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ArchiCAD Improvements by Mind Map: ArchiCAD Improvements
5.0 stars - 1 reviews range from 0 to 5

ArchiCAD Improvements

Project Indexes, Schedules & Lists

Allow combining/referencing of external indexes for when Layout files have to be split due to size

E.g. for automatic & complete drawings lists

Windows / Doors should combine in schedules if they're the same, but have different IDs

Should allow for the use of formulas in schedules

Have an integral link with Excel spreadsheets

Oftentimes the calculations, totals & formatting required go way beyond what would be reasonable to expect of a schedule. WIth a live link to Excel, this would make things a whole lot easier

Same parameter selection capabilities as Find & Select

Allow filtering of schedules by layers

I.e. don't list if it's on a hidden layer. Would require a layer combination to be attached to the schedule, I suppose

Layer Combinations should have unique ID

This is so Views don't lose their layer combination link if the name changes

Allow reserving of elements from schedules

Allow automatic sizing of columns / rows in schedules to fit content

Would come in handy for door / window, or object schedules. Currently have to resize every row / column to suit preview

Modelling Toolbar


Buy Cadimage Door builder and have as part of standard package

Door opening (empty) doesn't tidy up precisely with skins


Buy Cadimage Window builder and have as part of standard package


Allow placement into slabs too


Clean up composite skins properly with slabs & walls in section

Enter slope as gradient

User to choose whether bottom or top of roof section is anchored


Allow custom edge angles, similar to roof


Enable rising walls (e.g. balustrade to a ramp)

Allow free editing of outline in elevation

Composite fills clean up properly with slabs & roofs in section

Height adjustable composite skins

Ability to have separate plan & section fills


Clean up with columns (e.g. steel sections)

Freely adjustable end angles

Cover fills

Allow curving of beam - both in horizontal & vertical planes

Allow reference line offset from beam edge, not just beam centreline

Rotate core angle of rectangular beam

Include circular beam (i.e. as per column tool) as standard

Veneers as per column tool?


Freely adjustable end angles

Clean up with beams (e.g. steel sections)

A display-only arrow showing orientation on selection

Override surface of column veneer


Assign plan pens (including transparent) to individual contour segments - this would allow merging of separate slab entities in plan views (e.g. when slab thickness changes)

Allow slab to 'grow' upwards when changing depth / composite, instead of just downwards

Need separate uncut pen for 2D v 3D


Get one that works properly - a single tool! Cadimage have a good start on this

"Stair Straight RC" fill doesn't work on storey above

Stair builder needs to have inclined risers

Railing (NEW)

Associates with stairs, slabs & roofs (for ramps) - Cadimage have a good start on this

As per stair


Turn off contours (user defined ridges) in elevation / section

Need another option to "Show no ridges"

Enable uniform thickness

Allow adjusting of triangulation path (e.g. 'Flip Edge' in SketchUp Sandbox tools)

Needs to heal with other objects in elevation / 3D

Curtain Wall

Editable in plan & section


Display in section / elevation

Improve performance - large zones get sluggish

Allow quick creation of slabs, walls from zone mass

Tag in section / elevation

Contours should also be controlled by MVO

Allow percentage tone fills, not just solid


Consistent display options as per slab, roof etc

Should be able to tilt any object (i.e. add ROTX & ROTY to base GDL code). Should not be so limited to the horizontal plane

Specific objects, Spaceframe family of objects needs to be able to be rotated along the x-axis, Spaceframe Symmetric needs to have option of 4 chords, not just 3, "Wall Mounted Ladder" to have extendable brackets if ladder needs to be set further away from wall, Need a truncated timber truss object, "Picture" should have drop-down list of available pictures - not just a non-intuitive text field, "Rail Tube" to have function to turn down ends, without connecting back into intermediate rail, The "Steel Beams BS / EN" don't display right in plan when cut planes active

Objects should display intelligently over multiple storeys - like columns/walls

Railing objects that have incline function should display intelligently (with break line) over stories

Ceiling (NEW)

A specific ceiling tool can be given functionality that would not be reasonably expected of the slab tool


NURBS / true curve modelling (NEW)

Documentation Toolbar


Rounding to 5mm (set by user) - avoids stupid dimensions

Movable nodes to quickly adjust dimension (not witness line) lengths / associations

Dimension display over multiple storeys

When dimensioning to core, need to adjust for Wall Ends

Allow dimensioning to faces / CL of walls other than reference line

Level Dimension

Allow custom text as default (e.g. "RL" prefix) instead of having to change after placement


Uniform settings for text tools - to affect Label-Text

All text to increment by user-defined values when copying

Bullets / numbering functionality would be great


Key notes???. Cadimage have made a good start on this tool

Frame offset distance - consistent with Text tool

Allow leader to align with top left or bottom right text line - not bounding box

Uniform settings for text tools - to affect Text

For element labels, allow graphical editing of origin of multiple selections, not just numerical editing

Column labels need a Ø symbol - or custom text, instead of just X, Y & Z options

Make aligning easier when text labels are positioned to the left of what they're labelling, and left justified

When using Adjust command on labels, left aligned, or labels with leaders to the right, should adjust to the left shape handles

Add option for perpendicular orientation


Allow two foreground fills - when 'mixing' two vectorial fills is required in elevation, but is too time consuming to create

Allow hiding individual fill contour segments - means don't have to create separate fill & polyline when you only require 3 out of 4 sides (e.g.)

Enable linking of fill contours to slabs / roofs etc


Allow different arrow heads for beginning and end

Multi-line capablility

Enable arrow head size to be either paper- or model-space



When exploding, explode into it used to


Opt out of being recognised by Scale Autotext

Scale needs ability to be custom (e.g. N.T.S.)

Need Autotext to recognise sheet size & 50% sheet size - e.g. 1:100 @ A1, 1:200 @ A3 (maybe allow formulas)

Title marker, Title marker text still needs to be centred with back reference activated - user chooses, Need to be able to set text size of text below ID differently to ID

Allow exclusion of sheet id prefix from back reference (e.g. so WD-A 1523 can be just 1523)

Title offset should also be from left of drawing, not just from bottom

Allow cropping of drawing to marquee area

Should be able to back reference to any detail marker - not just those linking to a viewport

Embedded layers dialog to remember resizing


Allow section cut width to be adjustable independently from section head

Turn off/on project levels in specific sections (i.e. override project settings)

Copy model elements in sections

Enable cranking of Marked Distance Area line (independently from section line)

Allow different head types at either end of section line - for use of a section 'tail'

Show other section markers automatically

Enable changing a section into an elevation after placement, and vice versa

Allow rotation of the vertical plane - for elevating leaning walls for example

Allow prefix/suffix text to Referred Drawing

When view rotated in plan, will rotate section / elevation views


As per Section

Interior Elevation

Allow limited elevation range as in sections & elevations

Changing the name will screw up link through to view map (will break from being "By Project Map"

Need to be able to adjust vertical contour of elevation so you don't need to mask out unwanted elements (e.g. raking ceiling)

The option to start numbers from a user-defined number would be useful

Marked distant area would come in handy


Tighten up coding on markers for rotated orientations - bit clumsy at the moment

Allow user to decide where the callout head 'cranks' to

Don't explode 2D objects (e.g. timber blocking), just 3D objects

Drop ID from sheet reference option

"Clip Polygon" option to still have rounded corners and connect to callout head

Would be good to be able to create a 'live' worksheet instead of an exploded 2D worksheet


As per Worksheet

Detailing Tool (NEW)

To enable rapid drafting of common detailing components - e.g. block walls, timber blocking, walls etc. Cadimage (once again) have an excellent tool on this



Interface is very old (only tweaked over the last 30yrs). A redesigned interface would be great

Favorites to be a button on info bar

"Collapse all" & "expand all" options in maps (Project, View & Layout)

Keep "Properties" expanded in View Map even when no view is selected

Dimension styles need to be easier to modify

Resolve differences with Logitech, so mouse drivers work properly with ArchiCAD

Split windows

Select on plan option in section/elevation windows

Parameters dialog needs a button to directly open relevant attributes dialog

Building Material dialog needs linking buttons for Cut Fill & Surface

3D Navigation

To be consistent with 2D navigation, snapping & editing options

Refer SketchUp - it's very intuitive

Graphical Representation

Scalability of near lines, e.g. glazing bars represent as single line above a certain scale

Draw single line for Above/Below elements whose boundaries coincide

Reflected ceiling plans should be as 'natural' to ArchiCAD as floor plans. Needs a lot of work.

Display order should be determined from RLs of elements

Error handling

Error messages due to element generation in 3D or section, should always include the type (e.g. slab, roof) & ID of the offending element - maybe even a 'select on plan' option


Lines in 3D!

Enable 'capping' to relevant objects / complex profiles

Allow component grouping for quick editing of repetitive assemblies

Codemeter Key / Server

Reduce its size (USB keyplug) so is less easily damaged

Server monitor should resolve to user names, not just computer names

Data handling

.pln files should utilise the Delta technology for saving


Include home storey selection in Hammer options

Home story selection in settings dialog should include check-box for "Current"

True curve modelling

Graphically, ArchiCAD displays true curves in 2D excellently. However, in 3D it's a different story. True curves in 3D, in this current BIM market, are no longer a 'nice to have' IMO

Teamwork / BIM Server

Folder structure or similar for libraries

Break down "Delete/Modify" into separate categories

Allow administrator to Force User to Leave from BIM manager, not just project

If the administrator is not working on the project, he/she has to load up first in order to force the leave.

Remember user work environment when rejoining project it does for solo projects - last tool used, view on last save, expanded/collapsed folders in View Map, Trace & Reference settings etc

Show Joined status for each user in BIM manager

Allow viewing of Teamwork files in Demo mode

Surely all send functions can be locked for demo viewers?

Reserve dialog should have Copy Settings button like Find & Select dialog does

BIM managers should have access to a log that records which user reserved &/or edited objects

On large projects, there is the regular need to try and figure out why a certain item is where it is (layer, location, type etc). Knowing which users have reseved / edited it over its life would speed up these investigations enormously

Fix clearing of "Last ..." command after send / receive

After send / receive changes (and other various operations e.g. publish), Last Section / Elevation / Worksheet / Layout etc commands revert back to first entry in Project Map. Hampers efficiency

Ability to adjust Users / Messages window division sizes

Collapse one or the other, and they expand again really small - can't be adjusted

Hotlink manager should have an "Update & Release" button

Since requiring to reserve in order to update, one has to open (and therefore refresh) multiple times for one update. This can be very time consuming and frustrating on large projects

Don't refresh hotlink status automatically on manager open

You have to wait for the status to refresh...then again when you reserve

Reserve button needed in Book Settings dialog

Layout Book

Autotext extras

Scale autotext to change to custom text (e.g. Varies, or As Shown) when more than 2 (defined by user) different scales are shown

Layouts to have custom fields (say 3) able to be referenced by autotext

Reserve button needed in Book Settings dialog

Revision Manager (NEW)

This should be essential in any BIM/CAD package. This includes clouding, tagging, sheet revision #, revision history & transmittal...much like Cadimage does actually


Allow stretching of drawings with marquee & CTRL+H

Enable pasting to multiple sheets in the one operation

Go to layout to also recognise layout IDs instead of just sequential number


PDF save as should have same options as those in Model save as

Select Toolbar


Shortcut key to toggle thru selection methods

Double-click to select connected elements


Shortcut key to toggle thru selection methods


Pen Sets

Allow copying of pen attributes from one pen set to another


When deleting layers, allow for shifting of elements to another layer

Wireframe option should have percentage transparency, not just on/off

Need more robust way of managing intersection priorities in layer combinations

Line Types

Line type names next to line types in drop down boxes

Fill Types

Allow exploding of fills

Composite Fills

Allow composites that only have a finish type, not a core (e.g. Drywall lining as a composite)

When inserting skin, allow copying of skin other than the adjacent


Should be able to import Favorites directly from .pln etc file a la other attributes

Should be able to exclude various things from being set by favorites


Enable injection of properties into selection set, instead of just one at a time

More Toolbar

Grid Element

Would be great if the grid heads could stay on the screen border - like the ruler - when in plan (as reference only)

Grid heads should show around border of placed drawings

Should be able to adjust head height for individual section

When only showing segment of grid, dynamic hotspots for segment length would be helpful

Need to be able to curved grids after placement more comprehensively

Wall End

Match materials of host wall automatically - check box in info bar

Update coding so tool works properly with different structural displays

Enable inclining wall end so that it also cuts the wall

Corner Window

Not required if Cadimage Door & Window builder is purchased


Recessed lamps should cut holes in the slab (or new tool - ceiling) in which they're placed

Greater selection of lamps

Allow inclining of lamps (e.g. raking ceilings)

Radial Dimension

Include Diameter dimension

Centre mark needs to rotate with view orientation

Somehow need to enable this to work on geometry in section / elevation

Angle Dimension

Allow chain / string of dimensions





Turning off cameras shouldn't be so hard to find


Project Settings

Should be able to have 4 decimal places for model units - to confirm accuracy in some instances

Allow removal of comma from digit grouping, independently to Windows global settings


Allow opening of .pln files as Read Only


Display order, Show numerical position in display order when adjusting, Maybe display order could be set from Building Materials?, Select copied elements on command completion doesn't work for Radial Stretch copy (pet palette)

Find & Select, Need to be able to select things throughout the entire project or layout book - not just the current story or sheet, Should be able to select same parameters that are available in Schedules - and vice versa, A 'select & reserve' button on this dialog would be useful

Paste, Allow pasting to multiple layouts in the same operation (use dialog)

Search & Replace should work throughout an entire layout book, not just the current sheet


3D Cutting Planes, Should be able to zoom in this window, Enter cutting planes by coordinates (e.g. to cut at a specific RL)


Solid Element Operations, To change plan display of affected elements, Sideways extrusion would be handy

Align 3D Texture, This is far too cumbersome - should have something like a fill handle in both 3D and section/elevation, Need to be able to lock the origin & direction to an object (prevents it going out of whack when stretching the wall)

Add column accessory tool


Layers, Should be given the option of moving layer contents to another layer when deleting (cf. SketchUp), Some way (i.e. a project index) of seeing what elements are on a particular layer would be very handy

Renovation, Allow multiple project stages / phases, instead of just Exist, Demo & New




Multiple split windows - all live to the model (i.e. select something in plan, it selects in section)


Onscreen help needs attention.

Needs 'live' help feed (Revit once again)


Allow insertion of custom text (e.g. revision) into file name when printing to PDF

This could be with a formula using autotext. e.g.

Include check-box called "Overwrite existing"

At the moment, overwrite existing is assumed. This can lead to some disappointing accidental erasures of previous work

Remember pallette dvisions

Currently, divisions will revert back to default sizes every time you open the Organiser

External Content


Greater control over how fills & lines are imported from AutoCAD files


Allow hotlinks to be assigned a different pen set (e.g. for greying out previous stages)

Open hotlink manager from any window - not just plan


Somehow need to be able to assign cut pen & fill properties to IFC elements (sections only)

Other links

Live link to Excel spreadsheets

GDL Scripting

Allow windows to move to separate screen

Live updating/formatting of script

VBA scripting window for MS Office is brilliant in this regard. It will colour function names, give pop-up options to prompt for correct function input, will give pop-up of variable names, will automatically capitalise and add spaces etc etc

Line numbers down left side of script window

Allow collapsing of grouped parameters in parameters window

For when parameter lists get really long

Find function needs work

At the moment there is no feedback if a search string doesn't exist, how many replacements were made, which scripts were searched etc.

Use of LINETYPE for 3D lines in elevation & 3D

Drawing a dashed line in 3D shouldn't be so difficult. Can make it work for a cut body, so should be able to extend that to elevation / 3D?

Somehow introduce parametrics to model-saved objects

When an object is saved from the model, it is 'frozen.' It would be handy to add some simple parametrics, such as length, height, rotation etc - for the user who doesn't know GDL

For the custom interface script, have a visual design paradigm

E.g. Visual Basic, Visual C++

UI_OUTFIELD able to display parameter names, not just values

Would save doubling up on text description

Be able to set intersection priorities to prevent merging of touching geometry

Similar to DRAWINDEX?