Week #9 – ArchiCAD’s Structure: The Navigator, Part 1 (Continued)
9-2. Layer Management (Continued)

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 9-2)

This 19 minute lesson continues the discussion of various issues and challenges in layer management. When elements are not showing because they are on a layer that’s hidden, sometimes it’s hard to figure out which layer to turn on because there are so many. A short introduction to the QuickLayers palette shows how this is a great time-saver for this task as well as other layer manipulations. A longer explanation of the Quick Layers palette is available in the Tips and Tricks article below.

An in-depth explanation of different categories of layers and layer combinations, as well as naming systems, completes the study of this fascinating and often confusing topic.

Please post your comments and questions below.

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ArchiCAD Training: Layer Management (Continued)

Let us know how you feel... (5 comments so far)

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  1. Avatar photo
    13 years ago

    Eric, what is your recommendation regarding a layer combination to cover shear wall and braced wall floor plans? These walls are part of a building’s regular wall system, but not all of them are detailed to resist lateral forces, so they need to appear on the basic floor plan as well as on a dedicated shear wall and/or braced wall plan. From your lesson, I suspect that this combination would reside in the “U” or “Unique” layer family.

    • Eric Bobrow
      13 years ago

      Bob –

      I’ll preface my response by saying that in order to answer your question, I will need to understand your requirements a bit better.

      In general, the U layers are for 2D annotation elements that are only shown on one particular drawing. So anything in 2D that should only show on the shear wall plan would go on a U layer for that plan.

      However, if the elements are 3D, and should be seen in the model for 3D views as well as sections and elevations, then whatever layer they are placed on will need to be turned on for the various 3D layer combinations. You can use a U layer for this, IF these elements will show in 3D but ONLY on one drawing, but not on other plan drawings.

      These elements might require a different approach if they will be seen on some plans but not others. Please explain when you want to see these walls, and when you don’t. Or if these walls are seen on all plans, just like other walls, but are annotated to indicate their bracing, then perhaps all we are talking about is annotation that goes onto the appropriate U layer.


  2. DianaTramell
    13 years ago


    Just a quick question. I have some layer combinations, used in some views.

    When I change the name of the layer combination, it doesn’t update in the view settings… really dissapointing. Which is the correct way to change the name of the combination in order to be updated in views?

    Thank you!!

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Diana –

      This is a known limitation with regard to how layer combinations and model view options are recorded in View Settings. They are associated by name, rather than an internal index number, so if you change the name of the layer combination or model view option, all Views that reference them will show them as missing.

      The best advice I can give you is – (1) try to name these well the first time (2) if you do change the name, systematically go through all your Views to make sure they are relinked to the new name. You can select multiple Views by shift clicking or Command/Control clicking them, and then open up View Settings and affect all of the selected ones in a single step – this makes it a little bit easier to manage.

      There may be a way to generate an Index of Views to scan through all of them for possible problems or missing settings – I can’t recall right now – I believe you can get an Index of Drawings that show information about the Source View, as we have something like this set up in MasterTemplate to help with management of the interlinked structure of the file. If you have MasterTemplate, you can check in the Layout Book for the subset at the end that has compilations of drawings etc.



  3. Avatar photo
    13 years ago

    Again, more excellent information. I’ve been migrating my projects with the help of MasterTemplate. I open my old project in ArchiCAD 14, all my old layers are still there. I have ArchiCAD opened with MasterTemplate for reference purposes (at this point).

    At this point I start renaming my layers. Only so far as to cover the layers in use. I delete all the unused layers. I update the library parts as much as I can also. Then I copy & paste my project into the version of ArchiCAD using the MasterTemplate. This has worked for me. Is this the best way?