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Dimensioning tool


Hi. Just had to adjust a slab and everything above it. Lets not delve into details, but engineers...


We are in the documentation process. With the dimensioning tool i have proposed this would have been an afterthought, but with the current workflow we have to check every single drawing because dimensioning asosiation is so unrealiable. Things you think are linked to the dimension are not, and getting them linked its a very slow click process. Many hours lost in this.


Making a GO to the check for unlinked does not cut it. What good is that all the elements are updated in all views if the information is not correctly updated? the dimensioning process and  tools need a complete revamp, otherwise after a certain scale, as i just found out, its even more inneficient and slower than 2d cad. 


Hope something is done about this, as its very frustrating to know that changing something in the project you need check it everywhere anyway



I am guessing you might already know this arrangement to check for non-associative dimensions using GOs...

Screenshot 2023-08-15 at 19.33.31.png

I use it in all my GO Combos where I might be dimensioning.


Other than that I join your frustration that Dimensions are unreliable. I am slowly getting to the point of identifying the culprits, but the two that cause me problems are custom profile beams on plan and the presence of a trace view which will steal connections. Simplest example of this happening is entering an associative label and connecting it onto a trace node. Weird things happen to the label from simply disappearing, to displaying the label as part of the trace even though it doesn't exist!


I am getting to the point that I won't add annotations unless Trace is OFF.

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)

Hi @DGSketcher , yes i have that GO.  But should we, in 2023 still have to check that?  I propose a tool that reads the objects according to criteria and its end and or mid points, which all objects have. Thats it.  It will read the objects within range, no matter if you move them, erase them or whatever.   Because currently God forbids if you actually erase something already annotated. 


You lay down this tool manually where you need it and then forget about it as it annotates "what it sees" instead of "what you clicked", which seems more and more ridiculous with the advent of AI 



Erwin Edel

A simple setting would be a tick box that won't allow static dimension nodes, same as you can set a string up to be static by default.


After 17+ years I did develop a mostly foolproof method, that sometimes isn't the most efficient, but won't result in static nodes. The alternative of finding and fixing mistakes always does seem to take longer.


Some tricks:

  • only show the layer of your annotation and the elements you are dimensioning
  • on corners always dimension to the element that is perpendicular to your dimension string
  • before deleting elements, drag them out of your model in both axis direction, this will clearly show you if there are dimension nodes attached to them
  • do not use Adjust tool on line elements that might have dimension nodes attached (they may disappear)
  • zoom in, mouse cursor feedback can be deceptive
  • combine multiple simple dimension strings with CTRL + click, rather than trying to setup one big complex one

Finally, make sure you have a satisfying layout of your dimensions, so after all the hard work you can take pride in it!

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

I see the term criteria used a lot these days, it is an area needing development. I take your point that dimensioning should ideally work only on the elements you want to measure, but that is also where my problems have been happening. The more pressing issue is adding to dimensions and finding they don't  retaining an association with the element, even when that element is the only type on screen!

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)
Erwin Edel

I often find that 'buggy' dimensions are a result of false mouse cursor feedback, so I zoom in (like a lot). It's annoying, but going back and fixing is more annoying.


For example, if you have a window with reveal settings (often needed for construction documentation where you need to allow for adjustment space of elements) for three different strings (opening in outer wall, opening in inner wall and actual width of the window frame) I find that unless I zoom in a lot, I can get false feedback where I think I have one of the three hotspots, but it turns out to be another.


As you pointed out Trace & Reference opens a whole new world of problems as well.


I'm not defending ArchiCAD, by the way, but at the end of the day I need to get documentation out and I don't like having to double check for errors, so I'm working around the problems as much as possible.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

And when dimensioning, watch for the element to highlight before you place the dimension node.

If the wrong element highlights, TAB to select another.

If no element highlights, you will have a static node.



One of the forum moderators.
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Thanks for the advice! there are trully many things to check for.  


My proposal would be to completely eliminate the need of clicking to place dimensions (although this proposed tool would have the ability to let the user add manual dimensions lf needed). 


You just set the tool in its final position, define the distance at which You want it to detect elements, define which elements you want it to detect, scale, and dimensioning conventions and from here on, it Will dimension anything that appears on the defined range (like section markers with the distance setting).  


Now you can add, move, erase, twist or whatever elements You want and youll KNOW your dimensions are related to every object.

Imagine it as a tool that works like a section marker that You can lay down on plan, section, elevation at any angle, and a set distance. But instead of generating a section it generates a dimension string which updates automatically no matter what you do on that view.  You can also copy it anywhere, so similar views get dimensioned more rapidly.


For us, the dimensioning  process is the major setback i find in our daily use of archicad to be trully efficient. We.are probably not alone on this.