Category Archives for "Personal"

ArchiCAD has 90,000 fans, my channel has 200,000 views – let’s celebrate ArchiCAD!

The ArchiCAD page on Facebook now has more than 90,000 fans. In February 2011 I remarked in a blog post how awesome it was that there were 15,000 fans for ArchiCAD – now it’s 6 times as awesome!

We are NOT alone – in fact we’re in good company – there are tens of thousands of ArchiCAD-lovers around the world.

I don’t have 90,000 fans myself, but I’m pretty proud of the fact that my ArchiCAD Tutorials YouTube channel has 191,727 views as of this moment. I’m expecting it to reach 200,000 views within the next few days! I invite you to join my 937 subscribers so you get notified whenever I post another one of my free ArchiCAD tutorials.

In celebration of these milestones, I’m uploading some more free content onto my channel – so YouTube will have the first 6 lessons from my QuickStart Course. This 29 lesson course teaches the basics of using ArchiCAD, but it’s not only for new users. I’ve had veteran users watch some of the lessons and comment “when did they add that feature?” and “I never realized you could do it THAT way… cool!”

The QuickStart Course - ArchiCAD basic training by Eric Bobrow


PLUS – I’m putting both of my courses on sale for this week.

You can sign up for the complete QuickStart Course (13 hours of easy-to-follow video lessons) for only $127, or two payments of $67.

OR… you can go for the whole enchilada – the entire Best Practices Course, with over 60 hours of high-quality material (including the entire QuickStart Course) for only $597, a savings of $100 – or get in today for only $97 per month on the convenient extended payment plan.

The Best Practices Course - ArchiCAD training by Eric Bobrow

The Best Practices Course has one more EXTRA special feature as a free bonus – a complete ArchiCAD Coaching Program. When you register for Best Practices, you can send in your questions any time to me, and I’ll answer them during one of my live webinar training calls. These 90 minute sessions are held 3 times each month at different times of day to accommodate viewers from all over the world (sometimes we’ve had 5 continents represented on one call – whew!) and are also recorded for later viewing.

For more info, or to sign up during this special sale, please visit:

If you’d like to gain more mastery of ArchiCAD, check out my courses.

They’ll give you tremendous benefit, and help you get the most out of our favorite BIM software!

Eric Bobrow

P.S. These special offers run through March 31, 2012.

TOPIC: ArchiCAD social media, ArchiCAD training


Best Practices Course – Anniversary FIRE SALE!

The Best Practices ArchiCAD training course is on sale now!No, we’re not going out of business… but that little birthday cake candle started a big FIRE! We’ve got over 540 ArchiCAD users signed up from 49 countries all over the world, and we’re celebrating!

Come on in and get warm – baby it’s cold outside (at least in the northern hemisphere) at this time of year.

Check out our big FIRE SALE!

From now until next Friday December 16, you’ll save $200 off course registration, which was a great value to begin with.
And, for the first 50 who jump on the opportunity, I’m offering a special FAST MOVER bonus worth $125!


I started the Best Practices Course one year ago to fill a real gap for ArchiCAD users. I’ve been developing a comprehensive ArchiCAD training that goes over all aspects of using the program from a Best Practices perspective – the most efficient and effective ways to get your work done.

The course is comprised of 29 modules that form a coherent sequence. Each module consists of 3 to 5 video lessons of 10 to 20 minutes focused on a particular topic. You can watch them on demand, and these bite-size pieces fit easily into even the busiest schedule.

  • Course members report they start gaining productivity quickly, more than enough to free up time for learning! In fact, I’ve received statements from many members that they are working 25% to 50% faster overall – some even say twice as fast, believe it or not! (These methods work.)

In addition to the video lessons, when you sign up for the Best Practices Course you get access to my ArchiCAD Coaching Program, a regular web session in which you can ask me any question you wish. This is designed to help you put all this theory into practice in your actual projects.

There’s lots more to tell you – so go to the website and find out more – and sign up while the blaze is burning bright!

Learn more about the Best Practices Course – grab the FAST MOVER bonus now!


I have lost count of the number of enthusiastic comments I’ve received from course members. I try to file them away in my email system for later reference, and at last count there were 245 messages in that folder.

Here’s one of the most recent ones, which will give you an idea of what you’ll feel like after you sign up for the course:

“Eric, I have been blown away by The Best Practices Course.

For many years now I have attempted to become proficient in my use of ArchiCAD. There is no doubt that ArchiCAD is a powerful tool and that its BIM approach is hitting the mark for our present day constructability needs in architectural drafting. However, the full use of this powerful tool is only realized to the extent to which the user is knowledgeable and proficient in its use.

This course opens the door to that knowledge and proficiency. The course is extremely organized and your teaching method and style allows for individual growth at their own pace.

I have been amazed over and over again as this course has progressed. You have explained in great detail the “How To’s” and have left nothing to chance. You are an excellent teacher.

There is nothing like this course out there and WHAT A VALUE! I can’t think of any educational tool that I have every purchased that beats this value. You have provided more than anyone would ever expect. Thanks again!”

— Paul Fewell, Hemet California USA

Join the 540 members of the Best Practices Course and you’ll be “blown away” too.
I guarantee it.

Check out our Anniversary FIRE SALE – get in quick and grab the FAST MOVER bonus!


More free ArchiCAD tutorials posted on Best Practices site

As part of my celebration of the first anniversary of the Best Practices Course, I’ve posted two more of my best tutorials, along with new case studies of successful course members. Check them out on the course website here:

I’ll be sharing my own personal story next, in the post titled Turning Point, coming very soon. This time I’ll face the camera and talk about some amazing twists and turns in my personal and professional life, and how they relate to passion, the pursuit of excellence, and doing what you love. I just recorded the live video, and I know you’re going to enjoy it when I finish getting it ready!

The One Year Anniversary of the Best Practices Course

Wow! It’s been a whole year since I launched the Best Practices Course. During that time, 543 people have joined the course or the QuickStart Course (my special set of lessons on the basics of ArchiCAD), from a total of 49 countries. Incredible!

It's the one year anniversary of the Best Practices Course!

I’m celebrating by sharing some of my best tutorials for FREE for the next little while. You can find them by visiting the web page for my 7 Keys to Best Practices ArchiCAD training series.

If you haven’t been there recently, you’ll need to opt-in to my email list to get to the videos, but don’t worry – I’ll only use it to send you more free ArchiCAD tutorials and information about the Best Practices Course. And if you’re already getting my emails, our system will make sure you don’t get duplicate notices.

In addition to my classic 45 minute training on seven key principles that will help you use ArchiCAD more effectively, I’ll also be sharing updated versions of some of my most popular and powerful tips and tricks. My “Quick Change” tutorial on changing Window and Door ID’s is only 5 minutes long, yet it saved one client over two hours work on a single project!

PLUS – there will be case studies on a number of ArchiCAD users who are doing amazing work after honing their technique using my Best Practices methods, and I’ll tell some personal stories as well.

So hurry on down to check these out while they’re posted, and tell your ArchiCAD-using friends!


ArchiCAD File Disaster Scenario – What Can You Do When a File is Corrupted?

Eric BobrowToday one of my long-time clients sent me an anxious email. With a deadline tomorrow, he had a project file that crashed while he was working on it, and now ArchiCAD couldn’t open it – every time he tried, it gave a warning message and immediately closed. When he tried to open the BPN file he got the same error.

He sent an email to Graphisoft Tech Support but contacted me to see if I could help since he was on deadline.

Ever happen to you? I think this is pretty rare, but over the years I’ve seen a number of clients have gruesome problems at a time when they couldn’t afford a delay. The particular error message this time was not something I had seen before: “ArchiCAD detected a cache corruption error and will be closed.”

I wrote him a lengthy email, giving some general advice on how to approach this situation. I thought that it might be of interest to other ArchiCAD users, so I’m posting it here.


1. Restart your computer, if you haven’t already. This clears some issues that otherwise linger once certain errors are encountered.

2. Open a different file in ArchiCAD, and see if everything works OK. If not, then you will need to fix the problem with ArchiCAD, as (in this case) there are problems in multiple files. Reinstalling the application may be necessary – see the ArchiCAD Wiki for guidance on this topic.

3. If ArchiCAD works OK on other files, then open the problem file. See if the error re-occurs now. Sometimes the restart and opening another file can clear things up.

4. If the file cannot be opened without crashing, occasionally I’ve had success by creating a new file (use the same or similar template to provide a compatible context) and using the File menu > File Special > Merge command, and then selecting the problem file and trying to merge its contents into the blank file.

5. If this succeeds (no crashing), you may have some or a lot of cleanup or reconstruction to do. For example, this will only bring in the model, it will not bring in the Views or Layout Book. All the data on the plan will come across (3D and 2D), but no 2D stuff from Sections, Elevations, etc. and no Detail drawings, Worksheets, etc. Obviously, this is only “practical” or usable if you are fairly early in a project, when there is mostly just a model and not too much other stuff.

6. If merging the problem file causes a crash, then there’s not too much you can do to access the data until Graphisoft steps in. They have certain tools that may allow them to extract data differently than what a user can do, or to clean up specific corruption in the file. The response time or turn-around time is not necessarily very quick; try to impress upon them the importance of the situation – be honest, but if it’s life or death, or means potentially losing a client and job, they will probably push it up higher than if the work is something you can reconstruct yourself or can wait for.

7. In cases when both the PLN and the BPN give the same errors, it’s good if you have an earlier versions to try to open. If you have Time Machine on the Mac, or certain backup systems on PC, there will likely be earlier copies you can grab; hopefully you can find one that is fairly recent and has not been corrupted. There will be work to do to bring the file up to date, but it’s far better than starting over!

TIP: I recommend that dated versions of a project be saved on a regular basis, and manually or automatically archived in a safe place for possible use in disaster scenarios such as this one. For simplicity, keep the current, active file with the same name throughout the process, but “peel off” or archive files along the way with names that indicate their origin (e.g. Smith House Nov 17 2011, Smith House city submittal 1, etc.). By keeping the active file with the same name, you’re less likely to get confused about which file is the most current, avoiding the “which file did I do that work in?” scenario.

8. Over the years, sometimes I’ve found that a file will not open properly because external references are damaged. These can be libraries, hotlinked modules, or files placed as drawings in the layout book. Occasionally this might have to do with a server issue  such as the server path changing, server unavailable, file damage, or even incompatible versions caused by others opening a linked file and resaving from their workstation.

Isolating the workstation from the server (disconnecting from the network), removing external hard drives, and even moving libraries or external files to the desktop (or changing their file path or folder name) may sometimes be attempted as a way to see if the problem opening the file is actually caused by external references. If one succeeds in opening the “bare” file with no external referencing, then one can add back in the references (moving them back in place) one by one to see if the trouble source can be identified. Once pinpointed, remedial action may be taken, including reinstallation of libraries, or repair or recovery of trouble-causing external files from backup.


My client’s story had a happy ending. He wrote to me:

Before I tried your solutions, I tried something that I had been afraid to do.  See below.  I deleted the file that was saved and hit “continue” and was able to open the file after that, albeit with a loss of a lot of information, but fortunately, I had saved the file a little earlier so I didn’t lose too much.  Thank you for the lengthy response to my problem.  I really appreciate it.

He included a screenshot of the standard Autosave dialog, which offered him the opportunity to open up the automatically saved file that ArchiCAD had maintained of his work session. It seems that there was a problem with the Autosave cache, since when he deleted the Autosave he was then able to open up the working file, losing only the work he did since he manually saved.

This reinforces my long-time guidance: Save often! Don’t rely on Autosave! Although it works most of the time (perhaps it’s well above 99%, but who knows…), hitting Command-S or CTRL-S periodically is a sensible habit that takes moments and may save hours.