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Add ability to access Classification Description in parameters (and get a free Keynoting solution)

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
It is possible to access Classification ID and Name fields within parameters. This is especially powerful when combined with expression based parameters. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to access the Description field of classification items, even though each item has a description.

If we were able to access the description field then we'd have a very powerful, built-in and general purpose hierarchical data editor for ArchiCAD. You could use this feature as a keynote editor for example. Here is how:

- Open Classification Manager.
- Create a new classification and call it Keynotes.
- Create branches and items that describe your keynotes. Each node would have a key (= classification ID), a name (= classification name) and a description (= classification description).
- Add the Keynotes classification to elements and use the dropdown menu to assign the desired classification (i.e. keynote)
- Use the Classification/Property label to display the desired combination of key (i.e. classification ID), note (i.e. classification name) and specific description.

In my opinion this would be a very elegant way to allow users to attach all sorts of hierarchical data to model elements. It wouldn't rely on any 3rd party add-ons. It would be a pure ArchiCAD solution. But first we need to access the description field. Please consider this.

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ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro
39 REPLIES 39

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Then I am at a complete loss understanding what you want, why you want to do it and why you are wishing for this.
You don’t have to recreate the Classification if it is already done nor do you have to write any properties. You just need to create the schedule and assigned the classification to the objects as needed.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

abdelaziz
Booster
Hi
Tomek Piatek's option is extremely important to make the graphical detail book, I totally agree with him
- instead of developing a whole system of keynote or expression, with a multitude of property that we used what for the description, I prefer that the label tool is able to recover the descrition from the classification, and it remains totally logical

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
And I have been answering multiple in the thread you can already do this and you have 2 options to do it. The recommended one and a workaround.
AFAIK the last problem with TP was that he didn’t want to spend the time writing his “custom” classification.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
You are incorrect. The specific feature I asked for does not exist. I am certain of it and that’s why I asked for it. I believe that the implementation would be simple and deliver great benefit.

I also don’t mind putting in the hard work to achieve the desired outcome. I do mind wasting time on workarounds that don’t get me what I actually need.

Last, I find the general attitudes towards new suggestions on this forum very strange. My impression is that there is a group of very experienced and longtime users here who just don’t want anything to change in AC and they actively resist new ideas. It feels more like a victim support group than a software wishlist forum. If this forum is not the right place to ask for new features then kindly let me know where else I can do that and I won’t bother posting here any more.

All the best.

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ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Actually I need to stop you with the comment about experienced users and not wanting to change AC, we are not against new ideas nor we want to victimize any users. In this specific case I just wanted you to not waste your time waiting for a wish and show you a way to do what you wanted right now.

Anyway it looks like I keep misunderstanding what you want to do.

- You want for labels to show info from Classifications. I showed you an option to do this
- You want an option to organize data by groups and I showed examples of how to do it.
- For both options I indicated, based on my experience, where you should spend your effort and time while indicating the recommended one based on doing this type of procedure since way before classifications and properties existed. I was in this position with AC08 in 2005?
- for the XML import you just need to configure a Schedule, export and copy/paste from your XML file or use BBedit to edit it.
——
On another note:
From my side of the keyboard (writing with no malice or angry or trying to shoot you down) this looks like “new user” that generalizes a wish, doesn’t like the answer and then attacks the messenger.
My position is that this wish is unnecessary since this can be done with existing tools I tried to help you out and show you workflows how instead of just voting “not necessary” and moving on.
Looks like this is not satisfactory and that you feel I insulted you, sorry that you feel that way it was not my intention.
Moving on.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

jl_lt
Contributor
Hi, so, what is the conclussion here? what i get from all this (im still getting my head around the necesary steps described by both Mr. Tomek and Mr. Ejrolon) is that we can actually use the classification system as labels for objects, is that right?

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
Yes we can use the classification system as labels for objects but we can't access the description field of the classification. This limitation reduces the usefulness of this technique.

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ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

DGSketcher
Mentor
I can see how accessing the Classification Description could be useful under some set ups, but I think the intention of GS is we then drill down and reference element properties opening up the possibility of element specific descriptions. For example properties can provide a general description for a beam, and also enhance that description with size, finish etc. I guess it depends on how you manage the variables in your drawings either automatically or you add to a label manually or even just dimension the element if size is the only variable.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Tomek Piatek
Contributor
If anyone from GS is reading this, this feature would be really easy to implement. I know that everyone wants their requests to be implemented above other people's, but this one seems both easy to implement and really useful to the wider audience. Please consider it.

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ArchiCAD 23
Windows 10 Pro

jl_lt
Contributor
Personally, before transitioning into Archicad, we did all our keynotes manually, from a big list of specifications and adding them to drawings, with its proper number reference, which is the opposite of automatic, but it worked.
I think what Mr. Tomek suggest is easy to implement because, as many things with Archicad, its actually already there, and it would provide a platform to add our notes at our will selecting from a premade list. For my office, it would be great.

But on the other hand, i also suspect what Mr. Sketcher says, that is, GS actually doesnt want us to do that, as they want us to extract everything from the model, which is a very noble goal we should all aspire to, but is not always feasible.

Da3dalus
Participant
I've written many posts over the years regarding Keynotes, and I continue to send my wishlists to Graphisoft. I have experimented with both Properties and Classifications as a source for Keynote descriptions, and I've found that either would work. Currently, my template uses Properties, but they use an Expression to automatically number the Keynote based on the Masterformat (USA) division, which is an available Classification. Though it's in there, it's unworkable. Neither of these is the problem.

The real issue is the limited Criteria parameters for the Schedules. Extracting the Keynote Legend is problematic because:
1. I only want to create a separate Legend for each Layout (or could be by Drawing or View) showing those items that are visible and noted. There is no way to filter Schedules to do this automatically. This is possible using old AutoCAD's Database Extraction tool, for heaven's sake!
2. Keynote information resides in the element being noted, not the Label. There is no way to Schedule Labels; they are not available. If there was a logical indicator as to whether an element was labeled, it would work. So, there is no way to automatically know if an Element's Keynote Label actually exists or not. You may be scheduling elements that have no note, which is wrong.
3. Schedules are unaware of what Layout, View, or Drawing an element appears in. A filter criteria similar to Changes, which ARE Layout-aware, would be needed to identify where the element is. Otherwise, you can only create a legend of all of the Keynotes in the whole project; not very practical or helpful.
4. A Property could be used (with an Options List) to manually choose which Drawing/Layout the Keynote appears on. However, there is no way to connect that to the visibility or the Label, which would generally be identified by Layer. It's too easy for a User to show a Label on the Ceiling Plan, but the Keynote shows up on the Floor Plan Legend. There needs to be more connection between Properties and Label visibility.
5. None of this accounts for Keynotes that are informational, and do not point to one specific Element. A Keynote like, "Connect wall to foundation at this condition in this way", would need to arbitrarily be in either the Wall or the Foundation, and then that element could not have it's own identifying Keynote. Ability to Schedule independent Labels would be helpful, or we could create "dummy" Objects.
6. Keynoting Sections and Elevations is a further conundrum. For instance, elements from the East and West Elevations show up in my North Elevation, in profile. I only want Keynotes shown on the North face of my building to be Scheduled. They should only be noted in the appropriate View where they are labeled, which is subjective. To make matters worse, 2D Objects placed in a Section/Elevation are not schedulable at all.
7. If there is a desire to use a consistent numbering system throughout the Project, so that no two Keynotes have the same number, a sequential number register or other such system would be needed to cross-check. The expressions would need to read/write (PUSH/GET) from a central database, which might be available in GDL, but not Property Expressions.
8. None of these scenarios provides a simple way to create a master list of standard/starter Keynotes for an office. Favorites can be embedded with Keynotes, but this may not account for variations.

I've used MasterScript's Total Keynote system, but it's tricky to use correctly, and most of my staff can't figure it out; plus, it's outdated. CADImage/Central Innovation has a Keynote tool, but it's very pricey for many users.

At one time, a local US company called Undecillion create and AutoKeyNote system, using a separate Object, tied to the old Calculate menu Listing functions (Property Objects, Keys, and Descriptors). They stayed coordinated through TXT files placed in the Library. It was way too complex, and stopped working due to some change in later ArchiCAD versions. There is some vestige of that left, but I don't think Graphisoft is still supporting that database structure. That's unfortunate, since the next step in BIM evolution is complex database interaction. Perhaps JSON and Python APIs, or Grasshopper, can be used to produce something better?
Chuck Kottka
Orcutt Winslow
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

ArchiCAD 23 (since 4.5)
Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar OSX 10.14.6 Core i7 2.9GHz/16GB RAM/Radeon Pro560 4GB

jl_lt
Contributor
As i understand keynotes, they are alphanumerical codes that refer to a specification list. These codes can be standard or created adhoc by any office. If two different objects share the same specification, they can have the same keynote. One can do an automate a lot with the tools Archicad already has, but sometimes you just want to anotate and specify your drawings manually.

So, a tool that works like an excel spreadsheet, where you write or import you clasifications systems, coding/specifications and make it as hierarchical as you want.
A tool/label that reads from this aforementioned table and lets you select the item you want (as a pull down menu maybe) manually yes, but with full control of it. The tool lets you display just the id, an abreviated name or the full specification based on the scale of the plan or the user needs.
The tool/label can be read so the software knows when it is on a view that appears on a layout and thus generates a table only with the items you used instead of the whole list, but you can also display the whole list if you want. No workarounds, no nothing, just the user and his list and all the errors this can create and let the chips fall where they may.

How difficult can it be to implement something like this?

Oalias
Newcomer
Tomek wrote:
If anyone from GS is reading this, this feature would be really easy to implement. I know that everyone wants their requests to be implemented above other people's, but this one seems both easy to implement and really useful to the wider audience. Please consider it.
I agree with this! Annotation coordination and consistency in architecture is vital, I can't believe that such an expensive program like Archicad doesn't have this functionality!
Mac High Sierra Version 10.13.6 (17G5019)
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
Processor 3.8 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Startup disk Mac HD
Graphics Radeon Pro 580 8192 MB
Archicad 21 AUS

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Reviving this topic since I need to change my position and agree with Tomek Piatek that Classifications can be used as a Keynote System and that adding the description will make it easier for users. Also we can use it in 24 without the description with a small workaround.
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As part of recent projects I have kept working on this and Tomek's way using Classifications is only one click vs mine (Properties) which involves 2 clicks. So one less click to make a mistake.
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Basically it is easy to go from this:
To this:
By just ignoring the Description field.
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Top Label reading the info from Classifications and bottom one from Properties.
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Apologies, T
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

A_Nav
Newcomer
This process of keynote does not work inside Details where Archicad explodes the objects creating 2d fills and lines. Does anyone have a solution that can work on details as well?

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
To get it to work in Details then the data has to be in the ID and/or in BMat instead of Classifications. That means that as long as Details are not live the info will have to be coordinated in different places.
A work around is to use Worksheets instead of Details since they will "explode" the label. This has other issues.
Another work around is to only use Details as linked markers and use Layers or Renovation Settings to define views which at a different scale.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

A_Nav
Newcomer
Thank you for your response ejrolon. May I ask for further clarification on how to use the ID or BMat to create a master list for classification or annotations that would work somehow in the same way as Revit keynotes? I fail to understand why Archicad choses to explode the objects when using a Detail Tool. In my opinion, I find the Revit approach better.

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Agree that AC shouldn't explode the labels not the model and it should stay live or at a minimum the created Fill should inherit Classifications and Properties. The reason for IDs and/or BMats is that when AC explodes the model into fills the only data those can have is either in the ID or on the BMat. So you will need to coordinate those between the original object and the exploded fill.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

A_Nav
Newcomer
Thank you for your patience with me ejrolon. We can only hope and wait that Graphisoft realizes that their process can be improved.

genarch
Contributor
I've been doing my keynotes manually and it looks like I'll continue to do my keynotes manually. Everything said and demonstrated in this thread is far more complicated than it should be just to have some keynotes. How hard can it be?
Mac OSX 10.15.7
AC25, Artlantis 2020, TwinMotion
iMac Pro 2017 / 8-core 3.2 GHz / 32GB RAM

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