I haven't found any threads on shortcut key programming to TOGGLE layers ON and or OFF (without having to go into the Layer list..."control-L" on windows.) When trying to develop efficient PROCESS, we look which sub-tasks happen the most FREQUENTLY and try reduce how often they occur, or reduce the amount of TIME it takes for it to happen.
An analysis of the Construction Documents phase shows that a vast amount of production time is lost working through the layers to select the content you want to work on.
One could present that the "Layer Combinations" feature built into AC already does this, however, I have found that a mastered keyboard command process for layer control can be a much faster form of data entry, navigation and layer management. There are a few items that have presented themselves during the course of considering this...
Benefits of Keyboard Layer Commands...
1- You don't have to look through a list to find the name of a layer which your mind has already thought of... mind, eyes, and hand (tethered to the mouse) all have to shake hands (so to speak)... the eyes and hand being the bottleneck. This process becomes repetitive thousands of times over in the process of modeling and drafting.
2- As you are working, on the fly, you can toggle a layer on... with one command... For example... "WE" for Walls Exterior ON, or "RS"for Roof Shingles ON, or "D" for duct ON. ...Inversely, "WEO" for Walls Exterior OFF, or "RSO" for Roof Shingles OFF, etc.
3- The least amount of letter in the keyboard shortcut... the better. (ie. its best if you do not have to enter "control", "command," or "shift" along with the layer information)
4- Its best to set them up so that they are all on the left side of the keyboard...(if you mouse with your right hand)
3- It is also advantageous if the Layer Combinations can be set to toggle with keyboard commands... for example... "FA" = Floor Plans ALL, or "FLA" = Floor-Framing ALL, or "RA" = Roof-ALL layers.
4- Another keyboard layer command that would be advantageous is to be able to toggle all layers OFF... for example type in "O" for off and all layers would turn off... this let's the CAD tech reset there mind and frame of reference in a lot of cases and be able to toggle layers on from that point
I'll stop the list there for now. This isn't the first time I've looked at the layer strategy in a software to make work more profitable. The last CAD system for which I created Keyboard Layer commands proved incredibly successful. Once the layer commands were set up and applied to the next project in queue... we reduced the CD phase by an estimated 40-50 hours. Now, it's not that CAD operators were spending 40-50 hours changing layers... its that the inertia of a mouse and window driven layer GUI (graphic user interface) was sabotaging the speed and momentum of the work.
At the end of the day... we all want to spend more time in the SD phase and less time in the CD phase. Because the "work" of architecture is highly tied to the hour it is very difficult to scale. We only have two (2) options to "scale" the work into a more profitable model...
1- Higher more people to do the work = (increase in HR overhead)
2- Identify and create solutions to get the same work done faster = (Keyboard Toggled Layers)
Based on my calculations, If the layers could be managed with memorized keystrokes... production time could almost be cut in half. If anyone is interested in more of these efficiency work-flow ideas, let me know. I would welcome a collaborative dialog to share ideas and findings of where the bottlenecks have been found in production, and solutions to these bottlenecks.
If ArchiCAD has a feature to set up keyboard commands for layers like I mentioned above, I would be VERY interested in this. I have found keyboard command setup for tools and tool bars, however I have not found them for layers, or layer combinations yet. Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts on this subject.