ABCs of ArchiCAD (Obscure Version)

ABCs of ArchiCAD (Obscure Version)

ABCs-ArchiCADStealing some inspiration from this great video on the ABCs of Architecture, I decided to do a quick list** of the ABCs of ArchiCAD. But instead of going with the obvious (B is for Beam, D is for Door, and W is for Wall), I searched out some obscure aspects of ArchiCAD. Hopefully a few will spark your interest and make you want to learn more. I know creating this list has given me a lot of great ideas for more in depth blog posts. Oh and I am fully confident you’ve never heard of Yellow Patch before. Though since I started this list, I’ve used it to explain why someone was having an issue with their model. Check it out. Enjoy!

Autogroup — Autogroup is point 17 in my master list of Group Tips. Read them all here.

Building energy Model View — The Energy Model Review only works on visible elements.

Clone Folder — Cloning a folder means that you recreate a Project Map folder inside the View Map.

Design Layers in Profile Manager — Design Layers apply to the Profile Editor window only.

Enable Back Reference — Enable Back Reference allows you to add Layout ID information to the Drawing Title.

Find Linked Markers — Right click on a placed drawing or any item in the Navigator.

Gravity — I always forget about this feature when modeling new elements.

Hide Arrowhead From — Hide your arrowheads beyond a certain scale.

Ignore Zoom when opening this view — I don’t care for this option; but I know those who love it.

Jobs — Getting paid to use ArchiCAD is always a nice feature.

Keep Distance — How do windows react when you curve the wall they are in? This is how.

Look to Perpendicular — You can find this under the VIEW/3D NAVIGATION EXTRAS menu.

Matrix — The least used of the Multiply Elements options. Stop neglecting it.

Nudge — In response to the boss asking “Can that couch scoot just a few feet that way?” “Yes.”

On-Screen View Options — None of these affect what gets printed, but they sure make working easier.

PMK — Layout Book getting unmanageably huge? PMKs might be the answer.

Quick Selection — You know how to temporarily suspend this right? Right?

Roof Wizard — Quickly and easily create roof framing.

Save as CTB — Want your consultants to have matching line weights? Here’s how.

Turn Profile Plane — Don’t let the Morph completely overshadow the Shell Tool. Learn More.

U3D — If you’re on a PC, making 3D PDFs are ridiculously easy.

Viewpoint — Can you name all the viewpoints in the Project Map?

Wallniche — You might know about the Wallhole as ID trick, but what about Wallniche as ID trick?

XYZ Data — Import any text file containing xyz data into ArchiCAD, creating a Mesh element automatically.

Yellow Patch — No hints on this one. Click the link and be enlightened.

Zones Preferences — These options define how zones are calculated in Zone Lists.


**this took much more time than I was expecting, but it was also way more enlightening than I imagined!


  1. Djordje

    You never stop learning … I did not know about Save as CTB!!!!

  2. Jared Banks

    🙂 Yeah that was one of the many new ones for me too. And I think it was even an open wish on the forum…

  3. Paul Adams

    I knew I should be cloning folders, but after reading the link I better stop and rework my template NOW. 🙂

  4. Mattie Mcdowell

    Hello you guys, I’m new here so sorry for stupid questions. I’m also just working with Archicad for 8 months, so I’m don’t know everything yet. The question. I have also problem with Archicad running very slow in 2D. I’m using Archicad 15 an a brand new iMac with the best specs, so there should be no problems with speed. Yet there is. For the project I’m working on I’ve drawn a pretty big area, about 8 square km. This so i can make nice bird view renders. In the beginning the project was not slow at all, and almost anything was ready. Later on I probably made a change somewhere or somehow. Now I can’t zoom in anywhere on the project because it gets really slow and sometimes Archicad even quits working. When I was drawing I maybe changed the zoom or drawing options in the quick menu to 1:1. I read something about this on But I’m not sure if this is making my drawing slow because I’ve no idea how I could change or check it. So please, anyone help me out. For the moment I fixed it with making the building in an other drawing and pasted it in the situation as a hotline. But later on I need to make some changes in the slow working project.

  5. Jared Banks

    Mattie, it sounds like there’s something in the file that’s causing the slow down. Perhaps bad geometry or an error in a 3D object. How big is the file? 8 km2 seems like it could be pretty big. Is the site all 3D or just 2D? A lot of 2D can really slow down a file because of redraw times.

    You might want to post some screen shots to the forum or contact Tech Support.



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