The Global ARCHICAD Community

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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

We all know that sharing attributes across the project is a tedious task, but when something goes wrong then it's even worse...
Yesterday I spent half a day to fix the mess made in one project with hotlinks. The problem was created at the beginning of the project Hotlinks were created on office template but the main file was done on the previous version of the template. Furthermore, some Composites where updated in the main file instead of hotlinks. We end up with different indexes and names in both files. It's working fine with the model. But if we want to make schedules or automatic annotation then it doesn't work. The obvious solution was to clear hotlinks and make same indexes in both files. Because indexes cant be change and AC is making them automatically. I end up in this kind of workflow based on delete and override by another composite:

1. Manager - Changing the name of Composites based on Indexes (those for deleting and those for override). It's getting tricky if indexes are used in the project then its necessary to reimport att file.

2. Since you cant delete and override attribute from ATT Manager. I switched to Composite Material Tab and delete and override structure.

3. At the end renaming of the composite.

Usually, it's possible to make 1-3 composites to make sure we won't missing anything. I also skipped Building Materials but if you cant have duplicates then... even more, work.....

The whole process performed on 4 files was ridiculous. Does anyone have a clever solution for it?

Personally, I'm not sure why we aren't able to change attribute indexes via attribute manager - life would be so simpler. Maybe I'm missing something and it is possible?
Lots of posts about this over the years. I made the following post 10 years ago about coordinating/synchronizing attributes across hotlink files and Link has made many posts about how to use Attribute Manager to get index numbers to match... the key being you use Overwrite, never Append, and you may have to create some dumby attributes (by copy/append) to push the index number to where you want to be before overwriting the attribute back to where it belongs.

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=23940&p=124311&hil ... nk#p124311

Attribute Manager can open any kind of AC file, as well as Attribute Manager File format or XML. It just takes continuous attention to detail and care as modules and host are edited to keep everything in sync since ARCHICAD does not allow the use of a 'common' external attribute file (on the wishlist here). That is, any time you add something to one of the modules/host files, be sure to add it to all of the others. Otherwise, you'll end up with the same index being different things in one file or another and nothing will look correct when all linked together.

In a situation like yours - where the hotlinks and main (host) file were done using totally different templates - there is nothing easy. A ton of tedious work. Of course, it is unwise for your templates to have attributes that are so far apart as far as index numbers - and it is wise to stay close to the Graphisoft template attributes index assignments so that library parts will appear as designed, among other things.
Thank you very much for responding. I hoped I have missed some magic tricks, sadly I didn't. Although its quite simple adjustment to make.

I do have a question to GS team: Is attribute management going to improve in v 22?

At least by making INDEXES editable or visible from another place than attribute manager (it's even impossible to list them on schedule!). Actually what would improve this situation is at least possibility of delete and override in attribute manager :D

Offcouse maintaining attributes for the beginning is the best way but in real life, nothing works so perfectly :D. Actually, biggest differences in our office template are influenced by our localised version of Building materials and Composites. We have changed ours to fit better to templet of AC20. However, it was changed quite a bit in AC21 (also indexes inside templet arent consistent).

To be honest Karl I'm actually diving deeper in XML syntax to perform some operations or rather dirty hacks :D. But it's not the point since I'm Architect, not a Developer. I just need working too to manage attributes across files in the project.

Meanwhile, I did some research Revit has full compatibility with Access at least for 7 years. Example here:

You can see that you can even control model parameters such as sizes. - the functionality I was hoping for in XLS import functionality.
kzaremba wrote: I do have a question to GS team: Is attribute management going to improve in v 22?
AC22 beta has been going on for a while. They normally announce the new version around May so if they do the same this year as well then soon you will have an answer to your question.
They normally announce the new version around May
By May I hope to have a working solution for this problem. We did some manual cleaning, but in the meanwhile, I did some experiments with attributes and they seem to work quite promising.
AC22 beta has been going on for a while
By the way, I was applying for AC 22 Beta and some other previous betas and never was selected. I was wondering how many people are usually beta testers and what are the main criteria for choosing them?
I don't know the criteria about selecting beta testers, but I know they want to choose people from all geographies and markets. If I am not mistaken they usually select around 200 beta testers.
I could just add a small advice concerning the attribute subject since it really is an important matter when working in multiple linked files. Sadly, there is no ideal way, but we have developed a method that works quite well on a 30.000m² project.
Create one file that will be your attribute file and nothing else inside it. Here you manage and create all the attributes. In addition, we promoted one person for the management, therefore when a new composite or layer is needed, the ATT Manager creates it and spreads throughout the multiple files via index. We are working for months now and it works fine.
Yes this works well so long as your users do not create their own attributes in a file.
I do this with our master template.
I keep it up to date and at any time any user can 'overwrite' the attributes in any of there files at any time (so long as their file is based on the template - which it should be).

There is a little trick that does allow your users to create their own attributes and still be able to overwrite from the template (master file) with out destroying what they have done.
Create an attribute of each type in the template (master file) but increase the attribute number by a considerable amount - say to 1000 or 2000 or even more.
This just requires you to copy or create an attribute on the right hand side and duplicate it till you get to the high number.
Then 'overwrite it back to your file on the left.

Now when a user creates an new attribute in a job file, it will have an index number higher than the high number.

When you need to update the template in the future the same thing will happen but you now 'overwrite the highest number original attribute to the right hand side (i.e. the highest one that is less than 1000), then append the new high number attribute - it will change numbers to be the next one that is lower than 1000.
Delete the new attribute from the left (your file) and 'Apply', then 'Overwrite the new attribute with the lower number back you your file (and 'Apply' again).

You should have your new attribute with a number lower than your 'high' number.
Make sure you delete all attributes higher than this high number.
Now users can still 'overwrite' the attributes from the master to their file without losing any new ones they may have created.

It is a bit of juggling but works well when you get the hang of it.
It will be so much easier if we ever get the ability to just modify the index number manually.

Hi Guys,

We have also have tried to use hotlinked elements to keep all files updated. But... Archicad doesn't read changed attributes... and then things got messy. In main and hotlinked file you can have the same element with a completely different attribute.

Barry, are you suggesting populating the whole list of attributes? For old elements 255 is enough (max number). I'm not sure if Building Materials can exceed 255. This has the main drawback that size of template and files grows... I some projects we are struggling to maintain reasonable file size... then you dot want to have extra luggage:D