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Design forum

The most useful keyboard shortcuts for ArchiCAD

Eric Bobrow
Hi Everyone -

I am going to create a new ArchiCAD video tutorial focused on keyboard shortcuts and quick mouse-clicks. I want to go beyond the simple browser-based reference list and demonstrate the most useful ones onscreen.

I would love to get your suggestions for this topic, to make sure I create the best reference possible.

Below is a list of the current shortcuts that I will include - please respond and add your comments and suggestions if you have any ideas for things that I may have forgotten. I'm particularly interested in the ones that seem "cool" or that you "couldn't live without" or that are "hidden" (not widely known).


    Open File: Command/CTRL - O
    Save File: Command/CTRL - S
    Print: Command/CTRL - P

    Command/CTRL - L: Layer Settings dialog


    Escape key: one of the following actions (in this order) -
    Cancels current editing or drawing operation (if one is in process)
    Deselects Elements (if any are selected)
    Removes Marquee (if drawn)
    Switches to Arrow Tool (if set to another tool)

    Delete(Mac)/Backspace(PC) key: Backs up one step at a time in polywall, polyline or polygon input

    Command/CTRL - Z: Undo
    Option-Command / ALT-CTRL - Z: Redo


    x, y, r, a, d: Set coordinate values in Tracker (d = distance = r = radius)
    + (plus key): add current value (whichever coordinate is being edited) to previous value shown in Tracker
    - (minus or dash key): subtract current value from previous value in Tracker
    (NOTE: in U.S., two dashes are necessary; one can be a separator between feet and inches, e.g. 5-6-)

    Enter key: confirms current Tracker values as shown or current mouse position, and clicks mouse

    b, t: In Info Box, set base and top values for wall, beam, column, slab, stair, mesh, object
    Windows and Doors accept b or t depending on which anchor is set
    Roofs accept b for pivot line height

    Shift-` (PC) or Custom shortcut (Mac): Create Guideline segment

    Shift-Option / ALT-SHIFT:
    Moves User Origin to node point (on the fly)


    Shift key - temporarily activates Arrow tool; adds to selection set; removes from selection set

    NOTE: Shift key held down while drawing or editing (rubber-band line visible) constrains cursor to nearest known angle. ArchiCAD determines the nearest end or node point and makes that the Edit Origin; then determines the nearest known angle.

    W key:
    Built-in shortcut to toggle between the Arrow tool and the last used drawing tool

    TAB key:
    When hovering with the Arrow tool or Shift key over two or more overlapping elements, cycles through elements allowing you to choose which one to select

    Spacebar (holding down with Arrow tool active, or with Shift key also held down) - toggles QuickSelect (magnet) mode

    Group: Command/CTRL - G
    Ungroup: Option-Command/ALT-CTRL - G
    Suspend Groups: Option/ALT - G


    Command/CTRL - T:
    Element Settings (opens dialog based on which tool is active in Toolbox)
    Default Settings if nothing is selected; or Selected Element Settings

    Command-Option/CTRL-ALT - T:
    Edit Selection Set (allows parameter setting for multiple types of elements in one dialog)

    Option / ALT – Click: Eye-dropper

    Option-Command / ALT-CTRL – Click: Syringe

    Option-Command / ALT-CTRL – Click [in library part window]:
    Selects different part while transfering parameters, keeps style or “family resemblance”


    Drag: Command/CTRL - D
    Rotate: Command/CTRL - E (NOTE: "e" is the last letter of "Rotate")
    Mirror: Command/CTRL - M

    Press and release Option / CTRL key:
    During Move, Rotate, Mirror or Elevate command, will make a copy

    Press and release Option-Command / CTRL-ALT keys:
    During Move, Rotate, Mirror or Elevate command, will make multiple copies until the Escape key is pressed

    Command/CTRL - U: Multiply

    With a linear or polygon drawing tool active (e.g. wall, slab, roof, fill, line, polyline, arc, etc.)
    Magic Wand (autotrace)

    Drafting shortcuts in the Toolbar:
    Trim, Split, Adjust, Intersect, Fillet
    Keyboard shortcuts including the use of the Command or Control key by itself to Trim pieces with the scissors icon

    Command / CTRL – Click (depends on context):
    Nothing selected - Scissors icon - Trim pieces of linear or curved elements
    Dimension chain selected - add points
    Walls or Lines selected - Adjust to meet the edge of another element
    Wall(s) and/or Roof(s) selected - Trim or Crop to clicked element (roof or wall)


    F2: Floor Plan
    F3: Show 3D Window (last-used selection or marquee will be active)
    Command/CTRL - F3: Axonometric view mode
    Option/ALT - F3: Perspective view mode
    F4 (Mac) / F5 (Windows): Show Selection/Marquee in 3D
    Command-F4 (Mac) / CTRL-F5 (Windows): Show All in 3D
    F6: Last Section
    F7: Last Layout

    Fit in Window
    Command / CTRL - '
    On Windows, and recent versions on Mac: Double-click middle-mouse button

    Mouse middle-button press: Pan view
    NOTE: There is a free add-on called Magic Prefs that makes this work for the Apple Magic Mouse, which does not have any buttons

    O key:
    In 3D window, triggers Orbit mode; end Orbit by hitting O again or using Escape key
    Middle-button plus Shift key:
    In 3D view, activates Orbit mode; release buttons to end Orbit mode

    Cursor keys (Left, Right, Up, Down):
    Scroll in that direction

    In Plan:
    Command / CTRL – Up Arrow: Go up a story
    Command / CTRL – Down Arrow: Go down a story

    In Layout Book:
    Option / ALT - Left Arrow: Previous Layout
    Option / ALT - Right Arrow: Next Layout


    Shift – Cursor keys (Left, Right, Up, Down):
    Nudge selected element(s) the distance set in the Snap Grid

    Shift-Option / Shift-ALT – Cursor keys:
    Nudge selected elements the larger distance set in the Construction Grid

    Turns on or off the Grid Snap (NOTE: this used to be “s” without the Shift-key modifier)

    M key:
    Measure tool; hit M again or Escape to finish Measure mode

    Q key:
    While drawing or editing an element with the mouse constrained on an angle (usually with the Shift key), this will cycle through Cursor Snap Variations.

    F key:
    While editing an element with a Pet Palette option in effect, this will “flick” through the available Pet Palette options.


    Double-click Magnifier Plus button: Zoom in to twice the magnification
    Double-click Magnifier Minus button: Zoom out to half the magnification

    Favorites palette – double-click: Activate tool and set default;
    If elements of that type are selected, injects the saved settings into the element(s)

    Flick buttons [<< and >>] in Library Part Settings or Info Box:
    Switches to next or previous library part; has the side effect of resetting the library part to the default settings.

    Empty hole button:
    In Window or Door Settings or Info Box, will switch to Empty Opening while maintaining the same width and height.

    Arrow-click or Shift-click on EDGE of hole (within polygon element such as Slab, Roof, Mesh, Fill, etc.):
    Select HOLE only (allows the hole to be dragged, drag a copy, multiply, deleted, etc.)
Please respond with your comments and suggestions as soon as possible.

Thanks for your help in this little project!


Karl Ottenstein
Just to update the link shared by Katalin Takacs below... in case the old Wiki site stops forwarding links at some point:

(The ArchiCADWiki is no more - its content was merged into the Help Center.)
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.2.1, iMac Pro 10-Core, Radeon Pro Vega 64

Matt Balaam
Some of the more unusual shortcuts I use regularly are:

- Alt+Spacebar to open Settings Dialogue (instead of Ctrl+T). I find this much easier to hit as the keys are right next to each other whereas Ctrl+T is quite a stretch.
- Ctrl+Shift+Up Arrow for Bring to Front
- Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow for Send to Back

- Side scroll left for Down a Story
- Side scroll right for Up a Story
- Back button to Zoom All
- Forward button to open Settings Dialogue
AC21 (8002 AUS FULL) | AC24 (4018 AUS FULL)| Windows 10 Pro | Intel Core i7-6700 @ 3.40GHz | 16GB RAM | NVidia Quadro K620

Not applicable
I've just upgraded my hardware here after 5 years, (mac) and I've rather inconveniently lost a few of my most useful shortcuts!

I can no longer use some of the f-keys as I did before ... cmd F4 to show selected items only in the 3D window, and also the shortcuts for scrolling up and down the building levels in the plan views - alt 2 / cmd 2 I think. I took them all for granted and now they are gone I'm making a right pigs ear of it all! I don't remember seeing the 'keep your old settings' window when I restarted AC17 on the new Mac ... could be my downfall!

Eduardo Rolon
Check your F key settings.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC26 US/INT -> AC08
Puerto Rico, BVI, Miami

Vectorworks 2023

jcrarch wrote:
Here's a shortcut I like to use: When my left hand is on the keys & my right hand is on the mouse I don't use the DELETE key on the right hand side of my keyboard. Instead, I use the CUT command with a keyboard shortcut that is on the left hand side of my keyboard. Slightly unconventional, but that's what I do.
Hi Jcrach, this is exactly what I'm after as I find it a pain to keep reaching across to press the delete button when I'm doing lots of dimensioning. How ever I cannot get the cut command to work. Is it the cut as in 'ctl x'
Freelance architectural technician from Staffordshire, UK.

32 years experience

Archicad (v11-25).

Windows 11 on 32gb 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-11700K @ 3.60GHz
Nvidia RTX A4000

Not applicable
I made a mistake when I said I replaced "Cut". I replaced "Delete" with "Q", a command available on the left side of my keyboard.

Hi Jack,
Thanks for your reply.

I had already tried making a shortcut for delete and it doesn't work unfortunately for some reason.

Its like I need a shortcut for the OK function on the right click context menu.
Freelance architectural technician from Staffordshire, UK.

32 years experience

Archicad (v11-25).

Windows 11 on 32gb 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-11700K @ 3.60GHz
Nvidia RTX A4000

Just to update my own comments in this thread:

I updated my shortcuts and my shortcut philosophy for ARCHICAD 19:

I definitely have a new top 20 shortcuts.
Jared Banks, AIA
Shoegnome Architects

Archicad Blog:
Archicad Template:
Archicad Work Environment:
Archicad Tutorial Videos:

Not applicable
Hi all,

I can't find the shortcut method to toggle between anchor points while placing a door or window. In older versions of AC, this was easy. Now, I can't even find the menu it's in so I can configure one.

Does someone know the standard one? or better, what the command's called so I can give it the shortcut I want?

Eduardo Rolon
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC26 US/INT -> AC08
Puerto Rico, BVI, Miami

Vectorworks 2023

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