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Shoegnome Open Template 18.3 and Layer Improvements

I’ve updated my ArchiCAD template. You can get the latest version here. Remember, it’s free, if you want it to be. In this iteration of my template, I made one minor and one major change.

The Tiny Update

For years I’ve been using James Murray’s centerline object. I initially found it for ArchiCAD 9 and have been diligently using it since my first ArchiCAD job back in 2006. A few weeks ago, James released an updated version of the Object for version 16 and newer. You can download it directly from Onland.info. The updated version of this simple documentation Object adds the option to turn on a line below the text and a few other minor improvements. It’s great and it’s a good example of the unification of documentation to remove excess elements: instead of a “C” and an “L” and a line, now you just need one placeable Object (that can show on multiple stories!). Yes, yes, of course. ArchiCAD should have something like this out of the box and it should be part of the Dimension Tool. But it’s not. And James’ Object exists and is great. And I’ve embedded it in my template, because it’s a wonderful Graphic Data element.

Center lineThe Big Update

I’ve overhauled my Layers. I don’t know why it took me so long to do this. When you open the latest version of my template and look at the Layers, the change is obvious. For all the details about why I made the change and what the specific nuances are, check out my recent post on BIM Engine: ArchiCAD Layer Theory Part 5: Attribute Names and the Tyranny of Alphabetical Order.

Layers by CategoryI’ve actually been writing a lot about my Layer and Pen Set theories. If you haven’t read those articles, you might want to. All the recent posts talk about the things I’ve incorporated into the Shoegnome Open Template.

Layer Theory

Pen Sets

Further Thoughts:

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Thank you to everyone who has supported the template. I really appreciate the help and encouragement. Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century. Shoegnome on Facebook, Twitter, and the RSS feed.



  • March 10, 2015


    Wow! I made it through all five installments of the Layers theory. I know how long it took just to read through them, so thank you for spending the time away from all the other stuff you could (should?) be doing!

    I like and am using your separator layers. Cool. I have a project that has multiple buildings, and have it set up alphabetically for each building (it just happened to work out nicely). So with the repetition of ‘sub-layers’ with | separator in each building layer list, and now with the phantom heading layer, it’s real easy to find what I’m looking for. I dropped using the . extension separator. I found it’s distance from the list hard to track (old eyes!)

    I also use two tricks for other layers: I add spaces before the names for layers I want way at the top of the list (Layout notes, etc.), and I add a lower case “z” to layers I want buried at the bottom of the list (Regulatory Info, Google Earth Image, etc).

    On other projects I have incorporated the numbering system before the layer name, and it works great, though I have been using a simple hyphen for the separator.

    I have found through the process of reading your posts and trying different ways, that the graphical part of the list is important to the quick recognition of the layer you are looking for. I have no problem with having many layers, though there is a sweet spot for each job.

    Thanks for giving me a wealth of great ideas! Now about those pen sets…

  • March 11, 2015


    A question re your layer name. How do you get the vert bar and the large dot spacers. My first attempt worked OK, but when I used attributes to import into an old project I lost the symbols I used

    Thanks for all the work you do. Richard

    4⎜ ●●●●●SITE●●●●●4
    5? ?????STRUCTURAL?????5

  • March 15, 2015

    Great centerline tool! How simple, thanks.

  • April 29, 2015


    Hi Jared,

    I’m starting with your template and converting to INT version.
    I’m wondering is it possible to have coloured elevations with just using pensets and model view settings ?
    Theres settings in the elevation selection Settings UNCUT ELEMENTS – Fill Uncut Surfaces with: Own Surface Colors (shaded). I think this option is missing from model views that offers the one of the styles I am after.
    At the moment I copy elevations and hide it in plan view in a separate layer.
    But I’d really like to be able to have these options with simple flick of switch, well model option.
    Also is there a way to show textures in elevation ? and add dimensions to it ?
    I’m coming from Revit where this is all automated.


  • April 30, 2015


    Thanks Jared,
    Looks like I was on the right track.
    With regards to dimensions. I was wondering if I could still dimension a version with textures showing ( OpenGL or Cinerender) and show level markers.
    I found archicad talk.


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