A Few of My Favorite Things (ArchiCAD Insights Tutorial)

1 Jan, 2008 By: Laszlo Nagy

Use ArchiCAD's Favorites tool to save standard details for drawings.

After a number of years practicing, most architectural firms have a standard set of elements that they use repeatedly and in multiple projects. These elements may be standard details, wall types, doors and windows, and other construction and design elements. This month's "Alibre Insights" tutorial describes how to save these standard elements with your standard settings for easy reuse in other projects or across a project team.

For general information about this function, you can search for Favorites in the ArchiCAD Help menu or on the ArchiCAD Wiki Web site.

Saving Standard Wall Element Settings
Let's start with a standard wall that you want to establish as Wall Type 1 and use in other projects or share with your project team.

Step 1. Open the project from which you wish to obtain the standard element settings.


Step 2. Select the Wall element and go to its Settings dialog box.


Step 3. At this point, you can modify any settings of the selected wall so that the settings reflect exactly the wall type you want to save.


Step 4. Click on the Favorites button at the top of the dialog box.


Step 5. In the Apply Favorites Dialog, click the Save Current Settings as Favorite button.


Step 6. In the appearing dialog, type the new name for the element settings. Try to use descriptive names or abbreviations so you can easily recognize a Favorite's function.


Step 7. Click the OK button to save these changes.


Step 8. Repeat steps 2 through 7 for each element you wish to save.

Applying Settings of Saved Wall Favorites
Step 1. Select the Wall element to which you want to apply standard settings.

If needed, you can select multiple elements using the Find & Select tool. Applying a Favorite is the easiest way to transfer parameters to several elements in a single step.


Step 2. Open the Settings dialog box and click the Favorites button at the top.


Step 3. From the Favorite Names list, select the name of the Favorite you wish to apply to the selected Wall and click Apply.


Step 4. Wall Settings are then modified to those of the Favorite you just applied. Click OK to accept changes.


Step 5. The selected Wall has now changed to the desired type.

Favorites Palette
To display the Favorites palette, use the Window / Palettes / Favorites command. From here you can save, apply, delete, and rename Favorites or redefine them based on the current selection.


The Favorites palette can be docked like other palettes.

Favorites can also be saved into a file from the Favorites palette and loaded onto another computer.


You can also use Favorites preferences, accessible from the Favorites palette, to define which parameters to exclude when applying the settings of a Favorite to a selection. For example, if you check the height parameter for a wall, all settings stored in the Favorite are applied to the selected wall (or walls) except its height. This setting may be useful when you use Favorites in different projects with varying story heights.


Using Favorites lets you take advantage of the knowledge base in your firm quickly and easily. You can refine your content to a well-understood kit of parts that can be used in typical projects. Saving this knowledge as Favorites in ArchiCAD makes sure that each team member has access to this knowledge regardless of his or her experience level.

Favorites can be applied to different phases of a project beginning with nominal sizes for conceptual design and becoming more refined as you move forward through a project, helping every project get started on a fast track to completion.

About the Author: Laszlo Nagy

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