Monday, March 15, 2010

Introduction to Customising VectorWorks


VectorWorks works really well, but if you edit the workspace, and customise the arrangement of the tools and menus you can work faster and happier. We will learn how to edit the workspace and add commands to the right mouse button.

VectorWorks also has a built in programming language called VectorScript  that lets you make your own tools and commands. We will learn how to do some basic programming and learn how to start to make your own tools and commands.

Why Change VectorWorks?
The program as it comes out of the box is designed by someone else, it was not designed by you.  They have made assumptions about the way they think you will work.  They could be wrong, there could be better ways for you to work.  Customising VectorWorks is a way that you can change the program to suit you.  The aim is to make VectorWorks easier, faster and more enjoyable to use.

To add new tools or commands to Vectorworks, you have copy the plugins to the Plug-ins Folder of you VectorWorks application folder. 

Locate your new tool or command.
Right mouse click (control+click) on the tool or command.
Choose Copy.
Go to the Plug-ins folder of your  VectorWorks application folder.

Right mouse click (control+click).
Choose Paste.
On a Windows machine Plug-ins will be in the Program Files.
On a Macintosh the Plug-ins folder will be in the Applications folder;

You can download extra Plug-ins for VectorWorks from several internet places, and you can make your own. To use them, they must be copied to the Plug-ins folder of your  VectorWorks application folder.


Workspaces is VectorWorks’ way of describing the combination of menus and tool palettes.  When you start VectorWorks you get two workspaces, the standard Workspace and the Workspace for your profession.

From the Menu Bar choose File > Workspaces > Workspace Editor.  
If you choose to create a new Workspace it has nothing in it and you will have to add everything.  The easiest way to start a new Workspace is to edit an existing Workspace.  

Choose to edit a copy of the current workspace.  Do not edit your original Architect (or profession), or Standard Workspace because if you mess it up you will have nothing to go back to.  

The edit Workspace dialog box opens.

On the left hand side is a listing of all possible menu commands that you can install.  On the right hand side is a list of the menu commands that are in your current workspace.
Create a New Menu

Go to the left hand side and select the New Menu.

Hold the mouse button down and drag the New Menu across to the right hand side.

Move your cursor between the Text and Window.  A line appears to show you that VectorWorks will insert your new menu between the View Menu and the Window Menu.  

Let go of the mouse button.

Click on the New Menu, it will highlight.  
Change the name of the new menu to Utilities by typing in the name.

Adding a Menu Command
To add a menu command,  find the command that you want to add.  

Click on the command and hold the mouse button down.

Drag the command over to the right hand side and move your cursor to the new Utilities menu.
Notice that there is a black line and an arrow where the new command will be inserted.

Release the mouse button.

The new command will be in the Utilities Menu.

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