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Vectorworks Keyboard Shortcuts – With PDF Cheat Sheet!

Vectorworks keyboard shortcuts PDF preview

Vectorworks is a renowned BIM program that is developed by a company of the same name. As a Building Information Modeling – BIM – product, it’s set up to make the conceptualization, design, and actualization of a complicated building, infrastructure project, or landscape efficient and integrated. Put simply, unlike regular CAD programs where each drawing and plan has to be set up and updated individually, every view or drawing of a BIM program is connected and linked to each other. Change one part of the project, and all the other affected parts adjust accordingly. BIM is also useful in that it can easily tabulate and inspect the data in your built model, so it makes the costing and analysis of the project instant, accurate, and done in real-time. Now, the main drawback of most BIM technology is its rigidity.

Due to the complex algorithms that go with creating BIM models, design flexibility and the creation of freeform building typologies isn’t the priority for most BIM software. The amazing thing about Vectorworks products is that it goes against the norm and lets users freely work with their model in a flexible and highly intuitive manner. Parametric design limitations and programmed presets no longer limit the type of building designers can create using Vectorworks.

Before we continue, it is worth noting that Vectorworks has a bunch of different packages. The four main ones would be: Architect, Landmark, Entertainment, Fundamentals. The user interface and workflow of the programs are similar, just more suited to their specialties than the others. Vectorworks Architect would be the software to use for building an indoor space design. Vectorworks Landmark would be for landscape planning and design. Vectorworks also caters to the entertainment industry with Vectorworks Spotlight, a program for set, stage, lights, and sound design for live performances. Lastly, for industrial design and other miscellaneous projects, Vectorworks Fundamentals is the go-to program. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be using Vectorworks Architect as the program of choice.

About Vectorworks

Vectorworks, the company, is an owned subsidiary of the Nemetschek Group, an international vendor of software for designers, engineers, and the construction industry. The company is world renowned for its design software and has been creating CAD software for the design and construction industry since 1985. The award-winning product line that Vectorworks has produced, also named Vectorworks, is one of the top selling programs in the world. The line includes Vectorworks Architect, Vectorworks Landmark, Vectorworks Spotlight, and Vectorworks Fundamentals.

 has a large impact in the CAD industry, with its high standard for its software and products, the quality of which comes from continuous refinement and redevelopment based on user input. Additionally, Vectorworks was one of the very first companies to develop BIM-capable software, even before the term “BIM” had started being used.

Vectorworks is especially known for its devotion to being responsive to its users’ and customers’ needs. The company conducts several training seminars and self-teaching options to help their users understand how to utilize their programs better.

Currently, more than 650,000 architects, engineers, and designers utilize Vectorworks software. From the architectural field to landscape design and product design, the Vectorworks line of programs can be used to create any CAD or BIM reliant output.

As a program, it features several capabilities. Vectorworks provides a set of 2D and 3D design and presentation tools suitable for use in any phase of a design process. Users of the program can sketch ideas and then translate those sketches into lines, arcs, polygons, and digital geometry. The program’s true strength lies in its intuitive and user-friendly BIM capabilities, at it is arguably the best product to use when looking for software that has good BIM features but still retains the flexibility and creativity of simpler 3D modeling programs.


Vectorworks Shortcuts

Vectorworks 2019 has something that can make the use of the program a whole lot easier – Keyboard Shortcuts. Almost all of these shortcuts can be customized based on personal preferences. The following list has the default shortcuts for all types of workspaces.

Let’s jump into the list. Be warned, this list is big so feel free to use the table of contents at the top of this post to jump to the section you need.


Basic Tools Palette

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

;

Connect/Combine

Alt + 2

Double Line

Alt + 8

Double-Line Polygon

Shift + E

Eyedropper

7

Fillet

Shift + C

Flyover

Alt + 5

Freehand

2

Line

=

Mirror

Shift + M

Move by Points

Alt + Z

Move Page

Shift + –

Offset

Alt + 6

Oval

H

Pan

5

Polyline

Alt + 3

Quarter Arc

4

Rectangle

Alt + Shift + R

Regular Polygon

Reshape

Alt + =

Rotate

Alt + 4

Rounded Rectangle

X

Selection

Alt + Shift + S

Spiral

L

Split

Alt + 0

Symbol Insertion

1

Text

Shift + T

Triangle

Alt + Shift + L

Trim

V

Visibility

C

Zoom

Building Shell Tool Set

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Alt + Shift + J

Component Join

Alt + Shift + D

Door

Alt + 9

Round Wall

9

Wall

Alt + J

Wall Join

Shift + D

Window

3D Modeling Tool Set

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Shift + 0

3D Locus

Alt + Shift + 1

Align Plane

Shift + ’

Analysis

Shift + J

Chamfer Edge

Shift + H

Create Contours

Shift + L

Extract

Shift + F

Fillet Edge

Shift + C

Flyover

Alt + Shift + 3

Hemisphere

Shift + K

Loft Surface

Shift + 7

NURBS Curve

Shift + ;

Project

Shift + R

Push/Pull

Shift + 1

Set Working Plane

Shift + G

Shell Solid

Shift + 3

Sphere

Visualization Tool Set

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Shift + A

Attribute Mapping

Shift + C

Flyover

Shift + Z

Light

Shift + W

Rotate View

Shift + V

Translate View

Shift + U

Walkthrough

Dims/Notes Tool Set

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

.

Angular Dimension

N

Constrained Linear Dimension

,

Radial Dimension

File Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + W

Close

Ctrl + N

New

Ctrl + O

Open

Ctrl + Alt + P

Page Setup

Ctrl + P

Print

Alt + F4 or Ctrl + Q

Quit

Ctrl + S

Space

Edit Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + C

Copy

Ctrl + X

Cut

Ctrl + D

Duplicate

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + D

Duplicate Array

Ctrl + V

Paste

Ctrl + Alt + V

Paste in Place

Ctrl + Y

Redo

Ctrl + A

Select All

Ctrl + Z

Undo

View Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 3

Class Options – Active Only

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 4

Class Options – Gray Others

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 5

Class Options – Gray/Snap Others

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 6

Class Options – Show Others

s Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 7

Class Options – Show/Snap Others

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + 8

Class Options – Show/Snap/Modify Others

Ctrl + Shift + M

Create Multiple Viewports

M

Enable Multiple View Panes

Ctrl + Alt + 3

Layer Options – Active Only

Ctrl + Alt + 4

Layer Options – Gray Others

Ctrl + Alt + 5

Layer Options– Gray/Snap Others

Ctrl + Alt + 6

Layer Options– Show Others

Ctrl + Alt + 7

Layer Options– Show/Snap Others

Ctrl + Alt + 8

Layer Options– Show/Snap/Modify Others

Ctrl + Shift + .

Next View

Ctrl + Shift + ,

Previous View

Ctrl + Shift + D

Rendering– Dashed Hidden Line

Ctrl + Shift + F

Rendering– Final Quality Renderworks

Ctrl + Shift + P

Rendering– Final Shaded Polygon

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + S

Rendering– Sketch Options

Ctrl + Shift + E

Rendering–Hidden Line

Ctrl + Shift + G

Rendering–OpenGL

Ctrl + Shift + S

Rendering–Sketch

Ctrl + Shift + W

Rendering–Wireframe

Ctrl + 0

Set 3D View

Ctrl + 5

Standard views–Top/Plan

Ctrl + Alt + L

Unified View

Ctrl + 6

Zoom – Fit to Objects

Ctrl + 4

Zoom – Fit to Page Area

Ctrl + 3

Zoom – Normal Scale

Modify Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + A

Add Surface

Ctrl + –

Align to Grid

Ctrl + =

Align/Distribute

Ctrl + Shift + =

Align/Distribute 3D

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + C

Clip Surface

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + P

Compose

Ctrl + Alt + O

Convert to 3D Polys

Ctrl + K

Convert to Group

Ctrl + Alt + R

Convert to Mesh

Ctrl + Alt + N

Convert to NURBS

Ctrl + [

Edit

Ctrl + ]

Exit

Ctrl + Shift + H

Flip Horizontal

Ctrl + Shift + V

Flip Vertical

Ctrl + G

Group

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + G

Hide Guides

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + I

Intersect Surface

Ctrl + J

Join

Ctrl + Shift + J

Join (no Trim)

Ctrl + Alt + J

Join and Fillet

Ctrl + M

Move

Ctrl + Alt + M

Move 3D

Ctrl + L

Rotate Left 90°

Ctrl + Shift + R

Rotate Right 90°

Ctrl + Alt + B

Send Backward

Ctrl + Alt + F

Send Forward

Ctrl + B

Send to Back

Ctrl + F

Send to Front

Ctrl + \

Set Working Plane

Ctrl + Alt + G

Show Guides

Ctrl + T

Trim

Ctrl + U

Ungroup

Ctrl + Shift + 0 (zero)

Unrotate 3D Objects

Model Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Alt + Y

3D Power Pack– Create Fillet Surface

Ctrl + Alt + Q

3D Power Pack– Create Planar Caps

Ctrl + Alt + K

3D Power Pack– Create Surface from Curves

Ctrl + Alt + A

Add Solids

Ctrl + E

Extrude

Ctrl + Alt + X

Extrude Along Path

Ctrl + Alt + I

Intersect Solids

Ctrl + Alt + E

Multiple Extrude

Ctrl + Alt + T

Section Solids

Ctrl + Alt + S

Subtract Solids

Ctrl + Alt + W

Sweep

Ctrl + Alt + U

Tapered Extrude

AEC Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E

Energos–Project Settings

Spotlight Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + O

Auto Number Positions

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + M

Find and Modify

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + F

Focus Instruments

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + L

Label Legend Manager

Ctrl + /

Refresh Instruments

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + R

Replace Instrument

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N

Spotlight Numbering

Tools Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + W

Edit Current Workspace

Ctrl + Shift + O

Organization

Ctrl + Shift + Z

Plug-in Manager

Ctrl + 8

SmartCursor Settings

Ctrl + 9

User Origin

Text Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + Shift + T

Format Text

Window Menu

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + `

Palettes– Activate Object Info Palette

Ctrl + Shift + A

Palettes–Attributes

Ctrl + Shift + N

Palettes–Navigation

Ctrl + I

Palettes–Object Info

Ctrl + R

Palettes–Resource Manager

Ctrl + Shift + C

Palettes–Snapping

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + V

Palettes–Visualization

Ctrl + Shift + K

Palettes–Working Planes

Cycle Through Modes on Tool Bar

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

U

1st group

I

2nd group

O

3rd group

P

4th group

]

5th group

[

6th group

Miscellaneous Keys

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

K

Close 2D Polygon, Polyline, Polygonal Wall Network, or Path-based Objects

J

Coincident Selection

G

Set Datum

T

Set Smart Point, Edge, or VectorSnap Lock

Z

Snap Loupe

Suspend Snapping

/

Toggle Angles Relative to Prior Segment

\

Toggle Automatic Working Plane

Y

Toggle SmartCursor Cues

B

X-ray Select Mode

Toggle Snapping Palette Settings

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

F

Smart Edge (2D only)

D

Smart Points

S

Snap to Angle

E

Snap to Distance

A

Snap to Grid

W

Snap to Intersection

Q

Snap to Object

R

Snap to Tangent (2D only)

F

Snap to Working Plane (3D only)

Arrow Key Shortcuts

Esc

Cancel the current operation

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Ctrl + 2

Decrease zoom by a factor of 2

Ctrl + Alt + 2

Decrease zoom by a factor of 4

XX

Deselect all selected objects

With tooltip displayed, press and hold Shift

Display additional tooltip information

Ctrl + [

Edit Group

Ctrl + ]

Exit Group

Esc Esc

Exit Group (must be enabled from the Data Bar and Edit Group Options)

Esc

Exit text editing mode

Ctrl + 1

Increase zoom by a factor of 2

CC

Increase zoom by a factor of 2

Miscellaneous Key Shortcuts

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Shift + Ctrl + Arrow

Move objects

Ctrl + Alt + 1

Increase zoom by a factor of 4

Shift + Arrow

Nudge objects

Arrow

Pan drawing

Ctrl + Arrow (up and down for layers, left and right for classes)

Switch active layer/class

Press and hold Ctrl + mouse wheel button

Temporarily activate Flyover tool

Press and hold Alt while you select objects (Rotate, Mirror, Offset, Clip, and Move by Points tools)

Temporarily activate Selection too

Press and hold Space bar + Ctrl (zoom in) or Space bar + Ctrl + Alt (zoom out)

Temporarily activate Zoom tool

Press and hold Spacebar, while you selectand use another tool

Temporarily activateanother tool

Backspace

While drawing walls, NURBS, etc., undo the last clicked point

Standard Views

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

0

Top/Plan or Rotated Top/Plan

1

Left Isometric

2

Front

3

Right Isometric

4

Left

5

Top

6

Right

7

Left Rear Isometric

8

Back

9

Right Rear Isometric

Worksheet Key Functions

SHORTCUT DESCRIPTION

Arrow keys

Move one cell up, down, left, or right

Tab

Move right by one cell

Shift + Tab

Move left by one cell

Enter

Move down by one cell

Shift + Enter

Move up by one cell

Vectorworks Keyboard Shortcuts Final Notes

You’ll find that there are mastering this complete list of keyboard shortcuts will cut your production time with Vectorworks by a sizable amount. Try customizing them and figuring out the best configuration of keys for yourself and your workflow. Utilizing these with mouse controls and program commands is the key to using Vectorworks  to its fullest potential.

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