How to Create a Title Block in Vectorworks 2019

This tutorial also applies to VW2018. For VW2017 and earlier, click here.


  1. Start a new blank file.

  2. Make a new sheet layer with the page size that you'll be using this TBB for (for example, ARCH D, 24"x36").

  3. In the Dims/Notes toolset, find the "Title Block Border Tool."

  4. With this tool, double click on your drawing area to insert a TBB. It'll probably automatically snap to the page location.

  5. You now have an object that the OIP calls a "Title Block Border."

  6. In the OIP, make sure Style says "Unstyled" (for when you're creating a new one - this will change later).

  7. In the OIP, click the "Title Block Border Settings" button - this is the main window where you'll be setting up the attributes of the TBB.

  8. Start with the "Sheet Border" category in the left pane, and set up parameters as you want there. Make sure "Sheet Fit Mode" is "Outside Dimensions" and that you set your margins as you like (I prefer 1/2").

  9. Then click the "Sheet Zones/Grids" category and set up as you like. I turn off the "Show Grids" checkbox, so beyond that I personally ignore this category.

  10. Click the "Title Block" category. I leave the first box unchecked because I like a border around my page, but if you want just a title block with no border then check this box. After that, I personally have it set to Bottom Right, None, None, 1, checked, checked.

  11. We'll come back to the "Title Block Graphics" buttons in a moment.

  12. The next two categories are called "Project Data" and "Sheet Data" - this is where we will be re-creating the fields of the "Record Format" used by older style title blocks. Project data will apply to all title blocks in your document, and sheet data will apply to individual title block instances.

  13. In the "Project Data" category, click the "Manage Project Data" button. VW has a few default fields which unfortunately you can't delete. Add the additional fields that you'll need. I like to place my fields above the default fields so that they appear first in the list. Then click OK.

  14. Do the same for "Sheet Data" - create all the fields that you will need.

  15. Click OK to exit out of the Settings dialogue box and save all the work you've done so far. The next step will be linking the fields to the title block itself.

  16. In the OIP, click the "Edit Title Block Layout" button (note that this button functions the same as the one in the "Title Block" category we saw earlier). It takes you into an editing mode with an orange border.

  17. If you’ve already drawn your title block geometry or are pulling it from an older file, copy and paste the geometry here. Or, use rectangles, lines, and text objects to create a new title block layout from scratch.

  18. Note that when you select any text object inside of this editing mode, the OIP calls it "Text in Title Block" meaning that it can do special things.

  19. Select each piece of text that you want to link to a field, and in the bottom of the OIP switch "Data Type" to "Link Value," then find the parameter in the next dropdown.

  20. Make sure text objects each have the appropriate anchor points (left, center, right) to allow for varying text lengths.

  21. Click the orange "Exit Title Block Layout" button once you've linked all your text, and Save.

  22. If the placement of your title block on the page isn't correct, either check the Settings under the "Sheet Border" category, OR you may have to help define its placement manually using Bounding Box locus points:

  23. To add Bounding Box locus points, go back into the Title Block Layout editing mode. Place a 2D Locus in the lower right-hand corner of your title block (note that you can place it farther away from your title block if you want some whitespace). Then in the OIP change the "Point Type" to "Bounding Box Point". Then place another 2D Locus in the upper left-hand corner and again change the point type. Once you have two locus points, click Exit, and VW will use those points to place your title block relative to the corner of the page.

  24. Everything looking good so far? If so, in the OIP click the "Style" dropdown and choose "New Plug-In Style from Unstyled Plug-In". If you haven't encountered Styles before in Vectorworks, it's essentially a system that lets multiple instances of something (in this case TBBs) automatically be the same as each other, while also allowing you to define some elements that can be different from each other. The Style Definition will live in the Resource Manager, like a symbol, and TBBs will "listen" to this definition. The word “listen” in this context means that when you change the Style, all TBB parameters that are listening to that style will update accordingly. (The style is the “parent” entity and the TBB instance is the “child” entity.)

  25. The new pop-up will look just like the Settings pop-up from earlier. One difference is that the buttons to the left of each parameter are now active. You should see a bunch of black arrows, which indicate that the parameter will always match what you set up in the Style Definition. For the most part you can leave all the parameters set this way. However, if there are any parameters that you might want to set individually on a per-TBB basis, then click the button to take away the arrow (the new icon looks like two little squares). That means that for each TBB instance, you could change this parameter to something different than defined in the Style (for example, you could use the same title block on sheets of different sizes by changing “Sheet Size” to be By Instance rather than By Style).

  26. Make sure to give your Style a name at the top of the pop-up, then click OK.

  27. Hypothetically your TBB definition should now be ready to use. Note that the TBB object you have selected is an "instance" which is listening to the Style Definition in the Resource Manager. If you were to click the Settings button again, a lot of the parameters are greyed out. This is because the Style Definition is dictating that these parameters can’t be changed on an individual basis; they only listen to the Style Definition. Therefore, if you want to go back and make changes to your Style Definition as a whole, the magic step is the go back to the OIP and in the Style dropdown click "Edit Style" - this is where you will go to make any "global" changes to your TBB. (The other method is to find the red-text Style Definition in the Resource Manager and edit it through there.)

  28. To enter data into a finished TBB, simply double click it (you may want to tell the intermediate pop-up to always edit the Settings/Sheet Data upon double-clicking).

  29. When everything is working properly, paste the TBB into your working project file. I also recommend placing it in your personal template so it's always there and ready to use in new files.

I plan to add images to this page at some point to make it easier to understand.
In the meantime, please
contact me with any questions, feedback, or tutorial requests. Thanks!