Welcome & Orientation
Welcome to the Best Practices Course!
Welcome & Orientation to
The Best Practices Course

This 65 minute web session was held on Tuesday March 15, 2011. In it, I welcome new members to the Best Practices Course, and give a little tour of the website membership area, as well as a brief introduction to the course outline and navigation through course materials.

The user profile area is shown and the process for uploading a photo avatar is demonstrated. Methods for posting comments and getting support are discussed.

The coaching call system as well as the new “Office Hours” coaching sessions are described, and the general schedule for creation of the QuickStart Course and the training on Rendering and Presentation Tips is outlined.

Finally, I gave a brief description and introduction for MasterTemplate, including a visit to its website www.actemplate.com.

While you watch the video, the playing controls will disappear. To make them appear again, simply move your mouse over the playing area. You may pause and resume the video at any time by simply clicking inside the playing area.

These recordings are done at full resolution (1280 x 800 pixels) but are displayed in a smaller viewing area. If you would like to view it at a larger size, you have two choices.

  • You may watch the video at full screen – simply move your mouse over the video to reveal the playing controls, and click the little button at the far right. To return to the smaller size, hit the Escape key on your keyboard.
  • You may also click on the Download button to either watch it in a separate browser window at full native resolution, or right-click on the Download button to save the MP4 file to your computer. After downloading, double-click the file to open it up in QuickTime Player or any other compatible media player at full native resolution.
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

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

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  1. DavidYuguchi
    3 years ago

    The video’s pause button does not pause the video but, instead returns the video to the beginning. You cannot fast forward in the video; any attempt the jump to any moment in the video returns the video to the beginning. The expand to full screen button does not work.

    • Eric Bobrow
      3 years ago

      David –
      I will look into this and fix the issue with this video. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  2. ChristianDvorak
    4 years ago

    I am having trouble with putting doors into a complex wall profile I created. I have done it successfully a couple times, but on a recent wall profile, weird things are happening to the view in both plan and 3D.
    In plan, the door when placed is shown as a different color than I expect, and it is shown only in the closed position, when I have “projected with overhead” selected. Also, the door casings do not show on the total wall width. The exterior casing is on the outside face of the wall, but the interior casing is only on the outside of the 1/2″ plywood portion of the wall profile.

    I am able to click the “symbolic” selection and it will show up correctly in plan, but the 3D view still has issues. A similar complex profile I create works fine, and I can’t figure out what I did different between the two complex profiles I created.

    I just bought your program, so I am not sure how you deal with questions like this. I could send you the file to review, but I want to make sure what your program offers in the way of this type of support.

    • Eric Bobrow
      4 years ago

      Chris –
      Thanks for posting your question. The best way to get my help is to send me your questions via email, and include a copy of your file (either as an email attachment, or via Dropbox). That way I can look at the context and answer it more efficiently and precisely.
      Questions like this are often handled best in a Coaching Call, where I can explore the issue and we can have a discussion about the best ways to approach it. I keep going until you get an answer that works, or we have gone over the best workarounds (if the issue is a bug or a limitation in ArchiCAD).

  3. Leif Rideout
    Leif Rideout
    4 years ago

    Hello Eric, when I create a new library part it seems to only save to the embedded library (AC16). Is there a way to put it in my own library so as not to lose it if I have to reinstall AC?

    Is this where questions are posted? (not clear on the site)

    • Eric Bobrow
      4 years ago

      Hi Leif –

      When you create your new library part, there is a choice: Save to (1) Embedded Library or (2) File to a selected folder. If you choose (2) then your new part will be saved onto your hard drive in the folder you have chosen, so it will be accessible to all projects.

      It will not actually be loaded or available for placement in your project until you use the Library Manager to Add that file or Add that folder as a Linked Library. There is also a direct option to Load Library Part in the bottom of the Object Settings dialog, bypassing the Library manager. When you load the library part directly (rather than the folder) a copy of the file will be placed into the Embedded Library. If you load the folder as a Linked Library, then it will not be copied; instead, ArchiCAD will reference these files from their disk location.

      Re your original statement, I’d like to clarify one other thing. When a library part is Embedded, it goes into the actual project file itself, NOT into the ArchiCAD software application. If you reinstalled ArchiCAD you would not lose this library part. In fact, you can send your project to another computer or a consultant and the library part is included with the project.

      Historical Note: This is a more user-friendly alternative or updated version of the old “Save as Archive – PLA” option (which remains available in the Save As… dialog), since the file can continue to be worked on and new library parts added, unlike the old PLA option which was more “rigid” in that it didn’t allow further library editing to be done; also the project file still references the full ArchiCAD Library, rather than the subset of already used parts that are stored in a PLA file.

      Final note: If you save the part into the Embedded Library, you may use Library Manager to organize that embedded library into subfolders for clarity. There is also a command you can use in Library Manager to “Export embedded subtree into local folder” that will export all of these library parts into a folder on your hard drive, organized into subfolders (“subtree”) for use in other projects.

      Re where to post questions – you can do this on any page on the website. In this case, it would be useful for you to watch Week 3 lessons on Library Management, and then post the question there, since it relates to those topics. At some point, I may create a “Forum” for this type of question, but I haven’t done it up to this point.


  4. TeresitaChao
    4 years ago

    Hi Eric Bobrow,

    I am very new to ArchiCAD (I’ve been using it for about 6 weeks now) and your courses have been very helpful. I have a specific question and don’t know where to find the answer in your tutorial. When the program generates elevations from a 3D model, it automatically draws in patterns for brick and roof shingles. Is there a setting that I can change that will turn off the patterns in elevation? Is there a way to selectively edit them on an elevation so that the textures and patterns aren’t so invasive? Thank you very much for your time and I really am impressed with the quality of instruction offered here in your courses and on your website.



  5. Ann Helén
    5 years ago

    Hi Eric Bobrow!
    I signed up for the best practise course last year in september. I quess it only lasts for a year because I cannot seem to be able to login anymore?

    Anyhos, I only received 3 or 4 dvd’s? Why is this? I really want all my dvds since the course was quite expensive! I thought I would get 6 or 7. When do I get them? My address has changed recently.

    Hope to get an answer as soon as possible as I dont see a e mail address I can write my questions to.

    Kind regards

    Ann Helén O. Hassel

    • Eric Bobrow
      5 years ago

      Hello Ann –

      I checked on your account, and everything looks OK in our system – you should be able to login without a problem at https://www.acbestpractices.com/login. I had the system send you another copy of your login instructions and password, look for it in your min_verden@hotmail.com email inbox.

      Access to the Best Practices Course lessons is permanent – it does not expire, as long as you have purchased a full membership (which you have) rather than a short-term ArchiCAD Training Pass (recently introduced in 1 Day, 7 Day and 30 Day terms).

      I have been slowly developing the course lessons, but plan to accelerate the pace this fall with the aim of finishing all or most of the course outline by the end of the year. At this point, there are only 4 DVD’s that have been produced, with 3 more slated to be published as each batch of course lessons is completed.

      Please email me at support@bobrow.com with your new mail address and I will make sure our system is updated so you get the DVDs shipped to the right location.

      Also, have you been getting my course emails? I send them out a few times a month, and they announce new lessons as well as the coaching call schedule. If you have not been receiving them, please check your spam or junk mail folder, and make sure I have your best email address – I have min_verden@hotmail.com – is that right?

      Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.


  6. MarioBellini
    6 years ago

    Please let me know your PayPal data for to send month money. Thanks
    Mario Bellini

    6 years ago

    Hello Eric
    On a project based language question – for most of our projects slated for construction, we must provide bilingual documentation: English and French. We produce one set of “drawings” or layouts and use layers to control the display of one or the other language: titles, notes. Display of both takes too much space in a print mode of publication. Autotext is great for layout set-up but its structure and the available fields (in ArchiCAD 12 at least) do not allow us to define an alternate language layout name or drawing name. The few custom fields offered are at the Project Info level and we use those for the alternate language project info, ie. project name, etc.. If you know of a way to use AutoText at the layout Masters level, through basic ArchiCAD or an Add-on, so that each layout and referenced drawing could have a layer controlled alternate language display, might you cover that in a coaching session? I started looking at the custom fields available in the project index set-up but I could spend hours wandering in the dark in search of a handle on the custom fields offered there.
    All the best from Dominique, here.

    • Eric Bobrow
      6 years ago

      Dominique –

      You can create as many AutoText entries as you wish in the File menu > Info > Project Info dialog. There is a button to add new fields that you can use for this purpose.

      You can then use your layer strategy to turn on and off different information at the Layout Master level, just like you do in the standard Views.

      The only difference is that there is no equivalent of a View in the Layout Book. When you turn on or off layers while looking at the Layout Book (any layout or master), it changes the state of the Layout Book. Thus, when you switch to the English layer set in the Master OR any Layout, those layers will continue to be set (for the Layout Book environment) until manually changed.

      Thus you can decide (for example) to print out an English language set, and the layers for all sheets will be set to use that information; later if you decide to print out a French language set, your sheets will all use that information.

      Please understand that this ONLY affects the Layout Book – it is totally independent of the layers set in each View – which are seen in the Drawings set up on the sheets.

      To switch the contents of particular Drawings, you might have two options (that I can think of right now):

      1) Create two different sets of Views, one for English and one for French; and place each Drawing twice – once with the English View, once with the French – right on top of each other on the same sheet. Set up one of these matched Drawings on the English layer (in the Layout Book), and the other on the French layer. Then when you switch the Layout Book layers between languages, you will not only switch Master / Title Block info, you will also toggle between which sets of Drawings are on the sheets.

      The one drawback I can think of is that referencing of the drawings (for example, the section marker callout) might get confusing – since sometimes you have the English drawing on the sheet, and sometimes the French. You’d have to manually number the drawings on the sheets, so the alternate versions always had the same numbers.

      2) You can manually change the Layer Combinations, so that (for example) the Floor Plan layer combination at one time is set for English, at a different time is set for French. You’d have to do this for ALL of the layer combinations used for Views that are placed as Drawings – which might be too much work and prone to error. However, this would allow only a single set of Drawings to be placed on the sheets – which switch (internally, based on the View and Layer Combination) to use the different language versions.

      I hope this is helpful.


  8. Rafael Rivera
    6 years ago


    I have followed with interest your advertising about ArchiCAD course, I would like to to know if the course is disponible in spanish…

    Thank you a lot….

    • Eric Bobrow
      6 years ago

      Rafael –
      Thanks for your interest in the training course. At this point, all of the instruction is in English. We offer a PDF transcript for each lesson; this written record of the actual words spoken in the lesson may make it easier for people to understand what is taught, particularly if English is not their native language.
      At some point, we may consider translating the PDF into other languages, and even subtitling the videos; but this is not likely to happen in the near future.