On Land

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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.

An object like the Foundation Drain is trying to offer total geometry and annotation for a particular detail. We want to pack this object with all the data we can think of. The geometry is in good shape, but we're missing the notes calling out all the parts. These will need to be added manually with labels or texts. Since these notes are standardized, they will be written down somewhere; if nowhere else, in the last place you drew the detail. Or in a module, or in a text file. Either way, it's remembering and typing or copy and paste.

How could the notes live in the object? You could script a series of 'labels', with leaders pointing to the detail parts, and editing hotspots to position the texts. I'm skeptical of this. It's sophisticated coding to get an interaction that, to the user, would never be as smooth as moving text elements and drawing arcs and labels. To me, placing the notes isn't the problem, it's remembering/locating the data to write into them.

Here's another idea that would let us keep the notes in the object. Create a switch in the settings to put the whole thing in 'note mode'. Instead of drawing the lines and fills, the object creates a series of text blocks. (These can be multi-line and arbitrarily styled, like text elements, using the TEXTBLOCK and RICHTEXT2 commands.) Then you could copy/explode the object, which would give you text elements you could stretch and arrange as needed.

Unfortunately it doesn't work. When a multi-line text object is exploded, you get multiple single-line text elements. Not helpful.

We need RICHTEXT2 that explodes into a single text element regardless of shape.