Week #15 – Advanced Selection and Editing
15-4. Using the Pet Palette with Editable Hotspots and Sub-Elements

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 15-4)

This 38 minute ArchiCAD training lesson continues on from the previous lesson, extending the discussion of the Pet Palette with reference to editable hotspots and movable sub-elements.

Markers in ArchiCAD are a special category of element: they have a symbolic form and explicit geometry on the plan (or wherever they are drawn) and usually refer to or create a separate Viewpoint in the Project Map. Each marker type has its own unique set of editing options in the Pet Palette.

Section markers have two additional icons in the Pet Palette, one to break up a segment and stagger the section cut line, the other to move the section line. Elevation markers have an option to move the marker away from the actual cut line to allow flexible placement of the symbol for drawing output. Zone markers have a “stamp” which indicates the room or space name along with other data, which may be moved independently from the zone outline. Interior Elevation markers are similar, in that their marker(s) may be moved independently of the boundary and the cut lines.

Cover fills for Slabs, Roofs and Meshes may turned on or off. When activated, the fill pattern may be chosen independently from the surface material or be linked to it. In either case, the cover fill, just like Fill elements themselves, may be set to have its own Fill Origin. When that option is chosen, the Pet Palette will show additional options when you press down to edit the Fill Origin point or the orientation (rotation).

ArchiCAD Tip: Fills drawn as independent elements may be categorized as Cut Fills, Cover Fills or Drafting Fills. This allows manipulation and control by the Model View Options, so that the fill may appear differently on different Views or Drawings.

Drawings placed onto Layouts have a cropping frame that may be adjusted manually with the Pet Palette using standard polygon editing commands. In addition, if a Title is shown, the Title graphic may be moved as a whole by using the Move Sub-Element option in the palette. Individual elements in the Title (such as the length of certain lines or the position of individual text items such as the Scale) may be moved around or adjusted using the Stretch option in the palette. In addition, the Move Sub-Element control may be used with the center hotspot of the drawing to reposition the drawing graphics within the cropping frame; this is particularly useful when placing the drawing into a small or tightly bounded space.

Editable hotspots allow ArchiCAD users to adjust parameters for scripted elements (objects, doors, windows, etc.) onscreen by moving an individual node point. Usually there is a Tracker-style prompt window displayed to indicate the name or description of the parameter that is being adjusted; one may enter a precise value or simply use the mouse to set the value. Most of the time the visual feedback is sufficient to understand the effect of the adjustment, however sometimes this can be confusing due to issues with the library part programming, as one can see in the lesson for the cabinet with the sink that adjusts multiple parameters in somewhat surprising ways.

Doors and Windows have editable hotspots for their dimension markers (if these are shown) and for their opening angle or percentage, which may be controlled independently for 2D views and the 3D model. In addition, additional editable hotspots may be available when certain options are chosen. For example, many windows may have a choice of sash frame that includes an editable grid; if this is chosen, then in 3D or in an Elevation view one may adjust the grid of dividers with the mouse and optionally with keyboard input.

Detail and Worksheet markers have some unique editing features. In addition to using the editable hotspots for moving or adjusting the marker head or the length of certain lines or the radius of a rounded corner, one may use the Move Sub-Element option in the palette to reposition the marker head as a whole. When using the Sub-Element option, however, the onscreen feedback is somewhat confusing, as it show the entire detail graphic moving, while it is only affecting the marker head.

A Detail marker that is a Source view for a Detail Viewpoint has a cropping polygon that determines the parts of the model or drawing that is being copied into the new Viewpoint. To see and adjust this cropping polygon, it may be necessary to turn on View menu > Onscreen View Options > Marker Range. The graphic callout for the Detail is usually set to follow this cropping polygon area, but may be set independently if desired.

Please post your comments and questions below.


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ArchiCAD Training: Using the Pet Palette with Editable Hotspots and Sub-Elements

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  1. Avatar photo
    12 years ago

    Fantastic lesson – this one and the last.
    Some of these tips seem so basic and yet.. I did not know they existed! Even just adjusting opening angles in doors/windows visually instead of via the Tool window seems so obvious – now
    The offset tool is going to save me so much work. BTW the Magic Wand tool seems so useful but to me it is also a bit of a mystery. Have you, or do you intend to cover this tool in more depth?

    Thanks again for your great work


  2. GeneGillespie
    12 years ago

    Good lesson as usual, many good tips. However, my AC 15 did not allow (2) operations.
    a. Windows did not show hotspots in 3D or elevation for editing muntin bars.
    b. Detail Tool did not allow me to grab a side of the detail area and enlarge or decrease in
    size by use of the Pet Palette.

    • Eric Bobrow
      12 years ago

      Gene –

      a. To show the hotspots in 3D or elevation for editing the muntin bars, you’ll need to choose the option in the Custom Settings > Sash Options for H-V Grid Custom, rather than the standard H-V Grid. This is available in most of the current library of windows, but not necessarily all of them.

      There is a separate option for whether these 3D hotspots for the muntins will show that in recent versions is turned on by default – you’ll find this in the Parameters > Options > Fully Editable. In earlier versions of the library, this parameter (or something similar) may have a different default, so you would need to turn this on in order to see or edit the muntin arrangement. I recall it being called something like “Editable Hotspots in 3D” a while back.

      b. To edit the side of the Detail area you will need to turn on the View menu > Onscreen View Options > Marker Range. In addition, there are other settings that may affect this, such as whether the detail is considered a Source Marker (the origin for the detail viewpoint) or not (if it’s not a source, then it may have different controls for the size of the callout area). It’s also possibly you may need to look in the Marker Geometry section of the parameters to see what is set there.


      • GeneGillespie
        12 years ago

        Thanks got the Detail area to work.
        However, my window parameter was already set to “Fully editable”.
        Tried turning it on and off and still no editable hotspots. Oh well,
        it looked like a really good option to customize sash layouts.