On Land

Environment Information
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.

The model is in there. Don't look at it, just imagine it. Think of the real buildings you can't see at the moment. The Lincoln Memorial is there. Trust me.

The model is before everything in the Navigator. No model, nothing to Navigate, right?

The Navigator, besides being indispensable to your productivity, is good illustration of Archicad's intended model-to-deliverables workflow.

Update: Buttons look different starting with Archicad 20.


Project Map

The first button is the Project Map. The Project Map consists of Viewpoints. Viewpoints are 'places' from which we can see/interact with the model. For our purposes, 'Viewpoint' is usually synonymous with 'Window'.

The viewpoints are organized into sets: Stories, Section/Elevations, Details, 3D, Element Schedules, Project Indexes, Lists, Info. You neither create nor destroy these sets. You cannot remove a viewpoint from the project map without removing it from the project. Though you create the viewpoints (stories, sections, details, etc), nothing about the project map is optional.


View Map

The second button is the View Map. While the project map is rigid, the view map is wide open. There is nothing there until the user puts it in. The nature and organization of views is entirely up to the user. (You don't need views, unless you actually want to do work and not get fired.)

A View is a viewpoint (from the project map) with certain environment options added. The viewpoint is what it is, the options are whatever the user decides. (The options are: Layers, Scale, Model View Options, Graphic overrides, Dimension Standard, Zoom. 3D views also take several 3D options. Plan views also take the Floor Plan Cut Plane settings.)

Our standard views are organized into sets defined by purpose: Working, Schematics, CDs, Existing conditions, etc.

View = Viewpoint + User Options.


Layout Book
The third button is the Layout Book. A view placed in a layout becomes a Drawing. Most of the view's characteristics (layers, scale, model view options) are expressed directly, but the drawing element adds a few options. For most drawings, the title is a feature of the drawing element. In our standards, the pen set is controlled by the drawing.

A drawing is a view placed in a layout. Or, if you like, a layout is where a view becomes a drawing.


The fourth button is Publisher. Publisher makes output from layouts, or (less often) from views directly. It can print, save PDFs, export DWGs, make images, whatever. All the model information and organization in the rest of the Navigator comes out as 'deliverables': The stuff that clients, contractors, and other non-AC parties can use.

(An example of non-layout publication: A DWG direct from a project window, no title block.)

Publication = Layouts (or views) + Output settings.


Build the model.

• Create viewpoints so you can see the model in the right way.

• Add options to the viewpoints to create views.

• Place views in layouts to create drawings.

Publish layouts (or views) to create deliverable output.

Then you're done, and you can go home!