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Interior Elevations in ArchiCAD

Instead of New Years Resolutions, I much prefer to see New Years as the time to stop doing bad habits. Still using the Internal Engine instead of OpenGL to explore ArchiCAD in 3D. It’s 2014. Please stop. Still using two spaces between sentences when you write? We’re not in elementary school anymore. Please stop.

In that spirit, I finally recorded a video to replace the second ArchiCAD Tutorial I ever recorded. In that video I showed you a cheat on how to do quick and pretty interior elevations in ArchiCAD. It’s a great trick for producing clean air lines and fast masking fills. The video also teaches you about Find and Select and some other little efficiencies. Watch the video, but then don’t use it to create interior elevations. The method is outdated and not good enough.

Instead of following my advice from 2011, watch my new video and do Interior Elevations that way. Once you learn and implement this method, creating Interior Elevations of every space in your project-if you’ve modeled well-will approach zero extra time. To accomplish that, you will also need to set up your Interior Elevation Tool and save it as a Favorite. Additionally, with all the automatic naming I discuss, when you sheet the views, you’ll be able to print out a schematic set of interior elevations the second the rough model is complete and your rooms are labeled with the Zone Tool. Oh and by the way, the following tips also work if you are creating Interior Elevations with the Section or Elevation Tool (or need to make partial Elevations or Sections where this masking technique makes sense).

Fast. Fast. Fast. Fast.

To me, going from rough model to a laid out cartoon set of legible 3D-only views in a short amount of time thanks to a well set-up Template is one of the fundamentals of BIM. What makes me say that? Once your documentation and presentation is effortless, nearly automatic, and beautiful, then you get to spend more time on what matters: developing a valuable building. A trick like this Interior Elevation creation method, a technique that will save you countless minutes and hours compared to older methods (whether lesser ArchiCAD or pre-BIM solutions), is one of those great efficiencies of Production Oriented BIM, of that first quadrant in my Four Flavors of BIM diagram.

Foundation of BIM is Production

Now that you’ve watched the new video, watch (or rewatch) my original Interior Elevation video.

For another graphic shortcut video, check out this post. For more on Interior Elevations, sift through some of these posts. Do you like my ArchiCAD videos? Think I should make a New Years Resolution to reach 50 videos by the end of 2014? This is Number 31 by the way. Want me to reach the halfway point by the release of ArchiCAD 18 (whenever that’ll be)? Like this video on all sorts of Social Media and share it around. That’ll be my cue to keep recording and posting more videos like this one.

Thank you very much and here’s to an incredible 2014!

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  • January 6, 2014


    You might have convinced me to give InEl tool another try.

      • August 18, 2014

        Hi! That’s actually what I’m trying to look for right now – adding views to an Interior Elevation group created with the common marker. :O

  • January 6, 2014

    The AutoText option is great – thanks!

  • January 6, 2014

    Jason Smith

    Nice video Jared. I’m going to try that on my next project.
    I’ve been using Int Elevations for a couple of years now. We had issues with the auto text not working on previous versions (int V15 & V16). Had to re-name the views in the navigator.

    Another thing, It looks like the floor composite has the floor finish included? How are you handling the changes in floor coverings in a building? I assume you a cutting up the slab for tiles, carpet areas etc. If you have a concrete floor and you want to show it in plan you will see the boundary lines between the different areas of slabs. I would normally show a slab plan with plumbing fittings and any penetrations in the slab with foundations shown dashed and therefore would want the slab to look as if it is one. I currently have floor finishes as separate slabs. Whats you view? I think I will use the same process in V17.

  • January 7, 2014

    Nice post Jared. Great use of model view options to hide your cut fill in a non-plan view! Good thinking outside the box, mate.

    You know I’m a big fan of pre-linking viewpoints to views to drawings, and Interior Elevations still prove tricky to flow through sufficiently, unfortunately. Firstly they can’t be stored in worksheets and copy/pasted into place. Secondly they can only pick up the zone information of the original zone they are placed in. Theoretically we should be able to set ‘show on stories’ to partly or entirely in range and simply adjust the vertical range limits and have the marker update it’s visibility and zone information accordingly. Sadly it doesn’t work which means they all have to be placed manually as needed. I wish they would play just like the other viewpoints! Nevertheless, placed manually and tweaked the way you have shown, they are very effective. Just not as efficient as they could be.

    On a sidenote it’s kinda ironic that we set a pen to the Marker Element’s ON-SCREEN-ONLY parts don’t you think? Still, better include it in my template checklist!


  • January 7, 2014


    Some good tips, we’ve been using IE for awhile with adding lots of lines and fills to make them “pretty” but some of this will help speed things up. I’m curious about your Elevation 3, showing the front of the casework, which is where we add the most 2D stuff, primarily because the lineweights don’t look “right.” I’d be interested to see how you handle that, or if it doesn’t matter to you.

  • January 8, 2014

    Good video. I’d like to see what techniques you have for dealing with complex room shapes such as L shaped plans and situations where ceilings or floors are sloped or stepped.

    To avoid 2d fixes in interior elevations it would be nice to see some solutions for stubborn wall intersections where something like a vertical line shows through. (I often see this where the interior wall is a continuous plane but exterior walls may have an inside corner.) I scripted a part in the object depository to deal to cover up the line that sometimes occurs but it would be nice to have a better fix from GS. My object is: Dukat 3d Wall Repair Panel found in the GDL Object Library under Depository > 09 Finishes.

      • January 8, 2014

        My object is 3D. It’s just a paper thin rectilinear plane set in front of the wall a fraction of an inch (it’s parametric and you can control edge visibility and control the materials).

        Great to hear you’re coming to Seattle. It would be great to meet you. (I’d bet our user group would too!)

      • January 8, 2014

        We look forward to your involvement with the Seattle user group.

        I created my object back in the pre-morph days. The use of columns is a good fix but a bit fussy. Especially when complex profiles get involved. Morph is a good option. Gotta love the morph tool.

  • December 22, 2014

    This is transformative for my process once I implement all of it, Jared, thank you. I think you’ve addressed almost every issue I have with IEs in ArchiCAD. I’m about halfway there and this solves all the annoying little (and big) problems I’ve been having. I especially need to go study your autotext setup to save myself a ton of time and allow AC to do all of that for me once I learn to use the automation correctly. Thanks!

  • February 18, 2020


    Hi Jared:
    I’m trying to duplicate this technique (a Clean blockout of the Interior Elevation) in AC23, sans Model View Options.
    Have you dialed in the Graphic Override settings to achieve the same results?
    I’m almost there. Can’t seem to find the correct setting to remove the outer boundary cutline.

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