ArchiCAD Training | Get Organized – The First Step to Best Practices

Eric BobrowIt’s funny. For many of us, it’s hard to find time during the day to learn better ways to get work done, even when it will save us time in the long term.

I imagine you’ve connected with me because you’d like to improve your ArchiCAD skills. I’m going to make it really easy.

I’ve developed a system for working effectively in ArchiCAD called “The 7 Keys to Best Practices.”

I’ve broken these up into small, easy to digest pieces that will help you understand these principles so you can start applying them without losing any time out of your day.


The first key principle is to get organized. What does this mean? Here are two simple ideas to get you started.

1) Create a good project folder structure so you have a consistent place to file things. Take a real project that you’ve done, duplicate its folder with all the subfolders and files. Rename this duplicate, and delete most of the files inside – but leave the folders intact.

You’ll be left with a structure for filing things. Although it is mostly “empty”, it is the core of an organizational system. There will be a place for everything, and everything will be “in its place.” When a consultant drawing comes in, you’ll have a place to store it; when you print a set to PDF, you’ll know where to save it; and when you need to locate anything, it will be easier to find. The next time you start a project, simply duplicate this folder structure, and off you go!

2) Create a template or TPL file to start new projects, so you have a consistent, well-developed starting point. Take a real project and use it as the basis of your next one, rather than starting over with the standard template supplied with ArchiCAD.

To create a TPL, simply open a project file and choose File menu > Save As and select ArchiCAD Template (TPL) from the popup menu for file-type. Delete the building and annotation but leave the structure of the file intact, including Elevation markers that you can reuse for the next building. The next time you start a project, specify this new TPL file as the template, and you’ll have a file with a lot more already set up the way you like it.


I hope you enjoyed this quick little note. Please send me an email or add a comment below, and tell me what you think.

In the next installment I go over some ideas that will help you do things once, rather than repeating stuff over and over when you don’t have to.


P.S. If you have a little time to “sharpen your saw”, read the complete ArchiCAD tutorial article on The 7 Keys to Best Practices Practices for ArchiCAD, or the free ArchiCAD training video series on the Best Practices Course website.


Share with your colleagues
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Malakia David - February 19, 2015


I recently started using ArchiCAD.

Any suggestions on how to fast track my ArchiCAD skills? I plan on becoming a master.

Please help.

Windhoek , Namibia

ELIAS NAHAS NETO - January 6, 2022

como eliminar elementos de uma lista de objetos?


Leave a Reply: