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Learning ArchiCAD is a pain! Any good books out there?

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hey all,

I recently have begun making the switch from PCs to Macs. One of the things I was looking forward to was utilizing ArchiCAD and C4d; two programs which I have seen, but have never used.

I downloaded the demo of ArchiCAD 10 and used it until the trial ran out and for the past week have been going through the demo of ArchiCAD 11.

I have to say, ArchiCAD seems like it has so much capability, but I just can't get my arms around the interface. It seems so bulky and distracting to me. I know not everyone will agree with me, but coming from Revit, ArchiCAD is simply, well, (man I know this will get me a bunch of insults) amateurish.

To me, Revit feels like it was designed by Mac users and ArchiCAD feels like it was designed by the chubby guy from the Mac ads, i.e. a PC dude.

There are a million pulldown menus, with overly complicated names. For example, what the heck is "Creative Imaging!" Why not just have a simple title like, drum roll please, "Rendering"? I can't adjust levels, (uh, sorry, Stories) on the fly. I have to right click and select "Edit Story Levels." There's another weird name by the way...isn't a story and a level the same thing? BTW, if I drag a story, the walls that are supposed to go up to that story, don't automatically adjust themselves to the new height..???? Maybe I just haven't turned that on in some weird menu / pulldown / dialog box. Geez!

I learned the bulk of Revit without having to use a manual for the most part. With ArchiCAD I am completely lost. The settings for each of the objects like doors and windows open up and frankly scare me. There are a million things to set, push, activate, etc. As I said, this makes for a very robust piece of software, AND THAT IS GOOD, but give what I need when I need it, not all up front in my face.

So, what I am doing here, just bitching? Well, a little of course, but to say that I'm not giving up on ArchiCAD just yet. I just haven't seen the light yet I guess. Can someone suggest a book, a good book, that goes step by step in the design of a house or a building or something?

OK. I've said my fair share, now let me have it.
18 REPLIES 18
Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
deesee wrote:
To me, Revit feels like it was designed by Mac users and ArchiCAD feels like it was designed by the chubby guy from the Mac ads, i.e. a PC dude..
It's funny to hear you say that! To many of us, Revit feels so totally-PC with its text dialogs that contain long, scrolling lists of settings/parameters. ArchiCAD feels more Mac-like with its mostly graphic interface, including pet-palettes, etc. (Some palettes, like Solid Element Ops, and the new tool setting palettes that appeared with AC version 10 appear to be more Revit-like, as GS has gone the route of scrolling lists. Argh.)

The complaint about the menu names is valid and is only one suggestion from GS marketing. The menus are 100% user customizable via the Work Environment, and it is easy to take your customized WE to any other computer.

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.3, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
Andy Thomson
Expert
Erich wrote:
I found the interface a bit overwhelming initially as well. The work environments posted on the Archicad East website at:

http://www.archicad.ca/?p=54

greatly helped make sense of things. You should check it out as well.
I am glad you found these helpful! I feel I owe an apology for the shabby state of the PC WE though*, it needs another go'round. We will repost these again soon, to be sure all add-ons load in the right place and that we can accommodate a range of display resolutions.

*Most of the contributors are mac users.
Andy Thomson, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC
Director
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Instructor/Lecturer, Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
AC26/iMacPro/MPB Silicon M2Pro
Andy Thomson
Expert
Erich wrote:
I found the interface a bit overwhelming initially as well. The work environments posted on the Archicad East website at:

http://www.archicad.ca/?p=54

greatly helped make sense of things. You should check it out as well.
Glad you found these helpful - we will be posting a revision soon, with better resolution ranges (not everyone has 1680-wide displays yet), and fixing some of the add-on issues.

I would say the look and feel is mostly mac, but the wide range of disparate popups (especially during loading) is aggravating, unaesthetic and generally very un-mac-like.
Andy Thomson, M.Arch, OAA, MRAIC
Director
Thomson Architecture, Inc.
Instructor/Lecturer, Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science
AC26/iMacPro/MPB Silicon M2Pro
alexdantec
Contributor

I need a manual too!... What is the anwer??? what is the name of the book???

The French Archicad User Guide (Online Help) can be found here:

https://help.graphisoft.com/AC/25/FRA/#t=_AC25_Help%2F001_ACHelpIntro%2F001_ACHelpIntro-1.htm

 

There is the Graphisoft Learn portal where there are some free learning resources:

https://learn.graphisoft.com/class_catalog/category/17701

(you will need to register and log in to see them and do them).

There is a course called "Getting Started with BIM", which is a free 5-hour long course.

There is another one called "Archicad for CAD Users", which is another free 5-hour long course.

Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
Loving Archicad since 1995

thx for the reply but...i m asking for a book...paper...sure...without web or youtube

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin

I am not aware of any up-to-date book. If you search for "Archicad" on Amazon you will find several books but they are all older:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=archicad&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&crid=PKWLRMDC91RO&sprefix=archicad%2Cstri...

Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, Ac20-Ac27
Loving Archicad since 1995

Almost no software vendors publish paper manuals/books any longer ... things change too quickly and too many trees would be wasted for books that become out of date within a year.   The manual that Laszlo gave you a link to does not require that you be online ... just download it once to your tablet/iPad or computer for reading offline.  Offline searching of an electronic book is way more powerful than trying to find something in a paper book, too.

One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.3, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB

hello, wich one? ...manual that Laszlo give me

there are 2 links in his message

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