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Discussions about managing ARCHICAD in architectural practices (Project Setup, Templates, Attributes, Migration, Compatibility with Previous Versions, Preferences/Work Environment, User/Project/Application Administration/Management etc.)

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D) Coordinate project file attributes in mulit-file projects (usually with heavy module usage and/or multiple pln files)
This problem came up in townhouse-type apartment buildings, where most of the documentation of any one unit type is done within one PLN.

Those PLN files are then hot-linked together one story at a time to create the composite buildings.

The problem arose when people were simultaneously creating new materials in each PLN in a different order, or using Attribute Manager "append" instead of "overwrite".

Our initial idea on this is to save out the project attributes to an external text file within the project directory which (if detected) will update any PLN file within the project when it is opened, essentially by overwriting the PLN file attributes with the ones in the Text file.

Most likely, layers would be exempted from this. Materials, composites, line types, and fill types have caused the most problems so far, and are the main goal to correct.

Another idea, which could simplify this, is if we could find a way to control the ID number of new materials created within Archicad, so that along with name and definition, we could give them a number, along the lines of CSI or some other numerical organization system.
Well I know 11 years have passed since this was posted, but I'd like to revive this discussion!

This is a huge headache for us since several of our multi-family projects have multiple buildings. We have been using the attribute manager to manually keep each building's attribute in sync, but if a mistake is made then it can become quite the nightmare.

I wish ArchiCAD had the option to look to another solo or teamwork file for attributes. So for example, I wish we could designate one building in the project (for example "building 1") as the attribute master file, and have the other buildings read attributes from it automatically.

I realize that you can have the attribute manager "see inside" other .pln files, but that is not automatically updating and it cannot "see inside" a teamwork file.
Yes, this is still an issue.
I agree, designation of one PLN file as the master in this regard would be helpful.
Or, a number of PLN files could be grouped, and an attribute change in any of them would be updated in all of them.
Of course, it would not be that simple. For example, when one of these files is open by the user, an alert would appear to tell him that attributes have changed and what this change is, and ask if he wants to update his file.
If a file is not open, it could be updated automatically.
Maybe this could be a function of the BIM Server.
I wish ArchiCAD had the option to look to another solo or teamwork file for attributes. So for example, I wish we could designate one building in the project (for example "building 1") as the attribute master file, and have the other buildings read attributes from it automatically.
This is the number one time eater in ArchiCAD in creating inconsistency and potential errors.

The idea of a control file that all other teamwork files within the same bimserver folder would reference for attributes would save mucho time. If a user were to have a conflict with settings then a dialog should ask for creating new similar to the stair dialog.

This would also be a huge competitive advantage as all the other BIM have the same issues.
This is still a painful problem for us everyday :(

If you're affected by this issue, please go vote for this feature request! Here is one place to vote for the ability to automatically synchronize attributes across multiple files: ... butes+file.

Is anyone aware of similar thread with a poll? I will vote "Essential" there too.

Thank you!
So the simple answer to my question below is to be very careful purging unused attributes. It might be better to suffer through a slower model at this point. (CDs are 90% complete)

i’m working on a project with several modules. The large host file has grown uncomfortably slow, so I’d like to purge some of the hundreds of unused attributes.

My concern is that if I purge them from the modules and host files, what will happen if there are two attribute with the same index # with different characteristics, how will that affect my host file output? For example, an index number set to tile in a module might be set to plaster in the host file. What will the outcome be?

I note that WWA BIM says they have created an office master attributes file, But i don’t really understand how that will help: Sometimes one modifies an attribute in a module file. Does that mean you update the master file every time, and reload it into every project/pln file? ... -matching/

Thanks for any observations.
What happens when you purge attributes from the module, but not the host?

What will the host do if same attribute index number is the same from two different host files?
One of my idea is if the project is in BIM server the BIM manager should lock all the workers from modifying/deleting existing materials/fills and purge the additional excess from time-to-time.
They can create new but they should keep in mind that:
1. If something important is missing they should let the BIM manager know to create that element in all the file and in the company template.
2. What they create will be replaced with an appropriate core template element
(Like he/she must did not realize that there is already 25 kind of diagonal fill that can be stretched also)

With a good template it is barely required anyway.

Only exception if rendering is in AC, but I'm still a little bit against it to load a BIM model with this kind of information.

Nathan Brauer:
These guys are having an extra step:

if you need a new line/fill/mat:
Open attribute file, create the element (lets say there was 100 fill and 101 created)
Export attributes then save/close the file
Overwrite your file's attributes (now you have 101)

This way when someone need a new attribute in another file has to open the attribute file and create new fill #102 and when he/she overwrites the attributes in the target file #101 will be added also