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AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue #15 (February 21, 2007)

Archicad 10 Project Indexes

Jim Mahoney
Director of Technology, Integrated CADD Services

Archicad 10 allows you to create Project Indexes, which are intelligent lists that track items such as individual drawings or sheets of drawings. These indexes change dynamically to reflect changes that you make throughout the project.

Creating a Drawing List

If you create your Project Indexes and Interactive Schedules in your Archicad startup template, this one time operation allows you to use these items in all of your projects. In this exercise we will create a Sheet Index to generate a list of drawing sheets in the Layout Book.

1. Set the Project Navigator palette to the Project Map mode and scroll down the lists until you see Project Indexes. Highlight the Project Indexes line item and click on the Settings… button.

2. The Index Settings dialog will appear. Click on the Create New… button.

3. The Add Project Index dialog will open up. There are three buttons at the top to the right of the Use with: item. The first will allow you to make lists of Views in your model, the second will track Sheets (otherwise known as Layouts) in your Layout Book, and the last one will track Drawings that you have placed on your sheets. We will select the middle button to create a Sheet Index. Name your index and click on the OK button.

4. Our Sheet Index, which I called Tips Sheet Index, now appears in the list.

5. One of the nice features of the Layout Book is the ability to keep all of the drawings for a project, from presentation drawings, working drawings and sketches, all in one easy-to-access place. Subsets can be created to help organize the Layout Book and assist with automatically numbering and titling your drawings. This project has E-sized working drawings and A-sized clarification sketches (SK's) in separate Subsets. We're going to use these subsets to assist us in limiting what is indexed. This list of drawings is for the E-Sized sheets only. We don't want to list the sketches on the Cover Sheet.

6. Click on the Criteria / Tips Sheet Index field header to open it. Click the Add button.

7. Use the Criteria popup menu to choose Subset as the criteria.

8. Click on the Triangle button in the Value field to pop up a list of the available subsets and select the subset(s) you wish to include in the index. In our example, we will choose the "E-Sized Sheets" subset.

Note the + button to the far right. You can use it to add additional Subset entries to the list as shown below. For our purposes we only need one Subset filter.

9. Click on the Fields / Tips Sheet Index field header to open it. You can use this list to add the fields you wish to have in your Index.

10. Select the parameters for the index and use the >> Add >> button to move the selected items to the right Index Fields column. You can add them one at a time. If you wish to add multiple items and make a discontinuous selection (as shown below), hold the Command-Key down for Mac OS X or the Control-Key for Windows XP while selecting the items you wish to add.

11. The selected fields appear on the right side. You can move them up and down on the list. The fields called Custom Text 1, 2, and 3 allow you to manually enter data into these fields, as opposed to the regular fields which get their information from the item they are linked to.

12. The Up and Down triangles on the left of the Index Fields list allow you to drag the order of the line items to change their order on the schedule. Note the Arrow to the right of the field names. This is the Sort Order. Clicking on the Arrow changes the sort order as follows: descending, ascending, and off. For a drawing list where you want the cover sheet (C-1) or demo sheets (D-1, 2, 3 etc..) to be listed before the architectural sheets (A-1, 2, 3 etc.), you must turn the sort order off.

Click on the Arrow button until you see no arrow symbol on it as shown below.

13. When all the Sort Order buttons have been set to Off, click on the OK button to close the Index Settings dialog.

14. Your index will now appear in the list. Highlight it and use the Settings… button to set the size and appearance of the index.

15. A formatting dialog appears where you can change the Text Style and Field spacing of your index. It is best to change the style and size of the fonts first, prior to setting the spacing of the index fields. Until the text is sized and set to the actual header name, there is no point setting the Field spacing.

16. Use the Apply to: popup to select the item you wish to set the formatting for. In this case we are formatting the Header. You can select the Font, Size, and Font Pen here. If you aren't sure which index items are actually being affected by your setting, change the Font Pen to a color such as red that makes these items stand out. Then set the pen you actually wish to use.

17. Clicking in the Individual fields allows you to change the name of that header field. Here we are changing the name of the field called Main Header to List of Drawings. While the cursor is in an individual field, you can also set the Style to Bold, Italics or Underline and set the Justification. (Note: While you are typing in a field, the text appears left justified. When you exit that field, the text will appear with whatever justification you have selected.)

When changing the Name field's title to Drawing Name, you'll find the text does not fit in the cell. Don't worry; we will set the spacing of the cell borders after all the formatting is done.

18. Next, change the Apply to: popup to Value and repeat the procedure for these fields. In the value fields, changing the Font, Size, Cell Height, and Font Pen is global and applies to all value fields. Once again, clicking in one of the value cells where a sheet is listed allows you to set the Justification and Font Style for all values in that column.

19. The Apply to: popup is also used to set the formatting for the Cell Borders. The popup can be set to affect the entire index or particular types of cells such as Headers or Values. There is a Cell Border popup which can be set to have a line on All Borders, Separators Only, or No Borders.

In the example below in the picture on the left, the Headers are set to show lines on All Borders while the Value cells are set to have Separators Only. The example on the right has the Headers set to Separators Only and the Values are set to have No Border.

For our Sheet Index, we will set the Entire Index to have No Borders.

20. There is a heavy vertical line in the Ruler above the Index. If you click and hold down the left mouse button on one of these lines, your cursor form changes to a Left & Right Arrow. You can now drag left or right to change the width of the various columns. A Hot Help tag pops up to show you the width of the field. Set the various cell widths as desired. and we are through setting up the Sheet Index.

Placing a Sheet Index

1. Switch Project Navigator to the Layout Book mode. Open the layout in your Layout Book that you wish to place your Sheet Index on. We will use the Cover Sheet.

2. Before placing the Sheet Index, switch to the Drawing Tool. Set the popup menu in the Info Palette to No Title. This will prevent our Sheet Index from receiving an automatic Drawing Title Type.

3. After opening the layout you wish to place the Index on, switch Archicad's Project Navigator to the Project Map mode. Scroll down to the Project Indexes section of the list, and open it up to find your index.

4. Indexes are placed on a layout just like any other Archicad drawing. Click, hold and drag the Index out of the Project Map and drop it onto your sheet.

5. Your Index appears, reflecting the current state of your drawing sheets.

6. Notice in the example above that the Second Floor Plan (sheet A-100) and First Floor Plan (sheet A-101) are out of order. Let's fix this. Go to the Project Navigator and drag the Second Floor Plan layout sheet to the correct position.

If the layout with the Sheet Index is not currently open, switch to it and the Sheet Index will automatically update to show the changes you've made.

Just like any other drawing you place on a sheet, you can edit the Drawing Settings to change the Update Method to Manual. To do this, select the drawing, click on the Settings button to open the Drawing Selection Settings dialog, and make the change as shown.

7. If the layout with the Sheet Index was already open when you changed the order of the layouts, you will need to update the Index manually. This is easy to do. Select the Sheet Index on the layout, put the mouse over the Index, and Right-Click. Select Update from the contextual menu that pops up. The Sheet Index will update.

Editing With a Sheet Index

In addition to being placed on a Layout, the Sheet Index can be used to edit a Layout's name. In this example, you can see that Drawing A-000 had a misspelling in the word Door. You can, of course, fix it in the Project Navigator, but you can also correct it in the Sheet Index.

1. Switch to the Project Map view and double-click on your Sheet Index.

2. With the Sheet Index open, click in the Field containing the misspelled word "Dooor" and change it to the correct spelling.

3. The Layout's title in the Layout Book will update and show the revised spelling.

About the Author

Jim Mahoney has been using Archicad since 1993. He currently runs all Archicad training courses for Integrated CADD Services and has an active role with the Graphisoft Reseller team, which consults to Graphisoft's tech support division. He is a seasoned Architect with experience in restaurant design, multi-family housing, office building design and medical facility design. In addition to Archicad training and support, Jim is a Senior Architect for Integrated CADD Services' sister firm, Conyngham Associates Architects, where he uses Archicad daily to produce virtual building models of the projects which he is controlling.


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