BIM_SIG_016 Special Interest Group January 2013

In the session we talked about creating template files. When you create a template it is tempting to put everything in the template that you think you will need. Unfortunately, this creates a very heavy template file with lots of textures, hatches, line types, and symbols that you might never need. 
You do need to store things in your template that you cannot get from you for content, So in the session not only did we talk aboutwhat information you should store in your template file, we also talked about what information you can store in your default content.
Topics Covered:

  • what should be in a template
  • work though a project first
  • Create the stories and layers you need
  • save the project as a template, then clean out the project
  • default content is sotred in your Vectorworks folder, user folder, workgroup folder.
  • what type of things are default content
  • where default content is stored
  • keep all the sheet layers in your template
  • editing the template file viewports
  • units for space objects and dimensions
  • using a custom dimension standard

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Also see:
Dimension standards
Creating and Managing your Vectorworks Libraries


  1. Adding stuff to default content makes sense particularly in an office situation where everyone refers to the same default stuff. When you are adding things to the default content files, is there some preferred way of not having to go through all these edited files (say version 2013) copying your custom items into the 2014 version default files which come with an annual upgrade?

    1. Good question scrivener.
      Since each new version of VW comes with a user’s default folder empty (of actual files, though it does contain folders), I would think that it should be as simple as:
      1) Copying all the folders (whether they contain a default content file or not) from your 2013 > Libraries > Defaults folder to your 2014 > Libraries > Defaults folder.
      2) Quickly scrolling through the folder list to see what defaults files are actually in the folders.
      3) Opening each file into VW 2014 (which would update that file of course) and then saving it back into its original location.
      Jonathan, does this sound like the best/quickest way to bring default content files “up” from VW version to version?

      1. Thank you for your comments Barman. There is a quicker way To copy all of your content from one version of Vectorworks to the next. That is to use the Batch Convert… Command from the file menu. You can then tell Vectorworks to pick up all the files from your previous user folder and place them, after updating, into the new user folder.
        This saves you the trouble of going through every folder to check to see if there’s a file in there, and then opening the file and then trying to save it in the correct location in the new folder.
        There is something that you should look out for. A few years ago Vectorworks change the name of the stair tool to Custom Stair. This then had a new folder. If it do it does this again you do have to be careful to make sure that your old library information finds its way into the correct new folder location.

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