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7 year Revit user at a new firm that uses Archicad - HELP


Hello, I don't have a specific question. I am at a new firm that uses Archicad, I've used Revit everyday for the past 7 years and love it. I'm having a hard time switching over, its so different. So if anyone was in the same boat as I was and has any tips please share! Much appreciated!


I’ve never used Revit but have a lot of users in our office who have come from Revit and have experience of both. 

Have you seen this course Archicad for Revit users on Graphisoft Learn, might be worth a look and I believe it’s free.


Lee Hankins
ArchiCAD 4.5 - Archicad 27UKI Apple Silicon 27.1.1
macOS Sonoma (14.2)

I'll look into that course, thank you for the help!


Hi!   I dont know what kind of projects you worked on Revit. Also, independently of all the tutorial videos you see (which you should), the following pointers might help ease some pain:


-If you know how to model in 3d in Revit, you will also know how to model in Archicad. The main modeling tools and construction elements have the same goal, even though the details might be a little bit different. Give it time.

-Having said the previous point, try not getting into the trap of "wanting to do things like in Revit". Archicad has its own groove and flow. Find it and go with it.  In general its less rigid than Revit. In some aspects much less.   The more quality you put in your model, the more quality youll receive back. But dont expect it will solve things for you. You will still have to figure out your project (at least until AI takes over).

-its important to know and accept that archicad does not handle free flowing geometries easily (and certainly not parametrically), at least natively. If you are working on zaha hadid-like stuff you will be better off  working on Rhino then import or link to archicad.   For the rest of projects, youll be fine.

-Learn about the Navigator and its internal concepts.: Project map, view map, layout book and publishing sets. Information flows from left to right, from the project map, to the view map to the layout book to the publishing sets.   The raw model and main views lay in the PROJECT MAP. Then you use this info to set views in the VIEW MAP, so the same plan or section can be seen in an indefinite number of ways. Once you have your views with the correct scale and graphical representations, you put them in your layouts in the LAYOUT BOOK, which are your plans ready for printing.  Your define printing guidelines in the PUBLISHING SETS.  

-Youll soon find out that Archicad its worth using just for the publisher alone.

-Contrary to Revit, Archicad still has Layers.  Some guys are not very fond of them ,but i think they are great. Learn how they work along with layer combinations.  Contrary  to Revit where you hide objects individually, here its better to control the visibility with layers. If an object shows that shouldnt its because its in the wrong layer. Its better to create a new layer and layer combination than using Ad-Hoc views.

-try to define wall reference lines from the very beginning (exterior of wall, interior of wall, centerline, center core, interior core, exterior core). It will help you a lot later on.

-SEO (boolean operations) are a technical marvel, but dont abuse them. They will show on sections, elevation or 3d, but not on plan!  so youll have to model judiciously because booleans wont get you out of all troubles.

-Learn about composites and material strenght and how some material are "stronger" than others, all of which is editable.

-Youll find out that most of the things that could only be done in elevations or plan in Revit, can be done in Archicad in 3d. 

-Marquee tool is your best friend. So is the magnet tool which allows you to select objects more easily.

-learn about graphic overrides.

-Each element has hotspots (those little blackdots). Learn where they appear withing every object, as different hotspots give you access to different editing options, which is suboptimal but that’s the way it is for now.

-Except for external references, everything in Archicad is editable in place or gives you access to a lot of options. Learn about the pet pallet. I was afraid of it at the beginning but then becomes second nature. Set it up so that it appears near where you click, but not TOO near.

-All objects are selectable through criteria.  Use ctrl+F often. You define a lot of things using criteria.

-Forget about families (well, not totally), but they don’t exist here. Most of what you needed families for is available out of the box in archicad.  If you are serious about object creation and edition and you have some time, you can learn GDL, which I hear can do even better things than families. I haven’t bothered with it.    Youll be fine with or without learning it.

-As in Revit, terrain manipulation is terrible, but I think its more terrible in Archicad than Revit. Not much to do here.

-dont trust dimensions too much. See the guidelines Provided here:  to make sure all dimensions are related to their objects properly.

-Unlike Revit, Archicad has no warnings, so it will let you get away with anything. It’s a double edged sword, but it allows for a lot flexibility and rule bending.  Want to model a house using just columns, sure! Why not?  Want to model foundations with slabs, columns or beams? Whatever suits you better, etc…

-read and blogs. They will provide with a theorical and philosofical background, so you understand why things are the way they are in archicad. Paraphrasing James Murray from, what seems impossible today will be easier tomorrow.

-Dont be deceived by the long list of disgruntled posts here in the forum from ocassionally frustrated users, yours trully included. We all love Archicad. 


Best of lucks!


Thank you for such a detailed explanation, this really helps!

I would strongly recommend taking some time to learn about Favourites, Model View Options and Graphic Overrides. And set some time aside to set up a Template. I did this years ago and it was the best thing in ever did. I often have it open in the background and tweak and add things to it as I work on live projects so it’s always up to date. 

Make use of the Graphisoft Help online guide too, it’s really good and easy to find things. And of course, use the Community, there’s plenty more f us on here that have been users for many years that will offer help. 

Lee Hankins
ArchiCAD 4.5 - Archicad 27UKI Apple Silicon 27.1.1
macOS Sonoma (14.2)

I'll be honest with you as a firm owner I'm finding the ability to use/learn ArchiCAD frustrating, and its not because of the software itself --its primarily because of the learning, training, and disjointed Graphisoft/ArchiCAD web experience. The free community board (here) is the most beneficial if you don't mind bumping around in the dark frequently to find your way. If you have the time YouTube has quite a few really good content providers as well that clearly explain things better and you don't have to go though the clunky GraphiSoft web experience. I myself needed to get up to speed beyond the basics to work with our freelance team members so I decided to jump in feet first and get training for myself and reimburse any other team members for their training as well. Getting paid-for training or paid self paced training though Graphisoft is incredibly painful, kind of expensive for what it is, and if you don't use it in a given time it's gone. There are separate logins and passwords for different parts of the Graphisoft site whether you are an Archi+ member or not, they change the links all the time, and we frequently get locked out of the training sites at random. At one point we had all of our "progress bookmarks" on the training site disappear and had to start over. We have been struggling with it all summer and it's been exhausting. If you can find a third part training company in your area, bite the bullet and pay for it to get your knowledge base together and in a more efficient way. In hindsight I wouldn't do the paid-for GraphiSoft thing however. I've been though the official Rivet (Autodesk) self paced paid-for training and found that they really have their stuff together --far more than Graphisoft does. If Graphisoft wants to expand their user base, which equates to software sales, they should do a better job focusing on getting solid training into users hands and the user experience. My two cents for what it's worth.     


I would start with AC27 because you will have distance guides to help you place and move elements around. Revit has a similar system in moving and placing elements, like Chief Architect has had well before Revit was around. Spend an hour each day learning about a task that you intend using for that day. Most of all have fun learning.

AC8.1 - AC27 ARM AUS + CI Tools
Apple Mac Studio M1 Max Chip 10C CPU
24C GPU 7.8TF 32GB RAM OS Ventura
Brad Elliott

Good specific advise here and now for some more general advice.

Don't feel bad about hating the software for the first couple of weeks, that's human nature and it's not the software, and don't waste everybody's time by complaining about it. I used to tell people go home and brush your teeth with the opposite hand for the next two weeks. You'll feel the same way and that's just using a toothbrush.


After you get over that phase start finding the parts you like and focus on them to keep you positive. Stop comparing how you did things in Revit and start thinking about what you are trying to achieve. Then keep exploring and broadening your understanding of the program. It's a tool, the better you get at using it the better it will work for you.

Mac OS12.6 AC26 USA Silicon
M1 Macbook Pro

Wow, it's like you read my mind! I'll try my best to get over comparing it to Revit. 

Thank you for the advice but also, I wasn't complaining about it and wasting everybody's time. I'm just trying to get familiar with it and not feel alone in the process.

It wasn't meant as an accusation, more of a friendly reminder.

Mac OS12.6 AC26 USA Silicon
M1 Macbook Pro

Ok, thanks 👍

Marton Kiss

Fantastic to see all the guidance and answers here - kudos to @Lee Hankins , @Brad Elliott , @mthd, @jl_lt  & welcome onboard the Archicad train @jh_tri12 !


@sodonahue thank you for sharing your feedback. Many points that you raised, such as user experience across our online presence, learning experience etc. align with our focus areas, so I am hoping with time you will see all the improvements we are working on.



Marton Kiss
VP, Product Success

The firm you work for may have a local support agreement and you may be able to contact them for any assistance, I know the support in the UK is excellent. Please feel free to reach out via message is there is something in particular you are experiencing trouble with. There is generally always a way to do something in Archicad that other BIM software can do and as I say, we have a lot of previous Revit users in our office so I can always ask them how something worked in Revit to be able to help with Archicad.

Lee Hankins
ArchiCAD 4.5 - Archicad 27UKI Apple Silicon 27.1.1
macOS Sonoma (14.2)

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