ARCHICAD 19 New Feature- Snap Reference, Snap Guides, Guide Lines

One of the more complicated (but useful) features of ARCHICAD 19 is the new snap & guide line features. The complexity and and subtle nuances of this feature are evident by the number of videos ARCHICAD has produced to explain them. Below is the first of 26 videos. If you go to the play list in youtube and watch only one, make it video #21 on the list.

There are three basic naming conventions to start to understand these new features; Snap Reference, Snap Guide, and Guide Lines.

Snap References are any point, line or arc used to define a snap guide. These can be manually placed by hovering over a point or vector for 1 second, then waiting 5 milliseconds for the point or line to be defined. These times are predefined by ARCHICAD’s settings.

Snap Guides are the on screen elements most difficult to understand or get accustomed to using. These can seem to clutter your screen, but a few tips will help understand how to properly leverage snap guides to greatly improve modeling and drafting efficiency.

  • First any element  you are editing or creating is going to use all vectors and points as a potential snap reference, this can really clutter the screen for complicated polygons.
  • Second, any snap reference will only show up to two snap guides at a time, so setting more snap references is going to potentially clutter the screen substantially more.
  • Third, the basic direction (x,y,z) and angle divisions, as well as any perpendicular, parallel, bisecting or tangential vectors of a snap reference will be available as snap guides. Getting accustomed to properly using snap guides will improve modeling and drafting speed.
  • Fourth, snap guides can be locked to (more like the previous versions Guide Line feature) or extended with the right click functions pin guide and lock to guide

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 12.08.24 PM

Guide Lines can be placed as a permanent reference that need to manually cleared. To place a guide line select and drag the guide line bar at the edge of the open view to the line or arc to be used as a guide line. These start to drag from the edge of the screen as orthogonal to the window, but can be placed to any angle or arc in the x,y,z directions. To remove a single guide line right click on it and erase it, or you can right click and select clear all guide lines. Guide lines are semi-permanent; they will remain on the window, even after closing a teamwork session. Only after clearing all guide lines or completely leaving the teamwork project will guide lines be cleared. Guide lines are also specific to each view type, and will remain placed even after closing or switching views.

Work Environment adjustments should be made to encourage guidelines to be effective and efficient when needed and not cluttered when not needed. I have added two short cuts to avoid this:

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 11.56.35 AM

In the work environment > keyboard shortcut settings sort by new features in alphabetical order to get access to Snap Guides and Snap Guides and Points. I have added a shortcut for each to be Ctrl + S and Ctrl + Opt + S respectively. These do not override any default ARCHICAD shortcuts, and most likely will not interfere with your personalized shortcut scheme. Note that if you turn off snap guides and points you will loose the cluttered looking view from above and you will not be able to snap or lock to a reference angle or axis (x,y,z, 45º, etc.), but you will be able to click on an existing vector or node to snap to.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 12.00.37 PM

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