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Detail Annotation


Hello. I would like to find out how others approach the annotation of detail drawings using 'out of the box' Archicad. 


To be clear, I am talking specifically about 2D detail drawings drawn using lines, fills, and objects either in the 2D detail or independent worksheet workspaces. I would also draw a distinction between detail annotations and keynote functionality, although there is clearly some overlap. Ideally, I want to be drawing 2D details and then adding labels with textual descriptions of the things in the drawing. I want this text to be 'smart' so that I can change multiple instances of the text from one place.  


I am aware that this has been discussed at some length in various threads and wishes, for reference these are linked below:


Detailing & Annotating Workflow 

We Could Have Keynotes Today if Objects Could Display Their Own Properties 

Add ability to access Classification Description in parameters (and get a free Keynoting solution) 

keynotes (this is recent wish by @Wendell, here's hoping!)

Keynotes using the change tool 

How to create interactive keynotes? Help... 

Labels Schedule 

Using properties for specifications and keynote in AC 20 

keynote scheduling 


Generally the solution seems to be using a 3rd party add-on, either Cadimage's Keynotes, Masterspec's Masterscript, or Infinite tools' Infinite Notes. While these all provide a solution of sorts, they do come at a price. I want to know what Graphisoft's best practice suggestion is for preparing details using only native Archicad functionality.


Workarounds as I see them:


Workaround 1 - Project Notes

Adding custom fields in the project info and calling them out in autotext in labels. I'd be happy with this as a solution, IF we could fully organise the Project Info categories and fields. Unfortunately, I can only add fields to the pre-existing groups project / site / building / client / contact details. This is inelegant but probably the most effective 'solution'. A version of this dialogue box that could be fully customised and universally accessed by labels would be amazing. 


Workaround 2 - Placeholder objects

2D Objects can exist in 2D workspaces, and can have properties and classifications, whereas fills and lines can't. Set up classifications / properties for all annotations as necessary. Place an object somewhere on the worksheet / detail with those fields completed. Label with autotext linked to that object. Now drag that label over to the drawing and position it where needed. Multiple labels can be updated by changing the text in the 'master' object. Cons - you need to remember which object is linked to which text, and create a new object for each different note. 


Workaround 3 - Building Materials. 

2D Fills can be a Building Material, and labels can access their name in autotext. So put the note in the building materials name field. This creates a mess for the rest of the model, and makes managing building materials practically impossible. Building materials can have ID and categories, as well as properties and classifications, but none of these are available to labels in the 2D workspaces! Also, you need a new building material for every different note.


Workaround 4 - Model everything

And use 3D documents for details. This simply isn't feasible given the granular nature of details, and the increased workload that would be required to model everything that needed annotating (vapour barriers, fixings, etc.). It falls apart when I want to annotate something that can't be modelled (e.g. an instruction, a warning, etc...). Also won't work for labelling the individual components of composite structures or complex profiles etc.


Workaround 5 - Dumb Text

Simply writing every note manually, and then finding and changing each instance every time I want to change something. This is laborious and error prone. 


So how does everyone else approach this? Detail drawing is such a fundamental part of architectural practice I can't believe there isn't a good solution out there that doesn't require 3rd party add-ons. It seems to me that (as with many things) Archicad is 99% of the way there, but it's that last 1% that brings the whole thing crashing down. 


For me this is the single most frustrating 'feature' of Archicad, I would be happy to hear how others approach it!







Archicad 23 Solo, Dell Precision 5540, Windows 10 Pro, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9750H CPU @ 2.60GHz 2.59 GHz, 32GB RAM