 256 colors if you wanted. This would allow you to set up an office standard that just had the colors that you wanted to use. 

If you turn on the standard VectorWorks colors you can use any of them, and there are more standard colors now than ever.
You might notice that there are several palettes that you can choose from. You can choose Resene, Benjamin Moore, Pantone and so on. 
If this isn’t enough, you can even make your own color palettes.

Check out my revised manuals at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 16 (upgrading to 2008) Foreground and Background Rendering

Until now, you could only choose one sort of rendering for each viewport. The workaround for this was to create a copy of the first viewport directly on top of the first viewport.  This works OK, until you want to change the view on the viewport. 

With VectorWorks 2008, you can now set background and foreground rendering modes. This makes it easy to set up the viewport you want, with the rendering you want. If you change the view, the viewport can be easily updated. 
My updated and revised Architect Tutorial manual for VectorWorks 2008 shows you this technique, available from

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 15 (upgrading to 2008) Custom Dash Line Styles

VectorWorks 2008 makes it easier to create your own custom dash styles. Earlier version of VectorWorks where a pain to make specific dash styles. VectorWorks 2008 makes it easier because you can type in your own dash and gap lengths.

This topic is covered in the November on-line user group. Check it out at

Friday, November 09, 2007

You Tube Video - podcast 051

I saw a discussion on the Nemetschek North America tech board about design layer viewports or layers links. Watch this to see my opinion.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

You tube

I’m trying an experiment with uploading my movies to you tube.

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 14 (upgrading to 2008) Rotating objects

With VectorWorks 2008, you can rotate some objects just by using the 2D selection tool. It only works with a few objects, but this movie shows you how this works.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 13 (upgrading to 2008) Orange Exit Button

This may seem like a small reason to upgrade, but it’s surprising how quickly I have gotten used to this. When you edit a symbol, group, or other object, you get an orange border and a large orange button that you click on to exit.

If you edit a symbol, the orange button says Exit Symbol. This should help you to see that you are in a special editing area. You are not in the main drawing area.

If you edit a group the orange button says Exit Group. This will really help because some people get confused when they are inside a group.

You can change the size of the orange button to a small button (a very small button). You do this in the same place that you edit the HUD (see the last blog).