CAD software discussion forum > 3D CAD/CAM > VX interface issues

VX interface issues

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 1 of 26

 VX interface issues
08-01-2007 06:13 . pm | View his/her posts only
In a drawing sheet - I want to change the default grid size for a sheet. Can't remember where it is so I type in the search box in help - change grid and I get a help page with maybe 10 options for changing configuration files before I find the one I am after with a dialogue for grid settings but it doesn't say where I access this dialogue from....so after 10 mins I try the 6th or 7th option in the VX menu - Edit>Preferences and the dialogue is called drawing settings!

Like trying to figure out how to change the paper size for drawing templates so that the print size preview doesn;t keep changing to US Letter on an A3 template....why does it have to be this hard!!

I'm sure it is easy, but like so much in VX it is buried in menus and called something else and frankly there is no way to decipher the reams of help text pages.

What I need is a dummies guide to setting up VX for production work covering:

1. How to adapt and save user defined drawing sheet templates
2. How to change (and keep during upgrades) user configuration settings
3. How to stop having to adjust dimension sizes for every new part I have to make (why do you take the dimension attributes from modelling into 2D???) OK I have seen a PCR for that one but that is THE most annoying one!

Sorry for the rant (put this in the wrong forum)....Its late, I'm tired, grumpy and off to bed.....once I get home that is...haven;t quite installed the beds in the office yet :-)

PS. The ONLY reason I stick with VX for modelling this on project is the need for multiple plastic threads that the wonderful, fantastic VX Thread command creates for me in one hit! Now if only the 2D side was as good as that command!

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 2 of 26

09-01-2007 12:21 . am | View his/her posts only
It's really quite simple to setup custom sheets, with dimension attributes you need, and custom title blocks.

go to the file menu, click "templates"(2nd one from the bottom I believe)
Make you custom title blocks, dimension attributes, and grid size to the most commonly used paper sizes you use.
save the file.

I've been using the same Template file for at least a 1/2 dozen releases.

The file is stored in your user/resource directory

C:Program FilesVXCorpUser-12.66 esourceTemplates.vx




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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 3 of 26

09-01-2007 03:19 . am | View his/her posts only
Thanks Steve, the morning comes and I'm felling less grumpy :-)

That's pretty much what I was doing but I couldn't get the printed paper size to match the sheet size set. I only use the Adobe PDF printer (then print from the pdf - so I keep a reference of all prints issued) and no matter what I was doing within VX the paper size preview always defaulted to US Letter via the VX set up. All the pdf settings were A3, but VX just doesn't seem to recognise it.

I'll try again today.

I did have all my templates set up when I used VX 10, but in the course of upgrading from 11 to 12 I must have overwritten the files with the default ones and this is the first real drawing I have had to do using 12 (up till now I've just used 12 for modelling).

Thanks again!

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 4 of 26

09-01-2007 07:13 . am | View his/her posts only
Quote

the morning comes and I'm felling less grumpy :-)


I think most of us can relate to this feeling

I've ranted to Mike Lynch, and the other guy in support(Sorry, I forget your name), several times on some bugs... I've even hung up on them in the the past over an issue. Which is why I also make it a point to pat them on the back when things are going right. The life of support personnel and programmers is usually a thankless job.

Yeah, there is a bug in the "preferences" sometimes. It's not repeatable every time however...
go to Edit==> Preferences and change the units from mm to in, and sometimes, no matter what size sheet you *DID* have selected, it will change it to letter.
Then you have to go back and set the proper sheet size.

The one thing that *WOULD* be nice, is for the printing preferences to match the sheet preferences by default. Like when you're working with a D sized print, VX *SHOULD* know this, and set the printing preferences to a D sized print, and lay it out properly.

Sometimes I'll have 3 to 4 DIFFERENT sized sheet in a job. A, B, D, And E usually. And each time I have to print, I have to go change some print settings. Setting up printer setup files helps this, but it's still a pain having to go select the right printer setup file, etc...



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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 5 of 26

09-01-2007 09:02 . am | View his/her posts only


Hi Steve

You are right about the conflicts between drawing layout settings and print layout settings, it would be more sensible for some Users if the print dialog took the paper size from the layout. However, a lot of people will print large format layouts to small format paper or PDF. Others have a large range of different printers/plotters to output to. So when we enhance the VX print dialog we need to try to cater for many scenarios. The snag is that when you try to give a large degree of flexibility, what usually comes along with that are two unwanted things - a busy, complex interface and greater bug potential. I have had one customer tell me "VX should print the way Autocad does" and on the same day another tell me "Autocad printing is really #!%$#".

For now, the best approach is to save your favourite print set-ups (with logical names!) - This is really a quick way to each individual's utopian printing, and the set-ups are saved as plain text files in the VX User Folder "plotters", which can be copied and pasted to any other VX User (and any other VX version).

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 6 of 26

09-01-2007 10:26 . am | View his/her posts only
It really doesn;t have to be difficult though :-)

I work in graphics apps all the time and Adobe Indesign or Quark can handle any printing variations with ease. Personally I like Steve's approach. If you have an A3 sheet the default print setting should change depending on the printer you set...

For example, choose a printer with A3 sheet sizes - defaults to A3
Choose an A4 laser or Fax, defaults to scale to sheet

One thing that might help (certainly help me!) would be if VX were to automatically export sheets to pdf like Indesign does. File>export>PDF. In 2D it exports a pdf based on the user settings for compression etc and of course automatically picks up the paper size and prints 100% at that size. In 3D you would export an Acrobat 3D file :-)

Of course if VX were on Mac OSX pdf printing comes as part of the OS.....sorry couldn't resist that one :-)

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 7 of 26

09-01-2007 12:02 . pm | View his/her posts only

For now, the best approach is to save your favourite print set-ups (with logical names!) - This is really a quick way to each individual's utopian printing, and the set-ups are saved as plain text files in the VX User Folder "plotters", which can be copied and pasted to any other VX User (and any other VX version).




Chris exactly what is this and how do you do it? Is it akin to Print Styles in Quark or Indesign where you can save printer setup settings for a range of different printers? If so this would be the answer but I can;t see anything about this anywhere.

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Paul

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posts: 314

Registered: 2011-9-17

Message 8 of 26

09-01-2007 02:39 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Kevin,
you've hit some nerves here!.

Keeping user configs between versions is still not 'easy' in VX. Now if it was one upgrade per year, it might be tolerable.
I have my own named bundles/templates so I can readily identify them when setting up the files tab in config. Colour settings etc. are a pain as I have not figued how to keep them. However I was not aware of the plotter controls being in a file.
Now all this configurability is fine, but it takes a power of knowledge and resolve to set it up and then zoom around the right directories etc. moving or pointing to files each version.

What is needed as a minimum is for all user setup files to be in one directory. e.g. My VX This includes line definitions - e.g. construction lines.. Anything a user can change in one place.
Re printing - I have also copied and renamed my own drawing templates as the ones that ship with VX are blic. ISO standard styles would be nice. This way I can easily see they are mine. So it can work sort of OK. But the paper size issue always needs tweaking.
I am moving to printing through PDF evertime too. Just makes is managable and traceable.

A gripe I have is the print dialogue and keeping settings during a session. I find the printer selection often resorts to default printer after changing a setting in another tab. You can also save setups with personalised names. This is a good idea, as long as I can keep these between upgrades.

A real problem for me is I want to use shaded ISO views within a drawing. Then the print output is no longer a 'plot' but a screen shot!!!!! Holy cow Batman, this is frustrating. Of course the colours are different etc. etc.too. All too hard and the output is poor.

A lot of stuff here eh? It's off my chest now anyway.

Cheers

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ChrisWard2k2

Newbie

posts: 2

Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 9 of 26

09-01-2007 05:18 . pm | View his/her posts only


Hi Chaps

You all clearly need a guide to the various things that can be customised and saved, in one document. The CAM side of things offers a lot of customisation too. The other aspect concerns what can be carried-over to the next release and what cannot. Unless we have been forced to make a major kernel change, any v11 "dot release" can read any other v11 etc. The saved User Files such as those for the printers have not changed format over several VX versions (Kevin, they do work in the way you imagined). Exporting directly to the PDF format would be great, but since you can do it really well with a cheap PDF virtual printer (I use PDF995, which is only $9.95, or free if you can endure pop-up ads), it couldn't be high on the development priority list (most programs that export to PDF are still using virtual printer code by the way).

I can produce a document that clarifies all these things but please be patient with me as I already have an overflowing in-box



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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 10 of 26

09-01-2007 05:29 . pm | View his/her posts only
Quote

I find the printer selection often resorts to default printer after changing a setting in another tab


Yes! THAT is one of the biggest annoyances of VX currently. I can't tell you how many times I've printed to my laser printer when I really wanted to print to my 42" plotter.

VX, you're making us kill more trees than we need to!!!

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ChrisWard2k2

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posts: 2

Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 11 of 26

09-01-2007 05:42 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Steve

You should find that the problem is rectified in v12.66. The reason we have had problems with the printer dialog in v12 stems from the need to reduce the amount of Windows resources. We plain got it wrong at the first attempt, sorry about the hassle caused (and trees losts).

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 12 of 26

09-01-2007 06:00 . pm | View his/her posts only
Quote

You should find that the problem is rectified in v12.66


No, it's not. Happened to me today...

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 13 of 26

09-01-2007 06:22 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Steve

I just can't get that fault to occure - can you tell me how?

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 14 of 26

09-01-2007 06:24 . pm | View his/her posts only
I don't mean to be the bearer or bad new and all, but here's a a 'lil video showing the problem still exists in 12.66.



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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 15 of 26

10-01-2007 03:19 . am | View his/her posts only

A real problem for me is I want to use shaded ISO views within a drawing. Then the print output is no longer a 'plot' but a screen shot!!!!! Holy cow Batman, this is frustrating. Of course the colours are different etc. etc.too. ?All too hard and the output is poor.

The great "shaded drawing view" swindle! CAD companies are very keen to show screenshots of shaded views but as far as I am aware nobody does high resolution shaded drawing views. I tried this in SoildWorks recently - just a bunch of screen resolution bitmaps - and worse of all - if you have one shaded view on the sheet ALL views are bitmapped - even the line only ones!

Never tried VX'x version but from what you say it sounds the same.

The only version I have tried that gets this right is VectorWorks where you can duplicate a drawing view and stack them one over the other so that the bottom view is rendered (with the in built LightWorks rendering engine so it is truly hi res) then make the top view lines only. This way you combine the rendered view with the vector lines.....maybe this can be done in VX and other as well? Never tried.

Its a pity this doesn't work as shaded views are quite handy for showing form on a drawing sheet.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 16 of 26

10-01-2007 04:54 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi Kevin

Combi-drawings certainly are handy and it certainly is a pain to print them out

The CAD industry is not entirely to blame, it is a limitation of printing formats and printer driver technology. The problem is that the two data types are completely different, the 2D layout views being vector data and the shaded views being raster (pixel) data. In order to print them both at the same time, the data has to be reduced to a common denominator, and that is essentially the screen view. You can add hi-res rendered images to your 2D layout instead of using shaded view if you wish, the effect is very impressive.

There is a way to get perfect results: print to the same sheet of paper twice. Blank everything except the shaded/hi res images and print them. Then print again, this time only the vector stuff. Another method is to print to an image file and open that with one of your image processing programs - you can edit the image to your heart's desire and then print to paper (or virtual paper).

There is a new printing format technology from Microsoft, XML paper (defined with help from Autodesk), that is designed to improve things. MS are including this in Windows Vista and it is backwards compatible with XP.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 17 of 26

10-01-2007 05:16 . am | View his/her posts only
Hi Steve

That is in my opinion a fault, I have to agree with you. If you get into the habit of selecting the print destination last, some trees will be spared. PCR raised!

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 18 of 26

10-01-2007 09:14 . am | View his/her posts only
I've tried saving the plot files and yes that works a treat! To those you need to know:

Print Setup>Advanced tab

Makes all the changes you need to make to printers, paper size etc and then go to the advanced tab>Printer setup file>Setup file, type in a name for the setting you wish to save (eg A3 PDF), then Save SetUp file.

Next time you go to print switch to the advanced tab, select A3 PDF from the Available files and print.

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Steve

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Registered: 2004-10-9

Message 19 of 26

10-01-2007 11:18 . am | View his/her posts only
Quote

That is in my opinion a fault, I have to agree with you.


I'm just REALLY good about find obscure bugs and idiosyncrasies.

Your PCR says version 12.65, but in fact it was 12.66

btw, also count me in as one that would like PDF output directly from VX. I'd also like 3D PDF output directly from VX. I doubt it'll happen, but it would be nice


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ChrisWard2k2

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Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 20 of 26

11-01-2007 04:50 . am | View his/her posts only
Hello Steve

Rest assured, the PCR does cite v12.66 in the text. VX HQ moved premises recently and not everything is back up and running at 100% yet.

Concerning 3D PDF, if I understand the Adobe blurb correctly, you can already produce 3D PDF with Adobe Acrobate 3D from VX. However, I believe the consensus in a previous forum post on the subject was that the product is a bit too expensive at the moment. Is anyone out there using it?

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Kevin

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Registered: 2004-4-26

Message 21 of 26

11-01-2007 07:34 . am | View his/her posts only
Yes. Like everything else it is cheaper in the USA but you can get some good deals by shopping around - cheapest was

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Paul

Moderator

posts: 314

Registered: 2011-9-17

Message 22 of 26

12-02-2007 09:05 . pm | View his/her posts only
Where thos' plot files gone????
I have upgraded yet again etc. etc. Now I go to print and all those settings I had so carefully customised in V12.66 and are gone. Just plain not there. Zippo. Vamooshed.

I have also been through the saga of relocating a User Folder- Don't do this with Win Explorer!

So now I am an experienced user, I have figured out EXACTLY what needs to happen when installing a new version. Such certainty, such gaul, gall, galle, gorl?? whatever.

In installing VX:
Dialogue should ask do you want to retain your last version customisations? If Yes, Then step by step - VXGL, Plot/print settings/Config/Bundles/Templates/Paths/Import-Export settings.

That list Chris is working on would be might handy about yesterday.

IMHO this hotch potch of customised data locations is endemic in the programming trade. Rather than one user data library where all customisations/settings exist - even if in discrete files under one directory, they end up all over the place with the obvious resulting issues. Sorta like having your work bench spread out across different rooms. Not easy to work with eh!

Right now I need t oknow where printer and IGES settings reside so I can move them into the current version.

Then include that new info of Chris's on the Help in V12.7x+

Cheers from ...
Soles of my feet looking at you... (downunder)

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ChrisWard2k2

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posts: 2

Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 23 of 26

13-02-2007 01:14 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hi Paul

User configured system files are saved in the VX User Folder by default.

The User-saved plot configs are in the VX User Folderplotters. You can simply copy the whole plotters folder across to another User Folder.

The IGES Export settings, together with all other saved translator settings (even the 3rd Party settings) are saved to the file VX User FolderTranslator.cfg

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Mike

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Registered: 2002-8-28

Message 24 of 26

14-02-2007 03:55 . pm | View his/her posts only
Paul,

Besides these obvious files that get created in your User directory we suggest that you create a 'local' folder under USER. Any time you edit a file like CAM config files, VXGL_Sheet, vxPartListFormat, vxBomFormat, etc. , copy the file to local and then edit that one.

When you first open a new version, answer the question about mm or inch then go to UTILITIES > Import Configuration. You will see a list of files that will get copied and another list of files that exist in both versions that will get replaced or merged. Bundle files are an example of file that will get merged. If you have created a bundle for your own convenience it will be merged with the new Bundles.VX file so you also get our updates. HINT: in version 13 there are new pipe threads in the Hole bundle.

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ChrisWard2k2

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posts: 2

Registered: 2011-11-22

Message 25 of 26

14-02-2007 09:50 . pm | View his/her posts only
Hello everyone

For those of you that don't see a list, it is because UTILITIES > Import Configuration is expecting you to browse to and select a VX User Folder. VX will then list some of the contents of that folder. The snag is, we have not told you (definitively) what files should be copied over, and at the moment the list of files offered is not in fact complete, that is basically because there needs to be a lot of them.

Below is a list of the most popular files (mostly for CAD).
Generally, if you have not customised them, you do not need to copy the files to your new User
-exceptions are those related to the VxDALs installed (*.bmp, *.t, *.exe, VxCommands) and other files that support 3rd Party add-ons.
The original default files that VX uses are stored in the VX installation file (something like C:Program FilesVXCorpVX12.80)
If you do customise a file, store the custom version in your VX User Folder. When VX is booted up, it checks the User Folder for files first.
Except for those files that you customise from within VX (Config, User Toolbars, Bundles etc), files that are edited will not necessarily be "seen" by VX until the next reboot.

VX User Folderprofile.dat Cimcore Users only
VX User FolderTranslator.cfg Import/Export settings
VX User FoldervxCommands Command Shortcuts (Especially important for VxDALs)
VX User Foldervxconfig User VX GUI settings
VX User Foldervxpaths Popular files paths list (accelerates VX look-up of Objects)
VX User Foldervxremote User defined commands to run external programs from within VX
VX User Folder*.exe There can be some exe files present that support VX Design Automation Programs (VxDALs)
* NEVER COPY THE FOLLOWING:
vx.exe, vxc.exe, Setup.exe. In normal circumstance, Forms.VX must not be copied.

VX User Folder esourceBundles.VX Stores forms options (e.g. User defined dimension attribs, Hole attribs)
VX User Folder esourceMETRIC_SPEEDS_FEEDS.VX CAM Speeds-Feeds tables metric
VX User Folder esourceReadySketchIN.VX Predefined Sketches inch
VX User Folder esourceReadySketchMM.VX Predefined Sketches metric
VX User Folder esourceShaderAttribs.VX Predefined Face Attributes for model space shaded display
VX User Folder esourceSketch_ClipBoard_Inch.VX Predefined Sketches inch
VX User Folder esourceSketch_ClipBoard_mm.VX Predefined Sketches mm
VX User Folder esourceSPEEDS_FEEDS.VX CAM Speeds-Feeds tables
VX User Folder esourceTemplates.VX Template Root Objects (e.g. Parts, Sketches, Drawing sheets)
VX User Folder esourceToolHolderLib8.VX CAM Tool holder profiles
VX User Folder esourceTOOLS_METRIC_AND_INCH.VX CAM Tool (cutter) definition tables

VX User Folderplottersgeneric_bmp.plt VX Printing config to output BMP image files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_emf.plt VX Printing config to output EMF Windows image files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_eps.plt VX Printing config to output encapsulated postscript image files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_hpgl.plt VX Printing config to output HPGL plot files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_hpgl2.plt VX Printing config to output HPGL2 plot files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_pcl5.plt VX Printing config to output PCL (Laser) format files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_ps.plt VX Printing config to output postscript image files
VX User Folderplottersgeneric_tiff.plt VX Printing config to output TIF image files

VX User Folderapilibs 3rd Party integrated add-ons for VX (e.g. MoldExpert)
* There are normally other supporting files required by the 3rd Party
products and it may be the case that files cannot be simply copied
but must be installed. Please consult the provider of that software.

VX User Foldersupp*.bmp Small image files used as icons on buttons and forms
VX User Foldersupp*.t User Toolbar files (e.g. Cam Programs.t, Sketch Programs.t)
* Some of these may list as .taf. If you copy them to your new User,
re-name them to .t
VX User FoldersuppVXGL_SHEET VX and User defined drawing sheet sizes
VX User FoldersuppVXGL_STYLE VX and User defined 2D line font config
VX User FoldersuppvxBOMfmt Part Object (Model Space) Bill of materials config
VX User FoldersuppvxDftPrtLst Drawing Sheet Bill of materials config
VX User Foldersuppvx_font_table List of supported character fonts for 2D Layout

VX User FolderVxDAL VX Design Automation Programs (copy the folder)

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Paul

Moderator

posts: 314

Registered: 2011-9-17

Message 26 of 26

15-02-2007 04:16 . pm | View his/her posts only
Thanks Guys,
this info certainly goes a long way towards removing the uncertainty about the upgrade pathway.

Please keep us informed of ANY advances in this topic.

FYI: Arial Narrow is a great text for getting lots on info on a line without having to chop the font size.
IMHO Arial Narrow is a canidiate for default font in VX drawing style sheets etc.apart from the fact that it's a TTF.

Cheers,
Blind Old Duffer
See also