Week #9 – ArchiCAD’s Structure: The Navigator, Part 1 (Continued)
9-4. Advanced View Options

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 9-4)

This 14 minute lesson looks at some additional advanced and miscellaneous options for Views. One can set a View to include a zoom (a viewing and magnification position in a drawing window) for use when placing a Drawing of that view onto a Layout. It is often convenient, however, to turn off that zoom, by clicking “ignore zoom” or using the “no zoom” setting (depending on which version of ArchiCAD you are using), so that when switching from one View to another one doesn’t “lose one’s place” by jumping out from the current view onscreen to another position in the drawing.

An additional location is available for saving and quickly accessing specific zoom positions for a particular drawing – the popup “zoom options” menu available just to the right of the percentage scale factor in the bottom left navigation area of each drawing window.

Views can be set for 3D as well, either for the 3D Window or for Photorenderings. These views can include additional settings based on the current context at the time of creation, including marquee cutaways.

An easy way to place the current view of a window onto a layout is the “Save View and Place on Layout” command, however it can cause management issues unless one returns to the View Map and gives the new View an appropriate name. In addition, the common practice of creating views with “Custom” layer combinations is shown, along with a suggested Best Practice of reworking custom layer contexts into named Layer Combinations that are then used in updating the View Settings.

Please post your comments and questions below.


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

Your Downloads

You may need to right-click the following links and select Save Link As to download the file to your computer

[spoiler title="Click here to see the transcript of this ArchiCAD training lesson..."]

Best Practices Course – Week 9 Part 4 – © copyright 2012 by Eric Bobrow

BEST PRACTICES COURSE – WEEK 9 – ArchiCAD’s Structure: The Navigator, Part 1 (Continued)

PART 4 – Advanced View Options

Let’s take a look at some other, more advanced, and extra options that are available in Views.  Suppose that I wanted to zoom in on a particular area, like this living room.  I could create a new View, so I’ll just click on this button that says “Save Current View”, and I’ll just call this “Living Room”.  Now when I do that, it’s recording what layers and scale things are, but it’s also recording the current zoom.  So when I say “Create It”, here’s a separate view that I just created. [:35]

And if I were to zoom out here, and then double click on this view, it will take me back to that zoom.  Then I could be in any other view, I could be on a different story. Let’s say that I’m up on the upper story here, and I’m looking at something else. And then I want to jump to the living room, I can double click and that will take me to the correct story and to that zoom.  [1:08]

Now, that zoom is an option, if I click on settings, that we can use for two different things.  One is that the zoomed area will be used when we place that view onto a layout sheet.  And we’ll be talking about this in great detail later on in the course.  But, we can ignore the zoom when opening this view.  Now, for the one that’s called “Living Room”, of course it doesn’t make sense to ignore this, because I defined it by a name.  But, if I look at the settings of the first floor plan here, the one that I’ve been using, “Ignore Zoom” is checked.  [1:46]

So basically, when eyes move around, let’s say I’m on the second floor, and I am looking in this area, I can jump down to the first floor, and I’m going to be in the same area.  It’s not going to jump me to a particular zoom.  So very useful to for general purpose views like this, to say “Ignore Zoom” when opening this view. Now in earlier versions of ArchiCAD, like maybe ArchiCAD 10 and 11, instead of that it would say “No Zoom”, so you would have the option of saying, I don’t really care about the zoom, don’t record that. [2:25]

But here, we actually have a Zoom. Current Zoom says if we place this on a sheet, use a particular zoom that we’re at for cropping. Fit in Window says, always when we place it on a sheet, show the entire building.  And then we can have some “Save Zooms” that I will show you in a minute as other options.  These were introduced in ArchiCAD 14 or maybe 13, they weren’t around earlier.  [2:53]

But this option to ignore the zoom, or no zoom, in earlier versions is very useful for creating views that you can jump between.  I particularly like being able to look at a particular area of the project, and jump here to the lighting plan without it having to reposition me.  So by saying “No Zoom”, or “Ignore Zoom”, then I can jump back and forth between different viewing conditions, but maintain where I am in the project. [3:23]

Now, this button here is called “Zoom Options”, and it allows you to save current zoom.  So I’m going to go and save this, and let’s just call it “Kitchen”.  Now, you notice that it gives me the option of, is it relevant only to the story? Well, of course, there’s only a kitchen on this story.  But in some cases, zooms are applicable across all stories, whether it’s the entire building footprint or maybe a staircase, or some other – west wing of the building.  I’ll say “Save”, and you’ll notice that kitchen now is available. I’ll go to Building Footprint.  And I’ll go back now to “Kitchen”.  [4:03]

So these zooms are separate from the zoom setting of a view.  But I wanted to introduce them or explain them briefly in this lesson in the course.  You can also go and rename a zoom after the fact, you can delete it if it was something that you created that you don’t want anymore.  And you notice that there are things like Site Boundary and Site Plan Including Street.  These are ones that may relate specifically to certain layer combinations. For example, if I say site boundary only, it is going to be jumping out, but we don’t see the property lines.  This is really more applicable, or the zoom is more useful when we have the right layer combination. For example, if we looked at “Site, Layer Combination”, this happens to jump us out to where the boundaries of the site are. [4:54]

Now, a few other little things about views.  I’m going to take a 3D view here.  So this is a just a simple AXO view of the building.  Now I will switch to a 3D perspective view.  And we’ll see that every time that you’re in a particular part of the project, whether it’s 2D or 3D, you can save a view, and that view will remember what you’re looking at, the layers and the style of what you’re seeing.  Now, let’s take a look at an option that not a lot of people know that you can do.  And that is that we can have a marquee, or other limiting factors on the project and record that has a view.  [5:52]

So I’ll go and draw a little marquee, a part of the building, and say “Show This in 3D”.  And zoom in a little bit here.  And I’ll save this particular one, and I’ll call it “Cutaway”.  Now, if I double click on 3D AXO view, it will give me the whole building.  And when I double click on “Cutaway”, it will give me that cutaway.  So, the view definition not only includes the name and what layers are turned on, but in 3D it records a whole lot of information like the 3D view is limited by a marquee. And that information has been saved. [6:36]

We can also, this is something I’ll just mentioned briefly, you can also save a view that will go to the Photo Rendering window. And what that means is it will be a 3D view, that as soon as you activate it, it will render based on the settings that you’ve got at the time you create that view.  In other words, if its a Lightworks rendering, it will do that, or if it’s a sketch rendering, it will do that style.  So, you’re recording a particular setting that is added at the time that you create the view.  And when you double click on that view, it will again, show you a current view of the model as it stands, but with that same style that was defined at that particular moment in time. [7:25]

Now, there is one more thing.  I’m going to show you something that I see clients do frequently, that can get you into trouble.  Certainly, it’s not as effective a way of working as the ones that I recommend.  Let’s say that I want to put a view of the project onto a sheet that has certain layers.  Let me just open up the Layer Dialog Box.  And perhaps I want to show the furniture, and I want to also show the landscape outside, just for presentation purposes.  So, here’s a view with the trees showing.  Now there is an option where I can right click in the empty space here and say, “Save View and Place on Layout”.  I’ve seen some clients use this all the time to create their views. [8:18]

Now, you’ll notice that it created a view in the view map that just had the name of the story, and it went immediately to the Layout Book.  Now right now, I’m in a funny layout.  Let me just switch to a layout which maybe I can use temporarily.  And I’ll click and drop it in.  So, it did work to put in the particular view, even sort of cropped the way that I had it on screen.  You can see part of this other tree is shown.  And that view does exist in the view map.  And so if I double click on it, it takes me back.  It is usable.  The problem is that, first of all, the name didn’t get created consciously, it just picked up the name of, in this case, the story that I was on. [9:08]

The second thing is that I had manually changed the layers so that it has a custom layer combination.  That’s probably the two main issues with it.  So, I won’t necessarily recognize which view this is, and I’ve seen people have many views all saying “First Floor” or whatever the name of the viewpoint is.  And they don’t know which one is which.  So obviously, one thing you can do is after you’ve created it, go back. And let’s just call this “Special Presentation View”.  So that now it’s easy to tell what it is, and for each one of these I can rename it.  So that is one thing that will help, is just making sure that if you do use this option of “Save View and Place on Layout”, that you go back and name if you so that you know what it is you’ve got. [10:04]

Second thing is that the layers that were set up are custom here, because I went in and manually changed the layers, and I turned on a layer.  Now, if this is a layer situation that I’d like to use more than once, then I probably want to create a layer combination.  So I’ll just go New. This will – I may just do this ad hoc, I’ll just put a little asterisk, or a couple of them, in front, and say “**Special Layers”.  So this is now a layer combination that shows up here on the left side.  And this particular view still just says “Custom”.  But what I could do is with this view, say “Settings”, or right click on the view and say “View Settings”, which would give me the same thing. [10:56]

I can go and say, “Get Current Window Settings”, and perhaps – actually, I guess I didn’t activate that layer combination.  Let me just activate the layer combination here, “**Special Layers”.  And then if I right click on view settings, I can go say, “Get Current Window Settings”, and you see now it picks that up. So sometimes what I recommend is that you go double click on a view.  Then go make a change, perhaps to the layers or something else, and get it the way you like, the way you need it.  Then open up the settings for that view and say, “Get Current Window Settings”, and that will actually make sure that it’s got named layers and other things set up properly. [11:44]

Now why is it important to have a named layer combination rather than custom?  What difference does it make?  Well, if I have multiple views, in other words, this presentation view is not only for this story, but for other stories, then I may want to have some consistency between those different views.  And by changing, or by working, with a layer combination, even if it’s something special purpose like this; if I later decide, you know, I really don’t want to see – let’s just see. What might I turn off?  Let’s say that I don’t want to see some of the furniture here.  So let me turn that off.  And I update it.  [12:28]

So now the “**Special Layer” does not have furniture. And I say OK. And now any time that I double click on this view, it will not have furniture.  But any other view that also references that layer combination will also be updated. So, I recommend that you not create views with Custom layers, but instead you create a new layer combination any time that you have a view that you’re going to want to keep up to date, particularly multiple views that are similar.  Then custom is going to get you – it will be a little bit harder to manage.  [13:06]

So the main points in this last little section are, if you do use this “Save View and Place on Layout”, do come back and name that view, so that you don’t have ten views that all say “First Floor”.  And secondly, if you manually change the layers around, if it’s something that you’re going to have multiple views that are similar; change, go back into the layer combination, and create a named layer combination for that.  And then change the settings for the view to use that named layer combination, and that way you’ll be able to manage it more easily over the long term.  [13:46]

So I think this covers most of the things that you need to know about views.  I look forward to getting your comments, and please enter them below the video.  And thanks for watching.


ArchiCAD Training: Advanced View Options

Let us know how you feel... (No comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

No comments yet