Category Archives: Element ID’s

Schedule Criteria

We have looked at why doors and windows may not appear in an ARCHICAD schedule, or why they may not appear in their related zone before. Here is the link to that post, which is worth re-reading as a refresher.

The past couple weeks I have been getting more scheduling questions; more related to eliminating certain elements from a schedule, or why unexpected elements are showing up in a schedule. The answer is almost always due to an error in the Schedule Criteria Settings. Here we will look at a few scenarios that may cause undesired results with your schedules, all linked to incorrect criteria.


Fig. 1.0 Incorrect use of “and”Statements

In Figure 1.0 above, the Element ID that can be listed is using an and statement, rather than or. The result is, no elements will schedule, since it is impossible for any elements to meet the criteria of start with 0 and 1 and 2 and 3. We often list multiple element ID in our schedule as a first digit as an easy way to seperate schedules out by building or by floor for multiple building projects. To fix this, the Element ID Criteria should be bracketed, and each ID starts with line should end in or.


Fig. 1.1 Unbracketed “or” Statements

In Figure 1.1, the ID starts with lines are correctly ending with an or statement to continue to the next criteria line; but they are not bracketed. The result will be windows that start with 0, or ANY ELEMENT that starts with 1, 2 or 3 will show in the schedule. To correct this issue, simply add a bracket before and after the or statements.


Fig. 1.2 Incomplete Bracketing of “or” Statements

The last example, Figure 1.2, shows a partially bracketed “or” section of the Criteria. By not closing the bracket, you will see a warning in the Scheme Settings noting that the Criteria is Invalid! The result will be nothing can schedule until the brackets have been correctly applied.

Hopefully this gives a little more insight into what may be going on with your schedules, and why things are missing, or too many elements are being included.

Error Reports

This is something that we all deal with, and I think most of us ignore. THE ERROR REPORT!!!!! It can seem daunting to try to understand why this comes up or what it means. I did write an article on this before, but I’d like to boil this down to the root cause & solution in a little more detail here. The error report can come up for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Missing attribute (typically fills) of an object
  • Missing macro part of an object (less common with our latest library version)
  • Invalid or inverted geometry, typically a slab or roof but often caused by the Cadimage Coverings

So why do we need to pay attention? Because these corrupt or un-processable elements can cause major file slow down or crashes! More than that, its annoying to have these messages come up every time the 3d window is refreshed.

And now the solution, how do we fix a file with an error report? It is usually very simple. If the error report comes up in the 3D window, open the 3D window, review the Report window, and scroll to the bottom. The report is a list of everything that has been (or is not able to) be processed in a given view. It will typically show problematic elements last, so they will be at the end of the list.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 11.43.38 AM

In the image above, I loaded a handful of objects with known problems and placed them in the model to force the report. The first outlined section shows the object names that can not be fully processed. The next section shows the library part with Element ID CAB-15 CAB-13. If the element causing problems is not a library part, the report will not give the first outlines section, but will report the element ID of problematic elements.

To fix this file  you only need to do a find and select for the element or objects name or element ID. If the error states that the object “Can’t find Macro:” the solution is to replace it with a good object. If it states that a polygon is degenerated the slab or roof just needs to be inspected for bad or odd geometries (look for groups of nodes that shouldn’t be there). If the report states that a fill is missing, do a find & select for the element ID or Name and replace the missing attribute. After this you should be able to refresh the view without the error report resulting.

SEO & Element ID Warnings

Here is a cautionary tale for both Solid Element Operations and Element ID’s.

I was trying to determine why a roof was not showing up in section or 3d, but shows in plan view. This is normally because of a duplicated element and building material priorities canceling each other; but in this case it was due to redundant solid element operations.

When I removed all SEO’s it reappeared, but was not trimming any gable end walls. So I had to find the problematic operators or targets. There where 30 SEO’s on this roof, and in the SEO handle many of them showed as having the same ID. Using a combination of find & select & the ID manager, you can rename these elements for easy identification.

Typically elements should have unique ID’s, or at least groups of ID’s which accurately represent their function. In this project all slabs where started this way, but from a copy/paste workflow the ceiling slabs where called out as first floor slabs. Renaming them pointed to the problem.Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.44.38 PM

In the image above you can see the elements set as the targets & operators of the selected roof. A ceiling slab is the target of this roof twice, roof deck twice, roof covering twice, wall 5 times (as both target & operator with multiple extrusion types…

So the warning is this; use SEO’s as sparingly as possible, avoid redundant and non-associative SEO’s. Meaning do not set a target or operator from one element that does not trim another. Do not use an element as a target multiple times to the same operator (there are a few exceptions to this). If an SEO does not appear trim properly undo before you try again. Where ever possible be aware of the automatically assigned element ID’s. These will often duplicate rather than adding a new ID, which is not always a bad thing. But elements with a specific function should have their own ID(s). Above I temporarily renamed ceiling slabs CLG Slab1, 2, 3… just to sort out what was going on with the SEO’s. This can be done before placing elements or immediately after via the Element ID Manager.


Recently a question about beam and roof matching has come up. For example, if you place a roof at a 4.75:12 slope, your beam would need to be 21.5953º (and that is missing a few digits) to get close to matching. In the beam settings this would round to 21.60º by default, since we are only able to place beams to a two digit precision.

To match a beam precisely to the roof slope you will need a working section through the roof showing the full length of the roof and beam in an orthogonal elevation view.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.14.47 AM

Start by aligning the top node of the bottom slope end of the beam with the appropriate skin or core line of the roof (this does not need to be an end node of the roof, but does need to be snapped to the roof skin separator line). Next select the top node of the top slope end of the beam and select the “modify angle” button on the pet pallet. Last move the top node to the same line as the bottom node previously aligned. Note that you will get a checkbox or solid pencil symbol next to the cursor when you are snapped to the line.

The beam settings will still show as rounding to the nearest two decimal places, but the beam will perfectly align with the roof slope no matter how close you zoom in. From here it is a simple eye-dropper and inject command to get the other beams elevations and slopes to match.

I would also like to mention one more time, this is another reason it is critical to give similar or identical items a common element ID to differentiate them from other elements. Using the find and select tool for all beams with an ID of “Typical Rafter” and a beam width of x” will allow you to quickly isolate the beams that need to be modified to match the one that now aligns with the roof.


Element ID’s And Weeding Out Problem Objects

Occasionally you may come across objects with degenerated scripts, bad geometry or missing attributes. These can cause error reports to generate.  While most of these error reports may seem like line after line of gibberish, some key lines can give clues as to the source of the problem.  If the problem stems from an object the object name may appear.  Regardless of the element type, the Element ID will always show up in a line.  If you have 2,000 objects all labeled “Z M067” in the element ID field it may be a little tricky finding the one or two that are messing things up.
Shower Head1If you are lucky enough to track down a line of the report that gives you the elements actual name or type you can search for those objects using the find and select feature.  In this case it was a shower head object and was easily discernible in the error report via the object name.

Shower Head3It is almost always a good idea, however to add a unique Element ID to your objects, walls, floors, roofs, columns and beams that references the objects function, type, size or location.  This element ID can be used for or associated with labeling elements, scheduling or searching.

Shower Head2