Concept: Workgroups and referencing

Referencing features

Referencing allows you to use drawing elements from another file in the active file, which can improve consistency and efficiency in your projects. When a referenced item in the master file changes, the changes are reflected in the target file. Updates to target files can be performed automatically or only when manually requested. This is a good way to provide custom content specific to different projects, especially if the content may change often.

Project sharing allows multiple users to work on different parts of a project file simultaneously. If you’re using project sharing, you can reference regular Vectorworks files from project files and vice versa; see Interactions in the working file for details. (Vectorworks Design Suite product required)

Several different types of references are available:

A “layer import” reference imports all classes and objects from a design layer in an external Vectorworks file to a design layer in the target file.

A “design layer viewport” reference imports the contents of an external Vectorworks file to a viewport in the target file. Like any other viewport, you can then select which classes and layers to display in the viewport. (Vectorworks Design Suite product required)

Resources (such as hatches, worksheets, or symbols) in other Vectorworks files can be referenced, and then used in your drawings.

In addition to Vectorworks files, you can reference DXF/DWG and DWF files (see DXF/DWG and DWF references). If Vectorworks Design Suite products are installed, you can also reference image and PDF files (see Importing an image file and Importing PDF), Revit files (see Revit references), and IFC files (see Mapping to classes and stories).

Workgroup feature

Another way to improve consistency and efficiency is installed is to create a workgroup environment for multiple users on the local network (Vectorworks Design Suite product required). Workgroup folder content can be accessed from palettes and dialog boxes within the Vectorworks program, as well as the Resource Manager and Resource Selector. This is a good way to provide standard content to all users (such as templates, symbols, title block borders, export settings, or workspaces).

Workgroup and referencing strategies

Communication among coworkers is essential when referencing and/or workgroups are in use. Discuss a strategy for how to name, maintain, and update master files. Keep each other informed of major changes—especially the deletion of a master file or resources, which can affect multiple files.

If either the file name or the location of a referenced file is changed, the reference is broken. Items referenced from that file cannot be updated until the broken reference is corrected.

Concept: Layer referencing

Adding and editing reference files

Creating a referenced design layer viewport

Setting the referencing options

Prioritizing referenced files

Updating references

Correcting broken references

Referencing resources

Deleting references

Opening referenced files

Sharing custom content using workgroup folders


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