We are going to talk about the dramatic improvements
in design-layer viewports when we cover Architect specific
features (in a bit) but even in VectorWorks Fundamentals
2008 there are several improvements to the way "viewports"
Firstly there is the new improvement when
navigating between design layers (where your content is made)
and your viewports (where your content is displayed and laid
out). In the Edit Viewport dialog there is a new option,
Navigate Back to Viewport, which is a default. This helps
dramatically with work speed. No longer does the user need
to revisit the Navigation palette or the Layers drop-down
menu (see images 03-04) to get
back to their viewport.
- A new default option in the Edit Viewport dialog
allows you to easily navigate back to the viewport
once you are done editing it. This is a huge productivity
improvement over version 12.5.
- At the source design-layer the entire working window
has a new orange-glow "highlight" with
an orange back button. Once done editing, click this
to go back to the viewport.
enhancements include adjusting flipped text in viewports
without affecting text in other viewports
or design layers, and a new black and white only setting
to control which viewports have color and which do not. Zoom
settings between the annotation mode and the crop mode of
a viewport are now maintained. Viewport layer overrides enable
the user to present multiple options by duplicating the same
viewport and altering the layers associated
with them. Lastly, there is new support for Associate Dimensions
in sheet-layer viewports, but alas, we found that it only
works in Top/Plan view mode, thus this feature is of no value
modes, such as elevation or section modes. (see
- Red-selection square indicate associative dimensions,
but they only work between viewports and sheet-layers
if in Top-Plan mode.
- Here we changed the wall on the design-layer and
its dimension adjusted automatically. We hope Nemetschek
fixes this so they can work in at least elevation
and section modes.
VectorWorks has always
led the entire CAD field when it came to color, line weights,
transparency and drawing effects. Now VectorWorks 2008 takes
color to an unlimited dimension with "unrestricted
access" to the system color palette. Even better, this
new release comes with colors palettes for Benjamin Moore,
Sherwin Williams, Pittsburgh Paints, Pantone and more, including
an AutoCAD DWG compatible colors palette. And you can create
your own palette and name it. You also get a palette called,
Colors in Active Document. (see images
And for those with PostScript-based plotters
that do not perform well with a mixture of transparency and "screened" colors
in the document, this broad brush of colors will mean you
will never ever have to "wash down" a color --
to make it lighter -- by applying a screen to it again. (see
- Colors in the Active Document appear at the bottom
of the Active Document color palette. Colors can
be added from other palettes or custom system colors.
- The new Benjamin Moore colors are accessed through
the Color Palette Manager. You can add colors into
a new custom palette and give it a name for reuse.
- Here this bush was given its "light" green
color via a percentage "screen" from the
color palette screen options. The only way to get
in wide variety in the previous version was thru
10, 20, 40, 60. or 80% screen values of a solid color.
- Now with Pantone palettes and palettes from a wide
variety of paint manufactures -- plus unlimited
system colors -- you can always find a 100%
version of the color you are seeking. This
helps plot times on certain Postscript-based
The last major new improvements in the Fundamentals version
of VectorWorks 2008 is the new CAD Manager features. It is
much easier to manage CAD standards centrally and carry these
standards to the next version of VectorWorks. In an office
with several people or more, ideally you would store these
on a central server but you can store standards locally as
And VectorWorks 2008 now has support for AutoCAD 2007/2008
products. Over the years -- and especially since version
12, when Viewports were introduced -- VectorWorks' import/export
functionality has dramatically improved. Now onward to the "Architect" specific
version of VectorWorks 2008 and the new features.
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