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Make the Most of your Mouse Wheel

One of the features that is used constantly in ARCHICAD is the zooming and panning function of the Mouse Wheel. It might seem second nature and you probably don’t think about it… but do you know ALL the functions it performs?

Don’t have a Mouse with a Wheel? You need to get one, now!

The following functionality works in both the 2D and 3D views within ARCHICAD.

Zooming with the Mouse Wheel

Let’s start with the basics - if you scroll the mouse wheel forwards, you will zoom in. If you scroll it backwards, you will zoom out. This applies to all ARCHICAD documents… the only exceptions are Schedules and Lists where the mouse wheel scrolls up and down.

However, did you know about the modifiers? Normally when you scroll the mouse wheel, each click / scroll will step the Zoom factor by 20%. To see this in action, click the Zoom button highlighted below and set it to 100%:

Now place the mouse anywhere on the active view and scroll the mouse wheel forwards by one notch (this is more noticeable on some mice than others). You will see the Zoom factor changes to 120%. If you scroll backwards by one notch , you will see the Zoom factor return to 100% - and if you scroll again it will drop to 83% and on it will go from there.

Now for the modifiers! On some projects that are very large or very detailed it is helpful to move in larger or smaller steps.

Let’s start by looking at how to move more slowly in smaller steps… it is a good idea to return the Zoom factor to 100% before beginning as the results are easier to see. The process is the same as above but before you start to scroll, press and hold CMD (Mac) or Ctrl (Win) and this time you will see the step is 10%. This reduces the risk of overshooting the point you were aiming for and is very useful in detailed projects.

To move more quickly in larger steps is exactly the same process as above with a different key. Before you start to scroll, press and hold SHIFT and this time you will see the step is 40%. This helps navigate across larger projects more quickly.

The other thing that may not be immediately obvious is the importance of the placement of the mouse. When you Zoom in or out using the Mouse Wheel, the ‘focus’ of the Zoom is always on the point where the cursor is sitting. If the cursor is in the middle of the view, as shown in the example below, zooming in or out will remain focused on the center of that view.