ArchiCAD Improvements

A map of improvements that could/should be made to ArchiCAD as it currently stands. A few minor, new tools/functions have been suggested (flagged green), but the focus is to comment on improvements of existing tools/functions

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ArchiCAD Improvements by Mind Map: ArchiCAD Improvements

1. Project Indexes, Schedules & Lists

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

1.2. Schedules

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

1.2.2. Should allow for the use of formulas in schedules

1.2.3. Same parameter selection capabilities as Find & Select

1.2.4. Allow filtering of schedules by layers

1.2.5. Allow reserving of elements from schedules

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

1.2.7. Allow to ignore selected parameters when merging lines

1.2.8. Allow hiding of parameters in schedules

1.2.9. Make "Issued Date" available for Layout Index

1.2.10. Have option (maybe in project preferences?) for inserted fields to not be assigned a sorting order

1.2.11. It would be handy to be able to place linked markers into the annotation window

1.2.12. Need to be able to either justify or crop preview window

1.2.13. Allow formatting of title separately to column headers

1.2.14. Row / column size button to also appear in main formatting tab

1.3. Have an integral link with Excel spreadsheets

1.4. Layer Combinations should have unique ID

1.5. Allow formatting of issued date in Project Indexes

1.6. Combine scales that are the same

2. Design Toolbar

2.1. Door

2.1.1. Buy Cadimage Door builder and have as part of standard package

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

2.2. Window

2.2.1. Buy Cadimage Window builder and have as part of standard package

2.3. Skylight

2.3.1. Allow placement into slabs too

2.4. Roof

2.4.1. Clean up composite skins properly with slabs & walls in section

2.4.2. Enter slope as gradient

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

2.5. Shell

2.5.1. Allow custom edge angles, similar to roof

2.6. Wall

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

2.6.2. Allow free editing of outline in elevation

2.6.3. Composite fills clean up properly with slabs & roofs in section

2.6.4. Height adjustable composite skins

2.6.5. Ability to have separate plan & section fills

2.7. Beam

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

2.7.2. Freely adjustable end angles

2.7.3. Cover fills

2.7.4. Allow curving of beam - both in horizontal & vertical planes

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

2.7.6. Rotate core angle of rectangular beam

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

2.7.8. Veneers as per column tool?

2.8. Column

2.8.1. Freely adjustable end angles

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

2.8.3. A display-only arrow showing orientation on selection

2.8.4. Override surface of column veneer

2.9. Slab

2.9.1. 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)

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

2.9.3. Need separate uncut pen for 2D v 3D

2.9.4. When cover fills "Use fill from surface" 3D & 2D should align

2.9.5. When cover fills "Use fill from surface," the background colour in plan should be able to inherit colour

2.10. Stair

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

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

2.10.3. Stair builder needs to have inclined risers

2.11. Railing (NEW)

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

2.11.2. As per stair

2.11.3. Rails sub-category needs a 'uniform' check box so they can all be set the same easily

2.12. Mesh

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

2.12.2. Need another option to "Show no ridges"

2.12.3. Enable uniform thickness

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

2.12.5. Needs to heal with other objects in elevation / 3D

2.13. Curtain Wall

2.13.1. Editable in plan & section

2.14. Morph

2.14.1. Additional command: explode into faces

2.14.2. Additional command: Offset curve along edge

2.15. Zone

2.15.1. Display in section / elevation

2.15.2. Improve performance - large zones get sluggish

2.15.3. Allow quick creation of slabs, walls from zone mass

2.15.4. Tag in section / elevation

2.15.5. Contours should also be controlled by MVO

2.15.6. Allow percentage tone fills, not just solid

2.16. Object

2.16.1. Consistent display options as per slab, roof etc

2.16.2. 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

2.16.3. Specific objects

2.16.3.1. Spaceframe family of objects needs to be able to be rotated along the x-axis

2.16.3.2. Spaceframe Symmetric needs to have option of 4 chords, not just 3

2.16.3.3. "Wall Mounted Ladder" to have extendable brackets if ladder needs to be set further away from wall

2.16.3.4. Need a truncated timber truss object

2.16.3.5. "Picture" should have drop-down list of available pictures - not just a non-intuitive text field

2.16.3.6. "Rail Tube" to have function to turn down ends, without connecting back into intermediate rail

2.16.3.7. The "Steel Beams BS / EN" don't display right in plan when cut planes active

2.16.3.8. Timber objects should have a '/' or 'X' in section - as per standard drafting conventions

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

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

2.17. Ceiling (NEW)

2.17.1. Hello!

2.18. NURBS / true curve modelling (NEW)

3. Document Toolbar

3.1. Dimension

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

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

3.1.3. Dimension display over multiple storeys

3.1.4. When dimensioning to core, need to adjust for Wall Ends

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

3.2. Level Dimension

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

3.3. Text

3.3.1. Uniform settings for text tools - to affect Label-Text

3.3.2. All text to increment by user-defined values when copying

3.3.3. Bullets / numbering functionality would be great

3.3.4. Transluscent text option for use in watermarks

3.4. Label

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

3.4.2. Frame offset distance - consistent with Text tool

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

3.4.4. Uniform settings for text tools - to affect Text

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

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

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

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

3.4.9. Add option for perpendicular orientation

3.4.10. Skin list label should identify the skin of the surface clicked on

3.4.11. Skin list label should be able to limit number of skins listed

3.4.12. Labels should be easy to setup to include any parameter from any loaded library part

3.4.13. Label manipulation very glitchy in plan with rotated view

3.4.14. Dimension thickness for roofs will not read perpendicular thickness, only vertical thickness

3.4.15. Be able to attach labels to lines

3.4.16. Building material labels vs complex profiles: will only recognise skins at cut plane. Should recognise all skins in the profile definition

3.4.17. Should still be able to edit content in the Text Label pane of the settings dialog

3.5. Fill

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

3.5.2. 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.)

3.5.3. Enable linking of fill contours to slabs / roofs etc

3.5.4. Allow overriding of Building Material pens for use with labels in detailing

3.6. Line

3.6.1. Allow different arrow heads for beginning and end

3.6.2. Multi-line capablility

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

3.6.4. Be able to assign a Building Material to the line tools

3.7. Arc/Circle

3.7.1. Radial stretch should be able to create a copy (CTRL key) like the other tools do

3.8. Polyline

3.8.1. When exploding, explode into Lines...like it used to

3.9. Drawing

3.9.1. Opt out of being recognised by Scale Autotext

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

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

3.9.4. Schedules do not currently recognise the scale properly

3.9.5. Title marker

3.9.5.1. Title marker text still needs to be centred with back reference activated - user chooses

3.9.5.2. Need to be able to set text size of text below ID differently to ID

3.9.5.3. Linear Drawing Title Marker Type should include hexagon and octagon

3.9.5.4. Marker offset to drawing should also include a left-right field

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

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

3.9.8. Allow cropping of drawing to marquee area

3.9.9. Should be able to back reference to any placed drawing - not just those linking to a viewport

3.9.10. Embedded layers dialog to remember resizing

3.10. Section

3.10.1. Allow section cut width to be adjustable independently from section head

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

3.10.3. Copy model elements in sections

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

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

3.10.6. Show other section markers automatically

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

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

3.10.9. Allow prefix/suffix text to Referred Drawing

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

3.10.11. Allow cranking of individual story levels to avoid clashes

3.11. Elevation

3.11.1. As per Section

3.12. Interior Elevation

3.12.1. Allow limited elevation range as in sections & elevations

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

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

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

3.12.5. Marked distant area would come in handy

3.13. Worksheet

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

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

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

3.13.4. Drop ID from sheet reference option

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

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

3.13.7. Custom text to have hotspot locator

3.13.8. Have option to turn an independent worksheet into a source worksheet

3.14. Detail

3.14.1. As per Worksheet

3.15. Detailing Tool (NEW)

3.15.1. 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

4. General

4.1. Interface

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

4.1.2. Favorites to be a button on info bar

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

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

4.1.5. Dimension styles need to be easier to modify

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

4.1.7. Split windows

4.1.8. Select on plan option in section/elevation & 3D windows

4.1.9. Parameters dialog needs a button to directly open relevant attributes dialog

4.1.10. Building Material dialog needs linking buttons for Cut Fill & Surface

4.1.11. Tighten up on the space used by many of the tool bars / info bars - too much wasted screen real estate

4.1.12. Bring back the forward / back arrows in the tools settings dialog

4.1.13. Ability to zoom in the preview window of the parameter settings dialog

4.2. 3D Navigation

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

4.2.2. Refer SketchUp - it's very intuitive

4.2.3. Be able to select objects in 3D and remove from filter

4.3. Graphical Representation

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

4.3.2. Draw single line for Above/Below elements (or same story) whose boundaries coincide

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

4.3.4. Display order should be determined from RLs of elements

4.3.5. Should be able to set curve resolution of native objects (slabs, walls, etc) - maybe in MVO?

4.3.6. Option override for element not to heal with adjacent

4.4. Error handling

4.4.1. 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

4.5. Wishes

4.5.1. Lines in 3D!

4.5.2. True curve modelling

4.5.3. Allow component grouping for quick editing of repetitive assemblies

4.6. Codemeter Key / Server

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

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

4.7. Data handling

4.7.1. .pln files should utilise the Delta technology for saving

4.8. General

4.8.1. Include home storey selection in Hammer options

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

4.9. BIMx

4.9.1. Allow for layers & layer combos export

5. Teamwork / BIM Server

5.1. Folder structure or similar for libraries

5.2. Break down "Delete/Modify" into separate categories

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

5.4. Remember user work environment when rejoining project

5.5. Show Joined status for each user in BIM manager

5.6. Allow viewing of Teamwork files in Demo mode

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

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

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

5.10. Ability to adjust Users / Messages window division sizes

5.11. Hotlink manager should have an "Update & Release" button

5.12. Don't refresh hotlink status automatically on manager open

5.13. Reserve button needed in Book Settings dialog

6. Layout Book

6.1. Autotext extras

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

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

6.1.3. Autotext should be able to insert any parameter from any object using Autotext Keywords

6.1.4. Top Elevation (T) of objects

6.2. Reserve button needed in Book Settings dialog

6.3. Revision Manager

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

6.3.2. Should be able to format date a variety of ways

6.4. Layouts

6.4.1. Allow stretching of drawings with marquee & CTRL+H

6.4.2. Enable pasting to multiple sheets in the one operation

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

6.5. Printing

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

7. Select Toolbar

7.1. Arrow

7.1.1. Shortcut key to toggle thru selection methods

7.1.2. Double-click to select connected elements

7.2. Marquee

7.2.1. Shortcut key to toggle thru selection methods

8. Attributes

8.1. Pen Sets

8.1.1. Allow copying of pen attributes from one pen set to another

8.2. Layers

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

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

8.2.3. Need more robust way of managing intersection priorities in layer combinations

8.3. Line Types

8.3.1. Line type names next to line types in drop down boxes

8.4. Fill Types

8.4.1. Allow exploding of fills

8.5. Composite Fills

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

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

8.6. Favorites

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

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

8.7. General

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

8.7.2. "Missing" attributes in objects should automatically be replaced with the previous available

8.8. Building Materials

8.9. Complex Profiles

8.9.1. Ability to adjust curve resolution of complex profiles

8.9.2. Removal of lines between tangential geometry

8.9.3. Enable 'capping' to relevant objects / complex profiles

8.9.4. Enable profiles to have ID & description in definition, as per Building Materials

8.10. Graphic Overrides

8.10.1. Criteria window to have reordering arrows as per scheduling criteria

9. More Toolbar

9.1. Grid Element

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

9.1.2. Grid heads should show around border of placed drawings

9.1.3. Should be able to adjust head height for individual section

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

9.1.5. Need to be able to curve grids after placement more comprehensively

9.1.6. Should show automatically in worksheets & details

9.1.7. Info box options for grid - "Section Botton Grid Marker" mis-spelt

9.2. Wall End

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

9.2.2. Update coding so tool works properly with different structural displays

9.2.3. Enable inclining wall end so that it also cuts the wall

9.3. Corner Window

9.3.1. Not required if Cadimage Door & Window builder is purchased

9.4. Lamp

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

9.4.2. Greater selection of lamps

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

9.5. Radial Dimension

9.5.1. Include Diameter dimension

9.5.2. Centre mark needs to rotate with view orientation

9.5.3. Centre mark needs separate size control

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

9.6. Angle Dimension

9.6.1. Allow chain / string of dimensions

9.7. Spline

9.8. Hotspot

9.9. Figure

9.10. Camera

9.10.1. Turning off cameras shouldn't be so hard to find

10. Menus

10.1. Project Settings

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

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

10.2. File

10.2.1. Allow opening of .pln files as Read Only

10.3. Edit

10.3.1. Display order

10.3.1.1. Show numerical position in display order when adjusting

10.3.1.2. Maybe display order could be set from Building Materials?

10.3.1.3. Select copied elements on command completion doesn't work for Radial Stretch copy (pet palette)

10.3.2. Find & Select

10.3.2.1. Need to be able to select things throughout the entire project or layout book - not just the current story or sheet

10.3.2.2. Should be able to select same parameters that are available in Schedules - and vice versa

10.3.2.3. A 'select & reserve' button on this dialog would be useful

10.3.3. Paste

10.3.3.1. Allow pasting to multiple layouts in the same operation (use dialog)

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

10.4. View

10.4.1. 3D Cutting Planes

10.4.1.1. Should be able to zoom in this window

10.4.1.2. Enter cutting planes by coordinates (e.g. to cut at a specific RL)

10.5. Design

10.5.1. Solid Element Operations

10.5.1.1. To change plan display of affected elements

10.5.1.2. Sideways extrusion would be handy

10.5.2. Align 3D Texture

10.5.2.1. This is far too cumbersome - should have something like a fill handle in both 3D and section/elevation

10.5.2.2. Need to be able to lock the origin & direction to an object (prevents it going out of whack when stretching the wall)

10.5.3. Add column accessory tool

10.6. Document

10.6.1. Layers

10.6.1.1. Should be given the option of moving layer contents to another layer when deleting (cf. SketchUp)

10.6.1.2. Some way (i.e. a project index) of seeing what elements are on a particular layer would be very handy

10.6.2. Renovation

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

10.7. Options

10.8. Teamwork

10.9. Window

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

10.10. Help

10.10.1. Onscreen help needs attention.

10.10.2. Needs 'live' help feed (Revit once again)

11. Publisher

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

11.2. Include check-box called "Overwrite existing"

11.3. Remember pallette dvisions

11.4. Autotext Keywords should include ability to mix and match date formats

12. External Content

12.1. XRefs

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

12.2. Hotlinks

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

12.2.2. Open hotlink manager from any window - not just plan

12.2.3. Rhino still needs the lcf observer. Hotlinking a Rhino file doesn't work that well yet

12.3. IFC

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

12.4. Other links

12.4.1. Live link to Excel spreadsheets

12.5. Save As / Export

12.5.1. Exporting to 3dm (Rhino) should recognise smoothed curves, and export as NURBS

12.5.2. Translator Layer Name Conversion should have sortable columns

13. GDL Scripting

13.1. Allow windows to move to separate screen

13.2. Live updating/formatting of script

13.3. Line numbers down left side of script window

13.4. Allow collapsing of grouped parameters in parameters window

13.5. Find function needs work

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

13.7. Somehow introduce parametrics to model-saved objects

13.8. For the custom interface script, have a visual design paradigm

13.9. UI_OUTFIELD able to display parameter names, not just values

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