This has happened to all of us.

You add a new object or make a change and then the element is gone. You know you didn’t delete it. But it’s gone. It’s not time to panic. It’s time to think… okay “It Makes Them Disappear”… what just happened? If it’s a wall, can you see it in 3D but not 2D? 2D but not 3D? If it’s a window, is it gone in 2D, but in the correct location in 3D? Is it not showing up in section? Find where you can see the object and then work backwards to find out what went wrong.

The ArchiCADWiki has a great article about locating an element that has gone missing: The list is broken down into 2D, 3D, and Layout.

Schedules are another place that items can go missing. This is often because your criteria for the schedule is excluding an object. Perhaps because of an ID or a wrong layer or some other element creation/classification error. Without fail, it’s usually an error that happens between the keyboard and the chair. Which honestly is great news. It means there’s very, very, very rarely some electrical gremlin inside ArchiCAD deleting your hard work. Embrace this knowledge. It is always hard to explain to a fellow ArchiCAD user that the problem they are dealing with is not an inherent bug, flaw, or inability of ArchiCAD, but just user error. People usually don’t like to hear that they are the problem. I for one see it in the reverse. It’s great if we are the problem. We can learn, improve, and discover other solutions. We can just stop adding that extra keystroke that messes up our operation.

Mastering ArchiCAD means more than wicked modeling chops and documentation skills.

ArchiCADBecoming an ArchiCAD expert is equally about problem solving and invention within the ArchiCAD and BIM environment. If errors, roadblocks, or mysteries appear, how do you resolve the situation? ArchiCADJust as impressive as being able to model this Queen Anne house (left) in ArchiCAD 15 are the detective skills required to solve this error (right). Want to know how to solve that missing attribute issue? Start with these Help Center articles: Missing Attributes or maybe the Missing Elements in 3D article will have clues too.

The true masters are not the ones with the answers, they are the ones who can discover the solutions when things get rough. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has asked me a question and I didn’t know the answer. But by talking and searching, I am able to find a solution in real time. If you’ve ever e-mailed me, you’ve probably gotten an e-mail that starts with “well unfortunately that’s not possible because of… X, Y, or Z.” The middle of the e-mail then goes “so here’s a different route.” But by the time I finish writing, you’ll usually read something like “however, now that I think about it, you COULD do A, B, or C and get exactly what you want. It’s just a different angle than you were thinking.”

And that’s what I love about ArchiCAD. It’s not just about rotating the 3D model to get a different view, it’s about looking at the whole database of information in a different way to find the solution you’re searching for.


  1. Patrick May

    great post, I don’t know how I have not read this one before!

    • Jared Banks

      Thanks. It’s an oldie, so you’re forgiven!

  2. Link

    Links seem to be broken now that archicadwiki has moved mate.


    • marymosc

      Thanks for letting us know, we’re going to fix that link!

    • Jared Banks

      Thanks for letting us know. When the ArchiCADwiki was transferred over to Help Center a lot (all?) of the old links became broken. I’ve been slowing switching them over here and on Shoegnome as I find/hear about bad links. It’s also sadly just a general issue of Internet + Time = broken links.

      USUALLY I can refind what I originally linked to. Other times, not so much. In this instance I think I found most of what was in the original article. But I feel like the two articles I now point to are missing a little something. But I can’t remember.

  3. Ivan

    hey, great post, it feels great when you get a problem and you’re capable of fixing it yourself or with some help, as well as getting multiple awnsers for the same problems, it makes your wits and imagination work alot, however i bumped myself with a problem that i cant seem to find the awnser to, my 3d model seems alright, however everytime i make a wall it only shows the outlines, i’ve been searching and i think i tried everything i got to the conclution that it is a program error or a bug, im using archicad 18

    • Jared Banks


      My guess is that it’s not a bug. There are a number of ways you can get elements to show up as outlines only in the 3D window (or the 2D window), so I’m guessing you accidentally stumbled onto one of those. Can you tell me a little more about the issue? Are all elements only showing outlines in 3D or just walls? What happens if you change the building material? Is it layer specific? If it’s Layer specific, then the layer is set to Wireframe. If it’s all elements then the 3D window sounds like it’s set to wireframe. If neither of those are the solution…I’m sure we can come up with more answers. I’d recommend calling tech support. Or send me the file or a screen shot and I’m sure I can figure out the answer in no time flat. OR better yet, post a screen shot on the forum and ask the question there. That’ll probably be the fastest way to get your answer.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking to meet other ARCHICAD users? Why not come along to one of our upcoming User Groups!  VIEW DETAILS