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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.)

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

I understand the benefits of having a template. I have tried over the last 14 years to maintain templates to work with on each new project. However, I keep having the same frustration:
If working on multiple projects at one time as I always do, how does one improve a template and work environment as one goes?
It seems to me that the only way one can do this is to have a blank template open at all times, and every time you think of something that needs to be on the template, you add that thing both to the project you are working on and also to the template so you can use that additional improvement on the next project.
This seems odd, keeping two projects open at once and adding improvements to both the current project and the template every time you think of something new.
Does anyone else have these difficulties?
The other way is to work on your job and make any improvements you need (as you are doing now).
Then when you need a new template for a new job you simply copy the latest job you were working on and delete all of the model and annotation (leave what you think you might be able to reuse in the next job).

The problem with this is you may need to do things in the file specific for that job only which is why I think it is best to maintain a separate template and modify that as needed.
That way you can add to the template just what you really need - which after 14 years of tinkering shouldn't be an awful lot?.
You shouldn't need the template open all the time.

I've tried to do just that, have two files open all the time and update as I think of something new or a new layer combo or layer is needed for a project. However, as things get busy and when you have 4 to 5 projects going on at the same time, it just gets out of hand. I've also purchased multiple templates from well known template gurus here and tried to customize them to my office standards many times in the past. When it starts to really become too much of a task for me is when there is a new version of AC with all the new functions such as the Properties and the Graphic Overrides.

Without having a dedicated (or at least a part time) BIM manager in house, I simply don't have the time to keep a nice template going and upgrading all the time. I may change my mind again, but for now, I am going to take one of the guru's templates, make minimal adjustments each time with the new version, and just use it as is.
It sounds like we are on the same page. I think I have felt best about templates when I just use the generic ArchiCAD template. It feels like that template is "clean," and up to date.

Every time a new version of ArchiCAD comes out, I feel like I need to re-make my template so I don't miss anything from the new version.

I do wish that the generic ArchiCAD template was better. It would be really great if Graphisoft would get some working ArchiCAD users in the field and from several countries (or states even) to help them create their generic templates every year.

I also wish there was a program or checklist we could use every time a new version of ArchiCAD came out, that asked us all the pertinent questions about how we want to customize our template for that new version.
I have a folder with .XML files and an .AAT file. Whenever I make significant changes, maybe to keyboard shortcuts or layer sets, I just send these immediately, using "export" (in the case of schedules, work environment, or favorites) or Attribute Manager. So this folder always has the latest and greatest. Then, on a regular basis, just import all these into your template plan, which will then also have your latest and greatest. That way, you don't have to keep a separate template file open at all times.

Also, when the next version comes out, you can choose to overwrite or append to a clean new version. Generally, just importing old shortcuts into the work environment does everything I need there, with some minor adjustments to other things that are pretty fast, and I'm good to go with the new Work Environment.
Yes, I am a small office as well and upgrading, new templates and tech issues stop me drawing. It works well when you have/take the time to keep on top of it.
I really hate upgrading despite the benefits. I loose so much time.
The previous ArchiCAD manager, and now me, basically use the method of 2 sessions open. But it's not really that much time once things are set up. And I end up making notes of things to update and try to get them in the template .pln file every week or so.

The only full rebuild of our template was 17 to 18 since there were so many changes and it seemed that legacy issues were catching up. (Our office started at release 12.)

Here's some insight in to our setup in my post here: ... hp?t=51465