Softonic review

ArchiCAD for Windows: Powerful Architecture and Design CAD

ArchiCAD is a computer-aided design program created by Graphisoft. The graphics and design program helps architects and designers to make information modeling. It is very flexible and adaptive for handling various kinds of design projects. 

Multilevel Design Tools

ArchiCAD is a professional grade computer-aided program to accommodate everything needed by architects. It can be used by students, teachers, entrepreneurs, professionals and institutions in the field of architecture and design. The building information modeling program provides faster modeling process via raw performance optimization, more streamlined workflows and reduction of file sizes. It can develop construction details and estimate the number of materials needed. Expert designers can make complex models, at the same time make the documentation to meet any graphical and representation standards. Any kind of structures can be displayed in projected and symbolic views as well as cover fills. The program features Opening Tool that interprets any kind of voids, recesses, and niches into graphical openings across the virtual model. This is important when it comes to sending documentation and reports to the project coordinator, engineers, and consultants. They can model, schedule, document and share the Openings for inspections. This program is available for collaboration among project members. It allows constant checking of code and constructability during the project. Any kind of changes are detected and users are notified for faster round-trip collaboration. Users can capture and manage whatever their clients requested for developing design alternatives. The program has dRofus database and Grasshopper Deconstruct Component for handling shared data into readable planning rules and design references. The other integrated productivity features are a better user interface, R20 CineRender engine, convenient attribute management, extensive view settings, more options for Text Label Pointer Lines, tweaked Curtain Wall, and seamless integration of the Software Key Activation and Deactivation.

Additional Training Package

ArchiCAD comes with an extensive packaged called MyARCHICAD. It offers architecture designing tools both for learning and teaching building information modeling through the “implementation” approach by Graphisoft. MyARCHICAD features the creation of a centralized “virtual” Building Information Modeling. It allows retrieval of information as well as generating associative documentation based on the virtual model. Users can access ArchiCAD, its add-ons and some training materials. They will receive the latest designing methods, as well as try some of the free trial add-ons for enhanced workflow. MyARCHICAD comes with 4 license options for students, teachers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and institutions. They can begin with a 30-day trial to test ArchiCAD before applying for full-year extensions.

Is Archicad for free?

For educational use, ArchiCAD is available for free. Students, educators, and educational institutions can use the software without any cost. However, for professional use, a subscription plan is required to access ArchiCAD's robust features.

Archicad alternatives

While ArchiCAD stands tall in the CAD landscape, there are noteworthy alternatives that cater to specific requirements:

  • AutoCAD: The venerable AutoCAD remains a staple in the CAD industry, renowned for its extensive tools that accelerate tasks for engineers, designers, and architects. It serves as an entry point into the world of CAD, offering a familiar interface and robust functionalities.
  • Autodesk Revit: As a collaboration powerhouse, Autodesk Revit excels when multiple stakeholders are involved in a project. Engineers, architects, and interior designers benefit from its modularity and the ability to seamlessly share projects across various devices.

Is Archicad better than AutoCAD?

ArchiCAD competes with the well-established AutoCAD, offering a unique set of advantages:

Design Approach

  • ArchiCAD: Blends drawings within the model for a more cohesive design.
  • AutoCAD: Requires creating drawings independently.

Virtual Building Creation

  • ArchiCAD: Allows users to virtually construct buildings using real elements.
  • AutoCAD: Primarily relies on 2D line drawings.

Productivity and Coordination

  • ArchiCAD: Boosts productivity and enhances design coordination.
  • AutoCAD: Lacks the advanced coordination features of ArchiCAD.

Ease of Use

  • ArchiCAD: Requires more time due to extensive option settings.
  • AutoCAD: Known for its user-friendly interface.

Application Focus

  • ArchiCAD: Geared towards creating virtual electronic buildings.
  • AutoCAD: Mainly a 2D electronic drawing board with 3D capabilities.

In conclusion, ArchiCAD for Windows emerges as a potent player in the CAD arena, providing a platform where creativity meets functionality. Whether it's the integrated design process, educational accessibility, or considering alternatives, ArchiCAD proves to be a dynamic tool shaping the future of architectural design.


  • Easier modeling workflow
  • Opening tool
  • Supports collaboration tools


  • Competes against more universal CAD programs
  • Not beginner friendly
  • May require large system resources

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

User reviews about ArchiCAD

  • Nexus Cafe

    by Nexus Cafe

    Its more user friendly and i recommend it to be used compared to softwares


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