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Master Template First Impressions (Mostly Good!)
November 13, 2007
12:35 pm
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November 5, 2007
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I've been using and tweaking the Master Template for a few weeks now. Overall, I'm very impressed and am committing to the template in my retail projects. Here is my running commentary based on the 10/31 release:

------------------------- ------------------------

1) No Sheet index? [fixed in the 10/31 release]

2) I know I'm in the minority here but my vote is for views and layout titles to use Title Case rather than ALL CAPS.

3) I feel strongly that the masters need to be referenced from a single, separate "Master" Title Block PLN. This way the title block for ALL projects can be updated from a single place. BTW why can't I delete lines on your master that are on the AC layer? They appear locked and the AC layer is grayed out. [edit: Duh, figured it out. It's because the linework is from a NONINCLUDED referenced drawing. Did I not download it? I think you need to include them if you have not].

4) I would like to see an included XML doc template (Excel?) with a extended schema that matches your fields. This way the project data can be imported into the job rather than entered internally and a greater set of fields can be exploited. The workflow I imagine is that a template file in Excel or some other app is filled out by secretarial/support staff that lists all the project info, project team, etc and is then imported into the project. A lot of the data that currently exists embedded text files could be dynamically generated from hyperlinked XML data.

5) For easier editing I think the modules should originate from a single PLN file. And speaking of, Why are the modules on the Foundation Story?

6) Zones are used for room names in some views but text is used in others, thus requiring tracking two items. I know this is probably done in order to get the zone obj finish codes to show up in the finish schedule and no place else. It seems that we need a Zone Object that can just display the Room Name (and maybe Rm #) in one view and Name + Finish Codes in another. I wonder if the new (to 11) "options for GDL objects" (Story Viewpoint Type: Floor plan Ceiling Plan) could be exploited here. It's in the Model View Options. This has been a long standing wish for me. Some way to toggle room codes on and off and control it from the view.

7) There's an extra A-EXTERIOR-WALL layer (can't recall the exact name cause I just deleted it).

8) I'm dumping your pen set. I'm also taking this opportunity to tweek my own. It is my feeling that there is really only one general purpose pen set arrangement needed (mapped to color in model space and mapped to black/gray for layouts) and mine is closer than yours. I'll send it along when I finish it if you want to have a peek.

November 14, 2007
1:01 am
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February 2, 2009
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Chazz -

Thanks for your comments and ideas.

Feel free to customize AMT as you wish (e.g. Title Case rather than ALL CAPS). You can do it pretty quickly and be done with it.

Be aware that if you change the name of Layer Combinations (LC) or Model View Options (MVO), the corresponding Views may need to be redefined to use the correct LC or MVO. I'm not sure if changing the case (e.g. from CONDOC to ConDoc) is considered a name change that would require relinking.

We will consider your suggestions for creating a "Master" Title Block PLN, as well as the consolidation of the MOD files into one PLN. We have to weigh various considerations, and will use your ideas if they seem better overall for general use.

I like the idea of the XML or Excel file for project data. We may be able to do that before too long. We are also interested in seeing your penset to evaluate, and might include it in the template (with your permission). Please send it along when it's ready.

Thanks again for taking the time to give us feedback and suggestions!

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD – http://www.bobrow.com http://www.actemplate.com

January 4, 2008
4:41 am
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December 6, 2007
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I am looking at the pen set issue too and would be interested in seeing your alternate

January 11, 2008
4:47 am
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  • In reply to:
4) I would like to see an included XML doc template (Excel?) with a extended schema that matches your fields. This way the project data can be imported into the job rather than entered internally and a greater set of fields can be exploited. The workflow I imagine is that a template file in Excel or some other app is filled out by secretarial/support staff that lists all the project info, project team, etc and is then imported into the project. A lot of the data that currently exists embedded text files could be dynamically generated from hyperlinked XML data.

The field information in the File menu / Info / Project Info can be saved out as an XML file using the "Save" button in that dialog box. This XML file can be edited in an XML Editor (separate from ArchiCAD), then later reimported into that project or any other project using the "Load" button.

I believe this provides the functionality you requested, allowing support or secretarial staff to fill in field info as needed. There are a variety of XML Editors available for both Windows and Mac, some free and some commercial software. I tried Microsoft Word's XML editing capability, and had some problems (the info did not reimport back into ArchiCAD properly) so I looked online and tried one free solution and one commercial one. The free software seemed awkward to use, but the commercial product (Oxygen - a cross-platform Java-based solution - I tried it using a free 30 day trial license) was quite straightforward and worked beautifully. Note that Excel will import the XML file, but editing does not seem very workable (at least the way I brought the file in).

The bottom line is that you can export the fields as an XML file, and with the right tool you can fill in the field information, then import into the project PLN.

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD – http://www.bobrow.com http://www.actemplate.com

January 11, 2008
4:55 am
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  • In reply to:
5) For easier editing I think the modules should originate from a single PLN file. And speaking of, Why are the modules on the Foundation Story?

This suggestion is a good one. We will merge the modules together into a single PLN file in the next revision of MasterTemplate. We realized that management would be simpler that way and the separation into multiple MOD files was unnecessary.

The modules are placed on the Foundation Story to get them "out of the way" from the main working areas. Even though the Views and Layer Combos work to hide and show the visual legends nicely, there are times when layers may be manipulated manually, and "fit in window" will show the legends as well as the building itself. It seems a little better to tuck these onto the lesser-used Foundation story, although technically, they could work just fine on the First Floor.

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD – http://www.bobrow.com http://www.actemplate.com

April 17, 2014
3:54 pm
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Chazz Hacking said

" 8) I'm dumping your pen set. I'm also taking this opportunity to tweek my own. It is my feeling that there is really only one general purpose pen set arrangement needed (mapped to color in model space and mapped to black/gray for layouts) and mine is closer than yours. I'll send it along when I finish it if you want to have a peek.

"

Did Chazz ever update his pen set?
We're brand new to the Master Template and getting into pen sets. So far we haven't been able to get a decent quality drawing with any of the included pen sets on the Master Template. The closest i get to a decent quality drawing is if i print Hairline.

Is there any kind of guide? what do i need to change and how does it need to be done? I'm guessing i need to change the line style of every element, component, etc? but how will archicad know which line quality to display?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Eduardo

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