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Visual appeal, Interactions (Navigate, Select, Edit, Input), User Interface Components...

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

What's your opinion about this wish?

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By Jeff Kogut
Adding details can be a long cut and paste operation if they are not already set up in a template. I propose a Detail Manager in order to quickly add details to a project. I submit a very crudely mocked up version.

It could take the functionality of the Attribute Manager to browse to either a standard detail database or to another completed job/template file. It may need portions of the Organizer to place details on a layout automatically. A list tree like the Object Tool would be handy for organization of detail by type.

Some ability to quickly create a new detail from a template and printing a detail/details may also be helpful.
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By Richard Morrison
Are you aware that you can have a master Detail File (with one detail per view) open at the same time as your main project file? Then, in the Organizer, you can have views of the Details open in the left column (with a Preview, even!), and the Layouts of the main project open in the right column. Adding details is then just drag and drop.
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By LaszloNagy
Previews of Views of external PLN files in the left pane of the Organizer? How? Am I missing something?
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By Jeff Kogut
Thank you for the replies.

I should have noted we tried using the Organizer on a few projects a couple of years ago. While it is functionally close to what I was proposing we just ended up finding it clunky, unreliable, and if it did work it had a tendency to end up breaking links. Re-keying details became a job nobody wanted to do. That was probably around version 15 that we were trying to do that.

So, I just tried the Organizer again since it was brought up. Maybe everything has been improved since and R19 works great?

The attachment is what I got, a failure trying to import a detail. Hitting 'Close', then 'Stop Update' caused ArchiCAD to open a new instance in the background with stalled out 'update' windows of their own in their backgrounds. After 4 additional ArchiCAD instances were open I had to use Task Manager to kill all of them. Sigh... just a crummy as I remembered! How is this supposed to work in a multi-user non-expert work environment?!


Beyond all the stuff with the Organizer, I still would like ways to address details quickly - like one or two click fast - to create a detail from a template file (a dummy file with office standards set up in it to start drawing in). Creating a new detail and cut/paste is okay, but we usually have 30-60 of them per project (in addition to our ~30 boilerplate details). Try it and count how many clicks it takes. Now multiply by 60. That's why we have bloated our template file up with around 450 details. Honestly, we'd like to add about 250 more , but we are trying to have some level of reasonableness.

Also, we are frequently grabbing details from other jobs in the office and modifying them for our project. I would like a way to quickly import details without being linked to other jobs, i.e. make the details native to my project.

I think there is HUGE potential here with many other aspects that could be implemented with a central detail database:

- detail versioning as details are updated/evolve (so already linked details which are published don't auto-update)
- having multiple detail 'libraries' a project could be connected to(for different contractors, countries, climates, codes)
- managing details with different permissions, i.e. experts can modify/update but new users can 'submit for review'; contract drafters have access to only details they need.
- ability to output catalog of details to PDF
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By LaszloNagy
Richard Morrison wrote:Navigator Preview. If you've saved the individual detail views with the file, it's pretty fast.

Ok, so I understand that when you have the Navigator Preview Palette open and you select any Viewpoint in the Project Map or View in the View Map the Navigator Preview will show the content of that Viewpoint or View.

But are you saying that you are in Project A, and browse Project B in the Organizer so the left pane of the Organizer displays the View Map of Project B and if you select any of Project B's View the Navigator Preview Palette of Project A will show the preview of that View from Project B?
I cannot get this to work in any way. For me the Navigator Preview changes only when the Viewpoint or View I click is in the current Project. When I click on a View in external Project the Navigator Preview Palette does not update, it does nothing.

Can you post a screenshot of such a situation? I must be missing something simple. (I even made sure that Previews are set to be saved with project files in the Work Environment Dialog).
I tried both AC17 and AC19 but could not make the Navigator Preview Palette to show the preview of an external file's View.
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By Richard Morrison
Sorry. My apologizes for not making the workflow I'm using more clear. You are correct that the Navigator Preview is not available for a file other than the one you are in. The way I'm using this is as follows:

Have a master detail file open (call it DETAIL.PLN), with the project file (call it PROJECT.PLN) open concurrently. When you are in the DETAIL.PLN file, you will get the Navigator previews. Skimming through the different detail views, when you see a detail you want, drag it over to the Publisher. Then publish all the views as .MOD files or .PMK files to a folder in the project file folder. You can drag and drop .MOD files into a detail/worksheet window in the PROJECT.PLN, or drag & drop a PMK directly onto the layout in PROJECT.PLN, which is the quickest of all and creates the smallest file. The MOD file approach keeps everything in one file, and makes it a little easier to edit details for that project. Of course, a marquee cut and paste from the DETAIL.PLN to the PROJECT.PLN is also pretty quick.

On a side note, I also used to get pretty decent thumbnail previews for PMKs and MOD files in the File Explorer, which was very handy, but I haven't been able to get this to work for files generated in AC17. The GS Shell Extension feature seems to be not working very well, or maybe I'm missing something.
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By LaszloNagy
OK, I see.
I was starting to pull my hair out thinking I am missing something obvious. :wink:
Thanks for the workflow description, useful info.
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By Da3dalus
Back to the original wish, I like Jeff's interface idea. However, that's a major undertaking. I think it would be a vast improvement to simply be able to copy details from one Project to another.

It can use the same interface as External Drawing Links, where a separate Project is opened in the Navigator, you browse the View Map, and you Drag a Detail View into (or any Drawing) into your Layout.

The only change would be an option to EMBED rather than LINK. Actually Duplicate the Independent Detail (and maybe associated View) into the host Project. Drag int right into the Project Map. Complete with Name, ID, Scale, etc. Editable and ready to go.

One checkbox, that's all I ask for!

But the browser would be a nice touch at some point :)