# VectorWorks-Spotlight!

#### Zman

Hello All!

As you can probably tell I'm a newbie here. I've been reading up and i came across VectorWorks. It's an incredible piece of software but its completely out of my price range as a student. I herd that there are copies (legit, of course) that are available to college students like me for around $150-200 USD. I've been searching for a while, but i don't know what i'm looking for. I don't want some [email protected]# student copy that lacks features of the full version, but then i'm only beginning in CAD. I working on lighting design and simply want to be able to play around with lights, effects, scenery, and general design. So my question (although long winded) is: Where can i by a version of VectorWorks that will include the design part and spotlight for a student like myself. Thanks, Z #### Footer ##### Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member AND.... it locks down the file so only the student edition can load it, keep that in mind. Even if a professional version makes it, sends it to a student, the professional version can no longer open the file. #### SteveB ##### Well-Known Member AND.... it locks down the file so only the student edition can load it, keep that in mind. Even if a professional version makes it, sends it to a student, the professional version can no longer open the file. The 2008 print free student and educational version, print/doesn't print issue, is as follows, according to the NM/VW Student Edition Installation Guide. - Student Edition project files can be opened with a Pro version, but the watermark remains in the file - *But I believe the watermark doesn't print in Pro* (My understanding after calling NM). - Files created in a Pro version can be opened with a VW Student Edition, but has the watermark added when printing. The watermark cannot be removed once saved as a student edition. The student edition expires 365 days after install, but I believe it's renewable if the user remains and can prove they are an enrolled student. Not sure about how many times it's renewable. Steve B. Zman #### derekleffew ##### Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member #### Grog12 ##### CBMod CB Mods Premium Member The 2008 print free student and educational version, print/doesn't print issue, is as follows, according to the NM/VW Student Edition Installation Guide. - Student Edition project files can be opened with a Pro version, but the watermark remains in the file - *But I believe the watermark doesn't print in Pro* (My understanding after calling NM). - Files created in a Pro version can be opened with a VW Student Edition, but has the watermark added when printing. The watermark cannot be removed once saved as a student edition. The student edition expires 365 days after install, but I believe it's renewable if the user remains and can prove they are an enrolled student. Not sure about how many times it's renewable. Steve B. 2008 is compatible between both the Student and Pro versions. The watermark remains and prints if the file ever crosses over to the student version period. If I create a file with pro my assistan updates it in student and I print it from Pro its watermakred. The student version is renewable for as long as you're a student. #### icewolf08 ##### CBMod CB Mods It is nice that you can buy an academic edition, but it seems silly to me that if you are going to pay for it you still get a watermark. It enough to deal with the dongle IMO. Another thing of note, according to Academic Superstore, that edition you linked to is only available to faculty and staff, not students. In general, it kind of bums be out that VW went from a full featured academic version for about$250 with a dongle to free with a watermark. Sure, it is still full featured, but now they feel like the world has to know you are a student? And to cripple the faculty/staff version is even more of a bummer when you can still buy it with the dongle.

Don't get me wrong, I love VW, and I would never give it up, and I am willing to buy it, but it makes me sad when a great company with a great product and a great deal decide that the deal just cant be as good anymore.

#### soundman

##### Well-Known Member
I didnt catch that it was not for students. I think the reason to go this route is if you need to have it installed on ore than one computer. I don't think you can do that with the free version.

I know what you mean abou them changing it up. Luckly I bought 12.5 when it was still watermark free.

#### LD4Life

##### Active Member
Hey Zman! As a student designer myself, I use the Student version of VW. Its free through their website by filling out the form and include the contact information of one of your profs (for verifying that you really are a student). As the others have said, it is renewable for as long as you are a student. I have had great experiences with it so far. It does print a small watermark that says "Vectorworks Educational Version", but other than that it is a full copy of VW. It also contains all of the Spotlight libraries and all that fun stuff, so its great for plotting. I use it for all my shows and it makes plotting a breeze.

Zman

#### Zman

##### Member
Sorry for this 'dumb' question. But what is the dongle used for? Does it enable the program to run, or does it allow you to transfer your data to the Light Board.

Cheers!

#### soundman

##### Well-Known Member
It is a hardware key, and the program checks for it in order to run. luckily if it gets disconnected the program will let you save before it closes out but it WILL NOT let you countine to work with out it.

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#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
LD4Life;80871 It does print a small watermark that says "Vectorworks QUOTE said:
Depending on the print size, the watermark can be very obtrusive. I tend to print a truncated plot in 11x17 with the watermark very obtrusive across the bottom and top of the drawing. I've attached a .pdf I had the folks at NM create so I could get a sense of how bad.

Thus I would never upgrade to 2008 Educational if it printed a watermark, with my only option upgrading to Pro - which is a lot of money right now, at $850 per machine. I agree with Alex and a whole bunch of other folks over on the stagecraft list that charging educators for the upgrade, then forcing them to print with a watermark is bad policy. The object should be to stop software piracy. Simply printing a note as to who owns the license, somewhere on the drawing, as Lightwright does on the bottom of each printed page, would do the trick. The watermark makes it more difficult to plan the drawing so as to account for the space needed by BOTH watermarks. My$.02

Steve B.

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#### LD4Life

##### Active Member
I guess I have just gotten lucky so far or something, but I've printed out around 15-20 11x17s and never had any problems.

#### LD4Life

##### Active Member
I will post one of my own plots when I get a chance.

#### soundman

##### Well-Known Member
I guess I have just gotten lucky so far or something, but I've printed out around 15-20 11x17s and never had any problems.

Luck has nothing to do with it, wither you have the watermark or you don't, all depends on when you got VW.

#### LD4Life

##### Active Member
Luck has nothing to do with it, wither you have the watermark or you don't, all depends on when you got VW.
Its 2008. Got it a few months ago.

#### Goph704

##### Active Member
I think a dongle allows you to store more infomation on your hard drive, But I'm not sure. It's also neccisary to open these huge drafting files. I know with WYSIWYG they're neccsary to use.

I have a question myself. I've got a copy of VW 12.5 and I'm trying to get spotlight added on, is there a cheaper just spotlight version out there? Also, I'm having trouble saving it to my flash drive as a dwg. I could probably start a new post about this, but here it is:neutral:

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
I think a dongle allows you to store more infomation on your hard drive, But I'm not sure. It's also neccisary to open these huge drafting files. I know with WYSIWYG they're neccsary to use.
I have a question myself. I've got a copy of VW 12.5 and I'm trying to get spotlight added on, is there a cheaper just spotlight version out there? Also, I'm having trouble saving it to my flash drive as a dwg. I could probably start a new post about this, but here it is:neutral:
The dongle merely limits the application to only the computer having a dongle. You can load the software associated with the dongle license on as many computers as you wish, but can only run the app on the computer having the dongle.

Are you sure you do not have any of the designer series as well ?. I was not aware that you could buy a basic, non-designer version of 12. I thought that 12, even as an upgrade gave you one of the designer series, though you might have architect or something equally useless.

If you do not have 12 Spotlight, but want some of Spotlights functionality, you might want to look at AutoPlot by Sam Jones, which is a set of plug-ins to VW to give it Spotlight (and bettter) functionality.

Steve B.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I think a dongle allows you to store more infomation on your hard drive, But I'm not sure. It's also neccisary to open these huge drafting files. I know with WYSIWYG they're neccsary to use.
A hardware dongle generally does not have storage space. It usually contains a unique PCB that the software looks for. If you don't have the dongle in, the software won't launch.

"I think a dongle allows you to store more infomation on your hard drive..." If you know of a device that lets you store more info on your HD than however big your HD is, you could make a fortune, but in truth, this is not possible.

I have a question myself. I've got a copy of VW 12.5 and I'm trying to get spotlight added on, is there a cheaper just spotlight version out there? Also, I'm having trouble saving it to my flash drive as a dwg. I could probably start a new post about this, but here it is:neutral:
Those are two different questions. In theory, all you need to do is buy a license key for Spotlight as the install disc has everything on it. If you have the DVD install disc you even have the gobo textures. But the general installer has all the components, but only installs what you are licensed to install.

I suppose that what you mean when you say: "I'm having trouble saving it to my flash drive as a dwg..." is that you are having a hard time saving files to your flash drive. I don't see why this would be an issue, but if it is, save to your HD and then drag and drop onto your flash drive. Otherwise I think you may need to be more descriptive of your issue.

Goph704

#### superdoo

##### Member
I am looking at getting VW and have taken classes in AutoCAD and (because I am broke and lost my student license for CAD) I use sketchup.
Will VW be an easy transition for me? And does anyone know of a good online course (on the cheap) to learn it?