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At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on macOS. 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.
April 2006 Archive
Background RGB
I always forget it, so I'm writing it down.

Hmm, lots of space left. We use beige because everything shows against it: White, black, gray, yellow. Then one day I noticed that our background is almost the same color as buff trace, and it's probably for the same reason. It's interesting how you can go through a completely different process and get the same conclusion as someone 100 years ago or whatever.

What else. In AC8 and before, each window had its own background color. Now there's only one, but the grid color is unique to each window. I'd like to have one detail window with a white background for making object previews.

Here is the Graphisoft product page.

Here's a short feature list. It reflects my personal biases. Things they are really excited about, I might not even mention!

• PlotMaker is no longer with us. Layouts are part of the project. For large projects, it might be advisable to have the model and layouts in separate files, but they would both be PLNs.

• There is a cutting plane associated with each story, which can be used to automatically display roofs, and other elements, with their true relationship to the current story.

• You can create custom profiles for walls, beams, and columns. I'm not so excited about the beams and columns, since they have no parametrics, but the walls have a lot of potential.

• Interactive Schedules have finally reached version 2. They are greatly improved, and we will use them more and more. Most exciting: Automatic drawing lists.

• PDFs can be placed in layouts.

It is slated for release in the first week of May.

We will not rush into this one. As of this writing, I do not plan on migrating projects. That is, if you started in 9, you should finish in 9. And, I don't have templates for 10 yet. So you can't start new projects in 10 either.

10 is a worthwhile upgrade. But it will be quite different, especially in the documentation area. AC9, and our AC9 methods, are very reliable and not to be abandoned lightly.

I'm happy to announce, and I hope I don't regret it, that we can email PDFs to MBC. And they will print them, and the drawings will probably be alright. I'm sure there will be some tuning up to do, but I think we have it working.

This is the address. Put the job details (copies etc) in the message. The file size limit is 50MB.

Let me know if you have any problems.


In PM, in Drawing Usage, highlight an item (drawing). At the bottom of the Navigator, there's a button.

If you highlight a View linked to a PLN, the button says, 'Link To'. If you click it, you get an Open dialog where you can select a PLN.

If you highlight a PMK, the button says, 'Read From'. If you click it, You get an Open dialog where you can select a folder to read the PMK from. PLNs will be grayed out. In fact, all files are grayed out; you can only pick a folder.

So far so good. The confusion arises when trying to re-link multiple views at once.

If you select all the drawings, you get 'Read From', because of the PMKs.

You say you don't have any PMKs? And you're not even selecting all the drawings? And you get 'Read From', and you click it, and you can't choose a PLN?

Here's the deal: You can't select drawings which refer to different PLNs at the same time. The button turns to read from, which is useless, literally. I have no idea why. Why anything. First of all, it should work. Second, if it doesn't work, PM should gray out the button, rather than offering an option that doesn't work. But this is PM, remember.

A common driver of this problem is having some views linked to an actual project, and some still linked to a template project.

An even more frustrating cause: When we switched servers, AC & PM went psycho over thinking the new server was a different machine, yet being OK with it having the old IP address. This is why we get 'Connection Failed' errors, while whatever connection it is is actually fine, and updating (e.g.) proceeds normally.

PM can think that links go to different projects, even though the path is identical, and even though the actual update works fine. It's really stupid.

The solution to the 'Link To' problem is this: Add views to your selection one by one, while watching the 'Link To' button. When you see it change to 'Read From', deselect the last view you picked. It should switch back. At this point, you can 1) Skip the bad guy and keep trying to add view to the selection or 2) Go ahead and Link the ones you have, then start again. The goal is to work through the views, linking as many as possible at a time.


• You can't re-link views from multiple projects. Carefully select views to Link To together.

• It is impossible to link to a PLN via 'Read From'. If you have a bunch of views selected and the button says 'Read From', you have a problem. Click 'Read From' if you enjoy a frustrating waste of time, but otherwise no.

• I hate PlotMaker and I wish it was dead.

Meet Tiktaalik, the fishapod.

We've got Archaeopteryx, an early whale that lived on land, and now this animal showing the transition from fish to tetrapod. What more do we need from the fossil record to show that the creationists are flatly wrong?

More at Pharyngula.

Refresher on Archaeopteryx.