Continued from page 3
Part 3: New Productivity Improvements & Compatibilities Features
We have already touched on the new world-class snapping and selection technology and a few excellent user-interface improvements. Both contribute to increased user productivity overall when using the program. There are of course some specific tool improvements that can greatly speed things up.
The first of these is the new Eyedropper support for Design Layer Viewports. If you use viewport objects as “reference objects” with layer color and opacity over-rides then you are going to love this new capability. In essence, after setting up one such reference viewport, you can quickly mass edit a series of viewports by applying the attributes of the master reference viewport object. (see QuickTime QT-04)
QT-04 – In this movie we observe the use of the eye-dropper tool applying attributes from one design-layer viewport to several other design-layer viewports. Class and layers, class and layer over-rides, and color and other attributes can be quickly picked up and applied. This is especially valuable when using color and opacity settings for layers in design-layer viewports — saves time!
Of course this eyedropper support for viewports is hardly limited to 2D information. Class and layer attributes, including over-rides all work in any kind of viewport, of both 2D and 3D information.
Also cool is the new Polyline Arc improvements made to the Polyline tool. Two new arc modes allow you to create precise arc segments within a polyline. Very useful to landscape architects or architects doing road, driveway or sidewalk layouts (as this QuickTime movie at Nemetschek NA attests) but equally useful to architects creating moulding profiles for cornices, crowns, casings and related items. In earlier versions of Vectorworks Architect users would have a few different ways of creating precise moulding profiles, including drawing individual arcs, and line segments and then composing them together. A faster method would be to use the polyline tool. But it was clumsy without the arc modes now introduced into Vectorworks 2009. (see QuickTime QT-05 for a quick moulding).
QT-05 – Using the two new arc modes in the updated Polyline tool it is now easier than ever to quickly produce moulding profiles.
New Import/Export Capabilities
Vectorworks has always had solid if not great import/export capabilities between various industry file formats — especially good on the graphics side due to its use of Apple’s QuickTime cross-platform media architecture. Now thanks to the use of Parasolid there are even better capabilities for file compatibility between both graphics and CAD and engineering software file formats.
You can now import and export Parasolid X_T file format. Additionally, a big new enhancement is the new Drag and Drop import support. Simply drag and drop any of these file formats into an open Vectorworks 2009 window: DXF/DWG, IFC, EPSF, Metafile, PICT, PDF, Shapefile, 3DS, IGES, SAT, SketchUp, Parasolid and of course image file formats compliments of Apple’s QuickTime Media architecture. These would include JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, TIFF, PICT, MacPaint, PNG and QuickTime image format, among others. Drag and drop imports the file. (see QuickTime QT-06 below)