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Design forum

Community feedback: Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings in Archicad

Arpad Szabo

Hi all,

one of our designers is taking a closer look at... Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings!  

It’s a complex but important dialog, and we'd love to know: what do you think? 

Let us know! Just five quick questions will do it... Thanks! 

At first glance, which part of the dialog is easy to understand? 

Do the texts and pictures help you understand what to do? 

In which situations do you use this dialog? 

In which design phase do you use this dialog? 

Which parts of the dialog are hard to use? (The parts you have to keep adjusting to get it right) 




Árpád Szabó
Junior UX researcher - Graphisoft



@Arpad Szabo I don't think there is much that you can change to improve the dialog which for me is constantly fine tuned as the plans develop.


The obvious and most important element is the cut plane which needs set to ensure it collides with openings. The OOTB 1100mm setting will never cover all situations. The one recurring frustration with this is displaying openings on the same story where the sill of higher openings are just above the head of lower openings.


The range limit makes sense once you understand how AC works.


I haven't really seen any point to the absolute display limit although I assume there is some logical reason for it. 


Of all the frustrations / wishes aired on this forum I don't see FPCP settings being one of them, so why is this dialog being scrutinised? Personally I am more interested in potential dialog workflow improvements like View Styles which were also researched and never happened or the often repeated request for consistency in element storey display settings. Sorry to get negative, but we are repeatedly told GS has limited resources, yet here we are researching stuff which is low priority for end users. 

Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

The current dialog is easy to understand but it is inefficient not being able to save settings and apply them to views.  


I do however think that the process the dialog is used in, setting up horizontal 2D views of the model, is both cumbersome and limiting due to it being tied to stories and with the contorol split between FPCP and settings of individual elements.

I have a feeling this is going deeper than GS are planning, but I would agree the problems aren't within the FPCP dialog, they are with the juggling of elements to get the right information displayed. Ideally the 2D line & fill display settings should be removed from the elements, (this info comes from material assignment or GOs)  and the FPCP is updated as follows...


1. The cut plane is retained.

2. A cut zone is created which shows all symbolic openings within the zone with an option to include openings wholly or part within the cut zone.

3. Elements between the lower limit and cut zone are shown as hidden line-type or none.

4. Elements between the upper limit and cut zone are shown with overhead line-type or none.


Pens, line-types & fills for the upper & lower zones are set within the FPCP.


Too simplistic? Possibly, but these are the kinds of changes needed to evolve & speed up workflows if we are to get away from the constant hunt for problematic views and element settings.


Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Agree with @DGSketcher 's points.


My only issue with the dialog itself, which is unchanged since the FPCP was first introduced, is the direction of the arrow for "Show down to" for "Absolute Display Limit"... which points UP.  The other arrows point in the desired direction and so are visually meaningful.  Yes, I realize this is otherwise simply a label, but I think it is helpful for up/down to be visual as well.  My 2 cents. 🙂


One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   macOS 12.6.1, iMac Pro 10-Core, Radeon Pro Vega 64

Great points and totally agree.  The standard plan views should be 3D document plan views (ie. cut plane view looking down on the model - like Revit does), and completely indendent of 'stories'.


To allow drafting/modelling in plan there could be a toggle switch (part of Trace?) to show 'hidden' elements (ie. joists under flooring) or 'overhead' elements (ie. ceiling/lights etc.) as say a light colour like Trace, so that they can be selected and modified while in plan view.


'Hidden' or 'overhead' elements could be switched on/off per view and linetype controlled by FPCP or Graphic Overrides.  Also could add 'fade distance elements'  just like sections/elevations - in fact the floor plans should literally be horizontal Sections/Elevations.


This would remove all the 'overhead/outline linetypes',  'show on stories', etc. element settings issues and simplify the whole process of creating plans/rcp's.



Archicad user since 2001

Barry Kelly

It would also be good if it was a 'live' dialogue.

So as you make changes you can see the results instantly in plan without having to press OK, view the result, set it is still not correct, open the dialogue, make a change, OK, rinse and repeat.


Other than that I don't have issues with the actual dialogue itself.

It is all of the elements that need the same floor plan display options that is a bigger issue.





One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10



Made feedback post about this tool some time ago. At the moment it is very complex tool and I think it should be revamped. Also as many mentions this FPCP should be saved to plan Views settings same as "Layer Combination", "Scale" or other predefined setting.

More information and proposals with tips in following post:
Text and picture from other post:
Will help a lot if "Floor Plan Cut Plane Settings" can be adjusted in any Section/Elevation views with handles similar ones that are in "Section/Elevation Range" tool. This will help a lot when investigating why some objects are not visible in plan views 😉





Showing how these handles can be seen in section view.

GRAPHISOFT BIM Manager Training Week attendee
ArchiCAD v9 - v26 INT / NOR (4019)
i5-12600K @ 5.0Ghz, 32GB ram, GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)
NVMe SSD - Read - 3 GB/s, Write - 2GB/s, Windows 11
ArchiCAD Discord channel:

David Collins

It would be great if the FPCP dialog had the option to specify a different cut plane height for each story. I know saved views can have different floor plan cut planes, but it would be nice to have those FPCP heights displayed in the dialog.

David Collins

Win10 64bit Intel i7 6700 3.40 Ghz 32 Gb RAM

GeForce RTX 3070
AC 26.0 (3010 INT FULL)

The FPCP height is saved with the view for each storey.

So if you save a view for each storey (which you should be doing) you can have different heights.

You can even have multiple views of the same storey with different FPCP heights.


Activating the view (rather than just changing stories or using the Project Map, will activate the FPCP height on screen that was saved with each view.




One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

First of all: the purpose of this dialog is to make a setting that affects the plan display. Like all dialogs in Archicad, the process is based on trial and error. So before you discuss what works or doesn't work about the dialog, you should think fundamentally about the interaction between user and software. Everything else is wasted time, because you have to finally make the leap into the 21st century in UX and UI design!


This dialog always amused me. Slabs are not affected by it! Yet they are displayed very prominently here.


But yeah, very typical again from GS lately, just as DGSketcher said. Instead of fixing the stuff, that needs to be fixed, we see things being touched that should be left alone. Like nobody ever complained about the Attribute Manager. It was one of the few things that worked really well. Alas! GS invested a lot of manpower to replace it with something that was flawed from the beginning and only reacted very reluctantly.
And now this.

It's telling that you don't understand your own product. Using the FPCP is mostly about fighting symptoms! I only go there, when there is something off and I need to handle it. But this is NOT the solution! The solution would be to better handle all the individual tools and options, and taking consistency seriously, just as Barry mentions.


One big issue for years?
Split-Level buildings. You'll have to juggle alot with the FPCP and different views stitched together on a layout. It's a constant hassle and will probably never work out perfectly... But that is not an issue of the FPCP or its dialogue!

Mostly AC 26 on Mac | Author of SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»

Or to say it with no words:



5 quick answers:

1 - The cut plane heigght

2 - No, it could be better (italian version user)

3 - I use it for every view that requires to show different informations, tipically foundations view, interior plans, roof plans uses different FPCP settings

4 - Mostly in permission drawing phases

5 - The offset parameter: is the positive value moving up or down the visibility plane ? 



Mahmoud Qenawi

I guess we can adjust FPCP visually by opening the plan view from view map and using 3D Cutting Planes we can adjust them horizontally then go to an axonometric view then adjust them vertically and by going to view settings we can press ( redefine FPCP based-on current view settings ).

The result is we have two options to define the view’s FPCP :

1) either to define FPCP numerically from view settings.

2) or to define FPCP visually by cutting planes then back to view settings and redefine


To be honest, as many mentioned here, don't touch something that ain't broken. GS needs to revamp tools that are far more outdated and need in improvement. The most critical being is the wall tool. Instead of having clean intersections with the composite walls, we have to do a lot of workarounds in order to have clean connections and clean graphical representation. GS should think more in the direction of subelement editing so that BIM models become one step closer to "digital twin" instead of touching something that works and then we receive messages about how it was done for better collaboration with other disciplines. GS please, you already have been neglecting architects (which this tool is primarily made for) with v25 and v26.



Versions 13 to 25
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core
GPU: RTX 2080Ti
Windows 11

I agree with the general feeling here, in which change for the sake of change is seldom good. Specially if that which you want to change actually works in a reasonably good way.


Having said that, a little button that says "select section view," with provides inmediate feedback of all these settings would be nice.


Ill explain: currently you only have the fixed diagramatic section that explains each setting, which is fine and can stay. What im asking for is, within this dialogue, to have the ability to select a section, and then a part of that section (say near the facade), all within the current floor level you are adjusting. Once You select your partial section, can see how these cut planes settings behave in your project real time and You can even manually adjust them, something similar to the edit level functionality available in section view.


Something tells me that If we extrapolate this cut plane/per section/per floor concept we might actually be able to handle split levels more easily

There isn't a big difference between the section / elevation marks (which could be merged) and what could be delivered here. Put simply, currently you select a section mark and then adjust your options to cut only, view limits & marked distant. The same logic could be applied when selecting a storey mark in section.


I do however think the creation of a volumetric view tool is potentially a better long term solution that could lead to the consolidation of many of the view tools and deliver visual editing of the content boundaries / limits.  

Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)


you say this option is not broken? of course yes this option is well broken, it is sencer to work even with 3d and 2d objects, so I invite you to place a 2d object on a floor and display it on all the appropriate floors which is sencer communicated with this menu and finally you will find that this option is broken


The problem of objects arent tied to floor section setting. It has to do more with MVO setting, and the principle of how objects are coded. Other building elements that compose design, are more affected by this topic, but even so, they are much more easily overcome. I still believe that basic tools need to be revamped, and this could be something that happens in later iterations of the software.



Versions 13 to 25
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-Core
GPU: RTX 2080Ti
Windows 11

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