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.

Recently I was helping with a Project in which I was updating Zone Categories for a lot of already-placed Zones.  Many of the Zones were part of Hotlinked Module Files representing the Resident Rooms inside the Facility, so once those were updated in the Mod Files, I didn't need to reserve every instance of the placed Hotlink; I only wanted to Reserve Zones that were NOT  part of any Resident Room - just Zones that were live on each floor, each of which were unique.

Let's look at just this one possible use of Find & Select to select just the Zones that I wanted, without having to pick them one by one.  This also can keep me from Reserving more modeled Elements than I want, so that I am not interfering with anyone else's ability to work on the same Story Level.

Ctrl + F Keyboard Shortcut both opens and closes this dialog box.  It can also be found under the Edit menu.

Here is the plan with the Colored Workspace set to Gray Out Unowned Workspace:

Here is the plan after setting one line of Criteria to look for only the Element Type: Zone and hitting the + button in the bottom right.  Note the difference between the Zones that are part of Hotlinked Modules of the Resident Rooms (with colored hollow nodes indicating they are part of a Group) and the Zones that are not part of any Hotlink or Group (dark gray nodes):

Next, if I click the "Add" button on the left to add another Criteria line item to the Find & Select dialog, I will then have options to further refine my Search information.  Here I've added "Any Hotlink" from the flyout menu of available additional Criteria (and the list of available Criteria changes contextually depending on the Criteria listed above it):

Then I can look for Zones that are part of Hotlink Module Unit 01:

or 02:

Or here I changed the text "is" to "is not" and used Find & Select to find any Zone on the current Story not part of Any Hotlink, these are the Zones I am looking for, so I then hit the Reserve button:

Click on one of these images to view it full size, then scroll through the images, paying attention to the one or two Criteria set in the Find & Select dialog box in conjunction with the Zones that are selected on the Floor Plan in the background (after clicking the + button).

Find & Select can be used for FAR more than just this.  I've used it to go through lots of Section and Elevation viewpoints using Criteria to look for any Element that is a Text, or a Label, or a Dimension, or a Line, or a Polyline, whose Renovation Status was not set to New Status.  If you use Find & Select for a particular purpose that you'd like to keep, you can Store, Export, and Import Criteria Selection Sets.  You can even use IFC Properties as Criteria in Find & Select, which will become more and more relevant int he next year as we use IFC more.

For further reading, here is a link to a great post about using Find & Select, by Jared Banks on the Graphisoft Blog.  And a REALLY thorough rundown for using Find & Select published on the Graphisoft Help Center.

Explore what this powerful tool can help you do, and may you always find what you are looking for.