Post your wishes about Graphisoft products: Archicad, BIMx, BIMcloud, and DDScad.

Archicad Community Wishlist

Jim Allen

Following discussions in the Archicad Future, 27 Poll thread, I have created a document to collate our collective views on features and changes we would like to see implemented in Archicad.


It will act as a central resource for all Archicad user wishlist items which are not specific to any particular Archicad release. 


We can discuss potential items to add, with their advantages and disadvantages, and we can explain the reason for the inclusion of each item on the list.


Periodically we can create surveys and collect votes for features. This will allow us to prioritise items.

Graphisoft are under no compulsion to implement anything, but it can act as a conduit between the GS team, who are not practising architects working exclusively on producing architectural design and documentation for construction.


I have created a Google sheet here.


It seems to be a good idea to me to highlight issues for discussion here first before we modify the document.

People who request access are by default granted Commenter access but the most active forum members involved in wishlists have been given Editor access.

Archicad 25 UKI | OS X 11.7 Big Sur

Wow, intense @joyalinearch but hey let's help you out, because you can totally get the strong cut lines you ask for. 


As usual Archicad has several ways to achieve the same thing, but I'll start with the simplest and actually also most important method: Pens & Pen Sets.


To get this right we have to understand how Archicad "thinks" & works by default. The closer we stay within these default principles, the better Archicad will give us what we aim for with full control to still be creative (in this case with various outputs from the same drawing).


What I'm talking about here with pens & pen sets is how Graphisoft have arranged and assigned the different pens to very specific elements and element components. This image illustrates it very well.



 < image: Archicad Pen Set Table >

Note: this is from the Archicad INT - international version. I have seen quite different arrangements in example the USA version and some others. I still believe you'll get more from Archicad considering to adopt the INT Pen Set table. 


If you open Archicad and in 90% of element settings leave all pens at default, you are half way there. 

  • All major Elements has a specific set of pens in a specific pen column
  • All Element Component has a specific default Pen number (cut line, separator line, fill foreground & background, etc)
  • These pens are set as defaults for all Tool in the Toolbox

If you want to change the output, NB! don't change the Element settings, change the pen colour & weight / width in the Pen Set. Save a new Pen Set if needed. Always be sure to assign this Pen Set to the intended View in the View Map so that you get that specific the output. Refer my 2011-/blog/best-practice-Archicad-and-pens-pensets for full details. Remember to do the same on all Attribute pen settings of Composites, Profiles, Surfaces, etc. 


IMPORTANT: Do NOT override pen numbers in Element settings! Only do this in highly extreme cases.


Doing this consistently will give you exactly what you want in your outputs. 

So you have full control of your Cut Lines to be whatever you want them to be on every View.


Yes, there is also Graphic Overrides to further create specific outputs and it works even better if you stick to the default pens on Element & Attribute settings. 

Francois Swanepoel

Everything happens in Archicad since v6.5 (2000) ‌
Hiking, Motorbiking, Good food, Gr8! Beer & excellent conversation 😉
#MadeByDyslexia is my unfair advantage – expect curious ideas, creative big thinking & small typos.
<> www.fusionBIM.co.za <> www.Scirrus.co <> www.BIM2fusedVR.com <> (new) Anatomy of Archicad Course

Thanks Francois. I really appreciate the comment. But, I do actually know about pen sets. I may not know every little piece of the program, but I have come across the pen set. Regardless, you missed the point a little bit. What was saying, is that it is not possible to extract from the model a drawing where the cut lines are correct. It cannot be done aside from drawing the cut line over the view from the model with the line tool. And that's counter to the whole idea of BIM, at least my idea of BIM.


Just looking at windows and doors. You can choose the pen for each piece in elevation and section, and you would think "great. I can get everything just how i want." But you can't, because the sill section has one lineweight, all the way around the sill. And casing has one line weight, all the way around the casing. And so forth. That's not a correct cut line. Or other standard Graphsoft objects that only the option for one lineweight. Your excellent primer on pens can't really help with this. It's a deeper problem.


 I don't know, maybe I'm completely off base here. If anyone can cut through their model with a section and your section 2d drawing has a proper cut line, I'd love to know how you did it. Otherwise, hey Graphisoft, Can I get a proper cut line please?

Great feedback @joyalinearch. Sorry if my reply did not help you resolve the actual question. Your initial post seemed to mention cut lines in plans, sections & elevations which is very general.


So when we trouble shoot issues for clients/users, we always start with making sure the basics is correct, like in my reply above. I did the Pens log post in 2011 and you would be surprised how many long & short time users (still today) see Archicad in a totally new light and get excited about Archicad again after realizing the simple power & flexibility that Archicad gives them when applying those basic principles. But I am glad to hear that you have this covered. 


Your middle paragraph now focuses on the actual / specific thing that really is behind your question. I believe the native Archicad Window & Door settings gives you the absolute control of Cut Lines (plans, sections & elevations) that you ask for. Refer the image below where I illustrate a section drawing and all relevant cut pens of Window / Door settings and how they link to Pen Sets + View settings.


< download full size image attached below  >

(I don't know why the image (640kb .PNG) will not insert in my post, Graphisoft?)


To get this there are a few things that need to align ie. Window / Door settings + Pen Sets + View settings (Renovation Filter, Model View Options, etc)


If this does not help, please share a similar image that gives us detailed insight on your setup items that influence your particular output results and where / how they are lacking?

Francois Swanepoel

Everything happens in Archicad since v6.5 (2000) ‌
Hiking, Motorbiking, Good food, Gr8! Beer & excellent conversation 😉
#MadeByDyslexia is my unfair advantage – expect curious ideas, creative big thinking & small typos.
<> www.fusionBIM.co.za <> www.Scirrus.co <> www.BIM2fusedVR.com <> (new) Anatomy of Archicad Course


Thanks you again Francois for your thorough and exemplary explanation of how a window uses pens, and how each part of the window can have pen assigned to it as a "cut line." The problem we're having, I think, is in the definition of "cut line." In my understanding, as architect, a cut line is a bold line that that traces the edge of the thing being cut at the line of the cut. Or put another equally obtuse way, the cut line traces the edge where the thing becomes not the thing, (or where the thing thing touches the air. )


In a window (and this is not exclusive to windows. It is representative of the problem but certainly not the only example), the "cut lines" are not correct cut



In the first image below, ignore everything except the stool and "cut line of the stool." On the bottom, the cut continues from the outside to the inside of wall. It should not do this. It is not a correct cut line and there is no setting to make it correct. This is a problem that plagues "cut lines" through the software. If you look to the second image, I have drawn a cut line over the window with the line tool. It's worth noting how cut line turns the corner countertop and continues to trace the line where thing and the air meet. I also drew in secondary cut line on the interior of the casework at a lighter lineweight, signifying a cut that is secondary to the primary. This is what the cut lines in the model should look like. The 2d drawings that come directly from the model should be in essentially indistinguishable from an actual 2d drawing drawn with correct  ciut lines. I've never seen a BIM program accomplish this, but I have to say at the moment Revit is a hell of a lot closer. In Revit, you can change the pen / lineweight of each individual line segment in any view, and you don't even have to use a pet palette. But I'm straying from my original point. Cut lines not hand cranks!


Screenshot 2022-11-13 at 3.34.46 PM.png



Screenshot 2022-11-13 at 3.54.05 PM.png

 I think you could accomplish the cut line that I want, as well as other lineweights that could be called something like strong edges (edge of a building) or weaker edges (the edge of a cabinet) or any other of several conditions, if you could classify the individual lines in a drawings as cut line, strong edge, weak edge etc. and each classification could have an override where you could decide exactly what lineweight you want. Or just be able to select the line and change the pen. The key to this working though is the granularity and specificity to select and change every single line segment in every plan, section, elevation, and whatnot.. Every line in every drawing. Otherwise it's just another half finished half measure and I think there are enough of those already.

Fantastic @joyalinearch. Your question is now crystal clear 🤓 with the 1st image and explanatory notes. Your 2nd image and comment notes is a good suggestion of what you require in output and even a possible approach, nice.


From your 2nd image, I can see where you're coming from. Although this approach to drawing convention is not a common standard, I have come across designers that prefer this 2D style, especially for smaller scale drawings (ie. 1:100 / 1:50). And yes, this is not all automatic in Archicad (at the moment 😉). When detailing to larger scales (ie. 1:10 / 1:5 / 1:1) are mostly done with the structural element cut lines are stronger than that of finishes and other non structural elements (something Archicad automatically do very well I think). I guess from a programming & feature approach it's a trade-off.



Just a thought in the meantime (that I would like to test myself), is to see if a workflow of using a Detail (auto 2D of the model) of the Section / Plan would be faster than manually re-tracing the outline elements. I suspect just selecting the particular edge lines in the (auto 2D) Detail and changing their line pen would at least save time already (and grouping them while you have them selected would save more time). To not loose these lines on the detail when the model updates the detail (fortunately always a manual command), I would copy this new group and paste them over their origin + move these copies to a unique layer to easily isolate them. These copies will not be touched or altered when you run model update on the Detail view like the original lines would do. From there you simply need to copy the new / changed lines to your unique "Cut Line" layer after model updates. You can even use the auto 2D Detail just to get the outline cut lines to copy over live Sections / Plans to that unique "Cut Line" layer.


Still not an ideal BIM-like workflow, but surely could save time vs. manual tracing I believe.


OPTION 2: (I'm thinking probably the preferred solution for now)

Another approach that could also work (perhaps even automatically) is creating a LIVE 3D Section / Plan where ie. Composite skins are not shown (just showing the outer lines of elements with a transparent Fill), + Windows & Doors show lower detail via Model View Options + then use Graphic Overrides to show all those lines with the same Solid Line Type + Pen number. 


You can then overlay this "lines only, transparent" drawing View as a separate View over the "normal: live 3D View on your Layout. You'll do all your text, labels, dimensions, etc on the live 3D View. The "lines only, transparent" drawing View will just be on your Layout to print that nice strong Cut Line you want (and it will be Automatic! & Live! Directly! from the 3D model 💪😃🤙). 


PS: I don't think I'll get to testing this before the year ends, but I have actually used this "lines only, transparent" drawing View overlay on my Layouts before, although for a different purpose, while writing this I think this 2nd workflow could be a solution for your case as well. 


What do you think? I'd love to hear what you think or get from testing these. 


Francois Swanepoel

Everything happens in Archicad since v6.5 (2000) ‌
Hiking, Motorbiking, Good food, Gr8! Beer & excellent conversation 😉
#MadeByDyslexia is my unfair advantage – expect curious ideas, creative big thinking & small typos.
<> www.fusionBIM.co.za <> www.Scirrus.co <> www.BIM2fusedVR.com <> (new) Anatomy of Archicad Course

I've added this to the Wishlist with the images.


Thanks for sharing this. When people have specific requirements, it's always better to illustrate them!

Archicad 25 UKI | OS X 11.7 Big Sur


A simple way to do a SITE PLAN. I know the methodology on Archicad to do a site plan is to go through the 3D axonometric view, set it to top view and then create a 3D document. 

However when the projet is complex and large this solution slows down the process and its efficiency. I should also mention that this solution is not efficient and reliable when adding dimensions... 

A simple way to do a site plan could seem simple enough by setting a floor plan above the roof level and setting the depth of view all the way to the ground without behind limited by the level of implantations to which all elements are restricted to. 


We need that feature! 


It would be helpful is different Calculation Units settings could be assigned separately for each element that requires them, rather than having to use a single global setting for the whole file. For example, I have a custom door label that need to be in mm, but I want my wall lengths schedule to be in meters. Unfortunately,  both are defined by the length setting in Calculation units, so I have to choose either m or mm for all circumstances. 

AC26 Australia, Windows 10

That sounds to me like the sort of feature that very few people would benefit from.

You say that you need the door label to use mm (because that's the default unit of measurement) but want the wall lengths to be in metres.


That's a 'want vs need' issue isn't it?


If you can describe a compelling case why a significant proportion of users could benefit from it, we can add it to the wishlist.


We are careful with that so that it doesn't become perceived as the accumulation of individual niggles, but a valuable pointer for GS in terms of mopping up holes in functionality/usability.


The really useful thing about keeping wishlist requests in one place and discussing them, is that sometimes we find community members have already overcome issues, or even shared objects they have created to address issues.

Archicad 25 UKI | OS X 11.7 Big Sur

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