The QuickStart Course

The QuickStart Course provides an introduction to the ArchiCAD work environment, basic tools and methodologies. There are 7 modules, each one with 3 to 6 individual lessons of about 15 to 45 minutes each; a total of 29 lessons and over 13 hours of material.

You may navigate to the course modules through the navigation menu, with the links on the left sidebar, or from the links in the outline below.


Type in a search term (such as “roof” or “stair”) into the Google Custom Search field below, then hit Enter or click the magnifying glass icon. A popup window will show the results of your search from pages on the QuickStart Course; you may then click any of the results to open them in a new browser tab.



Module #1 – Introduction to the Virtual Building Concept and the ArchiCAD Environment

  1. QuickStart Course Introduction – plus a tour of a project file, conceptual overview
  2. Starting to Create a Virtual Building – drawing basic elements, navigation in 2D and 3D
  3. Selection, Navigation and Basic Editing
  4. Connecting and Orienting Walls
  5. Troubleshooting and Additional Notes

Module #2 – Precise Placement and Editing, Introduction to Parameters

  1. Coordinate Input, The Tracker and Guidelines
  2. Precise Placement of Elements
  3. Choosing and Placing Library Parts; Setting a Camera Position
  4. Placing Columns, How to Drag and Multiply Elements
  5. Wall Settings, Eye-Dropper & Syringe, Trimming Walls; Window, Door & Object Settings
  6. Drawing a Floor Slab, Editing the Polygon Boundary

Module #3 – Creating a Building Model to Specific Dimensions

  1. Drawing Exterior Walls, Entering Dimensions from a Drawing
  2. Drawing Interior Partion Walls, Offsets & Distances, Basic Intersection Cleanup
  3. Selecting and Placing Windows and Doors at Specific Locations
  4. Adding an Upper Story with Windows & Doors, Adding Floors, Cutting Sections

Module #4 – Introduction to Roof Construction

  1. Intro to Roof Construction for ArchiCAD 10 through 14
  2. Intro to Roof Construction for ArchiCAD 15
  3. Creating the Roofs for the Sample Building

Module #5 – Fixtures and Furniture; Annotation, Layers and Views; Creating Drawings and Layout Sheets

  1. Adding fixtures and furniture to the building; use of the Marquee tool for visualization and editing
  2. Layer Selection and Management; Placing Text and Dimensions
  3. Layer Combinations, View Settings, Model View Options & Cut Plane Settings
  4. The Fill Tool and the Label Tool
  5. The Layout Book; Placing Views as Drawings onto Layout Sheets

Module #6 – 2D Drawings (Details and Worksheets), Printing and Plotting, Stairs and Railings

  1. Creating Detail Drawings and Worksheets
  2. Printing, Plotting and Publishing
  3. Stairs: Creation, Configuration and Placement in the Model
  4. Railings: Placing and Editing in 2D and 3D

Module #7 – Interior Elevations, Terrain modeling, Schedules and Indexes

  1. Interior Elevations
  2. Site Modeling with Mesh, Slab and Object Tools
  3. Schedules and Indexes

Copyright 2011 – Eric Bobrow

Share Your Comments Here... (35 comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. KissingerNnuji
    8 years ago

    Hi. Erick
    On Tuesday the 19th of April 2016, I ordered for The Quick Start Course for Archicad which is to be delivered to Budapest, Hungary. My intention of this order is for the package Disc of The Quick Start Course for Archicad and not for signing up for the QuickStart Course for ArchiCAD as I received a mail thanking me for signing up and not for the Disc package purchase.
    I would like to know what date the package Disc will likely arrive and when and how will I get notification of it’s arrival. How can I track it?

    Secondly, I joined your web site members home with the password giving to me after finalizing the purchase, but could not find the continuation modules of The Quick Start Course for Archicad that I desire. (ArchiCAD Basic Training Lesson 8 to 29 | QuickStart Course)

    Your sincerelly,

    • Eric Bobrow
      8 years ago

      Hi KissingerNnuji –

      Thank you for your purchase of the QuickStart Course. Your disk will be shipped out by Air Mail within the next couple of business days from our manufacturing facility in Nevada, USA. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to arrive. I’m not sure if there will be a tracking number, since it’s sent via mail rather than a courier system, however I will check on this and forward the information to you as and when I have it.

      Re your question about online access to the full QuickStart Course, you’ll see these in the member area under the QuickStart Course menu. The course is divided into 7 Modules, each with 3 to 5 parts. The first 7 modules (the ones on YouTube) are Module 1 Parts 1 thru 5 plus Module 2 Parts 1 and 2. The first one following that is Module 2 Part 3. There are a total of 29 parts distributed through the 7 Modules.


  2. MengjuWu
    9 years ago

    What you demonstrated was so clear, simple and easy to understand, and very systematic.
    I think that it will never be too late to learn !

  3. William Buttmi
    11 years ago

    Hi Eric,

    Do you have anything on renderings for presentation and 3d details for plan documents?

    Thank you and really have been getting a great deal out of your teaching.


    • MarthaEaton
      11 years ago

      Hi Eric,
      I just finished going through the quick start course briefly i will start again and follow you with the small building. I must say i finally stated to see and understand you are a great teacher thank you so much.
      I have two questions
      1 Where do i find the files with the floor plan and furniture.
      2 I would like to know if you have any courses in Rendering and creating objects if you don’t’ have anything could you advice me of where i can buy some good tuition courses DVD
      I am looking forward to to continuing my learning with you

  4. TimothySchorre
    12 years ago

    Hello Eric,
    Looking forward to getting into the Quick Start Course. I enrolled yesterday, and thought I was ordering a DVD copy also. However my invoice did not list the charge for the DVD. Can you let me know whether or not my DVD order was received? If not I will order one separately through your site.
    Thank you,
    Tim Schorre

    • Eric Bobrow
      12 years ago

      Timothy –

      Yes, we received your DVD order, and I have processed it. The disk should go out by USPS first class mail Monday or Tuesday from our production facility in Nevada, and you should have it within a few days.

      These DVD orders are processed separately by our system as an “add-on” to the original order, so they are not included on the primary invoice. You should have received a secondary invoice receipt for the DVD later that same day, when the queued up orders were processed.

      Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and help you get the most out of ArchiCAD!


  5. Gordon
    12 years ago


    What can I say, I really look forward to coming home after work and learning more about ArchiCad. You bring it over so easy and I can take it straight in. Your course material is very good in coverage also.
    So I just wanted to let you know that this course has taught me a lot in a small amount of time, and its great how I can revisit when I need to. Thank you so much for putting this course together and the way you have.
    I really am enjoying it and then putting your teaching into practice on my projects to try it out for myself, its a right Buzz, I feel I know something now…… Thank you again !!!

  6. GlennCurran
    12 years ago


    Your courses are brilliant! I’ve only had time to just dip in and out a few times, but have already learnt so much. I need to place some gutters and downspouts on a building, with swan necks in the downspouts at eaves level, but don’t know what tools to use. Can you point me in the right direction, please? I use AC10.

    Many thanks.

    Glenn Curran

    • Eric Bobrow
      12 years ago

      Glenn –
      Thanks for your enthusiastic comments – I greatly appreciate them!

      Re gutters and downspouts – in the U.S. version there are some objects in the standard library that are useful for modeling these elements, and I imagine there are some in the International version as well.

      Open up the Object tool and in the upper left of the Object Settings dialog change the popup menu from Folder View to “Find library parts”, then type in “gutter” and click Find. You’ll see some objects that you can experiment with. Repeat with “down” and you’ll see some Downspouts you can place.

      I am looking at this in AC15, so I don’t know offhand whether these same parts existed in the AC10 library – try what I told you and see!


      • GlennCurran
        12 years ago


        A belated thank you.

  7. JohnWalker
    13 years ago

    Can you build a schedule (or list) that can quantify areas/volumes of material within a composite wall, floor or roof assembly such as drywall or insulation components? If so, will these quantities automatically deduct for such things as window and door openings or would it give gross areas/volumes?

    • Eric Bobrow
      13 years ago

      John –

      In ArchiCAD, a schedule can list elements (such as doors, windows or objects) with their attributes (height, width, ID, and other explicit parameter values) but cannot do calculations other than total up how many items are in a group.

      The reporting group called Lists can quantify areas and volumes of elements as a whole, and do some calculations based on rules of thumb (i.e. calculating number of studs by dividing the length of a wall by the stud spacing) or other formulas. These are somewhat tricky to create, but can be very powerful.

      Wall surface areas can be reported by ArchiCAD and automatically take into account (and subtract out) window and door openings. There are some pre-supplied Lists that report on basic wall areas and volume that you’ll find in the List section of the Project Map. You can also use the Window menu > Palettes > Element Info palette to report on selected elements (such as walls) to get their total lengths, areas and volumes.

      I will be going into all of this in some detail in the upcoming Best Practices Course section on quantities and takeoffs.


    13 years ago

    Hi Eric
    After some time, I joined the (QuickStart) club!
    It may be me, but I can’t seem to find the QS Course DVD order page.
    When I Go to “Order Course on DVD”; I end up in de Best Practises DVD section…
    “The video lessons are available for viewing any time in your web browser, and may be downloaded to your computer for offline access. An optional DVD with all the videos is available for an additional $19 including shipping anywhere in the world.”
    BTW How does this DVD work?

    • Eric Bobrow
      13 years ago

      Jan –

      Thanks for your posting. It has taken me a little while, but I’ve finally put the order page for the QuickStart Course DVD online – you’ll find it in the navigation menu above under The QuickStart Course > “Get the QuickStart Course on DVD”.

      The DVD has all the course materials so that you don’t have to download anything. There is a special HTML web page that you can open in your web browser (without being connected to the internet except for a quick initial setup) which allows you to browse all the lessons and view them.

      If you wish, you may copy the contents of the DVD to your computer hard drive, and the lessons may be viewed in the same way. The “raw” video files are in MP4 format, and may also be accessed using QuickTime Player or any other video playback tool you prefer.

      Please let me know if you have any questions or problems ordering the QuickStart Course DVD.


  9. JohnAllan
    13 years ago

    Having struggled with Archicad and Graphisoft’s Essentials tutorials for a couple of years and having now worked through all Eric’s Quick Start Course modules as an entree I’m eagerly looking forward to the main Course. The QSC should come with every new copy of Archicad to get new users working with this complex, and expensive, programme quickly and effectively.

    Eric deserves a great round of applause for his generosity and professionalism in the way he has presented the QSC. He has packed so much information into each module that he explains very clearly and patiently. Especial thanks Eric for the invaluable time spent on the comparison with the International version. The Coaching Calls, a bonus, are packed with nuggets of useful information.

    I found module 5 particularly useful in the explanation of the functioning of the Navigator, Layers and Layer Combinations, aspects of the software with which, until now, I have had difficulty. Aspects vital to the efficient management and control of projects.

    The QSC is exceptionally good value for money as it gets one, very quickly, working with the software. I’ve no doubt the the rest of The Course will be of equally high standard and will lead to mastery of ArchiCad. All in all an exceptional reference and very good value for money.

    Many thanks Eric.

  10. alkis
    13 years ago

    Dear Eric,

    I would like to know i am a begginer in archicad i really dont know a thing will this course help me if i sign up? and also when i sign up and pay i will be able to download all the lessons and practise files?? does iit matter that i live in europe??
    thank you very much!!!



    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Alkis –

      The QuickStart Course would be perfect for you!

      It is ideal for beginners like you to learn the basics of ArchiCAD.

      When you sign up you will be able to download all the lessons and practice files.

      We have course members from all over the world – being in Europe is not a problem at all.

      Please join us!

      • alkis
        13 years ago

        Dear Eric,

        Thank you very much for your quick response I will join for sure!
        Thank you!!!!


  11. RonCouch
    13 years ago

    I received an email today that states “I’m delighted to announce that the QuickStart Course has been completed! The QuickStart Course is comprised of 7 modules with 29 individual lessons totaling over 13 hours of material. ”

    5-1 is the last one I am able to view / download. …
    Is there a new link?
    I seem to be missing something.

    Ron C.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Ron –
      I’m not sure why you are only seeing part of the course materials. You may need to clear your browser cache, since it seems like it is only showing you part of the current website. You should be able to see Modules 1 through 7 in the QuickStart Course menu, and also see all of the lessons listed in the left-hand sidebar. If you need any guidance on how to clear your browser cache, you can Google it – this is easy to do, but is different for each browser. Alternatively, you can try logging in using a different browser.

      • RonCouch
        13 years ago

        I see now that the links are active on the sidebar. It seems the main page links from:
        Module 5
        2. Annotating…
        does not point to the videos like the sidebar. (black text vs blue text that acts as button)

        No worries… I’ll just use the sidebar!
        I look forward to viewing the new content. I hope you are feeling better… don’t stress!

        Ron C

        • Eric
          13 years ago

          Ron –
          I have updated the course outline above and added hyperlinks to all the lessons.
          Thanks for reminding me to bring this page fully up to date!

  12. RossCahill-OBrien
    13 years ago

    Very good so far, very clear instruction which is just what I need, Esp the eye dropper tool to copy and turn on the different tools and set them up for object placment. Is there a way to shift click the eye dropper tool to copy over the finishes but not change the object?
    Yes I have watched them all and gone over one or two and there is always something in there for me thanks very much.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Ross –

      Thanks for the positive feedback about the clarity of the instruction.

      With regards to the eye-dropper and syringe, unfortunately it’s all or nothing – when you pick up the settings and transfer them, all of them go together – you can’t choose just one part like the finishes.

      There is an add-on from the Italian firm Cigraph called ArchiMaterials that will do this for you – just transfer the materials from one object to another. If this is more than a passing irritation or question, and actually something that you’d really like to find a faster solution for, you may want to consider purchasing this add-on, or ArchiSuite, their bundle of all Cigraph add-ons for ArchiCAD:


  13. DamianMurray
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric
    I have been away from the course for a while and have come back and tried to download some of the quickstart file but keep getting the message:

    “Error 404 – Page Not Found
    We couldn’t find the page you were looking for. Please return to the home page”

    I have also tried downloading by right clicking and “save link as…”, but his does n’t seem to work either. I am definitely logged in so what could the problem be?

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Damian –

      I created the links to the pages in the QuickStart Course outline (on this page) in a hurry, copying and pasting them from the sidebar, and didn’t test them. For some reason, WordPress (the tool used to create the site) garbled all of these links when they were pasted in.

      I have corrected the links, and tested them, so they all should work now.

      The technique of right-clicking and using Save As is useful for the videos themselves – it won’t help with accessing the actual pages – particularly when the links are broken! Oops…sorry!


  14. Michael Pearce
    13 years ago

    I am signed up for the course, but I can’t see how to access the quick start videos? What am I doing wrong?

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Michael –

      The QuickStart lessons are found under the QuickStart Course menu in the navigation bar. If you are visiting these pages but see a message that the video is only available to members, then you probably have not logged in to the website. Use the Login link in the navigation menubar, and enter your email address and password, then return to the QuickStart Course pages.

      If you don’t recall your password, you may use the lost password link.

      If this answer doesn’t resolve the problem, please contact me via email and I’ll be happy to work with you to make sure you have full access.


      • Eric
        13 years ago

        By the way, in case the QuickStart Course menu is getting a bit long for your screen, you can navigate to the course lessons using the links in the left-hand sidebar.

  15. TerryMartin
    13 years ago


    I just completed the first two modules of the QuickStart course and found them very informative. I’m familiar with all the tools you discussed but I’m not familiar with all their uses and I don’t know the shortcuts. This has been very helpful and I learned a number of good tips. When will the next Module be posted.

    Also, I’m in the process of bringing in a site topo plan for a project I’m working on. I have the Start10 Edition and have had problems importing pdf’s. Is there a method that works in this edition? Is there another format that works better? What lesson would you recommend I watch to get the answers? I hate jumping ahead but the project calls.

    Terry Martin

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Terry –

      I hadn’t seen your question until just now, I think because you might have posted it when I was ill in June. So I apologize for not replying in a timely manner.

      I’m glad to hear that you have enjoyed the first two modules of the course – at this point in mid-August we now have two more modules that I hope you’ve had a chance to review.

      The Start Edition does not support import of PDF’s – it’s one of the limitations that Graphisoft has placed on this version to differentiate it from ArchiCAD itself, and to provide some incentive for people to buy ArchiCAD in the first place (rather than the Start Edition) or to later decide to upgrade to ArchiCAD (which you can do at any time).

      The workaround for not being able to place PDF’s is to save the PDF image as a JPG file, which is raster-based (it uses pixels rather than vectors) but will look fine as long as you use a high enough resolution. If you have Photoshop or a similar image editor, open the PDF file and set it for 300 dpi resolution, then save your JPG.

      If you don’t have software like that, then you can copy from Acrobat Reader to the clipboard, and paste into ArchiCAD. To get high enough resolution, select the area you want to copy with the rectangular selection tool (similar to the ArchiCAD marquee), then zoom in to 400% before you copy. This will copy the selected area at 4 times normal screen resolution, which should look good for printing purposes.

      If the PDF is a scan of a paper site plan or topographic map, it may be huge (a full size architectural sheet at 300 dpi to begin with). If so, you may need to experiment with the resolution you use to copy and paste, since you don’t want to have such a huge amount of raster data that screen redraw is impacted.

      I hope this is helpful.

  16. charles youngblood
    13 years ago

    None that are of a constructive nature…just that :
    Your presentations are smoothly produced and so very easy to follow along with! Very professional work that you provide us in your courses!

    Charles Youngblood PE

  17. Jackie
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric
    When do you expect to have the quickstart course up and running? I can’t wait to get started!

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Jackie –
      I have just posted the first four lessons of the QuickStart Course. They total over 70 minutes of material, and together comprise the first of the six course modules. More coming soon!