Tag Archives: Shortcuts

Work Environment Migration

I know we have covered this before, in various forms. But for anyone who has not been here for those, or needs a refresher, here is the “how to” on work environment migration. First, you should not bring in your work environment from a previous version of ARCHICAD. You can, but you will be missing quite a few new features and options critical to managing a quality BIM model.

So here is your step by step guide to setting up your work environment in ARCHICAD 20. Some of us are already using AC20, the rest should be migrated in a few short weeks (so bookmark this post for when you need it!).

Step 1: Bring in the WWA Standard W/E for 20

In ARCHICAD20 go to Options > Work Environment > Work Environment

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Fig 1.0 Work Environment Profiles

While on the Work Environment Profiles tab in the left column, click Import… on the right column (see Fig 1.0). Press and hold the delete key to cancel the Import Profile search (it will search your entire computer/network for available profiles).

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Fig. 2.0 Browse for Profiles

Click Browse… and go to the WW Server > 06 BIM Standards > 02 ArchiCAD Systems > 06 Work Environments > WWA20 and load that entire folder. Now back in the Work Environment Profiles tab (Fig 1.0), select the WWA Work Environment 20 from the profile options list, click Apply Schemes of Profile and Set as Default.

Step 2: Import and Apply Your Keyboard Shortcuts

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Fig. 3.0 Import Shortcut Profile


Now you can bring in your own keyboard shortcuts that you used in ARCHICAD19. In the left column of the Work Environment settings, click on Shortcut Schemes. Follow the steps from before, clicking on Import, Hold Delete, Browse for your shortcut scheme.

Lastly, go back to the Work Environment Profiles tab (Fig. 1.0, 3.0), select the applied work environment, and click Edit.

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Fig. 4.0 Apply Your Shortcuts to the Default Work Environment

In the Edit Profile manu, select the Short Cut Schemes line and apply your own short cuts to the work environment and click OK. Back in the Work Environment Settings, reapply the work environment to set your Keyboard Shortcuts as part of your default W/E.

Now that all that is applied, you should have all the palettes,dropdown menus and commands optimized for ARCHICAD20, which should look something like this:

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Fig. 5.0 WWA Work Environment 20


Drafting Aids- Centering While Dragging

A while ago I wrote about using drafting aids and setting up short cuts for some of them; specifically the parallel, perpendicular and special snap point aids. Here is a quick video demonstrating the advantage of the special snap point drafting aid. This video demonstrates using the drafting aid toolbar, but it works the same (actually better) if you have short cuts for these.

Drafting & Drawing Constraints

Here’s one that has been around for a long time, but I was just recently inspired to add it to my list of commonly used shortcut keys. In the Drafting Aids toolbar there are three buttons for drawing constraints (the three right icons in the second row of the image below). The first is a parallel constraint, the second is a perpendicular constraint, and the third is a special snap point constraint.

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The inspiration for creating these shortcuts actually came from D’Genaro, who demonstrated using the special snap point constraint to quickly place an element at a designated midpoint. Normally I would just place it in one location, then move the element to the midpoint.

Using the special snap point constraints, you select the tool or element to be placed, select the special snap point constraint (or shortcut), then two click to draw the distance the element should be centered to. The element will automatically be placed to the center point (or other special snap point divisions) between the two click defined distance.

The parallel and perpendicular constraints can similarly be used to keep lines, polylines, beams and walls perpendicular to existing elements. Simply start drawing the element, click the constraints button or shortcut, then select the existing element you need to draw parallel or perpendicular to. You will then be limited to drawing the element to that axis. Use Shift+R to define a specific distance as usual.

If you are working on any basic modeling or drafting pull up the Drafting Aids toolbar and play around with these functions; after a short time getting used to them you will find a greatly increased efficiency at modeling & drafting. Set up some new shortcuts for these options. You may, like me, find that you use them very regularly now. My shortcuts for these are Com+1, Com+2 & Com+3 so that I can keep one hand on the mouse and still hit the shortcuts with just my left hand.