SpotlightSpotlight preferences: Lighting Devices: Parameters pane



Spotlight Preferences

File > Document Settings

You can globally set the insertion angle of lighting devices, and set default display parameters for the label legend. This pane also specifies which lighting device parameters display on the Shape tab of the Object Info palette, and which parameters can be set independently for accessories and for the cells in multi-cell devices. 

To set preferences for lighting devices:

Select the command.

The Spotlight Preferences dialog box opens. Click the Lighting Devices: Parameters pane.

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.





Default Insertion Angle

Specifies the default angle of the extension line when lighting devices are inserted. This is a global setting for this machine and user, not a document setting.

A setting of 90 degrees extends the line from the front of the lighting device, and 0 degrees extends it from the right side of the lighting device.

Automatically rotate 2D to focus point

Orients the 2D geometry of every lighting device towards its focus point, when the lighting device has an assigned focus point object

Label Legend


Label Legend Container

Controls the appearance of the label legend container.

Use symbol attributes: Uses the container symbol definition to specify the attributes.

Use lighting device attributes: Matches the attributes of the container to the attributes of the lighting device.

Use label attributes: Matches the attributes of the container to the attributes of the label legend text within the container.

Automatically flip front & back legend text

Mirrors the label legend along the X axis of all lighting devices

Automatically flip left & right legend text

Mirrors the label legend along the Y axis of all lighting devices

Lighting Device Parameters

The lighting device parameters that display on the Shape tab of the Object Info palette can be customized. The custom parameters apply to all lighting devices in the file, and parameter sets can be saved.

The last selected saved set of parameters is in effect, even when creating a new file. New files created in Vectorworks Spotlight always default to the last saved parameter set.

Default lighting device parameters cannot be deleted.

Saved Settings Options

See Using saved sets to save and apply saved settings; select <Default> to apply the standard set for the Vectorworks Spotlight program

Parameter list

Lists the parameters, in order, that will display on the Shape tab of the Object Info palette. Only items with a check mark in the Show in Shape Pane column display on the Object Info palette. To change the order of parameters, click and drag within the # column.

A check mark in the Multi-Cell or Accessory column means the parameter can be set independently for each cell in a multi-cell device or for each accessory. If there is no check mark in the Multi-Cell column, the cells use the parameter value from the main lighting device. If there is no check mark in the Accessory column, the accessories use the value from the associated lighting device or cell. This functionality is not available for all parameters; if you cannot put a checkmark in the Multi-Cell and/or the Accessory column, that parameter cannot be set independently for cells/accessories. 

If your file was created in a previous version of Vectorworks, any default parameters that were removed from the current version are listed here. Typically, these parameters have the same name as in the previous version; the exceptions are U Dimmer (listed here as User U Address) and Address (listed here as User Address). Any customized parameters keep their custom values but update their default values, such as Type, to match the current version.


Opens the Edit Field dialog box, to add a custom parameter to the list.

Enter the name of the new parameter, select its type, and set the default value, if any (see Creating record formats).

To create a pop-up list of pre-defined parameter options, select the Type Pop-up and click Choices to open the Edit Choices dialog box. List the options, pressing Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac) to separate each item.


Opens the Edit Field dialog box, to edit the currently selected parameter Name, Type, and Default value. Alternatively, edit these fields directly in the parameter list; see List box functionality.

The Type can only be edited for User data parameters.


Deletes the currently selected custom parameter from the set

Additional Default Records

Opens the Additional Default Records dialog box, to select additional records with default data for lighting devices.

Only applicable records display. Select one or more record formats from those present in the file; a check mark in the Use column indicates that the default data in the record will be included. At insertion or replacement, the lighting device processes the additional record. If a match is found for a record field name, the default data from the record attached to the symbol applies to that field and displays in the Object Info palette.

Save as default

Saves the current settings for all panes in the dialog box as the default settings for this and future documents

Lighting device properties

Concept: Record formats, reports, and schedules

Spotlight preferences setup

Spotlight preferences: Loads and Rigging pane

Spotlight preferences: Lighting Devices: Classes and Color pane

Spotlight preferences: Universes pane

Spotlight preferences: Lightwright pane


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