This 24 minute video lesson shows you how to draw walls (or other elements) to precise lengths by entering values into the Tracker or Coordinate palettes. Both Imperial and Metric systems are discussed, along with the Options menu > Project Preferences > Measurement Units command that allows you to switch methods.
I explain the concept of the Project Origin (“absolute zero point”) and User Origin (which may be placed using the Origin “x” button in the toolbar to a convenient location) and the Edit Origin (which usually is the last clickpoint; for example, the starting point of the wall or the original start point for a drag or move operation).
Entering distances into the tracker is easier than with the legacy Coordinate palette (you don’t have to type a coordinate letter such as X or Y, and you don’t need to type in a negative number for going left or down onscreen). The tracker also follows the cursor onscreen. However, sometimes it is useful to turn the tracker off, or it may accidentally be turned off, so in this lesson I show how to turn it on and off as needed.
Guide Lines are snappable dashed lines onscreen that aid in drafting or modeling along axes or other standard angles. They can be turned on or off as well, and I show how this is done. An alternative to guide lines for locking in an angle is to hold down the Shift key on the keyboard (the same one you use for CAPITAL letters); this legacy alternative is still available and may sometimes be easier for lining things up. I show how to use guide lines to align one element with another, by pointing at the alignment corner, waiting for the blue dashed lines to appear, then gesturing or “stroking” with the mouse along one of the blue lines until it becomes an orange “lasting guide line” that may be used for snapping.
TECHNICAL ADDENDUM: Graphisoft has changed the behavior of Guide Lines in ArchiCAD 15. While drawing or dragging an element, a large orange dot will appear whenever you hover over an element edge; to create a guide line along that edge, click the orange dot. A guide line may be projected along a coordinate axis from a node point (e.g. the corner or end of an element) by pressing down on that node and dragging along an axis until ArchiCAD shows a tentative guide line, then releasing the mouse; the actual drawing or editing operation will then proceed, but with the guide line visible for use in alignment. For a demonstration and explanation of the new behavior of guide lines in ArchiCAD 15, please see my video tutorial Guide Lines in ArchiCAD 15.
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