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AECbytes Tips and Tricks Issue #19 (June 14, 2007)

ArchiCAD 10 Title Types

Jim Mahoney
Director of Technology, Integrated CADD Services

ArchiCAD 10 allows you to create Title Types, which are intelligent drawing titles that can automatically be applied to drawings as they are added to sheets, or Layouts as they are called. These Title Types change dynamically to reflect changes that you make to the drawing's location or the sheet's location within the project.

If you create your Title Types in your ArchiCAD startup template, this one-time operation allows you to use these items in all of your projects. These items should be turned into Favorites to make them easy to access and use. In this exercise, we will create several Title Types and turn them into Favorites. We will use them to automatically add titles to drawings in our Layout Book.

Formatting a Title Type

The easiest way to format a Title Type is to bring in a drawing with a default Title Type attached to it. Then you can edit the Title Type and view the effects of your changes on this drawing. When you are satisfied with the appearance, create a Favorite.

1) Since we are working in our Startup Template file, we need to make some temporary walls just so we have something to place on a layout. From the Floor Plan, select the Wall Tool and draw rectangular walls.

2) Double-click on the Drawing Tool to open it up.

4) In the Drawing Tool, go to the Identification area and set the Drawing Name popup to By View Name Only.

5) In the Title area, set the Title Type popup to the desired Title Type. We will choose Title with Layout No 10. Now we are ready to bring in a drawing with this Title Type. Once the Title Type is attached to a drawing, we will further customize the settings.

6) Set the Project Navigator to the Layout Book mode by pressing the third button.

7) Select the Create a New Layout button. Name this Layout "Temporary Layout." We will put it in a Subset for Floor Plans where it will automatically number itself A-100.

8) Select the Layout you just created.

9) Switch back to the Floor Plan View by choosing Floor Plan from the Window menu.

10) This will bring us back to the Plan View with the 4 walls we just drew. Our intention here is to just add a view to a Layout so that we can customize the Title Type to our needs.

11) Since this is a temporary view we will use and throw away, we won't get fussy about our view settings. Place your mouse in an empty space outside the area of the walls and right-click. Select Save View and Place on Layout from the contextual menu that appears.

12) You will be switched to the Layout you selected and your cursor will have a square attached to it representing the drawing. Click in the center of the Layout to place this temporary view.

13) Select the newly placed drawing and Zoom in on the Title Type. After you change the various text and line settings, you can come back here to view the results.

14) Double-click on the Drawing Tool where we will fine-tune the settings for our Title Type. Make sure it says Selected: 1 Editable: 1. Uncheck the boxes next to Uniform Symbol Pens and Uniform Text Format. If these are left activated, you will have one text size and one line weight for the entire Title Type. We want a little more control to set independent sizes for the various text entities.

15) We will start editing parameters for this Title Type. Set the Circle Diameter to 3/4". The Position to… parameter brings up a popup where you can select Drawing or Layout (that is, the Sheet). We want to anchor it to our Drawing, so select that option. The Side parameter determines where the Title is anchored. Leave it set to the Bottom. There are 3 offset settings. Set the Offset to Drawing option to 1/2". This will hold the Title 1/2" from the bottom of our drawings. The Left and Right offsets determine if the Title is indented from the sides of the drawing. Leave them set to 0".

16) Scroll the parameter list down to view the next fields. Leave the Rotate with Position and Link Width to Position options to On.

17) If you continue down and use the Disclosure Triangle to display the parameters for the various text entities, you will find that the settings are in millimeters (mm). If you are used to using points (pts) like I am, we will take a brief detour to convert mm to points. If you know your text size in mm, skip down to Step 22. To convert pts to mm, press the OK button to save your work so far.

18) Go to the Options menu > Element Attributes > Pens & Colors to bring up a dialog box for converting pts to mm.

19) Set the Pen Weight value to your desired size in points (Pt). Use the popup to change it to mm. This will be the converted value in mm. So in this example, 12 pts equals 4.23 mm. Enter the various point sizes you need in here and convert to mm. Write down the converted values and return to the Drawing Tool.

20) Make sure that the drawing with the Title Type you were using for setup is selected and double click on the Drawing Tool to open it up.

21) In the Show Drawing Name section, click on the Font Type line item and use the popup menu to select your font.

22) Enter the desired Font Size in mm plus the desired Pen for the font and any associated line type.

23) Do this for each of the various text entities for the Title Type. When you get to the Show Numeric Scale section, there is a parameter that allows you to type the text that appears next to the drawing's scale. Make sure to include a space after the colon character.

24) Click OK and return to the Layout. Deselect the drawing and zoom into the Title Type to see the results of your work so far.

25) Next, we will reposition the text to fine-tune the appearance of the Title Type. Shift-click on the Title Type to select it. If you click on the green node at the 3:00 position on the circle, it allows you to resize the circle. The Pet Palette will pop up. Select the Stretch tool on the bottom right of the Pet Palette. You can type the diameter you desire and its value will appear in the Tracker. If you are happy with the default diameter. hit the Escape key to Cancel.

26) The nodes for the two numbers are currently stacked on top of each other. To adjust them, click on the green node below the number 1. Make sure the Stretch tool is selected on the Pet Palette and move the node up.

27) Next, slide down the Sheet Number. Its node was above the number A-100.

28) The node for the Drawing Name is on the lower left of the Drawing Name text block. Move it to the left.

29) Move the Scale Text in a similar fashion. Its node is on the left side of the text block. Move it to the left to align with the Drawing Name and down to line up with the Drawing Number.

Creating Title Type Favorites

Once the Title Type looks the way you want, you should make a Favorite out of it. A Favorite allows you to set a tool up with one click and all of the stored settings in the Favorite are applied.

1) Shift-click to select the Title Type you just set up.

2) If your Favorites Palette is not visible, go to the Window menu > Palettes > Show Favorites.

3) Click on the triangular arrow to display the Favorite menu. Select Save Last Selection's…

4) Name your Favorite.

5) The Favorite should now appear on the Favorites list.

6) We will make a second Title Type Favorite to illustrate another way they can be used. The next Favorite is one that is used when you want to bring in a drawing such as a 3D view for a Cover Sheet where you want no title at all. You should make as many Favorites as you have different styles of titles for your needs.

7) Select the Drawing that had your Title Type attached to it. Up in the Info Palette, there is a field where you can change the Title Type. Right now it will be set to Title with Layout No 10.

8) Change this popup to No Title.

9) Repeat Steps 4 and 5. Your new Favorite will appear on the list.

10) You would pick this Favorite before bring in any drawing that does not require a title.

Next, we will use the Favorites to set an incoming Drawing to have the right Title Type.

Using Your Title Type

Now that these Favorites for Title Types are stored in your ArchiCAD template file, you can use them on every job. The setup we have gone through above is a one-time event if you use Favorites. When you are working on a project and are ready to add views to your Layout Book, here are the steps you should follow:

Naming Your Stories

The Stories dialog may seem like a strange place to start in an exercise about Drawing Titles. But a little work in this dialog makes your work easier when it is time to create Views and place them on Layouts (Sheets).

1) Go to the View menu > Story Settings… to access the Story Settings dialog.

2) The name that you give each Story (or Section or Detail) becomes the default name for any views created from that item. So rather than renaming views, why not name the story the way you would like the typical view to read? For stories, I name the story for the typical drawing derived from it. The first floor I call FIRST FLOOR PLAN. I added the word PLAN so I don't have to add it to all of the view names later. I like my drawing titles all caps so I capitalized the story name.

3) Keep this in mind when you make new Sections or Details as well. The name you give them will be the default View Name which becomes the Drawing Title.

Adding Drawings

1) Display the Favorites List by going to the Window menu > Palettes > Show Favorites.

2) There is a Favorite's preference I would recommend setting. Click on the triangular arrow to display the Favorites menu and select Favorites Preferences…

3) In the Favorites Preferences dialog, make sure the box next to Show Favorites of active Tool only is checked. This will filter the Favorites List to show the Favorites for just the tool you are currently using. Close this dialog.

4) Select the Drawing Tool.

5) The Favorites list will display your Drawing Tool Favorites.

6) Before bringing in any Views to place on the Layout, apply the appropriate Favorite. To do this, double-click the appropriate Favorite on the list.

7) Now when you bring in the Views, the Title Type will have all of the settings it inherited from your Favorite. You had to do no additional setup to use this Title Type.

8) If you want to change the Title Type for a Drawing or Drawings, select the Drawing(s) and double-click the appropriate Favorite on the Favorites list. All the selected drawings will be changed.

Automatic Title Types are a powerful feature of the Layout Book. There is intelligence behind them. They will automatically use the View Name, Drawing Number, and Sheet Number of the Layout they are on. They will use the scale of the Drawing they are attached to. As you move the Layout around within the set, these Title Types will automatically update. With the use of automatic Title Types, it is just about impossible to have a drawing that is mislabeled.

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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