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handrail tool is beyond stupid, and broken


the handrail tool has got to be the least intuitive tool of the bunch. and i think it's buggy. flexible perhaps, but only if you spend faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar too long messing around with it to actually figure the stupid thing out. it seems that the changes you make through the settings dialogue of the tool don't always make any difference, which i don't understand, and if you go through the edit > railing settings pallet it may make the changes that you just tried in the settings dialogue. REALLY! two ways to do it, yet inconstant results. one tool, one bloody settings dialogue please! now, i have the railing in edit mode, i select the one segment, open the settings dialogue from the edit window, make some changes to the selected segment and Ta Da! the segment does not change, but the adjacent one does. WTF. yep, that's helpful and intuitive. you can see the segment i have selected, and the next pic of the dialogue for that segment with the bottom rail addition for that segment, but it doesn't match what's selected, but you'll see that it's the adjacent segment now has the bottom rail. i'm sure there's a reason, but that's just it. it aint intuitive.

Screenshot 2023-08-24 at 13.30.37.pngScreenshot 2023-08-24 at 13.18.29.png
MAC Studio 2022 M1 Max, 32 GB RAM, 10 cores, AC27 5030 Apple Silicon USA

Yes agree, Spent a couple of frustrating couple of hours trying to make it work.

You get 90% of the way but always its not quite right, so unusable in construction documents.

Initial you think it's Oh it's just me. Low IQ equals inability to read and absorb instructions. But in the end you realise it's just broken.

Richard Wilden Design. Ltd
Dunedin, New Zealand.
Imac 27" i9 3.6GHz; 32GB Ram Mac OS 11.3
Archicad V23:V24

and how about this. i select the segment in edit mode and change the panel horiz offset. one would think that, since i've selected the segment, which includes all the panels in that segment, that all the panels would offset. one would think, but no, i have to select each panel and then change it. again, REALLY? i'm still a loooooooong way from finishing with these rails, there will be more.


MAC Studio 2022 M1 Max, 32 GB RAM, 10 cores, AC27 5030 Apple Silicon USA

i had been prepared to carry on documenting my epic journey, but i just don't have the gumption. AC is crap. i'm not going to renew my subscription, and if i wasn't getting near the end of my career, i'd be switching to something else. i really resent that it's not possible to deal with issue like this in any other way than forums. you guys have been very helpful in the past but this is clearly a very buggy and poorly designed software. i will not pay for someone to teach me how to use a tool that should be useable out of the box. unfortunately GS isn't listening. DO YOU HEAR ME GS? I'M TELLING EVERYONE WHO WILL LISTEN TO RUN AWAY FROM AC! COME ON, CONTACT ME, I DARE YOU. crickets.

MAC Studio 2022 M1 Max, 32 GB RAM, 10 cores, AC27 5030 Apple Silicon USA

Yeap, that final 5-10% is quite hard to get right.   


Problem is, "that something else" is even worse unless you know how to code, some generative design tools or want to deal with families.  So i would stick with archicad for the time being.


Or, one can always model it the old fashioned way, with normal tools that dont promise any sort of intelligence, that is solids, and model it exactly as it is.  What i do is get the main structure right and, if needed, model specific details (the final 5%) outside the tool. Not very parámetric but gives you more control within a parametric mainframe.

yep, i wouldn't mind if the tool was way more basic and if you want some elaborate railings, do exactly as you say. but, we're paying for this tool and that just isn't ok. in this case i really don't need to produce great 3D of the railing, it started out just trying to get the post spacing to work because it's going to be a post rail with glass panels. i could easily have used columns and used distribute to get them even, and i would have been done with it in a matter of minutes. but i'm a fool. i chose to use the fancy tool GS built just so i could start down a path that for some reason i chose to stick with. naively thinking perhaps that practice will help me to learn this tool. but all i ended up with was wasted unbillable time, frustration beyond measure, less hair and i'm sure i invented some new words. 

still no reply fro GS. 

MAC Studio 2022 M1 Max, 32 GB RAM, 10 cores, AC27 5030 Apple Silicon USA

I am not Graphisoft, but I will see if I can pass on some of my knowledge.


If you use 'Edit' mode on a railing, you will be changing just that portion of the railing, and you will see those little yellow warning triangles to tell you that those parts are not consistent along the entire railing.


So you have done an 'Edit' and changed just one part of your railing - it will no longer act a one overall railing.

Now in your image you have selected that particular segment of the railing.

But it appears you have gone into 'railing settings'.

Railing settings apply to the entire rail, but not to the segments you have customised (otherwise you would have to re-customise them).

That is why the adjacent segment alters - because it has not been customised - but you are applying overall railing settings, so it will change.


The custom section remains un-changed.

If you want to edit that, then use the settings button in the info box.

If you select the segment, you will see segment settings in the info box.

If you have selected just a post or a rail or a panel, you will see just the post or rail or panel settings in the info box.




If you don't want 'custom' parts in your railing, you can select that part with the yellow warning triangle and reset it back to standard.

Those parts will adopt the overall railing settings.




So, I would recommend that you don't use 'Edit' mode, unless you need to change an individual post, or make one segment higher, or change just one of the panels.


I hope this helps.



One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 27
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Lenovo Thinkpad - i7-1270P 2.20 GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia T550, Windows 11

Still wish you could Edit just one parameter of a segment and have the rest still conform... quite a few times I have had a custom segment just because the offset is different or the height is different. Pretty sure I have a wish somewhere around here...

AC22-23 AUS 7000Help Those Help You - Add a Signature
Self-taught, bend it till it breaksCreating a Thread
Win11 | i9 10850K | 64GB | RX6600 Win10 | R5 2600 | 16GB | GTX1660

Thanks Barry, that does help clarify how the settings menus work however the path you described is not netting the results you suggest it should. Next week i will make a movie of the process and the results actually get or don’t. 

MAC Studio 2022 M1 Max, 32 GB RAM, 10 cores, AC27 5030 Apple Silicon USA

I have found the railing tool to be quite complicated only because I am used to a simpler method in other cad software. I personally wouldn’t write AC off just because the railing tool needs work to make it easier to use. There are many things that AC does much better than most other cad software out there. I think making a movie about this topic will help everyone to make this tool easier to use in the future. Persistence pays off in the long the run.

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

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