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Discussions about managing ARCHICAD in architectural practices (Project Setup, Templates, Attributes, Migration, Compatibility with Previous Versions, Preferences/Work Environment, User/Project/Application Administration/Management etc.)

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

User avatar
By KeesW
I must again complain about the complexity of default pens and colours in the Australian, and perhaps other, templates. What genius dreamt up so many combinations and how are users supposed to remember them? Do they even make sense?

Let’s look at text options. We have 'Annotation-general' and 'Annotation-text'. They have different line colours and thicknesses. 'Annotation text general' differs from 'Annotation -general'. In this section, text uses 0.35mm whilst headings are 0.25 mm lines. Sorry for being a bit thick for thinking that convention has thicker lines for headings as for standard text. Dimension lines are only 0.13mm.

We have subtle differences between cut structural (0.20) and cut non-structural (0.18) elements. These are the same colour and I doubt if anyone can see the differences between them on a drawing or on a screen. So why do it? Is the template the outcome of a PhD thesis or designed for practical use?

So why don't I change it? Because pens and colour choice should be interrelated with materials, surfaces and object appearances. As Archicad becomes more complex, reconstructing these connections becomes more time-consuming and only academics, or those in large practices with enough spare time, can sustain this overhead expense.

Subtle variations and academic distinctions do not make for sensible and memorable rules. The KISS principle has clearly by-passed the author of our templates. There is much more than can, and should, be said about our templates and I look forward to hearing views from other users.

PS: Archicad-talk may have added an emoticon without my approval. Please ignore it.
User avatar
By KeesW
An emoticon has been added without my approval. It obscures (0.18) which is the point of this objection.
User avatar
By KeesW
Archicad-talk doesn't like (0.18 mm) without the 'mm' because it obscures it with an emoticon!
User avatar
By LaszloNagy
ARCHICAD-Talk Forum considers an 8 followed by a ) as a laughing smilie.
You can Edit your post, then check the "Disable Smilies in this post" checkbox to prevent that.
I have done that with your original post, and so now it displays it normally.
User avatar
By KeesW
Thanks Lazio. My wife pointed this out to me after my vent.
User avatar
By Steve Jepson
KeesW wrote:I must again complain about the complexity of default pens and colours...
So don't use them. Make a simple pen set that is rational and easy to manage.

Give the first 10 columns a pen weight/size based on the pen number.

Column 1 = .1mm
Column 2 = .2mm
Column 3 = .3mm ....
Make column 10 = .01 so you will have hairlines in every color too.

Make the first Row black, the the other colors for rows don't matter.

It would look something like this depending on the colors for rows you want to use.

The point is to match the pen numbers to with the pen size so you always know what size the pen is by looking at the pen number.

Pen 1 = .1mm
Pen 2= .2mm
Pen 3= .3mm so on and so on.

Pen 104 = .4mm
Pen 228 = .8mm
Pen 181 = .1mm
Pen 85 = .5mm you get the idea I am sure.

This makes it very easy to keep a what-you-see-is-what-you-get relationship between your screen and your final prints.

It's not that I do not understand what you can do with pen sets, it is just that I can do all of that in other ways. I have been using this one and only pen set for about 25 years and I have never wished I had a better one.
It's worth mentioning that now with graphic overrides, you don't really need multiple pen sets. If you get GOs set up correctly once, you only need a penset with a couple of rows. (or columns) Or if your drawings are black/white/grey, you could probably get away with a single row of pens.
User avatar
By Steve Jepson
KeesW wrote: There is much more than can, and should, be said about our templates and I look forward to hearing views from other users.
Here is a perspective not many share with me.

The only kind of Template I think is useful is the exact opposite of a what most people would consider a Template.

I much prefer to let the Template(if you want to call it that) evolve on it's own by importing only what I want, when I want it into the new project.

With hundreds of completed projects, what would I use a Template for? My past projects are all Templates aren't they?

I paste or import assemblies of elements into the new project and adjust them for the new conditions. I may not even import any Favorites. I don't need to load any libraries either. Everything I need is automatically imported into the new project when it comes in.

I typically work with 3 instances of ArchiCAD open. The new project that starts with the Clean-Template, and perhaps a couple of similar completed projects to assemble the new project with.

I don't need to model very much from scratch anymore.
Templates are for people who need to outsource the work but want it to look like they did the work inhouse. Or for people who don't have any completed projects they did the way they would like to have done it. That is perhaps the best argument I have seen for why a person would want to use a Template. The project always starts out well organized and with the little extras that take some extra time but are intended to pay off in the end. But then the time runs out and everything is in a panic to just get it out the door. It gets real easy to tell yourself "it doesn't have to be perfect. Nobody will care anyway if the CAD file is a mess. All that counts is the .pdf." And so you never do have a completed project that is how it should have been done. Whereas if you hand a Template that already is set up to keep you from needing to take so many shortcuts you would actually end up with the project done the way it should be. That is a powerful argument for Templates. I don't care who you are or how you work.

That being said, I still don't use them :)
User avatar
By KeesW
Thank you for your thoughts and comments. I have been using my list pen weight related to pen numbers for years. But...... new templates created by our vendors (e.g. Graphisoft) appear to provide advantages of integrations with objects and elements that might be worth considering. I find them too complex and almost incomprehensible.

I'd like to hear someone defend these complex templates for practical work applications instead of intellectual purity.
By DGSketcher
In the UK there was a webinar on pen sets but I don't recall anything in it that convinced me they were a good solution. As mentioned above I think G.O.s are the future accompanied by a single pen set. I don't see a need to have a badly flawed arrangement of setting multiple pens per component and then manipulating the appearance of the components with different pen sets when a simple GO setting can achieve the same thing.