ArchiCAD Basic Training – Module 6
6-2. Printing, Plotting and Publishing

ArchiCAD Training –  (Quick Start Course – 6-2)

This 30 minute lesson focuses on printing, plotting and publishing drawings from your model as well as the layout sheets you prepare.

When preparing for either printing or plotting, the setup is important. Use the File menu > Page Setup command to choose which printer to use, the paper size (or create a custom size if necessary) and orientation. The Plot Setup command gives similar options for large scale devices that use a plotting interface.

The Print command is somewhat more flexible than the Plot dialog, in that one can choose to output either the entire drawing (from the active window, either the current View of a plan or elevation etc., or a layout sheet), the zoomed view (whatever is seen onscreen at that moment, a marquee view (draw a marquee to select an area of interest for output), or the selected layout sheets in the Navigator. If the print image at a standard scale will not fit on the current paper, you may choose to print multiple sheets, or perhaps rescale the output to fit the paper.

The Plot command is available for devices that require it – these are typically older plotters that do not have a printer driver available for your computer. Aside from the reduced options regarding marquee and zoom areas, the controls are similar.

The Publisher is an area of the Navigator, accessed by clicking the button at the top right. You may create multiple Publisher Sets, each with Property Properties that determine whether it will print, plot or save one or more layouts or drawings.

To manipulate Publisher Sets, it is necessary to use the Organizer, a double-wide version of the Navigator that may be opened from the Project Chooser button in the top left of the Navigator. In the Organizer, items may be dragged from the left hand side (which may show any part of the Navigator hierarchy) to the right hand side (which may show any Publisher Set, or may also be used to manage the Layout Book or View Map).

Each Publisher Set may be Published in its entirety (for example, printing all the layouts in the list) or a subset may be output (select one or more items in the list, then use the Publish Selected Items option from the Publish button).

When using the Save option from Publisher, the Publishing Properties determine the Path or location on your computer where the files will be saved. In addition, the Format section allows you to choose PDF, DWG or other variations for saving the files. If you choose DWG, you will then have additional options to fine-tune the output using the DWG Translator Settings dialog.

For both PDF and DWG, if you create a folder in the Publisher Set, and place layouts or Views inside that folder, then you may optionally select that folder and choose to combine the individual files into a single larger file. This will result in a single PDF or DWG file that has multiple pages or views representing each layout sheet.

Thank you for visiting the Best Practices Course website. The video lessons are available for members only. If you are an active member and would like to watch the ArchiCAD training video on this page, please login to the website. If you are not currently a member, please visit the following pages for more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course or for the Best Practices ArchiCAD Coaching Program. Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course

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ArchiCAD Training: Printing, Plotting and Publishing

Let us know how you feel... (14 comments so far)

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  1. GrantEmans
    11 years ago

    Does ArchiCAD 15 Starter edition have publisher option on the navigation area?

    • Eric Bobrow
      11 years ago

      Grant –

      You know, I’m not totally sure about this, since I work in the full version of ArchiCAD. I thought that it did, but the only way to know is to look in the Navigator palette and see if there are 4 icons in the upper right area: Project Map, View Map, Layout Book, and Publisher. If you see those, then you’ve got the Publisher features.

      If not, then you can rely on the File menu to Print or Plot each Layout individually, or (by selecting multiple Layout Sheets in the Layout Book) you can choose to Print or Plot multiple sheets in one step. This works pretty well, it’s just not quite as automated.


  2. gregpickworth
    12 years ago


    I am pleasantly surprised at the similarity with archicad7 and archicad 13. The are i am stugging with a little is the publishing part. ….

    I have a had one difficulty ….. the navigator palette drops out when I use any drawing tool ….. I have to go back to window<palettes and select navigator constantly?….. why does navigator drop out like that….?… Why is it not stable?
    What are the differences between the project map and view map ….. I understand layout book.
    I am having trouble getting this part sorted….. the lessons do not seem to get that across easily.
    I would like to know more about the navigation section of archicad.

    I feel I will start to use archicad 13 then upgrade to your full training programme …. right now I need to get some familiarity under my belt.

    Many thanks generally ….. I am going well and very much appreciate your course. The only constructive comment i might make relates to the way you talk about both metric and feet inches ….. for me this is a little messy….. maybe better to have one or the other? …
    greg pickworth

    • Eric Bobrow
      12 years ago

      Greg –

      Thanks for posting your comments and questions here.

      1. You have accidentally triggered the Auto-hide feature of the Navigator. To turn this off, simply right-click in the top area of the Navigator, and from the popup menu, turn off Auto-hide. Then the Navigator will be stable and remain visible. I think the Auto-hide feature is of limited use, mainly when you have a very small laptop screen and will be working in one window (such as the floor plan) for a while and don’t need to jump around to other parts of the project file.

      2. The View Map is similar to the old QuickViews in ArchiCAD 7 (I think that’s what they were called). Each item in the View Map records a Viewpoint (such as a floor plan story, or an elevation, or a section, etc.) along with ALL the settings for HOW to view that part of the project – the Layer Combination, Scale, Model View Options (formerly called Display Options), etc.

      You will need to create and record a View for each construction document drawing, and use them to place these Drawings onto the Layout Sheets. You may also use Views for common modeling or presentation tasks, with perhaps different layer combos than you might use for working drawings.

      I have an extensive section of the Best Practices Course on this topic, since it is so important, and often is confusing to users.

      With regards to metric vs. feet and inches, it’s a difficult challenge, since I need to make everyone around the world reasonably comfortable. It is messy, but if I did only one, then many people would feel left out…


  3. Avatar photo
    12 years ago

    thank you Eric, know I can organize better the margin, set up more than one drawing to print, and the most important is publishing the drawings in PDF. I would like to know how can I email just the drawings in the publisher.

    • Eric Bobrow
      12 years ago

      Salma –
      You can add to a Publisher Set either Layouts or Views or both. Each drawing is based on a View, so to email just the drawings you can create a Publisher Set with just the Views that are associated with those Drawings; then publish that set to a folder; then zip up the folder to compress the drawings into a single archive file; then email it.

      • Avatar photo
        12 years ago

        Thanks Eric

  4. Hagit Popper
    13 years ago

    Thank you Eric, for clarifying all phases of the printing process.So far, following the course, I feel you made it possible for me, to use ArchiCad increasingly to its full advantage. Your explanations of all that’s incorporated within AC commands makes it understandable and accessible. I feel that I can now navigate through AC elegantly in an increasingly knowledgeable way.

  5. Avatar photo
    13 years ago

    Thank you Eric,

    I always suspected that I was making printing of my projects more difficult than it had to be – this brilliant little video has now confirmed that suspicion!

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Andrew –
      Thanks for your great feedback on the video – I’m so glad it is helpful!

  6. Chris Ellis
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric,

    You never cease to amaze me with the precious nuggets you reveal with each “episode”. Having used Archicad since version 6.5, I’ve missed noticing these for over a decade now.
    Thanks for being a new set of eyes for me, and many others, I’m sure.

    Your course has been the best investment I’ve ever made !

    Chris Ellis
    Cape Cod, MA USA

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Chris –
      WOW – thanks for your great feedback!

  7. Albert Van ee
    13 years ago

    Thank you so much for doing all this work !!! I was wondering if you would do a quick tutorial on the Detailer object and how to use it properly?