The difference between the 2 PDFs in this image? One fill
Left without vectorial fill = 12 KB. Right with vectorial fill = 1.6 MB.
This is one of those semi-secrets of ArchiCAD. 3D is better than 2D. We all know that. But more often than not, all the 3D elements take up less hard drive space than all the 2D ones. Stuff a project with tons of 2D details and watch what happens to your file size. I learned this by keeping tons of window manufacturers’ details in my template file. Yes on the larger scale, hard drive space is essentially free and unlimited. However from a memory and file performance standpoint, smaller files are still better. Cough cough. I’m looking at you Revit. And while I’m on this (not so brief) tangent, if you’re over 50 MB for a typical residential project, start paying attention to what might be causing your file to bloat. Anyone know the average file size for a typical medium or large project (beyond the scale of a large home)? Regardless of your project size if you have an ArchiCAD file that is approaching 1 GB, you are doing something wrong. Contact your trusted ArchiCAD Hero, mentor, trainer, or reseller and figure out what you’re doing. Because YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG.
Now if for some reason you need to send smaller PDFs, before creating PDFs you can turn off all the fills via the Model Display Options rather than deleting the fills. By using the Override Fill Display settings, you’ll both save time and not obliterate data. Just save an MVO Combination with all the fills turned off (or just the ones you want). While fills associated with elements are automatically classified as cut or cover fills, when you place a 2D fill you can control what fill type it is (cut, cover, or drafting). I think most of us forget to classify 2D fills when we place them. Using Override Fill Display to show or hide fills will quickly remind you to pay attention. And paying attention is good practice because it’ll make other ways to mine the data in your project easier, more accurate, and more useful.
Thanks to Mattijs Walkot for sharing the image that spawned this post.