ArchiCAD Architectural Documentation Course Outline

This Architectural Documentation Using ArchiCAD course will teach you how to work through the documentation phase of a project using ArchiCAD's BIM technology rather than 2D documentation.  



In this module we will commence with a base file provided and systematically set up the template ready for use. 


When purchasing the full ArchiCAD Design course, this includes:

  • 25 short video tutorials instructing on how to use ArchiCAD as a tool for creating Architectural documentation.
  • Course Resource - ArchiCAD Documentation project file (.pla)


This course assumes a general understanding of architectural drafting standards and methodology, construction principles, and is suitable for students and professionals in architecture and the built environment who have completed introductory courses in ArchiCAD.


We use ArchiCAD Version 24 Professional to deliver this course. 

Whether you are studying and have the educational version of ArchiCAD or working within the industry and have the Professional package of ArchiCAD, this course is for you.

Although learning the skills and techniques are the same, please be aware that the Start Editions or Solo Editions are not always compatible or have a reduced functionality to the Professional Package of ArchiCAD. This may therefore limit the use of our .pln file and template. See Graphisoft's compatibility chart for more information.

Course Outline

We recommend watching the videos in the following order. However, as they are individual topics you have the benefit of picking and choosing or revisiting a particular element at any time. Each video is labelled accordingly and you can see the length of each video (in minutes and seconds), making it a time efficient way to learn ArchiCAD.

Subject 1 - Setup and Methods

Subject 1 has 6 units and runs for approximately 26 minutes. 

DOC 1.1 - Template (1:47)

This course utilises existing architectural building information models designed and developed by Robert Mann. In this video we'll develop a BIM files to explore the processes and requirements of creating documentation in ArchiCAD. Using an effective template file reduces the required setup for each project. In this video we'll customise the template, optimising if for the processes of detailed design modelling and documentation.

DOC 1.2 - Toolbars (3:26)

ArchiCAD's work environment determines our digital interface experience. In this video we'll review which settings will aid your efficiency in developing documentation. Toolbars are the fastest way to access ArchiCAD's commands graphically. In this video we'll customise toolbars for our documentation needs.

DOC 1.3 - Model View Options (4:06)

Model view options allow the 3D modelled information to be graphically represented in a variety of ways. In this video we'll review the options, and develop model view options for presentation and technical documentation.

DOC 1.4 - Graphic Override (5:37)

Graphic overrides are used in conjunction with model view options to adjust the representation of modelled 2D & 3D elements.

DOC 1.5 - Reflected Ceiling Plans (3:02)

ArchiCAD uses the plan view to create floor plans and (RCP) reflected ceiling plans. We use layer combination, saved views, & model view options to adjust the representation of each.

DOC 1.6 - Renovation Filter (7:08)

Renovation filter is useful for the documentation of alteration and addition projects. Renovation filter adjusts the modelled element priority, visibility, and graphic overrides to delineate between existing, proposed, and building elements to be demolished.

Subject 2 - BIM Management 

Subject 2 has 3 units and runs for approximately 13 minutes.

DOC 2.1 - Modular Grids (7:07)

The use of modular standardisation in design and construction boosts efficiency in construction and sustainability by limiting waste. Grids can be used in 2D & 3D to help guide this process, but can sometimes also get in the way. In this video we'll review how to use them to enhance your interface during detailing.

DOC 2.2 - Stretch Tool (2:36)

ArchiCAD's stretch tool assists in fast model editing, but can cause irreversible damage if mismanaged. In this video we'll review how its function can improve your model adjustment efficiency.

DOC 2.3 - Align 3D Textures (3:23)

In order to accurately display automated vectorial fills and surfaces in 2D & 3D we often need to adjust the angle or Setout position. In this video we'll adjust the set-out and discuss methods to manage more complicated design solutions.

Subject 3 - Model Views

Subject 3 has 6 units and runs for approximately 33 minutes.

DOC 3.1 - Layer Combinations (2:25)

Layer combinations are essential to differentiate between the elements required to represent various views. In this video we will review layer combinations for each view type. I.e.. Floor plan, RCP, internal elevation, etc.

DOC 3.2 - Sections (8:07)

Sections are produced in ArchiCAD as automated 2D representations of the 3D model. In this video we'll explore the options within the section tool to determine the best outcome for our project situation.

DOC 3.3 - Elevations (8:55)

Elevations are produced in ArchiCAD as automated 2D representations of the 3D model. In this video we'll explore the options within the elevation tool to determine the best outcome for our project situation.

DOC 3.4 - Internal Elevations (6:01)

Internal Elevations are produced in ArchiCAD as automated 2D representations of the 3D model. In this video we'll explore the options within the internal elevation tool to determine the best outcome for our project situation.

DOC 3.5 - Detail Tool (4:15)

Detailed views can be created in ArchiCAD as 2D or 3D updatable or exploded representations of the BIM elements. In this video we'll review each option, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

DOC 3.6 - Masking and Framing (2:30)

Masking & framing small drawing views in plan & elevation avoids mess, and provides clarity when annotating. To avoid destroying or duplicating the model in order to create 2D documentation, we will hide unwanted elements with fills, and allow for the clear presentation of dimensioning and annotation.

Subject 4 - BIM Detailing

Subject 4 has 4 units and runs for approximately 20 minutes.

DOC 4.1 - Priority and Connections (3:45)

There are multiple ways to connect and manipulate 3D elements in Archicad. In this video we'll adjust the prioritise of building materials, use the connect tool, and solid element operation functions to merge and crop 3D forms.

DOC 4.2 - Editing Composites (4:20)

Utilising detailed composites provides the most accuracy and efficiency when developing an Archicad model. In this video we'll add and edit them to add extra detail to our existing model.

DOC 4.3 - Editing Complex Profiles (6:16)

Complex profiles provide detailed extrusions necessary to accurately model construction systems. In this video we'll explore where these can be added to enhance the accuracy of technical documentation and visualisations without the need for 2D drafting that undermines the BIM workflow.

DOC 4.4 - 2D Detailing (5:48)

Sometimes it is necessary to add 2D fills and linework to enhance our building information model. This process is less preferable to 3D modelled, and should only be used when there is no viable BIM alternative as 2D data cannot be as usefully quantified and managed.

Subject 5 - Dimensioning and Annotations

Subject 5 has 6 units and runs for approximately 20 minutes.

DOC 5.1 - Reference Drawings (1:56)

Referenced drawing markers are essential to provide graphic wayfinding in presentation and technical documentation. Inbuilt and imported markers can be used automatically link and reference view and layout page numbers. 

DOC 5.2 - Dimensioning (1:48)

Numerical dimensioning allows for the clear communication of element sizes in technical documentation. 2D and 3D views can be enhanced with linked automated dimension strings & labels that will update with the model if the design changes.

DOC 5.3 - Label Tool (3:59)

Like the dimension tool, linked labels allow for automated annotation when the 2D & 3D model is enhanced with building information data. In this video we'll use a variety of methods to annotate our model views.

DOC 5.4 - Project Orientation & Location (4:37)

Selecting the location and orientation of a project allows ArchiCAD to accurately configure sun angles. In this video we'll set project north and its global location.

DOC 5.5 - Shadow Diagrams (6:00)

The 3D document tool produces a saved vectorial display of the 3D window. In this video we'll use this tool to create a shadow diagram.

DOC 5.6 - 3D Document Annotations (1:41)

The 3D document tool also allows for dimensioning and annotation of 3D views. In this video we'll dimension & annotate a shadow diagram.


Documentation Course Conclusion (2:00)

Maximising ArchiCAD's BIM functionality during the documentation phase can reap many rewards in the coordination and construction phases. In this video Robert Mann explains how this increases productivity, minimises human error, supports collaboration, and further enhances BIM development.


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