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ArchiCAD Keyboard Shortcuts – With PDF Cheat Sheet!

Updated Apr 8, 2022
ArchiCAD Keyboard Shortcuts - PDF cheat sheet preview

ArchiCAD is one of the more popular BIM cad programs being used today. It’s known for its top-of-the-line solutions for all steps of the design and construction process. If you’ve used it before, you’ll know how versatile and useful it is for handling not just the stylistic and aesthetic parts of a building’s design, but also the technical and engineering part.

The learning curve for the software is relatively mild, but if you’re completely new to BIM CAD software, then it might take some time to get the hang of using the program. The interface can be a little daunting since Graphisoft (the developers of ArchiCAD) have crammed a wide range of features into the software. But for the sake of discussion, we’re making the assumption that you’re not a complete novice to CAD programs and to ArchiCAD basics.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you already purchased an ArchiCAD license (a Trial version, Educational version, Academic version, or Commercial version), and have the gist of opening up the program, creating, and saving a project, and opening previously saved projects. With that basic workflow out of the way, the next step would be to optimize how you go about working with files. That’s where keyboard shortcuts come in. It might take a little time to get used to these commands, but once they become second nature, you’ll be breezing through creating and modifying project files like the best of them.


Table of contents


About ArchiCAD

ArchiCAD is a BIM and CAD software application for both Windows and Mac systems created by Graphisoft from Hungary. It is primarily used for various architectural processes but is widely utilized in engineering, urban planning, interior design, and other related fields.

In a nutshell, the history of ArchiCAD dates back to 1982 when it was first launched exclusively for the Apple Macintosh. It launched in 1987 with a unique “Virtual Building” concept that has led some to regard it as the first program to use BIM technology. It was the first program to be able to integrate both 2D and 3D geometry and was considered ground-breaking in the amount of data it could store in its 3D models.

The basic features and capabilities of the software include the following:

       2D and 3D CAD/modeling capabilities – Different tools for drafting make accurate and highly detailed technical drawings possible. And with state-of-the-art 3D modeling tools, architects and designers have the freedom to experiment with an unlimited amount of building forms.

       Rendering and Visualization – ArchiCAD has built-in rendering capabilities that let users create accurate and photo-realistic interpretations of building plans and drawings. You can also use the program to compile and compose materials for printing.

       Collaborative features – with its BIM capabilities and built-in access to a central data storage server, collaborating and developing drawings and designs have never been easier.


ArchiCAD Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re looking to find a complete list of ArchiCAD’s shortcuts, there’s a way to do so in the program itself. First, click on Work Environments, from there you can access Keyboard Shortcuts under Shortcut Schemes and can click Show Shortcut List in Browser to open up the complete list. It’s about 7 pages long so it could be daunting to go through them all.

Put simply, keyboard shortcuts are key combinations that you press to execute a command on ArchiCAD. Sometimes these shortcuts are just a single button press, oftentimes you have to press a certain combination of 2 or more different keys. Opening a new document on a Windows computer, for example, is done by pressing Ctrl + N.

Here are some lists of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts for ArchiCAD, to help you digest the shortcuts a little easier.

ArchiCAD Commands for Opening & Saving Files

Let’s begin with the most essential ArchiCAD commands for opening and saving files on both Windows and macOS. 

ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR macOS ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR WINDOWS DESCRIPTION

Command+N

Ctrl + N

Opens up a new, blank project file for you to work on

Command+Option+N

Ctrl + Alt + N

Opens up a new, blank project file for you to work on while

Command+O

Ctrl + O

Opens up a previously saved project file

Command+W

Ctrl + W

Closes the presently open project file

Command+S

Ctrl + S

Saves the progress of the open project file

Command+Shift+S

Ctrl + Shift + S

Save as; Saves the progress of the open project file with the option of saving it as a new file with a new file name

Command+P

Ctrl + P

Plots or Prints the open project file

Command+Shift+P

Ctrl + Shift + P

Opens up the settings for Plotting or Printing your project file

Command+Q

Ctrl + Q

Exiting the software

ArchiCAD Commands for Drawing & Editing

Commands related to drawing and editing are likely to be the most valuable shortcuts you will use. Simple keyboard shortcuts like ‘selecting all objects within a drawing’ are sure to be a welcome time-saver for you.

ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR macOS

ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR WINDOWS

DESCRIPTION

Command+’

Ctrl + ‘

Places a file module

Command+Shift+’

Ctrl + Shift + ‘

Opens up the Hotlink Manager

Command+Z

Ctrl + Z

Undo the previous action

Command+Shift+Z

Ctrl + Shift + Z

Redo a previously undone action

Command+A

Ctrl + A

Selects all objects on the open project file

Command+B

Ctrl + B

Repeats the last executed command

Command+Shift+A

Ctrl + Shift + A

Find and select an object in the open project file

Command+C

Ctrl + C

Copies a selected object or set of objects

Command+D

Ctrl + D

Drags a selected object or set of objects

Command+E

Ctrl + E

Rotate a selected object or set of objects

Command+F

Ctrl + F

Split a selected object or set of objects

Command+H

Ctrl + H

Stretch a selected object or set of objects

Command+M

Ctrl + M

Mirror a selected object or set of objects

Command+K

Ctrl + K

Resize a selected object or set of objects

Command+-

Ctrl + –

Adjust a selected object or set of objects

Command+0

Ctrl + 0

Trims an object to the level of the roof

Command+T

Ctrl + T

Opens up Tool Settings

Command+Shift+T

Ctrl + Shift + T

Edits the current selection set

Command+Shift+D

Ctrl + Shift + D

Drags a copy of an object

Command+Shift+E

Ctrl + Shift + E

Rotate a copy of an object

Command+Shift+M

Ctrl + Shift + M

Mirror a copy of an object

ArchiCAD Commands for Managing Groups

Creating groups, exploding groups, suspending groups, and more can all be controlled with a simple set of keyboard shortcuts.

ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR macOS ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR WINDOWS DESCRIPTION

Command+G

Ctrl + G

Group

Command+Shift+G

Ctrl + Shift + G

Ungroups a group

Option+G

Alt + G

Suspends a group

Option+Shift+G

Alt + Shift + G

Automatically creates a group

Command+=

Ctrl + =

Explodes a group or set of grouped objects

Command+;

Ctrl + ;

Create Patch

ArchiCAD Commands for Miscellaneous Editing

Here’s a list of handy shortcuts related to the editing process. Commands in this list include a quick method for creating patches, grid snap options, and more.

ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR macOS ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR WINDOWS DESCRIPTION

Shift+F6

Shift + F6

Brings displayed tools to the front

F6

F6

Brings displayed  tools forward

F5

F5

Takes displayed tools backward

Shift+F5

Shift + F5

Takes displayed tools to the back

F7

F7

Shows options to clean up the intersections and connections of selected beams or walls

F8

F8

Snaps an object to the grid

Command+L

Ctrl + L

Opens settings for Layers

Command+R

Ctrl + R

Redraws an object

Command+Shift+R

Ctrl + Shift + R

Rebuilds an object

ArchiCAD Commands for Viewing Options

We end our list of the essential ArchiCAD keyboard shortcuts with a selection of view commands. Change zoom level,  pan, and switch to 3D views all with simple keyboard shortcuts.

ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR macOS ARCHICAD COMMAND FOR WINDOWS DESCRIPTION

Command+/

Ctrl + /

Zooms in the display

Command+Shift+/

Ctrl + Shift + /

Zooms out the display

Command+,

Ctrl + ,

Pans the display

Command+Shift+’

Ctrl + Shift + ‘

Zooms display to selection

Command+’

Ctrl + ‘

Fit display to window

Command+\

Ctrl + \

Set display to full screen

Command+Shift+\

Ctrl + Shift + \

Zoom display to home

Command+[

Ctrl + [

Zoom to previously displayed extents

Command+]

Ctrl + ]

Zoom to the next display extent

Command+2

Ctrl + 2

Opens the floor plan

Command+3

Ctrl + 3

Opens 3D view window

Shift+F8

Shift + F8

Options for grid and background



How to Change the ArchiCAD Shortcuts on Your Device

At times, you may want to change a shortcut assigned to a particular command to make it easier for you to use the command through the shortcut.

To do so, go to Options> Work Environment> Keyboard shortcuts.

Then search and choose the command whose shortcut you want to change and insert a new shortcut by typing the new key combination you want to use. In case the combination is already assigned to another command, it should notify you. Once you are done, click assign and you shall have changed the shortcut.

How to Create a Custom ArchiCAD Shortcut

At times, you may find that there are some commands that you use a lot but they don’t have any assigned shortcuts. To make your work more efficient create can create your own ArchiCAD shortcuts.

To do so, go to Options> Work Environment> Keyboard shortcuts.

Then search and choose the command you want to assign a shortcut to and type in your keyboard the preferred shortcut.

In case the shortcut you selected is already assigned to another command you will see a notification after which you should choose another shortcut.

Then Click ‘Assign’ to assign the shortcut keys to the command.

ArchiCAD keyboard shortcuts: Final notes

This seems like a sizeable list, but believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ArchiCAD shortcuts. These are some of the more commonly used ones out there, but depending on your own unique workflow, you’ll find yourself using a different set of shortcuts than other users.

Take some time to explore and really figure out how to streamline your working process. Some professionals see fit to even create their own custom shortcuts; we urge you to give that a shot if you’re looking to customize your experience and tailor-fit it to your specific needs. In any case, you can’t really use ArchiCAD to its fullest potential unless you familiarize yourself with keyboard shortcuts, so mastering these commands is key to developing your skill in the software.

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