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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
Laura Yanoviak
Advocate
deesee wrote:
Can someone suggest a book, a good book, that goes step by step in the design of a house or a building or something?
Actually, the book "Step by Step" by Tom Simmons is how I learned -- and the Tutorial provided by Graphisoft is usually pretty good (although I haven't checked out the AC11 version yet).
MacBook Pro Apple M2 Max, 96 GB of RAM
AC26 US (5002) on Mac OS Ventura 13.5
Anonymous
Not applicable
Thanks for the tip. I saw that, but it is for Version 6 (at least that's what I saw on Amazon). Is there something more up to date?
Laura Yanoviak
Advocate
It's been updated to at least AC10: see Archivista's website
MacBook Pro Apple M2 Max, 96 GB of RAM
AC26 US (5002) on Mac OS Ventura 13.5
Anonymous
Not applicable
Awesome! Buying it right now.

I will say this by the way, at least Maxwell Render, which is what I use, has a plugin for ArchiCAD, whereas Revit does not. Pretty cool.
TomWaltz
Participant
deesee wrote:
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.
yeah, Archicad is not exactly a great interface kind of program 😞
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.
That was the one thing I loved about Revit when I demoed it... it was really easy to click around and figure out (at least in 2003)
Can someone suggest a book, a good book, that goes step by step in the design of a house or a building or something?
I agree, the Step by Step is a decent book for pretty low cost. I would also recommend a call to your local reseller. Since you're based in Virginia, that puts you in AEC Info Systems country www.aecinfosystems.com (the same reseller I have, home of the Wonder Twins: Ransom Ratcliff and Brian Sykes). They are really great at support and can probably help you figure out what you need to know.
Tom Waltz
deesee wrote:
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.
While it may be a little premature at this point, it should be encouraging to remember that you can pretty easily customize the interface to be as simple as you wish. If there are too many items on a tool, you can remove the extraneous stuff, and add it back in at a later time. I agree that the out-of-the-box interface is fairly daunting. As you get more familiar with it, it will seem less so, and even USEFUL to have all those choices handy.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC26 (since AC6.0), Win10
Erich
Contributor
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.
Erich

AC 19 6006 & AC 20
Mac OS 10.11.5
15" Retina MacBook Pro 2.6
27" iMac Retina 5K
Anonymous
Not applicable
Tom Simmons "Step by Step for ArchiCAD 11" began shipping about a week ago-You can find it here:
http://cadgarage.com/archicadbooks1.html

Greg
Andy Thomson
Expert
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 was, only he is not chubby.
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

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