This week we look at ways to create your general notes and specifications more quickly and elegantly with the assistance of Microsoft Word.
ArchiCAD has the ability to format text fairly nicely, but it lacks a number of key features that are particularly important in lengthy documents such as general notes. It has rudimentary tab settings without hierarchy or automatic numbering, cannot add graphic enhancements such as boxes around paragraphs that are tied to specific text within a larger block, and does not have multi-column capabilities so each block must be edited and reflowed manually.
Part 1 demonstrates how to use Word to create the general notes for a project and save them as a PDF to be placed into ArchiCAD. Because Word limits the maximum size of a page to 22 inches square, a custom page is created that is the size of one of the columns on the layout. The PDF pages are placed as Drawings onto the sheet, with one PDF page in each column. When the Word document is revised, after overwriting the PDF file, the ArchiCAD layout is easily updated.
Part 2 shows how to work with larger sheets. To get around Word’s limitations of 22 inches, the column image (which is a single page in Word) is enlarged beyond 100%; the font size in Word is adjusted inversely to compensate so that the resulting font size in ArchiCAD is correct. An alternate, optimum approach is shown that sets up an entire sheet image in Word at a reduced scale.
Part 3 explains how to maintain a set of boilerplate general notes in your template, and create independent editable copies for every new project. I also include some general tips about using the Drawing Manager to update and maintain links to drawings from external files and folders.
Please add your comments, questions and feedback below or on the individual pages.
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This 15 minute segment shows how to use Microsoft Word to make a PDF for laying out your general notes and specifications.
This 15 minute segment shows how to use Microsoft Word to make a PDF for laying out larger sheet sizes for general notes and specifications.
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