Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Screen Plane/Layer Plane with Plant Graphics

I am currently making the movies for my new Landmark Tutorial Manual for Vectorworks 2012. I was making a movie showing how to edit the plant graphics and I got caught you by the screen plane/layer plane ability.

When you edit the plant graphics in Vectorworks, one object in the plant controls the Mass Overlapping Plants. If you separate the plant components, you will find that there is a stacking order to the plants. It is important that you respect this order. If you do not, you will find that groups of plant with mass overlapping plant activated do not look the way you want them to.

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Storing Worksheets in your Vectorworks Library

You should use worksheets to count and report objects in your Vectorworks files, but sometimes you forget which file had the worksheets you want. You should store your worksheets in your library so that they are easy to find.

You should store a copy of your worksheets in your library, but if you store the worksheet file in the correct location, you can access the worksheet from any file, without using the Resource Browser to look for it.  In Vectorworks Landmark and in Vectorworks Architect you store the worksheet in the same location, but you use a different menu command to access the worksheet.

If you are not familiar with worksheets, you need to learn about them. There is a good introduction to worksheets in the Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual from Nemetschek Vectorworks. This manual will show you the basics. An older version of chapter is available as a CPD manual on the subscriber web site.

The subscriber web site also has a CPD manual on intermediate worksheets. This manual will show you a lot of the tips and techniques you need to make sophisticated worksheets. This manual is strongly recommended.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Did you Get a Kindle or iPad for Xmas

If you got a Kindle or iPad for Xmas, Well Done!

Now you can justify this by filling it up with useful Vectorworks manuals. I have written about 28 short manuals for the Kindle, there are architecture and BIM manuals available.

The kindle reader now has several variants with the greyscale screen and one with a color screen. The greyscale versions are just e-book readers (they do this really well).

There is now a color version of the kindle, called the Kindle Fire. This  has the ability to do a lot more than the standard  greyscale kindle, (but only if you live in USA).

The iPad has thousands of applications, one useful one is the Kindle ebook reader. This app allows you to read all the kindle books on your iPad, if you downlaod the Kindle ebook reader, or if you use the Kindle cloud reader.

Some people have asked me why I have written books for the Kindle system. Many people think that they need to own a Kindle device to read a kindle book. This is wrong, you can read kindle books on many different devices, including your computer, phone, and so on. The books will sync across the different devices, so you will always be up to date.

With many associations requiring Continuing Professional Development (CE), a Kindle or tablet device is a great way keep your books with you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You Can Attend Online Vectorworks Training From an iPhone or iPad

I use GoToMeeting to run my Vector-workout training sessions.  

Normally uses attend these online sessions from their computer. This allows me to share my computer screen to my online subscribers, and interact with them.  

GoToMeeting have released an application for your iPhone  and iPad.  You can download this from the appstoreThis application allows you to attend online sessions without having to go to your computer. 

When you start GoToMeeting, you need the webinar, you just need the meeting or webinar ID, your name and email. 

When you click on the Join button, this app quickly takes you to the meeting. If the webinar is going, you will see the shared screen. If the meeting has not started, you will see this screen. 

When the session starts, you will see the screen of the presenter.  I recommend an iPad, because that makes it easier to see the screen.  I have had a user attend my meetings using an iPhone 3GS.  He found he could keep up with the meeting but because the iPhone has such a small screen he found it hard to see what I was showing. 

When the meeting is closed, you will see this screen. 

For more information about courses, please see my web site.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Not eBooks, vBooks! vbooks are the best way to learn Vectorworks

Some people describe my manuals as eBooks.  I am not sure this really describes my manuals.  I think the eBooks sounds like an electronic book with lots of words and pages. My manuals also contain a lot of video.  So I think of my books as being Video books (vBooks).  I think this describes my books better.

You want vBooks to learn Vectorworks effectively, not eBooks. It is the combination of the written manual along with the videos that make these manuals the most effective way to learn.

One customer said that the difference between my manuals with the movies and other Vectorworks training manuals is like the difference between listing to the radio or watching television. 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Using a Bluetooth Keyboard with iPhone

I bought myself an Apple wireless keyboard yesterday. I really bought it to use with an iPad. But I also found that I  can use bluetooth to connect it to a phone. I'm using an iPhone and it has made typing on the phone really easy.

All you have to is go to the bluetooth settings and connect the keyboard. Once it's connected, you can type away on your phone with a full sized keyboard.

I have started to use the keyboard for writing blogs (this one) and texting. It is very quick to use. Highly recommended.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all my customers and blog readers. 2011 was a good year for me thanks to you. Blog visits have gone up substantially, subscribers to my Vector-workout Subscription increased dramatically, manual sales were up slightly, and other work has kept me very busy. The year was not without some major challenges, but since they are being dealt with, I don't want to dwell on them.

I see 2012 being a good year for many parts of the world. Where I live, the city of Christchurch will start to re-build after last year's devastating earthquakes. That will take ten or twenty years to rebuild. Many of my clients around the world are busy, and there is some positive employment data from USA. England and Europe still look fragile, but I hope they have now turned the corner and will start to improve.

At this time of the year many people take the opportunity to make New Year's Resolutions. I'm not sure resolutions work, but I am positive that if you set goals for the year, and plans to achieve your goals, then you will achieve your goals.

I use this time of the year to set goals for my business and personal life. If you are setting your goals or resolutions, I hope you will be including Vectorworks, because I have a way to improve the way you use Vectorworks:
  • learning new techniques each month
  • joining online sessions to drill down into the details of a topic
  • getting access to library files and plug-ins
I'm talking about the Vector-workout Subscription service, a training system to get the best from your investment in Vectorworks. Last year we had a dramatic increase in subscribers, I rebuilt the website for the subscribers, so they could access all the old movies, download old manuals (about 50 of them), have a private blog, and access library files and plug-ins.