Shortcuts to Speed you Through the Day!


There are loads of keyboard shortcuts in ARCHICAD and getting to know some of them can certainly increase your productivity… but a few are more complicated to remember and not used as often than others.  The ones we will outline in this article are ones you can potentially use ALL the time and are very, very simple!

The Escape key

The first key is the ESC (Escape) key and it is used continually in ARCHICAD - especially by ex-AutoCAD users... you know you do it! But why? What does it do? Does it do what you expect? Understanding the functionality is the key to using it properly :-)

When you press the ESC key, and keep pressing it, the following will happen:

  1. Exit numeric input

  2. Exit navigation (Orbit, Explore)

  3. Remove fixing

  4. Remove Snap Reference

  5. Exit input

  6. Deselect all

  7. Remove Marquee

  8. Change to Arrow tool

This means, depending on what you are working with and the current selection, pressing the ESC key will do different things.

In day to day use, we would always advise watching the screen carefully as you press the ESC key to make sure you stop when you have achieved what you need… rather than the other approach of bashing the key violently then wondering where everything went, and why you suddenly have the Arrow Tool selected!  

The W key

This leads us nicely to the next key that it is useful to know about… especially if you are in the habit of clicking the ESC key a few too many times. The final thing this does is switch from whatever Tool you were working with to the Arrow Tool… but how do you go back?

Well, instead of moving the mouse away from where you are working and potentially losing focus on what you are working on… just press the W key.  That’s it, nothing else!

Clicking / pressing W will do two things in ARCHICAD… make your W key very shiny after a while or, more usefully, switch from the Arrow Tool to the Last Tool and back again!  

This is a really useful command to know about - there is nothing worse than working away on the bottom right corner of a view and having to move to the top left of the screen to switch back to one of the Tools.  How many times a day does that happen to you?

The PageUp and PageDown keys

The final key’s to mention are also really simple - they allow you to navigate up and down through the buttons in the ARCHICAD Toolbox. The ‘up’ and ‘down’ is a good reminder of the keys… Page Up to go ‘up’ and Page Down to go ‘down’!

For example, if you are on the Wall Tool and want to switch to the Window Tool as shown below, all you need to do is press Page Down four times:

The screenshot above shows ARCHICAD 20 with the BIM6x Work Environment applied. In other Work Environment Profiles, the Tools may be in a different order.

If you want to see this process in action - check out the video on our YouTube channel shown below:

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"Chris and Link provide tremendous customer service and technical support. We run a small office in a small city, so our training opportunities are largely limited to online videos and tutorials. Chris and Link provided personalized training on a recent visit to our office, which has helped us take the next step in productivity. Using ARCHICAD on MAC computers is a no-brainer for us - especially with BIM6x supporting us so thoroughly."

John Riker - Assoc. AIA, AcV2 architecture, LLC
Rapid City, SD
"Edgewood​ researched for a 3D based modeling software to further our client driven business model. One pleasant surprise after investing in ARCHICAD, is the support that BIM6x has provided over the years. BIM6x training programs and technical assistance have made the transition of architectural software seamless."

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Athol, ID