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Archoncad BIM manual

Vectorworks Architect 2010

Panzercad Camera Match

Short Sharp Trainings

Arconcad Productivity 2009

Archoncad's "Vectorworks Productivity 2009"

Today I downloaded the latest outstanding product from Jonathan Pickup, Vectorwork's training guru from New Zealand. This one is decidely different from the other training products that I've used, both Jon's and others. For the 12 or so years that I've been using Vectorworks Architect, my main challenge has been that the help files aren't very useful to me. They remind me of being a kid, asking my parents what a word means, having them say "look it up in the dictionary" and then the dictionary defines the word with 2 other words that I'm not familiar with, and then I look them up.....you get the picture. In the early days of mini-cad and VW I could get by because the books that came with the software were good enough (with a bit of trial and error), and the software didn't have as many tools, pallets, resources, and capabilities as it does now. Around 2000 VW stopped decided to kill fewer trees and stopped sending books. Life started to get more difficult.

When I upgraded to Architect 12.o I noticed Jonathan's book "Architect Tutorial Manual" on the VW support page. It seemed different from other manuals that I'd used, in that it claimed to teach techniques in the context of designing an actual house. I sent for the book, and the included disc was corrupted. After a couple of emails to Jonathan, I uploaded the files, met Jonathan on the phone, and started using the book. Within a week of getting the book and files, I was using VWA in a way that conservatively cut my time down to less than half of what it previously took to produce a set of working drawings, with far fewer mistakes, and presented much more professionally. Since the improvement in productivity was so dramatic, I have since obtained every tool that Jonathan has come out with - including monthly live tutorials, and continue to improve steadily. Because the VW help files haven't gotten any more helpful to me personally over the years, I have been using the appendix of Architect Tutorial Manual as my version of the help file. It sits on my desk and I refer to it a few times a week on average. Enter "Vectorworks Productivity 2009".........

This manual is everything that I would want help files and tutorials to be! It's an extremely comprehensive set of movies, organized very logically by subject to quickly and efficiently get you up to speed with the subject that you choose. I went down the list to tools that I don't use very often and thus don't understand as well as I should; eyedropper tool, align and distribute, attribute mapping, edit symbols....and watched the movies (mostly 2-4 minutes). I completed each movie with a clear understanding of the tool and how to use it effectively. There are well over 120 movies and the topics seem to all be ones that are critical to my use of VW. Most importantly, the subjects cover everything that's in the ATM appendix, plus much more, and thus VP2009 has become my new help tool of choice. To learn VW from scratch, I would recommend other archoncad manuals, but as a context specific resource that will consistentIy solve problems and add skills quickly, I can't imagine anything better than VP2009. You can download a free trial of VP2009 that has a few movies on it.
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