Template Content vs Default Content
13 Mar

Template Content vs Default Content

In an effort to make project startup easier and quicker, I have been building a proper template and collecting my regularly used drawing elements. This should also result in improved and faster consistency of my drawing standards & organization. It’s a long overdue project that I have been meaning to do for a while. Thankfully I was spurred on by Jonathan Pickup’s recent blog post on the topic here as well as his tremendously helpful video here.

Now, with ALL the reading and thinking I was doing on the topic I losing focus on what should go in a Template file and what should go in VW files within my User folder. I found that I had write this all down in order to sort it all out. Having done so, I thought I would post my findings here, for anyone else who might appreciate the clarity.

Essentially, the “rule” for what should go in your Template file is the question: “Will I almost certainly need this for EVERY job I do?”

If the answer is Yes, put that item in your Template file. These items will now be available in every new drawing file you create from your Template file.

If the answer is No, put that item in your User “Default” folder, in the appropriate folder for what it is. These items will still be easily available (through their respective tool or menu) as they will be part of the default content that VW shows you in various tools or menus.

In my case, this is what I’m putting in my Template file:
– Regularly used Classes
– Regularly used Layers
– Regularly used symbols
– Regularly used Storeys
– My Dimension standards (single and dual)
– Text styles (which can tie back into my Dimension standards)
– My title blocks/sheet borders
– Regularly used Sheets layers
– Regularly used Hatches
– Regularly used Line types
– Some Wall styles (but only the few I use on almost every project.)
– My script palettes

Other items that I will consider adding to the template, if I find I use them regularly are:
– Worksheets
– Record formats
– Textures
– Fill Styles
– Standard Viewports

All other items I will be putting in their own appropriately named VW file. These files will then go into my User Defaults folder (on a Mac it’s found at [User] > Library > Application Support > Vectorworks> 2015 > Libraries > Defaults ). For example, the stone hatches I have collected over the years will go into the “Attributes – Hatches” folder. These hatches will still easily be available via the Hatches pop-up in the Attributes palette, but they won’t all take up space in every file I start from the Template.

With this system I soon should have all of my key drawing elements readily available right in Vectorworks whenever I want them, without having to waste time fishing through previous drawing files.

Author: Neil Barman

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