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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I am the lucky recipient of a large renovation project which is moving into CDs.

I was surprised to see the file size, a finished-large-house-like 91MB. There's only one way for a project in DD to be so large: It must be carrying 2D axonometric and perspective drawings, pasted into details, from the 3D window. Sure enough, there are two axons and two perspectives, totaling 517,000 lines.

Is that a lot? Oh my yes. When I got rid of the four drawings, the file size dropped to a completely uninteresting 20MB. So, over 75% of the file consisted of four detail windows that you would never open in the course of daily work.

Who cares? You do, because it means that 75% of the time spent waiting for the file to open and save is wasted. Including opening it in the background from PM. Anybody think that process is fast enough? Me neither.

So don't drag half a million lines around with you. What to do instead?

Axons and perspectives should be published as PMKs. Once the PMK is saved, you can delete the linework in the window. If you want to save it for some reason, save it as a module. You can always merge it back. But listen: You never will. If the project image changes, you do the PMK over and the module is obsolete. If it doesn't change, the PMK sits there in the layout and no one ever thinks about it.

Note: This process will change substantially in AC10. How much? Well, AC10 doesn't do PMKs for one thing. And PM10 doesn't do anything at all because it's gone to a better place. More on this later.

In the meantime, no 90MB DD files.