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ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide

Graphisoft
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ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide
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strictly prohibited.
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Introduction

INTRODUCTION
The ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide contains six main chapters, providing a concise overview about ArchiCAD features and functions. This material is also available
through the electronic Help system.
The User Interface Reference section of this Reference Guide, providing more detailed descriptions of each setting and dialog box, is available in the electronic Help system
only.

Chapters in this book:

Configuration summarizes what you need to know to set up your Collaboration presents the Teamwork function which allows teams
ArchiCAD program. of architects to work simultaneously on the same project. This
chapter also covers how to include repetitive structures efficiently; an
intelligent DXF/DWG import-export and merge process; and an
Interaction introduces you to ArchiCAD’s basic operations. It has on-line redlining process.
three main sections: Navigation, Editing Concepts, and Techniques.

Visualization encompasses all the tools and techniques that allow


Virtual Building describes the model views and windows you will you to display and present your architectural design to your customer.
use to create your Virtual Building using the ArchiCAD design tools.

Documentation describes ArchiCAD’s drafting and annotation


tools, as well as the integrated Layouting process for producing a
complete, final documentation for your project.

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 3


Introduction

4 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide


CONTENTS
Introduction_______________________________________________ 3 Redefine a Pen Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Configuration _____________________________________________15 Transfer a Pen Set to Another Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Managing Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Automatic Pen Color Visibility Adjustment for Model Views. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Start ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Predefined Pen Sets for Specific Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Create New Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Close a Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 About Materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
File Types Recognized by ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Display of Materials and Textures in 3D Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
File Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Display of Materials in Section/Elevation/IE Window. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Template Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Display of Materials in the 3D Document. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Backup Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Display of Materials in Renderings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Archive Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Create or Modify a Material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Opening Projects through a Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Attribute Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Merging Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Custom Attributes of GDL Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Add-Ons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Libraries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Project Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 About Libraries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Working Units & Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Startup Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Dimension Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Library Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Library Management Workflow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
About Library Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Identifying Duplicates Among Library Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Missing Library Parts and the Library Loading Report Palette . . . . . . . . . . .45
About Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Quick Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Favorites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Create and Use Layer Combinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 About Favorites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Use Layers to Prevent Wall/Column/Beam Intersections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Storing and Applying Favorites in Tool Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Use Separate Layer Settings for the Layout Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 The ArchiCAD User Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Place All Elements on a Single “Active Layer” (Simulate Autocad Work Toolbox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Methods). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Info Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Line Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Fill Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 About Menus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Available Fill Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Toolbars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Composite Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 About Toolbars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
Assign a Composite Structure to a Wall, Roof or Slab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Shortcuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Define a Custom Composite Structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Palettes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Components of Composite Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Pet Palettes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Pens & Colors/Pen Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Customizing your Work Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Apply a Pen Set. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 About the Work Environment Dialog Box. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54
ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 5
Saving Your Customized Work Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Selection Feedback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Selection Dots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
How to Use Your Personalized Work Environment Settings on Another Selection Highlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Computer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Element Information Highlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Interaction________________________________________________ 59 Element Information Pop-up (Info Tags) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 The Intelligent Cursor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
How to Navigate Among ArchiCAD Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Deselecting Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Navigation Inside the Active Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Find and Select Elements by Criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Zoom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Edit Selection Set. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Fit in Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Store and Access Selection Sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Pan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Marquee Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Navigator Preview (2D) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 About Marquee Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Navigation in the 3D Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Marquee Area Definition Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Accessing 3D Navigation Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 View Marquee Area in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Explore Model (3D Navigation). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Removing a Marquee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Orbit (3D Navigation) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Copy/Paste Marquee Area from Project Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Navigator Preview (3D) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Copy Cropped Image File with Marquee Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
3Dconnexion Enabler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Drag or Stretch Multiple Elements Using Marquee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
The Navigator Palette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Other Editing Operations within the Marquee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
About the Navigator Palette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Origins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Using the Navigator to Open Project Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 About Origins in ArchiCAD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Project Workflow in the Navigator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Create a User Origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Organizer Palette (Special Navigator View) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 User Origin in the 3D Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Navigator Color Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Use Tracker to Display and Input Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Navigator Project Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 About the Tracker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Navigator View Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Parameters Shown in Tracker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Setting up a View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Defining Tracker Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Saving a View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Coordinate Input in Tracker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Modifying View Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Coordinate Input Logic: Expert Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Quick Options Palette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 The Measure Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Navigator Layout Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 The Grid System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Navigator Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Grid Snap Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
External Projects in the Navigator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Guide Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
About Guide Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Editing Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Turn Guide Lines on or off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Selecting Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Types of Guide Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Quick Selection of Surface Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Defining Your Preferred Guide Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Select Multiple Elements Using a Selection Rectangle/Polygon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Placing Guide Lines During Input. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Selection of Overlapping Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Removing Guide Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Examples for Using Guide Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

6 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide


Mouse Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Modifying Beams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
Using Mouse Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Modifying Complex Profile Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
Projection Mode of Cursor with Mouse Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Reshaping Polygons and Chained Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
Coordinate Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Stretching with the Marquee Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128
Relative Construction Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Stretch Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129
Parallel and Perpendicular Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Resize (Enlarge or Reduce) Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129
Angle Bisector Constraint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Splitting Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
Offset and Multiple Offset (Relative Construction Methods) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Adjusting Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
Aligning Elements to a Surface in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Intersect Two Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
Snapping to Existing Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Create a Fillet or Chamfer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132
Special Snap Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Trimming Elements to Intersection Point(s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
Special Snap Points on Temporary Vector. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 Adding Element Nodes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
Cursor Snap Range. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Editing Element Nodes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
Elevation and Gravity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Curve/Straighten Element Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
About Elevation of Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Explode into Current View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Elevation Values in the Tracker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109 Creating Element Duplicates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Gravity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110 Drag, Rotate, Mirror Element Copies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136
Reference Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110 Multiplying Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136
Elevation and Stories in the 3D Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Drag & Drop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138
Cancel Operations with Esc and Backspace Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Parameter Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139
Pet Palettes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Grouping Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140
Techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Lock/Unlock Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141
Basic Editing Techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Display Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141
Moving Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 Magic Wand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143
Nudging Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 About the Magic Wand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143
Dragging Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115 How to Create an Element with the Magic Wand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144
Rotating Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Using the Magic Wand in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Mirroring Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Using the Magic Wand to Add/Subtract Polygon Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Elevating Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 “Virtual Trace:” Using References to Edit and Compare Model Views
Align Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 and Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
About the Align function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 About Trace References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
How to Align Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 Access Trace Reference Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147
Special Align . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 Show/Hide Trace Reference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147
Distribute Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121 Choosing a Trace Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148
Special Distribute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122 Set Color/Visibility Options for Trace Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
Modifying Element Sizes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Move Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
Overview of Modifying Element Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Switch Reference with Active: How to Access Elements within the Reference for
Stretching Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Editing or Copying. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150
Modifying Slanted Walls and Columns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124 Rebuild Trace Reference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150
Compare Reference with Active . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 7


Consolidating Lines and Fills in Drawing Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Assign Section Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Why Consolidate? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Display of Elements in Section Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Linework Consolidation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Open a Section Viewpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Fill Consolidation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 Place a Linked Section Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Define Marker Reference for Linked Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Virtual Building __________________________________________ 155
Place an Unlinked Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
ArchiCAD Model Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Create an Independent Section Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
About Model Views in ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Updating Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Floor Plan Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Summary of Rebuild Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Display of Section Lines and Markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
About Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Adjusting or Breaking Section Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
Navigate Among Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Elevations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
Defining Story Display in 3D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Interior Elevations (IE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Defining Story Display in Section/Elevation/IE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
About Interior Elevations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Manage Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Create Single Interior Elevation Viewpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
Story Level Lines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Create Multiple IE Viewpoints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Floor Plan Cut Plane (Global Setting) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Interior Elevation IDs and Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
How to Display Individual Elements on the Floor Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Editing Interior Elevation Viewpoints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Set Home Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Editing the Interior Elevation Limit Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Control Element Display by Story (Show On Stories) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Vertical and Horizontal Range of the Interior Elevation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Define Element’s Floor Plan Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Interior Elevations and Zone Shape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Define Range of Element’s Projected Display (Show Projection). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Display of Elements in Interior Elevation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Examples of Floor Plan Display Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
3D Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
3D Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
About the 3D Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Show All in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Create a 3D Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Show Selection in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
The 3D Document and its 3D Window Source. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Show Marquee Area in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Redefine the 3D Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Default Display in 3D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Model Display of the 3D Document. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Filter Elements to Show in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Details. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Save Contents of 3D Window as a View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
About Details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
3D Engines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Create a Detail Drawing Viewpoint with Model Source. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
3D View Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Contents of the Detail Viewpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
3D Projections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Place a Linked Detail Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
3D Navigation Extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Place an Unlinked Detail Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
3D “Cutaway” Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Create an Independent Detail Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Display of Detail/Worksheet Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
About Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Update Detail/Worksheet Marker Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Create a Section Viewpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Display of Detail Drawing Icons in the Navigator. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Define Horizontal/Vertical Range of Section Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Updating the Detail Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Define Marker Reference for Source Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177

8 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide


Worksheets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202 Create a Curved Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220
About Worksheets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202 Create a Chain of Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .222
Worksheet vs. Detail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202 Create a Rectangle of Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
Create a Worksheet Drawing with Model Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202 Create a Trapezoid Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
Contents of the Worksheet Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203 Create a Composite Wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224
Editing in the Worksheet Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204 Create a Polygon Wall (PolyWall) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224
Create an Independent Worksheet Viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204 Create a Slanted or Double-Slanted Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225
Place a Linked Worksheet Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204 Create a Log Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225
Place an Unlinked Worksheet Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204 Create a Gable Wall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .226
Managing Markers in ArchiCAD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204 Wall-Wall Intersections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .226
About Markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .204 Modify Wall Geometry (Add-On) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .229
Display of Marker Range Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205 Walls and Other Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .229
Source Marker Highlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205 Columns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230
Changing Marker Type. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205 Column Display on Floor Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230
Transfer Marker Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .206 Column Display in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231
Copying a Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .206 Creating Columns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .232
Navigation Using Markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .206 Create a Slanted Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233
Find Linked Markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .207 Columns and Other Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233
Check Markers Palette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .207 Beams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233
Deleting a Viewpoint/View/Drawing with a Marker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .208 Beam Reference Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233
Deleting a Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209 Beam Display on the Floor Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233
Interactive Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209 Create a Beam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .234
About Schedules. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209 Create a Hole in a Beam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235
Open a Schedule. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210 How to Change Angle of Beam End Faces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235
Show Schedule Data for Selected Items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211 Beams and Other Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236
Editing and Updating Schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211 Place a Wall/Column/Beam with a Complex Profile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .237
Define a Schedule Using Scheme Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212 About Complex Profile Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .237
Sort Schedule Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213 Creating or Editing a Complex Profile Element. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .238
Format a Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .214 Store or Apply a Modified Complex Profile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .239
Schedule Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .215 Create Complex Profile from Parallel Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .240
Restructure Schedule to Fit Layout. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .215 Roofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .240
Split Schedule into Multiple Layouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216 About Roofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .240
Project Indexes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217 Create a Simple Roof on the Floor Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241
About Project Indexes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217 Create a Simple Roof in 3D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .242
Index of Published Items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218 Create a Polyroof or Curved Roof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .242
Construction Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 Create a Dome-Shaped Roof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243
How to Place a Construction Element in ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218 Create a Barrel-Vaulted Roof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243
Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219 Create a Hole in a Roof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246
About Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219 Modify the Roof Slant Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246
Create a Straight Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .220 Create Roof Level Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .247

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Set Custom Roof Edge Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Curtain Walls and Other Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306
Intersect Roof Planes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Free-Rotate Curtain Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310
Trim Element to Roof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Attach Labels to Curtain Wall Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
Create Special Roof Objects with RoofMaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 Parametric Objects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
Slabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255 About Parametric Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
Creating Slabs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 Object Settings of Library Part Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312
Placing Holes in Slabs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 Where to Find Objects for Use in ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
Meshes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Locating a Library Part . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
Display of Meshes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Placing an Object. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
Create a Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Selecting a Placed Object. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
Edit Elevation of a Mesh Point. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 Stretching Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
Add New Points to the Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 Customizing Object Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
Create a Hole in the Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Parameter Transfer Between Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318
Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Graphical Editing Using Editable Hotspots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318
Zone Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Create Patch Object . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
2D Display of Zone Fills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Graphic Creation of Custom Objects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
Zone Stamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 Saving Library Parts from the Project File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
3D Display of Zone Spaces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261 Saving 2D Symbols as Library Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
Creating Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261 Saving 3D Models as Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
Trim Zone to Another Element. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263 Saving Rectangular Doors and Windows from the Project File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
Calculating Zone Area and Zone Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 Saving Custom Shape Doors and Windows from the Project File . . . . . . . . . . . . 322
Updating Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Scripting Custom Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323
Update Zones Dialog Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Custom Components. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
Curtain Wall: A System Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 Dedicated Object Tools: Doors, Windows, Skylights, Wall Ends,
Working with Curtain Walls: Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 Stairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .326
Curtain Wall Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Doors/Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326
Create a Curtain Wall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 Floor Plan Display of Doors/Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
System-Level Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 Setting the Window/Door Plane in Slanted or Complex Walls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
Curtain Wall Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 Anchoring Sill or Header Heights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328
Curtain Wall Edit Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285 Placing Doors or Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329
Edit Grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Creating an Empty Opening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
Edit Curtain Wall Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 Moving Wall Openings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
Edit Curtain Wall Boundary in Section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 Corner Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332
Add Additional Curtain Wall Boundary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293 Skylights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332
Edit Curtain Wall Reference Line. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Wall Ends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Curtain Wall Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Stairs (Predefined Stair Objects) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Curtain Wall Panels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299 Displaying Stairs on the Floor Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
Curtain Wall Junctions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302 Custom Stairs with StairMaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335
Curtain Wall Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 StairMaker Add-On . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335

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Custom Stair Based on a Standard Stair Type. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .336 Documentation __________________________________________ 367
Geometry and Flight Settings (StairMaker). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .337 Drafting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367
Structure and Landing (StairMaker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .341 Fills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368
Tread Settings (StairMaker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .343 About Fills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368
Railings (StairMaker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344 Fill Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .368
Symbol Settings (StairMaker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346 Assign a Fill to a Construction Element . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369
Listing Settings (StairMaker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347 Draw a Freehand Fill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .370
Check and Save Stair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348 Defining Fill Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .370
Custom Stair Based on Manually Drawn Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .348 Fill Display Mode: Vectorial vs. Bitmap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372
Element Extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349 Display of Vectorial Hatching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372
TrussMaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .350 Set Orientation of Vectorial Hatching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372
Creating Trusses in the Floor Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .350 Model View Options: Global Settings for Fill Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375
Editing Trusses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .350 Create New Symbol Fill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375
Creating Trusses in Section/Elevation/IE Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .351 Adding Area Text to a Fill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375
Solid Element Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .352 Gradient Fills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .376
About Solid Element Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .352 Image Fills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .376
Solid Operation Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353 Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .378
Solid Operations: Element Display and Calculation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353 Line Categories in ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .378
Solid Operation Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353 Drawing a Single Straight Line Segment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .379
Model View Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355 Stretching or Shrinking Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .379
Set Model View Options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355 Drawing Circular Arcs and Full Circles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .379
Model View Options Combinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356 Stretching Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .380
Editing an Arc Using its Tangent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381
On-Screen View Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357
Drawing Elliptical Arcs and Full Ellipses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .381
Partial Structure Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358 Convert Ellipse to Circle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .382
About Partial Structure Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358 Drawing Splines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .382
Choose Partial Structure Display Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358 Editing Splines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .383
Partial Structure Display Settings in ArchiCAD Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .359 Drawing Freehand Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .383
Save Partial Structure Settings by View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360 Drawing Polylines and Chained Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .383
How to Define Skins of a Composite Structure as “Core” or “Finish”. . . . . . . . .360 Decompose a Polyline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .384
How to Define Components of Complex (Profile) Elements as “Core” or “ Unify Drafting Elements into Polyline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .384
Finish”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361
Hotspots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .385
Visualizing the Entire Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361
Figures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .386
Columns In Partial Structure Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .362
Drawings in Model Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .386
Zones and Partial Structure Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363
Placing Drawings into a Model window. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .387
Floor Plan Cover Fills in Partial Structure Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363
Dimensions in Partial Structure Display. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363 Annotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388
Partial Structure Display Settings in Windows Based on a Source Marker. . . . . .364 Dimensioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .388
Intersections of Partially Displayed Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365 Placing Dimensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .388
Doors and Windows in Partial Structure Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365 Glossary of Dimensioning Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .389

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 11


Static Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390 Symbol Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420
Linear Dimensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390 Text Editing in ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420
Linear Dimensions in the 3D Document Window. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393 Search and Replace Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420
Dimensioning Overlapping Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 394 Spell Checker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421
Elevation Dimensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 394 Editing Commands in Text-Type Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421
Dimensioning Wall Thickness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395 The Layout Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .422
Radial Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 396 Layouting Work Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 422
Level Dimensions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 396 Layout Book Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
Angle Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397 About the Layout Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423
Editing a Dimension Chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 398 Layouts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
Modify the Witness Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401 Master Layouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
Dimension Text Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401 Subsets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 426
Move or Edit Dimension Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 402 Drawings in the Layout Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 427
Associative Dimensions in Sections/Elevations/IE and 3D Document. . . . . . . . 402 Placing Drawings Onto the Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 427
Secondary Dimensions (Add-On) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 403 Arranging Multiple Drawings on the Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
Automatic Exterior Dimensioning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 403 Importing PDF Files As Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
Automatic Interior Dimensioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404 Modifying Drawings on the Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430
The Grid Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404 Drawing Titles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
About the Grid Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404 Managing and Updating Placed Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433
Components of a Grid Element . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405 Deleting a Drawing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434
Visibility of a Grid Element. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 406 Layout and Drawing IDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 434
Creating a Straight Grid Element . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407 Simple Layout Numbering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435
Creating a Curved Grid Element . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407 Automatic Layout ID Assignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435
Editing a Grid Element . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 408 Custom Layout/Subset IDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 436
Place a Grid System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 408 Drawing IDs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 436
Text Blocks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410 Layouting Workflow Schemes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437
Placing Text Blocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 411 Smaller Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437
Formatting Text Blocks As a Whole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412 Mid-Size Projects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437
Resizing Text Graphically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412 Larger Projects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 438
Applying Favorite Text Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412 Layouting in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 439
Formatting Individual Components of Text Blocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 412 Publishing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .440
Autotext . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413 Print . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 440
How to Insert Autotext . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413 Plot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 441
Autotext Reference Drawing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 414 Publisher Function. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 442
Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 417 Planning to Publish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443
Placing Independent Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 417 Defining a Publisher Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443
Placing Associative Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418 Defining Output Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 444
Tool-Specific Default Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 418 Defining Output Format. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 444
Placing Member Labels on Curtain Walls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419 Viewing and Redlining DWF Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 445
Define Default Text Content of Labels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420

12 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide


Publishing Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .445 Editing Module Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .486
PDF Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .446 Edit Hotlink Source in Separate ArchiCAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .486
Create PDF Output Using the Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .446 Edit Module: Break Link, Edit Elements, Replace Hotlink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .487
Save Document in PDF Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .447 Managing Hotlinks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .488
3D Content in PDF (WIN only) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .448 Modules: Multiplatform Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .492
Calculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 449 Hotlinked Modules and Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .492
Calculation Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .449 XREFs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 494
Calculation Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .451 XREFs and the Layer Structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .494
List Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .451 Using XREFs in Round-Trip Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .495
Displaying Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .453 Data Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496
Element Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .454 Opening DWG/DXF Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .496
ID Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .455 Saving DWG/DXF Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .498
Collaboration _____________________________________________459 Merge a DXF/DWG File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500
Teamwork. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 459 Round-Trip Conversion (Smart Merge). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500
Project Setup in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .459 Consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 503
Team Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .459 Project Reviewer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .503
Sharing the Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .460 Project Reviewer Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .503
Reservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .461 Project Mark-Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .508
Changing Workspace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .462 About Project Mark-Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .508
Working Inside the Reserved Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .463 Version Management with Mark-Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .509
View Maps and Publisher Sets in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .464 Mark-Up Concepts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510
Workflow in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .465 Publishing and Retrieving Mark-Up Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510
Sending and Receiving Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .465 Teamwork and Project Mark-Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .510
Working on a Local Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .465 Mark-Up Example in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .511
Teamwork Techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .466 Visualization_____________________________________________ 513
Working Off-Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .470 Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513
Library Management in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .470
PhotoRendering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 514
Teamwork Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .473
Basic LightWorks Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .515
Troubleshooting in Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .473
Expert LightWorks Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .517
Teamwork Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .477
Exterior LightWorks Example. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520
Small Firms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .477
Interior LightWorks Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .523
Medium Size Firms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478
Large Practices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .479 Visualization Extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525
Fly-Through . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .525
Hotlinked Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 482
VR Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .526
About Hotlinked Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .482
VR Scenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .527
Create Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .484
Sun Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .529
Place Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .484
Align View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .529
Modules Involving Multiple Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .486
Index___________________________________________________ 533

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 13


14 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide
Configuration

CONFIGURATION
The first section of this chapter, Managing Projects, contains
information about creating, opening and saving projects.
Start ArchiCAD
Next, the Project Preferences section describes how to set up a Double-click on the ArchiCAD icon in your program folder
project by defining preferences, for example, the units of measure to start the program.
used in the project. The Start ArchiCAD dialog box appears.
You will set a scale for your project window by using the Document For more information, see “Start ArchiCAD Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
> Scale command.
Then, by looking through the Options > Element Attributes
submenu, view the Attributes that are loaded by default - these
Create New Project
include Layer Settings, Line Types, Fill Types, Composites, Pens & Every time you create a new project (File > New), you can choose
Colors, Materials, Zone Categories, and Mark-Up Styles. among saved sets of project settings:
If you plan to edit an existing project, make sure you have loaded all Use a Template: Use the predefined ArchiCAD 12 template to
the object libraries needed to be able to display and edit all placed enable the Default Project Settings shipped with ArchiCAD. Use a
objects. customized template if you have developed your own template files
The next section describes an easy way to re-use preferred settings, by with predefined options.
defining and using Favorites. A template is a read-only project file, which contains all preferences
After an overview of the ArchiCAD User Interface, the section on settings, placed construction and drawing elements and tool default
Customizing your Work Environment shows you how to save your settings of the project. (When starting a new project based on a template,
personal working preferences on your computer, and how to export you are in fact opening a copy of this template file as “Untitled”).
and import them to other machines if necessary.

Managing Projects
ArchiCAD’s main native document type is the .pln file, the “solo”
Project. It includes all model and Layout Book data, the views
generated for the project, as well as project preferences, attributes and
library references.
The following sections include information on managing projects in
ArchiCAD.

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At the top of the list is the default template shipped together with the Setup Work Environment
current version of ArchiCAD. (It is saved to the Defaults folder when Choose one of the Work Environment Profiles (a predefined Profile,
you install ArchiCAD.) Defaults folder locations: or one that you customized and saved yourself.)
On PC: C:\Program Files\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD For more information, see “Default Profiles in ArchiCAD 12” on page 57 and
12\Defaults\ArchiCAD “Customizing your Work Environment” on page 53.
On MacOS: \Applications\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD
12\Defaults\ArchiCAD Close a Project
The next section contains any additional template files saved to the If you use File > Close to close the Floor Plan, you close the entire
“Templates” folder, located here: Project. You will be prompted to save recent changes, if any. External
On PC: Documents and Settings\user\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD files (GDL Object windows, pictures) will remain open.
Templates. When you save and close a project with many windows open
On MacOS: Library\Application Support\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD simultaneously, ArchiCAD will reopen these windows the next time
Templates. you open the project. Re-opening all these windows may take time,
especially if they must be rebuilt.
In the bottom section of the pop-up list, you will find up to three of
If the number of windows to be re-opened exceeds 20 (not including
the last template files chosen.
PhotoRendering windows, which are not saved with the project), then
Select Browse Template to choose a template file from any other ArchiCAD will show a warning dialog in which you can opt to
location. re-open just the frontmost window (plus the Floor Plan), instead of
all of the previously open windows.
Use Latest Project Settings: You will continue working with all the
project-specific options, and a few general preferences, that were in
effect when you last quit ArchiCAD. This can be the perfect solution
for you, if you always work with the same standard definitions.
However, if you last opened and worked on a project that was created
by another person, you may find that your preferred settings are off.
If you do not wish to return to the program’s default settings, open a
project that you are familiar with, then close it and start the new
project again: this time, Latest Project Settings will mean the
settings you are familiar with.
File Types Recognized by
• If you press Alt (Opt) key when choosing the New command, its ArchiCAD
name changes to New and Reset All and ArchiCAD will Use File > Open to open a saved project. Use File > Save to save it.
automatically use the default project settings.
See the following sections in ArchiCAD for details:
Launch a new instance of ArchiCAD: Check this box if you want
to open an additional ArchiCAD in addition to the currently running File Types Opened by ArchiCAD
program, if any. File Types Saved by ArchiCAD

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File Compression Template Files


When saving certain file types from ArchiCAD (.pln, .plp, .tpl, .pla, A template is a read-only project file with extension tpl. It contains all
.mod), the Options button in the Save dialog box presents you with project preferences settings, placed elements and tool default settings
the option to “Compress file.” of the project.
This option is enabled by default, and is recommended in most cases, ArchiCAD 12 is shipped with a default template file together with the
since file compression reduces file size considerably (by 60-70%). default library. Upon installation, the default template is located in the
Using this option also increases download speed if you are working Defaults folder. When you create a new project in ArchiCAD using a
from a slow network, because the files are smaller. template file, this default template is at the top of the pop-up list
However, note that using the Compress file option means increased when you choose a template:
file saving time (about 30% longer), as a consequence of increased
calculation needs. If the saving procedure takes too long, try turning
this option off.
Note: If you are using a computer with dual processors, file
saving time should increase by only 5-10%.

See also “Create New Project” on page 15.


To create a customized template, open a new empty project file. Edit
your project preferences, set up the project structure and/or place
elements. Save this project file as a template: use File > Save as, and
choose “ArchiCAD Project Template (*.tpl)” as the file type.
To open a copy of the template, choose the New command and select
the Template option, then select the desired template file. When
starting a new project based on a template, you are in fact opening a
copy of this template file as “Untitled.”
Note: Settings of the Work Environment Profile used to open
your project will override Template file settings.

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Backup Files
Opening a Backup Project file (.bpn) allows you to
recover the latest backup copy of a damaged project
file, provided that the Make Backup Copy checkbox
is active in Options > Work Environment > Data
Safety.
See also “Data Safety” in ArchiCAD Help.

Archive Files
Archive (.pla) files are similar to Solo Projects, but may also include
the following:
• Library parts, background images and linked textures used in the
Project, not just references to them
• Properties in loaded libraries For more information on Library Containers, see “Startup Library” on page 42.
• Placed Drawings Warning: If any Library Parts are missing from your Project at
the time you save the Project as an Archive, these missing parts
To save a Project in the Archive format, use the Save as command. will not be included in the Archive document either.
The Archive format is recommended for: If you choose the Archive format in the directory dialog box when
• Moving a Project to another computer saving the project, an Options button appears. Clicking it opens a
dialog box, in which you can specify which types of library parts
• Storing a completed Project
should be included in the archive.
ArchiCAD Projects may refer to Library Parts, stored as outside files
Because of the larger volume
in Library folders or directories. If you want to ensure that all files
of information it stores, an
referenced in the Project are included, you should save the project as
Archive file is somewhat
an Archive. Documents saved as Archives are stored together with all
larger than the
the Library Parts (in a library container file, with extension lcf) and
corresponding Project
properties contained in and defined with the Project.
document.
Note: If you add a .pla file to your Active Libraries using Library
Important: Archives
Manager, make sure you add the explicit .pla file itself, not a
store the font
folder that contains the .pla. Otherwise the parts located within
information used in the
the .pla will not be read.
project, but not the fonts
themselves. This means
that if you wish to display textual information the same way as it
appears in the original environment, you have to install the
appropriate fonts.

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Archive files do not store Add-Ons. Therefore, if your project


contains elements affected by Add-Ons, these elements may lose
Opening Projects through a
certain features or behavior if these Add-Ons are not present. Network
When you open an Archive type document, the Open Archive
Project dialog box appears. If the file that you wish to open is already in use by someone else on
the local network, ArchiCAD will warn you about this and let you
know the name of the user, that is, the name defined in the Sharing
Setup Control Panel (MacOS) or as the User Name (Windows).

You have the following choices:


Choose one of the three options: • Open the file with exclusive access
• Read elements directly from archive: this means that the • Cancel opening the file
library parts will not be extracted from the archive file. You can
place Objects referring to the embedded elements in the Archive • Open the file as read-only
file, but you cannot edit the embedded Library parts themselves If you choose to open the file as read-only, you can see and modify
(unlike the elements in an .lcf file). This also applies to list the whole file, but you can only save it under a different name or into
schemes used in calculations. This method saves a lot of disk another location. If you try to overwrite the original file, you will
space, but limits the modification possibilities. again be notified that it is in use and that you cannot replace it with
• Extract elements to a new folder: the external library parts your modified Project.
required for the project will be extracted from the archive and You can also choose to open the file with exclusive access. However,
placed in a new folder that you can name. This solution is you should be very careful about using this option.
recommended if you need to actually work on the GDL Objects
of the Project. There are a number of reasons why ArchiCAD may state that a file is
• Select a library: instead of extracting the library parts saved with in use although it actually is not:
the project, you can indicate a folder that houses the required • The person who last used the file did not properly open and
elements. This solution is recommended if you wish to update close the file in ArchiCAD, e.g., because of a system crash.
the Project’s GDL Objects with their latest versions.
• You have made a copy of a file that was in use at the moment,
and the copy of the file also includes the name of the person who
was using it during the copying operation.

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Note: If you do open a file with full access while another person • If the name of an attribute for the merged Project is not present
is using it, you will both overwrite each other’s work without in the current one, this attribute is appended to the current
getting any further warning message from ArchiCAD. Therefore, Project’s attribute set to accommodate the new names.
be extremely careful when opening a file with exclusive access in When merging a Project or Module, you can drag, rotate and mirror it
any situation other than the emergencies mentioned above. before placing it to the final location. Until the file is placed, its
elements will be surrounded by a dashed rectangle. Click within the
Merging Files rectangle to move the elements to the desired position. Click outside
the rectangle, or click OK from the context menu (or the Control
The File > File Special > Merge command allows you to paste the Box) to place the elements.
elements of another Project, or a Module, DWF/DWG/DXF, PLT The elements of the merged files will become independent of each
or image file into ArchiCAD. Files can be merged into either the other after being placed. You can place the same elements repeatedly
current Floor Plan, the currently open Section/Elevation/IE, 3D with the Paste command.
Document or Detail/Worksheet window.
If you choose dxf/dwg file format, the Merge DXF-DWG dialog
When merging a Project or Module file, ArchiCAD matches the Box appears.
stories of the merged (imported) file to the current (open) one. When
you merge a multistory building into your current Floor Plan, For more information, see “Merge DXF-DWG Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
ArchiCAD will ask you to define which story from the imported file
will match the story you are working on, and it will also suggest a Merging Image-Type Files
possible match. If you do not have enough stories in your current You can merge an image-type file into your ArchiCAD Project.
plan to accommodate all the merged ones, ArchiCAD will (These include documents created in drawing or painting programs;
automatically create the missing stories. 3D views and elevations saved in picture format; PhotoRenderings
saved only in picture format.) Before choosing Merge for an
Note: You cannot merge multistory elements or modules into
image-type file, you can define its size on the plan in advance: Choose
2D windows other than the Floor Plan.
the Marquee tool and draw a Marquee of the desired size and
Note: When merging a Module into a Section/Elevation/IE or position.
3D Document window, only 2D Elements will be pasted.
Note: There is a difference between merging a multistory project,
and placing a multistory Hotlinked Module. If the host project that
contains fewer stories than Hotlinked Module you are placing,
the module stories which do not “fit” in the host project will not
be placed.
See “Modules Involving Multiple Stories” on page 486.
Since attributes (Layers, Materials, Line Types, Fill Types, etc.) are
identified by their names, the following rules are observed:
• If the name of the attribute is the same in the two Projects, the
merged (imported) elements will inherit the attributes of the
current Project. The merged image will fit into this rectangle.

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Note: Be careful to draw the Marquee with the same proportions


as the original picture, otherwise the figure will be distorted.

Add-Ons
Add-Ons are small applications that extend ArchiCAD’s core
functionality. Many add-ons are integrated as ArchiCAD menu
commands. You can freely customize visibility and the menu and
toolbar location of these integrated add-ons in the settings dialogs of
Options > Work Environment > Menus/Toolbars.
The location of these additional add-ons in the menu structure depends
on where the Add-On Anchor Point is located for that menu.
You can move this Add-On Anchor
Point to any menu location, again
using the controls in Options >
Work Environment > Menus and
Toolbars. Use the Add-On Manager to
If the Add-On Anchor Point is not • Load Add-Ons from any location. They will be loaded after the
part of your customized menu next startup of ArchiCAD;
structure, then the additionally • Permanently remove Add-Ons while ArchiCAD is running;
loaded Add-Ons will not be
displayed either. • Control which Add-Ons should load automatically when
ArchiCAD is started;
Open the Add-On Manager using
Options > Add-On Manager • Show information about the loaded Add-Ons.
command. For more information, see “Add-On Manager” in ArchiCAD Help.

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Goodies • Layouts
“Goodies” are another source of ArchiCAD Add-Ons. They are not • Miscellaneous
integrated into ArchiCAD’s default interface. To access them, go to
The most important Project Preferences which you can set in this
ArchiCAD’s Help menu and choose the Goodies command, from
dialog box are Working Units & Levels, and Dimension Units; these
which you can access a web page containing information on available
add-ons and how to install them. are described in the sections below.

Once you have installed a Goody into the program, you can then The other Project Preferences are described in detail in ArchiCAD
customize the location of the associated menu commands using the Help.
Work Environment interface, as for any other Add-On, and manage See Calculation Units Preferences, Construction Elements Preferences, Zones
it with the Add-On Manager. Preferences, Layouts Preferences, and “Miscellaneous Project Preferences” in
For more information, see “Add-On Manager” in ArchiCAD Help. ArchiCAD Help.

Project Preferences Working Units & Levels


To set working units for the current project, open Options > Project
The Options > Project Preferences command contains settings Preferences > Working Units & Levels.
which are specific to the project you are working on, and which are
saved along with the project. These preferences are crucial standards
and working methods applicable to the whole project.
The Project Preferences dialog box contains a pop-up menu at top
left listing each preference category (which you can also access
directly from Options > Preferences.) Clicking the Next and
Previous buttons allows you to go from one screen to the other

• Working Units & Levels


• Dimensions
• Calculation Units
• Construction Elements
• Zones

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Use the controls of this dialog box to set a project standard for such
units as length measurement, angle units and Reference Levels for
calculating elevations.
Note: This dialog box allows you to set different length
measurement units for editing Layout Book items (Layout Unit)
and Model items (Model Unit).
The unit standards you choose here are Project Preferences: specific
to the Project you are working on and are saved with it. If another
user opens the Project on his or her own computer, the same settings
will be applied.
See “Quick Options Palette” on page 74.
Note: Length measurement units for ArchiCAD dimensions are
However, you can fine-tune
set in a separate dialog box, at Options > Project Preferences >
any of the dimension unit
Dimensions.
types in the project. For
For details on each control of this dialog box, see “Working Units & Levels example, if you are working
Preferences” in ArchiCAD Help. with the millimeter standard,
but decide to display
Dimension Units Door/Window dimensions in centimeters, choose Door/Window as
the dimension type and change its units to centimeters.
To set dimension unit preferences for the current project, open The project Standard is now “Custom.” You can save this new
Options > Project Preferences > Dimensions. standard under its own name by clicking “Add.” Dimension unit
For details on each control of this dialog box, see “Dimensions Preferences” in standards you set here are saved along with your project.
ArchiCAD Help. While the Dimension Standard set here applies to the Project globally,
Each project can be assigned its own you can apply a different dimension standard to any view of the
Dimensioning Standard. These are Project, if needed. To change the dimension standard for any single
predefined sets of units that affect the view, open its View Settings and adjust its Dimensions setting.
entire project at a single click.
This is useful if you are working on
several projects requiring different levels
of accuracy (construction details versus
site plans) or projects being built in
countries other than those in which they
are designed.
For a quick way to change the dimension units of your project, use
the Dimensions pop-up in the Quick Options Palette.

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Scale You can also use the Scale pop-up from the Quick Options palette
to reset the scale of the current window.
To set the scale of the currently active window, choose the For more information, see “Quick Options Palette” in ArchiCAD Help.
Document > Floor Plan Scale command. (The name of the After setting a scale, what you see is a
command varies depending on which window is active.) preview of the Project if printed or
You can have a separate scale in effect for plotted at that scale. To make a
each window. zoomed view match the view at the currently set scale, choose View >
Zoom > Actual Size (or click the zoom button) after setting the scale.
Select either a standard scale from the
pop-up list or type a nonstandard scale Actual Size is the equivalent of the 100% scale value. The 2D Symbol
into the numeric input field. The name of of some GDL Objects (such as Stairs) can be set to be sensitive to the
the given window is displayed in the current scale: the symbol varies depending on the current scale.
caption of the dialog box. Scaled vs. Fixed Elements
According to their behavior at different scales, there are two types of
elements in ArchiCAD.
Scaled elements are rescaled along with the model whenever you
change the project scale. Scaled elements include all construction
elements such as walls, objects, slabs etc.
Fixed Size elements are printed or displayed on the screen at the size
you specify, regardless of the scale selected for the Project. For
elements that do not have any real size, such as dimensions and
arrowheads, you can specify a fixed size defined in either points or
millimeters.
Either fixed or scaled: Text Blocks created with the Text tool,
dashed and symbol line types, and vectorial, symbol and image fill
Standard scales are shown according to either metric or US standards, types can be defined as either fixed scale (Scale independent/paper
depending on the Length Unit setting made in the Options > Project size) or scaled (Scale with plan/model size). You can set this
Preferences > Working Units & Levels dialog box. characteristic for each line type or fill pattern in the Line Types and
Fill Types dialog boxes (Options > Element Attributes menu), or
in the Text Settings dialog box for Text blocks.
Set a Different Scale for Each View
As you save views of your project, the scale is saved along with the
view. Naturally, you will vary the scale as your project develops and
you save multiple views at different scales for different purposes,
using the Scale option in View Settings.
For more information, see “View Settings Stored with the View” on page 73.

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Set a Separate Printing Scale for 2D Document


The ArchiCAD Print and Plot dialog
boxes (File > Print and File > Plot) allow
you to specify a custom printing scale
each time you print or plot your work
from a Floor Plan or other 2D window.
You can also choose whether you want
the program to reduce or enlarge text and
markers as the printing scale is changed,
or keep them at a fixed (paper) size.
For more information, see Print 2D Document
and “Plot 2D Document” in ArchiCAD Help.

Attributes
ArchiCAD Attributes are groups of defined settings available to your
project. For example, Line Types and Materials are Attributes which
you can apply to many project elements as you create them. You will
access these attributes in the appropriate dialog boxes: for example,
when assigning Wall Settings, you will choose from the project’s Fill
set and Line Type set, using the appropriate pop-up menus in the
Wall Settings dialog box. What you see in these pop-up menus are
defined in Options > Element Attributes.

Drawing Scale
Drawings based on an ArchiCAD view have a Drawing Scale. By
default, this Drawing Scale is the same as the Original Scale (the
scale of the Drawing’s source view), but you can customize the
Drawing Scale in Drawing Settings.
Customizing the Drawing scale has no effect on the scale of objects
within the drawing; it is equivalent to a graphical resizing of the
Drawing, like the effect of magnifying a document with a copy
machine.
See “Drawing Tool Settings” in ArchiCAD Help. ArchiCAD comes with a default set of Attributes. For most users,
these default attribute sets are amply suited to their design needs. If
you wish, you can customize Attributes or create new ones. For

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example, you can draw a new fill type, or customize a default material
to give it a new look. Attributes are saved with your project, so if you
open the project on a different computer, your customized Attributes
are available.
To open and (if needed) edit Attribute sets, use the commands from
Options > Element Attributes.
Three other attribute types - also accessible from the Options >
Element Attributes menu - are discussed elsewhere:
“Zone Categories” on page 259,
“Mark-Up Concepts” on page 510,
“Profile Manager Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

Layers
See “Use Separate Layer Settings for the Layout Book” on page 29.
About Layers ArchiCAD comes with a predefined set of layers. Each tool has a
default Layer assignment, so if you place an element using that tool,
Layers are used to separate elements logically. Related groups of the new element is automatically placed on the corresponding layer
elements, such as dimensions, furniture, electrical symbols and so on, (e.g. External Wall, Column, Beam).
are placed on common Layers.
Layers can be deleted; in this case, you will delete all the elements on
An element can only belong to a single layer. it. However, the ArchiCAD Layer is a special layer that cannot be
For each layer, you can set different settings (lock/unlock, show/hide, deleted, hidden or locked, since an ArchiCAD project must always
3D view mode, layer intersection group). contain at least one layer. In case of a file error, any elements that may
Layers are global, which means that the same layers are available on have lost their layer definitions will be placed on the ArchiCAD layer.
all stories and in all windows.
Use Layers to Lock Elements to Prevent Editing
Each ArchiCAD project has a single layer set, which is accessible
Click the lock icon to toggle
from Options > Element Attributes > Layer Settings, as well as
between locked/unlocked status for
Document > Layers > Layer Settings (shortcut: Ctrl+L).
the selected layer in the Layer
Although your ArchiCAD project contains a single Layer Set, you can Settings dialog box.
set the visibility and locked/unlocked status of the layers separately
If a layer status is locked, then
for model views and for layouts. (The title bar of the Layer Settings
elements on that layer cannot be edited - this is useful if you want to
dialog box reflects which type of window is active in ArchiCAD - a
prevent unintended changes.
Model View or the Layout Book.)
Use Layers to Show/Hide Elements
To show/hide a layer, toggle the “eye” icon open or shut for the
selected layer.
26 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide
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If a layer is in hidden status, elements For example, suppose you want to edit this roof in the Floor Plan:
on that layer are not displayed on your
plan.

Use Layers to Show 3D Elements


in Wireframe Mode.
Click the shaded/wireframe icon for
the selected layer to toggle between
these display mode options for 3D.
This setting is independent of the current 3D mode set in the View >
3D View Mode menu.
For more information, see “Layer Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

Quick Layers
The Quick Layers palette lets you quickly change the state of the You don’t need the Section and Elevation markers; to temporarily
Layers in your Project without having to open the Layer Settings hide them, select all the Section/Elevation markers...
dialog box.
Choose the Window > Palettes > Quick Layers command.

• The Show/Hide Toggle inverts the visibility of all layers.


• The Lock/Unlock Toggle inverts the state of all protected and
unprotected layers.
• The Hide/Lock/Unlock Selections’ Layers commands invert
the state of the Layers belonging to the currently selected
elements, while Hide/Lock Others’ Layers does the same for
the elements that are not selected. Both explicit selection and
Marquee areas are taken into consideration.
• The Undo Quick Layer Actions command undoes the last
Quick Layer action (up to 10 actions). ... then click the Hide Selections’ Layers command.
• The Redo Quick Layer Actions command redoes the last
undone QuickLayer action (up to 10 actions).

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Now the unneeded markers and lines are hidden.

Once you are done working on the roof and want to show the hidden
layers again, click the Undo Quick Layers button.

To change the active Layer


Combination, use the Layer
Combination pop-up control
in the Quick Options palette,
or the Document > Layers
hierarchical menu, where
Layer Combinations are listed
by name.
For example, you can set up a “Show All, Lock 3D Elements” Layer
Combination, all the layers are visible, yet all Layers assigned to 3D
All Section and Elevation markers are now shown again. model elements are locked, making those elements uneditable. You
might use this Layer Combination when working with 2D only
functions, such as dimensioning, to prevent inadvertent modifications
Create and Use Layer Combinations to the building elements.
To automate the process of displaying and locking layers, you can Since the settings of layers for Model Views and for the Layout Book
store various setups as Layer Combinations using the Document > can differ, the Layer Combinations saved from these views can also
Layers > Layer Settings command. be different.
See “Layer Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. Note: Layers and Layer Combinations are handled by ArchiCAD
The current Layer Combination is indicated by a checkmark in the as attributes.
list. ArchiCAD comes with several default Layer Combinations.

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Use Layers to Prevent Wall/Column/Beam


Intersections
Another way to use layers is
to vary their Layer
Intersection Group numbers.
Intersecting elements that
belong to the same Layer
Intersection Group will be
joined to each other, Note on Intersection with Hidden Layer: Elements having
provided they are drawn identical intersection groups will intersect even if one of the
correctly. Elements on layers is hidden. This may result in “missing” lines, indicating an
different Layer Intersection Groups will not be joined. intersection with an element on a hidden layer. To avoid this, go
The numbers under the intersection icon in the Layers panel to Layer Settings, select one of the layers, and assign it any
(Document > Layers > Layer Settings) indicate the number of the different intersection group.
intersection group the elements on that layer belong to. Exception for Level 0: Elements which are both on intersection
Only elements on the same intersection group will connect to each other. group 0 (whether on the same or different layers) will NOT intersect.
By default, every layer is set to Group 1, so all intersecting elements
will be joined according to the regular intersection rules for
Use Separate Layer Settings for the Layout
ArchiCAD. You may want to prevent this intersection - for example, Book
to show the details of composite walls that have not been joined. In
this case, place the intersecting walls on different layers, and then give While each ArchiCAD project has only one Layer set, the settings of
one of these a layers a different Layer Intersection Group number. any particular layer (for example its show/hide or locked/unlocked
status) can be different in the Layout Book and in Model Views. The
For example: settings variation you see in Layer Settings (either Layout Book or
Wall Layers Have Identical Intersection Group Numbers: Model Views) depends on which window is active when you open
Layer Settings. The Layer Settings command and its dialog box are
labeled accordingly.

Wall Layers Have Different Intersection Group Numbers:

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Important: Layer settings for the Layout Book serve to For more information, see “Line Types Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
show/hide elements directly placed on layouts, such as lines,
texts and drawings as a whole. Layout Book layers do not affect
the drawing content, which is determined by the layers of its
associated view.

Place All Elements on a Single “Active Layer”


(Simulate Autocad Work Methods)
If you wish to simulate AutoCAD work methods, the Active Layer
command is an easy way of placing all of your elements on a single
layer, rather than using ArchiCAD’s default layer set-up.
Choose Document > Layers >
Layer Extras > Active Layer from
the menu and choose the One Active
Layer for all Element Types option from the appearing palette.
This will set the default layer of all element types to the layer of the
currently active tool (regardless of any selection). All Tool Settings dialog
boxes will now use the same default Layer definition and successive
elements will all be placed on that layer, regardless of type.
You can override this setting manually for selected elements. If you
wish to return to the previous layer state, choose the Individually Set
Line Weight Display
Layers option. The last set of manually defined layers will be used. By default, all lines will be displayed at Hairline width, at one pixel
wide.
Line Types In addition, you can enable Bold Cut Lines (View > On-Screen
View Options); this will show all Cut lines as bold (two pixels wide,
You can assign line types to each ArchiCAD construction element in regardless of the line’s true pen weight). All other lines will be shown
its own Tool Settings dialog box, depending on the element type. at Hairline width.
For example, when defining how a Column should be displayed in a The alternative to Hairline weight is display each pen’s True Line
2D window, you can apply different line types for its core outline, for Weight: enable Line True Weight in View > On-Screen View
its overhead display and for its crossing symbol. Options. Each line’s pen weight (depending on its pen weight value
The line types available in the Settings dialog boxes are defined and as defined in the Pens and Colors dialog box) will be displayed
managed as the project’s Line Type attributes, in Options > Element accurately.
Attributes > Line Types. See also “On-Screen View Options” in ArchiCAD Help.
Use this dialog box if you wish to modify the standard line types
(solid, dotted, dashed, etc.) and define customized line types.

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Fill Types These percentages can be adjusted by hand in Options > Element
Attributes > Fill Types.
Fill Types are used to define the appearance of fills applied to For details, see “Fill Appearance Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.
construction elements.
Vectorial Fills can be assigned to construction elements in 2D
For details on Fills and how to use them, see “Fills” on page 368. windows. You can also assign Vectorial Fills to Materials, which are
Use the Options > Element Attributes > Fill Types dialog box to displayed in the 3D window.
define and/or edit fill types and patterns, and determine the category See “Display of Vectorial Hatching” on page 372.
of each particular Fill (Drafting Fill, Cut Fill, and/or Cover Fill).
Some properties of vectorial patterns can be adjusted, including their
scale, angle, spacing, availability and associated screen-only bitmap
Available Fill Attributes display.
See “Fill Edit Vectorial Pattern Panel” in ArchiCAD Help
Symbol Fills can be assigned to construction elements. You can edit
the symbol pattern of an existing fill, or draw a new symbol fill
entirely.
See “Create New Symbol Fill” on page 375.
Gradient Fills and Image Fills are Drafting fills only, and thus are
available only from the Fill Tool’s pop-up.
See “Gradient Fills” on page 376 and “Image Fills” on page 376.

Composite Structures
Walls, Slabs and Roofs can be defined as composite structures.
Solid Fill Types
Assign a Composite Structure to a Wall, Roof
Solid Fills include:
• The Background Fill (in earlier ArchiCAD versions: Empty):
or Slab
You see only the Background, because the Foreground is set to 1) Select the element, or open the Default Settings dialog box for
zero. the element type.
• The Foreground fill (in earlier ArchiCAD versions: Solid): You
see only the Foreground, because it covers up the Background.
• Three fills whose foregrounds are of predefined Translucence
(25%, 50%, 75%).

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2) In the Floor Plan & Section panel, open the “Structure” pop-up Define a Custom Composite Structure
list, and click on “Cut Fills.”
Customize any composite structure, or create a new one, using the
Options > Element Attributes > Composite Structures dialog
box.

Components of Composite Structures


The layers of the composite element are called “skins”; the skins are
separated by “separator lines”; and the outline of the composite is the
“contour line.”
All composite elements include structural, load-bearing skins called
Core, which play an important role when connecting Walls and
Columns.
See “Wrapped Columns on the Floor Plan” on page 231.
The skins you define as “Core” or “Finish” will also affect views in
Partial Structure Display.
See “Partial Structure Display” on page 358.
However, a Wall skin’s Core or Finish status has no relation to its 2D
intersection priority, which is set separately.
For composite elements (Wall, Slab, Roof): skins can be checkmarked
“Core” or “Finish” in Options > Element Attributes >
The Structure’s “Cut Fills” pop-up list of Wall, Slab and Roof Settings Composite Structures.
includes a number of predefined Composite Structures (in addition to
the uniform structures). You can check multiple skins as “Core,” but these skins must be
adjacent to each other.
Note: Composite Structures are defined for specific element
You can define multiple adjacent skins as “Finish”, but they must
types: Wall, Slab, and/or Roof. Therefore, a composite element
include one or both of the outermost skins.
available from the Wall’s “Structure - Cut Fills” pop-up may not
be available in the Roof Settings “Structure - Cut Fills” pop-up. A skin cannot be both “Finish” and “Core.”
If necessary, you can customize these definitions in the Options Core/Finish checkboxes are available in the Edit Skin and Line
> Element Attributes > Composites dialog box. Structure panel of Composite Structures. For any skin you select in
this panel, you can also set its Core or Finish option in the Edit
For more information, see “Composite Structures Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD
Selected Skin panel.
Help.
3) Choose the desired composite structure. This composite
structure will be applied to the currently selected or created
element.

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When drawing a trapezoid Wall with a composite fill, only the


outermost Core skin’s thickness reflects the trapezoidal shape of the
Wall. In the image below, two of the skins are marked as Core, but
only the Insulation core skin - the outermost Core - has a trapezoid
shape.

By default, the core skin is the thickest one, but you can also define
other skins as Core (in the Core column of the list).

Pens & Colors/Pen Sets


Pens are simulated drawing instruments which have a specific color
and line weight. You assign pens to ArchiCAD elements in their own
tool settings dialog box.
Each pen has a color and a pen weight. Assigning a pen to an element
(or a part of an element) means that the element will appear in that
pen’s defined color and pen weight.
Note: Your current On-Screen View Options (Bold Cut Lines,
True Line Weight) may affect the on-screen display of your lines.
For more information, see “On-Screen View Options” on page 357.

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To assign a pen to an element, open the pencolor pop-up (in the Apply a Separate Pen Set for the Layout Book
element settings dialog box or in the Info Box of a selected element) You can use a separate pen set for your Model Views and your Layout
and choose the desired pen for the element or one of its components Book: the name of the dialog box includes either “Model Views” or
- such as the cut line pen assigned to the slab in the following image: “Layout Book”, depending on which type of window is active.

The Pens & Colors (Layout Book) settings are applied only to items
placed onto the Layout (such as Autotext and Master Layout items),
but not to the content of placed Drawings.
Apply a Pen Set
Apply a Pen Set to a Drawing
To choose and apply a pen set, use: When you place a view onto a Layout, it becomes a Drawing. By
Options > Element Attributes > Pens & Colors default, the Drawing placed in the Layout Book uses its own pen set
or (the one saved in the source view’s View Settings - by default, the pen
set defined for the project’s Model Views). However, you can
Document > Pen Sets > Pens & Colors. override this pen set in Drawing Settings Properties panel: click the
Both commands open the Pen Set drop-down menu and choose a different pen set, for this
identical dialog box. drawing only.
Select a pen set from the
“Available Pen Set” list and
click OK.
For more information, see “Pens
& Colors Dialog Box” in
ArchiCAD Help.
For a quick way to change the
pen set of your model view,
use the Dimensions pop-up
in the Quick Options Palette.
See “Quick Options Palette” on
page 74.

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Of course, Drawings that have their source in external files - such as After redefining a color or changing the Pen Set, the ArchiCAD
DWG/DXF/PDF files placed using ArchiCAD’s Drawing tool - can construction elements immediately change to the new colors on the
be assigned pen sets the same way, in the Drawing Settings dialog box. Floor Plan. The 3D window, 3D Document and
See also “Pen Set” in ArchiCAD Help. Section/Elevation/IE/Worksheet windows may require that you
rebuild the view.
Or you can change the source view’s pen set, in its View Settings
Dialog Box. Transfer a Pen Set to Another Project
Pen Sets are attributes, and can be transferred among different
ArchiCAD projects using the Pen Sets tab page of the Attribute
Manager (Options > Element Attributes > Attribute Manager).
Similarly, each pen set's individual definitions can be copied among
projects in the Attribute Manager (“Pens and Colors” tab page).

See “View Settings Stored with the View” on page 73.

Redefine a Pen Set


The predefined pen sets shipped with ArchiCAD are based on
common workflows, but you can redefine or rename any pen set
together with its description, and redefine any pen’s line weight or
color, using the Edit Color control within the Pens and Colors dialog
box. Pen numbers remain constant even if you change pen sets.
For more information, see “Pens & Colors Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

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Automatic Pen Color Visibility Adjustment To aid users in this effort, ArchiCAD comes with several predefined
pen sets. This way, you can switch pen sets for the entire project with
for Model Views a single click: you might prefer to use the “architectural plans” pen set
when outputting plans for approval, then switch to the “electrical”
When the luminance value of a particular background color falls
pen set to output layouts for a subcontractor. When you change the
below a threshold value - that is, if your background is sufficiently
pen set of a given project, the pen index numbers assigned to
dark - black pens will be shown as white on your ArchiCAD screen.
(This is useful if you use a dark or black background to imitate individual elements remain the same, but the colors and line weights
AutoCAD methods.) associated with those pen indexes may change in accordance with the
definitions in the new pen set, and your display and output will get a
whole different look.
When you assign a pen to an element, you are assigning a pen index
number to that element. ArchiCAD’s default pen indexes assigned to
element parameters correspond to the element function. For
example, slabs are assigned a default cut line pen with index 29, which
corresponds to the function “Slabs - Cut Structural.”
Note: Depending on your localized version of ArchiCAD, your
default pen sets and pen index assignments may vary.
For more information on pen sets in ArchiCAD, see
http://www.archicadwiki.com/Pen_Sets.
However, when printed, pen colors will print according to their actual Since each pen index number has a distinct function definition, it is
settings in the pen set. worth paying attention to the pen function when assigning a pen to
Non-black pens that would be difficult to see against a particular an element. (Or you can simply use the default element pens that are
background will automatically shift to a similar, but more easily visible shipped with ArchiCAD.) If you assign pen index numbers consistent
color. On a white background, elements in white pens are adjusted to with the function of the element, then switching from one pen set to
a light gray to enhance visibility. Again, when printed, pen colors will the other will ensure a consistent display that is in line with the
print according to their actual settings in the pen set. purpose of your output.

To disable this automatic color adjustment, uncheck the Automatic


Pen Color Visibility Adjustment checkbox in Options > Work Materials
Environment > More Options.
About Materials
Predefined Pen Sets for Specific Functions
To display your plan realistically, you can apply materials to your
Architects often wish to output the same model in several versions, elements. Materials contain color, texture and light effects. Materials
using different pen colors or pen weights each time to meet different can be displayed in the 3D Window, Section/Elevation/IE and 3D
requirements for scale, color or emphasis. Document windows, and in PhotoRenderings.

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are assigned and edited in the Texture Panel of the Material Settings
dialog box.
See “Material Texture Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.

Assign a Material to a Construction Element


1) Select a placed element, or open the Default Settings dialog box
for the element type.
2) Use the Model panel to access the available materials for the
element’s top, bottom and side surfaces in the 3D window.
Materials are defined in the Material Settings Dialog Box (Options > 3) Choose the desired materials to apply them to the current
Element Attributes > Materials). Materials defined here can then be element. (Apply a single material to all surfaces using the Chain
assigned to elements in their Element settings dialog boxes (Model icon, or apply separate materials, as needed.)
panel). Some materials have vectorial hatching and/or textures as part
Note: Wall geometry and the direction of its reference line affect
of their definition, as indicated by icons. This material, for example,
the assignment of materials to each surface of the Wall. For more
uses both vectorial Hatching and a texture:
information, see “Wall Model Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.

Important: Vectorial Hatching is only displayed when using the


Internal 3D engine. Textures are displayed only when using the
OpenGL 3D engine. To switch between 3D Engines, use the
commands in View > 3D View Mode.
For more information, see “3D Engines” on page 170. Note: Clicking the Chain icon (“Link Materials”) in this or other
Vectorial Hatching is a vectorial fill pattern used with a Material. In element settings dialog boxes means that the group of materials
the Material Settings dialog box, you can choose a vectorial hatching next to the chain icon are linked: each of the linked surfaces will
for any material, selecting one of the project’s defined vectorial fill use a single material; changing the material for one surface will
types. change the material for all surfaces. To set a separate material for
each surface, unlink them by clicking the chain again.
See “Material Vectorial Hatching Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.
Textures are image files that can be assigned to materials to give
them a more realistic “look and feel”. By default, many ArchiCAD
materials have textures assigned to them (such materials will have a
texture icon next to their name.) You can load additional textures
from the ArchiCAD library, or load other custom images. Textures

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Suggested Workflow for Using Materials For each individual element, you can discard the customized texture
1) Edit the default set of materials and/or create new materials. alignment by clicking the “Reset Texture” button in the Model panel
(This step is optional and recommended for advanced users.) of its element Settings dialog box.

2) Choose a material for each construction element, using the


material pop-up in the Model panel of the element’s Settings
dialog box. (For Wall Ends, materials are set in the 3D
Representation section of the Parameters panel.)
3) In the PhotoRendering Settings dialog box, choose a Rendering
Engine, then adjust the relevant settings (transparency, effects,
background, etc.) to define how the materials will be displayed in
the final rendering.
For more information, see “PhotoRendering Settings” in ArchiCAD Help. 3D Textures are visible only when using the OpenGL 3D engine
(View > 3D View Mode > 3D Window Settings), and if the Textures
Display of Materials and Textures in 3D box is checked in OpenGL options as in the image below:
Window
The 3D Window displays the material’s colors, vectorial hatching and
applied textures, if any.
Important: Vectorial Hatching is only displayed when using the
Internal 3D engine. Textures are displayed only when using the
OpenGL 3D engine. To switch between 3D Engines, use the
commands in View > 3D View Mode.
For more information, see “3D Engines” on page 170. See also “3D Window Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.

To display vectorial hatchings, the Vectorial 3D Hatching control in


View > 3D View Mode > 3D Window Settings must be On.
Display of Materials in Section/Elevation/IE
Window
3D Texture Alignment
The Section/Elevation/IE window can display an element’s material’s
The orientation and origin of construction element textures can be colors and/or vectorial hatching on the element’s uncut portion.
fine-tuned in 3D views with the commands of the Design > Align
3D Texture hierarchical menu. To display material colors:
These commands are only available in the 3D Window on selected 1) Open the Model Display panel of the Section/Elevation/IE
construction elements whose Material attribute includes a Texture Settings dialog box.
assignment (Options > Element Attributes > Materials). 2) Choose “Fill Uncut Surfaces” and activate one of these two
For details on these commands, see “Align 3D Texture” in ArchiCAD Help. options.

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• Elements’ Own Material Colors (Shaded): Surfaces will


display the elements’ own material colors. The display colors will
reflect shading effects, as in the image below.

The Vectorial Hatching in 3D and Transparency options for the 3D


Document are specific to the 3D Document, and are not connected
to the same options set for the 3D Window.

Display of Materials in Renderings


Different Rendering Engines have different capabilities for displaying
materials. Thus, when editing a Material in the Material Settings dialog
• Elements’ Own Material Colors (Non-Shaded): Surfaces will box, some of the available controls may not have any effect on the
display the elements’ own material colors. The display colors will material’s rendered appearance. To streamline the process, choose
not reflect any shading effects; each material color will be uniform your intended Rendering Engine as the Preview Engine in the
over the whole surface. Material Settings dialog box and check the Disable unrelated
Controls box.

3) Check “Vectorial 3D Hatching” to display the material’s vectorial This way, only those controls will be available in Material Settings that
hatching, if any. will actually affect the final rendered appearance. If you intend to
Material colors and vectorial hatching can be displayed only on uncut render with LightWorks, choose the LightWorks Rendering Engine in
surfaces of elements in the Section/Elevation/IE windows. Material Settings, and check Disable unrelated controls. The
LightWorks Shader Settings panel is now the only one you need to
Display of Materials in the 3D Document edit in Material Settings.
For more information, see “LightWorks Shader Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
A 3D Document has its own Settings dialog box. Use the Model
Display Panel of 3D Document Settings to define how materials will Renderings display all material characteristics except vectorial
be displayed. Unlike in Section-type window, the 3D Document’s hatching. The general appearance of your renderings is defined in the
Model Display settings enable you to choose materials, PhotoRendering Settings dialog box, whose settings apply to all
element-specific fills and shaded or non-shaded colors to display cut materials in the rendering.
surfaces. For more information, see “PhotoRendering Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.

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Create or Modify a Material


Materials can be created or modified using the Material Settings
Dialog Box (Options > Element Attributes > Materials).
For more information, see “Material Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

Assign a Vectorial Hatching to a Material


Use the Options > Material Settings > Vectorial Hatching panel
to assign a Vectorial Hatching to a Material.
For more information, see “Material Vectorial Hatching Panel” in ArchiCAD
Help.

Assign a Texture to a Material


Use the Options > Material Settings > Texture panel to assign a
Texture, if desired.
For more information, see “Material Texture Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.
Custom Attributes of GDL Objects
Attribute Manager Some GDL object scripts include custom attributes. These attributes
may be defined either as part of their individual object scripts or
The Attribute Manager command (Options > Element Attributes defined in the MASTER_GDL script.
> Attribute Manager) allows you to copy (append, overwrite)
When you load such objects into a project, their custom attributes are
attributes (Layers, Layer Combinations, Pens & Colors, Pen Sets, Line
automatically merged into the project’s attribute set as follows:
Types, Fill Types, Composite Structures, Materials, Profiles, Zone
Categories and Cities) between two opened files. It can also duplicate • If the Attribute definition is contained in the MASTER_GDL
or delete attributes in either of the two files. On choosing the script, then once the library containing the MASTER_GDL
Attribute Manager command, the following dialog box appears script is loaded, the attributes are merged into the ArchiCAD
(since it has to list all the attributes of the project, displaying the project attributes. Attributes with the same names are not
dialog box might take some time): replaced.
• If the Attribute definition is contained in the individual library
part scripts, then
- Fills and Line types are merged into the ArchiCAD project.
- Material and Texture attributes are not merged into the
ArchiCAD project attributes.

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Libraries
About Libraries
ArchiCAD Libraries are folders containing the external files used by
ArchiCAD or referred to by construction elements.
Normally, library elements are arranged hierarchically within the main
Library folder/directory.
Some of the library type files contain geometric data that allow you to
place instances of the given item into the ArchiCAD Project, while
others only contain graphic or text information that can be attached
to other library items or to the entire Project.
Libraries contain geometric library parts collectively called GDL
Objects (or Parametric Objects). They can be placed in the Project
• using one of ArchiCAD’s dedicated tools (Object, Lamp, Door,
Window, Skylight, Corner Window, Stair, Wall End, Curtain Wall
Accessory or Junction)
• automatically by specific commands or Add-Ons (Markers,
Labels, RoofMaker and TrussMaker elements) The Library also contains files of different formats that are referred
• or only used as a reference by other elements (macros, Zone to by ArchiCAD elements:
stamps, Property Objects) • Listing Templates are plain text files that are used to customize
See “Parametric Objects” on page 311. the content and the look of quantity calculations.
When you place an Object (as opposed to other elements in For a detailed description, see “Calculation” on page 449.
ArchiCAD), you are placing an instance of an external file located in • Textures are picture files that can be attached to Materials to
an object library. ArchiCAD is shipped with a standard object library provide added realism in rendered views, and in the 3D Window
containing hundreds of preconfigured, editable objects (also known when using the OpenGL engine.
as GDL objects or Library parts). For the most part, you will use
ArchiCAD tools to place objects from this standard library. See “Assign a Texture to a Material” on page 40.

All of these files can be opened in ArchiCAD with the File > • Background images are additional picture files used to provide
Libraries and Objects > Open Object command and they can be the 3D model with a lifelike environment.
created in ArchiCAD with the File > Libraries and Objects > New You can use specialized Libraries for different applications (e.g.,
Object command. residential Projects and industrial building design) to avoid the need

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for extremely large Libraries. There are also different Libraries Container file, or extract its contents, using the File > Libraries and
corresponding to different national standards. Objects > Create/Extract a Container command.
• You can define different or additional libraries for your Projects Since the Library Container file is a single file, yet contains all the
in the Library Manager dialog box. When opening a saved objects used in your project, it lets you keep all the objects used in
Project, ArchiCAD looks for the libraries that were last defined your projects in one place, while keeping hierarchies intact within the
for it. .lcf.
• When creating a new Project with the latest settings, ArchiCAD If ArchiCAD’s default Library is found on the hard disk in the same
will keep (or look for) the last used library. folder/directory as ArchiCAD, it is opened and used as the Active
Library. Otherwise, the Library Manager dialog box appears,
• When creating a new Project with default settings, ArchiCAD prompting you to choose a folder/directory to be the startup Library.
will again look for your default “ArchiCAD Library”.
For more information, see “Library Manager Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
Individual items from libraries not in the active Library set can be
used in your Projects via the Load Other Object commands in the • If you have already used ArchiCAD and start the program by
corresponding tool settings dialog boxes (Window, Door, etc.). double-clicking its program icon, the Library set used in the
previous session will be active.
• If you have modified the name of a folder/directory in the active
Library set, or changed its location in the file hierarchy, it will not
be found and the Library Manager dialog box will be displayed,
so you can find and select the library you need.
• When you open a Project from within ArchiCAD (with the
Open command), or by double-clicking a Project file in the file
manager, it is opened with the Library set it was originally created
with.
If you have modified the name of a folder or directory in the Active
Library set, or changed its location in the file hierarchy, the Project
opens using one of the following protocols:
• If the currently Active Library set includes folders with the same
You can also use the drag & drop feature of ArchiCAD to place
names as the original ones, the Project is opened using this
Library Parts. Objects placed into your Project using drag & drop
current Library set.
does not add the items to the active Library.
• If the original Library set included folders with names different
Startup Library from those in the current one, ArchiCAD will search for
Libraries containing folders or directories with these names. If
When you start ArchiCAD for the very first time, it searches for a there are folders with those names, the Project is opened using
Library under the name “ArchiCAD Library 12.lcf.” The extension these folders.
.lcf identifies a “Library Container file”. The default ArchiCAD 12 • If there are no folders bearing the original names, the Library
Library is stored in an .lcf, but you can also create your own Library Manager dialog box is displayed. You can either specify a

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Library set to be used with the Project or Cancel reading


altogether.
Note: If you click Done, the Project is opened without a
Library. All Library Parts placed in the file will then be missing.

Library Updates
Graphisoft updates its standard library parts on a regular basis. To
check for the latest library updates, you should enable the Check for
Updates option in Options > Work Environment > Web Options.
This means you will be notified, upon starting ArchiCAD, if a new
library version matching your ArchiCAD language version is
available, which you can then choose to download if needed.
For more information, see “Web Options” in ArchiCAD Help.

Library Management Workflow


The following diagram illustrates a library management scheme
involving the ArchiCAD Standard Library and a separate Company
Standards Library. Both are located on a server. Each Project has a
project-specific library that is loaded into the project.
• The ArchiCAD Library is installed on the client machines.
• The Company Standard library is copied to each client machine.
• The project-specific libraries are loaded when opening each
project and kept updated.

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About Library Manager remote volumes connected to your computer through a local area
network.
Libraries are made available to ArchiCAD through the File > • Using the FTP Sites tab page, you can add Libraries and single
Libraries and Objects > Library Manager command. Library Parts stored on FTP servers.
• The History tab page lists all the Libraries and Library Parts
loaded while using ArchiCAD.
• The Web Objects tab page allows you to download GDL
Objects from websites and to add them to your local Libraries.
For more information, see “Library Manager Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

Loading Libraries
When you have finished making your library choices on the tab pages,
click the Done/Reload button in the bottom right corner of the
Library Manager dialog box.

The Library Manager allows access to complete Libraries and


individual Library Parts, both from local volumes and through a
network. At startup, ArchiCAD automatically loads the last used
Library. In the course of your work, you may need additional Library
Parts or set up your own user libraries. Typically, each Project file uses
a different library including all the external files it refers to (objects,
doors, windows, lamps, textures, property data, etc.).
The Library Manager dialog box has four tab pages:
• The Local/LAN tab page allows you to manage complete
Libraries and individual Library Parts stored on local disks or on
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A status box will appear on the screen to inform you about the If you use newer versions of a library, the objects will be matched
loading process. By clicking Stop, you can abort loading the libraries. based on their GUID. If GUIDs don’t match, ArchiCAD looks for
objects with identical names.
When starting a new Project, you can also use the Library Manager
dialog box to check which libraries are currently used, and then either Objects placed from libraries of ArchiCAD 7.0 or earlier do not have
click the Use Active Libraries button to continue working with the GUIDs. Consequently, the system will identify library parts based on
current set, or define a new library set as described above. name only. If the loaded libraries contain two objects with the same
name as the placed version, the object to be used will be randomly
Note: When working on a shared Project (Teamwork) only the selected from the two possible locations.
Team Leader with exclusive access can define the libraries to be
loaded for the Team Project. Teammates can load other libraries,
but only for their own local use.
Missing Library Parts and the
Library Loading Report Palette
Identifying Duplicates Among If you open a Project file and the Library Loading Report appears
Library Parts with a listing of missing items, this means that the Library used when
creating the Project is not available.
ArchiCAD uses an internal identifier system to track the evolution For details, see “Library Loading Report” in ArchiCAD Help.
(creation, modification, and/or renaming) of each library object. The missing items cannot be displayed on the plan. (The place of
Each object is assigned a Global Unique Identifier (GUID) consisting missing library parts is indicated by nondescript spots.)
of two sets of 36 characters each.
The Library Loading Report Floating Palette shows you the names of
Every time you load a project containing library parts, the program the Library Part files that present problems and the download status
will search the loaded libraries for an exact match based on the of web objects. (To view the palette if it doesn’t appear automatically,
object’s GUID. This means that even if two or more library objects of activate Window > Palettes > Library Loading Report.)
the same name are loaded, if they are actually different objects, The problem of missing library parts usually occurs when you open
ArchiCAD will use the correct one based on its GUID. the Project on a different computer. To make sure that no files are
This way, library parts having identical names but different GUIDs missing, it is recommended to save Projects in Archive format before
do not conflict. Such objects are listed in the Status Report Dialog as moving them to another computer. Another solution - within a single
“Duplicate Names.” Since duplicate names don’t cause problems, office - is to use a common standard library that is continuously
work on the project can be continued. updated on each computer.
Library parts having identical GUIDs conflict; these items are actually For more information, see “Archive Files” on page 18.
identical, and are listed under “Duplicate Library Parts.” To avoid
conflicts in the project, you must remove one of the two identical
parts from the library.
For a complete description of how GUID works, see
http://www.ArchiCADwiki.com/guid.
It is advisable to use projects with their original libraries.

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 45


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Favorites • If the Favorites refer to attributes that do exist in the target


project but are different from those of the original project, they
will take on the attributes of the target project.
About Favorites To customize the storing of
Favorites for each tool or
The Favorites feature allows you to save and easily recall default tool parameter type, choose
settings. If you choose a stored Favorite, you can create an element Favorite Preferences from
that has the same parameters and attributes as the Favorite. the Favorite palette’s pop-up
Favorites can be accessed from two locations: menu.
• The Favorites palette that stores all saved favorite settings (You can also access the
regardless of the tool that created them. The palette is hidden by Favorite Preferences dialog
default; choose Window > Palettes > Favorites to display it. It box from Options > Project Preferences > Miscellaneous.)
remains visible on top of the other Windows. In the Favorites Preferences dialog
• The Favorites button in the top left corner of all tool Settings box that appears, use the Parameter
dialog boxes (except Camera). The dialog box that opens will list Exclusion list to check the names of
the favorite settings saved for that tool only. the parameters that you DO NOT
want to apply with Favorites.
The stored settings include:
• The element’s attributes, including the line type, fill pattern and
pen color, as well as surface material choices
• In the case of Library Parts, the name of the Library Part
• All of the element’s dimensions that can be entered in the
settings dialog boxes for the element, e.g., wall thickness and
height (but not length)
Favorites are saved with your Project file. You can also save a
separate Favorites file for reuse in other projects.
• If you close the current Project and create a new one, stored
favorites will remain at your disposal just like materials, pen Storing and Applying Favorites in
colors or line types. Tool Settings
• If you choose New and Reset, Favorites will be cleared.
To apply Favorite settings to a placed element, select the element and
• You can restore saved favorites by choosing the Load Favorites open its Settings dialog box. Click the Favorites button. Choose the
command from the Favorite palette’s pop-up menu. Favorite you need, then click Apply to apply to the selected element.
Note: When importing Favorites from another Project, The Apply Favorites dialog box lists only the Favorites defined for
remember that element attributes are identified by name. that given tool.
• If the Favorites refer to attributes that do not exist in the target
Project, the necessary attributes will be missing.
46 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide
Configuration

You can either: Customizing the Toolbox


• Select a stored Favorite in this Use the controls of the Options > Work Environment > Toolbox
list and click the Apply button page to customize the contents and arrangement of your toolbox.
to load that Favorite’s settings
in the tool’s dialog box, or An easy way to access this dialog box is to open
the Toolbox context menu by right-clicking
• Click the Save Current anywhere in the Toolbox, then click the icon
Settings as Favorite button representing the Toolbox customization page.
on top and create a new
Favorite by naming it in the Specifically, you can customize your toolbox by organizing the tools
appearing dialog box. into groups.

Note: Favorites are identified For details, see “Toolbox Customization Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
by their names. If you attempt Then store your customized Toolbox settings as part of a Tool
to use the name of an existing Favorite when creating a new Scheme in your Work Environment.
favorite (even if it belongs to another tool), ArchiCAD will warn For more information, see “Customizing Palette Schemes” in ArchiCAD Help.
you about this. Also, some characters are invalid as Favorite
names. If you enter an invalid character, a Warning message will How to Open and Close Tool Groups Within the Toolbox
prompt you to type a new name. By default, the Toolbox shows all tools in all Tool Groups
For more information, see “Favorites Palette” in ArchiCAD Help. simultaneously. If the Toolbox becomes too unwieldy, use the
open/close arrows at the top of each Tool Group to temporarily

The ArchiCAD User Interface open and close these groups as needed. If the open/close arrows are
not displayed, go to Options > Work Environment > Toolbox.
This section introduces the main customizable palettes and menus in Click on Tool Group Options, then uncheck the “Always Keep Tool
ArchiCAD. Groups Open” option.

Toolbox
The Toolbox shows a variety of tools for selection, 3D construction,
2D drawing and visualization.
By default, the Toolbox is divided into Tool Groups -Select, Design,
Document and More - to make it easier to locate the tool you need.
Besides the standard set of tools, additional tools can appear in the
Toolbox depending on the installation and the available Add-Ons.
Display the Toolbox
If the Toolbox is not visible on screen, activate the Windows > Now you will be able to open or close each Tool Group in the
Palettes > Toolbox command. Toolbox separately.

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 47


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Info Box
An Info Box is available for each tool in the toolbox. When you
activate a tool or select a placed element, its Info Box palette will
display current settings for that tool/element. If several elements are
selected, the Info Box displays the controls for the last selected
element.
The Info Box contains a condensed collection of input and parameter
controls that are specific to the selected tool/element. While some of
these controls are also available in the Tool Settings dialog box, the
Info Box is a quicker way to access these controls, because it stays on
screen while you work.
By default, the Info Box is docked at the top of your workspace in a
horizontal position. To show it vertically, dock it at either side of your
screen. Displaying the Info Box
Let your cursor hover over an Info Box item to provide a Tool Tip if If the Info Box is not visible on screen, activate the Windows >
you are not sure what the icon represents. Palettes > Info Box command. The Info Box will show controls
specific to the active tool or the selected element.
Customizing the Info Box
You can customize the order and visibility of panels in each Tool’s
Info Box: go to Options > Work Environment and open the Info
Box page.
You can use a scroll-mouse or the scrollbar to scroll through the
contents of your Info Box. An easy way to access this dialog box
is to open the Info Box context menu
• Selected/Editable: The current Info Box gives you feedback on by right-clicking anywhere in the Info
the number of Selected Elements, as well as how many of those Box, then click the icon representing
are Editable. Changes made to Info Box settings will affect the the Info Box customization page:
Editable elements. On the Floor Plan below, all Walls are For details, see “Info Box Customization
selected; four of them have been locked for editing, as reflected Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
in the Info Box.
Also available from the Info Box context menu (pictured here): click
• Default Settings: If there is no selection, the Info Box displays a display preference for the Info Box Header location: at the left edge
the active tool’s Default Settings. of the palette, or on top.

48 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide


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Menus Simple 3D, Standard, Standard for Low-Res Screens, Teamwork,


Toolbox Tools.
About Menus Displaying Toolbars
When starting ArchiCAD 12 with default settings, you will load the To display a toolbar, choose its name from Window > Toolbars; or
Standard Profile, which - along with other Work Environment right-click the title bar of any toolbar on screen to display the list of
settings - defines the default menu structure. defined toolbars. Click any toolbar in the list to display it.
See “Default Profiles in ArchiCAD 12” on page 57.
Creating or Customizing Toolbars
However, there are some commands and menus
in ArchiCAD 12 which are not displayed as part Use the Customize Toolbar dialog box, accessed from Options >
of this standard profile. Work Environment > Toolbars, to create a new toolbar, or
Use the settings in the Options > Work customize any of the available ones. You can also set whether a given
Environment > Menus dialog box to customize the content of your command is represented on a toolbar by its name, its icon, or both.
menus.

Customizing Menus
Use the Options > Work Environment > Menus dialog box to
customize any ArchiCAD menu. Any command or menu can be
placed into or removed from any menu; the order of the commands
within any menu is entirely customizable.
Exception: Context menus are not customizable.
For details, see “Menu Customization Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
You can store your customized menu command settings as part of a
Command Layout Scheme in your Work Environment.
For details, see “Scheme Options” in ArchiCAD Help.

Toolbars
About Toolbars An easy way to access this dialog box is to open any Toolbar’s context
menu by right-clicking anywhere on the Toolbar, then click the icon
A toolbar is a collection of commands and/or menus displayed in representing the Toolbar customization page:
icon or text form and grouped by topic. The predefined toolbars are:
You can store your customized toolbars as part of a Command
3D Visualization, Arrange Elements, Attributes, Classic 3D
Layout Scheme in your Work Environment.
Navigation, Drafting Aids, Edit Elements, Edit GDL Library Parts,
Layouts and Drawings, Mini Navigator, On-Screen View Options, For details, see “Scheme Options” in ArchiCAD Help.

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 49


Configuration

The content of named toolbars are saved as part of a Command Layout The main palettes (Toolbox, Info Box, Quick Options and Navigator)
Scheme. The on-screen display of toolbars is saved in a Palette Scheme. can be enabled all at once, using the Window > Palettes > Show
For details, see “Toolbar Customization Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. Main Palettes Only command.
Each of these palettes is described in detail in the ArchiCAD
Shortcuts documentation.
Two palettes - the Control Box and Coordinates - are familiar from
ArchiCAD is shipped with several predefined shortcut schemes. To earlier versions of ArchiCAD. They are not displayed by default,
view or print out a list of the shortcuts of the Work Environment, go because their commands are available from other parts of the
to Options > Work Environment > Keyboard Shortcuts, and interface. To display either of these palettes, go to Window > Palettes
click the Show Shortcut List in Browser button at the bottom of the and choose the desired palette(s).
Keyboard Shortcut Preview Panel.
Customizing Palette Schemes
To customize your palette scheme (a saved configuration of palettes),
set up your palettes manually in the ArchiCAD workspace by doing
any or all of the following:
• Show or hide palettes as needed (click its name on or off from
Window > Palettes).
• Show or hide toolbars as needed (click its name on or off from
Window > Toolbars).
To customize a shortcut command, use the Options > Work
Environment > Keyboard Shortcuts: choose a command from the • Change the shape of a palette by
list on the left, then enter the desired shortcut combination in the choosing a shape option from its
field at the right, then click Assign. context menu. The Info Box,
Coordinates Palette and Control
For details, see “Shortcut Customization Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. Box palettes have shape options
Apart from a few non-customizable shortcuts (listed at the bottom of - for example, extended or
the Show Shortcut list), all shortcuts in any scheme are customizable. compact - that you can set using
Changes to the selected Shortcut scheme are applied when you press the context menu opened by right-clicking the palette on screen.
OK and close the dialog box. You can store your customized Shortcut • Change the position and size of a palette by dragging the
settings as part of a Shortcut Scheme in your Work Environment. palettes to a desired position.
For details, see “Scheme Options” in ArchiCAD Help. • Dock palettes as needed (Windows only).
Use the Palette Schemes “Schemes Options” page to manage (Store,
Palettes Rename, Delete, Redefine, Export, Import) and apply Palette
Schemes: go to Options > Work Environment > Palette Schemes.
ArchiCAD’s palettes help you construct, modify and locate elements.
Each palette can be shown or hidden separately using the Window >
Palettes command.

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Configuration

Note: When dragging a palette in Windows, its anchor point is


the drag symbol (not a palette edge).

How to Un-Dock a Palette


To pop a palette out of its dock and into a free-floating position, just
click and drag on its header. Alternatively, double-click the palette;
double-click it again to re-dock.

Docking Groups of Palettes


You can dock several palettes at either side of the screen and snap
them to each other, forming a palette group.
• Click and drag to dock the first palette.
• To insert a second palette above the first, click and drag the
second palette onto the title bar of the first.
• To insert a second palette below the first, click and drag the
second palette to the line at the bottom of the first one.
For details, see “Scheme Options” in ArchiCAD Help. • You can also place two (or more) palettes side by side, sitting
Palette Schemes differ from the rest of the Work Environment atop a single palette (or vice versa), as part of the same group.
schemes: the settings they contain are defined not in the Work • If you resize any palette that is part of a palette group, the rest of
Environment dialog box; instead, Palette Schemes settings reflect the the palettes in the group will be resized automatically.
way you manually set up your palettes in your workspace. • The width of all palettes in the group are resized simultaneously
Note: While the show/hide status of a toolbar is saved in a (by dragging the edge to the right or left).
palette scheme, its content is defined as part of a Command
Layout Scheme.
Docking Palettes (Windows Only)
Palettes can “float” over your workspace, and if a floating palette is in
the way, you can either close it or drag it away. However, many
ArchiCAD palettes can also be docked (in Windows only) at an edge
of the workspace. A docked palette is fixed at the edge of your screen,
with no workspace underneath it: this way, if you maximize the active
window, the entire workspace is visible. A docked palette can be made
to “float” again at any time.
To dock a palette, click on its title bar (the drag symbol will
appear) and drag it to one side or the top or bottom of the screen
until the drag symbol hits either the side or the top/bottom limit.
Release the cursor to dock the palette.
ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 51
Configuration

To set how much of each palette should be visible on screen, drag the
splitter bars up or down, for palettes stacked on top of each other, or
Pet Palettes
right/left, for palettes grouped next to each other. (The splitter bars A pet palette is a collection of icons (representing commands and
are the lines which divide each palette from the others.) relevant options) which pops up during graphical input and editing
operations. In some cases, the pet palette appears during input (as
Limitations on Docking Palettes when inputting a polyline), but in most cases the pet palette appears
• Not every palette can be docked to all sides of the screen. after you have placed an element, then selected the element for
• The following palettes/dialog boxes cannot be docked: Mark-Up further editing.
Tools; Selections; Library Loading Report; Pet Palettes; Element To access the pet palette, place your cursor on an editable edge, node,
Information; Find and Select; Roofmaker; Solid Element or surface, and left-click.
Operations; Sign in; Text Formatting; Profile Manager; Quick The contents of the pet palette depends on the following:
Layers.
• The selected element
Suspend Docking Function • The part of the element you choose to act on (edge, node or
To suspend the docking function while dragging a palette, press Ctrl surface)
(Windows). • The active window
Snapping Palettes (MacOS Only) Move your cursor over the icons to read the tool tip for each one, and
click on the icon for the function you need. Use the shortcuts “F”
On a MacOS, you can snap ArchiCAD floating palettes to each other,
and Shift+F (Opt+F) to move to the next/previous icon in the
to the edge of the screen.
current pet palette.
Palettes will snap to each other if you pull them within a given range
of each other. The palette edge (not the cursor) is the docking anchor.
• If a palette is snapped to the bottom or to the right of another,
then both palettes can be dragged as a single object.
• If a palette is snapped onto the top or to the left of another
palette, then they will not “stick together” when you move them. You cannot customize the contents of a pet palette.
Suspend Snapping Function You can change your mind and choose a different function from the
pet palette as long as you have not completed the editing operation.
To suspend the snapping function while dragging a palette, press
Cmd (MacOS). The pet palette automatically disappears when the operation is
finished.
The pet palette will either follow your cursor around on screen as you
work (like a pet on a leash), or be placed in a preferred spot (and told
to “stay”), depending on which pet palette movement option you
specify.
To set these preferences, go to Options > Work Environment >
Dialog Boxes and Palettes.

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Customizing your Work


Environment

You can store these Pet Palette settings as part of a User Preference
Scheme in your Work Environment.
As you get used to working with ArchiCAD, you will develop
personal preferences for using the program’s features and arranging
the various palettes, toolbars and menus on screen. You will set most
of these options using the Options > Work Environment dialog
box.
For a brief description of every available setting in the Work Environment Dialog
Box, see “Work Environment Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
You can customize any of these settings while you work: just open the
Work Environment dialog box, change the setting you need, and
press OK. The setting will take effect.
Work Environment settings are saved not as part of the project, but
in a local folder on your computer.

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Configuration

About the Work Environment • Command Layout Schemes. Command Layout Schemes
include your Toolbar and Menu settings.
Dialog Box For more information, see “Toolbars” on page 49 and “Menus” on page 49.
Work Environment settings Click on the name of the settings you wish to alter (for example,
(Options > Work Environment) “Selection and Element Information”).
are divided into six self-contained
schemes. Each scheme is a thematic
collection of settings.
• User Preference Schemes.
These include a wide variety of
your preferences for functions
such as Guide Line functions,
coordinate input, and how
certain dialog boxes should
appear.
• Company Standard Schemes.
These settings are typically
standardized within a firm.
For more information, see Data Safety,
Web Options, and “Special Folders” in
ArchiCAD Help.
See also Creating a Custom Install
Package in Getting Started, accessible from
ArchiCAD’s Help menu.
• Shortcut Schemes As soon as you make a change to any Work Environment setting, the
For more information, see “Shortcuts” on page 50. scheme name at the top of the settings page changes to Custom.
• Tool Schemes. A tool scheme includes settings for the Toolbox,
the Info Box and the Tool Settings dialog boxes.
• Palette Schemes. These settings are defined outside the Work
Environment dialog box; a palette scheme saves the current
on-screen status of your palettes.
For more information, see “Palettes” on page 50.

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Use the splitter bars within each page to display the text as needed.
Saving Your Customized Work
Environment
If you have customized a number of settings in Options > Work
Environment, you may wish to save them for future use in other
projects, so that your personalized Work Environment is ready for
you when you start to work.
Individual settings are organized into six Schemes; saving settings
occurs at the Scheme level. Unlike Project settings, which are saved
with the project file, Work Environment Schemes are saved in a local
folder on your computer.
The Scheme Options screen appears in the Work Environment dialog
box if you have selected one of the six scheme sets from the tree
structure at the left side of the dialog box. There is one Scheme
Options page for each of the six schemes.
You can store any or all of the schemes by name; you can also
combine any of the schemes into a Profile, and store the Profile
under its own name. Using the ArchiCAD interface (Options > Work
Environment > Work Environment Profiles), you can export and
import Schemes and Profiles: this enables you to transport your
favorite settings to other computers, or to keep them after installing a
new version of ArchiCAD.
When you finish making changes, press OK to close the dialog box Note: It is entirely possible to use ArchiCAD successfully
and apply current settings. without saving schemes and profiles; you can just adjust settings
The latest Custom settings will remain intact even after you close and as you work. However, the option to save settings according to
restart ArchiCAD. named schemes, and then to combine schemes into profiles, is
However, every new settings change redefines the “Custom” scheme useful for CAD managers, for offices working in teams, and for
according to your latest change. If you want to keep your individual users who might want to alternate among several
modifications saved on the long term, it is advisable to store the different sets of customized settings.
settings of your Custom scheme in a named scheme.
For more information, see “Saving Your Customized Work Environment” in
ArchiCAD Help.

ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide 55


Configuration

Store a Customized Scheme Once you apply the scheme and


press OK to close the Work
To store the settings of a Scheme, choose the scheme set whose Environment dialog box, your
settings you want to store, using the left-hand tree structure of the ArchiCAD program will adjust
Work Environment Dialog Box. (For example, if you have changed itself to reflect the settings you
shortcuts and want to save them, click on Shortcut Schemes.) This have stored in that scheme.
brings up Scheme Options, where you can store, rename, delete,
redefine, export, or import schemes.

Creating an Office-Standard Work Environment


The ability to save and rename any combination of Work
Environment Settings can be useful not only for the individual user,
but also for encouraging consistency among multiple users on a
particular project. CAD managers can create office-standard Work
Environment Profiles and install them as defaults when installing the
ArchiCAD program at multiple workstations.
For more information, see the Getting Started booklet.
For detailed information on saving scheme settings, see “Scheme Options” in
ArchiCAD Help. Profiles
Apply a Scheme If you have customized and saved multiple schemes, you may want to
store and apply them together: in this case, combine any of the
To apply a stored scheme, choose the desired scheme from the Apply schemes into a Profile, and store the Profile under its own name.
Scheme pop-up at the top of any of Work Environment’s settings Using the ArchiCAD interface, you can export and import Profiles to
pages. use on other computers.
For details on configuring and applying profiles, see “Profile Options” in
ArchiCAD Help.
Profiles themselves do not contain settings; they are just a collection
You can also apply a scheme using the Scheme Options page of of schemes. Profiles do not have to contain all six scheme
Work Environment: choose one of the defined schemes, then either possibilities. Once you start working, you don’t have to apply entire
double-click it, or click the Apply Scheme button. profiles at once; you can apply schemes one by one.

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Configuration

Define and Store a New Profile easy switching between windows) are visible, and your Toolbox
displays each tool individually.
To assemble any combination of schemes into a profile, go to
Options > Work Environment and click “Work Environment • The Layouting Profile places commonly used layouting and
Profiles” (the top item in the list at the left.) This opens the Profile publishing commands within reach. The Layout Book menu now
Options dialog page. appears, the Toolbox is minimized to show only the
Documenting tools, and the Navigator/Organizer is located at
Click the “New Profile” command at the right and follow the
the left edge of the screen. Two specialized toolbars are now
instructions for selecting the schemes for the new profile. visible: “Layouts & Drawings”, and “Standard for Layouting”.
For details on configuring and applying profiles, see “Profile Options” in • The Visualization Profile is useful when you reach the stage of
ArchiCAD Help. setting up and creating output from 3D images, such as
Apply a Profile Fly-Throughs and PhotoRenderings. The 3D Visualization menu
now appears, so that all commands related to the 3D window, 3D
1) Go to Options > Work navigation and 3D output are collected in a single menu. The 3D
Environment and click “Work
Visualization toolbar provides quick access to many of these
Environment Profiles” (the same commands. In this profile, the Navigator is not displayed,
top item in the list at the left.) and the Toolbox displays only Selection and Design tools.
This opens the Profile
Options dialog page. For details on configuring and applying profiles, see “Profile Options” in
ArchiCAD Help.
2) From the list of Stored
Profiles, choose the desired You can save a Custom scheme as part of a profile, but the Custom
Profile. Double-click to apply scheme will be given a name when the profile is created.
the profile, or click Apply Schemes named “Custom” cannot be exported.
Schemes of Profile button.
3) Click OK to close the Work Environment dialog box. How to Use Your Personalized
Default Profiles in ArchiCAD 12 Work Environment Settings on
ArchiCAD 12 is shipped with three default Profiles: Standard,
Visualization and Layouting. When you first start ArchiCAD, the Another Computer
default Work Environment Profile is set to Standard.
To make your schemes or profiles available to a network or other
These predefined profiles are designed to get you up and running users, or to transfer them to another computer, you can export them.
with ArchiCAD 12. Naturally, you or your office CAD manager can
Use Options > Work Environment > Work Environment Profiles
reconfigure these profiles as needed.
to export and import profiles to/from folders of your choice. In this
• The Standard profile is designed to reflect the workflow in operation, profiles are .xml files which refer to the schemes (also .xml
common architectural practice. Menus, commands, palette files) contained within them.
layout, and toolbar visibility are optimized to give you easy access
For details, see “Profile Options” in ArchiCAD Help.
to the tools and functions you need to build up your Virtual
Building. The Standard toolbar and Mini-Navigator toolbar (for Use Options > Work Environment > Scheme Options to export
and import schemes (as .xml files) to/from folders of your choice.

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Configuration

The Scheme Options screen appears in the Work Environment dialog


box if you have selected one of the six scheme sets from the tree
structure at the left side of the dialog box. There is one Scheme
Options page for each of the six schemes.
For details, see “Scheme Options” in ArchiCAD Help.

58 ArchiCAD 12 Reference Guide


Interaction

INTERACTION
This chapter will introduce you to ArchiCAD’s basic operations. It has • go to 3D Window: F3
three main sections: Navigation, Editing Concepts, and Techniques. • go to 3D Window (Perspective): Shift+F3
• go to 3D Window (Axonometry): Ctrl+F3
Navigation • go to last Section window: F6
In this section you will learn how to navigate among different • go to last opened Layout: F7
windows and views of the Virtual Building. You will use zooming and
panning techniques to locate and display specific areas of the project, Navigation Inside the Active Window
in both 2D and 3D. You will use the Navigator to move around in the
project structure to reach the window you need. The following techniques work in both 2D and 3D windows in ArchiCAD.
For information on special navigation techniques for the 3D window, see
How to Navigate Among “Navigation in the 3D Window” on page 62.

ArchiCAD Windows Zoom


1) The easiest way to switch You can zoom in on details, or use zoom out to display more
among the different windows elements. The Zoom control on the bottom scrollbar gives you
is to use the maps in the feedback on the current zoom.
Navigator Palette. Just
double-click on the item you
want to see.
2) The predefined To return to Actual Size (zoom at 100%), double-click the Zoom
Mini-Navigator toolbar button.
(available from Windows >
There are several techniques you can use to achieve Zoom effects:
Toolbars) is another way to
quickly switch windows Zoom with Wheel-Mouse
3) Or use the View > Navigate If you have a mouse with a scrolling wheel, use it for zooming in on
hierarchical menu. (or out of) the area where the cursor is located.
Navigation Shortcuts If you don’t have a wheel-mouse, you can still emulate its operation:
First click the Scroll-Zoom button on the bottom scrollbar. Then
You can also use keyboard then click anywhere in the window; move the cursor upwards to
shortcuts to navigate among zoom in, downwards to zoom out. The greater distance you move the
windows: cursor, the greater the scope of the zoom. Click again to activate the
• go to Floor Plan Window: F2 zoom.

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Zoom with Keyboard Set Home Zoom


You can use numeric keypad shortcuts to achieve the scrolling zoom If you need to return frequently to a part of your project, you can
effect: press the ‘+’ key for zooming in and the ‘-’ key for zooming define it as the home zoom by choosing the View > Zoom > Set
out. Home Zoom command. You can return easily to this view by
choosing the View > Zoom > Home Zoom command. This home
Zoom with Scrollbar Buttons zoom is saved with the project.
Click the Zoom In or Zoom Out button on the bottom Save Zooms
scrollbar of the active window to activate the corresponding shortcut.
Draw a rectangle around the detail you want to enlarge with the You can save different zooms for
Zoom In cursor. The area enclosed by the rectangle is enlarged to the further use by clicking the arrow
size of the current window. With Zoom Out, the entire current view pop-up button in the bottom
is squeezed into the rectangle that you have defined. The operation is scrollbar of the active window.
optimized so that no distortion will result. The pop-up menu commands
allows you to access, rename and
Note: To double the current magnification or reduction level, delete predefined zooms. Home
double-click the appropriate icon. zooms are not included in the list of saved zooms.
Zoom with Menu Commands
Choose View > Zoom > Zoom In or Zoom Out.
Note: If these commands are not available in the View menu,
you can use Options > Work Environment > Menus to add
them.
For more information, see “Customizing Menus” on page 49.
Draw a rectangle around the detail you want to enlarge with the
Zoom In cursor. The area surrounded by the rectangle- is
enlarged to the size of the current window. With Zoom Out, the Fit in Window
entire current view is squeezed into the rectangle that you have
defined. The operation is optimized so that no distortion will You can size your view to accommodate all the currently visible
result. construction elements. This provides a good way to check whether
• Zoom to Selection: Use this command (View > Zoom > you have placed something in the far corners of your window by
Zoom to Selection) to move in on only selected elements. mistake during numeric input or a multiply operation.
• Previous/Next Zoom: If you wish to move one step back from Choose the View > Fit in Window command or click the
your previous Zoom In, Zoom Out, Pan, Home Zoom or Fit corresponding shortcut button on the bottom scrollbar of the
in Window operations, you can click its shortcut button in active window.
the bottom scrollbar of the active window. Up to 20 previous Listing windows have an additional shortcut in their bottom
steps are stored. To go to the next zoom, use the Next Zoom scrollbar allowing you to Fit the Width of the generated list to
command or shortcut button . the current window size.

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Pan To display the Navigator Preview Palette, click the shortcut button in
the bottom scrollbar of any window ; or use Window >
Use the Pan function to scan the worksheet as a whole, usually to Palettes > Navigator Preview.
display elements or details that do not fit in the current view. Enable For 2D Windows, the Preview Palette displays a miniature copy of the
the Pan function, then move the cursor to “move” the view around in entire contents of the current view. The frame inside the Preview
the window along with the cursor. Palette represents the active window at its current zoom. Use this
• With Pan Button: Click the Pan button on the bottom frame to zoom and pan within the Preview Palette; this has the same
scrollbar of the active window. Click into the active worksheet and effect as zooming and panning in the active window, while
pan it by moving the Hand cursor with your mouse. The whole simultaneously giving you an overview of the entire window contents.
on-screen area will move, while the current zoom level is preserved. When previewing a 2D window in the Navigator Preview, you have
• If you have a three-button mouse, you can use it for panning by the following zooming and panning options:
pressing down the middle button while moving the Hand cursor • To change the location of the frame, drag its
over the worksheet. enclosed area with the Hand Cursor (this
• With Wheel Mouse: If you have a mouse with a scrolling wheel, lets you pan in the active window).
you can use it for panning by pressing the wheel continuously
while moving the Hand cursor over the worksheet.
• With the numeric keypad (Windows only): Press the following
keys: 4 (left), 2 (downwards), 6 (right), 8 (upwards). (Make sure
Numbers Lock is off.) The up/down and left/right keys achieve
the same result. • To change the size of the frame, drag its
• With the Navigator Preview Palette sides or corners (this has the effect of
zooming in and out within the active
For more information, see “Navigator Preview (2D)” on page 61. window).
What to Do if Panning Produces “Jumpy” Screen Effect
When panning a large and complex project in a 2D window, you may
experience fits and starts in model display. To remedy this, try
switching among the choices in Options > Work Environment > • At the bottom of the palette, the plus and
Advanced Redraw Options: Model Display in 2D Navigation. minus buttons and a sliding switch are
For more information, see “Advanced Redraw Options” in ArchiCAD Help. additional zooming techniques: they allow
you to zoom the current view in and out.
Navigator Preview (2D) Clicking the buttons increases the zoom
level in about 10% increments.
The Navigator Preview Palette makes it easier to locate and zoom in on
certain parts of your project, especially when working on larger projects.
For more information, see “The 2D Navigator Preview Palette Controls” in
ArchiCAD Help.

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• At the bottom right corner, a


pop-up menu contains three
options for controlling the Note: The 3D Navigation controls familiar from earlier versions
zooming techniques of the of ArchiCAD can be accessed by choosing Window > Toolbars
Navigator Preview. The default > Classic 3D Navigation toolbar.
is Real-time zoom: as you For more information, see “Classic 3D Navigation Toolbar” in ArchiCAD Help.
move the cursor, the zoom is The 3D Navigation commands are available only in the 3D Window.
adjusted. Auto zoom will
adjust the zoom after you finish
moving the cursor.
Double-click to zoom means
you must double-click or press the Go button at top right to
execute the chosen zoom.
• Use Redraw Preview if you have made changes in the current
window that are not yet reflected in the Navigator Preview.

Navigation in the 3D Window Explore Model (3D Navigation)


Note: For general information on accessing the 3D window, and
how to set up Perspective and Axonometric (Parallel) views, see In Perspective views only, you can
“3D Window” on page 167. explore the model either by choosing
the View > Explore Model or access
The 3D window can be navigated using most of the basic 2D the same command from a toolbar, or from the bottom scrollbar of
navigation methods. The keyboard, wheel-mouse, fit in window, the 3D window.
panning and command-based zoom techniques work the same way as
in 2D. In Explore mode, use the mouse and the arrow keys of the keyboard
for navigation (as when playing a video game on a PC.) When in this
See “Navigation Inside the Active Window” on page 59. mode, you cannot edit the model or use any of the commands.
The 3D window also contains unique navigation possibilities for The “Fly” option and speed slider also
exploring the model and orbiting around in it. These are described in appear at the bottom of the screen as
the following sections. long as you are in Explore mode. To exit Explore mode, click with
the left mouse button or use the Esc key.
Accessing 3D Navigation Commands Note: Exploring the model is optimized for the OpenGL engine.
Special commands for navigating in 3D are displayed in the 3D When choosing the Explore Model command, an informational
Visualization and the Simple 3D toolbar, and can be assigned shortcuts. dialog box opens to give you a visual prompt on what you can expect
Choose Window > Toolbars > 3D Visualization or Simple 3D to from your various actions with the mouse and the keyboard.
display these toolbars as needed. If the 3D window is active, its bottom
Note: If you don’t need to see this information every time you
scrollbar contains icon shortcuts to 3D Navigation commands.
enter Explore mode, check Do not show this information next
time at the bottom of the dialog box.
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To enable this or any other dialog box you have marked as “do the Up arrow brings the model closer to you while the Down arrow
not show,” use the Enable all informational messages moves it further away.
command at Options > Work Environment (bottom of menu).
“Fly” around the model
In Explore mode, click “F” for Fly mode. Again, use
the arrow keys or the W-A-S-D keys to move around,
but this time the Fly mode combines the lifting effect
with the rotating and lateral movements to simulate a
walking movement on a horizontal plane or in space.

“Lift” the model up and down


Use the PageUp (shortcut: spacebar) and PageDown
(shortcut: C) keys to simulate a lifting effect.

Speed Up/Slow Down in Explore Mode


Click the Plus and Minus keys on your numeric keypad to change the
speed in which you explore the model. For a temporary speed
increase, press Shift, then release it to return to your basic speed.

Orbit (3D Navigation)


For Orbit mode, choose View > Orbit, or access the same command
from a toolbar or from the bottom scrollbar of the 3D window.
Once you enter Orbit mode, press the left button and drag the mouse
to turn the model around its centerpoint (axonometry) or target point
(perspective).
“Rotate” camera in Explore mode If you are in Orbit mode, you cannot edit the model. Click ESC to
exit Orbit mode and return to editing mode.
Moving the mouse around will rotate the camera in the
directions indicated by the arrows next to the camera
on the picture above.
Temporary “Orbit” effects while in editing mode
While in editing mode (not in Orbit mode), you can temporarily
simulate Orbit mode by pressing Shift together with the mouse wheel
to orbit the model. Release the keys to stop orbiting.
“Walk” forward and backward in Explore mode
This type of temporary Orbit requires the model to be redrawn and
Pressing the arrow keys, or the W-A-S-D keys, will walk
can result in slowed-down navigation.
you forward/backward and laterally in the directions
indicated by the arrows in the picture above. Note that

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Navigator Preview (3D)


To display the Navigator Preview Palette, click the shortcut button in
the bottom scrollbar of any window ; or use Window > Palettes
> Navigator Preview.
This palette allows you a quick way to modify your 3D Projections,
whether perspective or parallel (axonometric)
The options of the Navigator Preview depend on whether you are
looking at a Perspective or Axonometric view.
For Perspective 3D views, edit the camera and target positions Or you can change the view cone, using the sliding switch or the
directly by clicking them in the Preview window and dragging them small icons at its ends, in 5 degree increments
to a new location. For Axonometric (parallel)
Note: Make sure that Show from Top is projections, the 3D Navigator
chosen from the pop-up menu in the Preview has two pop-up menus at
Preview’s lower right corner. the bottom right. From the left
button, choose one of the 12
predefined projections to quickly
switch to that view. (These are the
same predefined axonometries
available from 3D Projection
Settings). To customize the
In the image below, we “turn the building projection, use the right-side
around” simply by clicking and dragging the camera represented in pop-up button, then move the
the Navigator Preview Window. small camera icon inside the
Preview window to set up a
custom view.

If you choose Show from Side view from the Preview options
pop-up, you can easily re-set the camera height relative to the stories
of the project: just click in the Navigator Preview and move the For detailed information, see “The 3D Navigator Preview Palette Controls” in
camera up or down. ArchiCAD Help and “3D Projections” on page 172.
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3Dconnexion Enabler About the Navigator Palette


The 3D connexion Enabler is an add-on functionality that allows you to
The Navigator Palette (Navigator) is a tree structure that lets you
use your 3Dconnexion device for navigating in ArchiCAD’s 3D window.
build up the entire logical structure of your project and navigate
If you are using a 3Dconnexion device, use one of the two options at within it. You can create folders, then copy, drag and drop views and
View > 3D Navigation Extras > 3Dconnexion: other project items depending on their particular purpose. The
• Camera mode: Move the device to navigate in the model by Navigator also lets you access views and layouts from external
moving the camera position. ArchiCAD files and place them into the Layout Book of your current
project. Finally, you can configure the outputs for publication using
• Object mode: As you move the device, the model is moved Navigator controls.
accordingly. The camera viewpoint is fixed, while the model moves.
Important: Operations involving Navigator/Organizer items
(such as drag and drop between Navigator maps, deleting items
The Navigator Palette from a map, or adding items to the Publisher set) are not added
to the undo queue, and are not undoable.
The Navigator displays the whole project’s tree structure in four
different maps.
• The Project Map provides a tree structure of the components
(viewpoints) of your Virtual Building Model.
• The View Map includes all the predefined and custom-created
Views of the Project File.
• The Layout Book contains the layouts defined for the entire
architectural project.
• The Publisher Sets map is a tree structure in which you define
sets of views for various output purposes (printing, plotting,
saving to a local disk or uploading to the internet or an intranet).
To switch from one map to another, click
among the four buttons at the top of the
Navigator. The palette’s title bar indicates
which map is currently displayed.
The Navigator item currently open in the
window is shown in bold.
The Navigator has special features for shared projects: for more information, see
“View Maps and Publisher Sets in Teamwork” on page 464.

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How to Display the Navigator


The Navigator is displayed by default.

If you would rather open a new window by default each time you
open an additional view or layout (from a menu or by double-clicking
in the Navigator), change the window-opening default preference in
Options > Work Environment > More Options.

If it is hidden, choose Window > Palettes >


Navigator, or click the Navigator icon from the
Project Workflow in the Navigator
horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the A Viewpoint represents a window onto a particular part of your
ArchiCAD screen. project, but its settings have not been saved yet. Viewpoints are listed
in the Navigator Project Map.
Using the Navigator to Open Project A View is a stored version of a Viewpoint; each view is defined by its
Windows adjustable View Settings that you configure for a particular purpose
as you construct your Virtual Building. Every saved view is listed in
Double-click the desired item from any map of the Navigator. the Navigator View Map.
By default, ArchiCAD will open the item in existing windows, The Navigator Layout Book contains the layouts defined for the
replacing the previous view in that window. To open a new view in a entire architectural project, and can contain Drawings originating
new window instead, use the context menu command from the from multiple ArchiCAD project files and other source files. A view
Navigator item to be opened. placed on a Layout is called a Drawing.

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Use the Navigator Publisher Sets to set up the items you want to The following diagram summarizes the project workflow as reflected
publish, and set the publishing method and format. Each Publisher in the maps of the Navigator:
item refers directly to a View or to a Layout (in effect, the Publisher
item is a shortcut to the View/Layout).

Organizer Palette (Special Navigator View) The Auto-Hide command is found in the
Navigator/Organizer palette’s context menu
The Organizer is related to the Navigator palette and opened from (right-click in the gray area at the top of either
the Navigator. It houses essentially the same controls, but has a palette.)
double-tree structure to make it easier to move and copy views and Click the desired map icons on both sides of
files from one map to the other. the Organizer to bring up one of the three
To display the Organizer, modes of the Organizer:
choose Window > Palettes > The Organizer’s title bar shows the name of the right-side tree
Organizer, or the Show structure.
Organizer command from the
Project Chooser at top left of
the Navigator.
Both Navigator and Organizer
Palettes have an Auto-Hide feature: if you turn this on, you can use • View Editor mode (Project Map on the left, View Map on the
the Navigator/Organizer as usual, but once you click outside the right): Save views by selecting a viewpoint from the Project Map
palette, it will disappear. and clicking Save view , or drag and drop it into the View Map.

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Note that the Project Map is available only on the left side. Certain
combinations are not possible, and ArchiCAD will always adjust to
one of the three possible Organizer modes. (For example, if you
choose the Publisher on the right, then the left side will switch from
Project Map to View Map, because you cannot place items directly
from the Project Map to the Publisher.)
It is possible to have the same map open on both sides of the
Organizer; this enables you to make copies of items within a single
map.
When you click any item in the Navigator/Organizer, its preview is
displayed in the Navigator Preview palette (if applicable).
Double-clicking the item activates the corresponding window.
For more information on the Navigator/Organizer interface, see Navigator
Palette Controls and “Organizer Palette Controls” in ArchiCAD Help.

Navigator Color Codes


A color-coding system makes it easier for you to identify items in the
Navigator palette.
• Items of the Project Map are colored orange.

• Layout Editor mode (Layout Map on the right): Place Drawings


onto Layouts in the Layout Book by selecting a view from the
Project or View Map (on the left), then clicking Place Drawing,
or drag and drop it onto a Layout (on the right).
• Publisher (Publisher on the Right): To add a view or layout (on
the left) to a Publisher set (on the right), select a view or layout
and click Add Shortcut. • Items of the View Map are colored yellow.
If you select a Subset in the Layout Map, the Add Shortcut
button will create a folder in the Publisher Set which corresponds
to that Subset: if you change or add items in the original subset,
the Publisher Set folder will reflect these changes automatically.
However, if you drag and drop a Subset into the Publishing Set, a
folder is created, but this folder is not linked to any subsequent
modifications to the Subset.

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• Items of the Layout Map • Info


are colored white. • Help
• In Teamwork mode, Double-click a viewpoint to open it in the project. Once you save a
public View Map and viewpoint’s settings, it becomes a view (listed in your View Map) and
Layout Book items that can then be placed onto a Layout for editing.
you haven’t shared yet by
sending and receiving At the top level of the project map hierarchy, the house icon
changes are colored represents the project and is followed by the project name. (The
green . project gets a name once you save the project file, but if you assign a
Project Name in File > Info > Project Info, that is the name that
• In Teamwork mode, items belonging to other team members will be shown in the Navigator.)
include a head icon .
Below, folders store the available viewpoints of the project (one
Navigator Project Map folder named for each type of viewpoint). Project Map folders are a
fixed list of item types; you cannot add or delete folders here. You can
The Project Map provides a tree structure display the contents of each folder by clicking the plus sign in front of
of the components (viewpoints) of your it (in Windows) or the little arrow (in MacOS). In Windows,
Virtual Building Model. double-clicking the folder icon or name also opens the folder.
For details on Project Map controls, see “Project The Stories folder contains all the Stories defined for the project.
Map Controls” in ArchiCAD Help. When you first start a new project, your Stories folder contains three
items, whose names will vary depending on the local version of
A Viewpoint represents a window onto
ArchiCAD being used.
a particular part of your project, but its
settings have not been saved yet. The The Sections, Elevations, Interior Elevations, Worksheets,
Project Map Viewpoints are: Details and 3D Documents folders contain the list of
corresponding windows. If there is no plus sign in front of a folder,
• Stories
this means that no such viewpoint has been created yet in the project.
• Sections
The Detail, Section, Elevation and
• Elevations Worksheet viewpoints have different
• Interior Elevations icons depending on the type of
viewpoint (e.g. Independent;
• Worksheets Independent with Marker, etc.).
• Detail Drawings The 3D folder contains five types of
• 3D Documents elements for the various projection
• 3D and camera types.
• Schedules • By default, two items are
present on starting the project:
• Project Indexes Generic Perspective and
• Lists Generic Axonometry.

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• When you place Cameras in the Project, their names appear in


the 3D folder of the Project Map, grouped under the Path. The
Path can be renamed in the Camera Settings dialog box, and
more Paths can be added. All these additions and changes are
updated in the Project Map.
• Creating a VR Object-type Camera automatically adds its name
to the Project Map. All the created VR Object type Cameras are Double-clicking any of the items of the Project Map activates the
listed one by one. corresponding window and shows its contents with its last used zoom
• Creating a new VR Scene automatically adds its name to the and display settings. (These zoom and display settings can be checked
Project Map. Placed panoramic Cameras’ names appear below in the Quick Options palette.)
the name of the VR Scene, and more Scenes can be added. All For more information, see “Quick Options Palette” on page 74.
changes are updated in the Project Map. When you have set up the viewpoint settings as desired, you can save
The Schedules folder contains the interactive schedules (Elements it as a view. Remember, a viewpoint’s settings change along with edits
and Components) created as part of the project documentation that in the window.
will serve as a basis for ordering doors, windows, and other
construction elements from the manufacturers and for checking the
consistency of elements based on a set of criteria.
The Project Indexes folder contains three sets of table of contents
type items. Project indexes include view list indexes, layout sheet
indexes and drawing list indexes based on a set of filtering criteria.
For more information, see “Project Indexes” on page 217.
The Lists folder contains three items: Elements, Components and
Zones. When opened, all three show the list of predefined list
schemes available for the project. All these items also appear in the
Document > Schedules and Lists menu.
For more information, see “Calculation” on page 449.
The Info folder contains two items: Project Notes and Report.
They represent the corresponding windows also available from the
Window menu.
For more information, see “Project Notes” in ArchiCAD Help and “Report
Window” in ArchiCAD Help.
If you click an item with the right mouse button, a set of relevant
commands appear in a context menu (for example story-related
commands for Stories or 3D-related commands for Perspectives).

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Navigator View Map Creating a Cloned Folder in the View Map


Cloning a folder means that you recreate a Project
With the second button in the Map folder inside the View Map. To do this, click
Navigator Palette, you will display the the Clone Folder at the bottom of the View Map.
Navigator View Map: the list of saved This opens the Clone a Folder dialog box.
Views available in your project file.
For details on View Map controls, see “View
Map Controls” in ArchiCAD Help.
A View is a stored version of a
Viewpoint; each view is defined by its
adjustable View Settings that you
configure for a particular purpose as
you construct your Virtual Building.
Every saved view is listed in the
Navigator Palette’s View Map. The
Properties section at the bottom of
the View Map provides feedback on
the settings of the selected view. To
modify view settings, select the view
and click Settings at the bottom of the
View Map to access the View Settings
dialog box. Views can be created within
the active project or imported from
other ArchiCAD projects.
For more information, see “Saving a View”
on page 73 and “View Settings Dialog Box”
in ArchiCAD Help.
See also “Managing View Maps in Teamwork” on page 464.
In the View Map, several view folders are predefined; you can rename
or delete these, and add new folders as needed.To gain an overview of
View Map items or to sort them by criteria, use the Project Index
function.
For more information, see “Project Indexes” on page 217.
Choose the folder to clone from the list at the top of the dialog box.
Even if the project content changes, the settings of your saved views - The rest of the controls are identical to those of the View Settings
will remain unchanged unless you expressly modify them. dialog box. The settings you define here will be applied to the views
Note: You can create a dynamic connection between project of the cloned folder. Click Clone to create the cloned folder.
viewpoints and views if you clone a folder. For more information, see “View Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
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The resulting cloned folder in the View Map will be identified by a Views in Cloned View Map folders:
special “clone” folder icon , rather than a regular folder icon.
Another way to create a clone is to drag the folder from the Project
Map to the View Map, using Ctrl+Shift (Windows) or Opt+Cmd
(MacOS) within the Organizer’s View Editor. The result of cloning a
folder is that for each new viewpoint you create in the Project Map, a
counterpart new view will be created in its cloned folder in the View
Map. For example, if you have cloned the Project Map’s Stories
folder, then the cloned folder in View Map will always show all
Stories of the Project, even new ones added after the creation of the
clone folder. Moreover, the newly created views in the cloned folder
will be assigned View Settings that are defined for the clone folder.
The following two diagrams illustrate the difference between views in
regular folders in the View Map (which are not affected by changes in
the Project Map structure), and views in cloned folders in the View
Map (whose contents change in tandem with changes in the Project
Map viewpoints.)

Views in regular View Map folders:

When you create a clone, the Clone a Folder dialog box lets you
define view settings for all the views in the cloned folder.

Setting up a View
To set up a new view, open the project in the appropriate window
(Floor Plan, Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document, Detail,
Worksheet, 3D, Interactive Schedule, or List) and adjust any or all of
its settings as needed. For example, you can change the scale and layer
combination to fit your output needs, in one of the following ways:
• in the active window, using the usual editing commands
• changing the options of the Quick Options Palette, which always
show the settings of the currently active (frontmost) window
For more information, see “Quick Options Palette” on page 74.
• in the Organizer, using the “View Settings and Storing Options”
at the bottom of the Project Map
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View Settings Stored with the View • Dimensions


The View Settings of each view are accessible in the View Settings • Zooming
dialog box. • Image Settings (for 3D Window views): these include 3D
projection settings (including zooming), filtered elements in 3D,
3D window settings, 3D cutting planes, 3D Cutaway and
PhotoRendering Settings.
• Existing selection (3D only)

Saving a View
To save the view, do one of the following:
• Use the Organizer to drag and drop the viewpoint from the
Project Map into the View Map. The current settings are saved as
view settings.
• Click the Save Current view button at the bottom of the View
Map. (The View Settings dialog box appears, allowing you to
modify the settings before saving the view.)

See “View Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.


Once you save the view, it will store the combination of the following
settings:
• Layer Combination
• Scale
• Structure Display
• Pen Set
• Model View Option Combination • Select the Viewpoint in the Project map, then right-click and
• Floor Plan Cut Plane execute the Save Current View command. (The View Settings

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dialog box appears, allowing you to modify the settings before


saving the view.)
• Drag and drop the viewpoint from the Project Map into the
Layout Book. The current settings are saved as view settings.The
new view will appear both in the View Map and in the Layout
Book. If you wish, you can save the current window settings as a view: Click
• Use the Save View and Place on Layout command, available in Settings to open the View Settings dialog box, then click Get Current
the active window’s context menu, the item’s context menu in the Window’s Settings.
Navigator/Organizer, and as a command in the Document See “View Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
menu. The current settings are saved as view settings.The new
view will appear both in the View Map and in the Layout Book. Quick Options Palette
The Quick Options Palette displays the current settings of the active
Modifying View Settings (frontmost) window:
To change the settings of an already saved view, open the View The current window settings as reflected in
Settings dialog box and make any changes needed. Or click Get Quick Options are the currently effective
Current Window’s Settings to overwrite the original view settings project settings, but they have not necessarily
with the current viewpoint settings (i.e. those of the active window). been saved as part of any view; they merely
provide feedback on what you are currently
seeing in the active window, and offer a quick
way to apply changes among these settings.
For more information, see “Quick Options Palette
Controls” in ArchiCAD Help.
The Quick Options Palette is displayed by default at the lower right
corner of your screen. (You may have to drag the palette to a new
position or stretch it to see all six of the Quick Options.)
To hide/show this palette, use Windows > Palettes > Quick
Options Palette or the corresponding button in the bottom
If you have opened a saved view from the View Map, and if, while scrollbar of the model window.
working in the active window, you have changed any of its View
Settings, a triangular yellow “warning” icon will appear at the bottom Navigator Layout Book
of the Navigator, next to the changed settings, alerting you that “The The Layout Book contains the layouts defined for the entire
settings in the frontmost window no longer correspond to the architectural project, and can contain Drawings originating from
original view settings.” For example, the image below indicates that multiple ArchiCAD project files and other source files. A view placed
the current window’s zoom and layer settings are different than in the on a Layout is called a Drawing. You can view the list of layouts in
saved view. two formats: Tree by Subset or Tree by Master.
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Tree by Subset (the default display) lists layouts according to the in the Publisher are the output format and related options (these are
Subsets you have created - a freely defined logic. (The primary accessible in the Format panel at the bottom of the Publisher).
function of Subsets is to enable you to assign a customized
numbering system. See “Subsets” on page 426.) Tree by Master lists
the Layouts in categories according to its Master Layout.
See “Master Layouts” on page 425.
At the bottom of the Layout Book,
the Properties section displays the
settings of the current Layout, some
of which are editable directly. To
access the Layout Settings of the
selected Layout placed Drawing,
click the Settings button at the
bottom of the Layout Book.
Drawings are accompanied by icons
that correspond to their file type.
Views imported from ArchiCAD
project files retain their icons (for
example, floor plan or detail) but
are shown in white.
For more information on creating and
outputting Layouts, see “The Layout
Book” on page 422.

Navigator Publisher
Use this map of the .
Navigator/Organizer to set up the
items you want to publish, and set You define Publisher sets by simply dragging and dropping any
the publishing method and format. combination of items from the View Map or the Layout Book.
You can access this palette from Publisher sets are stored with the project, so you can access them any
either the Navigator or the Document > Publisher > Publish time, adjust settings if needed, and re-publish them.
menu command.
By clicking the Publish button, you can publish a single set or all
Each Publisher item refers directly to a View or to a Layout (in effect, defined publishing sets or even selected views.
the Publisher item is a shortcut to the View/Layout). The View or
See “Publisher Function” on page 442.
Layout Properties of the item are displayed at the bottom of the
Publisher, but are not editable. The only additional settings controlled

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External Projects in the Navigator Layout Book of the active project by dragging and dropping it directly
onto the Layout, or dragging the item into the Layout Book tree
The Project Chooser pop-up menu at structure on the right side of the Organizer.
top left lists, first of all, the “active”
ArchiCAD project which you are Project Chooser
working on. By default, it is this
Projects accessed in the Navigator/Organizer are listed in the Project
project whose tree structure appears
Chooser (the pop-up menu at the top left of the
in the Navigator and on the left side
Navigator/Organizer) as follows:
of the Organizer.
To access the tree structure (View • Active: Your current project.
Map and Layout Book) of any other • Linked: An external project from which you have already added
ArchiCAD project, click the Browse command. The tree structure of a view or layout to the active project.
the “running” project you choose here will now be shown in the
• Running: An external project which you have accessed and
Navigator, and its name is listed in the Project Chooser.
browsed as a separate instance of ArchiCAD.
Also in the Project Chooser, you can show the Navigator or
Organizer, and display the Drawing Manager.

Editing Concepts
To aid you in editing the elements of your Virtual Building,
ArchiCAD has built-in interface features that give you constant
feedback as you edit.
To open the external project in the ArchiCAD window, double-click
any of its items in the Navigator. • Selection methods and related feedback ensure that you lose no
time in choosing the right element to edit.
To place layouts or views from an external ArchiCAD projects onto a
Layout of the active project: • The Coordinate System ensures that you always find the exact
• Make sure you have a Layout open (the Layout onto which you location for placing and editing elements.
want to place a view or Layout from an external project). • The intelligent cursor gives you feedback as you draw, so that you
• Click the Browse command in the Project Chooser. avoid drafting mistakes and join elements properly.
• Choose an ArchiCAD project whose content you want to use in • Setting up your grids is another way of ensuring that element
the active project. placement is exact.
• Click Open. • Keyboard shortcuts and context-sensitive Pet Palettes make it
easy to reach the commands you need while editing.
The external project is now displayed in a tree structure on the left
side of the Organizer, in one of two available map options (View Map The following sections provide details on all of these editing
or Layout Book). You can add any of its views or layouts to the concepts.

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Selecting Elements Quick Selection of Surface Areas


With the Arrow tool active: Point at the desired element and click; or Quick Selection is the easiest way to select single elements which have
drag the mouse to draw a rectangle around the element you want to a surface area (such as slabs and roofs).
select. To activate Quick Selection as the
With any other tool active: Press Shift, then point at the desired default working mode, turn on the Quick
element and click; or drag the mouse to draw a rectangle around the Selection icon in the Arrow tool’s Info Box.
element you want to select. Now, to use Quick Selection, either the Arrow tool must be active, or
For more information on cursor shapes, see “The Intelligent Cursor” on page 82. you must press the Shift key.
Move the cursor over any surface of the element you want to select.
Select All Elements (in Window or in Marquee) You will note that every time the cursor hovers over a selectable
To select all elements on screen (either in the entire window or inside element, it will change shape . Click to select.
a previously defined Marquee area) with the Arrow or Marquee Tool As shown in this image, you need only move the cursor over any part
active, use the Ctrl/Cmd+A shortcut or the Edit > Select All of the roof area; (if the Arrow tool is not active, press Shift to change
command. to the Quick Select cursor), and click to select the roof.
Note: Select All will only select elements on the currently
displayed story.

Select All Elements of a Single Type


To select all elements of a single type (for example, all Walls, or all
Windows), activate the corresponding tool, then use the Ctrl+A
shortcut.
To learn about additional Arrow tool selection options, see “Select Multiple
Elements Using a Selection Rectangle/Polygon” on page 78.
To learn how to highlight an element before selecting it, see “Element Information Quick Selection works on all construction and text elements, fills and
Highlight” on page 80. objects.
To temporarily suspend the Quick Selection method while the icon
Select Elements Based on Multiple Criteria is activated, press the Spacebar with the Arrow Tool active, or
Use the Find and Select function to select elements defined by a wide Shift-spacebar if any other tool is active.
variety of criteria. Quick Selection is active by default, but it can be deactivated in the
See “Find and Select Elements by Criteria” on page 84. Arrow tool’s Info Box by releasing the button.
To use Quick Selection on a temporary basis (while the Quick
Add/Remove Elements to/from Selection Selection icon is deactivated in the Arrow Tool’s Info Box), press
You can add elements to the selection by shift-clicking them. Spacebar with the Arrow Tool active (or Shift+Spacebar with any
Shift-clicking an already selected element will deselect it. other Tool).

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Click and Drag with Quick Selection Selection Methods for Selection Rectangle/Polygon
With the Arrow Tool and Quick Selection active, you can drag any The Arrow tool’s Info Box offers a number
element by clicking on it and holding down the button while you drag of selection methods when using a
it, without having to use the Drag command. (With any other tool rectangular or polygonal shape.
active, press Shift, then click and drag.) With the first (default) Selection Method
Note: All selected elements will be dragged simultaneously. any element that has at least one of its nodes, edges or curves in
the selection polygon or rectangle will become selected.
Select Multiple Elements Using a Selection
Rectangle/Polygon
A useful method for selecting multiple elements is by drawing a
selection polygon or rectangle around the items. These will be
explicitly selected items, displaying selection dots. To use this method,
activate the Arrow tool and a geometry method for the selection
rectangle/polygon.
Note: To select an area instead of explicitly selecting elements,
use the Marquee tool as detailed at Marquee Area.
Click on the screen and draw the selection rectangle/polygon.

• With the second method , only elements that are entirely


within the selection polygon or rectangle will become selected.

Area Shape Options for Selection Rectangle/Polygon


In the Arrow tool’s Info Box, you can choose among three selection
This will select all the elements inside the area and deselect all other area shapes.
currently selected elements. If you keep the Shift key pressed,
enclosed elements will be added to the selection while already The options are Polygonal, Rectangular and
selected ones will be subtracted from it. Rotated Rectangular.
If you want to use a selection rectangle or polygon within a Double-clicking while drawing the polygon
quick-selectable area, press the spacebar to temporarily suspend automatically closes it if at least two segments have already been
Quick Selection, then draw the selection polygon - keeping the defined manually. The double-clicked point becomes the last apex of
spacebar pressed. the polygon.

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Selection of Overlapping Elements


When the nodes of several elements overlap at a single point, the
Element Information Highlight indicates which element will be selected,
and the Element Information Pop-up (Info Tags) shows its type and main
properties.
Note: The element information highlight pops up if the cursor is
over any element (with Arrow Tool active). If any other tool is
active, press Shift to see the element information highlight.
To cycle the highlight among multiple elements which overlap or join,
press Tab until the desired target element is highlighted. When you
are satisfied that the appropriate element will be selected, click with
the cursor.

In the case of GDL Object type elements, the number of selection


dots depends on the number of hotspots defined in the object.

Selection Feedback
Selection Dots
Explicitly selected elements display selection dots (or reference
points). Selection dots represent the points of the element by which
you can modify the element.
Note: Elements selected by Marquee do not display selection
dots.
For more information, see “Marquee Area” on page 85. Selection Dot Variations
The location of the selection dots depends on the type and the Single elements have small solid selection dots
geometry of the element. which are black by default.
To change the color of selection dots, use the color
chooser in Options > Work Environment >
Selection and Element Information.

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Editable selection dots are diamond-shaped and appear on


objects whose parameters can be edited using an on-screen
parameter palette.
For more information, see “Graphical Editing Using Editable Hotspots” on page
318.
Grouped elements display larger circles, whose color
is automatically assigned.

Elements that belong to a Hotlinked Module or an


XREF are shown with hollow squares, whose color is
automatically defined. Even if you leave the Selection Highlight function on, you may want
to disable it temporarily - for example, if you want to see the actual
display colors of lines and fills. To suspend Selection highlight, use
Locked elements’ selection the Ctrl/Alt + spacebar shortcut.
dots appear in faded form.
Note: Surface highlights in 3D are available only when using the
Elements are locked (and
OpenGL 3D engine.
display “locked” selection dots) in four cases:
• The element is placed on a locked Layer.
• The element has been explicitly locked with the Edit > Locking
> Lock command.
• In a shared Project (Teamwork), the element is outside your own
workspace.
• The elements belong to a Hotlinked Module or an XREF.
In all cases, locked elements can be selected, but they cannot be
edited. (You will be informed of this if you try to edit a locked
element.) You can open the settings dialog boxes of these elements,
but you cannot edit their parameters. For more information, see “Selection and Element Information” in ArchiCAD
Help.
Selection Highlight
Selected elements will be shown with a distinguishing highlight, in Element Information Highlight
addition to selection dots. Selection highlight color (for both element
surfaces and their contours) are configurable in Options > Work ArchiCAD helps you identify elements by highlighting them before
Environment > Selection and Element Information, or you can you select them (also known as “element detection”). Just place the
turn off selection highlights altogether. cursor on an element node or edge, then press Shift.

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Note: If the Arrow tool is active, the highlight appears on its cursors right before you complete the parameter transfer. You do not
own, without your having to press Shift. need to press Shift to see the element detection highlight with
Parameter Transfer.
For more information, see “Parameter Transfer” on page 139.
Note: These highlights (identifying related elements for
Parameter Transfer and Dimensioning functions) will appear if
the “Highlight contours of related element(s)” checkbox is active
in Options > Work Environment > Selection and Element
Information. For these highlights, you need not press Shift.

Element Information Pop-up (Info


Tags)
If you move the cursor over an element and press Shift, an element
information pop-up appears.
Note: If the Arrow tool is active, the element information
pop-up appears on its own (along with the highlight), without
your having to press Shift.
The Element Information Pop-up displays the following information:

When working in 3D, you will notice that the informational highlight
acts on the entire outline of the element, that is, even hidden lines of
its contour are shown. Grouped elements are highlighted individually.
Element information highlights can be configured, or even turned off
entirely, in the Options > Work Environment > Selection and
Element Information dialog box.
For more information, see “Selection and Element Information” in ArchiCAD
Help.
Element Information highlights also work when clicking to
dimension an element, and with the Parameter transfer functions
(Pick Up Parameters and Inject Parameters commands): the
information highlight appears along with the eyedropper/syringe • The element’s type
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Interaction

• The element’s basic properties (structural fill for Walls, name for • Heavy Mercedes on the reference line of a wall or the
Objects, thickness for Slabs, type for Lines, and so on) reference axis of a beam.
• The element’s elevation (for 3D shapes only) • Light Mercedes at any other edge of any element.
• The element’s Layer • Intersection at an intersection of edges.
• In 3D and Section/Elevation/IE and 3D Document windows,
the Story the element belongs to.
• In Teamwork, the owner of the element.
Some additional information is displayed in the bottom section of the
pop-up:
• If more than one element has a selectable part at the given
location (node, edge, or surface if Quick Selection is active), the
caption Multiple Elements (TAB) is shown in the Info Tag to
inform you that you can cycle through selected and selectable
elements by hitting the TAB key as many times as needed.
See also “Selection of Overlapping Elements” on page 79.
• If the element is selected, the mention (Selected) appears in
brackets.
Element information highlights, including the time interval before it
appears on screen, can be configured in the Options > Work
Environment > Selection and Element Information dialog box.
For more information, see “Selection and Element Information” in ArchiCAD
Help.

The Intelligent Cursor


The following section describes the various shapes of the intelligent
cursor in different locations and situations in the project.
The ArchiCAD cursor takes on the following shapes when drafting
or editing elements, with any tool except the Arrow tool active:
• Crosshair in an empty area in the window.
• Heavy Checkmark at a wall node on its reference line or a
beam node at its reference axis. When you click to start drawing an element whose definition requires
• Light Checkmark at any other node/hotspot of any more than a single spot, the cursor’s shape changes to an empty
element.

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pencil. It then changes its shape again depending on whether it


encounters other elements. The possibilities are as follows:
• White pencil in an empty space or over any element where
there is no hotspot or edge
• Striped pencil with black top at a wall’s reference line or a
beam’s reference axis.
• Striped pencil at any other edge.
• Filled pencil at a node on a wall’s reference line or on a
beam’s reference axis.
• Filled pencil with white top at any other node or hotspot.
• Pencil point with intersection at an intersection of edges.
• Pencil point with perpendicular sign at a perpendicular
edge.
• Pencil point with tangent sign at a tangential edge.

When using the Arrow tool, the following shapes are available:
• Arrow at empty area in the window.
• Quick Selection (Magnet) appears whenever you move the
cursor onto a quick-selectable item.
• Arrow with Heavy Checkmark snaps to nodes on
reference lines of Walls and reference axes of Beams.
• Arrow with Light Checkmark snaps to Hotspots and
nodes other than the ones on reference lines of Walls and
reference axes of Beams.
• Arrow with Heavy Mercedes snaps to reference lines of
Walls and reference axes of Beams.
• Arrow with Light Mercedes snaps to edges other than
reference lines of Walls and reference axes of Beams.
• Arrow with Intersection snaps to an intersection of edges.
• Arrow with Perpendicular sign snaps perpendicularly to an
edge or arc while dragging an element

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• Arrow with Tangent sign snaps tangentially to an arc while • Hammer places Dimension chains, Angular Dimensions,
dragging an element. the Elevation Dimension array, Zone Stamps and Fill areas; it
also appears when closing polygons.
Some cursor shapes only appear in special situations:
• Trident moves Marquee area or the Clipboard contents after
• Cloud indicates empty space over the horizon in perspective pasting.
views.
During a dimensioning operation:
• Magic Wand used for tracing the contours of existing elements
for creating new elements with the active tool. It has three • Magnet plus dimension-line icon: In a 3D Document, after
different shapes for identifying nodes , edges and empty clicking the points to be dimensioned, this cursor allows you to
choose the plane in which to dimension the clicked elements.
space (including surfaces).
• Mercedes plus parallel dimension icon: During a linear
• Scissors trims elements (hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key while dimensioning operation using Any Direction, allows you to
clicking on an element). The Black Scissors appear on top choose a line or edge. The dimension will be created parallel to
of element edges, while the White Scissors indicate empty this clicked line/edge.
space.
• Eyeball defines the direction of Roof ’s slope, the side that
remains selected when splitting elements, the depth of Limited
Deselecting Elements
Sections and the orientation of Doors/Windows. It is also used To deselect one or more selected elements, do one of the following:
to set the position of curved walls and Curtain Walls placed with • Press Esc.
the tangential method, when more than one placement
possibility exists. • Click with any tool (including the Arrow) on an empty part of the
worksheet to deselect all the selected elements at once.
• Double Eyeball locates position of edge-placed
• Click a selected element while holding down the Shift key.
Door/Window.
• With the Arrow tool active, hold down the Shift key, and click or
• Sun appears during Curtain Wall input to define the draw a selection rectangle around the elements you want to
“outside” part of the Curtain Wall. deselect.
• Eyedropper appears when picking up parameters from an
element as part of Parameter Transfer shortcut. Find and Select Elements by
• Syringe appears when transferring parameters of one
element to another as part of Parameter Transfer shortcut. Criteria
• Plus when dragging, rotating or mirroring a copy of an Choose the Edit > Find & Select command to select and deselect
element. elements based on a wide variety of criteria.
• Double-Plus when dragging or rotating multiple copies of
an element. Edit Selection Set
• Fill Handle prompts you to draw a vector orientation after a The Edit Selection Set command from Edit > Element Settings
fill is placed. opens a dialog box which makes it possible to edit specific attributes

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(layers and pencolors) for a collection of dissimilar element types Detail and Worksheet windows, Layout windows, and the 2D Symbol
simultaneously without affecting any other settings of these elements. window of GDL Objects. In image-type windows (PhotoRendering
For details, see “Edit Selection Set Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. or picture windows) or the GDL Object’s 3D view, the only operation
available for a marquee selection is Copy.

Store and Access Selection Sets To use the Marquee tool for selection and editing, you must first
define a rectangular or polygonal Marquee area. All construction aids
Use the Window > Palettes > Selections palette to recall previously are available.
saved, frequently accessed sets of selections that are stored with the
Project.

Marquee Area
About Marquee Areas
The Marquee tool is used to define areas for selection, editing
and visualization purposes. The capabilities of the Marquee tool
complement those of the Arrow tool, and are particularly useful in
selecting and moving groups of ArchiCAD elements. • If you inadvertently start to draw the Marquee area at an
A Marquee area does not unintended point, press Esc (or the Cancel button in the Control
display selection dots on the Box).
included elements; the • If you click a node or an edge inside the Marquee area, with the
marqueed area is shown by a Marquee tool active, the cursor will assume the Checkmark or
dashed line of “marching Mercedes shape. If you then move the cursor, the Marquee area
ants.” The color of the will be moved with all the nodes or edges included in it.
Marquee is the same as that of Selection dots: set this color at • All polygonal or linear elements with a node included in the
Options > Work Environment > Selection and Element Information Marquee area can be stretched simultaneously.
> Selection Dots and Marquee color.
For a detailed description, see “Modifying Element Sizes” on page 123 and
Marquee selection is often used when: “Moving Elements” on page 113.
• You wish to define a smaller area in which to select all of the • If you click inside the Marquee area without touching a node or
elements of a given type. an edge, the cursor will assume the Trident shape. In this
• You want to visualize a particular part of the design in 3D. case, moving the cursor will only move the marquee, leaving all
• You need to move or resize a number of elements of different enclosed elements unchanged.
types at the same time: for example, you can stretch all polygonal
and linear elements of a building simultaneously. Select All Elements in a Marquee
The Marquee tool is available in the Floor Plan, the 3D Window, To select all elements inside a previously defined Marquee area with
Section/Elevation/Interior Elevation windows, 3D Document, the Marquee Tool active, use the Ctrl/Cmd+A shortcut or the Edit >
Select All in Marquee command.
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Use Marquee in Find&Select


If you have placed a Marquee, then the Find & Select includes the
Marquee criterion automatically. You can then opt to search either
inside or outside the Marquee.
See “Find and Select Elements by Criteria” on page 84.

• The Polygonal method defines a Marquee area consisting of any


number of segments. Completing a segment automatically begins
the next one. Close the Marquee by double-clicking the last
endpoint, by clicking OK in the context menu to close the
polygon, or by drawing the last endpoint on top of the first one
Marquee Area Definition Options and clicking when the Hammer cursor appears. At least two
segments must be defined manually, since the area must have a
The Marquee tool has two definition methods minimum of three sides. Only straight segments are possible.
available in the Info Box.
• With the thin dashed line contour representing
the Single Floor method , you can select
elements on the current Story.
• With the thick dashed line contour representing the All Floors
method , you can select elements on all the Stories of the
Project.
Note: These controls are dimmed when not viewing the Floor
Plan.
To draw a Marquee, select the Marquee tool from the Toolbox.
Choose one of the Geometry Methods from the Info Box. (If you are
working in the 3D Window, four options are available; otherwise
there are three options). • The Rectangle method defines a Marquee rectangle at right
angles to the window. After the first click, a rubberband line
rectangle will follow the cursor, allowing you to see the area.
After the second click at the diagonally opposed corner, the
Marquee rectangle will appear.

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• The Rotated Rectangle


method defines a
Marquee rectangle placed
at any angle. You first
draw one side of the
rectangle with two clicks,
and then, with a third
click, you define the
length of the
perpendicular sides.
• The first three methods available in the 3D Window are
extensions of the Polygonal, Rectangle and Rotated
Rectangle methods. First the base of the marquee area is
defined with the same steps as on the Floor Plan. (In perspective
view, the marquee base must be underneath the horizon.) Then For more information, see “Copy/Paste Marquee Area from Project Window”
you define the height of the selected space. The coordinate axes on page 88.
are continuously present on screen to help you.
View Marquee Area in 3D
You can use the Marquee to view a selected area of your project in the
3D window.
Define the Marquee area, then use the View > Elements in 3D
View > Show Selection/Marquee in 3D command; or select the
same command from the context menu.
Any part of an element that falls inside the Marquee area will be
included in the 3D view, even if there is no selection node or hotspot
on this part of the element.
Note: If your plan includes both explicitly selected elements and
a marquee selection, this command will disregard the marquee
and show only the explicitly selected elements.
To further define how Marqueed elements are shown in 3D, use the
“Marquee Effects” controls of the View > Elements in 3D View >
Filter Elements in 3D dialog box.
For more information, see “Show Marquee Area in 3D” on page 168.
• The fourth option (3D window only) allows you to draw a 2D
marquee in order to copy elements from the 3D Window in the
form of pictures.

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Removing a Marquee If you are copying from


the 3D window using
To remove a drawn Marquee area, do one of the following: the Internal Engine, a
• Press Esc. dialog box appears
during the Copy
• Click with the right mouse button or Ctrl-click (MacOS), and operation giving you
choose the Remove Marquee command in the appearing options for how the
context menu. image will be displayed
• Begin drawing a new Marquee. on the screen.
• Double-click on the worksheet outside the marquee area with the For more information, see “Copy
Marquee tool selected. Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
If you have explicitly selected further elements within the Marquee, Note: If you are copy-pasting construction elements, they will be
pressing Esc will deselect these elements in reverse order, and finally placed as 2D elements (points, lines and fills.)
remove the Marquee. You may find that the “exploded” 2D elements generated from
If you choose another tool, the Marquee area will not be removed, in the model often contain superfluous elements (extra line
order to save the recent Marquee area for further use. segments, overlapping or superfluous fills) that make such
editing difficult. To make editing easier, use the The Linework
Copy/Paste Marquee Area from Project and Fill Consolidation functions on selected items in the
window.
Window For more information, see “Consolidating Lines and Fills in Drawing Windows”
You can use the Marquee tool to copy and paste an area of the 3D on page 153.
Window, a Section/Elevation/IE or 3D Document window, or a 4) Move to the Floor Plan and choose Edit > Paste.
Model Picture Window.
Note: You can paste into other 2D model windows, but the
1) Generate the view you need. pasted elements will behave as 2D drawing elements only, not
2) Use the Marquee tool to model elements.
select the area you wish to 5) Position the image on your Floor Plan using the Trident cursor.
copy (if you are selecting
from the 3D window, make 6) Click outside the selection rectangle to complete the operation.
sure that the 2D Marquee - Elevations are pasted to the Floor Plan as full-sized 2D
option is active). elements.
3) Choose Edit > Copy. - Parts of Model Pictures are pasted as screenshots.
If you are copying from the 3D window using the OpenGL
engine, all images will be pasted in pixel format. Copy Cropped Image File with Marquee Tool
You can insert a cropped part of any image file into your ArchiCAD
plan.

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• With your ArchiCAD project file open, open any image format
file.
• Click and drag (only the Marquee tool is available) to select the
desired image area, then copy it to the clipboard.
• Close the image file, then paste the clipboard contents into the
open project.
You can modify it like any other figure.
For more information, see “Figures” on page 386.

Other Editing Operations within the


Drag or Stretch Multiple Elements Using Marquee
Marquee If you wish to Cut, Copy, Clear, Drag, Mirror, Rotate, Elevate or
Duplicate elements, they must have at least one node inside the
Draw a Marquee area around the linear, polygonal and circular
Marquee area in order to be selected. The edit operations will act on
elements you wish to drag or stretch.
the whole element.
• Elements entirely within the Marquee will be dragged to the
To use Edit commands on a placed Drawing, include at least one
new position. (See illustration below.)
node of the Drawing (i.e. one of the Drawing’s corners) inside the
• Elements with at least one node within the Marquee area but Marquee.
partly outside of the Marquee will be stretched as you move the Note: In Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document, Detail and
Marquee. Worksheet windows, some editing commands are available only
With the Marquee tool active, click on one of the elements’ hotspots for 2D drawing elements.
and drag/stretch to a new location. In the following illustration, the
Marquee tool is used to drag two sofas and a table from one room to
another all at once.

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Origins In this image, the corner of the


selected column (marked with an X) is
the Edit Origin; its coordinates are (0,
About Origins in ArchiCAD 0).
In ArchiCAD, as in any coordinate system, all measurements are In Floor Plan and other 2D views, the
made in reference to an origin. The location of the origin is always origin is always marked by a bold X.
interpreted as (0, 0). In 3D Views, the origins and their X, Y and Z axes are displayed with
ArchiCAD defines three coordinate system origins: bold black lines. The lines are 1 meter (approx. 3 ft.) long.
1) The Project Origin is a constant
location which remains fixed for
the life of your Project. The
Project Origin of the coordinate
system, marked with an X, is close
to the lower left corner of the Floor Plan window, when using the
default view of the default template. (The Coordinates Palette
shows the coordinates as (0, 0).
2) The User Origin is created manually by the user to act as a
temporary aid to drafting and measurements. By default, the User
Origin is located at the Project Origin. However, the User Origin Note: When a User or Edit Origin appears, the Project Origin
can be moved to any location, allowing you to “reset the zero remains visible in the same color as the construction grid.
point” to any location. This is often helpful when you need to
draw elements with respect to existing walls, slabs or other Create a User Origin
components.
There are two ways to create a User Origin:
For details, see “Create a User Origin” on page 90.
• At any construction node by using the keyboard. Hold down
In this image, the User
both the Alt and Shift keys (MacOS: Opt + Shift) and move the
Origin is reset to one end
cursor to the construction node where you want the origin
of the selected wall; it is
located.
marked with an X; its
coordinates are (0, 0); the
Project Origin is also
visible, but dimmed.
3) The Edit Origin is also
temporary; it appears only
during drafting and
• At any location by using the User
editing operations and is
Origin button from the Standard
used to display the distance and angle of a rubberband line from
toolbar (or the Coordinates
the starting point of a drawing operation.
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palette, if it is displayed). This method allows you to move the


origin where nothing is currently drawn.
Use Tracker to Display and Input
Click the User Origin button, then click at any point in the Coordinates
window. The origin is instantly relocated there.
To return the User Origin to the Project Origin, double-click the User About the Tracker
Origin button in the Standard Toolbar.
Coordinate values are displayed in the Tracker, which follows your
mouse movements and is available in any editable window type.
User Origin in the 3D Window
Note: This section describes coordinate input using the Tracker
When placing a new element in the 3D window, its elevation is function. If you prefer to use the Coordinates box familiar from
measured from the User Origin. older versions of ArchiCAD, consult “Coordinates Palette” in
Use the Tool Settings dialog box ArchiCAD Help.
to enter the desired elevation (or The Tracker gives you a dynamic and constant feedback on such
Base Height, in the case of a values as edited lengths, angles, and hotspot values for GDL Object
Wall) for placement. editing.
To redefine the User Origin’s To use the Tracker, you must activate
elevation in 3D: the Tracker toggle button on the
• Activate the User Origin Standard toolbar, or activate the Show
button (Standard toolbar) Tracker checkbox in Options > Work
Environment > Tracker and Coordinate Input.
• Then click on an element surface (this is only possible in Hidden
Line or Shading mode).
Creating the User Origin in blank space places it without changing its
elevation.
Note: If you are using Gravity, a newly placed element will
gravitate onto the Roof/Slab/Mesh below it - it will be placed at
that elevation.
By default, the Tracker only appears “On -demand”: that is, during
See “Elevation and Gravity” on page 108. coordinate input and editing operations.
Note: If the element was placed in a 2D window, it will also have Another way to show the Tracker if you have not yet begun element
a home story value. If you prefer, you can redefine a placed input: use the n shortcut. The Tracker will pop up and display the
element’s elevation reference to its Home Story - instead of the cursor position.
User Origin - using the pop-up in the Tool Settings dialog box.
Alternatively, choose the Always option to display the Tracker
continuously. This means that the Tracker will follow your cursor
even if you are not inputting anything, providing feedback on the
cursor position.

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To deactivate the Tracker, deselect the Tracker toggle icon on the As a rule, the parameters in the Tracker (will be listed in order of
Standard toolbar, or hit the n shortcut. relevance, with D/A coordinates followed by X, Y and Z coordinates.
Tracker options (including colors, contents and behavior) can be set By default, the coordinate values are Relative values. (If you prefer
in Options > Work Environment > Tracker and Coordinate Absolute values, deselect the “Relative Coordinates in Tracker” toggle
Input. command; this command is enabled by default, except during
editing/input.)
Some Tracker options are commands
accessible from the pop-up arrow next If you have activated the Expand Tracker Automatically option
to the Standard toolbar’s Tracker from the drop-down Tracker menu, then all the parameters will be
toggle. shown as soon as you enter the Tracker (by entering a value or by
pressing Tab).
For more information, see “Tracker and
Coordinate Input” in ArchiCAD Help. Note: The same option, “Expand Tracker automatically during
numeric input,” is also available as a checkbox in Options >
Work Environment > Tracker and Coordinate Input.
Otherwise, if you want to expand the Tracker,
Parameters Shown in Tracker enter the Tracker by pressing Tab, then click the
The parameters appearing in the arrow at the bottom of the Tracker to expand it.
Tracker vary depending on the type
of editing action that is underway. For Defining Tracker Coordinates
example, if you select a straight
segment and choose the Curve edge You can enter numeric coordinates directly from the keyboard or use
command from the pet palette, then a combination of mouse and keyboard.
the Tracker shows the “Arc Radius” The horizontal and vertical values correspond to the X and Y
parameter. coordinates (also called Cartesian coordinates), while the radial and
The Tracker always shows one of its angular values are called polar coordinates.
parameters in bold; this is the default Coordinates can take on absolute and relative values. By default, they
parameter. are shown as relative values in the Tracker.
Use the Tracker menu from the
Depending on your choices in the
Standard Toolbar to toggle the
Tracker pop-up menu in the Standard Toolbar,
the Tracker will display only the XY or the DA Relative Coordinates in Tracker
preference on or off.
(distance/angle) coordinate pair (switch from
one to the other by clicking “Prefer XY Coordinates/Prefer Polar • Relative values are measured
Coordinates” during editing/input), and will show or hide the names from the Edit Origin, that is, they
of the coordinates (“Show/Hide Parameter Tags”). display horizontal (X), vertical
(Y), distance (D) and angular (A)
Hint: To switch between DA and XY coordinates on the fly, use
the / (slash character) shortcut. distance or position of the cursor
from the last edited point in the worksheet.

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• Absolute values are measured from the User Origin (see You can also activate fields by clicking them or typing the shortcut of
“Origins” on page 90). This means that they always display the the corresponding field. If the Tracker is displayed in its compact
horizontal (X), vertical (Y), distance (D) and angular (A) distance form, typing the shortcut for a hidden parameter will display it.
or position of the cursor from the User Origin.
To enter numeric coordinates, type the shortcut of the desired
A temporary dashed line is drawn between the origin and the coordinate (X, Y, Z or D/R or A) immediately followed by the value
cursor to indicate that you are using absolute coordinates. you intend to assign to it, for example X3 or Y-4. The + prefix is
optional for positive values. You can type coordinate values in any
order.
Note: This input method works if the “Coordinate Shortcuts
prefer Tracker” box is checked in Options > Work Environment
> Tracker and Coordinate Input. This is the default setting. The
other way to enter coordinates is through the Coordinates Box
(enable it using Window > Palettes > Coordinates).
The selected value is highlighted. At this point, you have several
For information on Elevation values, see “Elevation Values in the Tracker” on options:
page 109. • To enter another coordinate value, type another shortcut for the
desired coordinate, then enter a value.
Coordinate Input in Tracker • To complete the element you are drawing, press Enter or click
As long as the Tracker is shown during input, just type a number for the checkmark icon in the Tracker.
the default parameter (the one shown in bold.) The cursor will • To fix the value of a coordinate, click the crosshair icon in the
automatically jump to the Tracker and enter the value. Tracker. The edited element will then jump into this position and,
Note: This input method works if the “Enable direct input into if Guide Lines are active, this will also display Guide Lines of the
Tracker fields” box is checked in Options > Work Environment currently available type at this location to help you continue the
> Tracker and Coordinate Input. This is the default setting. input.
Another way to enter the Tracker is to press Tab. The cursor jumps to • To cancel the last operation, press Esc.
the default field of the Tracker (the one shown in bold). Click Tab as • Return to graphic input by typing the name of the edited
many times as needed to activate the required Tracker field. Type in coordinate again or by mouse-clicking anywhere in the
the desired number. worksheet.

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You can also perform additions or subtractions from the current Coordinate Input Logic: Expert Options
value by typing a + or – sign after the value. For example, typing x3+
will add 3 to the x value shown in the Tracker box. Special Tracker options are
Notes for users of U.S. dimensions: available to let you further
customize the Tracker
• Two dashes are required for subtraction of whole feet because function, using the
the first dash is interpreted as an indication that inches are to Coordinate Input Logic
follow. checkboxes in Options >
• When 3 is entered, ArchiCAD assumes you mean three feet. Work Environment >
Typing 3’6, 3’6", or 3-6 will enter three feet, six inches. Tracker and Coordinate
Input.
Coordinates can be copied and pasted using the clipboard. The Cut,
Copy and Paste menu items are inactive during numeric input, so Show X-Y Coordinates relative to User origin in Tracker: If you
you must use the standard shortcuts or the context menu. check this box, the XY coordinates will always be shown as Absolute
cartesian values, even if you have activated the Relative Coordinates
It is possible to enter a whole series of coordinates one after the other
toggle button. This means that X-Y coordinates are shown as
in the Tracker when drawing chains of elements (Walls, Beams, Lines,
absolute values, and the RA or DA values are shown as relative values.
etc.). As soon as you have finished drawing the first element, the Edit
Origin is immediately transferred to this endpoint, which becomes Use relative angle measures: If you check this box, angle measures
the starting point of the second element and is therefore given the in the Tracker will be shown either:
x=0, y=0 value when working with relative coordinates. • relative to the previous input segment, in case of polygon input,
or
• relative to the grid, with the horizontal grid line as the zero value,
and angle values shown relative to this line, up to 180 degrees.
If this box is unchecked, angle values are shown from 0 to 360
degrees.
You can combine coordinate input by fixing the value of a field and
then editing the value of another one. Use angle relative to the active Guide Line: If you check this box,
angle values in the Tracker will be shown relative to the active Guide
Line. (You must first activate a Guide Line for this to work.)
For information on all these options, see “Tracker and Coordinate Input” in
ArchiCAD Help.

The Measure Tool


The Measure tool, located in the Standard
toolbar, allows you to measure distances and
areas in the project. It is a temporary, on-screen
function for quick feedback.

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To use the Measure Tool, activate its icon in the Standard Toolbar, or then hit Enter to transfer this value into the appropriate field of the
use the M shortcut. Click on a starting point (the top left corner of Tracker.
the rectangular wall, in the image below) and start to trace the wall.
The Tracker displays the horizontal, vertical and radial distance
measured from the starting point, as well as the angle.
The Grid System
Two grid systems are provided to help you make drafting easier: the
Construction Grid and the Snap Grid. You can set these up in
View > Grid Options > Grids and Background.
For more information, see “Grids & Background Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD
Help.
As a shortcut, many of these controls are available in the Standard
toolbar and the Coordinates palette.
Grids can be defined separately for the Floor Plan and any individual
Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document, Detail/Worksheet, or Layout
You can Measure any number of segments in sequence: each click window. Note that, in Floor Plan window, the same Grid settings will
represents a new starting-point from which the next distance will be be used for all Stories. Grids are not available in the 3D Window.
measured. After two or more clicks, the Tracker also shows a
cumulative distance and the area (shown by a temporary gray area on Note: You can also create, place and use custom local structural
screen). The image below shows the Measure tool feedback after grids of different sizes and shapes using the Grid Tool.
three clicks, as you approach the last corner of the rectangular wall. For a detailed description, see “The Grid Tool” on page 404.
The Construction Grid is used to reflect any characteristic spacing
of your Project. The Construction Grid can also be used to define the
foundation footings or the column grid of a building.
Like the printed grids on traditional graph paper, the Construction
Grid adds a visual orientation and sense of scale to the Floor Plan and
the Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document, and Detail/Worksheet
windows.
The Construction Grid is normally visible on the
Floor Plan, but you can turn it off with the Grid
Display toggle command in the View > Grid
Options hierarchical menu or in the Standard
Toolbar’s Grid pop-up menu.

You can also use the Measure tool while creating elements. When you
start drawing a Wall, for example, you can activate the Measure tool
on the fly, measure (or even edit) a value with the fields it displays and

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Depending on your project’s layout, a rotated


version of the construction grid may be more
helpful than the default orthogonal one. Define
the Rotation Angle in the View > Grid
Options > Grids and Background dialog box.
You can also define a rotated grid by hand: first,
choose “Set Rotated Grid” from the Standard
Toolbar, then draw a vector on screen or click
on an existing straight segment: this vector will
represent the rotated grid angle relative to the
horizontal axis.

The Snap Grid is an invisible grid - if you enable the Grid Snap
function (see below), you can make the cursor snap to the nodes of
this Snap Grid. When defining your Snap Grid in the Grids and
Background dialog box, you will usually enter the smallest unit of
measurement relevant to your Project. You can set different
horizontal and vertical Snap Grid increments, allowing you to reflect
To display the rotated version of your Construction Grid, click the the unique geometry of your Project.
Rotated Grid button in the Standard Toolbar grid menu or the
Coordinates Palette. The Snap increments you define here can also be used for the Nudge
shortcut - to easily move any element by a small defined factor, using
The Construction Grid can be optionally enhanced with an Auxiliary a keyboard shortcut.
Grid, which is also visible on the screen and is defined in View >
Grid Options > Grids and Background. The Auxiliary Grid is See “Nudging Elements” on page 114.
often used to indicate the thickness of concrete walls or foundation If the Grid Snap function is enabled, the cursor will snap to the
footings, and can be used to create periodic or stepped grids. nodes of either your Construction Grid or your Snap Grid, depending
on what you set as your preferred option.
See “Grid Snap Function” on page 97.

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Grid Snap Function Guide Lines


The Grid Snap function allows precise graphic alignment of
elements at consistent lengths and distances. When the Grid Snap About Guide Lines
function is active, you can only draw from one grid intersection to
Guide Lines are 2D drafting aids which help the user find special
another; the grid “pulls” the cursor and makes it snap to the grid
points and projections while editing and drafting elements, using the
nodes. This allows you to position the cursor accurately, even at low
geometry constraints of existing elements. The cursor can snap to
zoom levels.
Guide Lines, and special snap points can be placed on them. Some
When grid snap is active, it restricts the movement of the cursor to Guide Lines are extended from existing element edges/arcs; others
either Construction or Snap Grid nodes. A small dot jumping from pop up temporarily while you move the cursor. In some cases,
grid-point to grid-point indicates the current cursor position. multiple Guide Lines are offered, allowing you to choose your
To disable this feature (for example, to position a piece of furniture at preferred Guide Line and have it remain on screen.
a non-grid location), you can suspend or activate the grid snap feature Guide Lines are available in all 2D windows (Floor Plan,
by pressing the S key. Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document, Detail/Worksheet, Layout,
To activate the Grid Snap function, do one of the following: GDL Object 2D Symbol).
• Use the S Shortcut. Guide Lines are available with any tool. If a selection tool is active,
they only appear when you start editing elements (Arrow) or when
• Use the View > Grid Snap menu command. The Snap function you are placing or moving elements (Marquee).
will use the last grid type used, either Construction or Snap grid.
• Select the Snap Grid or Turn Guide Lines on or off
Construction Grid from the grid
menu in the Standard Toolbar., • Use the Q key as a shortcut (toggle Guide Lines on and off)
or from the Coordinates Box. • Use the toggle button in the Standard toolbar
• Select Snap Grid or • Use the View > Guide Lines toggle
Construction Grid from View > command
Grid Snap Options.
Guide Lines options are available at:
• Select one of the Snap On
buttons (either Construction • Options > Work Environment >
Grid or Snap Grid) in the Grids and Background dialog box. Guide Lines
To deactivate the Grid Snap function: • and from the Guide Lines toggle
command in the Standard Toolbar.
• Use the S shortcut key
• Use the View > Grid Snap menu command (deactivate the
toggle).

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Types of Guide Lines


Instant (temporary) guide lines appear during an input operation and
disappear automatically after input is completed. They appear and
disappear depending on the location of the cursor, and their
geometry depends on which Guide Line settings you have switched
on in Options > Work Environment > Guide Lines (including
Main Direction, Relative Direction and Incremental Guide Lines). To make a guide line active, place the cursor on it and wait until
You can snap to these instant Guide Lines, but you cannot make it becomes thicker. Only one Guide Line is active (shown in
them remain on screen. bold) at a time. Relative Guide Lines will be calculated relative to
To constrain the cursor to the nearest instant Guide Line, press Shift the active Guide Line.
during input (first, make sure that the Nearest Instant Guide Line box 2) place the cursor on a node (either before or during output).
is checked in Options > Work Environment > Mouse Constraints Multi-choice guide lines appear when several choices make sense
and Methods.) in a given situation, for example the horizonal-vertical lines
Note: Context menu commands do provide a way to convert appearing at element nodes (as in the image below). You can
instant guide lines into lasting segments. choose to make any of these lines a lasting guide line by moving
the cursor onto the chosen line.
See “Placing Guide Lines During Input” on page 100.
Lasting guide lines are visible on the screen until the given editing
operation is terminated (completed, cancelled or interrupted by a
different type of operation such as the activation of another window)
or until you choose to remove them.
See “Removing Guide Lines” on page 100.
To make Lasting guide lines appear (the temporary blue Guide Lines
become orange in color), do one of the following:
1) place the cursor on an edge or arc either before or during
element input. (The cursor takes on the Mercedes shape.)
Edge-extension guide lines will be projected. In the case of arcs,
they will be extended to a full circle. If you have not yet begun
the editing operation, you must move the cursor onto the Guide
Line to make it a lasting Guide Line.
To constrain the cursor to the nearest lasting Guide Line, make sure
that the Lasting Guide Lines box is checked in Options > Work
Environment > Mouse Constraints and Methods. At an element node, the multi-choice Guide Lines appear in fixed
directions (Main Direction and Relative Direction) as defined in the
Guide Lines panel of the Work Environment dialog box. Relative
direction guide lines can be parallel, perpendicular or tangential to the
active guide line or intersect guide lines.

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The relative guide lines are always relative to the active guide line. • Relative-direction Guide Lines: These are created relative to
the active Guide Line.
• Incremental Guide Lines: These are displayed, during input
only, at every increment of the specified angle (relative to the
orthogonal coordinate system and originating from the current
Edit Origin.) If you check the Relative to active Guide Line
check box, these incremental Guide Lines, too, will always be
displayed relative to the currently active Guide Line if any.
The following image shows multi-choice relative Guide Lines that are Incremental Guide Lines are temporary (“instant”) only.
parallel to and perpendicular to the active Guide Line (shown in
bold). Note the parallel and perpendicular signs on the Guide Lines. Any of these Guide Line groups can also
To make either of these multi-choice Guide Lines remain on screen as be activated/deactivated using the toggle
an editing aid (i.e., to turn them into lasting Guide Lines), just move commands from the Standard toolbar or
the cursor over it. from View > Guide Line Options.
You can also use Coordinate Constraints,
with Guide Lines active, to display Guide
Lines which constrain the cursor to
particular directions.
See “Coordinate Constraints” on page 102.
You can set default Guide Line colors for Multi-Choice Guide Lines
and other Guide Lines separately (again, in the Options > Work
Environment > Guide Lines tab page).
For more information, see “Guide Lines Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
Time-Based Guide Line Appearance
For each category of Guide Lines (Main-Direction,
Relative-Direction), you can set a time interval after which the Guide
Defining Your Preferred Guide Lines Lines will appear, so long as you keep the cursor still at an edge or
node.
On this Guide Lines tab page (Options > Work Environment > Enter preferred time intervals in seconds on the Options > Work
Guide Lines, you can define and activate/deactivate three categories Environment > Guide Lines tab page.
of Guide Lines:
However, you can override these wait-time intervals at any time using
• Main Direction Guide Lines: Their direction/angle is the Force Guide Line Display command (shortcut: ‘). This shortcut
determined based on the drawing environment (e.g. is useful if you are at a node with several sets of multi-choice Guide
horizontal/vertical direction, rotated grid, etc.) If you check the Lines available, and you want to see a different set without waiting the
Input Vector and Length box in this section, the direction and specified interval.
radius of the last input vector will also be offered as a Guide
Line.

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Placing Guide Lines During Input


Independent of your default Guide Line definitions, you can place a
Guide Line (or Guide Circle) at any time during input using the Place
Guide Line/Guide Circle command from the context menu.
After clicking on screen to begin input, choose the Place Guide Line
(Circle) command from the context menu. A lasting Guide Line Draw a simple straight wall in the Floor Plan,
(circle) will appear. then place the cursor on its edge (the cursor
will assume the Mercedes shape). The
Similarly, you can use the Convert to edge-extension Guide Line appears. Move the
Guide Line Segment command cursor over this Guide Line to make it a
from the context menu. The current lasting Guide Line.
vector will be transformed into a
Guide Line. In this case, the length of Now click to the point where you wish to
the Guide Line is limited to the start drawing the parallel wall. Start drawing
length of the vector you drew and a wall that is roughly parallel to the original
will not run across the whole screen. wall. You will see a second Guide Line
appear which is exactly parallel to the active
Removing Guide Lines Guide Line of original wall.
Draw your new wall along the line that is
Guide Lines are removed when you finish the editing action, or when parallel to the active guide line and click to
you press Esc in succession (the first “Esc” will cancel the operation finish.
in progress; the next will remove all Guide Lines).
Note: You can also use the Relative Construction Methods
• To manually remove a guide line, place the cursor on it, activate provided by the Control Box to draw parallel, perpendicular,
the context menu and choose the Remove guide line angle bisector and tangential elements.
command.
For more information, see “Relative Construction Methods” on page 103.
• To remove all guide lines manually, right-click anywhere in the
Let us now see a more complex example. Grid Snap still inactive,
window to activate the context menu and choose the Remove all
Guide Lines enabled, make sure that the following settings are active
guide lines command.
in the Options > Work Environment > Guide Lines dialog box:
Examples for Using Guide Lines
Guide Lines make it easy to create parallel walls.
Before you start, make sure that Grid Snap is disabled and that Guide
Lines are enabled. Check that the “Parallel to the active Guide line”
option is active in the “Relative direction Guide lines” section of
Options > Work Environment > Guide Lines.
For more information, see “Guide Lines Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
For more information, see “Guide Lines Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
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These settings will enable you to use Guide Lines to place a wall that • The horizontal-vertical set aligned to the rotated grid
is at a 30-degree angle from the perpendicular of the first wall. • The fixed angle set
First, draw a simple straight wall and place The fixed angle set can be set relative to the rotated grid or the main
the cursor on it until the guide line extending grid. A practical use for the fixed angle orthogonal set would be
it appears. Move the cursor over the Guide aligning multiple elements with a roadway. In addition, you can check
Line to make it active. Then place the cursor one or both Guide Line constraint options:
at the end of the wall and wait until a new
guide line appears, perpendicular to the • Nearest Instant Guide Line
active one. • Lasting Guide Lines
Move the cursor along this guide line and
click at the point where you wish to start a Using Mouse Constraints
new wall. Move the cursor at a roughly 30
degree angle from the permanent guide line. Constraining the drawing direction helps you precisely align or
connect new elements. To use the orthogonal direction sets for
You will see a new guide line appear at
drawing a new element:
exactly 30 degrees. Start drawing a new wall
along that line and click to finish. 1) Make sure the Grid Snap is disabled.
For more information, see “Grid Snap Function” on page 97.
Mouse Constraints 2) Click to start drawing an element.
ArchiCAD’s Mouse Constraints are like having a computerized 3) Move the cursor from this starting
T-square and triangle available while drafting in the Floor Plan. They point and hold down the Shift key.
are editing aids that can be used as an alternative to Guide Lines, ArchiCAD will search for the
although most users will prefer to use Guide Lines in 2D windows. closest enabled constraint direction.
For more information, see “Guide Lines” on page 97.
The angle pairs they define can be used to lock the cursor at a
particular drawing angle, by pressing Shift during input. The
mechanism can only be engaged while drawing or editing an element,
as indicated by the thick rubberband line shown in the Floor Plan or
the ghosted element contour shown in the 3D Window. It
temporarily locks the cursor’s polar angle value in the Coordinates
Palette using one of the angle pairs defined in the Options > Work
Environment > Mouse Constraints & Methods dialog box.
For more information, see “Mouse Constraints and Methods Dialog Box” in 4) If the constrained direction is not what you had in mind, release
ArchiCAD Help. the Shift key and move the cursor to a position closer to the
Three orthogonal angles/angle pairs can be specified: desired direction, then hold down the Shift key.
• The horizontal-vertical set aligned to the main grid

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These options allow you to best align the element under construction
with other already existing elements.
To switch among these options:
1) Display the Control Box. (Window > Palettes > Control Box)
2) Draw an input vector on screen.
3) Press Shift to enable a constraint.
The Cursor Snap Variants pop-up is now active in the Control Box.
Move your cursor to this pop-up and choose the cursor snap variant
you need.
For more information on setting Control Box options, see “Control Box” in
ArchiCAD Help.

Coordinate Constraints
5) When you have chosen the appropriate You can lock a cursor coordinate and thereby restrict the movement
constraint direction, click the cursor
of the cursor by pressing Alt (Windows) or Opt (MacOS) and either
again to place the endpoint of the
X, Y, A, or R/D on the keyboard.
element. Since the direction remains
locked, you can align this endpoint with If Guide Lines are active:
other elements using the projection • Alt/Opt + X produces a vertical Guide Line.
mode of the cursor.

Projection Mode of Cursor with Mouse


Constraints
When the drawing direction is constrained by
pressing Shift, a dotted line connects the
unfinished element with the location of the
cursor.
In the Control Box, you can vary the display of this dotted line among
three possible settings (Cursor Snap Variants):
• Perpendicular to the constrained direction • Alt/Opt + Y produces a horizontal Guide Line.
• Horizontal from the constrained direction • Alt/Opt + A (having defined the Angle value numerically or
• Vertical from the constrained direction drawing in a sample direction) produces a corresponding Guide
Line.
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• Alt/Opt + R produces a Guide Circle whose radius is 3) Select a line or an element edge as a reference by clicking it, or
determined numerically or graphically. draw a temporary reference line using the cursor. (The reference
To unlock the constraint, just press the same key combination (e.g. edge/line will not be shown as selected; a newly drawn reference
Alt/Opt + X) again. line will not remain visible on-screen.)
If Guide Lines are inactive, the locking function works the same way, 4) Draw the new element.
but you will not see the Guide Lines. The new element you draw will be
Another way to lock a coordinate during input is to choose the Lock perpendicular or parallel to the reference
to Guide Line command from the context menu, if you have already line (depending on the method selected).
snapped to a Guide Line. Note: You can also select the
Perpendicular or Parallel method
Relative Construction Methods after you have started drawing an
element. In this case, the drawing
In addition to the Guide Lines feature, the relative construction operation is frozen until you have either drawn or selected a
methods also constrain the element construction direction to a reference line or edge.
constant angle. They are accessed from the third button of the You can draw multiple
Control Box. perpendiculars or parallels by
combining the relative
construction method with the
Mouse Constraints
Note: The Control Box is not visible by default. To show it, mechanism. When you define
choose its name from the Window > Palettes menu. the reference line for drawing
the single perpendicular or
For more information on Control Box options, see “Control Box” in ArchiCAD parallel element, its angle is
Help. automatically stored in the Options > Work Environment >
These Relative Construction Methods are described below. Mouse Constraints & Methods dialog box as the Custom angle.
You can then draw multiple parallel or perpendicular lines until the
Exception: The Special Snap Vector method is described here:
Custom angle is redefined either numerically or by activating the
“Special Snap Points on Temporary Vector” on page 107. Perpendicular or Parallel method again.
For more information, see “Mouse Constraints and Methods Dialog Box” in
Parallel and Perpendicular Constraints ArchiCAD Help.
The first two Relative Construction methods are Perpendicular and
Parallel constraints. Angle Bisector Constraint
1) Make sure that Grid Snap is inactive. Using the Angle Bisector relative construction method , you can
For more information, see “Grid Snap Function” on page 97. draw elements bisecting the angle formed by other elements or
temporary reference vectors.
2) Choose the Perpendicular or Parallel icon and click it to make it
active (pressed).

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You can either start drawing the new element before activating the Offset and Multiple Offset (Relative
Angle Bisector method and defining the reference vectors, or the
other way round. Before using Angle Bisector constraint, make sure Construction Methods)
that Grid Snap is disabled.
The Offset and Multiple Offset methods help you create lines or
polylines with a given offset to a drawn segment or polygon. These
methods have no effect on elements defined by a single click.
Either relative construction
Click the Angle Bisector icon, then define the reference vectors by method can be activated
either clicking on two existing element edges or lines, or drawing two from the Control Box.
temporary lines. (The reference edges/lines will not be shown as
selected; the temporary lines will not remain visible on-screen.) The To draw an offset segment or polygonal element:
mouse is constrained to the bisecting angle between the two reference 1) Choose or activate the Offset method . (The active tool must
lines. Before you actually draw the element, the cursor is already support polygon shapes.)
constrained, and you can see a small black dot move along the line 2) Draw a line or an open or closed polyline. (You can, if you wish,
that would be drawn at that angle. create this polyline using the Magic Wand.)
See “Magic Wand” on page 143.
3) The base polyline can be
completed by a double-click.
When it is completed, a
rubberband outline will appear,
starting from the endpoint of the
polyline and running
As for any other constraint, you can use remote cursor snap to define perpendicular to its last entered
the other endpoint of the drawn line. segment.
4) Click once to place the element.
When using the Multiple Offset method , the same steps can be
used, except that the process is not completed when placing the
element with a click. You can continue placing offset copies until you
choose to terminate input.
• With a double-click, you terminate input by drawing a last offset
element.

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• When hitting the Cancel


button in the Control
Box, you terminate
input by omitting the
offset element you are
just drawing.

7) Click where you want to start drawing your new element. The
Aligning Elements to a Surface in 3D element will be constrained to the intersection line. Finish
drawing the element in the usual way.
The Align to Surface relative construction method is only active
when working in the 3D Window. It enables you to fit elements onto
non-horizontal planes when working in 3D views.
This method automatically identifies the intersection of a selected
plane and the working plane of the cursor. The working plane is often
horizontal. However, in special cases, for example when moving a
hole in a roof plane, the cursor’s working plane is angled. It is also
possible to align to curved surfaces, for example when fitting an
object to a curved wall. The limitation here is that if the cursor is
moving in an angled plane, it is not possible to fit to a curved surface,
only the tangential plane of the surface.

Using the Constraint when Creating New Elements


1) To use the constraint, first activate the 3D Window.
2) Choose the tool for the element you wish to add.
3) Adjust your User Origin if necessary.
4) Choose and activate the
Align to Surface
Relative Construction
Using Align to Surface with Existing Elements
method in the Control Box. 1) Activate the 3D Window.
5) Click on any surface in the 3D view you want to align your new 2) Adjust the User Origin if necessary.
element to.
For more information, see “Origins” on page 90.
6) A black dot will appear on the selected plane at the height of the
current User Origin. The dot will follow the cursor constrained 3) Select the element you wish to edit.
to the intersection line of your reference plane and the User 4) Choose the Edit command you wish to execute, e.g., stretch an
Origin plane. edge of a slab to the intersection of a roof and the User Origin.
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5) Click a reference point or edge to start editing. When one of these selection dots
6) Select the Align to Surface modifier icon in the Control box and encounters a node, anchor point or
activate the constraint as described above. edge of another element where the
cursor changes its shape to indicate
7) Choose your reference plane. a special relation, that selection dot
8) Finish editing the element. becomes larger showing that the
element is attracted to the sensitive
Snapping to Existing Elements point. You can then click to join the
two elements without having to place the cursor at the actual joining
In addition to the methods offered to create elements at a specified point.
point relative to existing elements, or at specific points of your If more than one snapping point touches an eligible point on the
project, ArchiCAD also helps you to move or reshape elements by other element, you will see that these turn black. You can use the
snapping them to existing ones as part of a move operation. spacebar to cycle through possible points. Click when the one you
The Element Snap function can be need is displayed with the larger empty square.
enabled and disabled using the Options
> Element Snap toggle command.
(This command is also available on the
Standard Toolbar.)
Element Snap only works on selected elements and can be toggled on
and off while you work using the E shortcut.
Note: Element Snap can only be used when Grid Snap is
disabled.
If you select an element and then
start moving it with Element Snap
active, you will see that its special
points change to small squares.
Special Snap Points
These special points include: Special Snap Points help you start drawing new elements from a
specific point located on an edge of another element or to edit
• The selection dot points of the existing elements with reference to these specific points.
element including anchor
points Activating special snap points will place
temporary nodes at the division points
• The division points of the element (if Special Snap Points are based on the current Special Snap Point
enabled. See “Special Snap Points” on page 106.) commands in the Standard toolbar.
• The tip of the cursor These controls are also available as
commands in the Control Box.

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Note: The Control Box is not visible by default. To show it,


choose its name from the Window > Palettes menu.
Special Snap Points can be defined either on the entire length of a
linear or circular element or element edge, or on a segment closed by
two intersections.

Distances and percentages are always calculated from the endpoint


that is closest. The toggle commands in the Standard Toolbar’s
Special Snap Points menu allow you to disable the feature or to enable
it along the entire element, or between intersection points
(Icons in the Control Box serve the same function.)
Note: The Control Box is not visible by default. To show it,
choose its name from the Window > Palettes menu.

The temporary nodes behave as hotspots. The cursor will change to Special Snap Points on Temporary Vector
a Checkmark when held above them. Special points only appear
temporarily and will disappear by default after about 5 seconds. You In addition, you can display
can start drawing new elements from these points or use them for Special Snap Points on a
editing other elements in relation to them. temporary vector used while
Note: Although Special Snap Points (if enabled) will disappear drawing elements. The method can be activated with the Special Snap
on their own after a set interval by default, you can opt to have icon among the relative construction icons in the Control Box.
the snap points remain visible until you either place an element In the following example, you will draw a Wall that starts at one-
or change to another view or story: disable the “Autohide Special fourth of the gap between two endpoints of two other Walls.
Snap points” checkbox in Options > Work Environment > 1) Start by choosing the Divisions option in Special Snap Point
More Options. Settings, then type 4 as the number of Divisions.
Special Snap Points include:
• Halving points
• Division points (up to 20, set manually)
• Points located at a given distance from an endpoint or at a
specific percentage of the distance between two endpoints
(entered manually)
To define division points and custom distances, use the Set Special
Snap Values command from the menu in the Standard Toolbar.
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2) Make sure that Grid Snap is inactive. Activate


the Wall tool, then choose and activate the
Cursor Snap Range
Special Snap Point icon in the Control Box. To help locate hotspots on the screen, the cursor gravitates toward
3) Start drawing the reference vector from the edges and nodes. The attraction of the cursor by elements is defined
endpoint of one of the Walls. in pixels in the bottom section of the Options > Work
Environment > Mouse Constraints & Methods dialog box.

4) A dashed line is drawn indicating the reference vector, with small


black dots at the locations of the special snap points. Click the
endpoint of the other Wall to terminate the definition of the
reference vector.

Cursor Snap Range can be set between 1 and 9 pixels. 3-4 pixels is a
comfortable setting, but at small zoom levels you may hit hotspots
that you did not wish to snap to. If you have good pointing skills, use
The Edit Origin is relocated to the place of the generated special snap 1 pixel and you will not be forced to zoom in.
point.
Cursor Snap Range will also help you to automatically snap to special
points including the section points of existing lines or edges,
perpendicular projections from the Edit Origin to existing lines or
edges, and tangential points of the rubberband line along existing
arcs, splines, curved edges, etc. The cursor’s shape informs you about
the type of special point ArchiCAD has found.

Elevation and Gravity


About Elevation of Elements
ArchiCAD offers several ways to determine the elevation of elements
You can start drawing the new Wall. and to set the height at which new elements should be created.
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When placing a new element in a 2D model window, its elevation Elevation Values in the Tracker
value can be set in the Tool Settings dialog box. This elevation can be
measured in several ways: During input, refer to the Tracker’s Z field to check the elevation of
• from the level of the current story (Story 0, in the image below): the newly created element.
You must activate Show Z in Tracker
from the Tracker’s drop-down menu in
the Standard toolbar. (This command
is available during editing/input.).
If you are inputting a Wall, Column,
Beam or Object using the Gravity
function, the Z value will reflect the
elevation of the underlying
Slab/Roof/Mesh.
For more information, see “Gravity” on page 110.
If you switch the Show Tracker control to Always in Options >
• from the element’s Home Story. Work Environment > Tracker and Coordinate Input, then the
See “Set Home Story” on page 161. Tracker’s Z field will display elevation values even if input is not yet
underway; just move the cursor to get feedback.
When placing a new element in
the 3D window, its elevation, The Tracker can display elevation values in one of three different
defined in the Tool Settings forms depending on your choice:
dialog box, is measured from the • from the Project Zero
User Origin. • from the current Story (or in 3D, the User Origin)
You can reset the User Origin to • or one of the two optional Reference Levels defined in Options
any elevation, then place a new > Project Preferences > Working Units & Levels.
element whose elevation is
measured from this level. For more information, see “Reference Levels” on page 110.
For more information, see “User Origin in the 3D Window” on page 91. To determine which reference level the Tracker’s elevation (Z)
feedback should use:
When placing a new Wall, Column, Beam or Object-type element, the
Gravity function lets you place it directly on top of an existing Slab, Roof 1) Open the drop-down menu of the Tracker icon from the
or Mesh, thus taking on the elevation of the element it is placed on. Standard toolbar.
For more information, see “Gravity” on page 110.
Note: The elevation of wall openings is strictly determined by
the current values in the Door and Window Settings dialog
boxes.
For more information, see “Door/Window Tool Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.

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2) Go to the Elevation Value Origin sub-menu. In this image, a wall (with


Gravity on) is being placed on
top of a slab whose elevation is
400; the wall’s Z-coordinate in
the Tracker, accordingly, is
shown as 400.

Reference Levels
3) Choose the desired reference level. You can define two optional Reference Levels that will help you
position elements. This is done in the bottom section of the Options
Gravity > Project Preferences > Working Units & Levels dialog box.
Gravity helps you place Wall, Column, Beam and Object type Select a level’s name and modify it as you like, then type the value you
elements relative to the elevation of a Slab, Roof or Mesh. need in the Elevation field. In this example, we defined the two
reference levels in addition to Project Zero: the top of the property, at
If Gravity is on (activate Gravity icon), newly created elements will be
400 meters, and Sea level, at 200 meters below Project zero.
placed on top of (i.e., gravitate to) the Roof, Slab or Mesh beneath
them, depending on which Gravity option you choose.
Level Dimensions placed with Gravity On on top of Slabs, Roofs or
Meshes are associated to them.
To choose an option, use the Gravity controls in the Standard toolbar
or the icons of the Coordinates palette.

You may find it easier to calculate levels (in this dialog box) by
switching the zero value to another level than Project Zero. You can
do so by simply clicking in the Relative to field next to the level’s
name.

Note: Gravity only affects newly created elements and cannot be


used for editing existing ones.
If you are using Gravity to place a Wall, Column, Beam or any
Object-type element onto a slab, roof or mesh surface, you can
monitor the changes in elevation (Z) values in the Tracker (or the Note: Reference Levels are display and input aids only. Changing
Coordinates Palette). When several slabs, roofs or meshes overlap, the their value has no effect on placed elements, whose actual
highest elevation value is displayed. elevation is always calculated from Project Zero.

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The newly defined Reference Levels are now available in the Absolute
Base Height fields of the Geometry and Positioning Panels of
Pet Palettes
construction and object-type elements. A pet palette with relevant commands appears with most on-screen
See also “How to Place a Construction Element in ArchiCAD” on page 218. editing operations. The contents of the pet palette depends on the
following factors:
Reference levels can also be used as
reference levels for showing elevation (Z) • The selected element
values in the Tracker. • The part of the element you choose to act on (edge or node)
• The active window
Move your cursor over the icons to read the tool tip
for each one, and click on the icon for the function
Elevation and Stories in the 3D Window you need.
The 3D Window always displays the range of Stories defined in View You can change your mind and choose a different
> Elements in 3D View > Filter Elements in 3D, and there is no function from the pet palette as long as you have not
visual clue as to which elements belong to which story. completed the editing operation with a second mouse click. The pet
palette automatically disappears when the operation is finished.
For more information, see “Defining Story Display in 3D” on page 158.
For more information on customizing pet palette functions, see “Dialog Boxes and
New elements are always added to the story within the range that best Palettes” in ArchiCAD Help.
matches their elevation. This means that any new element will be
added to the story onto which the element falls, taking its elevation
value into account. Techniques
This section describes:
Cancel Operations with Esc and • basic editing techniques
Backspace Keys • how to move and modify placed elements
By successively pressing the Esc key, you will achieve the following • the “Magic Wand” function to transform existing shapes into a
actions: new element
1) Cancel current operation entirely (during input) • the Virtual Trace function, using Reference views to easily
2) If nothing is selected: Remove Guide Lines, if any compare and contrast different parts of the model
3) Deselect selected item(s), if any • Line/Fill Consolidation - to “clean up” superfluous lines and fills
in drawing-type windows.
4) Remove Marquee selection, if any
5) If nothing is selected: Switch to Arrow tool Basic Editing Techniques
During input, pressing the Backspace key will cancel the operation.
The following commands are available from Edit menu.
Warning: Pressing Backspace with any items selected will delete
those items!

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Cut You cannot create new construction elements in


Section/Elevation/IE or 3D Document windows using either
The Edit > Cut command removes selected elements from a Project Cut/Paste or Copy/Paste.
and places them on the Clipboard for future use via the Paste
command. It can also be used for dialog box or Coordinates Palette The Paste command is not available in the 3D window.
numeric field contents. When you are pasting with a multiple story marquee, an alert appears
Note: The Cut command is not available in the 3D Window. asking you to identify the copied story to merge to the current one.

The selection can be made with either the Arrow or the Marquee
tool, or by Shift+clicking.
If you cut a construction element from a Model-type
Section/Elevation/IE window or a 3D Document, the element is
also cut from the Floor Plan.
In Text type windows, you can use the Cut command as in any word
processor.
Copy
The Edit > Copy command puts the selected construction or text If you Cut/Copy and then Paste a selection between stories at the
elements on the Clipboard, but the selected elements are not removed same zoom level with no Panning operations in between, the contents
from the original document. of the Clipboard are pasted into the same position they were
originally cut or copied from.
The selection can be made with either the Arrow or the Marquee
tool, or by Shift+clicking. If there are several possible options for locating the pasted Clipboard
contents, the Paste Options dialog box appears. (The dialog box
You cannot create new construction elements in appears if the pasted elements cannot appear in their entirety in the
Section/Elevation/IE or 3D Document windows using Copy/Paste. Window at the current zoom level, or if it is possible to locate the
(The only exception is if you use the “Drag a copy” command to pasted elements relative to either the Active view or a Reference view.)
move a Door/Window, in a model-type Section window.)
In the 3D window, the Copy command is only available with the
Marquee tool.
See “Copy Cropped Image File with Marquee Tool” on page 88.
Paste
Use Edit > Paste command to insert the contents of the Clipboard
onto the current Project or a text Window.
When pasting cut elements into a Section/Elevation/IE, 3D
Document or Detail/Worksheet window, the elements are pasted as
drawing primitives (points, lines and fills). Fore more information, see “Paste Options Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

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Copy/Paste Elements Between Stories Undo/Redo


• The Story Settings dialog box also provides a quick way to copy The Undo and Redo commands allow you to undo (revert to a
identical elements from one story to another without having to previous step) and redo a large number of construction operations.
redraw them for each story. The name of the command to be undone is displayed in the menu
For more information, see “Story Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. along with the Undo or Redo command. This capability also allows
you to test tentative solutions by trying them out until you arrive at
Copy/Paste Elements Between Projects the desired result.
When pasting elements to another project, remember that element The number of steps that can be undone and redone (from 1 to 99) is
attributes are identified by name. set using in the Options > Work Environment > Data Safety
• If the pasted elements refer to attributes that do not exist in the dialog box (Undo Limit). The default value is 20. After redoing a
target Project, the necessary attributes will be appended. series of steps, Undo will only be available when you complete a new
undoable action.
• If the elements refer to attributes that do exist in the target
project but are different from those of the original project, they All model and drafting operations can be undone step by step,
will take on the attributes of the target project. chronologically, regardless of the model or drawing view they were
performed in.
The Clipboard can be used not only to hold ArchiCAD elements for
pasting, but also to import bitmap graphics and other types of In text type windows, only the last editing step can be
information. You can paste multi-line texts from word-processing undone/redone. (Text-type windows include all Listing windows
applications into ArchiCAD. created with the Calculation function, GDL script windows, Project
Notes, and Report windows.)
If you have copied items from an external application, you have
several options - depending on the type of copied item - for pasting Important: Operations involving Navigator/Organizer items
them into ArchiCAD. (such as drag and drop between Navigator maps, deleting items
from a map, or adding items to the Publisher set) are not added
For more information, see “Pasting Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. to the undo queue, and are not undoable.
Delete Note: Each time you save the Project, your previously available
The Edit > Delete command removes selected items from Project Undo steps will be cleared. In case of a crash, Autosave will save
or text Windows. The deleted elements are not preserved on the your Project. Autosave does not clear the undoable steps.
Clipboard. They are easily retrieved by Undo.
The keyboard equivalent of Delete is hitting the Backspace or Moving Elements
Delete key. Deleting construction elements in any model window
(Floor Plan, 3D, model-type Section/Elevation/IE, or 3D You can move elements individually or collectively. You can “nudge”
Document) will also clear these elements from all the other windows. them in increments; you can drag, rotate or mirror them along a
horizontal plane and through vertical displacement, that is, by
Note: Deleting any additional (i.e. manually added) elements changing their elevation values.
from a model-type Section/Elevation/IE window or a 3D
Document, or any elements from a drawing-type To move elements, you can:
Section/Elevation/IE window will leave all other windows • Select them and choose the corresponding menu command from
unchanged. the Edit > Move menu (with any tool active in the Toolbox) or

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the Move commands in the context menu of a selected element-


as with the selected column in this image:

In the 3D window, Nudge will move the element left, right, forward
or backward on a horizontal plane. In Section/Elevation/IE
windows, Nudge
To Nudge a selected element in larger increments, use Shift + Alt +
an arrow key. This will move the selected elements by the distance
entered for your Construction Grid in View > Grid Options >
• With any tool active, click on a node and then choose the desired Grids & Background.
shortcut in the appearing pet palette.

Nudging Elements
A quick way to move elements on the screen is to use the “Nudge”
feature: select one or more elements, then use Shift + an arrow key
to move the element left, right, up or down.
The “Nudge factor” - the increment by which you will move the
element - is the same as the distance entered for your Snap Grid in
View > Grid Options > Grids & Background.
See “The Grid System” on page 95.

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Dragging Elements
To drag an element, do one of the following:
• With Quick Selection: click on the element’s surface and drag it
to its new position.
See “Quick Selection of Surface Areas” on page 77.
• Select the Element; select the Edit > Move > Drag command,
and draw a temporary vector anywhere in the active window: the
element will be dragged to its new location according to this
vector’s length and direction.
• Select the element, select the Drag icon from the pet palette,
then drag the element. All selected elements are moved to a new location. Single elements
are accompanied by a ghost outline or boundary as you move them.
• Select the element, then access the drag command with the Selections containing grouped elements appear as a greyed bounding
context menu or using the Drag command shortcut (Ctrl+D). box as you move them.
To move a wall, select it, then take hold of it anywhere on its surface
and drag it with the cursor to its new location. (The accompanying
pet palette shows the “Drag” command activated.)

These functions will also work when several elements have been
simultaneously selected. All of the selected elements will be dragged
along the same vector. In the image below, we select a wall, table and
chair, and drag them all at the same time to their new position.

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Note: In 3D, dragging can also change the elevation of the


selected elements. To constrain the movement of the elements to
the horizontal plane, activate the horizontal-vertical angle pair in
Options > Work Environment > Mouse Constraints and
Methods, make sure the Drag Horizontally icon is active in the
appearing pet palette, and keep the Shift key pressed while
dragging the elements.
For more information, see “Mouse Constraints and Methods Dialog Box” in
ArchiCAD Help.

Rotating Elements
To rotate an element:
• Select the Element.
• Select the Edit >
Move > Rotate
command (or Move
> Rotate from the
selected element’s
context menu).
Alternatively, click
again on a node or
edge of the selected element to bring up the pet palette, then
choose the Rotate command . Or use the Ctrl (Cmd) + E
shortcut. You can rotate selected elements in the Floor Plan or in the 3D
• Click to define the center of rotation of the selected elements. Window, and drawing elements only in Section/Elevation/IE, 3D
Document, and Detail/Worksheet windows. Even in the 3D Window,
• Click to define the starting point of the rotation arc and its radius. rotation is always performed across a horizontal plane.

Mirroring Elements
Mirroring creates a mirror image of selected elements on the Floor
Plan or in the 3D Window.
To Mirror an element:
• Select the Element(s) you want to mirror. Here, we want to place
the table and chairs in the facing direction, at the other side of
• Move the cursor and click to complete the rotation arc. the room.

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Notes:
• Any number of Doors and Windows can be mirrored at a time.
The mirrored Door/Window will always be in line with the wall
that contains the original. Select the Door/Window; click once.
This click is the axis of the mirroring action.
• Text, Line arrowheads and Dimensions will not be mirrored,
only their bounding box.
• Mirrored Text blocks, Labels, Dimensions and Fill polygon area
labels are always readable from the bottom and the left side of
the drawing.
• Select the Edit > Move > Mirror command, or choose the • Zone stamps cannot be mirrored.
Mirror command from the context menu or the pet palette .
• Define the mirroring axis with two clicks, as if you were drawing Elevating Elements
a Line.
The Elevate command allows you to move selected elements
vertically along the Z axis. Use Edit > Move > Elevate.
To elevate an element in the Floor Plan and Section/Elevation/IE
windows:
• Select the element.
• Choose the Edit > Move >
Elevate command, or the
Elevate command from the
pet palette. This brings up the
Elevate dialog box.
• Type the value by which you wish to raise or lower all selected
The mirrored elements will be placed after the second click. elements
• Click OK.
This command is well-suited to changing the elevations of large
numbers of similar elements (i.e., walls, landscaping objects, floor
tiles, and lighting fixtures). It is the best way to preserve the vertical
relationships between objects while moving them.
Note: In the Section/Elevation/IE window, you can also elevate
elements simply by clicking and dragging.

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In the 3D Window, click an element node (Arrow tool active) and The Align commands are only active if you have selected at least two
choose the Elevate icon from the appearing pet palette, and then elements.
graphically move the selected elements up and down. When using the Align commands, the expression “right” refers to the
rightmost element on the x-axis in the window you are looking at (e.g.
Floor Plan, Section, 3D). The expression “left” refers to the lefthand
direction on the x-axis.
Similarly, “top” means the element with the highest y-coordinate in
the current window, and “bottom” is the element with the lowest
y-coordinate.
ArchiCAD identifies an element’s right/left/top/bottom/center
point according to an (invisible) bounding box around the element.
For example, suppose you want to align the
following Corner Table object with other
furniture:
ArchiCAD will use the centerpoint of the table’s
bounding box (here, illustrated in red):

Align Elements Note: If you want to use a different anchor point of the elements
you are aligning, use the Special Align options (Edit > Align >
About the Align function Special Align).
Use this menu (Edit > Align) to align selected elements with each See “Special Align” on page 120.
other, or to a custom-drawn target line, using a variety of criteria:
• Align elements right or left; How to Align Elements
• Align elements to the top or bottom; 1) Select the elements you wish to align.
• Center elements vertically or horizontally; 2) Go to Edit > Align and choose one of the following operations:
• “Special”-align elements to any point on an existing element, or
to a temporary line/arc drawn by you.

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Select all three windows and use


Edit > Align Left.
Right: If you choose Edit > Align
> Right, all selected elements will be
aligned to the rightmost
bounding-box point of the element
located farthest to the right.
• In the illustration below, the arc
wall is the rightmost element;
the rest of the walls (their
rightmost points) are aligned to
the rightmost point on the arc
wall’s bounding box.

Left: If you choose Edit > Align > Left, all selected elements will be
aligned to the leftmost bounding-box point of the element that is
located farthest to the left. Top/Bottom: If you choose Edit > Align > Top or Bottom, all
selected elements will be aligned to the topmost (or bottommost)
In this example, we want to align point on the element that is the top (or bottom) element of the
the three windows shown in selected group.
Section view.
• In the example below, we want to move up the window on the
left, so that it lines up with other two windows.

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To achieve this, we select all the windows, then use Edit > Align Special Align
> Top to obtain the desired result.
The options in Edit > Align > Special Align give you great
flexibility in lining up selected elements. You can choose which point
to align, and you can choose what to align the elements to: a
temporary line/arc drawn by you, or any existing line/edge.

Center Horizontally: If you choose Edit > Align > Center


Horizontally, ArchiCAD will determine the selected elements’ top
and bottom y-coordinates, and then align all the elements horizontally
(using each element’s centerpoint), along a horizontal line halfway
between the top and bottom elements.
In this example, we wish to align the selected tree objects to the edge
Center Vertically: If you choose Edit > Align > Center Vertically,
of the garden path.
ArchiCAD will determine the selected elements’ leftmost and
rightmost x-coordinates, and then align all the elements vertically,
along a vertical line halfway between them.
• For example, in the following Floor Plan, we will center the
selected furniture vertically.

Go to Edit > Align > Special Align and choose the Nearest Point
option: each tree will line up along the path using each tree’s
bounding box point that falls closest to the path.
Choose the Click an existing line or element edge option.
Click OK to close the dialog box, then click the edge of the path
(here, the edge of the mesh). The trees line up along the path.

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To ensure they are all distributed evenly, select all the windows and
use Edit > Distribute > Along X.

Along Y: The two selected elements at either end (vertically) will


Distribute Elements remain in place; the rest will be evenly distributed between them.
Use this menu (Edit > Distribute) to evenly distribute selected For example, suppose you want to distribute chairs evenly against the
elements using a variety of criteria: back wall of the room. Select them, then use Edit > Distribute >
Along Y.

The Distribute commands are only active if you have selected at least
two elements.
Along X: The two selected elements at either end will remain in
place; the rest will be evenly distributed between them.
For example, suppose you have three windows distributed evenly
along a wall.

As a result of a design change, the wall is lengthened and you add two
more windows.
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Along XY: The two selected elements at either end (at top left and
bottom right) will remain in place, and the rest will be distributed
evenly along an XY diagonal.
For example, you have nine desks in
the classroom placed roughly in a V
formation.
To distribute the desks precisely,
select a group of 5 desks and use
Edit > Distribute > Along XY. Suppose you want to distribute potted plants in a circle around a
hexagonal soil holder object:
First group:

Repeat with a second group of five chairs.


Final result:

Use Edit > Distribute > Special Distribute. Choose the “Draw a
line or arc” option, then click OK to close the dialog box.
Click to start drawing and choose the “Arc by centerpoint” pet palette
option. You will create a temporary circle around the hexagonal
object. As you complete the circle, the potted plants will be
distributed around it.

Special Distribute
The options in Edit > Distribute > Special Distribute let you
choose which point to distribute and along what to distribute the
elements: a temporary line/arc drawn by you, or any existing
line/edge.

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In some cases, only the pet palette is available.


Some general considerations:
• You cannot stretch Hotspots, Cameras or Detail Markers.
• Some GDL Object type elements are programmed to allow only
specific sizes, or include smart editing hotspots to edit their
shape graphically.
• Stretch is available for most types of selected elements in both
the Floor Plan and the 3D Window. Only drawing elements can
be stretched in the Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document and
Detail/Worksheet windows.
• The Stretch command cannot be used on polygonal elements,
Modifying Element Sizes but you can stretch their edges or displace any of their nodes
graphically.
Overview of Modifying Element Size
Stretching Walls
Different element types have different characteristic dimensions:
length, width, height, thickness, opening angle, etc. Some of these are To stretch/shrink straight walls with the menu command:
easiest to modify numerically, by selecting the given element, opening 1) Select a wall.
its settings dialog box and adjusting the relevant values.
2) Choose the Edit > Reshape > Stretch menu command, or the
Some dimensions, however, cannot be modified numerically (for Stretch command from the pet palette.
example, the length of linear elements or edges), while some others
need to be fitted exactly to other elements (walls to roofs, for 3) Click the reference line endpoint and move it.
example) which may make numeric adjustment a tedious calculation 4) Click again to either define the new endpoint as an extension (or
task. You may also need to change the overall dimensions of several
reduction) of the previous length or define an entire different
elements at the same time while keeping their relative proportions.
new location. The wall is stretched or shrunk and, if needed,
In such cases, ArchiCAD allows you to modify element sizes using rotated according to the new endpoint. The other endpoint will
splitting, stretching and trimming operations. remain at its original position.
Most of the operations can be performed in three ways: Note: Multiple Walls, Lines and Arcs with overlapping
• Edit menu command endpoints can all be stretched at the same time with the Stretch
• keyboard shortcuts menu command, or by using the Marquee.
For more information, see “Shortcuts” in ArchiCAD Help. For more information, see “Stretching with the Marquee Tool” on page 128.
• pet palette commands When using the pet palette:
For more information, see “Pet Palettes” on page 111. 1) Select a wall.
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2) Click one of the wall’s reference line endpoints. The pet palette See also “Stretching or Shrinking Lines” on page 379; “Stretching Objects” on
appears. Choose the stretch icon. page 316.

Modifying Slanted Walls and Columns


Slanted walls and columns can be stretched and/or their slant angle
can be modified with pet palette commands in 3D and Section views.
(Columns can also be modified in Floor Plan views.)
In 3D, you can:
• Slant a wall/column or change the inclination angle of a slanted
wall/column by selecting a corner point (for a wall) or the center
of the top plane of the column, and dragging it along the
horizontal plane. (Use “Modify Angle” in the pet palette)
Note: You cannot slant a wall whose reference line is centered.
• Stretch a slanted wall/column by moving its top or bottom edge
up or down along the wall plane (Use “Stretch slanted height” for
walls, or “Stretch height with fixed angle” for columns, in the pet
palette.)
• Stretch a slanted wall/column vertically. (Use “Stretch height” in
the pet palette.) As you change the wall height, the wall thickness
remains the same but its slant angle is adjusted accordingly.

Click to define the new endpoint. You can stretch a curved wall by
using a special angular or radial stretch commands.
See “Stretching Curves” on page 380.
To stretch a Trapezoid wall, you can use the special Stretch
Trapezoid Wall command from the pet palette: this will
increase/decrease the width of the wall proportionally as you stretch
it from either end.

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In Section view, you can use the same


functions. (“Modify Slant Angle” is
possible only if the wall’s reference line is
perpendicular to the section line.) In
Section view, the Tracker’s “Distance”
field provides a way to edit the wall
inclination using its offset (e.g. Distance)
value.)
In addition, you can edit double slanted
walls:
• If you elevate the top or bottom surface of the double slanted
wall, the angles of both lateral surfaces will change
• If you elevate the height of one side of the wall, both lateral You can modify the slant angle of Columns
surface angles remain unchanged (and the top surface may be graphically on the Floor Plan as well as in 3D.
reduced to zero thickness)

Modifying Beams
To stretch/shrink beams using the pet palette:
1) Select a beam on the Floor Plan or in 3D.
Note: Beams can also be stretched/shrunk in Section view, if the
Beam reference line is perpendicular to the Section line.
2) Click one of the beam’s endpoints. The pet palette appears.
Choose the appropriate stretch (or stretch length) icon:

The next two methods work on double-slanted walls in Section view


only if the Section line is perpendicular to the wall.
• If you move the top surface horizontally, both lateral surface
angles will change while the top thickness remains constant
• If you move one of the top nodes of the double slanted wall
horizontally, the angle of the surface on that side of the wall will
change as will the top thickness, while the opposite surface angle Click to define the new endpoint.
will remain unchanged. To stretch/shrink beams with the menu command:
1) Select a beam.
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2) Choose the Edit > Reshape > Stretch command.


3) Click the reference line endpoint of the beam and move it.
4) Click again to either define the new endpoint as an extension (or
reduction) of the previous length or define an entire different
new location. The beam is stretched or shrunk and, if needed,
rotated according to the new endpoint. The other endpoint will
remain at its original position.
To modify the inclination (slant) angle of an inclined beam, select it
on the Floor Plan or in the 3D Window.
Choose the Modify Angle command from the Pet Palette.
Drag the beam graphically to the desired inclination angle.

Reshaping Polygons and Chained Elements


Move Polygon Node
To move a node of a selected
polygon (including a
polygonal wall), click the node
and use the pet palette’s Move
node option.
The two neighboring edges
will follow the stretching
movement and the shape of
the polygon will change accordingly.

Modifying Complex Profile Elements Offset Polygon Edge


To apply an offset on a whole side of a selected polygon, click an
Profile Walls, Columns and
edge and use the pet palette’s Offset edge option. This will stretch
Beams have special stretch and
the neighboring edges.
rotate commands in the pet
palette. This offset feature is available
for chained elements as well as
polygons. Selected elements
will be treated temporarily as a
polygon, and all polygon
reshaping pet palette options
will be available.

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In the example below, the chained Wall on the right needs to be Select the polygon, and
moved a bit further away while keeping its connection to the two click a node (or reference
horizontal Walls. Select all three Walls, click anywhere on the edge of line endpoint). Choose the
the Wall on the right and choose the appropriate icon from the pet offset option in the pet
palette. Click when you are satisfied with the new distance. palette.
A ghost contour of the
proportionally increased
or reduced polygon
follows the movements of
the cursor. Click when you
are satisfied with the new
polygon size.

Adding and Subtracting Polygonal Shapes


You can use the pet palette to add to the shape of a polygonal
element, or subtract new polygons from it.
To add a new polygon to the existing one:
Select the polygon and
click it either on an edge
When you offset a segment of a polygon perpendicularly, new or a node. From the pet
segments are correspondingly created. This can be useful, for palette, choose the icon
example, when tracing a terrace. with the + sign (Add to
Polygon).

Draw the new polygon


shape. It must intersect
with the selected one or
at least they should have
a common edge.

Offset All Polygon Edges


For polygonal and chained elements only, there is a graphic offset
option available in the pet palette.

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Click to finish drawing the Stretching with the Marquee Tool


new shape, which will be
automatically added to the You can stretch multiple polygons or linear elements along a
original one. particular vector by using the Marquee tool.
The process is the same To stretch elements inside a Marquee area:
for subtracting a shape • Draw a Marquee so that the nodes or endpoints you want to
from a polygon, but you stretch fall inside the Marquee. Any nodes you want to keep
will choose the icon with intact should be outside the Marquee.
the - sign (Subtract from
Polygon). • Define a stretch vector: with the Marquee tool active, click on a
node or endpoint inside the Marquee area, then click on a second
point.
• Alternatively, choose the Edit > Reshape > Stretch command,
and then define the stretch vector by clicking any two different
points.
The shape of all linear elements that have one of their endpoints
inside the Marquee area, and polygonal elements that have nodes
inside the marquee area, will be stretched along this vector.
Note: If you don’t want to stretch an element whose node is
inside the Marquee, lock the element (select it, then use Edit >
Locking > Lock; or lock the element’s layer.).

• If all the nodes of a polygon are inside the Marquee area, the
polygon will be dragged instead of stretched.
• Stretching nodes in a Marquee area is not available in the 3D
You can also use the Magic Wand for adding/subtracting a polygon Window.
shape. • Columns, Objects and Lamps cannot be stretched with the
Marquee. If any of their hotspots fall inside the Marquee area, the
whole object/column will be dragged along when the Marquee
area is repositioned.

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• When stretching Arcs or curved Walls with the Marquee, their 1) Select the elements you wish to
central angle (i.e. the arc/chord ratio) will remain unchanged. transform and choose Resize.
2) In the appearing dialog box, enter a
value into any one of the resize
ratio fields. (Make sure the Define
graphically checkbox is unchecked.)
• Resize ratio: Use any one of the
three ways to define the resize ratio
Stretch Height you want. (If you enter a value in
one field, the other two will be
In the 3D, Section/Elevation and IE windows, you can modify the filled in automatically.)
height of selected elements graphically with Stretch height • Resize wall, column thickness: For walls, columns and beams, the
command of the pet palette. Click a node of a selected element and thickness will be resized as well as the length/height.
choose the vertical stretch icon in the pet palette. A ghost contour of
the element follows the cursor. Click to set the new height of the • Resize library parts: Any selected library parts will be resized.
element. • Resize all text entities: All texts and labels are resized.
• Resize all arrows and markers: The size of all arrows/markers are
modified.
3) Click OK.

Resize (Enlarge or Reduce) Elements


The Edit > Reshape > Resize command lets you enlarge or reduce
selected elements using numeric or graphical input.
This feature is available only in the Floor Plan and 3D windows, and -
for 2D drawing elements only - in the Section/Elevation, 3D
Document and Detail/Worksheet windows.
The Resize dialog box offers additional options for resizing the
thickness of Walls/Columns, GDL Objects, text elements,
arrowheads and markers.

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4) Click in the window to define which point or edge of the Note: You cannot split a polygon - such as a Roof element - with
elements should remain in its original location. The an arc.
transformation will be executed. Note: You can split a Curtain Wall with another Curtain Wall,
but you must use the Split Curtain Wall command.
See “Split Intersecting Curtain Walls” on page 307.
1) Select the elements you wish to split.
2) Choose the Edit >
Reshape > Split
command.
3) Draw a temporary
splitting line, or
click on an existing
Line, Arc, Wall or
polygon edge.
4) Click on either side
of the splitting
line/arc/edge with
the Eyeball cursor.
To perform the operation graphically:
Note: When splitting walls, the split takes place at the point
1) Open the Resize dialog box. where the splitting line intersects with the reference line(s) of the
2) Check the Define Graphically checkbox. selected elements.
3) Draw a transformation vector to define both the resizing ratio 5) Elements on the clicked side will remain selected, while elements
and the location of the resized elements. on the other side will be deselected. The selected group of
elements can be edited in the usual ways.
Note: Resizing does not affect grouped elements. To resize
grouped elements, ungroup them first or choose Suspend If the selected element is intersected by an element in several
Groups. locations, the Split command will split the selected element at every
intersection point.
Splitting Elements
You can split many selected elements (Walls, Beams, Lines, Slabs,
Roofs, Meshes, Fill and Zone Polygons, Lines, Arcs, Polylines and
Splines) along a line segment, arc or element edge.
The Split command is available in the Floor Plan and 3D Window,
and - for drawing elements only - in Section/Elevation/IE and 3D
Document windows, and Details and Worksheets.

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Splitting is also available in the 3D Window. You can split the selected Split and Adjust Shortcut
element with a vertical plane into two segments. This feature works A simple shortcut lets you adjust short elements and split long ones
the same way as on the Floor Plan. The splitting line is drawn in the by the same edge.
plane of the User Origin.
1) Select all the elements that you
Note: When no elements are selected, the Split command will let wish to split or adjust. The
you split a wall at the clicked location along any of its sides or active tool must be one of
reference line. those that created the selected
elements.
Adjusting Elements
Use the Adjust command to extend or trim the endpoints of selected 2) Press the Ctrl (Windows) or
Walls, Beams, Arcs and Lines to a Line, Arc segment or element edge. Cmd (MacOS) key and click
1) Select the elements you wish to adjust. the edge you wish to use for
splitting/adjusting.
2) Choose the Edit > Reshape > Adjust command.
3) Draw a line segment, or click an existing line, wall, polygon edge
or arc/circle. The endpoints of the selected walls and lines will be
adjusted (lengthened or shortened) to meet the drawn or clicked
3) The operation is immediately
line or curve. Only those elements will be affected that intersect
performed. All transformed
(or would intersect) with the chosen line/arc/edge.
elements will remain selected.

Intersect Two Elements


You can intersect two selected Lines, Walls or circular or elliptic Arcs
with each other by having them meet at their endpoints’ nearest
The Adjust command is available in the Floor Plan and 3D Window, point.
and - for drawing elements only - in Section/Elevation/IE and 3D 1) Select the two elements (they must be of the same element type).
Document windows, and Details and Worksheets. In 3D view, you
can adjust the selected Wall or Beam to a vertical plane.

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2) Choose the Edit > Reshape > Intersect command. • Chamfer joins the endpoints of two straight segments with a
straight segment, cutting off corners.

• Enter a radius for the fillet/chamfer. (The chamfer does not have
a radius, but it will be drawn as the chord of arcs of the specified
radius.)
Note: If filleting the arc with the current radius would extend
any of the neighboring vertices, the radius will be limited
Create a Fillet or Chamfer automatically so that the filleting arc contains the closer
neighboring vertex.
Use the Edit > Reshape > Fillet/Chamfer command to fillet or • Click OK.
chamfer the intersection of two straight lines or walls, or the corner(s)
of a polygon element. Note: The Fillet, Chamfer and Intersect commands are not
effective on grouped elements, unless Suspend Groups is on (See
To open the Fillet/Chamfer dialog box “Suspending Groups” on page 140.)
• Select the two lines, or the polygon element. Lines are adjusted depending on whether or not they intersect; if
• Choose the Edit > Reshape > Fillet/Chamfer command, or they do not, a new length is determined in order to make an
intersection or to meet the fillet or chamfer.
• if the selected element is
a polygon, choose the Apply to All Corners
Fillet/Chamfer icon
from the pet palette. To apply the Fillet or Chamfer to all corners of the selected polygon,
check the Apply to All Corners checkbox.
Choose either Fillet or
Chamfer: Note: This checkbox is applicable only if the selected element is
a polygon. It is not available if you have selected two separate
elements.
• Fillet joins the If you have selected a polygon and then the Edit > Reshape >
endpoints of two Fillet/Chamfer command, the checkbox is selected by default and
straight segments endpoints with an Arc. uneditable; the fillet/chamfer will apply to all nodes.

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To apply the Fillet/Chamfer to a single node of the polygon, click on Adding Element Nodes
that node and use the pet palette command to open the
Fillet/Chamfer dialog box. You can add new nodes to elements using the pet palette.
Adding a node to a straight linear element creates an additional
Trimming Elements to Intersection Point(s) element.
Adding a node to a polygon-type element increases the number of its
You can trim an element by simply removing the part extending
edges.
beyond its intersection point with another element, or even cut out a
part of the element between two intersection points. Trimmable In the 3D Window, you can add nodes only to polygonal elements.
elements are: Walls, Beams, Lines, Circles, Arcs, Polyline and Splines. To add a node to an element:
Note: Trimming elements to a roof is a separate function in 1) Select the element.
ArchiCAD. 2) Click an edge of the element to bring up the pet palette.
For more information, see “Trim Element to Roof ” on page 248. 3) Choose the Insert new node icon .
To trim an element take the following steps: 4) Click to define the location of the new node.
• Choose the Edit > Reshape > Trim command, or press the
Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (MacOS) key.
• The Scissors cursor appears. Move it to a trimmable element and
click the segment you want to trim.
Note: In the 3D window, you can also click on a Wall or Beam
surface for trimming.
• The clicked part of the element between the two nearest To insert a new node without moving it, double-click on a polygon
intersection points will be deleted. edge. (The Insert node option must be active in the pet palette.)
For example, here we will trim part of the beam - the part that falls Note: You cannot add a new node to a curved element or
between the first two walls on the left. segment; if you click Insert new node on a curved element, the
curved element will be straightened out.

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Editing Element Nodes • If you reposition a node so that the polygon edges intersect each
other (but no connecting edge is eliminated), the polygon will be
With the Move node icon of the pet palette, you can reposition split.
the node of a polygon type element. The connected edges will follow.
• You can eliminate a node by merging it into one of its neighbors.

• When repositioning a bent edge’s


endpoint, the arc segment will be
stretched in a way that its central angle
• If you merge a node to a remote node (that is, not a neighboring (the arc-chord ratio) remains the same.
one), the smaller part of the polygon will be deleted.
With the Fillet function (use the
Fillet/Chamfer pet palette icon ), you can
replace a polygon node by a tangential arc
whose radius can be set in the
Fillet/Chamfer Radius dialog box.
For a detailed description, see “Create a Fillet or Chamfer” on page 132.

Curve/Straighten Element Edge


With the pet palette’s Curve edge function , you can curve a
• If repositioning a node eliminates one of the connecting edges, segment of a straight element - such as a wall - by dragging its edge or
the other node of that edge will also be deleted, together with the reference line. The resulting arc will cross the two endpoints of the
corresponding part of its own other connecting edge. clicked edge and the point that has been dragged.

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Note: If the bent segment of a polygon intersects any of the construction element. Consequently, it will disappear from other
other polygon edges, ArchiCAD will regularize the polygon’s model views (model-type Sections, Elevations, IEs, 3D Documents).
shape, which may result in cutting the polygon into several parts. After an Explode function, you may wish to fine-tune the view before
final output. You will find, however, that the “exploded” lines and
fills often contain superfluous elements (extra line segments,
overlapping or superfluous fills) that make such editing difficult.
To make editing easier, first use the The Linework and Fill
Consolidation functions on selected items in the window.
To straighten a curved element edge, select the curved element, then For more information, see “Consolidating Lines and Fills in Drawing Windows”
select the Insert New Node command from the pet palette. on page 153.
Some examples:
• Slabs, Roofs and Meshes are decomposed into lines.
• Walls and Columns are decomposed into Lines and Fills (Doors
and Windows inserted into Walls are also exploded).
• Doors and Windows (if selected without the Wall they are placed
into) are decomposed like GDL Objects into 2D elements and
Explode into Current View are replaced by empty hole type openings.

Choosing Edit > Reshape > Explode into Current View will turn • Dimensions are decomposed into Lines, Texts and the basic
elements of arrowheads (Lines, Circles, Arcs, Fills).
selected elements (Floor Plan and other 2D windows only) into basic
elements (Lines without arrowheads, Circles, Arcs, Elliptic arcs, • Polylines are decomposed into Lines and Arcs.
Splines, unframed Fills, single-line Texts). • GDL Objects are decomposed into basic 2D drawing elements.
You have the option to delete or retain the original elements. Explode has no effect in the following cases:
• In Section/Elevation/IE and 3D Document windows, cut
construction elements cannot be exploded.
• Section/Elevation/IE lines and Cameras.
• Basic 2D elements.

Note: If Autogroup is On, the exploded elements will be created


Creating Element Duplicates
in grouped mode. You will often need to create exact duplicates of a particular element.
Note that exploding a construction element with the first option Often, the simplest way to duplicate is to use Copy/Paste.
(Keep drawing primitives only) means that it no longer exists as a See “Basic Editing Techniques” on page 111.

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It is also easy to use graphical editing to drag, rotate, or mirror one or


more copies of a selected element, or to use the multiply function.
These functions are described below.

Drag, Rotate, Mirror Element Copies


You can also create exact duplicates of an element inside the same • To Drag or Rotate multiple copies of an element, select the
project by dragging one or several copies of the selected element. The element, choose the desired command from the Edit > Move
selection can be made with either the Arrow tool or the Marquee tool. menu or the context menu (or use Ctrl + Alt (Windows) or Cmd
• To Drag, Rotate, or Mirror one copy of an element, select the + Opt/Alt (MacOS) as a shortcut). You will see a “++” sign
element and choose the desired command from the Edit > Move appear. Click the element to drag or rotate its copy to its new
menu or the context menu. position. You can place any number of copies. Double-click to
finish placing copies.

Note: When rotating copies, they will all be placed along the
same rotation axis.
This feature works in both the Floor Plan and the 3D Window. In
Section/Elevation/IE windows, the feature works on added drawing
elements and Doors and Windows (dragging only). In Detail
Drawings, you can use it on any drawing elements. In the 3D
Window, Drag/Rotate/Mirror is available only for added Drawing
elements.

• Another way is to choose the plain Drag/Rotate/Mirror Multiplying Elements


command from the pet palette, then press Ctrl (Windows) or
Alt/Opt (MacOS). (This adds a small + sign to the cursor; press If you need to create a number of identical elements inside the same
Ctrl again to undo the Copy feature). A copy of the selected project following a definite pattern, for example at equal distances
element will be dragged, rotated or mirrored. Click to place the from each other, use the Edit > Move > Multiply command, or the
copy., which will now be selected instead of the original. Multiply command from the pet palette.
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Multiply creates any number of exact copies of selected elements on • Distribute-1 will also space the copies evenly between the
the current story, using one the following methods: starting point and the endpoint of the reference line or arc, but
• Drag multiplies the copies along a straight path defined by the the distance is divided by the Number of copies + 1 and no copy
reference line. will be placed at the endpoint.
• Rotate multiplies the copies along an arc, using the angle • Spread will place the copies of the multiplied element to equal
specified in the reference arc. distance from each other along the reference line or arc all the
way until the reference is drawn. In this case, instead of defining
• Elevate stacks the copies with a vertical displacement. Note that
this option is grayed when working in a Section/Elevation/IE, the number of copies, you set the spacing in length or in degrees
3D Document or Detail/Worksheet window. between two neighboring copies.
• Matrix will place the copies of the selected element(s) to a matrix • Vertical displacement will define the value that is added to the
defined by two perpendicular reference lines. When choosing the elevation of each subsequent copy of the multiplied object, even
Matrix option, you need to define the number of copies for both during dragging, rotating or arraying the copies.
the first and the second stroke of the matrix. Two parameters for Note: When multiplying the element(s) in the 3D window, the
the vertical displacement can also be set. vertical displacement must be defined with a reference vector,
not by a value in the dialog box. In this case, simply push a radio
button in the dialog box indicating whether you need vertical
displacement.
When you have defined your choices, click OK in the Multiply dialog
box and perform the operation by dragging the cursor to the desired
location.

In the lower half of the dialog box, the distribution options determine
how the start and endpoint of the reference line will be interpreted.
• Increment spaces the copies by an incremental distance equal to
the length of the reference line or reference arc.
• Distribute spaces the copies evenly between the start and
endpoints of the reference line or reference arc.

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Drag & Drop or Drawing in the Navigator, and drag it onto the Layout in the
Layout Window of the current project.
The Drag & Drop technique is familiar to both MacOS and Windows For more information, see “Placing Drawings Onto the Layout” on page 427.
users as a shortcut for opening files or for copying and pasting
elements of different types into Windows of the same application or Dragging and Dropping Pictures
between applications.
The following possibilities exist for transferring picture type data:
Since ArchiCAD has many different Window types, the smart
implementation of Drag & Drop allows you to copy elements from • Dropping a picture file into a GDL Object Preview Window
Windows by pasting data in the receiving Window. • Dropping a picture file into the Floor Plan to paste it as a Figure
You can also drag & drop GDL Objects (Library Parts) from GDL • Creating picture type clipping files in the MacOS Finder
Object Web Plug-in enabled web pages directly into ArchiCAD
Projects, the Object Settings dialog box or the Active Libraries list of • Pasting clipping files into the GDL Object Preview Window
the Library Manager dialog box. Dragging and Dropping GDL Object Files
For information on dragging and dropping GDL files, see “Opening with You can drag and drop GDL Object files from the MacOS Finder or
Drag-and-Drop” on page 497. the file manager directly into ArchiCAD Projects, the Object Settings
Data can only be dropped into a Window if the receiving Window dialog box or the Active Libraries list of the Library Manager.
can accommodate the dragged data type.
Dropping an Object into the Floor Plan activates the corresponding
Dragging and Dropping Text tool in the Toolbox and the newly placed element becomes the
default element for the given Object type.
The following possibilities exist for transferring text:
• It is possible to place several GDL Objects at the same time
• From any ArchiCAD Text Window or from a Text Window of
using Drag & Drop.
any other Drag & Drop-capable application to any other
ArchiCAD Text Window • Windows and Doors can only be dropped into a Wall.
• From any Text Window to any 2D Window (Floor Plan, Dragging and Dropping Floor Plan Elements
Section/Elevation/IE, 3D Document, Detail/Worksheet,
Library Part 2D Symbol) with the default parameters If there is a selection on the Floor Plan defined either with a marquee
area or through individual selection with the Arrow, pressing the
• Moving or copying text within the same Text Window mouse button and dragging the cursor out of the ArchiCAD Floor
• Creating text type clipping files in the File Manager Plan Window will initiate a Drag & Drop operation.
• Pasting clipping files into a text type Window The following can be copied:
• Dropping plain text files into a text type Window (with some • Floor Plan elements (in module format).
restrictions)
• Selected elements on the Floor Plan in picture format (for
Dragging and Dropping Drawings example, into the Project Preview Window).
The easiest way to add a Drawing from an external ArchiCAD file is • The 2D and/or the 3D script of the selected elements in text
to open the external project structure in the Navigator, select a View format.

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3D GDL script is only generated if the drop is made into the 3D Up Parameters), the cursor takes on the Eyedropper shape. At the
Script window. The 2D script of the selected element can be dropped same time, the element is shown with an information highlight.
into any other text type window.
For more information, see “Element Information Highlight” on page 80.
Dragging and Dropping DWG/DXF Objects The Eyedropper is:
Drag & Drop is available as a way to download DWG/DXF objects
Full, when snapping to a Reference Line or axis node;
from the web. A special “i-drop” technique is also available for
Windows only. Half full, when snapping to Hotspots, general nodes or selectable
For more information, see “Opening with i-Drop® (Windows Only)” on page 497. area;
Part full, part striped when snapping to a reference line;
Parameter Transfer Striped, on top of a normal edge;
ArchiCAD speeds up the creation of new elements through a variety Empty, when the cursor is in an empty workspace area (visual
of shortcuts that allow you to create any number of exact duplicates feedback only).
of existing elements through Parameter Transfer.
Regardless of whether the Eyedropper is full, striped, or half full, the
ArchiCAD allows you to pick the settings of one construction parameter transfer will work. (An empty eyedropper does not work.)
element and pass them to another of the same type, using one of the Clicking with the Eyedropper will load the settings of the given
following techniques: element into the corresponding tool type’s settings dialog box and
• keyboard shortcuts: Alt for Pick Up Parameters and Ctrl+Alt for make them the new default settings for that tool. The given tool
Inject Parameters becomes active, and, with the next click, you can start drawing a clone
• the commands in the Standard Toolbar of a clicked element.
• or at Edit > Element Settings > Pick Up To transfer a dialog box’s settings to an element, activate the Inject
Parameters and Inject Parameters. Parameters command from the toolbar (shortcut: Ctrl-Alt
This facilitates the modification of either the default values in a (Windows) or Alt/Opt-Cmd (MacOS); the cursor changes into a
settings dialog box, or the settings of existing elements, without Syringe. (You can also activate the syringe with Edit > Element
having to select tools and open dialog boxes. The feature is available: Settings > Inject Parameters.) The same variations (empty, striped,
• on the Floor Plan and the in the 3D Document and 3D windows full, etc.) apply as for the Eyedropper.
for most element types
• In Section/Elevation/IE and Detail/Worksheet windows, for
drawing elements only Move the syringe cursor on top of or to the edge or node of the
• You can also use a form of Parameter transfer between two target element, so that the target element is highlighted. (To cycle the
library parts of the same type. pre-selection highlight among multiple elements which overlap or
See “Parameter Transfer Between Objects” on page 318. join, press Shift+Tab until the desired target element is highlighted.)
When you activate the Pick Up Parameters command from the Click the target element to apply the default values and attributes
toolbar (shortcut: Alt/Opt key, or use Edit > Element Settings > Pick (Line Type, Pen Color, Material, etc.) to that element.

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In the example below, the settings of the Wall on top have been Elements belonging to other Stories, even if their outlines appear on
transferred to the Wall on bottom. the current Story, cannot be part of a group on the current Story.
Edit > Grouping > Autogroup, a toggle command, lets you group
elements at the same time you create them (instead of creating
elements first and then grouping them). If the Autogroup command
is on, chained polygonal and rectangular elements (such as PolyWalls,
PolyRoofs, etc.) will automatically be created as a group. To make all
elements constituting a group independent again, choose Edit >
Notes: The attributes of the element will also be loaded into the Grouping > Ungroup. In the case of nested groups, you will need to
Find & Select dialog box’s corresponding fields, provided that the repeat this command several times until you obtain single elements
dialog box is currently open and the appropriate button is active. only again. Grouping and ungrouping are available in all editable
For more information, see “Find & Select Palette” in ArchiCAD Help. window types.
The transferred attributes will also be pre-selected when opening Operations on Grouped Elements
any of the corresponding dialog boxes (Line Types, Pens & The following operations can be performed simultaneously on all the
Colors, Fill Types, Materials, Composites, Zone Categories). elements constituting the group:
• Selection
Grouping Elements • The following Edit menu functions: Drag, Rotate, Mirror, Multiply
Groups are created by selecting a set • Attribute (e.g., Layer) assignment
of elements and then using the Edit
> Grouping commands or the Other operations (such as Unify and Fillet/Chamfer) can be
relevant buttons of the Arrange Element toolbar. performed on individual elements only, after the elements are
ungrouped or the group is suspended.
Grouped elements can then be
selected and modified as a group, Suspending Groups
unless you temporarily suspend the You may need to perform only a single operation on a particular
group to allow editing of individual element in the group. In this case, ungrouping altogether is
elements. Grouped elements are burdensome, since you will have to select all the elements again to
distinguished by their large, empty recreate the group after you have finished the operation.
selection dots. If you select several
groups simultaneously, each group’s The solution is to temporarily suspend groups by
selection dots will have a different choosing the Suspend Group toggle icon in the
color. Several groups can, in turn, be grouped together into a single Standard Toolbar, or at Edit > Grouping >
higher-level group. Suspend Groups.
The following element types cannot be grouped: any of the Dimension (The Suspend Groups icon is also available in the Control Box.)
types, Zones, Labels, Section/Elevation/IE lines, Cameras. Doors If Suspend Groups is ON, elements that have been assigned to a
and Windows can only be grouped as part of the Wall they are placed group can be selected and modified separately. ALL groups are
into. Only elements on the current Story can be grouped together. temporarily rendered inactive: single elements can be selected and
edited individually, even if they are part of a complex group hierarchy.
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If Suspend Groups is OFF, groups are activated once again. Note for TeamWork users: Elements of a group may be
• Choosing Edit > Grouping > Ungroup with Suspend Groups reserved by different signed in team members, but groups still
ON will detach any selected elements from their groups and remain active. Attributes and parameters of reserved elements
break down all groups into single independent elements, no can only be modified by first suspending the groups.
matter how complex the nested grouping is. For more information on reserving elements in Teamwork, see “Teamwork
• If the Suspend Groups switch is OFF and you choose to Techniques” on page 466.
ungroup a selection consisting of two or more lower level groups,
it will first be divided into the groups it comprises. You may need Lock/Unlock Elements
to repeat the Edit > Grouping> Ungroup command several
times before an element can be selected and edited individually. The Edit > Locking > Lock command locks the selected items to
prevent them from being accidentally modified. Locked elements can
Note: There is a way to change the settings of one element in a
still be selected and used for relative construction; Guide Lines are
group, even if the Suspend Groups option is switched off. Go to the
still available; and you can even pick up their settings through
settings dialog of the element you intend to change (make sure
parameter transfer.
nothing is selected), change the parameters and settings you wanted
to change, and close the dialog box by clicking the OK button. Now Note: Locking a layer will have the same effect - it locks all
click the element you want to change while holding the Ctrl+Alt elements which are located on that layer.
(Windows)/Opt+Cmd (MacOS) keys. This will transfer the default The Edit > Locking > Unlock command unlocks the selected item(s).
parameters of the element type you just set to the clicked element.
The changes will affect only the selected element. With the Unlock All command, you can
unlock all locked elements, even if they are
Groups and Layers not selected. You can also use the relevant
buttons of the Arrange Elements toolbar for these actions.
Grouping elements does not change their attribute assignments,
which means that each element remains on its own Layer. For more information, see “Layers” on page 26.
If some elements of a Group are in an invisible Layer: Note for Teamwork users: You can only lock items which you
have reserved. Locked items cannot be reserved by others. You
• Elements on the hidden Layer will be invisible.
can only unlock items locked by you. The locking information is
• When editing the group (by drag, rotate, mirror, multiply) kept even after you have signed out from the Teamwork Project.
invisible elements will also change their position. When signed in to a Teamwork Project as the Team Leader, you
• When modifying the Attributes or parameters of the elements, can unlock all the elements locked by any Teammate.
the Attributes of the invisible elements will not be changed. For more information on reserving elements in Teamwork, see “Teamwork
If some elements of a Group are in a locked Layer: Techniques” on page 466.
• Elements on the locked Layer will be visible on the Floor Plan,
but they will cause the entire group to be locked. The group will Display Order
not be affected by drag, rotate, mirror and multiply.
When drawing a Project with ArchiCAD, overlapping elements will
• When selecting the group, all of its elements will be selected, but be drawn according to a specified stacking order. By default, elements
with grey dots. Use the Suspend Groups command to edit those are stacked in an order typically used in architectural drawings.
grouped items that are not in a locked layer.

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By default, stacking order is determined by element classes, of which • Bring Forward: On this command, selected element(s) will
there are six. Regardless of the sequence in which elements are overlap all the unchanged elements of their own and any lower
placed, those in the first class will be placed in the foreground, second classes, but will still stay below the elements of higher classes.
class in the level behind it, and so on.
• Bring to Front: On this command, selected element(s) will
The element classes are in overlap all other existing elements.
descending order of class:
• Send Backward: On this command, selected element(s) will be
1) Annotation (Text, Labels, all overlapped by (sent behind) all the unchanged elements of their
Dimension types, Zone
own and higher classes, but will overlap the elements of lower
Stamps)
classes.
2) 2D artwork (Lines, Circles,
Splines, Hotspots) • Send to Back: On this command, selected element(s) will
become overlapped by all other existing elements.
3) Library Parts (Objects, Lamps,
Stairs) • Reset Default Order: This command restores the default
overlapping order described previously.
4) 3D structures (Walls, Beams,
Slabs, Doors, Windows, Mechanism of the Stacking Order
Columns, Roofs, Meshes)
Both the default stacking order and the customization commands are
5) 2D polygons (Fills, Zone Polygons) based on two ordering mechanisms: classes and stack levels.
6) Figures
ArchiCAD places elements in 14 stack levels. Each level can contain
Display Order of Overlapping Elements any of the element types. The final stacking order you see on screen
Overlapping within the same class depends on the order in which you and on printouts is based on stack level and element class. All
place the elements, although walls with the same fills will display clean elements on a level will overlap elements on lower stack levels,
intersections. regardless of class.
When selecting overlapping elements within the same class, you can New elements are always placed into the preferred stack level of their
select them in sequence using Tab. own class. Stack level preference is as follows:
See “Selection of Overlapping Elements” on page 79. 1-4: Void by default
Custom Stacking Order 5: Annotation
ArchiCAD’s default stacking order is 6: 2D Artwork
appropriate in most cases, but you may wish 7: Library Parts
to place elements in a different overlapping
position. For instance, for a Fill to overlap a 2D element or an Object, 8: 3D Structures
a set of commands in Edit > Display Order hierarchical menu or 9: 2D Polygons
the relevant buttons of the Arrange Elements toolbar let you
override the default stacking order element by element. 10: Figures
On newly placed elements, the commands work as follows: 11-14: Void by default

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By default, the upper and lower 4 stack levels are empty. You can means that in most cases it will still be possible to place other
bring or send elements of any type into these stack levels with the elements above or below them.
Edit > Display Order commands detailed above. Text or Dimensions brought up to the top stack level cannot be
For example, bringing a Fill forward from level 9 to level 8, which is overlapped. For example, if you want a Fill to overlap them, you will
the default level of structures, means that the Fill will overlap all the have to send the Text one level backwards.
unchanged fills remaining on level 9, but will still be overlapped by all If you attempt to move elements forward that are already placed on
the unchanged structures on level 8. the top level, or to move elements backward from the bottom of the
stack, you will be alerted.
When moving several elements placed at different stack levels
forward or backward, each element will only move one level.
When bringing to front or sending to back elements of different
types, they will overlap (or be overlapped by) all existing elements,
and will retain their stacking order in relation to each other.
If you bring it forward again, it will overlap all the remaining Zones and Fills are compound elements consisting of components of
structures. However, it will still stay below all of the unchanged two different classes (Zone Polygons and Zone Stamps, Fills and
Library Parts on level 7. This way, you can move it forward until it their area texts). These two components always keep their order
overlaps the higher levels. according to their classes, for instance area texts always overlap their
fills. Although you can change their overlapping order separately, Fills
and Zone Fills can never overlap their own area texts and zone
stamps and vice versa, forcing the other component to move with
them if necessary.
The stacking order will be preserved on printer or raster plotter
output.
Of course you can bring other elements forward as well, which will In DXF/DWG output, all elements will be transparent, meaning that
again overlap the changed Fill. hidden or partially overlapped elements will be entirely visible.

Magic Wand
About the Magic Wand
The Magic Wand saves you work by finding and tracing a linear or
polygon shape from among existing elements, and then generating a
The Bring to Front and Send to Back commands move the selected new element based on the polygon. The Magic Wand lets you create
elements until they overlap (or are overlapped by) all of the existing special shapes that are not available for that particular tool type or
elements. This is not necessarily the 1st or the 14th level, which would be tedious to construct segment by segment. Since it creates

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polygonal shapes by nature, the Magic Wand will ignore geometry


method settings (such as Rotated Rectangle) for the current tool.
When creating curved Walls and polygon-type elements based on
Arcs, Circles and Splines, the approximation is based on the state of
the Magic Wand Settings dialog box.
See “Magic Wand Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
The Magic Wand works in both the 2D and 3D Windows and • If you click in empty space or on a surface,
recognizes the following element types: Wall, Beam, Slab, Roof, the Magic Wand searches for and traces
Curtain Wall, Fill, Mesh, Line, Arc, Polyline, and Spline. (In the closed geometric area formed by the
nearest elements (whether chained
Section/Elevation/IE and 3D Document windows, the Magic Wand
together or merely intersecting), and
recognizes only 2D drawing-type elements). The Magic Wand generates the resulting polygon.
recognizes elements that are locked, displayed from remote stories or
a Trace Reference, reserved by others or outside your workspace.
• You can refine the Magic Wand function
by selecting one or more elements. In this
How to Create an Element with the Magic case, the Magic Wand will only take the
Wand selected elements into account when
searching for chained elements or a
1) From the Toolbox, select the new type of element you want to bounded area.
create. 4) The new elements are generated.
2) Activate the Magic Wand. Press the Spacebar, or click the Magic • The new elements are not linked to the originals and can be
Wand icon in the Control Box to make it appear. manipulated independently.
Note: The Control Box is not visible by default. To show it, • If the original shapes are superfluous, you can delete them.
choose its name from the Window > Palettes menu. • If Offset or Multi-Offset has been activated, you can complete
The Magic Wand has three different shapes for identifying: the offset function after the Magic Wand has created the new
polygon.
• nodes • If you are creating a single Roof, you must first draw a pivot line
• edges and define the slope before creating the polygon with the Magic
Wand.
• empty space and surfaces
• If you are creating a Fill with a custom origin, you will first
3) Click the Magic Wand to find and trace a polygon shape. generate the polygon with the Magic Wand, then draw the fill
• If you click on an edge or node, the Magic Wand creates a orientation vector.
polygon by tracing that element and/or finding an element chain: All of the characteristics of the new elements are determined by the
it runs along that edge and traces the element chains whose current default settings of the corresponding tool. You should always
endpoints fall within that edge. check that these are correct either before or after using the Magic

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Wand, especially if the elements are intended to have a specific


relationship to each other, such as a roof resting on a Wall.

Using the Magic Wand in 3D


In 3D, the Magic Wand feature works as in the Floor Plan, but instead
of using only the top view of the elements, each element is considered
the way it lies in space. When searching for the contours of the new
element, ArchiCAD will only look at the elements that are actually
intersected by the clicked plane. The clicked plane is always the
horizontal plane through the clicked surface point or through the
User Origin (e.g., when clicking inside polygon walls or beams into
space).

Using the Magic Wand to Add/Subtract Note: Drawing a polygon hole by clicking inside the selected
Polygon Shapes element’s boundary with its tool active is similar to subtraction,
but it lets you temporarily create a self-intersecting shape.
Instead of defining a new polygon, you can use the Magic Wand tool
Subtraction always creates a valid shape.
to add or subtract the shape of an existing polygon (of the same or a
different element type). For more information, see “Magic Wand Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
1) Select the polygon from which you wish to subtract another
shape. In this example we want to subtract a complex polygonal
shape from a slab.
“Virtual Trace:” Using References
2) Choose the “Subtract from Polygon” icon in the pet palette. to Edit and Compare Model Views
3) Move the cursor onto the polygon that you want to subtract and and Drawings
activate the Magic Wand (press the spacebar).
4) Click to complete. About Trace References
In ArchiCAD 12, you can opt to display two different views
concurrently in any model or layout window:
• the Active Content - the actual model or drawing you are
currently working on (“Active”)
• the Trace Reference (“Reference”), optionally placed alongside,
Verify that the operation has been performed by deleting or dragging on top of or underneath the currently Active content. This acts
away the other polygon or viewing the shape in 3D. Or select the as a kind of underlay, making it easy to compare multiple model
polygon and note the contour around its hole. views/drawings on the same screen.

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Any viewpoint, view or Layout can be a Reference beneath any active Any given window can display only one Reference at a time.
Model or Layout window: However, as you navigate among your project windows, you can
Typically, in Model Windows, you will use any of the following as a display a different Reference in each:
Reference: • The Floor Plan window has a single current Reference for all
• Floor Plan stories
• Section, Elevation, Interior Elevation, 3D Document • Each Section, Elevation, Interior Elevation, 3D Document,
Worksheet, Detail, Layout and Master Layout can have its own
• Detail, Worksheet unique Reference.
And in the Layout Window: Reference settings are saved along with the window (for example,
• Layout, Master Layout each Section in your project can have a Reference of a different color
and filter different elements). References are also saved with the
For example, you can draw a roof detail in a Detail window (the
project file.
Active Content) while seeing the relevant wall section as a Reference.
The Trace Reference is essentially a temporary editing aid that is tied
A Section shown as a Reference next to another Section:
to the currently active window. When using the Print command to
output a model window or a Layout, you can opt to print the
currently visible Reference as well. However, when you place a
Drawing onto a Layout, the Drawing content will not include the
Reference.
The user can offset and rotate the Reference as needed, though
logical default Reference settings for each combination of
Active/Reference views will usually align them correctly for the
A Floor Plan shown as a Reference beneath a Detail: particular context.
On-Screen View Options affect the Reference just as they affect the
Active.
The cursor is sensitive to elements in the Reference. Consequently:
• You can use the Pick Up Parameters command (Alt +C) on
Reference elements, then transfer the parameters to an element
in the Active.
• You can use the Trim command, the Magic Wand, and snap
points with elements in the Reference to edit Active elements.

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Access Trace Reference Commands


Reference-related commands are easily accessible from several points
in the interface.
• The Standard Toolbar contains
the Trace toggle icon, plus a pop-up
list of related commands.
• Right-click any eligible item in the
Navigator and choose Show as
Trace Reference to show that item
(e.g. viewpoint, view, Drawing or
Layout) as the Reference for the
current window.

Show/Hide Trace Reference


The Trace button is a toggle command
available in the Standard Toolbar. Click
the button to show or hide the Trace
Reference in the current window.
Click the sticky pop-up control of
the Trace toggle icon to access Trace
Reference-related commands.

• Use the Trace & Reference Palette (Window > Palettes >
Trace & Reference) to keep the Trace commands on screen if
you use these commands often, or if you use several of the
commands in sequence.
• Use the View > Trace Options command.
• Many Trace Reference-related commands are available from the
context menu of an ArchiCAD window that shows a Reference:
just right-click in empty space in the window, provided that no
elements are currently selected.

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Choosing a Trace Reference - the window’s context menu Reference commands

Three item types can be chosen as a Reference:


1) Viewpoints. Any item in the Navigator's Project Map (except
3D window items and list-type items) can be set as a Reference.
The Reference Viewpoint will always reflect the current settings
of the active window.
2) Views. Any view in the Navigator's View Map (except 3D
window items and list-type items) can be set as a Reference. The
Reference's view settings are independent of the active window.
For example, if you change the layer combination in the active
window, the Reference won’t change. If a view is deleted from - the Trace & Reference
the view map, its Reference is no longer available. Palette
3) Layouts (and their drawings). The Choose Reference
list is dynamic - the
To choose a Reference to display, do one of the following: appearing choices
• Select the item from the depend on the content
Navigator and right-click of the active window,
to bring up its context and the most
menu. Choose Show as recent/most logical Reference choices will appear in the list.
Trace Reference. • Recent References are listed at the top
or • Other relevant References, if any, follow. If the active window is:
• Choose an item from the - Floor Plan: the Choose Reference list includes three
Choose Reference list. possibilities that are relative to the current story, so that the
The Choose Reference list Reference will change as you navigate among stories: Above or
is accessible from: Below Current Story will always show the story above (or below) the
- the Standard Toolbar’s Reference commands current story as a Reference. Previous Story will always show the
last story you were on as a Reference.
- Model-type Section/Elevation: the Choose Reference list
includes the stories which fall into its vertical range (except if the
range is unlimited).
- Drawing-type Section/Elevation: the Choose Reference list
includes the relevant Model Section/Elevation.
- Interior Elevation: the Choose Reference list includes all
viewpoints of the IE group (if any), plus the stories which fall
into its vertical range (except if the range is unlimited).

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- Detail or Worksheet: the Choose Reference list includes their Change you make here apply to the Reference of the current window
source viewpoints. only. However, to apply the settings in this pop-up to all References
Note: Independent viewpoints (e.g. an independent Section, in the project, click the Apply Settings to All References button.
Elevation, Detail or Worksheet) have no model source; their
“Choose Ghost” list shows the viewpoint itself.
- Layout: the Choose Reference list includes the source view (if
available) of the placed Drawings.
• Entire Structure Display: This option will display the current
view/viewpoint as a Trace Reference in Entire Structure Display
form.
• Next in the “Choose Ghost” list: any Layouts containing
drawings that originated with the current viewpoint.
The chosen Reference appears in a predefined default position
(appropriate to the type of the Active Content and the Reference
item). You can move the Reference at any time.
For more information, see “Move Reference” on page 149.
If you choose a recent Reference, it will include any manual
transformations (drag, rotate) which the user applied the last time he
Move Reference
showed this Reference. These commands are accessible from the list of Reference
All user-defined Reference-related parameters, such as the list of commands; or from the Trace & Reference palette.
recent References and recently chosen Reference colors, are saved • Use this icon to drag the Reference to another location.
together with the project file.
• Use this icon to rotate the Reference.
Set Color/Visibility Options for Trace • Use this icon if you want to reset the Reference to its
original default position after you have moved it.
Reference Note: The same commands are available from the context
To set the color of the Reference and the menu by right-clicking into any window showing a Reference;
visibility of elements on the Reference, first and from the Standard Toolbar’s pop-up list of Reference
open the Trace & Reference Palette. (Use commands.
Window > Palettes > Trace & Reference, or
choose Trace & Reference from the list of Trace
Reference commands.)
Use the controls in the top half of this palette to
set the Reference’s color and element visibility
options.
For details, see “Trace & Reference Palette” in ArchiCAD Help.
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In the image below, a Section viewpoint is displayed as a Reference 1) First, use the Switch Reference with
and rotated alongside the Floor Plan that contains the Section Active command (from the list of Trace
marker: Reference commands, or the Trace &
Reference palette.)
This changes the Reference into the Active
(now you can edit its elements), and the Active into a Reference.
Note: This command is not available if a Drawing Section is
active and its own Model-based Section is the Reference.
2) Select, edit and/or copy the required elements.
3) Once again, use the “Switch Reference with Active” command
and return to the original Active content.
4) If you copied elements to the clipboard, now you can paste these
into the Active.
This workflow can be used, for example, if you are working in a
Worksheet window, while the Floor Plan model has changed. To
update your Worksheet, display the Floor Plan as the Reference,
identify the differences, switch Reference with Active, copy the
updated parts you need, switch Reference and Active (again), and
paste into the Worksheet window.
Note: When pasting into a drawing-type window (such as a
Worksheet), construction elements will be “exploded” into their
2D components.
Drag/Rotate commands applied to the Reference will be reflected in
the Tracker's coordinate data (coordinate data are calculated Rebuild Trace Reference
according to the Active's coordinate system, not the Reference's.)
Use the Rebuild command (available from the Trace & Reference
Switch Reference with Active: How to Access Palette or from the list of Trace Reference commands) to rebuild
the Reference to reflect any changes in the source view.
Elements within the Reference for Editing or
The Reference will be rebuilt automatically as a result of certain other
Copying user actions, such as navigating to another window and panning
inside a window. However, editing a model view will not automatically
Elements on the Reference cannot be selected or edited. However, by rebuild the Reference; you must use the Rebuild Reference button.
switching the Reference and Active views temporarily, you can select
and edit elements in the Reference. For example, you can use the Note the following:
Switch Reference with Active command if you need to paste • If the Reference’s source is a manual-rebuild model, then the
certain Reference elements into the Active view: Reference is rebuilt only when that model Section/Elevation/IE

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is manually rebuilt. Similarly, References containing You may want to set two sharply different, custom colors for each of
manual-update drawings will be rebuilt along with the drawing. the views - say, red and blue - to make it easy to distinguish one from
• If the Reference is an Auto-Rebuild Model, it is possible that the other.
you make changes in the Active, yet these are not reflected in the To set the colors, use the pop-up icons
Reference, even after you navigate or pan, because - to avoid (one each for Reference and Active) in
slowing down the program - you have unchecked “Update the middle of the Palette.
Autorebuild Model Viewpoints continuously” in Options > Note: Even if you’ve set separate
Project Preferences > Miscellaneous. Use the Rebuild Reference colors, the background fills of one
button when needed. view may obscure the underlying
• If the Reference contains an Auto-update Drawing, such a elements in the other view.
Reference will not be continuously rebuilt, to avoid slowing
down the program. Use the Rebuild Reference button when
needed.

Compare Reference with Active


ArchiCAD provides several functions to help you identify and
understand differences between the Reference and the Active
content, especially when the Reference is on top of the Active Tip 2: Make Fills and Zones Transparent
content, or vice versa, and you need additional help to see the Note the Make Fills and Zones Transparent toggle at the
differences clearly. The best way to compare the two will depend on bottom of the Trace & Reference Palette: activate this to make fills
your particular task. You can use several of these functions at the and zones transparent in both the Reference and Active views. This
same time to get the most accurate information. All the Compare way you will “uncover” information that otherwise might have been
functions can be used “on the fly” while editing your Active content. covered up by a fill in the top view.
They are on-screen only functions, with no effect on output.
This switch has only a temporary effect and does not affect the
To access these functions, open Window > settings of the model elements.
Palettes > Trace & Reference.
For details on each control, see “Trace & Reference
Palette” in ArchiCAD Help.
Each of the techniques below can be useful in
visually comparing the Reference with the Active.
Try them out to see which works best.

Tip 1: Use Separate Colors for Active and Reference


You can set separate display colors for the Reference and the Active
content: a custom color for each, or else retain the original colors.

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Tip 3: Reverse Display Order of Reference and Active Tip 5: Use the Splitter Bar to “Turn the Page”
When comparing the Reference to the Active, it may help to switch This function is useful for identifying differences between the
their display order. Reference and Active when they overlap. You will drag a Splitter bar
Click the “Reference on Top” button across the window, with the Reference on one side and the Active on
at the bottom of the Trace & the other. The effect is like turning the “page” of an overlay to see
Reference Palette. what is beneath.
If your Reference was previously To activate the Splitter
underneath the Active, this command function, click the Splitter
will change them around, placing the icon from the Trace &
Reference on top of the Active. Reference Palette.
Four “splitter handles”
appear, one on each edge of
the screen. Choose any one
of them and move it in a
Tip 4: Optimize Intensity of Reference vs. Active perpendicular direction, to
A simple way to make an initial visual comparison is to use the create either a horizontal or
Intensity sliders of the Reference and Active. vertical splitter bar.
Note: This method works
best if the Active is shown in
its original colors, and the
Reference in a different
color.
Pull the Reference intensity slider
back and forth. On screen, the
effect will be to flash the
Reference “on” and “off ”,
allowing you to identify places on screen where there are differences
from the Active View.
Then you can zoom in on these locations and analyze the differences.

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As you drag it, the content on either side of the splitter changes
dynamically.
Consolidating Lines and Fills in
Drawing Windows
Why Consolidate?
Several ArchiCAD features involve the creation of “exploded”
elements. Model-based Details, Worksheets and Drawing Sections
create 2D elements (lines, fills) out of the model construction
elements. Also, imported DWG drawings appear in ArchiCAD in 2D
form, as a large collection of lines and fills.
In these Drawing-type windows, you may wish to fine-tune the view
before final output. You will find, however, that the “exploded” lines
and fills often contain superfluous elements (extra line segments,
overlapping or superfluous fills) that make such editing difficult.
To make editing easier, first use the The Linework and Fill
Consolidation functions on selected items in the window.
Once you let go of the mouse button, the splitter bar returns to its Line and Fill Consolidation are separate functions and are executed
original position. independently of each other. Select the elements, then execute either
the Linework Consolidation or the Fill Consolidation command.
Tip 6: Move the Reference Over Temporarily (Displace (Edit > Reshape > Linework/Fill Consolidation).
Reference)
Use this function when you have zoomed in to an area where the two
Linework Consolidation
views are different, and you want to quickly check what is on the view In the window, select at least two line-type elements you wish to
underneath. include in the Linework Consolidation process. Line-type elements
Click the Temporarily Displace are straight-lines, polylines, arcs and circles.
Reference button in the Trace & Note: Linework Consolidation does not affect any line-type
Reference Palette. element having an arrowhead.
Click in the window. The cursor The Linework Consolidation command (Edit > Reshape >
changes to the familiar hand Linework Consolidation) brings up the Linework Consolidation
shape, allowing the user to nudge Wizard.
the Reference temporarily (i.e. to
move it “out of the way”). This command is also available from the Edit Elements toolbar.
Click again, and the Reference
jumps back to its original
position.

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Now page through the wizard (click “Next” at the bottom of every Linework Consolidation Settings contains the same options as the Wizard,
screen) and check the boxes of every Line Consolidation option that but all options are accessible in a single dialog box.
you wish to execute as part of the consolidation process.
For details, see “Linework Consolidation Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
On the last screen, click “Consolidate” to execute Linework
Consolidation.
Following the linework consolidation, a report appears, listing the
number of elements (if any) that have been deleted or merged for
each type of line consolidation.
At the bottom of this page, a checkbox gives you the option of using
the simplified Linework Consolidations Settings (rather than the
Wizard) the next time you issue the command.

Fill Consolidation
In the window, select at least two fills that you wish to include in the
Fill Consolidation process.
The Fill Consolidation command (Edit > Reshape > Fill
Consolidation) brings up Fill Consolidation Settings.
Check the options you wish to execute as part of Fill Consolidation.

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VIRTUAL BUILDING
In ArchiCAD you build a real-sized Virtual Building using virtual • In Floor Plan, the Virtual Building is shown as a two-dimensional
building elements. If properly modeled, your virtual building can be blueprint.
used to automatically generate the necessary drawings, visualizations
• In the Section/Elevation/Interior Elevation (IE) windows,
and calculations with minimal 2D adjustments.
elements are generated from the 3D model; you cannot create
Use walls, openings, slabs, columns, beams and roofs to virtually new model elements here, but you can view and modify them.
construct your building, instead of having to compile drawings from
lines and other 2D elements. ArchiCAD elements are “intelligent”: • The 3D Document window is generated from the 3D window,
these components are not merely a collection of lines or 3D surfaces, but is a a 2D-type document that allows for annotations and
but rather entities with a set of editable parameters. For example, a dimensions, and can display the sections of composite elements
wall has thickness, height and material parameters, among others. in their 3D aspect.
ArchiCAD’s intelligent elements connect to each other automatically • In the model window known as the Interactive Schedule, the
and are displayed in 2D according to architectural conventions. At Virtual Building is expressed in lists and figures - here, too, your
this point, once modeling is finished, documentation becomes an input will modify the Virtual Building and can be output as
effortless task. documentation.
The real advantage of using the virtual building concept becomes
When you work on each of these aspects of the model, you are
clear when you have to modify something in your building. If you are
using separate 2D drawings, you have to implement the modification working on a “viewpoint.” You can navigate among them, and save
on each drawing. In contrast, in ArchiCAD you modify the model at them as views.
one place, then all generated drawings will reflect your changes at For more information, see “Project Workflow in the Navigator” on page 66.
once.
The available commands and functions vary depending on the
window that is active.
ArchiCAD Model Views Every time you activate a window, its contents are rebuilt to reflect
any modifications you made to the plan.
About Model Views in ArchiCAD The View > Refresh > Rebuild command is available in all
construction windows. It rebuilds the model in the currently active
You can approach the Virtual Building model from several different window.
model views. Model views have two main uses. First, you will work in For more information, see “Summary of Rebuild Commands” on page 183.
model views to modify the Virtual Building. Second, saved model
views are the basis for creating architectural drawings (placed onto You can have only one Floor Plan and one 3D window open at a
Layouts) for the final documentation of the Virtual Building. time. While it is possible to keep several windows open for other
types of viewpoints(e.g. several Section/Elevation/IE windows), by
As you will see, each model view shows a very different aspect of the default ArchiCAD will open subsequent viewpoints in existing
same Virtual Building. windows, replacing the previous one. To open a new viewpoint in a
• In 3D perspective, you see the Virtual Building as it will look new window instead, use the context menu command from the
when actually constructed. Navigator item to be opened.

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Floor Plan Window


The Floor Plan Window is the basic construction area where most
editing operations take place. It shows a representation of the current
project as a traditional architectural drawing. When you start
ArchiCAD, the first window you see is the Floor Plan. Each story of
the Virtual Building has its own Floor Plan. ArchiCAD gives you the
freedom to replicate 3D-like aspects of construction elements in the
Floor Plan window, using Cut Plane settings and element-level display
and projection options. These options let you visualize parts of
multi-story elements that are located on a different floor plan, or to
project parts of the element that are above or below the cut plane. See
the sections below for how these options work.
Note, however, that these Floor Plan projections are not true 3D
projections, but rather symbolic depictions. Consequently, the display
and, especially, automatic intersection of complex or multi-story
elements (on the Floor Plan only) may have some limitations in
If you would rather open a new window each time you open an replicating the true model. The visibility and accessibility of elements
additional view or layout (from a menu or by double-clicking in the on the Floor Plan depends on:
Navigator), change the window-opening default preference in
• chosen options in the element’s Tool Settings dialog box,
Options > Work Environment > More Options:
including multi-story display and projection settings;

You can pan and zoom the window within the full drawing space to
obtain the best view of the work you are currently doing, by using the
shortcut icons next to the bottom scrollbar or the commands of the
View > Zoom menu.
For more information, see “Navigation” on page 59.
To maximize working space, use the Window > Full Screen
command to have your active window, including palettes, occupy the
entire workspace on your monitor. The Window > Full Screen &
Hide All Palettes does the same, without showing any palettes.
• the Floor Plan Cut Plane settings;
The following sections describe how to work in each of ArchiCAD’s
model views. For more information, see “Floor Plan Cut Plane (Global Setting)” on page 160.

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• the element’s Layer Settings (elements on invisible layers will not Navigate Among Stories
be displayed; elements on locked layers cannot be edited).
For more information, see “Layers” on page 26. To navigate among stories, do one of the following:
Modifications to the model in the Floor Plan window will be updated • In the Navigator Project Map, double-click the Story you wish to
accordingly in the 3D, Detail/Worksheet and Section/Elevation/IE open.
and 3D Document windows. The converse is also true: changes made • Activate a story from the Story Settings dialog box at Design >
in other windows are automatically displayed on the Floor Plan when Story Settings: click on its name, then click OK to close the
activated. The updates can take place either manually or automatically dialog box and display the selected story on the Floor Plan.
depending on the Detail or Section/Elevation/IE update settings you
choose. • Use predefined keyboard shortcuts to jump among stories
For more information, see “Updating Sections” on page 182 and “Updating the • Use the Mini-Navigator (see below)
Detail Window” on page 201.
Story Shortcuts in Mini-Navigator
Stories You can use the story shortcuts
located in the predefined
“Mini-Navigator” toolbar.
About Stories
The Go Up a Story command
Stories in ArchiCAD, just as in real buildings, serve to divide space activates the next Story above the
vertically and replicate the story structure of your real building. current one on the Floor Plan.
Stories are typically used for drawing each Floor Plan of multistory
structures separately. Go Down a Story takes you to the
Story below the current one.
Each story in the project is
displayed, by name and number, in If you attempt to go to a story that does not exist, the Create New
the Navigator’s Project Map. Story dialog box appears.
Double-click on the story name to
display it in the Floor Plan window.
The current Story name appears in
the title bar of the Floor Plan Window.
The elevation (or relative base
height) of construction elements
placed in 2D windows are The Go To Story command in
calculated relative to a chosen the Mini-Navigator toolbar
Story: either the element’s defined opens a dialog box allowing you
Home Story, or the current story. to jump directly to an existing
(See the Base Height setting in the Story and provides you with a
Settings dialog box of construction range indicator of how many
elements, as in the following Stories currently exist. If you enter a Story number outside the
image.) existing range, the field will revert to the top or bottom Story of the
For more information, see “Set Home Story” on page 161. valid range.
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Defining Story Display in 3D Story Settings and story-related commands are also available:
• from the context menu if you
In the 3D window, all Stories are have selected a Story in the
projected by default, but you can Navigator’s Project Map or
limit the projection using the View Map.
“Stories to Show in 3D” controls at
View > Elements in 3D View > • from the Mini-Navigator.
Filter Elements in 3D. Choose the
range of stories you wish to display
in 3D. Create a New Story
The Trim Elements to Story checkbox (in the same dialog box) 1) Go to the Design > Story Settings dialog box.
means that the model will be clipped at the story range boundaries. If
this box is not checked, the model will not be clipped, and all
elements that fall at least partially inside the story range will be
displayed.
The story display in the 3D window, as set in the Filter Elements
dialog box, will naturally affect the 3D Documents that are created
from this 3D source.
For more information, see “Filter Elements to Show in 3D” on page 169.
See also “3D Document” on page 192.
2) Click “Insert Above” or “Insert Below” to insert a new story
above or below the story name selected in the dialog box list.
Defining Story Display in
Alternatively:
Section/Elevation/IE 1) Select a Story in the Navigator’s Project Map.
In Section/Elevation/IE views, you define a vertical range that can 2) Use the context menu’s “Create New Story” command.
include entire Stories or only parts of them. Also, Story Level Lines
Type a name for the new story.
can be optionally displayed in these views.
Click an option for where the new story should be placed in the
See “Define Horizontal/Vertical Range of Section Viewpoint” on page 177 and
project structure:
“Show/Hide Story Level Lines in Section/Elevation/IE” on page 159.
• Insert Above: The story will be inserted above the currently
Manage Stories selected story (in Story Settings or the Navigator).
• Insert Below: The story will be inserted below the currently
Use the Design > Story Settings dialog box to create, delete and selected story (in Story Settings or the Navigator).
manage stories.
The new story appears above or below the selected story. The
For more information, see “Story Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help. numbering is automatically updated.
There is no limit to the number of stories.

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Create New Story from the Mini-Navigator Toolbar


If you choose the Mini-Navigator toolbar’s Go up a Story/Go Down
a Story command, and that story does not exist, the Create New
Story Dialog Box appears, where you can add “Name”, “Elevation”
and “Height to Next” values for the new story.
Note: It is possible to turn off story level line display on a
Copy/Move Elements Between Stories story-by-story basis. Go to Design > Story Settings, and for
any selected story, uncheck the “Story Level Line” box. This
When creating a new Story, you may wish to copy elements onto it story’s level line will henceforth not appear in any model window
which already exist on another Story. in the project.
• Go to Design > Story Settings.
• Use the commands in “Edit Elements of Selected Story” to Cut,
Copy, and/or Paste all elements or selected element types from
one story to another.
For more information, see “Story Settings Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.

Story Level Lines Edit Story Levels


Story Level Lines indicate the vertical location of stories in Sections,
Elevations and Interior Elevations.
Story Levels can be set to appear in Section/Elevation/IE views. In
this case, each story level line included in the Section/Elevation/IE
range will appear in the window.
The story line markers are library parts. The Story Marker parameters
and position can be edited in Section/Elevation/IE Settings dialog
boxes.
For more information, see “Section Story Levels Panel” in ArchiCAD Help

Show/Hide Story Level Lines in Section/Elevation/IE


For each individual Section/Elevation/Interior Elevation, you can
hide, show and/or output Story Level Lines.
To set these options, open the Section/Elevation/IE Settings Dialog
box, go to the Story Levels panel, and use the “Show Story Levels”
pop-up.

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You can edit the elevation of any given story or set of stories using The elements that are on the given stories will retain their elevation
Story Editing Mode: respective to their home story, as you will see when the view is
1) Choose the Design > Edit Story Levels command, or the same updated after you click OK.
command from the context menu that appears by right-clicking
inside the Section window.
2) The Story Editing Mode palette appears. As long as the palette
remains open on screen, you are in Story Editing mode and can
move the story level lines.

Floor Plan Cut Plane (Global Setting)


3D construction elements on the Floor Plan (Walls, Curtain Walls,
Columns, Beams and Roofs) are displayed as if they were cut
horizontally along a theoretical plane; this is the Floor Plan Cut Plane.
The default height of the Cut Plane, measured from the base of the
current story, depends on local architectural conventions, but you can
set any Floor Plan Cut Plane for the current window using the Floor
Plan Cut Plane dialog box.
To set the Cut Plane, use Document > Floor Plan Cut Plane to
open the Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings dialog box.
3) Choose a mode from this palette by clicking one of the four
buttons:
• Adjust only the selected story
• Adjust the selected story and all stories below
• Adjust the selected story and all stories above
• Adjust all stories
4) Move the cursor onto the Story Level Line you wish to move.
The cursor will assume the Mercedes shape. (Make sure you
move the cursor onto the line itself, not the markers at either
end.) Click and drag the story level line to edit its elevation. Note: The Cut Plane does not affect the display of Mesh, Slab or
5) Click OK to apply changes and exit Story Editing Mode. Object elements, including Stairs. However, Stairs and other

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GDL Objects can be programmed to display themselves


according to the Floor Plan Cut Plan Settings.
How to Display Individual
Enter a value for “Cut Plane Height to Current Story.” Elements on the Floor Plan
If you wish to display all construction elements in their entirety, on all While the current Floor Plan Cut Plane settings are applied globally
stories (the default settings for construction elements), the rest of the to the whole project, you can set a separate display preference for
settings in the Floor Plan Cut Plane dialog box are not relevant. each individual construction element. The settings described below
The Relative Floor Plan Range and Absolute Display Limit - the (Home Story, Show on, Floor Plan Display and Show Projection)
other Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings - are only relevant if any of your are found in the element’s Tool Settings Dialog Box.
construction elements are defined as having a limited projection.
The Floor Plan Cut Plane settings are global; the current settings Set Home Story
apply to all the stories of the project. Once you set the global Floor In the Geometry and Positioning Panel of the construction
Plan Cut Plane, you can further fine-tune the Floor Plan display of element’s Tool Settings, you can define a home story for the element.
individual construction elements (Walls, Columns, Beams and Roofs Once you place the element, it will be “linked” to this home story.
only) in their element Settings dialog boxes.
The Home Story setting acts as a point of reference for:
For more information, see “How to Display Individual Elements on the Floor
Plan” on page 161. • defining which parts of an element will be displayed (as defined
in the “Show on Stories” control)
Set Separate Floor Plan Cut Planes in Different Views • expressing an element’s Relative Base Height (in the Relative Base
For every view, you can define a unique Floor Plan Cut Plane, if Height field in Tool Settings)
required, using the Floor Plan Cut Plane controls accessible from • reserving elements in Teamwork
View Settings.
• defining listing criteria
In each element’s Tool Default Settings
dialog box, choose a home story setting
for elements placed with this tool.
Automatic: This option is available only
for Wall, Curtain Wall, Beam, Column and
Roof elements.
With an Automatic Home Story, ArchiCAD assigns the element's
home story as the story onto which you place it (the story which
contains the element’s reference line or base.) In most cases, this is
the element’s most logical home story.
If you change an element’s geometry so that its reference line/point is
moved to a different story, ArchiCAD will automatically adjust the
element’s home story accordingly.

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Select Home Story: Use this option if you


want to tie the element to a particular story.
You can choose the current story (listed as
the topmost option in the drop-down list), or click Select Story to
bring up a list of stories in the current project. Choose a home story
to which to link the element when you place it. The Home Story • All Relevant Stories: The element will be shown and editable on
dialog always shows the home story defined in terms of the Current all stories which it physically intersects. When available, this will
story, as in the image. be your preferred option most of the time.
Note: The “Current” story in a tool’s Default Settings will vary, • Home Story Only: The element will be shown only on its home
of course, depending on the story you are currently working on. story. (If the element is drawn so that it does not physically
Note: In some instances, a new element’s home story doesn’t intersect its home story, then the only way the element will be
exist in the project. For example, you define the default home shown on the Floor Plan is if you set its Floor Plan Display to
story as “Current + 2” in a 3-story project; then you go up a story one of the symbolic options: Symbolic Cut, Outlines only,
before input. Now, the “Current + 2” story doesn’t exist. In this Overhead all.)
case, ArchiCAD redefines the element’s home story as the For a Roof:
topmost story.
The home story can then be used as a reference level from which to
measure the element’s relative base height, in both the 2D and 3D
windows.
For example, you may have placed the base of a multistory wall on the
subfloor, slightly below the current story level. Yet you want to
measure its elevation from the current story, not the subfloor. In this
case, you can define the current story to be the Home Story of this
wall.

Control Element Display by Story (Show On • Home Story Only: The roof will be shown only on its home
story. (If the element is drawn so that it does not physically
Stories) intersect its home story, then the only way the element will be
The Show on Stories pop-up in the Floor Plan and Section Panel of shown on the Floor Plan is if you set its Floor Plan Display to
Tool Settings of construction elements let you choose whether to one of the symbolic options: Symbolic Cut, Outlines only,
show the element on every story it intersects, or only on selected Overhead all.)
stories. • Home & One Story Up and/or Down: The roof will be
The available “Show on Stories” options differ depending on the shown on its Home Story, plus one story up and/or down.
construction element, as discussed below. • All Stories: The roof ’s outline - regardless of its actual location -
For a Wall, Curtain Wall or Column, you have the following will be shown on every story of the project.
options: • All Relevant Stories: The roof will be shown and editable on all
stories which it physically intersects.

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• Custom: Choose this option if you wish to set separate display Line Types of Construction Elements Displayed Across
combinations for the roof ’s outline and fill. The Show on Stories
Stories: Custom Settings dialog box appears, where you can set
separate story display options for the roof ’s outline and its fill. For Slabs, Meshes, certain Library Parts and Stairs: The
(Once you set these Custom Settings, use the Edit Custom element’s outline on remote stories will be displayed using the line
option to edit them.) type chosen in Options > Project Preferences > Construction
Elements.
For a Slab or Mesh, the same options are available as for the Roof,
except for All Relevant Stories (since there are no multi-story versions
of these elements):

Define Element’s Floor Plan Display


See also “Line Types of Construction Elements Displayed Across Stories” on
page 163. Use the Floor Plan Display pop-up to display Walls, Curtain Walls,
For Beams, the same options are available as for the Roof, except for Beams, Columns and Roofs in one of several representations. This
Custom settings: pop-up control is located on the Floor Plan & Section panel of the
element’s Tool Settings dialog box.

Objects and Stairs have a unique display option: One Story up and
One Story Down. This way, you can opt to not display these elements
on their Home Story at all.
1) Projected with Overhead: shows cut part of element (e.g., as
cut at the level of the Floor Plan Cut Plane), plus the element’s
overhead part (i.e. the part of the element that is above the Floor
Plan Cut Plane.
Note: “Projected with Overhead” is the default display setting
for slanted or complex columns and walls, and for all roofs and
beams.
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2) Projected: shows cut part of element, plus its uncut (downward) using the “Outline” controls of the Floor Plan and Section panel
part in 3D-like form. of its Settings dialog box.)
If you choose either of these “projected” options (Projected with Note: When opening projects from an earlier format of
Overhead or Projected), you can then further define the extent of the ArchiCAD, the Floor Plan display of construction elements will
projection, using the Show Projection options. automatically be set to predefined Floor Plan Display settings
For more information, see “Define Range of Element’s Projected Display (Show which correspond to traditional architectural standards for these
Projection)” on page 164. elements. You can reset any element’s Floor Plan Display setting
as needed.
3) Cut Only: displays only the cut part, as cut with the Floor Plan
Cut Plane.
Define Range of Element’s Projected Display
Some additional abstract display options are available:
(Show Projection)
4) Symbolic Cut: (Available only for non-slanted and non-complex walls
and for vertical or complex columns.) The whole floor plan projection The Show Projection pop-up provides options for setting the range
of non-slanted, non-complex walls or vertical (simple or within which a multi-story element (Wall, Curtain Wall, Column,
complex) columns will be displayed as cut, using their cut line Beam, Roof) should be displayed. This control is therefore only
and cut fill attributes, regardless of the elements’ vertical available if the element’s Floor Plan Display is set (using the Floor
position. This option is available only for simple straight walls or Plan Display pop-up) to either “Projected” or “Projected with
columns, or for complex columns, and only if the Show on Story Overhead.”
control is set to Home Story only. The Floor Plan Cut Plane
settings do not affect the display of these elements.
5) Symbolic with Overhead: This display option is available for
Curtain Walls only.
See “Curtain Wall Settings: System Page: Floor Plan and Section Panel” in
ArchiCAD Help
6) Outlines Only: the entire element’s outline is shown using its • Entire Element (default setting): The element will be displayed on
uncut attributes. (Uncut attributes are set for each element using all relevant stories.
the “Outline” controls of the Floor Plan and Section panel of its
Settings dialog box.) However, you may prefer not to show the entire element. In this case,
you have two other ways to set its display in the Show Projection
pop-up:
1) by Relative Floor Plan Range: Choose to show the element on
a range of stories (the current story, plus a given number of
stories above and below it, and an optional offset.)
If you choose this option, this element will be shown on the stories
defined as the Relative Floor Plan Range (i.e. the number of stories
7) Overhead All: the entire element’s outline is shown using its on which to show this element in either direction) in Document >
overhead attributes. (Overhead attributes are set for each element Floor Plan Cut Plane.

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In certain situations, the current Floor Plan Cut Plane and Relative For more information, see “Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings Dialog Box” in
Floor Plan Range settings may conflict: ArchiCAD Help.
• The Cut Plane level may be outside the current Floor Plan Range
(e.g. an extremely small story height as compared to the default
Examples of Floor Plan Display Settings
Cut Plane level). In this case, the Cut Plane will be automatically Suppose your settings are as follows:
relocated to the upper limit of the Floor Plan Range (or to its • Show on Story: Automatic
lower limit, if the Cut Plane would fall below the lower limit).
This means that each multi-story construction element will be
• The lower Floor Plan Range limit may be higher than the upper displayed on each relevant story of the Floor Plan.
limit. In this case, the lower limit will be considered as both the
• Floor Plan Display: Projected with Overhead
lower and upper limit of the Floor Plan Range (which will also
equals the Cut Plane level, as described in (1) above.) This means that each construction element will be displayed in its
entirety, its cut portion, its overhead portion, and its uncut
portion, with the line types and pen colors you set in the dialog
box for each of these parameters
• Show Projection: Entire Element
This means that the displayed projection is not limited by either
an absolute display limit or by a defined vertical range.
Consider the following building with slanted walls:

2) by Absolute Display Limit: Set a fixed lower limit (by default, this
is Project Zero), then show all parts of the element above this
limit.
If you choose this option, then the Absolute Display Limit set in
Document > Floor Plan Cut Plane determines this element’s lower
display limit.

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As you view the building on its various stories, its Floor Plan
appearance changes accordingly: although the entire wall is indicated
on every story, the cut and overhead segments are different on every
story.

Non-Standard Projections for Construction Elements


In the example below, the structure is shown on 3 stories:
• the Curtain Wall is set to “Projected with Overhead” and “Entire
Element”
• the mullions - made of columns - are “Cut Only”
• the round structural columns are set to “Projected with
Overhead” and “Floor Plan Range” (on each story, only their
relevant section is displayed)

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All 3D Documents are derived from a 3D Window source. If you


change the projection, the cutting planes, the zoom level or the
selected/marqueed/filtered items of the 3D source window, you can
redefine the 3D Document accordingly.
See “3D Document” on page 192.
Special navigation techniques in the 3D Window let you explore the
model much more freely than in other windows.
For more information, see “Navigation in the 3D Window” on page 62.
The 3D display of individual construction elements is controlled by
the options of the Model panel in its Settings Dialog box.
General settings affecting the parameters for displaying the 3D
window are in 3D Window Settings.
See “3D Window Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
The commands that affect the set of elements displayed in 3D are in
the View > Elements in 3D View and the View > 3D View Mode
hierarchical menus.
These commands are also accessible in the 3D Visualization toolbar.

Open the 3D Window


To open or activate the 3D window, do one of the following:
• press the F3 key
3D Window • use the Window > 3D Window command
The 3D window displays your model in real perspective or • press the 3D window control on the 3D Visualization
axonometry: this gives the best overall view of what the final building toolbar or the Mini-Navigator toolbar.
will really look like, inside and out. • use context menu commands from right-clicking on blank space
In the 3D window, you can directly edit your model, and create new in the current window:
construction elements, in either perspective or parallel view, using any
of the construction tools.
The 3D window is directly linked to the Floor Plan and to the
Section/Elevation/IE windows: any changes made on the Floor
Plan or in a Section/Elevation/IE window will be visible in the 3D
window and vice versa.
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The following sections provide details on working with the 3D window. include the “Selection” mention and the name of the home story of
the selected element(s).
Show All in 3D If the 3D Window’s content is based on explicit selection and you add
elements to it, these will be preserved in the 3D Window as long as
To show the entire model in 3D, regardless of any current selection,
you continue to work in it.
use the View > Elements in 3D View > Show All option.
Note: Another command, Show Previous Selection/Marquee
This command’s shortcut is Ctrl + F5.
in 3D, will display the last 3D view generated by the Show
The full model display resulting from the Show Selection/Marquee command. This command is not visible in
All command may be limited by filtering ArchiCAD by default; to use it, you must customize a menu or
criteria as set in the Filter Elements in 3D toolbar to include this command, using Options > Work
dialog box. Environment > Menus (or Toolbars).
See “Filter Elements to Show in 3D” on page 169. For more information, see “Menu Customization Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD
Help.
Show Selection in 3D
Show Marquee Area in 3D
For a 3D display of only the explicitly selected items, use the View >
Elements in 3D View > Show Selection/Marquee in 3D To show only the marqueed element(s) in 3D, use the View >
command from any type of editable window. Elements in 3D View > Show Selection/Marquee in 3D
(Or use the 3D Visualization toolbar control for this command.) command.
The caption of the 3D Window will include the “Marquee” mention.
For more information on defining a marquee area, see “Marquee Area” on page
85.
If your plan includes both explicitly selected elements and a marquee
selection, this command will disregard the marquee and show only
the explicitly selected elements.

If your plan includes both explicitly selected elements and a marquee


selection, this command will disregard the marquee and show only
the explicitly selected elements.
Show Selection/Marquee in 3D also works if you are already in the
3D Window and make an explicit selection there, then execute the
Show Selection command. The caption of the 3D Window will

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Marquee Effect: By default,


the elements inside the Marquee
will be displayed and they will be
cropped to the marquee area.
However, you can adjust the
Marquee effect to show the
elements outside the marquee
instead of those inside: use the
Marquee Effect controls in
If edited, a temporary ghosted image of the whole element will be
View > Elements in 3D View
visible.
> Filter Elements in 3D, and
choose the Outside Marquee radio button.
See “Filter Elements in 3D Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD Help.
To show the entirety of elements that fall partly inside the marquee -
without cropping them - uncheck the Trim Elements to Marquee
checkbox (also under Marquee Effect, in View > Elements in 3D
View > Filter Elements in 3D).

Elements in a Marqueed 3D Window


If you create an element in the 3D Window which is delimited by a Default Display in 3D
marquee, the new element will only appear in the 3D Window if you
draw it inside the marquee area. If you simply switch to the 3D window, without using any specific 3D
If you place a new element outside the boundaries of a display command, the 3D window will display the contents last
Marquee-based 3D view, or drag an existing element outside the shown in the 3D window, irrespective of what might be selected in
Marquee boundaries, that element will disappear immediately from any other window.
the 3D Window.
When you go to the Floor Plan, however, you will see the elements. Filter Elements to Show in 3D
Change your marquee area (or remove it) and return to the 3D Use the View > Elements in 3D View > Filter Elements in 3D
Window to check it. command, then activating or deactivating the checkboxes of the
If you select one or more elements in a trimmed 3D view, resulting different types. Only those elements whose checkbox is active will be
from either a Marquee area or a 3D Cutaway, some elements will be displayed in the 3D window.
only partially visible, but selection dots of the whole element will be If you are displaying a Marquee area in 3D, the Marquee Effect part
displayed and all the nodes and edges can be found with the cursor. of this dialog box provides options on what to include in the 3D
window.

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The Stories to Show in 3D part of this dialog box lets you define a You can redefine a 3D view by changing these settings in the 3D
range of stories for display. window, then use the View Settings 3D Only Panel to redefine the
view accordingly.

For more information, see “Filter Elements in 3D Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD


Help.
Note: You may wish to display 3D Zones as solid bodies in
shading mode, and all other elements types in wireframe mode.
To achieve this effect (a default setting in previous ArchiCAD
versions), apply the predefined “Show 3D Zones as Solid” Layer
Combination.
For more information, see “View Settings 3D Only Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.

3D Engines
3D Engines are built-in configurations which control the generation
of the 3D model in ArchiCAD. By default, two engines are offered:
• Internal 3D Engine
• OpenGL Engine
To choose an engine, go to: View > 3D View Mode > 3D Window
Save Contents of 3D Window as a View Settings and use the 3D Engine pop-up, or use the Engine
If you save the contents of your 3D window as a view (see “Saving a commands at the bottom of the View > 3D View Mode menu.
View” on page 73), the 3D Only panel of its View Settings dialog box 1) Internal 3D engine
will provide feedback on whether that view is a result of a filter or a The internal 3D engine is most useful for working in the 3D
marquee selection. window: views generated by the internal engine show vectorial
patterns and are easy to print. It produces a simple, clean,
3D view settings include: 3D projection settings (including zooming), navigable 3D view, without textures. The internal engine is
filter elements in 3D, 3D window settings, 3D cutting planes, 3D optimized for simple, non-photorealistic architectural
cutaway and photo rendering settings. representation, and for direct output from the 3D window

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without using photorendering. The internal engine features more OpenGL is a bitmap-based technology. Consequently, 3D views
visualization effects than OpenGL, but usually results in slower created using the OpenGL engine will be placed as image files.
navigation and access to the model on most machines.

Important: Open GL is optimized for fast, smooth navigation


For more information, see “Internal Rendering Engine” in ArchiCAD Help. during model development. It displays textures correctly, but
2) OpenGL engine features fewer model effects; it can be considered an interactive
The OpenGL engine for 3D is recommended if you have a preview of the rendering. OpenGL’s output capability is more
high-performance OpenGL display card. Some effects, such as limited than that of the internal engine, since it is based on
sun shadows, vectorial 3D hatching and saving the contents of bitmap technology. OpenGL will produce significantly faster
the 3D window as a vectorial 2D drawing, are not available with on-screen navigation on most machines, provided that the
OpenGL. Additional options for OpenGL can be accessed by supporting hardware is available.
clicking the Options button of 3D Window Settings. For more information, see “Open GL Options” in ArchiCAD Help.
See also “3D Window Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.

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The following image uses OpenGL with the Transparency effect


enabled in View > 3D View Mode > 3D Window Settings:

Wireframe, Hidden Lines, Shading


Choosing Wireframe mode creates a view showing all the edges and
lines of your Project. Note that if you have many elements one
behind the other, this type of view can be hard to interpret.
In Hidden Line mode, those lines which are blocked from view by
solid objects are removed. This type of view is the best choice for
easy interpretation, if you do not want a shaded view. It is also
suitable for hard copy output on a printer. Hidden Lines can be saved
in many file formats, either as 2D or 3D files.
Choosing the Shading method causes your 3D model to appear with
all of its visible surfaces shaded according to the light direction set in
the 3D Projection Settings dialog box.
The colors of the surfaces are determined by the material attributes of
the construction elements (regardless of the color of light set in the
Sun dialog box).
For more information, see “3D Projection Settings” in ArchiCAD Help and
3D View Modes “Materials” on page 36.
When using ArchiCAD’s Internal 3D engine, three 3D viewing Shading is recommended for:
modes are offered: Wireframe, Hidden Line, and Shading. They can • Fast on-screen feedback
be chosen from the View > 3D View Mode > 3D Window
Settings dialog box or using the commands of the View > 3D View • Easy checking of surface colors
Mode menu. • Any presentation for which photorealistic quality is not a
Note: When using the OpenGL engine, only the Wireframe and requirement
Shading modes are available.
The icons of the 3D Modes are also accessible if you
3D Projections
display the predefined Window > Toolbars > ArchiCAD can display parallel (axonometric) projections and
Simple 3D toolbar. perspectives.

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Axonometric projections automatically show the entire model in the


center of your view. Perspectives are defined by a viewpoint and a
specific target.
When the 3D window is active, the 3D Navigator Preview Palette
contains a miniature representation of the entire project view. This
allows you a quick way to modify your 3D Projection Settings, • 3D Visualization toolbar:
whether perspective or parallel (axonometric); you can adjust the view
cone or change the axonometry while retaining an overview of the
whole project.
See “Navigator Preview (3D)” on page 64.

3D Projection Settings • Mini-Navigator toolbar:


The View > 3D View Mode > 3D Projection Settings command
from the menu or from the Mini-Navigator’s pop-up menu opens the
dialog box that contains all the controls you need to define the 3D
view.
The name and contents of the dialog box depend on the projection • Navigator Palette:
type: Parallel Projection Settings or Perspective Settings. You can
easily switch from one settings dialog to the other with the button at
the top right corner. How to Store a 3D Projection
To store projections that you set up in the 3D Window, you can:
• Use the Save Current View command from the context menu
of the Navigator palette. This will create a view (perspective or
The projections that you define in the 3D Projection Settings dialog axonometric) based on the currently set up projection in the 3D
box remain valid only until the next time you open the dialog box and window. The new view will be added to your Navigator View
modify them. Map.
For more information, see “3D Projection Settings” in ArchiCAD Help. • Add the current perspective to your Project Map, using the View
> 3D Navigation Extras > Place a Camera into the path
How to Switch Between Axonometric and Perspective Views command. A camera capturing the current perspective will also
appear on the Floor Plan.
You can switch between the 3D Window’s “Perspective” and
“Axonometry” views by using the: For more information, see “Cameras” on page 513.
• Predefined shortcuts: • Add the current axonometric (parallel) projection to the series of
Pre-Set views, using the View > 3D Navigation Extras > Add
Ctrl+F3 = Axonometry Current Projection command.
Shift+F3 = Perspective For more information, see “Pre-Set Projections” in ArchiCAD Help and “3D
• commands available from View > 3D View Mode: Navigation Extras” on page 174.

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3D Navigation Extras • Insert a new camera after the selected one: A new camera is
added to the path to define the current perspective view, and will
Other controls useful in modifying the 3D view are available from the be selected.
View > 3D Navigation Extras (or a toolbar containing 3D window For more information, see “Cameras” on page 513.
commands). These controls allow you to:
• Interactively set the target point for the perspective (Look to). 3D “Cutaway” Sections
• Switch to a view perpendicular to a given point (Look to 3D Cutaway is an imaging mode in ArchiCAD. With 3D Cutaway
perpendicular). active, you can produce either ordinary cross sections or special
• Reset the roll angle to zero to rapidly return from a bizarre view sections to visualize the project in new ways. 3D Cutaway can be
obtained during navigation (Reset Roll Angle). useful for special 3D visualizations allowing an insight into building
• Return with a single command to a horizontal view of the model spaces. The 3D section cuts you define are stored within the project
(Horizontal View). document and can be recreated after opening the Project in a future
session. Once the sectional 3D model has been created, you can save
• Edit pre-set projections and Add current projection: These it in a variety of formats for additional work.
commands are available if you are viewing an axonometric
(parallel) projection. 3D Cutaway settings will take effect in the 3D Document. Separate
Model Display Settings for the 3D Document allow you to define
For more information, see “Pre-Set Projections” in ArchiCAD Help.
materials for the surfaces cut by 3D Cutaway.
• Put a camera into the path (for perspectives). This command
See “3D Document” on page 192.
adds the current perspective to the Project Map, if no camera is
selected on the Floor Plan. If you have cameras on the Floor Plan
already that define an animation path, the new camera will be
added after the active camera in the active path, which is marked
by its view cone on the Floor Plan.
If you are in perspective view, the following commands are also
available from View > 3D Navigation Extras:
Note: As you use these commands to change the camera
selection, the selected item in the Navigator Project Map also
changes accordingly.
• Go to the previous/Go to the next: Use these commands to
navigate to the perspective views of the previous and next
cameras in the active path, and to select the camera.
• Modify the selected: The selected camera will be updated to
reflect the perspective view that you currently see in the 3D
How to Create a 3D Cutaway
window. Use this when you have changed the view in the 3D 3D Cutaway works by applying cutting planes to the 3D model.
window. These cutting planes are defined in the 3D Cutting Planes dialog box.
• Revert view to the selected: Discards all changes you made For more information, see “3D Cutting Planes Dialog Box” in ArchiCAD
manually and shows the 3D model as the selected camera sees it. Help.

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After defining 3D Cutting Planes in the dialog box, activate View > In the Section window, you can view and modify elements but you
Elements in 3D View > 3D Cutaway. (To deactivate 3D Cutaway, cannot create new construction elements. (The only exception is if
press the command again.) If the View > Elements in 3D View > you use the “Drag a copy” command to move a Door/Window, in a
3D Cutaway command is active, these cutting planes are applied to model-type Section window.) If you paste an element into a Section
the model every time it is rebuilt. window, it will be reproduced as drawing primitives (points, lines,
fills).
Sections Sections can be saved as Views and placed on a Layout as Drawings;
the contents of a Section window can also be published directly.
To place a linked or unlinked Section marker, use the Section tool in
About Sections any of the following windows: Floor Plan, Section, Elevation, Interior
The Section tool is used to place a Section marker. The Section Elevation, Detail, Worksheet. Such a marker is a linked marker, and
you can use it to link it to any viewpoint, view or drawing in the
marker can take one of three different forms:
project. A linked marker is for reference purposes only.
1) a source marker, which generates a section viewpoint See an example at “Place a Linked Section Marker” on page 180.
2) a linked marker, which does not generate a section viewpoint, but You can choose and format the Section Line and Marker object in
acts as a reference to any other view, viewpoint or drawing. Section Settings.
3) an unlinked marker containing custom text
Note: An easy way to distinguish between source-type and
linked/unlinked markers is to use the “Highlight Source
Markers” option, which is activated by default at View >
On-Screen View Options.
See also “Source Marker Highlight” on page 205.
To generate a Section, you draw a Section line on the Floor Plan and
place a Section source marker, which generates a new viewpoint in
ArchiCAD. You can set this marker to display a variety of reference
information - such as the first drawing that is created out of this
Section viewpoint - for easy navigation and identification.
Each newly created Section viewpoint is listed in the Navigator
Project Map, in the “Sections” part.
Elements in the Section viewpoint depend on the Section Status,
defined in Section Settings. A Model Section contains editable Section Line on the Floor Plan
construction elements linked and updated with their counterparts on
the Floor Plan, as well as any 2D elements. A Drawing Section
contains drawing primitives, which are not linked to the Floor Plan
and do not reflect its changes.

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• Straight line: click twice to define each end of the line.


• Staggered line: click as many times as needed to define each
segment of the Section line. Double-click to complete the input
line.
The Eyeball cursor appears.
4) With the eyeball cursor, click on either side of the line to set the
orientation of the Section. The place where you click also defines
the Section’s limit line, if you have chosen a “Limited” horizontal
range in Section Tool Settings.

Create a Section Viewpoint


Section line
Note: The creation process is identical for Elevations. Limit Line
To create a section with its source in the model, you must place a
section marker on the Floor Plan. (This is a “source” section marker.)
Note: Another type of Section viewpoint is the Independent
Section, having no model source.
See “Create an Independent Section Viewpoint” on page 182. 5) The Marker is automatically placed after the section line is
1) Activate the Section tool. completed. (If you are placing a Section of limited horizontal
range, the limit line is also placed automatically.)
2) In the Info Box or Section Default Settings, make sure that
“Create new section viewpoint” is selected. Note: Source markers are distinguished on screen by an optional
semi-transparent solid fill. (Use View > On-screen View Options
> Highlight Source Marker to enable or disable this
distinguishing fill for all source markers. The color of this fill can
be set in Options > Work Environment > More Options.)
6) A new Section viewpoint is created and listed in the Navigator
3) Choose an input method (either Straight Line or Staggered Line) Project Map.
from the Info Box and draw a Section line on the Floor Plan.
Other information about the new Section viewpoint - its Markers and
Reference information, Model Display, and Story Lines - can be
defined in the Section Settings dialog box.
For more information, see “Section Tool Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
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Define Horizontal/Vertical Range of Section You can also move the Distant Area limit line, if such a limit has been
defined in Section Settings.
Viewpoint
Note: An optional “distant” area of your Section viewpoint, with
Note: This process is identical for Elevations. separate colors/effects, is created if you check the Marked
Use the controls in the General Panel of Section Settings to define Distant Area box in Section Settings (Model Display Panel). The
the Section geometry. Distant Area limit line is then displayed as part of your Section.
See “Section Model Display Panel (for Source Section markers only)” in
ArchiCAD Help.
Both the Section limit line and the secondary “distant” line are
on-screen-only elements.
• To show or hide the Section limit line (horizontal range) and the
Horizontal Range Distant Area limit line on the Floor Plan, use the toggle control
• An infinite Horizontal Range shows the full extent of the visible in View > On-Screen View Options > Marker Range.
model from the Section line.
• To change these line types/colors, use the control in Options >
• A limited Horizontal range shows the model between the
Project Preferences > Miscellaneous.
Section line and its limit, which is placed automatically. Once it is
placed, you can select the limit line and move it, if necessary. For more information, see “Display of Marker Range Lines” on page 205.
• A zero-depth range shows only the parts of the model cut by the
Section line, at the cut location only. (For Elevations, there is no Define Marker Reference for Source Marker
“zero depth” option.)
Follow these steps to define reference information for source-type
For more information, see “Horizontal Range (for Source Section markers only)” Section, Elevation, Interior Elevation, Detail and Worksheet markers.
in ArchiCAD Help.
When placing a new source marker on the Floor Plan to create a
Vertical Range viewpoint, the tool’s Default Settings gives you two choices for
defining the Marker Reference:
• A Section with an infinite Vertical Range shows all stories of the
model.
• If you choose limited
Vertical Range, enter
the elevation values
corresponding to the
vertical range of the • the viewpoint, or
model you wish to include in the Section.
• the first placed drawing of the viewpoint
Editing a Section’s Horizontal Range and Distant Area Limit In other words, the marker will display information pertaining either
You can change the depth (horizontal range) of a selected section by to the viewpoint you are currently creating, or to the first drawing
moving the limit line: make sure that the Section tool is active, then created from this new viewpoint. (“First” means the topmost eligible
move the line by clicking it and dragging to the desired position. drawing in the Navigator Layout Book.)
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For example, the following Since you cannot refer to the actual drawing, you can refer to the
Section has been defined to View (in the current project) from which the Drawing was created (in
display the information of the the other project). The marker will display the drawing data of the
first placed drawing created out first drawing created out of this view as autotext (e.g. #Drawing
of this viewpoint. Name, #DrgID). Once the Layout Book that contains the reference
If you choose “first placed drawing is opened alongside the project containing the marker, the
drawing,” and no drawing has marker will fill in the correct drawing data.
been placed yet, the marker will The link information that will appear in the marker is previewed in
display autotext (such as the Reference to text field, as long as the referred item (such as a
#DrgID), and once the drawing is placed, this autotext will be drawing) already exists in the project.
replaced by the relevant information. Note: The same marker information is shown in the Marker
If you select an already placed source Panel in the Section Settings dialog box.
marker and open the tool’s Selection
Settings or Info box, you have two Assign Section Status
additional choices, because the
viewpoint may already have multiple Note: The process for assigning a status is identical for Sections,
drawings or views created out of it: Elevations and Interior Elevations. 3D Document status can be
either Auto-rebuild or Manual Rebuild, but not Drawing.
• the selected drawing
When creating each new Section, you assign it a status in the General
• the first placed drawing of the selected view
panel of Section Settings. A Section can have one of three statuses:
Choosing either of these two Auto-rebuild Model, Manual-rebuild Model, and Drawing.
options will bring up a directory
dialog box showing the Navigator
Layout Book or the Navigator View
Map. Eligible drawings/views are
available for selection (i.e., those
which have been created from the Each Section’s status defines the link between the Section and the
selected Section viewpoint); other model on the Floor Plan, and its rebuild method.
items are greyed and cannot be • In the two Model statuses (Auto-rebuild and Manual-rebuild),
selected. the window consists of construction elements; any changes made
Note: The option to refer to a in a Model Section window can be updated in the Floor Plan
view is available in case the window, as well as in the 3D window and in other Section
desired Drawing is located in a windows, and vice versa.
different project's Layout Book • In a Section of Drawing status, construction elements are
(and is therefore not listed in decomposed into 2D fills, arcs and lines. Changes made in this
the “Define Marker Reference” kind of window are not updated in other windows. You can,
dialog box). however, update the drawing to reflect recent changes made to
See “To import a Drawing from another ArchiCAD project file:” on page 429. the model.

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Construction elements are editable in both Autorebuild and Another effect is to display the materials of uncut surfaces in
Manual-rebuild Model status windows, but no new construction “shaded” mode - that is, to reflect rounded contours:
elements can be created within them, with the exception of
duplicating existing Doors and Windows. Even by copying
construction elements and pasting them back you can only obtain
plain, additional drawing elements.
Warning: Clearing a construction element from a Section
Window of model status (either Autorebuild or Manual-rebuild)
will also clear it from both the Floor Plan and the 3D model.
Regardless of a section’s status, you can add 2D graphics, annotation
and dimensioning.
For more information, see “Updating Sections” on page 182. You can combine the two effects (cast shadows and shaded effect) in
a single Section display:
Display of Elements in Section Window
Note: The controls for the display of elements is nearly identical
for Elevations and Interior Elevations.
Use the Model Display controls in Section Settings to define the
appearance of cut and uncut elements in the Section Window. Here
you can define any vectorial shadows and separate display options for
a section’s “distant area”.
For more information, see “Section Model Display Panel (for Source Section
markers only)” in ArchiCAD Help.
The following section window is displayed with Vectorial Hatching Open a Section Viewpoint
“on” (as shown by the roof tiles) and with Vectorial Sun Shadow
To open a Section viewpoint,
“on” (as shown by the shadow cast by the roof overhang.) double-click its name in the
Navigator, or use a menu
command. (View > Navigate >
Sections > Open Section).
Another way to open the
viewpoint is to select the Section
line on the Floor Plan and use the
“Open Section” command from the context menu.
By default, each Section is opened in a single window, replacing the
previous opened Section. To open multiple Section windows at a

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time, open each new Section from the Navigator, using the Open in
new window context menu command.

Place a Linked Section Marker


Note: This process is identical for Elevations, Details and
Worksheets.
Linked section markers have no model source and do not generate a
new viewpoint. Instead, they are placed in the project, then linked by
the user to an existing viewpoint, view or drawing whose information
is displayed in the marker.
You can place a linked Section marker in any of the following This linked Section marker points you to the Detail of this wall’s
windows: Floor Plan; Section; Elevation; Interior Elevation; 3D Section.
Document; Worksheet; Detail. To place a linked section marker:
For example, you might create a Wall Section that functions like a 1) Activate the Section tool.
Detail: 2) In the Info Box or Section Default
First, place a source Detail marker in the Section window; Settings, make sure that “Place Linked
Marker” is selected.
3) Define the Marker Reference using the appearing dialog box.
See “Define Marker Reference for Linked Marker” on page 181.
4) Choose an input method (either Straight Line or Staggered Line)
from the Info Box and draw a Section line on the plan.

• Straight line: click twice to define each end of the line.


• Staggered line: click as many times as needed to define each
segment of the Section line. Double-click to complete the input
then place a linked Wall Section marker on the Floor Plan which is line.
linked to this Detail. Note: The Staggered line option is not available for Elevations.
The Eyeball cursor appears.
5) With the eyeball cursor, click on either side of the line to set the
orientation of the linked Section marker.
6) The Marker is automatically placed after the section line is
completed.
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Define Marker Reference for Linked Marker


Follow these steps to define reference information for linked Section,
Elevation, Detail and Worksheet markers.
For a new linked marker, or to redefine an already placed selected Note: The option to refer to a view is available in case the
marker, you have these choices: desired Drawing is located in a different project's Layout Book
(and is therefore not listed in the “Define Marker Reference”
dialog box). Since you cannot refer to the actual drawing, you can
refer to the View (in the current project) from which the
Drawing was created (in the other project). The marker will
display the drawing data of the first drawing created out of this
view as autotext (e.g. #Drawing Name, #DrgID). Once the
Layout Book that contains the reference drawing is opened
alongside the project containing the marker, the marker will fill in
• The selected viewpoint (i.e., the viewpoint you select from the
the correct drawing data.
directory list after choosing “Browse”).
See “To import a Drawing from another ArchiCAD project file:” on page 429.
• The selected drawing (i.e., the drawing you select from the
directory list after choosing “Browse”). After the marker is placed, you can still go back and change its marker
• The first placed drawing of the selected viewpoint (i.e., the information at any time.
first drawing created from the viewpoint you select from the
directory list after choosing “Browse.”). “First” means the Place an Unlinked Marker
topmost eligible drawing in the Navigator Layout Book.
Follow these steps to place an unlinked marker with the Section,
• The first placed drawing of the selected view (i.e., the first Elevation, Detail or Worksheet tool.
drawing created from the view you select from the directory list
after choosing “Browse.”). “First” means the topmost eligible 1) In Default Settings or the Info Box, choose “Placed Unlinked
drawing in the Navigator Layout Book. Marker.”
Choosing any of these reference options will bring up a directory Such a marker displays no linked information.
dialog box showing the relevant view of the Navigator (Project Map, 2) Define any custom text for the marker using the Custom text
View Map, or Layout Book). Choose the desired viewpoint, view or
fields in the parameter list in the Marker Panel of the Settings
drawing. The chosen item’s information will be displayed in the linked
marker. dialog box.

Thus, a linked marker can refer to any viewpoint, view or drawing in


the project.
If you are redefining a selected marker, click the Browse button to
bring up the Define Marker Reference directory, and choose the
item whose information you wish the marker to refer to.

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3) Draw a line or boundary (depending on the tool) and place a


marker in any of the following windows: Floor Plan; Section;
Elevation; Interior Elevation; Worksheet; Detail; 3D Document.

Create an Independent Section Viewpoint


Note: This process is identical for Independent Elevation
Viewpoints.
“Independent” sections, with or without a marker, can be created in
some windows. These viewpoints have no model source; they are If you wish this independent Section viewpoint to be linked to a
listed as “Independent” viewpoints in the Navigator. marker, place a linked Section marker into the project and link it
You can use 2D tools to create or add new content in the (“Marker Reference to”) to the existing independent Section.
independent viewpoint. Use copy-paste to transfer selected items
from a Trace Reference into the drawing window in 2D form for Updating Sections
further editing.
Note: The updating process is identical for Sections, Elevations,
To create an independent Section without a marker, use the “Create Interior Elevations and 3D Documents.
New Independent Section” command. This creates an empty
viewpoint without a marker, but listed in the Navigator. Each Section’s status defines the link (and rebuild method) between
the Section and the model on the Floor Plan.
This command is accessible:
For information on assigning Section status, see “Assign Section Status” on page
• from the Section part of the Navigator Project Map. Right-click 178.
on this folder and choose the “New Independent Section”
command from the context menu Updating an Autorebuild Model Section
An Autorebuild Model Section is linked to the Floor Plan model
and can be edited interactively. If the Floor Plan has changed, a
Section in Autorebuild Model status will be automatically rebuilt
every time it is opened or brought to the front of the screen.
Changes to existing construction elements in the Section window
(including associative dimensions) will automatically be updated in
the Floor Plan Window, and, when activated, in any other Section
Window and the 3D Window. The update process works on
construction elements only; 2D elements added to either the Floor
• or from the Document > Documenting Tools submenu Plan or Section window will not be reflected in the other window.
• or by clicking the New Viewpoint folder at the bottom of the If you are in Autorebuild status and you are editing elements inside
Navigator Project Map; the selected Project Map item (in this the Section window, the rebuild function is continuous and
case, a Section) determines which kind of new viewpoint will be immediate within this window. However, in large plans, continuous
created. auto-rebuild can cause slowdowns. If you prefer that your Section

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window be rebuilt only when it is opened or brought to the front of Summary of Rebuild Commands
the screen (the way it worked in ArchiCAD 9), go to the Options
>Project Preferences > Miscellaneous tab page and uncheck the The View > Refresh > Rebuild command is available in all
“Update Autorebuild Model...” checkbox. construction windows. It rebuilds the model in the currently active
If you nevertheless need to Rebuild manually, the View > Refresh > window.
Rebuild from Model command is available. (The plain View > Additional Rebuild commands in the View > Refresh menu are
Refresh > Rebuild command, used to refresh 2D drawing elements, available if the active window is a Section/Elevation/IE, 3D
is not available for Autorebuild Model windows.) Document, or a Detail or a Worksheet.
Note: Some complex changes to the plan (e.g., modifying a Rebuild from Model: Use this command to rebuild the active
Library Part) do not appear automatically in Model Section window; this will refresh the window information to reflect
Windows. For a Manual-rebuild section, use the View > Refresh modifications in the Floor Plan.
> Rebuild command; for an Autorebuild section, use View >
Rebuild from Source View: This command is available only in the
Refresh > Rebuild from Model to see these changes reflected
Detail and Worksheet windows.
properly.
The following commands might not be visible in the View > Refresh
Updating a Manual-Rebuild Section menu by default. You can customize your menu (Options > Work
Environment > Menus) to include these commands if needed.
A Section having Manual-Rebuild Model status is not rebuilt
automatically. It can be rebuilt from the model only by using the For more information, see “Customizing Menus” on page 49.
View > Refresh > Rebuild from Model command in the menu. In Also, these commands are available from the context menu of the
this case, any additional drawing elements you have added to the folders in the Navigator Project Map and View Map.
Section window will remain unchanged.

Updating a Drawing Section


Not applicable for 3D Documents, which are either Autorebuild or
Manual-Rebuild type documents.
• To rebuild a Drawing-status Section, use View > Refresh >
Rebuild. These commands refresh the view as a 2D drawing,
fixing any potential temporary display errors.
• For a complete refreshing of a Drawing-status Section window, Rebuild All from Model: Use this command to rebuild all
choose View > Refresh > Rebuild from Model. This will Section/Elevation/IE windows in your project.
refresh the contents of these windows to fully reflect the current
state of the Virtual Building model. In the process, all 2D Rebuild All Model Sections from Model: Use this command to
elements originating from the model will be removed and an rebuild all the Section windows of Model status (either Autorebuild
up-to-date view will be generated. This means that any previous Model or Manual-Rebuild Model).
manual editing of this artwork will be lost. 2D artwork added to Rebuild All Drawing Sections from Model: Use this command to
the drawing manually will be kept intact. rebuild all Drawing-status Section windows.

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Display of Section Lines and Markers • Choose the Break


Section/Elevation Line icon
Note: This information also applies to Elevations. from the pet palette.
To customize the attributes of a Section’s line marker, use the controls • Click to break the segment in half,
in Section Settings Marker and Marker Head panels. then move the newly created
half-segment to a new position.
Click to place.
To move a segment of a Section line, select the Section Marker, then
use the pet palette’s Move Section line segment icon to move it.

To eliminate a break in a staggered Section line, select the Section


line, then pull the break line (perpendicular to the Section line) out of
For more information, see Section Marker Panel and “Section Marker Head the section range.
Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.
Elevations
Adjusting or Breaking Section Lines ArchiCAD has a separate tool for creating Elevation viewpoints
Note: This process is identical for Elevations. However, and linked or unlinked Elevation markers.
Elevation lines cannot be segmented. In contrast to Sections:
To manipulate a selected Section line as a whole, you can use the • Elevations generally do not “slice through” the structure, but
Arrow tool, the Marquee tool, or Edit menu commands, as well as rather create a cross-section view of the structure from a distant
their counterpart commands from the pet palette. point.
To change the length of a Section line, • There is no “zero depth” option for the Elevation’s horizontal
select it, then click the pet palette’s range.
stretch icon to stretch the line at either
of its endpoints. • Elevation markers are conventionally different from Section
markers; consequently, the Marker options in Elevation Settings
To break a Section line or line segment: vary from their counterparts in Section Settings.
• Select the line’s midpoint. • Unlike the Section Line, the Elevation line is an on-screen-only
Marker item, and is not shown on the Layout.
See “Display of Marker Range Lines” on page 205.
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In all other respects, the Elevation Tool works the same way as the Moving an Elevation Marker
Section Tool. This option is available only for Elevation and
• To create an Elevation viewpoint, you must place a source-type Interior Elevation markers.
Elevation marker on the Floor Plan. Select the Elevation line; the marker will be
• The resulting Elevation viewpoint has a Status (Model or selected and will display a node.
Drawing) which determines its update process. Click on this node and choose the Move
• The Elevation Settings Model Display Panel defines the display Elevation Marker command from the pet
of the Elevation viewpoint, while the Marker and Marker Head palette, then drag the marker to the desired
panels determine the content and display of the Elevation position.
marker. The marker will retain this position even if the
• A linked-type Elevation marker, containing reference elevation is dragged or rotated to a new
information only (without creating a viewpoint), can be placed in position.
the Floor Plan, Section, Elevation, Interior Elevation, 3D
Document, Detail or Worksheet Window.
Interior Elevations (IE)
• Unlinked Elevation markers can also be placed.
For more information, see the following topics: About Interior Elevations
“Create a Section Viewpoint” on page 176,
ArchiCAD has a dedicated tool that is optimized for creating
“Define Horizontal/Vertical Range of Section Viewpoint” on page 177, interior elevations of interior spaces.
“Assign Section Status” on page 178,
“Display of Elements in Section Window” on page 179,
“Define Marker Reference for Source Marker” on page 177,
“Place a Linked Section Marker” on page 180,
“Define Marker Reference for Linked Marker” on page 181,
“Place an Unlinked Marker” on page 181, Interior Elevations (IEs) work similarly to Sections and regular
“Create an Independent Section Viewpoint” on page 182, Elevations: choose an input method; define the view and its limits
graphically; and place a marker with custom-defined marker reference
“Updating Sections” on page 182, information. Each Interior Elevation is a separate viewpoint in the
“Display of Section Lines and Markers” on page 184. Navigator Project Map.
Edits made on an Interior
Elevation can be reflected in the
Model, and vice-versa: model
changes can be reflected in the
Interior Elevation following an
update. Dimensions are associative.

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Unlike the Section and Elevation tools, the Interior Elevation tool is These IE groups are automatically listed together in their own subsets
used to create new viewpoints only; you cannot place a linked, in the Project Map. Each new IE viewpoint is assigned to an IE
reference-only IE marker. Group, even if there is only one viewpoint in the Group.
Note: As source markers, IE markers are distinguished on You cannot move individual IE
screen by an optional semi-transparent solid fill. (Use View > viewpoints from one Group to
On-screen View Options > Highlight Source Marker to enable another.
or disable this distinguishing fill for all source markers. The color
of this fill can be set in Options > Work Environment > More
Options.)
An IE created using one of the polyline or rectangle input methods Create Single Interior Elevation Viewpoint
will have a separate IE view for each segment of the line; each view is Draw the IE limit line using the single line method to create a
created perpendicular to the segment. single IE viewpoint.
Note: In contrast to Sections/Elevations, when creating an
Interior Elevation you start by defining the limit of the view (e.g.
the wall you want to see), then click to define view line (the place
from which you view the wall).
1) Click once to begin the limit line.
2) Click a second time to complete the line.
3) Move the cursor to the desired view position.
4) Click a third time to place the IE marker.

Since Interior Elevations are typically created in groups (e.g. four IE's
created by placing a four-segment polyline around a single room),
IE's are handled as a group for purposes of numbering, display, Trace
functions, and placement on a layout. (Typically, you will use the
Master Layout’s “Auto Arrange Setup” options - in Master Layout
Settings - to fine-tune the appearance of IE views on the Layout.) To define the Marker style and position, use the controls in the
For more information, see “Arranging Multiple Drawings on the Layout” on Marker Panel of Interior Elevation Settings.
page 429. See “Interior Elevation Marker Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.

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5) A new IE viewpoint is created and listed in the Project Map. It is 2) Move the cursor to the desired view
assigned its own IE Group, even if there is only one viewpoint in position.
the Group.
Many other aspects of Interior Elevation viewpoints - status, display, marker
reference, and updating - work the same as in Section viewpoints. For more
information, see the following topics:
“Assign Section Status” on page 178,
“Display of Elements in Section Window” on page 179,
“Define Marker Reference for Source Marker” on page 177,
“Updating Sections” on page 182.

Create Multiple IE Viewpoints


Use the polyline/ rectangle method to create multiple viewpoints in a
single IE Group. 3) Click once more to place the
IE marker(s).
The resulting Interior Elevation group contains the same number of
viewpoints as the number of segments on the polyline/rectangle. Interior elevations use a
dedicated IE marker, a GDL
1) Click to begin drawing the limit line. object with editable
• With the polyline method, click parameters.
once for each segment of the IE marker(s) are placed at the
polyline; double-click to complete middle of each segment of
the polyline. the IE line or at the center of
• With the rectangular method, click the room.
a second time to define the To define the Marker style
opposing corners. and Position, use the controls
• With the rotated rectangular in the Marker Panel of
method, click to define the rotation Interior Elevation Settings. For any or all of the viewpoints, you
vector; click again to define the can opt not to show a marker, by choosing the No Marker
length of the rectangle. option in this panel.
The resulting line/polyline/rectangle See “Interior Elevation Marker Panel” in ArchiCAD Help.
represents the limit line of the Interior 4) The new group of viewpoints is created and listed in the Project
Elevation group. Map.
5) The Interior Elevation Group has its own Clone folder in the
Navigator View Map.

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The viewpoints within a single IE group share certain settings (such Subsequent IE Groups receive their IDs accordingly. (IE-02, IE-03...)
as Show on Stories and Layer settings) which can be applied only to
the group as a whole. However, the settings of any single segment are
accessible individually.
See “Editing Interior Elevation Viewpoints” on page 189.
Many other aspects of Interior Elevation viewpoints - status, display,
marker reference, and updating - work the same as in Section
viewpoints. For more information, see the following topics: In each individual viewpoint’s IE settings,
the Reference ID and Name fields are set
“Assign Section Status” on page 178, to “By IE Group” by default.
“Display of Elements in Section Window” on page 179, This means that each IE viewpoint will
have the same ID and Name as its parent
“Define Marker Reference for Source Marker” on page 177,
IE Group.
“Updating Sections” on page 182. ArchiCAD’s default IE Settings further define the ID and Name of
each IE viewpoint to include Autotexts.
Interior Elevation IDs and Names
Use Autotext to Create Meaningful IDs/Names for
To assign IDs and names to IE Groups and their viewpoints, use the Interior Elevation Group
General Panel of Interior Elevation Settings. The options in the
General Panel vary depending on whether you are defining Settings You can define a logical naming convention for your IE Groups by
for an IE Group: including an Autotext in the parent IE Group’s ID and Name.
This way, each individual Interior Elevation contained in the group
will display a logical Autotext value that can vary for each elevation.
By default, ArchiCAD’s IE Group ID adds an Autotext of
<Number> to the ID of each viewpoint in the IE group. In the
image below, each viewpoint ID includes the Group ID (IE-01) plus
or for an individual IE viewpoint: an automatically assigned number (01, 02, 03...).
Also, the default IE Group Name
adds an Autotext of <Orientation>
to each viewpoint Name.
Consequently, each viewpoint name
consists of its specific orientation,
Each new IE viewpoint is automatically assigned to an IE Group which automatically assigned using
(even if there is only one viewpoint in the group). The IE Group is Autotext (North, South, East,
assigned a default ID of IE-01. West...).

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Use the General Panel of IE Settings to define any other Autotext to You can also change IDs and Names for any IE
include in the IE viewpoints’ name and/or ID. For example, you can Group or viewpoint in the Navigator.
set the Interior Elevation Group’s ID to be the Zone Number:
1) Click the Autotext button next to the ID field in General Settings
and choose Zone Number from the list. Editing Interior Elevation Viewpoints
Each viewpoint of an Interior Elevation group can be edited
separately. First, select the viewpoint:
• select any individual Interior Elevation marker, or
• select any individual line
segment of the Interior
Elevation line.
2) In the Navigator, note that the The pet palette and context menu
ID of the Group is now commands opened from this
equivalent to the number of the segment affect that viewpoint
zone (007, in this case) contained only.
in the Interior Elevation. To edit the selected viewpoint:
This ID is inherited by all of the • Open Interior Elevation Settings. (Use the context menu or the
viewpoints in the Group. Info Box). Any changes you make here will apply only to the
(Naturally, assigning a Zone Number autotext works only if the selected viewpoint. Note that certain options in IE Settings are
Interior Elevation includes a zone.) greyed if you are editing a single viewpoint rather than an IE
group.
Customize IDs and Names • Use the pet palette's options to manipulate the selected IE
You can give a customized ID and/or Name to any IE Group or segment or its marker.
individual viewpoint:
• Select the IE limit line. Delete/Restore IE Viewpoint
• Open Interior Elevation Settings. If you have selected an
individual IE viewpoint, you
If it is an individual IE Viewpoint, make sure the pop-up is set to can delete that single
Custom. viewpoint using the context
menu’s Delete command.

• Enter the desired ID and/or Name.

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You can restore this viewpoint Vertical and Horizontal Range of the Interior
even after deleting it: select the
IE group to which it belongs Elevation
(select any part of the IE Limit
Line) and use the Restore all Vertical Range
Interior Elevations in Group An IE viewpoint’s vertical range is set manually by the user in the
command from the context General Panel of Interior Elevation Settings or the Info Box.
menu.
See “Interior Elevation (IE) Tool Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.
Note: This command regenerates the IE viewpoint, but any 2D
edits you made in this viewpoint before deleting it have been lost. Each IE view (i.e. each segment of
the IE limit polyline) can have a
Editing the Interior Elevation Limit Line separate, custom vertical range
value, if desired: choose the
Selecting any segment of the IE limit polyline Limited option as the Vertical
selects the entire IE group. If the IE group Range and enter the desired elevation limits.
uses a single, common marker, then selecting Use the pop-up to define whether this vertical range should be
the marker also selects the entire IE group. measured from Project Zero, or from the Interior Elevation’s Home
As when editing other polylines in ArchiCAD, Story (the story onto which it was placed).
use the pet palette’s line editing options.

Horizontal Range
By default, the IE limit line represents the horizontal range of the
resulting IE view.
The Horizontal Range option of Interior Elevation Settings (see the
General Panel) is set to By Limit Lines by default.

Inserting a node will create a new IE viewpoint in the IE group. To adjust the horizontal range, select the limit line and stretch or
shrink it using the commands of the pet palette. (Stretch/shrink
modifications to this segment will affect the neighboring line
segments accordingly, as when editing any polyline.)
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Interior Elevations and Zone Shape


If you want the Interior Elevation to correspond to a zone, choose
the Detect and Fit to Zones Vertical Range option from the
General Panel of Interior Elevation Settings.

If a zone is detected, its height will be used as the vertical range of the
selected Interior Elevation viewpoint.
Note: The zone’s height is the difference between its Level value
and its Height value as set in Zone Settings):

To include connected enclosed areas in the


Interior Elevation viewpoint, choose Add
bounded areas the Horizontal Range option
in IE Settings.

This way, if the room contains an odd-shaped alcove, the IE


viewpoint will include structures that fall beyond the Limit Line, but
still fall inside the room, as in this image:

Zones edited by Solid Element Operations are also calculated


accurately, provided that you also check the Consider Solid
Operations box. For example, a single zone trimmed to a slanted
roof will have several different zone heights. These are accurately
reflected in each viewpont of the Interior Elevation group.

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Display of Elements in Interior Elevation intersection of composite walls in space. This is possible because the
3D Document can display cut surfaces in a 3D model structure,
Use the Model Display controls in Interior Elevation Settings to optionally using the cut fill and line attributes defined at the element
define the appearance of cut and uncut elements in the view. These level.
options are largely identical to the Model Display options for Sections See “Model Display of the 3D Document” on page 198.
and Elevations.
To add dimensions, just use ArchiCAD’s dimensioning tools, plus
See “Display of Elements in Section Window” on page 179 and “Interior certain dimensioning functions that are available only for 3D
Elevation Model Display Panel” in ArchiCAD Help. Documents.
Interior Elevations do not have a “Marked Distant Area” display See “Linear Dimensions in the 3D Document Window” in ArchiCAD Help.
option.
Two special display options are available for the display of cut
elements in Interior Elevations:
Exclude View Blocking Walls: If this option is checked, any
intervening walls which “block the view” in the Interior Elevation
will not be displayed.
Hide Cut Elements: If this option is checked, elements that are cut
by the Interior Elevation Line will not be displayed.

The 3D Document is a viewpoint which appears in the Navigator


3D Document Project Map. In many respects, the 3D Document is analogous to the
Section viewpoint: it is an integral part of the ArchiCAD model, and
its model elements are rebuilt automatically or manually, depending
About the 3D Document on its status.
The 3D Document allows you to use the 3D view of the model as the In the 3D Document, you can select model elements and access their
basis for creating a document, to which you can add dimensions, settings dialog boxes to make changes in the model, but you cannot
labels and additional 2D drawing elements. edit them graphically or create new model elements.
For example, you can convert a 3D view of a building into a The 3D Document has its source in the 3D window. Specific
document that shows detailed structural information in 3D - such as parameters and options affecting 3D window display (such as
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projection and filtering/selection of elements) will affect 3D 2) Create a new 3D Document by doing one of the following:
Document display; you can redefine the 3D Document after adjusting With 3D window open:
these 3D window settings. (See “The 3D Document and its 3D
Window Source” on page 194.) • Use New 3D Document... command from the context menu of
the Navigator's 3D Document folder
However, like other model views, the 3D Document has its own 3D
Document Settings dialog box, where you can set parameters that are
specific to the 3D Document: these include fill/pen display of
element surfaces (including cut composite elements) and contours,
transparency, 3D hatching, shading, shadow and sun effects.
Note: The display of composite elements in the 3D Document
window also depends on the Partial Display Settings. See “Partial
Structure Display” on page 358.
In particular, you can display the materials of cut surfaces in a 3D-like
display to graphically communicate composite structures:

• Use Capture Window for 3D Document command from the


context menu of the 3D window (with nothing selected).

See “3D Document Settings” in ArchiCAD Help.

Create a 3D Document
1) In the 3D window, set up a 3D view of the model: the view you
want to see in your 3D Document:
Set up the perspective or projected 3D view; use 3D Cutting
Planes; filter or select elements; use Marquee as needed, or
perform solid element operations.
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• Use a menu command (Document > 3D Document > Create Note: the difference between Redefine and Rebuild. Rebuild
New 3D Document; or Document > Documenting Tools > refers to the model elements: their size, shape and relation to the
Create 3D Document). rest of the model elements. Rebuild for a 3D Document works
3) The New 3D Document the same as for other model views (e.g. Section). Your 3D
dialog box appears. Document, if set to Auto-Rebuild, is rebuilt every time you open
it. If it is Manual-Update, it is rebuilt only upon command. (View
Enter a Reference ID and > Rebuild > Rebuild from Model).
Name for the new 3D
Document; click Create. There is no Drawing-type 3D Document.
4) The 3D Document is For more information, see “Assign Section Status” on page 178.
created and opened in its
own window. Redefine the 3D Document
5) The 3D Document is listed in the 3D Document folder in the
Project Map of the Navigator. There are three ways to redefine a 3D Document after you have
created it. Each method is described below:
The 3D Document and its 3D Window Source Redefine 3D Document: Open and Edit 3D Source
The contents of the 3D Document are defined out of the 3D