AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue
#5 (April 19, 2006)
Interactive Schedules in ArchiCAD 9
Dwayne Van Horn, AIA
Project Architect, Penza Associates Architects
In ArchiCAD, many types of objects and elements
in the Virtual Building can be listed in an interactive
schedule. This means that the content of the schedule
is simply another view of the database that the
Virtual Building represents.
What makes the schedule interactive is the fact
that changes to the schedule are changes to the
database, which changes the documentation drawings
in a Building Information Model. In short, the
documentation in various forms represents views
of the same information model and is therefore
consistent with design decisions.
The following is a brief look at two examples
of interactive door schedules.
All schedules require standard settings known
as IS SETTINGS (Interactive Schedule
Settings) which are created from within ArchiCAD's
Calculate window > Interactive
Schedule > Preview/Settings
window. All schedule formatting is done in the
Preview/Settings window and once
named and saved, it will be added to the list
of schedules and is only available from the Interactive
Typically a project that has a newly created
schedule will have that schedule embedded in the
model and can be used on another machine. However
let's say you have a project that does not have
the schedule template in the Interactive
Schedules list in ArchiCAD.
IS SETTINGS can be imported
into any ArchiCAD user's computer by dragging
a copy of the IS Settings folder
from the Templates folder on
your machine, into the IS Settings
folder on another machine. On the Mac, go to the
User folder > Library
> Application Support >
Graphisoft > IS Settings
folder (as shown below).
On Windows, the default path is:
C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application
Another option is to keep the schedule settings
files on a server.
Door and window schedules reference the object's
ID number which is also used in the Dimension
Marker. Here I have used modified versions
of the "Door Marker_NCS"
and "Window Marker_NCS"
that come in the base library, but the originals
will work too. (The "Builder Dimension"
can be used for cased openings that do not show
up in the door schedule.)
Door Schedule Using Zones
This door schedule (Door Sched-Zones)
is used in conjunction with the Zone
tool. The door marker can be moved from one side
of the wall to the other, so that the door's number
will change to match the Room Number
and Room Name within the Zone.
The ID ("A,B,C," etc.)
is input manually within the door ID parameter
to identify the door when multiple doors flank
The door schedules are designed to ignore all
doors that do not have an ID, so doors that are
wood or G.W.B. cased openings do not get an ID
and will not show up on the schedule. Cased openings
get the Builder Dimension marker.
All parameters come from the door's object parameter
settings. Some parameters can be modified in the
door schedule's Preview window.
Elevation ID can be added to
refer to the typical door panel elevations that
you draw in separate drawings or you can use the
Door Schedule Elev and let the
schedule draw the elevations for you. Some doors
with custom panels and muntin patterns may take
a long time to generate. (Special doors such as
the Real Doors & Windows may take longer.)
Typical door panel elevations, drawn by generating
an elevation of one wall with all door types or
inserting an image of a door from a manufacturer's
DWG or catalog cut, are shown below.
The next two figures show the typical door schedule
using zones and the door schedule with elevations
In the Calculate menu, go to
Interactive Schedule and select
Preview. This is where you select
a schedule to edit or duplicate. When creating
a new door schedule for the first time, you will
need to select one of the standard schedules and
use the duplicate option to make one of your own.
Under the General tab, select
the element type Window. (This
makes it a window schedule.)
Add Element ID to the Criteria
list and set it to > (Greater
Than) and set the starting value to 000.
This allows you to force the schedule to ignore
any windows that do not have an ID or whose ID
is just text.
The Fields tab shows us available
object parameters on the left and the ones we
will use on the right. Check the box to the left
of the parameter name to add it to the list on
The most commonly used parameters will be listed
on the left but if you need a special parameter
to be listed in the schedule, you can click on
the Additional Parameters button
to browse any loaded library for a particular
object to select a parameter from.
Note that you can drag parameters up and down
the list on the right using the little double
triangles to set the order of the column settings.
The top of the list will become the left most
column on the schedule. The Header Name
box on the right side of this window allows you
to name the column header differently than the
name that shows up in the Parameters
list. ("3D Back View" can become "Elevation,"
"Quantity" can become "Qty.,"
and so on.)
The Format tab is where column
width, pen and type of text are selected. The
column width can also be edited graphically in
the Preview window.
If you are using the schedule that produces an
elevation of the door, this is where you would
select the image. Select Picture
from the Schedule Item, and then
set the row height for the size of elevation drawing
you want to appear in your schedule.
Always remember that placing the schedules is
just as important as creating them. Create a story
for your schedules, as they will be placed on
what ever story you were on when you started creating
your schedule in the edit/preview window. You
can edit doors and windows in the model and then
go back to the schedule you placed in the model,
select it, and open by selecting Calculate
> Interactive Schedule.
If you select a window or door number from the
Interactive Schedule > Preview
window and wonder why you can't go to the Selection
in Plan option, it is because you are
not on the story that the window or door is located
Create a Navigator preview in
the View Editor of all of your
schedules for easy searching and placing and naming
on your layout sheets.
Keep your schedules simple and remember to be
conscious of the fact that third party libraries
will use different parameters than the ones in
ArchiCAD's libraries. Also, when checking the
box to get the elevation of your doors or windows
in your schedule, don't forget that one person's
idea of a 3D front view is another's 3D rear view.
Many thanks to Ransom Ratcliff of AEC Infosystems
for his help with editing and presenting this
About the Author
Dwayne Van Horn is a Project Architect with
Penza Associates Architects in Baltimore, Maryland.
He graduated from Temple University in 1991 with
a B. Architecture, and has been using ArchiCAD
since 1994. He has found that every day can be
exciting when you build models of all your designs,
and generate construction documents from that
same model. Dwayne's goal is to never draw construction
documents again."Here's your model
Build it." Dwayne chairs the Baltimore ArchiCAD
User Group and welcomes all new users. Meetings
are free to all. Dwayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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