Using Standard Details in a Project (ArchiCAD Insights Tutorial)

30 Apr, 2008 By: Laszlo Nagy

This method embeds one or more external detail drawings into a project.

This article explains one method to embed one or more external detail drawings into an ArchiCAD project. In this example, I will embed a standard balcony and wall-slab intersection detail into a project and place them onto a layout so they will be published as part of the documentation set. I will also create a detail marker that contains an intelligent reference to the detail on the layout.

For general information, you may want to look for Worksheets, Details or Define Marker Reference for Linked Marker in the ArchiCAD Help menu or at ArchicadWiki.

1. Create an independent worksheet using the Document / Documenting Tools / Create Independent Worksheet command.

2. In the dialog box, specify the Reference ID and Name for the new Worksheet (you can modify these later if you need to).


3. The new worksheet appears in the Project Map of the Navigator under Worksheets. Right-click its name in the Navigator, and in the appearing context menu, select the Open or the Open in New Window command to open the Worksheet.

4. Use the File / External Content / Place External Drawing command to place a drawing containing the standard detail drawing into the worksheet view. There are several file types you can choose from, including ArchiCAD project file types, DXF/DWG files, DWF files, and PDF files.


5. As an optional step, add any annotations or needed drawing data to the detail drawing in the worksheet view.

6. While still in the worksheet, switch to View Map in the Navigator, and click the Save Current View button. (If you want it in a specific location in your View Map, you will need to place the saved view into a folder in your Organizer later.)


7. In the dialog box, set all fields to their desired values and click the Create button to create the view according to these settings.


For general information on this topic, see Setting up a View in ArchiCAD Help or at ArchicadWiki.

8. Go to the Project Organizer. Make the View Map window appear on the left panel, and make the Layout Book window appear in the right panel. From the View Map, drag the view of the worksheet you just created onto a layout of your choice.


For general information on the Organizer, see Organizer Palette (Special Navigator View) in ArchiCAD Help or at ArchicadWiki.

9. Switch to the layout and move the drawing created from the worksheet view to the position of your choice.


10. Go to the section where you want to place a detail marker that will refer to this drawing on the layout.

11. Activate the Detail Tool and go to the Detail Settings dialog box.

12. Set the Reference ID and Name for the detail marker. Under the Name field, select Place Linked Marker from the dropdown list.


13. In the dialog box, choose the selected drawing from the dropdown choices under The Marker Will Refer To field. In the field below, the list of layouts appears. Select the drawing created from the worksheet that contains the standard detail. Click OK to accept your choice.


14. Draw the marker boundary in the section and place the detail marker. If the detail is repeated in several parts of the project, you can simply drag copies of the detail marker you just placed in the section.


15. Repeat the above steps for each additional standard detail you wish to embed into your project.

This tutorial focused on placing standard details into projects. If you have a detail that will require editing in the worksheet, you should choose to Merge or Copy / Paste the detail data into the worksheet window and not use the Place External Drawing command in Step 4 because that command creates a noneditable drawing.

You should also be aware that any new attributes such as layers, line types, or fill types coming from the detail may be added to your building model. If layer management is not a concern for you, you can choose to explode the external drawing after it is placed in the worksheet. If layer management is a concern, then you can open a new ArchiCAD project based on the settings of your current project, place the detail data into that file, modify its attributes as necessary, and then Merge or Copy / Paste the detail into your main project file.

When you place several standard details into your project, it is a good idea to first place them all into worksheets, create saved views for all of them, and then drag and drop them onto layouts in batches. In the Master Layout Settings, use the Drawing Placement panel to define how the program should arrange a batch of views dropped onto layouts. This way, you can place multiple detail views at once on your layouts.

For additional information on this topic, please see Arranging Multiple Drawings on the Layout in the ArchiCAD Help menu or look for further information at ArchicadWiki.

About the Author: Laszlo Nagy

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