Nemetschek releases Vectorworks 2008

Nemetschek North America today announced the release of the latest upgrade to their award-winning VectorWorks line of precision design software: Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Machine Design, Fundamentals, and RenderWorks. Two years in the making, VectorWorks 2008 (for Mac and Windows) features a new name in addition to new features and enhancements developed with the direct input of VectorWorks users. VectorWorks 2008 offers new technology to optimize workflows, enrich presentations, and facilitate collaboration.

VectorWorks 2008 offers interface improvements and a new heads-up Data Display bar brings precision drawing into the user’s line of sight, with the ability to switch quickly between mouse and keyboard inputs. A new View bar consolidates often-used viewing and organizational controls and places them within easy reach. The program has been streamlined with fewer mouse clicks and many new batch-editing capabilities, such as the ability to select and edit multiple windows and doors in walls at one time. In addition, a new Rotate Plan command makes it easy to work on parts of a design that lie at odd angles, while still drawing orthogonally.

For higher-quality presentations, VectorWorks 2008 features unlimited color choices and pre-configured color swatches from Pantone, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, and more. Users will also find object-by-object opacity control; improvements to dashed lines; new end marker styles; and new symbol libraries from Herman Miller, Marvin Windows and Doors, Sub-Zero and Wolf, and others. VectorWorks’ add-on program, RenderWorks, offers improved OpenGL rendering, final gather rendering technology, and new texture libraries and bump shaders.

New CAD Manager capabilities make it easier to set up, back up, share, and control project files, content libraries, and user preferences, as well as easily configure new computers with any firm’s CAD standards. Navigating between library files and documents is easier and more effortless than ever. Also, users can save changes in their resources directly back to office-standard libraries with a single click.

In both 2D and 3D, VectorWorks 2008 allows repeated use and adaptation of work to create drawings quickly and efficiently. Improved viewports, classable wall components, and the ability to show wall components in section view make it easy to create framing, structural, and finish plans, as well as detailed wall section drawings from the same set of walls. Also, two-way worksheets allow for updating drawings through the schedules and reports.

New workgroup capabilities make it easier to break apart and reassemble complex projects, while keeping files sizes small—reducing clutter and eliminating naming conflicts. PDF and image files can be directly referenced using new design layer viewports. For those working on the leading edge of digital practice, VectorWorks Architect’s IFC 2×3 translator fluidly moves BIM models among other design, analysis, and construction platforms. VectorWorks 2008’s new import/export options include a host of DWG translator improvements and support for AutoCAD 2007/2008 files, SketchUp 6.x, and the ability to import geo-referenced image files.

“VectorWorks 2008 heralds a new year of groundbreaking changes for the VectorWorks line of products, and a whole new collection of cutting-edge technology for our users,” says Paul Pharr, Nemetschek North America’s chief technology officer, in the press release. “As always, we’ve listened to customer feedback, so users will see many requests incorporated in the latest version of VectorWorks.”

Product-by-product breakdown of all the new VectorWorks 2008 improvements and examples of some of these features in action here.


  1. I tried there software a few years ago and it was far more complicated to use than the Chief Architect program I’d been using. I finally sold the software to someone else. I have windows on my Mac soley so I can use Chief Architect.

  2. 150,000 users world-wide. AutoCAD has so many more … still under a million. The big news here is that there’s a hugely expensive CAD program for the Mac (AND Windows, but who’s counting?) that will allow architects and engineers to work. This represents a rather tiny niche, yes? Important, perhaps, but rather modest.

  3. What a lot of people fail to understand is that CAD software is not only for architects and engineers. It is an integral part of any industrial designer’s toolkit. I bet Johnny Ive has some CAD stuff jammed into his MacBook Pro somewhere. The market for CAD software is MUCH bigger than you think. Still not huge (like Photoshop), but definitely not tiny (like Vista).

  4. I find that there are some really good programs out there and most remain hidden for some reason. I have used CANVAS since 3.0 and its now up to version 10 .

    Its a great cad and image program and comes out in both Mac and Windows versions but like many programs it got bought by another company and now seems to be left to langush on vine.

    Its a weird world out there when it comes to software. Fortunately Apple has done a pretty good job of navigating the waters.

    Go Apple.

    en (This message Not paid for and Not sponsored by Apple or Canvas. How ever should either wish to contribute, well….. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> )

  5. I have used Vectorworks/MiniCad for many years. While I love the new features available with each new release, I am not sure that they are worth the added complexity. Vectorworks is starting to feel more like AutoCad with its many inconsistencies and non-intuitive interface. May be time for me to explore other options. Does anyone have any input on Chief Architect for residential design and drafting?

  6. Next, create Filemaker Lite and add it to iWork. You then have a better competitor to MS Office Professional (includes Access).

    Perhaps Apple could purchase Canvas and update it. Call it iDraw or iVector or whatever, and add it to iWork. There was another vector drawing program that I recall from the early 90’s – Vellum. As I recall, it was very intuitive in terms of snapping to vertices and midpoints and such. Vellum might be another option.

  7. @ Someone Else & Sky Lark. I agree. I’m a lighting design hobbyist (started when a friend’s garage band asked me to do lights one night, and I was hooked). I’d LOVE to have Vectorworks Spotlight. Of course, since I’m not a real lighting designer, I just can’t afford it.

    @en: Canvas is not much of an alternative, from what I’ve read on the ACDSystems fourms. Statements from ACDSystems people, like “…there are no plans for releasing a new version of Canvas for the Macintosh platform” and “Currently we do not plan to release an intel version of Canvas” sound like less than even languishing. To paraphrase Bones McCoy, “It’s dead, Jim.”

    @ KingMel: Vellum’s still around: I loved playing with the Cobalt demo. That snapping to midpoints, vertices, and tangents is still there!

  8. Try ArchiCad, that is the best software for architecture in the world. Yes, it is VERY expensive, but it worths every cent, productivity is huge and ease of use is fantastic. I used vectorworks a long time ago, qhen it was minicad MINIcad, that says all. Regards.

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