Default Settings vs. Element's Selection Settings

I was asked a question last week about why a certain Layer kept popping up as the current Default Layer for a couple of Users.  I figured it would be helpful to provide a thorough explanation and leave it here for future reference.  The difference between - and even THAT there is a distinction between - Default Settings and Selection Settings can be confusing.  I hope this explanation helps.

When we refer to an Element's Settings or look at the Settings dialog box, there is an essential distinction that needs to be understood: Default Settings and Selection Settings.

Default Settings refers to the Settings of a particular Tool, prior to the placement of an Element - the Tool's Settings that are current once the Tool is activated.

Here: the Wall's Default Settings set to a Generic Exterior Wall Composite (note that the Wall behind is not selected):

An Element's Selection Settings are the Settings of an Element currently selected in the current View - for example, the Settings of a Wall highlighted in a Plan View.

Here: the Settings of a selected Wall (note the green-highlighted Wall selected in the background):


Find & Select

ArchiCAD's Find & Select dialog box is super handy at finding Elements, particularly if you use fine-tuned Critera to sort through the data to carefully select only the Element(s) that you need.  You could literally find a needle in a haystack, if that needle is on a different Layer, or has a unique Element ID, or uses a unique Pen, or any of many other possible Criteria to help parse it out of all that hay.



Favorites, Favorites, Favorites.  It has been a topic on the to-do list of the Tutorial Tuesday page ever since the beginning.


ArchiCAD Template Update - Renovation Filter and Status

I have created an updated version of the CJMW ArchiCAD Template for starting new Projects.  The biggest change is that all of the pre-set Views in the View Map are set to Planned Status by default and the Renovation Status button is set to New Status (the red construction crane).  So whether you are starting a New Project that is all new construction or a renovation of an existing structure, the Template is the same and anything that we are designing as new should be classified that way and anything that already exists should be set to Existing Status.

Note that the 1st Floor Plan is set to Renovation Filter 05 Planned Status by default now.  Also notice that the Renovation Status Default for newly modeled elements is set to New (the red crane).


Zone Stamp update with correct Area square footage

I have changed the default Zone Stamp in each of the CJMW Standard Zone Categories in the Template so that their display of the square footage area auto-updates and no longer requires the extra step of going to Design > Updates Zones and then picking Update Selected Zones and / or Update All Zones.


Sharing Project to BIM Server, Manual Backups, and Project List

In an email, I was asked about placing ArchiCAD Projects on the BIM Server that had been begun as solo PLN files.  Who should do this?  Is that something that I need to do, or is it something that any of us can do?  This brings up a couple of things I’ve wanted to go over with you all.

First, I am trying to maintain a spreadsheet that lists all of our Projects which are being done in ArchiCAD.  It is kept on a server that is Read-Only to most ArchiCAD Users, so I would ask that each of you, if you are working in a solo ArchiCAD PLN file, please send me a quick email with the file’s Project Name and Number, which version of ArchiCAD it is in, and its Category (Architecture, Interiors, Proposal, etc), so that I can add it to the list.  See a partial screenshot of the list below (Project Names are hidden here):


Opening a Project When Launching ArchiCAD

I have wanted to talk about the process by which we open projects upon launching ArchiCAD.  When greeted with the opening file selection prompt screen, it is a pretty common practice to pick from the Select a recent Project list.  But I want to discourage that.


DWG Translators

There are two new DWG Translators on the server that you can load into your ArchiCAD and use.  Translators are not part of the Template, but they are loaded from the server per installation of ArchiCAD and are not Project-specific.  Meaning: when you load these Translators, you'll be able to use them for any Project you open.

To import these into your ArchiCAD, go to File > File Special > DXF-DWG Translation Setup...

then click the Browse... button to the right in the screenshot above at the top of this post.  Navigate to the V: drive, then to ArchiCAD > CJMW DWG Translators, and pick one of the files (and then after import, come back and get the other one!).


Concepts, Theory

Here are a few examples of some ArchiCAD theory from On Land (the on-line ArchiCAD manual for Rill Architects in Bethesda, MD).  James Murray, the guy who maintains this site for Rill, is one of the ArchiCAD gurus for Jared Banks, aka Shoegnome, who is one of the pre-eminent ArchiCAD gurus out there right now, and certainly one of my ArchiCAD Heroes.

Note that these articles were all written nearly a decade ago, so there will be a few items mentioned in these articles that will be outdated, issues that have been fixed or have been rendered non-issues by features that have been added in subsequent versions of ArchiCAD.  But MOST of what James has written here is still relevant and is super informative.


In-House Plotting

If you are printing drawings on the plotter in-house, and if you install the last roll of paper or if you notice that we are down to our last roll of either 22", 30", or 36" wide paper - it is typically kept under the table directly behind the plotter -  please notify Britton so that additional paper can be ordered.

Also, if you are planning to print several large sets and will be using a lot of paper, check to see how many rolls of that size we currently have and notify Britton if it is low.


Teamwork Projects, Local Data. To Leave, or Exit?

Often I’ll get into a Teamwork project and notice some Users in the list in the Teamwork Palette who have not been in the project for a long time.  Sometimes this list will be populated with several people who weren’t even regularly work on the project.

If you are only popping in to the project to steal a detail, to check something, or if you have helped out in a pinch but may not need to get back in to a particular Teamwork file, it is a good idea to Leave the project (File > Leave Teamwork Project, or by going to Teamwork > Project > Leave Teamwork Project).


Work Environment

Much of ArchiCAD's User Interface, such as the number and location of Toolbars and Palettes, Autosave frequency intervals, Keyboard Shortcuts, Background and other on-screen colors, and much more is set up and save here.  In the Work Environment, certain Preferences are saved as Schemes, and the organization of each of these Schemes is saved as a Profile.

First Post

This is the first post on the CJMW ARCHICAD page.