Everyone uses Vectorworks a bit differently and because of this not all the new & fancy features of v2014 may be that big of a deal to you. Perhaps what you or I would consider a really great new feature wasn’t highlighted in the “What’s New in Vectorworks 2014” document that Vectorworks Inc. publishes. Or maybe it’s a small change that is glossed over because it’s just a tiny aspect of a major ability of the application. Whatever the case, I wanted to share my personal favourites in case you might not know about them and find them handy too…
Disabling Arrow Keys
One of the very useful new things I just found in 2014 is the ability to disable some/all of the arrow keys’ abilities. For anyone not familiar with these settings, they are in Vectorworks Preferences > Edit tab – Arrow Keys.
While I use “Switch active layer/class” and “Nudge” often, I personally find “Pan Drawing” very annoying, mostly because I do it by accident so often. No longer will that happen! Click on the drop down menu next to each of the Arrow Key functions and you’ll now see the option to disable just that function.
Reshaping a polygon by “Move Edges Parallel Mode”
Reshaping a polygon now has a new mode! It’s called “Move Edges Parallel” (see your “mode bar” when you’ve got the tool activated) and it gives you a handle at the mid-point of each side. Drag that handle and that edge will move while remaining parallel to its original angle. If the lines on either side of the one you’re moving are converging, you can even make them meet… and extend out the other side if you want! For me this will save so many steps of snapping, extending smart points, etc.
Another handy enhancement of the VW’s Reshape tool is the ability to reshape a plain ol’ rectangle. No longer do you have to convert it to a Polygon in order to reshape it… just double-click it, grab any control handle and go!
Seeing the Z (height) of 2D/3D Symbol, in the Object info palette, while you’re in Top/Plan view
If you’ve chatted with me before, you’ll know that I come from using VW in a strictly 2D way but am now taking 3D by the horns. I have lots of 3D experience (FormZ, Sketchup, etc) but not with Vectorworks… until this year. As such, I’m quite comfortable working in Top/Plan view while I am “aware” of or imagining a design in 3D. One of the things that has bugged me in VW prior to v2013 is not being able to check/change the Z height of a symbol when viewing the drawing in plan. Well, now you can!
That’s what I’ve found and quite liked so far. I’ll try to add more as I discover them. Please do share your favourites in the comments!
Author: Neil Barman Intern Architect AIBC