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

User avatar
By Richard Morrison
#242848
I update my office template with new versions of AC, but each update is based on the prior version's (in some cases skipping a couple of versions) template. For all I know, there is data embedded in there going back to AC 6.5.

Each updated template seems to work fine, but I wonder if I am asking for problems by not recreating a template based on the AC default template for that version. Has anyone experienced problems by reusing prior versions' templates as the basis for a new template, or am I worrying needlessly?
User avatar
By ejrolon
#242856
IMO opinion Work Environments are more critical between versions and the only things I merge forward are usually shortcuts, everything else I recreate. For the templates I usually just add the new stuff (like the Change Object) and keep moving forward.
User avatar
By methy
#242862
we are reminded every release to not bring old WE forward
it results in lost functionality newer tools wont show up when they are set to using the older settings

when we get our AC update disc from our supplier they also provide us with our local template on disc which you can either use or build on or start from scratch.

There does really need to be a better way though I think, its a bit of time wasting to have to set it all up each release, at least its only a 1 time thing.
User avatar
By Barry Kelly
#242865
A template and the Work Environment are two completely different things
Any template (file) can use any Work Environment that you have setup or Imported. The WE is not saved with the file - it becomes part of your program setup.

Like Richard I am using a template that originated back from version 6.5.
I simply migrate it into the new version every year updating anything I need to if I want to make use of any new features.

The Work Environment I use was also originally set up in an old version as well but I compare it to a new WE in the latest release to see what new commands and menus have been added and also look at the changes in the preferences.
Basically I just Import my old WE into the new version and compare the old with the new (open 2 separate Archicads - one using each WE) and if there is something I like / need in the new then I create it in my old WE rather than taking the new standard WE and trying to customise it to how I like.

Barry.
#242871
I'm doing exactly what Barry is doing. So I'm glad to hear no catastrophes have resulted. I can't imagine recreating views, favorites, layer sets, composites, etc. on a yearly basis. Dealing with materials has not been fun, and I would not want to deal with this again.
#242881
Like Richard and Barry, I migrate my template from the previous version forward. This has worked well, except in the rare occurrence when a new Attribute is added (for example Building Materials), which requires some work to integrate the new Attribute into my working methods. The change from LightWorks to CineRender also required some work to merge the provided Cinerender Surface settings into my template's Surfaces. There are no new Attributes in AC19.

I also migrate my old Work Environment forward, but that is trickier as there are always new commands/features added with each new version.

David
User avatar
By Link
#242887
Work Environment aside, off the top of my head, things to look for when updating a template are:

Attributes. You may be missing out on some nice new fills, surfaces, building materials, etc. and these may be used by...

Library Parts. Library migration has come a long way, but it's important to have the latest objects, labels, etc. It wouldn't have been good to miss the Revision History Object on the new AC18 Master Layouts!.

Schedules and Indexes. ArchiCAD 19 for example has some nice new schedules that utilize the latest updates in surface and component listing.

New tools/features. For example the recent(ish) introduction of the Morph tool and the Change Tool, may have meant including new layers or updating title blocks to utilize the latest workflows.

In my experience its best (outside of beta testing and talking directly with the designers) to study the new features guide very carefully to see what needs updating. Of course you can bring old templates forward, just be aware of the pitfalls. New attributes may have index numbers that are already used in your template. Appending these or slotting them into unused index numbers is the only way to go but can cause issues with some library parts. I will export all the attributes out to excel spreadsheets to compare the old with the new. And I always study the latest templates to see what schedules to export or copy.

Cheers,
Link.
By Anton Kazmin
#256542
Richard Morrison wrote:I'm doing exactly what Barry is doing. So I'm glad to hear no catastrophes have resulted. I can't imagine recreating views, favorites, layer sets, composites, etc. on a yearly basis. Dealing with materials has not been fun, and I would not want to deal with this again.


I think it depends on the work you do and approach you take.

If you do a lot of repetitive work, then setting up a template is essential.

However, if all your projects are different, then your carefully crafted templates will just keep taking your valuable time while you are deleting all the stuff from the template that you don't need :)

There are architectural practices that start a project with a carefully cleaned blank template that does not even contain materials, as, in a proper BIM model, materials are project-dependent and are easy to create on the fly from scratch, or using excellent embedded ARCHICAD material and texture catalogs.

So, templates, especially extended ones (some of which are even commercially marketed for upward $500) will take an enormous time to clean up, move every preset elevation, section, publisher set etc. Just imagine editing some 400+ items every time you start a new job. Do you have better thing so to?

I think people should know what they need to do and use ARCHICAD templates accordingly.

p.s. Your own favorites are nice, though, and you should use them since they will only get better in AC20.
#256556
Anton Kazmin wrote:However, if all your projects are different, then your carefully crafted templates will just keep taking your valuable time while you are deleting all the stuff from the template that you don't need :)

Anton,
Your post hit me like a ton of bricks. You are right, or course. I now have a template that has taken me many hours to craft based on a commercially-available template, about 4 times the number of layers I want (or need), preset views and hotlinks that I will never use, and a huge file before I even start. Not to mention the hours I spent watching videos on how to use the original commercial version of the template. I am now so afraid of "coloring outside the lines," that this homage to templates is sucking up a HUGE amount of time with template management.

Realistically, for the sort of work I do, I probably need only 20-25 layers and 10 layer sets. (I can't even imagine a situation where I would need to show only the exterior walls, for example.) With a good streamlined layer setup and an excellent list of favorites, I can rule the world. ;-)

Anyway, your response is probably the most valuable post of the year to me, and I greatly appreciate your bucket of ice water.
By Anton Kazmin
#256557
Richard Morrison wrote:I probably need only 20-25 layers and 10 layer sets.


Really cool. Now, that is actually a spot-on estimation showing years of experience....

I've never done that before, but I just went on and counted the theoretical number of layers one might need in the UK, for instance, for a very extensive, BIM Level 2 compliant project based on Uniclass 2016 classification and, given ARCHICAD's structure and mechanics, it came out to be exactly 25 layers.

Richard Morrison wrote:With a good streamlined layer setup and an excellent list of favorites, I can rule the world.


I agree. I suggested people use only necessary layers and a nice set of in-house favorites since the time favorites became available to us around the turn of the century in AC7, I think.

Richard Morrison wrote:I am now so afraid of "coloring outside the lines"

You shouldn't be. As an architect your job comes first. You should always try to see what is best for your practice. All tools, ARCHICAD including — come second.
This brings me to another point: education is the key. Education is what gives us an ability to make rational decisions on the basis of accrued body of knowledge. Education in reference to ARCHICAD itself is no exception.

I just don't get it. Under proper guidance, one can spend one hour learning how templates work in general, another 2 hours to learn the details. 3 hours top, and you are set with ANY template maintenance forever.

Alternatively, one can buy some predefined template he/she did not set up and do not really understand, pay 100, 200 or even 500 dollars for them and the only result would be that you spend 5 hours deleting all 500 linked views in the most expensive template, 2 hours in the one for 200 and about an hour in the one for 100. What is the point?

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Last edited by Anton Kazmin on Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.