On Land

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At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.
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Hotspots do two things:

1. Placing a detectable point where there isn't one.

2. Making a point detectable in PlotMaker, for the purpose of aligning drawings to one another or to the layout.

In practice, I use very few hotspots. I try only to use them where they will be permanent. A common example is a hotspot at the maximum of a curved wall, so the wall can be dimensioned.



Such permanent hotspots should be locked.

I almost never use them as a workaround, and if I do, I delete them immediately. If you get in the habit of placing a lot of hotspots and leaving them around, the workspace becomes cluttered with extra detectable points, making it harder to be sure you are detecting the point you want, leading to errors.

Further, hotspotting an arbitrary point to detect it is usually not needed. Special snap points and the ghost story make it possible to detect any point worth detecting, and you can move the origin to "transmit" a point through stories. You can also use CenterPoint JAM9 as a hotspot, and it has the added benefit of showing on multiple stories. And really, how often do you need to detect a point that's truly in the middle of nowhere?

If you've gone on a hotspot binge for whatever reason, you can delete them all at once: Activate the tool, Select All (Cmd+A), delete. Since your permanent hotspots are locked, the won't be harmed in the purge.

Hotspots are also created by certain variants of command clicking. This has occasional usefulness, but it more often happens by accident. Be aware of it so you don't wonder how you made a hotspot without the hotspot tool.

The hotspot on the wall is in line with the red line:



To place a spot like this, select the line, activate any tool except the line or arrow tools, and Cmd+click on the wall.

If the arrow tool was active, nothing would happen. (I think this is a bug.) If the line tool was active, the line would extend to the wall. (Cmd+click acts like adjust where the active tool matches the selected element.)

In most cases, I would just extend the line.

A truly, I think, useless feature crops up when you Cmd+click on a roof edge instead of a corner, when trying to find the height of a roof at a point. You get a hotspot at both corners bounding the clicked edge. And you don't get the height box, which should tell you you're doing something wrong.

While hotspots are usually low-utility in modeling, they are almost required in laying out sheets. Hotspots are visible and detectable in drawings placed in layouts. They cannot be printed. When placing alignment hotspots, use a prints-black pen (I like 5), so you see them against the white of the layout area and the grey of the rest of the window. Some applications:

Update for AC10: I'm leaving these in for now, but these techniques are generally obsolete in AC10. In 10, everything in a drawing is detectable, just like you're looking at the model directly. Many drawing alignment issues can be handled directly now. (Plan alignment in 10 here.)

• Hotspots at the corners of the drawing area in the plan window, for aligning the plans on the sheets. Since all the plans will use them, they should be on the Archicad layer. The templates have drawing area objects and hotspots for each sheet size. You'll probably need to move them to frame your project correctly. Though the object shows on all stories, the spots need to moved on each story. Alternately, you can move one group and copy it to the other stories, deleting the old ones. These spots should be grouped and locked. In PM, you may have to resize the drawing frame to fit these spots.

• The drawing area matches the available layout area within the title block. There should be hotspots in the title block at the four corners of the big empty space. There should also be spots at the center of the sheet number box, and the left edge of the (optional) sheet title box. In the templates this is done.

• Use hotspots to align drawings as they are aligned in the building, such as two wall sections next to each other, or parts of the same wall section. Place hotspots on a common point of both drawings, such as a wall or floor plane, then drag the drawings in PM to align the spots.