Using Find and Select Tools (ArchiCAD Insights Tutorial)

31 Oct, 2007 By: Laszlo Nagy

Tools make it easy to locate and choose elements.

Picture yourself looking at all of the structural steel columns in your virtual building model or building information model. The building load has changed, and you must increase the size of one particular member based on your calculations. How do you quickly find the one member or group of members from the entire building model?

ArchiCAD's Find and Select tool lets you easily locate and choose the exact elements you wish to manipulate or modify.

Get Started
To open the Find and Select toolbox, choose Edit / Find & Select. In this palette you can choose from a large number of criteria for selecting elements placed on the visible layers of the active window.

You may also define multiple sets of find and select criteria without leaving the palette and add or subtract elements that correspond to the new criteria. The search criteria can be automatically populated by using the add icon on the tool palette or by holding the ALT key and any element in the model. You can also load the settings of the last selected element into the Find & Select dialog box. For further information about this feature, search for "Find and Select Elements by Criteria" in the ArchiCAD Help menu or on the ArchiCAD Wiki Web site.

Store and Recall Search Criteria
One of the less well-known features of this tool is its ability to store and recall your search criteria for future use.

Consider this example: From time to time while working on a project, you need to find and select all walls on a story that are using a specific fill type and are placed on a specific layer.


You can either set the Element Type, the Layer, and the Fill fields in the Find & Select dialog box each time you need to select these elements, or you can do the following:

1. Open the Find & Select dialog box.


2. Specify the frequently selection criteria, for example fill, layer, material, and ID, and set their values.


3. Another way to set up these criteria is to select an element in your project that fulfills the required criteria and then click the Copy Settings button in the dialog box. The criterion fields are now filled in with the values of the selected element.


4. Click the right-pointing arrow in the upper-right corner of the dialog box and select Save.


5. Next, specify a name for the saved Find & Select criteria. Use a descriptive name with a maximum of 31 characters.


6. Click Save to store the Find & Select criterion.

Note: These criteria are saved with the project file. This means that they are saved as part of the file structure, rather than in an external preference file. For this reason, Find & Select criteria defined in a project can be used only in that project and can't be saved into a file or transferred into another project.

To later recall a saved criterion for use, do the following:
1. Go to the Find & Select dialog box.

2. Click the right-pointing arrow in the upper-right corner of the dialog box and select Load.


3. From the appearing list, select the criteria set you need.


4. Click Load. The fields of the dialog box are now filled in with the saved criteria and their values.

5. Click the Plus button to Find & Select according to the criteria set.

When needed, use the Rename & Delete option from the list and perform these operations.

Saving and loading Find & Select criteria sets is possible in any model view, including the floor plan, section/elevation views, or the 3D window.

Workflow Ease
As you explore your workflow in the virtual building model, I'm sure you'll find many uses for this functionality.

About the Author: Laszlo Nagy

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