January – June 2011
Office Hours – March 17, 2011

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
Want to download this video, pause or resume playback, jump to a specific point or watch this video in a larger window? Click here for Video Playback Notes...

This recording was made on March 17, 2011 during the first “Office Hours” coaching call. In this call, after a brief introduction, I address questions by the following course members:

  • Graham Richmond – creating linked detail callouts on plan and section
  • Diana T. – controlling model view options for doors, windows and wallholes for site plans
  • Eric Hathaway – rendering a high resolution for output on large boards
  • Iain Dykes – control of visibility of walls on remote stories
  • Jutta Court – approaches to managing pensets for greyscale output

This was the first run-through for the Office Hours coaching calls, in which I address questions on the fly from members that request a time slot ahead of time. It seemed to work pretty well, but I’m very interested in your feedback. Please add your comments below.

I am aware that the video from my webcam for the intro and closing sections was very choppy (the audio was OK), and I will investigate ways to improve that. Also, the lighting and positioning of the camera in relation to my seating made me look even more tired than I actually was. Hopefully I can appear more bright-eyed next time!

 ArchiCAD Training Session Notes

Creating Detail Markers That Are Linked Properly to a Detail Created in Another View 0:08:13
Creating An Independent Detail 0:19:39
Reducing the Scale & Removing Elements of a Floor Plan (For Perhaps a Key Plan) 0:25:14
Changing the Floor Plan to a Very Small Scale Same for Sections 0:35:48
Model View Options 0:40:39
How To Get Resolutions Suitable For Very Large Printed Output (Discussed – Not Discussed) 0:47:31
How to Show Doors & Windows as Simple Cut Outs in a Section 1:01:30
Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings & Showing Walls On Particular Settings 1:06:30
Pen Colors & The Printed Product 1:12:53

ArchiCAD Training – Coaching Call – March 17, 2011

Please give me your comments and feedback – I love to read what you post and will reply when I can!


Let us know how you feel... (11 comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. Salma Mussa
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric

    I couldn’t attend to this office hours, but I will save it to see latter.
    I am Happy the way you present your course, and I believe that I will learn to use ArchiCad properlly. Actually the difficult is low condition of internet in my area, and it takes long to download the lessons. Anyway I could watch the 7 keys of best practices, part 3 and half of part 2. It is nice explained and clear.


    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Salma –
      Thanks for your note. I’m sorry to hear about the problems with the internet connection.
      All of the course materials will be included in the DVD set, which I can see you already ordered. This will make it much easier for you, I imagine.

  2. John Allan
    13 years ago

    Good to see you Eric. Just watched the recorded version of the first “Office Hours” and although not all of it immediately relevant to me (still struggling with the basics) I found it very instructive and have saved the recording for future use.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Thanks John for your kind words…

  3. Avatar photo
    Mariya Lilith
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric,

    I thought you might want to know that during the March 17th recording I could hear you, but the screen was frozen almost the entire time I was listening so I couldn’t view anything. I don’t know if anyone else experienced this. Fortunately, I am able to view it with no problem now.

    Another informative video.


    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Mariya –
      I’m sorry to hear about your problems with the connection during the call. You were the only person who mentioned a problem, so it seems like it was local rather than affecting many attendees. I’m glad the recorded version worked out!

  4. Diana T.
    13 years ago

    Thank you Eric for answering my question.

    I hope Graphisoft considers in the next future to make easier to control the level of detail in section view of default library elements.

    Best wishes,


    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Diana –

      I’m glad you found my answer useful.

      Regarding your desire for Graphisoft to improve the software, the best place to express this is in the ArchiCAD-Talk forum, which has a wishlist discussion section for suggestions and requests for Graphisoft. I don’t mind at all that you state your idea and wishes here, but I think it would be good for you to also go to ArchiCAD-Talk and add your comment there, with a little explanation of what you mean and why it is important to you.


      • Diana T.
        13 years ago

        Good advice, thank you 🙂

  5. Christopher Ellis
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric,

    I just watched your recording of March 17 office hours …. very informative. I’m enjoying your relaxed style very much. I’ve taught as well and you handle the software for calls, emails, chat, and Archicad seamlessly.

    Uta’s (?) question about the grayscale output: if she was printing out from a layout, my computer seems to default to “Arch Pens Black” when I place a view. Perhaps this is her issue.

    I have to remember to change Arch Pens Black to the US Archicad 10 Pen library to get colors as they appear on my screen. I use a lot of bright blue (pen 7 or pen 125) for dimensions and labels because the building in black is punched up a bit that way. I like the gray pen 132 for windows and doors as well. It adds subtly to elevation views. Can this Arch Pens Black behavior be changed to default to the 10 library ?

    Also, I generally go from Project Map to Layout and don’t use the View Map at all. I notice you use the View Map almost exclusively. Perhaps a subject for a future lesson or office hours session.

    Thanks again,

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Chris –

      Thanks for your kind words about my teaching style.

      Re Jutta’s question – perhaps the setting for the Drawing penset may be connected to her issue. As I recall, she said that penweights were not showing up at all, so that’s why I focused on the hairline checkbox, which overrides penweights. However, you are right about pointing out that on a Layout, the Drawing has its own penset assignment, which may be different than what one sees while working on the View for that Drawing.

      Regarding your question about the Drawing default being set to Arch Pens Black: you can change that by activating the Drawing tool in the Toolbox without any Drawing selected, then modifying the Drawing Default Settings to choose a different penset. You can do this in the Info Box or in the Drawing Default Settings dialog that you get by double-clicking on the tool. After you make this change, any new Drawings you place will use the new default penset.

      You can choose to make the default be based on the original View, or to go to a specific alternate penset (like Arch Pens Black, but it could be any penset you wish). Arch Pens Black is currently chosen because it was set at one point in your project or project template, and never changed.

      Switching pensets from the one used in the View to a different one allows one to work in a variety of colors for onscreen feedback and clarity, but print with much of the linework set to a nice clean black. The penset used for printing (as set for the Drawing on the Layout) may have a mixture of black and colored pens – that way you can print in color or greyscale and yet have the desired construction document information in solid black, while using color or greyscale selectively for certain elements for subtlety, variety or contrast.

      Re your question about the Project Map vs. the View Map – I will go into this topic in an upcoming lesson in the course. I highly recommend using the View Map most of the time because it guarantees consistency in your working environment for each type of drawing you are creating. With a double-click of a View in the View Map, you get a viewpoint activated (which is what happens in the Project Map) PLUS you set the Layer Combination, Model View Options, scale, dimension preferences, floor plan cut plane, etc.