Why Upgrade to 2021?
Select your current version of Vectorworks software to see the notable improvements and new features we’ve introduced since your last upgrade.
Smart Options Display
Stay in the modeling space with tools right at the tip of your mouse. There’s
no need to constantly move your mouse between your drawing area and
the tool palettes. And the Smart Options Display is customizable to easily
access your most-used tool sets, last-used tools, tool modes, and standard
views with fewer mouse clicks, letting you focus on your design.
The versatility of Vectorworks comes from a dynamic set of tools and menus to
get design done. In version 2021, we’ve made sure that these robust options are
easily accessible without slowing down the design process while also freeing up
space on your monitor. Quick Search delivers on that. Quickly find and activate
any tool or menu command by typing what you need, and Vectorworks will make
suggestions based on your search and most common tools.
Vectorworks Graphics Module Cache
We’ve enhanced the experience for users of multi-core processor
machines by optimizing the Vectorworks Graphics Module (VGM).
The new preference to save VGM cache means up to 5 times faster
file loading. You’ll also see improved transition time when changing
3D views and layer visibilities and no delays when navigating in 3D
with the Flyover tool or when changing views.
We’ve given a boost to drawing markers in Vectorworks 2021, creating
a documentation workflow that is sure to exceed your expectations.
Section markers, interior elevation markers, reference markers, detail
callouts, and drawing labels are now consolidated into tools that are
completely customizable. Create your own drawing marker from scratch
and define unique graphics. You can also backreference a drawing label
to the marker itself. And when you publish your drawing sets as PDFs,
the markers will auto-create hyperlinks, streamlining navigation through
multi-page production plans and construction documentation.
Say hello to a monumental addition to information modeling in
Vectorworks — a resource called Materials. With Materials you can
define the graphical attributes and data of building materials all in one
location, including the 2D and 3D representation in plan and section views.
Materials can also define construction properties, product data, and
physical characteristics, providing a single source for structural, energy,
and classification information. Materials can also be applied to complex,
multi-component objects such as walls or floor systems, as well as to
3D-modeled objects. Like all BIM elements in Vectorworks, when
a change is made to a material, any object to which the material is
applied will be updated, letting you accurately report materials for your
architecture and landscape architecture projects.
Grade Object Improvements
Grade objects have been an immense help to site designers who rely on
slope-oriented or point-to-point grading. In version 2021, we’ve improved site
modeling to better support your iterative design process by networking grade
objects and automating changes made to networks. Changes made in one part
of a network will be reflected in the rest of the grade. Or changes can be made
to the network itself, giving you greater control in change management.
Lighting Device Object
It’s become increasingly complex — yet imperative — to deliver high-quality
lighting designs in a condensed project timeline. With 2021, we’ve reengineered
the Lighting Device object to improve its overall performance and
stability. The new focusing system makes setting up lights for visualization
more intuitive. Additional enhancements to multi-circuit devices make
reporting, circuit management, and communication with consoles efficient
and reliable — all to give entertainment design pros high-value efficiency in
The new Grid Line tool lets you create a structural grid that is
customizable and streamlines the drawing creation process by letting you
draw your grid in plan and having it and any future changes automatically
appear in all views — no need to draw in multiple drawing views! You can
create different configurations of grids for every unique condition and
building orientation. Better yet, this feature is IFC compatible, making
collaboration just as efficient. With change management and automated
drawing coordination in mind, you’ll breeze through the drawing process.
Vectorworks 2021 fully supports Microsoft Excel file formats so you’re able to directly transfer data and formatting between Excel and Vectorworks worksheets. Export Vectorworks worksheets to Excel to share information with your collaborators. Import Excel spreadsheets to Vectorworks to continue working with the same data. This new support makes it simple for you to work with and format common spreadsheets such as schedules, survey data, object lists, and more.
With Vectorworks Spotlight 2021, we’re giving you a sneak peek into our
new Cable Tools. This Preview Feature and re-engineered Cable tools will
present an alternative workflow that will give you more flexibility to work
in both 2D and 3D and take advantage of the most current Vectorworks
functionality. These objects are compatible with Braceworks so that cable
impacts on a system can be calculated seamlessly and without current
workarounds. This Preview Feature will give you the opportunity to provide
suggestions on the Vectorworks Community Board for improvements on a
redesigned system for cabling.
Landscape Area Improvements
The Landscape Area enhancements extend the virtual replication of
softscapes and planted landforms as no other landscape or BIM software can.
Landscape areas can now be defined with components and our new Materials
resource. These landscape areas can also be saved as a style and can be used
to simplify the management of objects when changes occur, making features
like green roofs, planted mounds, and rain gardens easier to design and more
accurate to report.
3D Modeling Enhancements
The updates to Vectorworks’ 3D modeling can’t be beat.
Improvements to the Push/Pull tool now support additional drawing
tools like the Line tool, which creates a streamlined method to split
the face of a solid and manipulate the geometry. Other modeling
enhancements include simplification of editing solids created with
fillet, chamfer, shell solid, and more. Rather than navigating through
layers of history, you can simply highlight a face or edge for direct
editing and speed through your 3D modeling process.
Project Sharing Server
Vectorworks’ versatile multi-user environment, Project Sharing, can now
be accessed through a unique Project Sharing server. Easy to install and
use, the Project Sharing server will help support a greater array of server
configurations, creating an uninterrupted collaborative environment.
Railings and Fences
With improvements to the Railing/Fence tool in Vectorworks 2021, the design
and layout of these 3D objects are both powerful and flexible. 3D modification
points on the railing or fence have been added, so you can move different parts
of the object directly in the model. With a click of the mouse, the new Connect
mode automatically joins single railings and fences, simplifying how you work
on joining sloped portions with horizontal sections of other railings and fences,
ultimately improving project details.
ConnectCAD Device Placement
Signal flow diagrams can be complex and require multiple devices in a
connected system. In ConnectCAD 2021, our Device tool provides you with
a new Linear Array mode, letting you quickly lay out multiple numbered
devices in just a few clicks.
Detachable Tab Palettes
We’ve added improved usability to the Object Information,
Navigation (Design Series only), and Visualization Palettes to
handle your increasingly complex model and documentation
work. You now have the ability to detach the tabs from
palettes and either dock them or let them float. Move them to
a second monitor to have a clear field for modeling while still
keeping them readily accessible.
Audio Tool Improvements
The Speaker and Speaker Array tools now work with Vectorworks Symbols,
giving you access to a wide range of content and the ability to create a more
realistic looking model. For convenience, the active speaker configuration
can be selected from the tool mode bar, making quick work of your audio
layouts and easier management of your symbol library.
ConnectCAD Workflow Improvements
Manually searching through a series of PDFs to locate the “other end” of arrow circuits can be time
consuming and frustrating. Thanks to smart linking in version 2021, ConnectCAD now has hyperlinked
arrow connections that allow for fast navigation between views of schematic layouts both in Vectorworks
and in published PDFs you share. Plus, the ConnectCAD device builder window has been simplified, helping
you to create, search for, locate, and use the device types you need for your schematic diagrams.
Duplicate Array and Move by Points
The Duplicate Array tool has been enhanced to work in a 3D view,
making it easier to use. The modes available with the Move by Points
tool have also been updated to allow a live preview of your operation
when using the tool. This enhancement stays true to Vectorworks’ direct
modeling environment, giving you real-time feedback as you design.