On Land

Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.

As of, I don't know, 8.1, Display Options can be organized into Combinations, kind of like layers, and Display Options can be saved with views. Our templates have been set up this way for some time, but I don't think I've ever cataloged the combinations. They're just as standardized as anything else. Highly.

In the DO dialog, there are two panes, Display Only and Display & Output.

The Display Only options do not vary among combinations. Real quick: Intersections are on, Walls are contour lines, all the handles are on, section depths, detail boundaries, and markup elements (never used 'em) are hidden.

Display & Output options is where the action is. Rather than describe each combination, or heaven forbid build a table, I'll describe the A1/A2 combination, then how the others differ.

In A1/A2, which gets saved with plans and elevations for output: Beams are Contour Lines (no reference lines), Line Weight is Hairlines (they get turned True in PM), all the Fills are Vectorial, Doors & Windows Show with Dim, Zone Polygons are None, Zone Stamps Show, Section Markers are As in Settings, Column Symbols Show, Fill Background Color is By Element Setting.

Working Plan/SED is the same as A1/A2 except Beams are Entire Beam (ref lines on), and the Drafting and Cover Fills are Bitmap.

A3, which gets saved with wall sections, is the same as A1/A2 except the Fill Background Color is Transparent. (This means no fill backgrounds. Use Solid Fill for white masks. To mask with a pattern fill, you need two overlapping fill elements.)

A4/S0/M/P, which gets saved with RCPs, mechanical, plumbing, and foundation plans, is the same as A1/A2 except the Doors & Windows are Reflected Ceiling.

S, which gets saved with framing plans, is the same as A4/S0/M/P except the Cut Fills are Separators only. This turns the wall fills off, but shows a line at the joint between, e.g., concrete and stone. Fill backgrounds are on, so masking fills will work.

Site, which gets saved with site plans, is the same as A4/S0/M/P except the Cut Fills are No Fills. You will only see the effect of this if you show walls on the site plan.

A quirk of DO Combination management: You can't rename them. You have to Save As, which leaves the old one in place, and then you have to redefine the views that use the renamed combination. Then you can delete the old-named one. Also, I haven't figured out how to import DO combinations from other projects.