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Vectorworks Architect Reviews

About Vectorworks Architect

Vectorworks Architect offers all the design, rendering, documentation and collaboration tools you need.

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Pros:

We are a Mac based office and VW is very compatible. The VectorWorks Service Select subscription is great due to all the "how to" videos and consistent updates to their 3D library, etc.

Cons:

The cost of the program makes it difficult to acquire it.

Vectorworks Architect ratings

Average score

Ease of Use
4.0
Customer Service
4.1
Features
4.4
Value for Money
3.9

Likelihood to recommend

7.7/10

Vectorworks Architect has an overall rating of 4.4 out 5 stars based on 50 user reviews on Capterra.

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Adam
Associate Director in UK
Verified LinkedIn User
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Simple, effective CAD package that looks great

5.0 6 years ago

Comments: This effective and intuitive CAD platform enables me to produce architectural drawings for clients with ease. I can produce incredibly detailed construction drawings that are both readable and informative and enable contractors, clients and any other 3rd party to understand exactly what is being proposed or changed.

Pros:

2D tools are simple and intuitive - I have taught complete novices very quickly how to use the tools and produce great looking Architectural drawings. Can be set up so it is as easy as drawing on a drawing board (I.e. you draw to scale on a piece of paper (no silly model space/paper space like AutoCAD)). Colours, hatched, patterns and opacity all allow you to produce beautiful architectural drawings that are easy to understand and interpret. With tailoring shortcuts it is also very quick to use - I can produce drawings twice as fast as other employees on AutoCAD. Has options for 3D and BIM modelling (although I have only used it minimally as I prefer the freedom of drawing with simple lines). System for backing up data and saves is great and has saved my skin often when I could of lost days worth of work.

Cons:

Has had issues with iOS updates in the past and time has been wasted waiting for patches. Very occasionally crashes for bizarre reasons.

David
Architect in UK
Architecture & Planning, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

The hub of my architectural workflow

4.0 6 months ago

Comments: Overall, I'm pleased with it. It fits well into my workflow. It's a little bit expensive, and I do find it a bit frustrating that Vectorworks offers seasonal discounts that I can never take advantage of because my annual subscription renewal never coincides with them!

Pros:

I love the flexibility and customisation options Vectorworks gives me. I can use it as a very simple drafting software for simple projects, or a fully-fledged BIM application for larger projects. With Vectorworks, I don't feel like I have to design in a way the software wants me to design.

Cons:

There is a fairly long learning curve to get the most out of the software, and occasionally you do have to do a bit of head-scratching to figure something out. However, I feel like that is inevitable for software that offers this degree of flexibility.

LarissA
Designer in Dominican Republic
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

It does absolutely everything

3.0 4 years ago

Comments: I do not like it.. I find it a waste of time

Pros:

If you want to do something there are probably at least 3 ways to do it in this software.

Cons:

There are too many ways to customize and do things.. this makes everyday simple tasks very time consuming. It has too many glitches with Mac OS.. We havent been able to use the file sharing option without wasting hours and hours on redoing work due to crashing or random glitches that wont allow the files to save and sync.

Simon
President in US
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Great software, but....

4.0 4 years ago

Comments: We started using Vectorworks many years ago because it was truly superior to Autocad at producing legible drawings. But Autocad has caught up. And we prefer modeling in Rhino, even though it is a more cumbersome work flow. Meanwhile. for BIM, it makes more sense to use Revit simply because everyone else is using it. IF we were starting our office today, we would not be selecting Vectorworks, much as I like it as a drafting program. And the expensive annual upgrades are frustrating, given how little benefits are.

Pros:

Vectorworks is a great drafting program. it allows you to do anything you want, with great control over how the drawings look, and many ways to organize a complete drawing set.

Cons:

The software is expensive, and the annual updates add very little. Autocad as pretty much caught up in terms of object-based controls. and ability to make beautiful, robust, legible, intelligent 2D drawings. While the 3D is very intuitive, Rhino is more robust. And for BIM, it is hard to justify not using the industry standard software. So where is the edge for Vectorworks?

David
Principal Architect in Jamaica
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Best BIM software for a growing practice

4.0 2 years ago

Comments: We have generally had a superior experience using VectorWorks Architect, primarily on a OSX platform.

Pros:

the vast array of features and it's integration with other 2D, BIM and 3D software.

Cons:

The service select feature which is marketed as a customer service platform comes at a separated cost, further you cannot get updates or pay for upgrades without it.

Rob
Principal in US
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Outstanding Software

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: We have been using the software over 20 years without hardly any issues! We can still open files from 1994!!!!!! We look at other softwares to make sure we are keeping up. When we factor in money, easy answer.....VectorWorks! We are a full BIM FIRM and VECTORWORKS does everything we need.

Pros:

BIM capabilities, ease of learning, ease of use, ease of rendering, Smart tools, exceptional customer service, stability and speed of work.

Cons:

Really ...... nothing. If the software doesn’t have something someone else has, they are probably developing it for the next version.

Bill
Designer in US
Architecture & Planning, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

VECTORWORKS REVIEW

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: The transition has been a smooth and good experience so far.

Pros:

The ease of use, the customer support from the software company, and the ease of training

Cons:

The process of creating drawing sets and create all the viewports can be tedious.

Sarah
Sarah
Director, Design & Development in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Construction, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Vectorworks review

4.0 4 years ago

Pros:

Wide breadth of features and functionality

Cons:

Glitchy quirks that randomly show up and little support from VWX techs.

David Laurence
Founding Owner + Architect in US
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Legacy User Loves Vectorworks 2020

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: As an Architect + Planner + Interior Architect & Designer... Having the ‘Verticle Market’ solutions available like Vectorworks ‘Architect’ & ‘Designer’ is so very valuable!

Pros:

Features & Ease of Use + Price!!! And Vectorworks Customer Service & Community is Absolutely Amazing!

Cons:

I wish that the initial price was lower :-)

Erwin
COO in Guatemala
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Intuitive, easy to use, powerful

5.0 6 months ago

Comments: In general, my experience of many years of using the software and having grown with it from its very primitive versions, has been very good. I have managed to carry out complete designs with a very good integration in BIM, in a very easy and intuitive way.
Without hesitation I recommend this platform for the development of any project in the industry.

Pros:

Complete solution to develop architectural designs from the first sketches, with complete ease of 3D control of volumetry and shapes, perfect integration of 2D drawing and the generation of construction documents, as well as the possibility of generating complete reports for a good constructive process. Actually an excellent BIM option.

Cons:

The possibility of generating optimal quality renders on the MAC OS platform is almost impossible. It must be integrated with other software solutions and at least on MacBook Pro it is a disaster. I understand that it is not entirely a software problem but it is really depressing.

Nicole
Architect in US
Architecture & Planning, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Vectorworks User Review

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: After a couple years of transitioning into this software, our team now has templates, object libraries, and graphic standards which can be easily implemented to all projects. The Vectorworks support team has been really helpful along the way with answering our questions and providing training on specific topics when needed. I would recommend this software to other architecture and interior design firms.

Pros:

Vectorworks gives our studio the ability to combine design drawings, construction documents, and renderings into one file. We take advantage of the software’s BIM capabilities to generate elevations, schedules, and smart tags. This program is visually appealing and easy to navigate. It is a good choice for a mac-based office.

Cons:

Our team has experienced a bit of a learning curve when it comes to modeling curvy objects. Vectorworks has subdivision and parametric modeling capabilities, but these do require some training. While you can import 3D files for items such as furniture from Sketchup or Revit, this can slow down the model.

Kristan
Architect Assistant in UK
Architecture & Planning, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

VectorWorks really work hard

5.0 2 years ago

Comments: Vectorworks will help you deliver excellent 2D drawings and can really work hard as a 3D program too. It has all the thrills of BIM but without the major benefit of being able to collaborate with other consultants, unless they also use Vectorworks.

Pros:

Vectorworks produces the most graphically appealing and customisable drawings that I have experienced on any BIM software. This ability to make highly desirable 2D graphics and a simple 3D rendering tool that can quickly realise concepts in 3D makes Vectorworks appealing for small and mid sized Architecture practices. The program also harnesses the power of BIM to make models that are data driven.

Cons:

The only downside of Vectorworks is that it won't work well when you need to collaborate with those who don't use it. Although it works well DWG as soon as you want to issue a model to a Revit user you are in trouble. This may be fine for a small Architecture practice that wants to use Vectorworks for 2D drafting and not share the 3D model, however this isn't very future proof.

Heidi
Partner in US
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Best Software for Architects

5.0 4 years ago

Comments: The 3d benefits of VW is amazing! We are finding now that some of our consultants are now using the software therefore the sharing of files is extremely easy. BUT the exporting of files to AutoCad are great too.

Pros:

This software is very intuitive. It works well with presentation software especially TwinMotion. We are a Mac based office and VW is very compatible. The VectorWorks Service Select subscription is great due to all the "how to" videos and consistent updates to their 3D library, etc.

Cons:

The only con is that this software is so robust that we fear that we are not aware of all that it can do. A couple years ago we tried the VectorWorks cloud service so that a team can work on the same project at once and found it cumbersome. We have not tried it lately therefore this feature may have improved.

Sam
Architect Designer in US
Architecture & Planning, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

One of the good BIM software for achitect

4.0 4 years ago

Comments: Once you get used to how to setup design layers and sort the classes, this software is a very smooth and competitive BIM software for architects.

Pros:

This software is easy to use with different setup design layers, easy to setup the sheet, just simply import the design layers as viewport, easy to setup the drawing scale, and compatible with other software like auto CAD, auto Revit etc. Also easy to setup 3D model use design layers, and easy to do the rendering. the elevations and sections can be directly export from the 3D model, very easy to setup.

Cons:

It is a bit complex to setup design layers, and also troublesome to sort the classes.

Anthony
Architect in UK
Architecture & Planning, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Some good features but let down by bugs and half finished elements. No go for BIM.

3.0 6 years ago

Comments: Shame as this could be a great software, yet after using it for years it just doesn't seem to be as complete a software as you would expect in 2018. Go for another, such as industry standard Revit.

Pros:

2D Drawing is fine, basic 3D work is also fine. Classes and layers system is generally a good way of working. I like the clean appearance of the workspace.

Cons:

Half implemented and half finished features. The software advertises itself as being compatible with BIM projects, but the 3D modelling and parametric 'smart' tools are buggy and unfinished, and many tools are way behind other software (i.e. Revit). Support is not great even when paid for.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Architecture & Planning, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Vectorworks Review

4.0 2 years ago

Comments: Over time I have become less and less impressed as other software come out and the limitations of this software have become evident. Good for simple stuff, keep away if you will use this for more complex modern BIM requirements.

Pros:

Simple to use and learn, presentation style is good and clean. Great for 2D CAD working and simple projects.

Cons:

This is not an advanced BIM authoring tool and I would advise people to steer away from it if this is what is required. Long term should revert itself to a 2D tool and then focus efforts on ArchiCAD as their excellent BIM authoring tool.

Vincent
Owner/Architect in US
Architecture & Planning, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

14 years using Vectorworks. Never used a CAD/Bim system before this.

5.0 7 years ago

Comments: Can do it all for small to medium sized studios....really a delightful program to use!

Pros:

This does everything....2-d drawings and 3-d modeling, landscape, lighting and site design, interiors, great renderings plus all of my office graphics. The graphic capabilities are awesome from sketch to OpenGL, hidden line and fully rendered

Cons:

Not enough local users to share this program. This is a must have program for small to medium sized Mac-based firms...affordable and capable of handling just about anything you can throw at it!

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
, 1,001–5,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

One of the best additions to our workflow because it has increased our efficiency dramatically.

5.0 6 years ago

Pros:

Building high quality visual models across different platforms always meant having to sacrifice somewhere along the design process. But with Vectorworks Architect, we didn't have to sacrifice anything. We're able to create data-rich designs anywhere, using multiple different operating systems with ease.

Cons:

At times, syncing between the two main operating systems used in our office seemed slow. Thankfully, the helpful support helped us come to the conclusion that the delays in data transfer were because of our network connection, and not the application itself. Vectorworks Architect itself never seemed to fail us.

Tyler
Tyler
Pm in US
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Vectorworks is out go to for any project

5.0 6 years ago

Pros:

I love how detailed this product is. It has every item we use on any project and we are able to print these cad files off in big blueprints to take onsite. The ability to accurately see items in the space is game changing for clients

Cons:

The early updates prove to be less than useful. I'd rather have a program for two years that works than spend six months beta testing the software

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Architecture & Planning, 201–500 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Drawings that will impress your colleagues.

5.0 5 years ago

Pros:

Vectorworks is great for sticklers and perfectionists. You have a great degree of control. The preview of the drawing you are working on in the program is exactly what gets printed so you can fine tune without exporting to PDF multiple times.

Cons:

Because of the limited use of this program in some markets, collaborating with others can be difficult.

Imadur Rozan
Imadur Rozan
Student in Indonesia
Verified LinkedIn User
Architecture & Planning, 501–1,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

An Architect's Favourite BIM software alternatives!

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: VectorWork is now supported with many 3rd party rendering software like lumion for the live sync rendering by installing the plugin for even better result, so whenever you make a changes, the render will follow up. And when it comes to choosing BIM softwares, especially if you're new to it, the VectorWorks is the good choice to start for learning BIM due to their support and very complete yet detailed tutorials given on their official website. VectorWorks is mile ahead from other BIM softwares when it comes to landscape, 3D modelling and 2D details.

Pros:

Just like another software that offers BIM technology and features, this software are extremely helpful tools to working in parallels while doing a bunch of different project of building because the floor plans, elevations and sections are linked together, the results can be viewed as 2D and 3D simultaneously. But, what makes this app different from the rest of other BIM adopted softwares is the Customer support and apps tutorials given for the users that you can find on the VectorWorks official website. there you can learn from the very basic tutorials to the complex one, displayed using interactive video with step by step guide on the descriptions. And the built in rendering tools are awesome as well, the result is more than enough to be used for project presentation.

Cons:

Sometimes you have to set some of the construction details, like determining the materials specifications and dimension MANUALLY unless you buy the add on packages or plug in which are inconvenient compared to what other BIM softwares are offering. And you'll need a device with plenty of free storages or memory because this software is taking so much space, it's huge! even better to be used on a device with dedicated processor and graphic card for better performance.

Jamie
Coordinator of Production Services and Facilities in US
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Quick, powerful and concise communication tool

5.0 7 years ago

Pros:

Vectorworks can do a lot without getting in the way. It's easy to customize the tools to allow you to work the way that you want to work. With the powerful visualization features, it's easy to communicate highly-technical concepts to self-described non-technical people. In theatre and event production, this is an indispensable asset. And the best part is that the initial sketch can be transformed into the fully realized design drawings further saving time.

Cons:

The only con I can think of is that the price can be cost prohibitive for freelancers just starting out. If you're able to afford to make the investment, it should pay off pretty quickly.

Benjamin
Benjamin
Technical Operations Manager in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Events Services, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Vectorworks makes CAD designing interesting!

4.0 6 years ago

Pros:

The flexibility of the software, combined with the deep catalogue of available 3D objects makes Vectorworks a powerhouse! It's capable of creating not only awesome top down CAD designs, but beautiful artistic renderings of your creations. Vectorworks lets you get out what you're willing to put in.

Cons:

Vectorworks can take a decent amount of time to get intimately familiar with. There's plenty of classes and videos available to help you along your way, but there is certainly a skill cap to this software that requires professional knowledge to get the most out of it. It's not difficult to learn, but the skill cap is high to get the most out of it.

Tyler
Tyler
Project manager in US
Events Services, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Vectorworks to the rescue

5.0 5 years ago

Pros:

The amount of detail this software has is game changing. to be able to truly go into 3d and view true dimensions is so great

Cons:

The price is steep but it’s one of the best apps you can use. Can be hard to use but with a little training it’s easy to use

Christopher
Principal in US
Architecture & Planning, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

CAD program with enough depth of features for projects large and small

5.0 4 years ago

Pros:

Easy to setup and create drawings. The tools are intuitive.

Cons:

Cost. Would like a low-cost version without 3D BIM for 2D drafting only.