The Global ARCHICAD Community

Stay informed. Get help. Share your knowledge.

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 know there are many conversations on here covering dealing with attributes in projects that require multiple pln files due to their size.
I have done a search and read much, and been overwhelmed by the number of posts, but so far not found one that suggests my question (although I am sure there must be one here somewhere).

I have been using Archicad since about 1990, and usually manage to put the full project in one PLN (which is ultimately the best way to work), and on the rare occasion when I have to have multiple PLN's, I have carefully only brought them together for the needs of the site information without issue.

But, some projects are now becoming increasingly complex and a lot larger, but managing attributes using the Attribute Manager is becoming a major task, and is scuppered by a team member who goes maverick.

So, I was wondering, if we setup the project to have:

An Attribute PLN
This would be the base file when needing new layers, line types, fills, composites etc.
When a new item is created and example of that item or text on the new layer is added to the attribute storey.

Building A PLN (and Building B PLN etc) plus a Site PLN (that has the attribute PLN and Building PLNs hot linked in)
A file for each building that has the attribute PLN hot linked in to an attribute storey.
When new layers etc are required they are added to the above Attribute PLN, and then updated in this file.

I am sure there is a reason why this does not work as it seems too simple and would have been adopted by GS if it did work, but guidance from those with experience would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks and seasons greetings in advance.

Unfortunately no. Modules elements carry their attribute index number with them, but modules don't carry definitions for those attributes. Imagine the conflict that would result with a host file receiving modules generated from two separate files, each file with different definitions for the same index number.
I am also currently struggling with the development of a strategy of using a single pln file for the attributes to link it to multiple files of a single project. As you said it, big projects are becoming a big problem in handling them on our daily work.

The attribute manager from AC is cool in a way that it shows you all the attributes in the project and which are in use. The biggest challenge is to synchronize these attributes between different files. You cannot use stories but go through the attribute manager!
Creating a new attribute (ex. Composite material) in the attribute.pln is easy, as you can simple append by index in the other files. It starts to get tough when you delete attributes. In this case you need to have a clear overview of which attributes have to be deleted in the other project files, and of course it must be done manually!

It would be much easier to have an intelligent attribute manager, either integrated in AC or stand alone, which would compare status of the attributes between the attribute.pln and other files and mark then in a logical way for the user to take necessary action.
Currently I see it as a painstaking management to synchronize manually all the attributes, and if you by mistake delete or overwrite a valid attribute, good luck in repairing the mistake.

I am working on this strategy for some time now, and if I get any lucky with a useful and efficient way, I will keep you informed…
I find the problems of attribute control across mid files frustrating too,

One solution is to create your mod file base elements on a separate storey within your main file. That way all the attributes and data are controlled, then save the mod file by selecting and saveas. You them place the mod file repetitively as needed.

It doesn’t work for very large projects where you are assembling buildings from different mod files, but does work well on smaller projects.