ConnectCADGetting started with ConnectCAD

Selecting the ConnectCAD workspace

After launching Vectorworks, access the ConnectCAD suite of tools and commands.




Tools > Workspaces

To use the ConnectCAD workspace:

Select the command.

The ConnectCAD menu is available, along with the Schematics and Layout tool sets. Relevant tools from other Vectorworks tool sets are also included.

Setting the snap grid for ConnectCAD

The snap grid setting controls the spacing of the ConnectCAD schematic objects. Any default symbols provided (devices, sockets, and so on), along with associated text labels, are scaled at import to appear correctly. Customized symbols also display correctly.

At the beginning of a project, enable the snap grid and set a suitable snap grid for the layer scale.

Working in millimeters is recommended. If you are working in imperial units, in the Units dialog box (File > Document Settings > Units), select Show unit mark.

On the Interactive pane of the Vectorworks preferences, reduce the size of the selection box and the snap box to make connecting to sockets easier.

To enable and set the snap grid appropriately for the layer scale:

Enable Snap to Grid in the Snapping set on the Status bar. See Snapping to the grid and Design layer scale for more information.

In the Grid Settings popover or dialog box, use a snap grid that works with the layer scale.

Layer scale

Suggested snap grid setting


4 mm (metric)

1/8" or 1/4" (imperial)


2" or 2.5"


50 mm


5" or 6"


100 mm

If the file will be used in either metric or imperial situations, a grid setting of 5" = 127 mm can be used at either 1:48 or 1:50.

Using the ConnectCAD template

Use the ConnectCAD template to begin drawing with standard file settings and pre-set design layers. The template is not required.

In the templates, a default snap grid setting of 4mm for metric, 1/4” for imperial, is the proper snap grid setting when the schematic layers are at a 1:1 scale.

To use the ConnectCAD template:

Select File > New.

The Create Document dialog box opens.

Select Use document template, and choose the ConnectCAD.sta metric or imperial template.

The new file opens with three design layers and three sheet layers for use with schematic diagrams and rack layouts. The three sheet layers already have viewports and title blocks inserted and are ready to customize. An additional ReadMe design layer provides template information.

Having more than one schematic design layer is permitted, such as one for audio, one for video, and so on. Add design layers as necessary for your systems. 

Design layer name/ Sheet layer name

Design layer purpose

Sheet layer purpose


Use when diagramming with the tools in the Schematics tool set

Contains a top/plan viewport of the Schematic design layer

Rack Elevation/ Rack Elevations

Use when creating rack layouts with the Layout tool set

Contains a front viewport of the Rack Elevation design layer

Rack 3D Layout/ Rack 3D Layouts

Use when visualizing racks and console bays in 3D

Contains a viewport of the Rack 3D Layout design layer

ConnectCAD classes

ConnectCAD classes give you detailed control over the visibility and look of objects and their parts.

ConnectCAD class names have a CC- prefix and indicate the object, its part or function, and type; for example, CC-Circuit-Signal-HDV. You can add classes using the CC-<object>-<part or function>-<type> naming convention.

All ConnectCAD objects support the use of class text styles, which override default text attributes. When a class text style is set, the text color is applied to the text objects in the class. For more information, see Using text styles.

When files created prior to Vectorworks 2023 are opened, classes are remapped automatically. Worksheets are not automatically updated and must be edited manually.

Specifying ConnectCAD settings

Snapping to the grid


Setting Vectorworks preferences

Workflow: Using ConnectCAD

Spotlight and ConnectCAD terminology

Converting ConnectCAD symbols from previous versions


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