Customizing Workspaces

To create a custom workspace, you can edit the current workspace, edit a copy of the current workspace, or create a new workspace. Create multiple workspaces for different drawing needs, or customize a single workspace to your personal preferences.

Custom workspaces imported from other users may contain tools or commands that are not available with your current Vectorworks license; if this occurs, the Workspace Editor dialog box notifies you which commands and tools in the custom workspace are unavailable for your use. Selecting or attempting to use a tool or command that is unavailable with your license results in a warning notifying you that you cannot use the selected tool or command.

Workspace customization options include:

    Add menus, tool palettes, tool sets, tools, and commands

    Remove unused menus, tool palettes, tool sets, tools, and commands

    Rearrange the order and the position of menus, tool sets, tools, and commands

    Add, modify, delete, and print the keyboard shortcuts for tools and commands

    Configure the context menus

    Establish palette positions and settings to be used in the workspace

    Specify tool set icons

You can also create customized plug-in tools, commands, and objects. See Using Scripts.

When updating your version of Vectorworks, use the Vectorworks Migration Manager to update custom workspaces to the latest version.

Workspaces can be managed in several ways:

    Select Tools > Workspaces > Workspaces to manage all available workspaces

    Select Tools > Workspaces > Edit Current Workspace to edit the current workspace

    Select Customize from the utility menu of a tool set or tool palette to edit the active tool palette/set portion of the workspace

To manage all workspaces:

  1. Select Tools > Workspaces > Workspaces.

  2. The Workspaces dialog box opens.




    Opens the Workspace Editor dialog box and creates a new workspace


    Opens the selected workspace in the Workspace Editor dialog box. Only one workspace can be edited at a time.

    If you edit one of the standard Vectorworks workspaces, Vectorworks will save the customized copy in the user folder and maintain the original in the application folder.


    Creates a duplicate of the currently selected workspace. Copies automatically have “copy” appended to the end of the original workspace name.


    Deletes the selected workspace permanently from the user folder. Default workspaces cannot be deleted from the application folder. If you delete the active workspace, the Vectorworks program will reload with the first workspace in the list as the active workspace.

    Revert a workgroup

    Deletes the selected workspace from the user folder if a workspace with the same name exists in a workgroup or the application folder. You cannot revert a workspace in folder. If used on a customized workspace from the application folder, reverts the workspace to its default settings. If you revert the active workspace, the Vectorworks program will reload the workspace with the same name from the application folder.


    Exports the selected workspace as a text file. To export a list of all menu items, tools, and keyboard shortcuts contained in the current workspace, click Export. When prompted, specify the file name and the location for the file and click OK. The text file also lists keys reserved by the Vectorworks program or the operating system, shortcuts that cannot be user modified, and shortcuts that can be modified from within the Workspace Editor.

    Reveal in Finder (Mac)

    Show in Explorer (Windows)

    Opens the folder containing the selected workspace

  3. Select a workspace to edit from the list and click Edit, or click New to create a new workspace.

  4. The Workspace Editor dialog box opens.

    Workspaces in different folder locations with identical names are not listed, workgroup folder workspaces override application folder workspaces, and user folder workspaces override both workgroup and application folder workspaces.

  5. Modify the menus, context menus, tools, keyboard shortcuts, and palette positions and settings as described in the following sections:

  6.     Modifying Menus and Commands

        Modifying Context Menus

        Modifying Tool Palettes and Tool Sets

        Modifying Special Shortcuts

        Saving Initial Palette Positions and Settings

    Some shortcuts are reserved by the Vectorworks program or by the Windows or Mac operating system. The Workspace Editor does not prevent such shortcuts from being assigned to a palette or a tool. If this occurs, the Windows or Mac shortcut typically overrides the shortcut assigned in the Vectorworks program.

    If a duplicate item is added to a menu, a palette, or a tool set, the item displays in both locations. Highlight the undesired occurrence of the tool or command and press the Delete key to remove it.

  7. When you are finished customizing or creating workspaces, click Done to close the Workspaces dialog box.


Modifying Menus and Commands

Modifying Context Menus

Modifying Tool Palettes and Tool Sets

Modifying Special Shortcuts

Saving Initial Palette Positions and Settings

Updating Custom Workspaces and Plug-in Objects

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