ArchiCAD Tips and Tricks: Managing the Favorites Palette

I’ve just posted Managing the Favorites Palette, one of my classic ArchiCAD Tips and Tricks articles which had never been available online. I encourage you to read it so you can take full advantage of Favorites, a very powerful yet underutilized feature of ArchiCAD.

The article was published in ArchiMAG back in 2011. ArchiMAG is sadly long gone, however this article will now have another life. I’ve updated one image to show the simplified search option within the Object Settings dialog (introduced in ArchiCAD 15), and added a note about Building Materials, however otherwise this has stood the test of time and still applies just as much as when it was written.

The Favorites palette is built into ArchiCAD, however from what I’ve seen, not many users use it on a regular basis. It gives you quick access to frequently used components and remembers their settings. Once you’ve gotten them set the way you want, you won’t have to waste time the next time you place a similar element.

I have a video tutorial showing how to get started with the Favorites palette, quickly populating it from a developed project then importing it into your template or a new project.

This article goes further, and will help you manage your Favorites, which can be a little confusing when you upgrade to a new version of ArchiCAD or want to migrate them from one project to another.

How to Create ArchiCAD Working Drawings without Drafting Details

Earlier this week I interviewed Tim Ball, an advanced ArchiCAD user in the UK, to learn more about how he develops his ArchiCAD model in a way that virtually eliminates manual 2D drafting of Details.

The 10 minute video shows the evolution of his project workflow over the past few years, from independently created Detail drawings through model-based Details and now pure-model Details.

How to Create ArchiCAD Working Drawings without Drafting Details – Interview with Tim Ball

Tim has also figured out how to embed textual data into his elements in a way that makes it possible for ArchiCAD to automatically generate and compile accurate specification documents that are fully based on the model.

I believe his workflow is a bit tricky to master, however ultimately much more efficient. In addition, it increases the consistency of the drawings, since everything (even details and specifications) is based on the intelligent 3D Virtual Building model.


Tim will be teaching how to implement his methods in the upcoming online training course Working Drawings Without Details, which kicks off on April 15.

Tim’s course is part of the Masters of ArchiCAD Training Series, a set of five short courses running over the next 6 months taught by carefully chosen ArchiCAD experts.

I’m looking forward to sharing these training courses with ArchiCAD users around the world. Sessions will be broadcast live once each week, and recorded and posted for easy, permanent reference in the website member area.

I hope you can join us on this journey of discovery along the path of mastery. When you implement some of these strategies of the Masters of ArchiCAD, you’ll become more efficient, productive and profitable.

Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy your work more.

As Tim says: “You can focus on the fun, sexy part of ArchiCAD – the 3D modeling and design – and virtually eliminate the boring 2D stuff.”

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or feedback.


Masters of ArchiCAD Training Series launches with 5 short courses by ArchiCAD experts

Eric-Bobrow-photo-2I’m delighted to announce the Masters of ArchiCAD Training Series, a set of five short courses running over the next 6 months taught by carefully chosen ArchiCAD experts.

These trainings are visionary yet supremely practical; advanced yet highly approachable.

They will enrich your understanding and help you implement some of the powerful ideas and methods shared in the recent Masters of ArchiCAD Summit.

Each master brings something unique to the table. Every one of them is a practicing user who pushes the limits of ArchiCAD and has figured out how to get more done with less effort.

Take one course and you’ll advance your practice.
Go through all 5 and you’re going to be unstoppable.

The first class starts next Wednesday April 15 as Tim Ball shares how he creates “Working Drawings Without [Drafting] Details”.

When you use Tim’s approach, you’ll be able to focus most of your time on the cool, fun part of ArchiCAD (designing and modeling in 3D) and virtually no time at all on tedious Detail drawings and Specifications (they come directly out of the highly detailed model).

ArchiCAD training by Tim Ball will show you how to go directly from your 3D model to Detail drawings and Specifications

Yes, it is truly possible, not overly hard, much more efficient (and fun) and Tim will show you how.

Tim’s course kicks off the series.


The Masters of ArchiCAD Training Series is offered as live one-hour webinars, with one session per week through October.

You don’t have to attend the live sessions. They will be recorded and made available in the website member area for permanent reference. These video recordings will make a great addition to your reference library.

These training resources follow up on the Summit presentations of each Master, and will take you deeper and guide you along the journey so that you can easily integrate their methods in your office:

  • Tim Ball – Working Drawings Without Details (6 lessons)
  • Andreas Lettner – Cinerender Methods, Tips and Tricks (4 lessons)
  • Eric Bobrow – ArchiCAD 19 Upgrade Training (4 lessons)
  • Gary Lawes – Practical, Parametric Object Making Using GDL
  • Roderick Anderson – ArchiCAD and BIMx Strategies to Optimize Design and Construction

The Training Series page provides a complete description for each of the courses.

Each course has a standard price of $197, except for Tim’s longer course, which is $297.

To encourage you to jump in with both feet (and be off and running) we’re offering a Training Series bundle for only $597.

This is an amazing value. The retail prices of these courses total $1085. Yet even more important, the impact on your practice and how efficiently you run your projects is far larger. When you implement the methods pioneered by these Masters, you’ll use ArchiCAD in a much more optimized and powerful fashion.

NOTE: Don’t let cash flow get in the way of grabbing this offer: you can choose our extended payment plan option available at $97 per month.


When you sign up for the full bundle, you’ll get complimentary access for the Masters of ArchiCAD Summit recordings – 12 dynamic presentations by grand masters from around the world, an extra bonus value of $197!

The Summit was an inspiring, community-building event attended by over 300 ArchiCAD users. One advanced user wrote to me after the Summit saying he had “filled his idea basket.” Others used terms like “fabulous”, “awesome”, and “winner” to describe the conference.

  • “The [Summit] sessions were some of the very best I have experienced.” – Lew Bishop, Santa Rosa CA

I’m delighted to be able to share all of this ArchiCAD goodness with you!

Please let me know if you have any questions, feedback or comments.

Best regards,

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