Vectorworks Tips 453 – Workflows – Creating Symbols For Efficiency

workflow3Most users are able to create symbols, and all users should be able to use symbols. Symbols are relatively small repeatable objects, and most Vectorworks users use symbols to speed up the drawing process. There are two workflows for using symbols: a quick workflow versus an inefficient workflow. Some users use the inefficient workflow because they don’t know how to make symbols follow the efficient workflow.

I recently saw a discussion on the Vectorworks community board where a user was asking how to make a symbol library more efficient. The problem with many users’ current system is that symbols are often placed on the wrong class. As a result, the symbol will either not show up when it is supposed to or will show up when it isn’t required. The workflow being used requires that the user change the symbol’s class from the active class to whatever class is desired before inserting the symbol. The problem is that many users forget to check their active class and just place the symbol.
The solution is to choose the symbol’s desired class at the time when the symbol is created. In this image, you can see that the symbol has been named and down at the bottom, you can see that the class has been selected. Every time the symbol is used, it will be assigned to the correct class regardless of what the active class is at the time. This makes your symbol library extremely efficient. The user does not have to check the active class. They can just use the symbol. This is a way of embedding your system into the symbol, which makes it very efficient for the user.
[ms-protect-content id=”34491,34492,34493, 34494, 34495, 34496, 344927″]



  1. Quick question – does the active layer make any difference for symbols graphics ? I assume not

    1. Not permanently. If you use layer colours or grey other layers the symbol can look different temporarily.

Leave a Comment