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Any 2D tool what you need for drafting.

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

What's your opinion about this wish?

Essential (5)
Important (4)
Average (3)
Not important (2)
Not needed (1)
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By fellanamedlime
One of the things that really annoys me in ArchiCAD (having been using Vectorworks recently) is the lack of an element properties palette, similar to the "Object Properties" in Vectorworks. (see image)

If I create a 2D rectangle, why can't I just click on it to find out how big it is (height and width) and be able to change that by typing in a new value? Surely that's the simplest possible form of information about an object and I'm staggered that ArchiCAD still doesn't have something as simple as this. I know you can change the dimensions of 3D objects, but why not provide this for 2D as well?

The only palette you currently have is the "Element Information" one which doesn't show you the height and width for 2D elements e.g. rectangle. and doesn't allow you to modify this information to change the object. If you spend time drawing in 2D as you invariably do then a small box like this would be a godsend.[/img]
Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 16.42.15.png
Object Properties / Info box badly needed!
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By Karl Ottenstein
Your question/wish is larger than just 'element information' - since what you illustrate in Vectorworks is that the 2D rectangle is actually a parametric object.

One could make a 2D rectangle GDL object which gave you the same functionality... If you wanted to distort it into something non-rectangular, you'd have to use the explode command to convert it to linework / polyline. What does Vectorworks do? Will it let you drag a corner of a rectangle in such a way that it is no longer a rectangle? (E.g., is there more power there, or have they simply provided integrated 2D objects?)
By fellanamedlime
In VW there's a distinction between "rectangle" (all 90 degree corners that can be parametically edited via the info box) and "polygon" (any other 2D shape that's formed by control points). In VW you generally draw with shapes that you can add and subtract from each other, then moving to fine control via points as needed.

Since a lot of setting out is done this way it would be incredibly helpful to have this basic functionality of parametric rectangles in AC. You can obviously set the parameters when you first draw it, but being able to click on a rectangle and see it's size without measuring it saves a lot of the workflow.

I've used AC for years, and it was only after a brief spell with VW that I realised how useful this function is. I really wish AC would take a look at basic functionality like this and try and incorporate it - it makes drawing much easier and quicker.
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By LaszloNagy
These things are possible to do, only differenly.
For example, bring up the Coordinates Box. Hover your cursor above the lower left corner of the rectangle and press ALT+SHIFT to move the User Origin to the lower left corner of the rectangle. Then hover your cursor to the Upper right corner and the Coordinate Box will show the width and height of the rectangle.

Or, start using the Measure Tool. First click the lower left corner of the Rectangle to Measure from, then hover your cursor above the upper left corner of the rectangle and the Measure Tool will show you the height of the rectangle; hover your cursor above the lower right corner of the rectangle and the Measure Tool will show you the width of the rectangle.

With the Tracker input it is very easy to click any of the edges of the rectangle, choose the Offest Edge command of the Pet Palette and offset it to the desired value.

So my point is: these things can be done easily in ArchiCAD. It is just a different program and has different ways of achieving the same things.
By jswims
I would like to second this request.

The anchor point reference is also very useful, you can use it to expand a shape around it's center, or a side. You can also use the XY input field to compute basic calculation for example, to divide a side by 2 = just put /2 after the measurement and you have a shape exactly half the length.

and @laszlonagy The same editable properties are true in VW if you highlight a polyline, a group, a line or a rectangle as shown here, and yes, of course there are work arounds for measuring the object, but this is just SO useful. For example if you have a group for a piece of timber in a detail, it will usually contain lines and a fill, to adjust this to be a different size will be take several actions. With an element info box like this, you can adjust the size from 25x25 to 100x50 in one go, rather than having to adjust all elements separately.

This way of editing is not unique to vectorworks - it's also used in illustrator.

I would love to see a version of it work for Archicad!
By Glulam Beam
If you just want to sketch around with square shapess you can use the COLUMN tool.
You can choose the reference point and enter width and length numerically.
Also by using labels and modifying them as you wish one can see the info attached to each square in the sketch.