Design SuiteCreating a referenced design layer viewport



Create Viewport


Referencing allows you to use information from other Vectorworks files in your file, including design layers, classes, and resources (such as hatches, worksheets, or symbols). There are two ways to reference design layers that are in other Vectorworks files:

The default method in the Vectorworks Design Suite products is to create a design layer viewport and then reference the desired design layers from the master file into the viewport, as described here. One advantage to this method is that all of the layers, classes, and resources from the master file are not automatically imported into the target file.

In the Vectorworks Fundamentals product, design layers are imported into the target file when they are referenced. For backward compatibility, the Vectorworks Design Suite products support this method. See Adding and editing reference files.

A reference for a design layer viewport can be created when the viewport is created, or it can be created ahead of time from the References tab of the Organization dialog box.

To create a design layer viewport that references a design layer in another file:

If the current file uses layer import referencing, switch to design layer viewport referencing. (From the References tab of the Organization dialog box, click Settings, and click the Design layer viewports option from the Reference Settings dialog box. Any existing referenced layers are automatically converted into referenced design layer viewports.)

Select the command. Alternatively, from either the Organization dialog box or the Navigation palette, select the Viewports tab, and click New.

The Create Viewport dialog box opens. Enter a Viewport Name and Drawing Title, and then select the design layer on which to create the viewport.

Click Select Source to open the Select Viewport Source dialog box, and enter information about the referenced document.

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



Current Document/External Document

Select External Document to indicate that the design layers that will display in this viewport are in a different file

Existing Reference

If the master file is already a reference in this file, select this option, and then select the reference from the list

New Reference

Select this option if this is a new reference, and click Choose to open the Open Current-Version Drawing dialog box. Locate the master file and click Open to return to this dialog box. The path to the selected file displays below the New Reference field.

Referenced files must be the same software version as the target file.

Circular references are not allowed; for example, if file A references file B, and file B references file C, then file C cannot reference file A. The exception is if one of the references uses the referencing in the Vectorworks Fundamentals product (layer import).

Save reference location as

Maintains either an absolute or relative file path reference from the active file to the referenced file.

Use the absolute path when the location of the referenced file with respect to the active file is not going to change.

Use the relative path when the files might be moved to another computer or platform; as long as the relative path between the files remains the same, the reference can be found. Both files must be saved on the same volume to select this option. If you’re using server-based project sharing, and the master file is not on the same volume as the Project Sharing Server, you’ll be prompted to upload the file to the server’s project folder.

The Source File path displays either an absolute or relative path, depending on the selection.

Automatically update out of date reference during file open

Updates the reference each time the target file is opened; when deselected, the reference is updated only when Update is clicked from the References tab of the Organization dialog box

Save referenced cache to disk

Saves a copy of the data on the referenced design layer with the target file. When this option is deselected, a copy of the referenced data is not saved, which means that the target file size might be smaller; the referenced data is refreshed when the target file is opened.

Click OK in the Select Viewport Source dialog box to return to the Create Viewport dialog box.

Specify the design layers and classes to display in the viewport (see Changing the layer properties of sheet layer or design layer viewports and Changing the class properties of sheet layer or design layer viewports).

The viewport is created on the designated design layer, and the design layer becomes active. The viewport can be cropped, as described in Cropping existing sheet layer or design layer viewports.

The master file displays on the References tab of the Organization dialog box; for details about how to edit, update, or delete references, see Concept: Workgroups and referencing.

Creating design layer viewports

Viewport properties

Modifying viewports

Updating viewports


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