Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Vectorworks Fundamentals is a computer-aided design (CAD) solution with an intuitive interface that is perfect for general 2D drafting and 3D modeling. It’s also the core application for other Vectorworks products.

If your needs are more specific to one particular design discipline like architecture, landscape, or entertainment, and you don’t need tools from other disciplines, then you may prefer to choose a single Vectorworks Design Series product to suit your needs as an alternative to Fundamentals. To learn about our other products, check out our product pages.


If you need tools from two or more of our Design Series products, then Vectorworks Designer software is a smart choice. It’s a collection of all the Vectorworks products: Architect, Landmark, and Spotlight. Vectorworks Designer is made for the person or firm that handles multiple design disciplines and needs the tools to get it all done. To find out more, see our Designer page.


2. Is Vectorworks Fundamentals BIM (Building Information Modeling)?

Supported by Parasolid model technology, Vectorworks Fundamentals provides best-in-class, sophisticated modeling tools with the flexibility and power that facilitate freeform modeling when needed. It is also an intelligent modeling and database system, providing tools to create and process native and user-defined data associated with objects. When upgraded to Vectorworks Architect software, it is an internationally recognized BIM authoring tool, giving architects the tools to create intelligent 3D building models with important data like semantics, physical attributes, quantities, and relationships. For more information, check out the Vectorworks Architect product page and our BIM in Practice page.


3. Can I get high-quality 2D documentation, which is still an important aspect of project design and execution?

Documentation is a snap as the model is fully integrated with live, dynamic views on pages containing presentations of the design. As you design and make changes to the model, the results automatically show up on all views. Additional 2D annotations and drawings can be included in all views, extending your ability to communicate your designs clearly, effectively, and beautifully.   

Vectorworks software is known for its graphical capabilities that support your creative individuality. We have many tools, such as colored fills, image fills, gradients, tiles, hatches, unlimited colors, variable line weights, and custom line styles, to create the drawings and presentations that set you and your designs apart. This is one of the many reasons why so many great designers choose Vectorworks Fundamentals.


4. How can I share data in and out of Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Vectorworks Fundamentals handles a large variety of image, vector, and model formats. You can import or export your drawings in DXF/DWG or DWF format, which will allow you to seamlessly and accurately send files back and forth between Vectorworks and other CAD applications. Plus, you can create drawings, presentations, and images using PDF, DWF, JPG, TIF, and EPS files. For exchanging 3D data freely with a great number of other modeling applications, Vectorworks Fundamentals supports Parasolid X_T, SAT, IGES, STL, 3DM, STEP, and OBJ formats. With Renderworks, you can even export CINEMA4D, FBX, and COLLADA models for use in other standalone modeling and rendering applications.


In addition, you can share Vectorworks Fundamentals files with your colleagues, clients, printing services, and anyone who wants to open, view, or print Vectorworks models or documents, using the free Vectorworks Viewer. With the Viewer, you can open files from all Vectorworks products, but the content cannot be changed; all tools except those for printing, navigation, and revision control are locked. Download it free of charge.


Another option is to subscribe to Vectorworks Service Select, where you’ll have access to the Vectorworks Cloud Services desktop client and Vectorworks Nomad mobile application, which is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire, to share files and documentation with other computers and mobile devices.


5. Can I create renderings, videos, and animations with Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Renderworks is an add-on rendering application available for purchase. It provides the ability to create videos of orbital, path, and solar animations. You can also create high-quality photorealistic and stylized non-photorealistic rendered models for stunning images and animations. In addition, Renderworks provides a high-fidelity integration with CINEMA 4D by MAXON Computer to create stunning visualizations and complex, multi-object animations.


6. How quickly can I learn Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Vectorworks Fundamentals is known for its intuitive user interface and workflows. Getting you up and running quickly is our goal. Typically, after a two-day training course, you’ll understand the basics of Vectorworks Fundamentals, and you’ll be able to start designing. You can purchase online one-on-one or group training, attend classes at our headquarters in Columbia, MD, or attend classes at locations around the country throughout the year. We also have a number of other self-training options available for purchase, including tutorial workbooks, or for free, including our Getting Started Guides and videos through our YouTube channel, so you can learn at your own pace.  For more information, visit our Vectorworks Training page.

International customers can learn about training options in their countries by contacting their local distributor at Vectorworks Worldwide.


7. How do I purchase Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Vectorworks Fundamentals is available to design professionals all over the world. It is available in more than 85 countries and has been localized into nine different languages, including German, Norwegian, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. The English version is available worldwide, alongside localized versions, through our international distributors.


In the United States, you can purchase through our online store, or for more personal attention and help with any questions prior to your purchase, contact our U.S. Sales team at 1-888-646-4223 or via email at Outside the United States, you can find a distributor in your country, or region, by visiting Vectorworks Worldwide or by sending an email to with your inquiry.


8. What’s included in my purchase of Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Your purchase entitles you to free service pack updates for the current version, Getting Started Guides, and technical support. All users also have access to the Vectorworks KnowledgeBase for more technical information about their products, as well as the Vectorworks Community Board for 24-hour peer-to-peer support on a wide range of topics.


While you are not obligated to upgrade with each new version of the software, you may do so for only a fraction of the original cost of a new license. We encourage our customers to consider purchasing a Vectorworks Service Select membership to further enhance the value of their purchase.


9. What is Vectorworks Service Select?

Vectorworks Service Select is an annual subscription service that provides guaranteed best pricing for upgrades, added access to priority technical support, and additional online learning resources, including an extensive, on-demand learning video library with tips, tricks, and tutorials. You’ll also receive discounts for one-on-one and group training to boost your productivity and expertise. In addition, you’ll have access to download even more high-quality generic and manufacturer specific product libraries including Scolmore International, B&B Italia, Vitra, and Bradley Fixtures, to name a few. Last, but not least, you’ll get exclusive access to Vectorworks Cloud Services.


10. What is Vectorworks Cloud Services?

Vectorworks Cloud Services provides users with the ability to publish in multiple formats, as well as store and synchronize project files to a cloud account, allowing multi-point access and sharing. Vectorworks files with sheet layers will have PDFs automatically created when uploaded. With Nomad for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire, you can access the resulting PDFs and mark them up with notes and basic drawing elements, sharing the results with external partners.


11. What can Vectorworks offer to students and schools?

Students have free access to Vectorworks Designer with Renderworks software, which combines all the functionality of Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, and Renderworks into a single application. Many educational institutions throughout the world rely on Vectorworks software their labs and classrooms as a powerful, flexible, and complete design tool.


For more information about student and academic programs, please visit our Education webpage. Students may also visit our Student Portal to download the software and incorporate Vectorworks products into their design education journey.


12. What are the system recommendations for Vectorworks Fundamentals?

Windows: 64-bit version of Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10; 4 GB minimum, 8 GB or greater recommended, 8 to 16 GB RAM for larger models and complex renderings; 64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) or better processor; 1440x900 minimum, 1920x1080 or higher recommended monitor resolution; 1 GB minimum, 2 to 4 GB VRAM or greater recommended for best performance on high-resolution monitors; OpenGL v2.1 compatible; a dedicated graphics card is highly recommended.

Mac: Mac OS X 10.9 or later operating system; 4 GB minimum, 8 GB or greater recommended, 8 to 16 GB RAM for larger models and complex renderings; 64-bit Intel Core i5 (or AMD equivalent) or better processor; 1440x900 minimum, 1920x1080 or higher recommended monitor resolution; 1 GB minimum, 2 to 4 GB VRAM or greater recommended for best performance on high-resolution monitors; OpenGL v2.1 compatible; a dedicated graphics card is highly recommended.


For the most current technical information, please visit our Knowledgebase.