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Top 5 Things to Remember About Vectorworks

Looking for some quick Vectorworks tips? In this post, you’ll see the top five things you need to remember about Vectorworks software — whether you’re just getting started with the software or you’re a seasoned design professional. Top five things to remember about Vectorworks:
  1. Object Info Palette
  2. Smart Options Display
  3. Layer and Class Visibility/Options
  4. Quick Search
  5. Ctrl-Click/Right-Click on Object
1. Object Info Palette (OIP)
The OIP is your most important palette in Vectorworks. It displays all the relevant information about an object, including editing/modifying options, data, and rendering settings. 
2. Smart Options Display for Tool Modes
For the Smart Options Display, customization is the name of the game. You can customize its interaction as well as its contents. The Smart Options Display is a way to access frequently used tools, tool sets, standard views, snapping options, and tool modes.  With tool modes, specifically, you’ll be able to be modify when you can access tool modes so that they better fit you and your workflow.
3. Layer and Class Visibility/Options
For the most part, we recommend you keep your project’s Class Options set to “Show/Snap/Modify Others” so that you can select and edit any object at any time.   Unlike Class Options, Layer Visibility Options will change more frequently based on your needs. For example, sometimes you may want to limit your view to one design layer only, so you should use “Active Only.” In another instance, you may want to faintly see objects on one layer while working in a different layer. To create this view, select “Gray Others.” If you’re having trouble finding an object that you’ve drawn, set all your classes to “Visible” — this will reveal any objects that may be hiding from you. If you can’t immediately select an object, right-click on said object to open its Context Menu (which will be discussed in more detail in this blog’s fifth section) and choose “Force Select.” This will allow a selection to occur properly.
 4. Quick Search
You can find the Quick Search in the top right of Vectorworks or by pressing the “F” key. This tool will allow you to search for any command or tool within Vectorworks with ease. The Quick Search is — as the name suggests — a quick way to find a tool or command without searching through the software’s interface. Your desired tool or command can be invoked directly from the Quick Search’s pop-up menu.
5. Ctrl-Click/Right-Click on Object
As we briefly mentioned above, simply right-clicking — or pressing “Ctrl” and clicking — you’re able to reveal a Context Menu. Depending on the tool and/or object you select, you can create similar objects and perform commands relevant to said objects. Your Context Menu can also be edited in your workspace editor for even greater customization.
BONUS: “What’s This?” Command
If you found the first five tips helpful, here’s a bonus tip you’re sure to love! One of the most underrated features in your Vectorworks software is the “What’s This?” command. Found under the Help Menu, this option lets you click on any tool or command and learn what it does. The “What’s This?” command will lead you directly to the online help system page for the tool or command you clicked on. Whats this feature_1
Improvements to Vectorworks
Not only will these tips further your use of Vectorworks software, but so too will the updates of SP3.1! This update provides improvements to Vision, space object areas, and fixes other minor bugs in the software. The service pack is available via the Updater for all U.S. English-based versions of Vectorworks 2022. To install, select “Check for Updates” from the Vectorworks (menu) or Help menu (Windows). If you have any questions, feel free to email us at And, to continue to learn more about your design software visit Vectorworks University to work your way towards certifications that prove your skills!