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.


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.