20 Mar

Sharing Vectorworks’ symbols, hatches, templates & workspaces (aka Default Content) between computers

If you have been using Vectorworks for a while, you have probably collected various symbols or hatches that you like to use regularly. You may have also edited your workspace a bit so that some keyboard shortcuts make more sense for the way you work. If so, you have grown accustomed to having certain “default content” that Vectorworks has available when it starts up.

Default content in Vectorworks are things such as, but not limited to:
– Symbols, hatches & line types that you use regularly
– Wall styles that are often used in your projects
– Templates that you’ve made to speed up making new documents
– Workspaces that you have customized
– Textures you like to use regularly
– Callout tool notes database
– Third-party Plug-ins you like to use to enhance Vectorworks’ abilities

Default content is “loaded into” Vectorworks’ various palettes & menus automatically when the application starts up so that content is ready for you to use right away. This content can be stored in a few places. Depending on how you’d like to manage or share the content will determine where you put the content.

Content installed with Vectorworks
Content that is installed along with the application itself is stored in the application’s main folder. (While you *can* remove content that you never use from this folder, it’s probably best to leave it where it is until you’re very comfortable customizing Vectorworks.)


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Adding your own default content to Vectorworks
You can also add the same kind of content that you find in the application’s own folder to your own “User Folder” (found on a Mac at Username > Library > Application Support > Vectorworks > 2015). You would want to do this for any third-party libraries or plug-ins that you wouldn’t want overwritten when Vectorworks installs a new service pack. Note that if you add content to your User Folder, Vectorworks won’t load it automatically until you restart the application.


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Sharing default content between users and computers
A third place to store default content is a “Workgroup folder”. You would use a Workgroup Folder if you wanted to share the exact same content between multiple users or computers using Vectorworks. This Workgroup Folder can be hosted on your office’s server or at an online drive such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Different team members can use this feature to access common items, for the sake of consistency and speed.

3-Sharing default content between computers

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I actually use a Workgroup Folder, rather than the regular User Folder, to save all my own default content. This way that common content is always shared between my desktop computer and my laptop, so I don’t have to remember which computer has a particular item… I just save those items to the appropriate place in my Workgroup Folder and either computer can has automatic access to them when Vectorworks starts up. (To set which folder(s) are used as a Workgroup Folder, go to your Vectorworks Preferences, to the User Folders tab and “Add…” a folder in the section called “Workgroup and Project Folders”.)

If you share default content between different computers using Vectorworks, please comment below to let others know how you use this feature!

Author: Neil Barman

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