Tag Archives: Labels

Linked/Independant Labels

When you place a label, that label can be linked to an element, or placed as an independent element. This is important, since dragging a copy of a linked label creates a label that is also linked to that content. Independ


(3) Linked Labels Associated to a Fill

In the above example, the redundant labels were created by dragging a copy of the first label to create new labels. The result is that when the fill is deleted, all labels are lost.

One method for preventing this is to copy/paste, rather than dragging a copy, to create new labels that are not linked or associated to model or drawing elements. These can be moved to the side, then cleaned up and repositioned after the necessary drawing elements are deleted.


(3) Copies of Linked Labels, using Copy/Paste to Duplicate


Deleting the fill leaves the pasted labels, that can then be placed back to their original location

Another option is to select the labels (or all labels in a view), then right click and choose Convert to Independent Label.


Right click & convert to Independent

A fair warning on independent labels; they will not reposition with any content. They can only be text labels, and they can not be converted to any other label type, since there is no way to associate them to drafting or model elements without deleting and replacing.

The label tool has a lot of options, and a lot of benefits to having links to content, but when you need an independent text label, just know there are ways to fix a drag and copy mistake.

Smarter BIM with Labels

Precise Model needs to be documented precisely, with as many “smart BIM solutions” as possible. This means elements that update seamlessly to provide information that is as precise as the model.

Manual text and overwritten dimensions are examples of bad solutions that will make sloppy modeling tell a misleading story. There are rare cases where these are unavoidable, but there is usually a smarter solution.

I have been looking at improving our template with as many smart BIM elements as possible. Today I took a look at labels and annotating RCP’s. The new AC19 label types include a label for annotating the elevation of ceiling slabs. Since our RCP’s are created from 3D documents, this ties the bottom or finish surface of the slab to its home story.Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 2.32.49 PM

I tested this out in a few projects. We can get this label to graphically appear similar if not identical to our current text over RCP solution. With this label, not only does the annotation link to exactly what is modeled, ensuring precise modeling, but it updates with design changes, making it a smarter BIM solution.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 2.33.00 PM

In the project above, I tested this out and actually found a discrepancy between the intended ceiling height and the actual modeled ceiling height. This is a clear example of the benefit of a smarter solution.

There are limits to this label. It only works on slabs, so vaulted ceilings will still need text for now. It also does not work where a home story includes a split level, as this label can only reference a slabs height to home story or height to project zero.

But if the design has single level floor plans with flat ceilings, this is a smart BIM solution. I will be adding this label to our favorites soon, but it can be used out of the box with a few minor graphic adjustments for prefix/suffix content and pen/fill settings.

Level of Precision, Walls

ARCHICAD 19 has an interesting bug that has developed from [presumably] the introduction of the new reference and snap features. This can occasionally result in a low level of precision, where elements are just slightly off orthogonal.

Graphisofts recommendation on combatting this is to “click carefully”, which works. I have run into some cases where clicking carefully and moving precisely has still resulted in slightly imprecise modeling.

Thankfully James Murray and Link Ellis have developed a label that has helped me combat this issue and track down any model elements (walls and beams) that are off orthogonal, even to the nearest 1000th decimal point!

We now have their label in our library, it is called “Ortho Label Check 19” available in the label settings.Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 4.45.06 PM

With a single click you can check the angle of any wall or beam in floor plan view and get an “ok” for walls that are modeled correctly or an angle increment for walls that are “slightly off”.

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 4.26.56 PM

I ran a check on my entire model and tracked down each wall that was misaligned (only 2), and fixed them. I will be using this for project audits, and encourage others to use it as a self-audit, when you run up against walls that will not heal correctly in elevation/section.

Spline Leaders & On-Screen View Options

Using the spline tool as a leader for dimension text offset or as an arrow for annotation on details, sections, elevations, interior elevations, or plan elements can be an effective method if used properly. If used improperly it creates a nuisance to clean up later. The spline should start from the text box in a horizontal direction, not angled up or down; from here it can make one or more bends to get to the arrow head that the text is associated with.

Below is an example of what the text/spline relationship should NOT look like:

Bad SplinesNotice the splines arc or angle directly from the text box. To correct this go to the View drop down > On-Screen View Options > Spline Handles:

On-Screen View Options

This will turn on the spline handles as a non-print (view only) element. Drag the handles to start directly horizontal from the spline origin at the text:

Correct SplinesThese handles are available without the on-screen view options set to show spline handles, but they will only be visible/accessible if the spline is selected and will show as a faint green editing handle.


To ensure that splines are tangential when first placed set your spline options to “Natural” in the spline or info box settings. The following examples were all traced from the same 6 points, but only the Natural setting creates a consistently tangential curve:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.13.52 AM

Big Post of Text Box Tips

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.28.35 AM

Tip 1: This has been expressed before, but I just want to re-emphasize; do NOT check always readable in the text settings. Saving to a DWG or in some cases a PDF may result in incorrectly oriented text in the exported documents.

Tip 2: Pay attention to the text anchor point, especially where multiple text boxes and their alignment are concerned. Just setting the text alignment to Left, Right, or Centered will not necessarily keep text boxes properly aligned unless the Anchor Point is coordinated with the alignment.Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.32.13 AMTip 3: Rotating or mirroring copies of text boxes may have unforeseen consequences when editing in the future. The default position for a text edit window is laid directly over the original text. If the text box has been rotated or mirrored the text edit window will be offset by the radius from the rotation/mirror point to the text box Anchor Point.Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.24.58 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.24.50 AM

Tip 4: Mirroring or rotating text can have an impact on text alignment and anchor points. Unless this is intended, it is normally best practice to drag a copy of the text.Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.22.09 AMTip 5: Use the tab alignment bar in the text edit window!