On Land

Environment Information
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.

I've taken another stab at standardizing the Work Environment. This for AC10 only.

Definition: Work Environment is the facility for saving and sharing most of the preferences for Archicad's appearance and behavior. Including:

• Interface gadgets such as guide lines, tracker, and mouse constraints.

• Data safety settings such as the autosave interval.

• Keyboard shortcuts, menu layouts, and toolbars.

• Design of the Info Box, toolbox, and settings dialogs, and the arrangement of palettes on the screen.

Various preferences are organized into schemes. Schemes are organized into profiles.

All of the setting and organizing takes place in the Work Environment dialog, Options -> Work Environment (Ctrl+Shift+~(the key below esc)).

Schemes and profiles can be saved, exported, and imported, also via the WE dialog.

The state of the WE is itself a preference, stored in your Home/Library/Preferences. That means that whatever state it's in will be remembered from session to session. The WE state is not associated with the project file.

A word on having a 'standard' Work Environment: Having a similar environment makes it easier for us to work together and help one another. Our WE has developed over time, and it's pretty good. I strongly recommend against going your own way in regard to shortcuts, menus, or Info Box/settings dialogs. But some WE components are more personal and extra flexibility doesn't hurt anything. For example, the palette arrangement.

We provide a well-designed WE that definitely works, and expect you to use good judgement about modifying it. How's that?

A word on menus and shortcuts in AC10: They radically overhauled both.

In my opinion, GS improved the menus substantially. The intended use of the program is more apparent, for example, in the Design and Document menus. I've left the new menus alone for the most part. You'll get used to them.

However, their treatment of the shortcuts is gratuitous. They are neither mnemonic nor ergonomic. They are disorienting to users with any experience. We are ignoring the new shortcuts entirely, and we will continue to adapt our own scheme to the new features.

Importing the Work Environment: Finally. When would you need to import?

• When installing AC for the first time. It is probably the last step in the installation process.

• When you had to trash the prefs for some reason. (WE makes trashing the prefs much less traumatic, precisely because you can import.)

• When you've played with the WE, made a mess of it, and want to restore order.

How to import:

1. Open Work Environment. Highlight 'Work Environment Profiles' at the top left. Click 'Import' on the right.

2. In the Import Profile dialog click 'Browse'. Navigate to 3 Resources/AC/Work Environment/RnD 10. Click 'Choose'.

3. In the Import Profile dialog, highlight RnD 10 and click 'Import'.

4. Back in the WE dialog, RnD 10 will appear on the list. Double-click the name to apply the profile. Click 'Set as Default'.

5a. The RnD 10 profile contains all the schemes but one, the Palette Shapes. Since screen sizes vary, the Palette Shapes schemes are saved separately, and you need to separately import the appropriate one.

5b. Highlight the Palette Schemes item on the left, then click 'Import'. In the Import Profile dialog click 'Browse'. Navigate to 3 Resources/AC/Work Environment. Click 'Choose'. You should see three options of the form 'RnD Palettes 23" 10'. (The other sizes are 17 and 20.) Highlight the right size and click 'Import'. Like you did with the main profile, double-click it to apply it, and Set As Default.

6. Close the WE dialog.

The only remaining step is to resize the plan and 3D windows to fit the available workspace. Locate the windows' title bars and drag them so you can see the green button. Click the green button to fit the window, then resize as desired.