Nemetschek has released the latest upgrade to its VectorWorks line of precision design software: Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Machine Design, Fundamentals, and RenderWorks. VectorWorks 2008 features a new name in addition to new features and enhancements developed, according to the company, 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. 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, says Nemetschek. In addition, a new Rotate Plan command is designed to make 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 colour choices and pre-configured colour 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.

Nemetschek says that 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.

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 2x3 translator 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.