Week #3 – Get More Organized
3-2. Optimizing Your Template

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 3-2)

This 23 minute segment is the second part of week #3: Get More Organized. It is the conclusion of our study of Template files.

When you complete a project, it’s time to optimize your template. What did you learn or change? What can you reuse? Should you update your template, or start over from the new PLN file by saving it under another name?

The approach of doing a “Save As” with your latest project PLN and just “getting going” is good when you are still developing your project file structure. You get the benefit of whatever you’ve learned or revised in your latest efforts, but you’ll have to do a fair amount of work to delete everything you don’t need in the new project. It’s a “quick and dirty” method that can be used, but is not optimum for the long term.

It is best over time (in my opinion) to develop your TPL file systematically, adding to it the improvements that you have developed in your latest projects. This segment looks at what areas of the ArchiCAD environment should be perused as you work on your TPL, and how to bring them from your PLN to the TPL file:

  • Attributes – materials, fills, linetypes, composites, complex profiles, layers – use Attribute Manager
  • Boilerplate / reusable content – copy and paste between the PLN and the TPL
  • Favorites – Interactive Legends (copy and paste) or Favorites palette (Save Favorites and Load Favorites)
  • Layer Combinations, Model View Options – requires manual revision of the TPL
  • Project Map, View Map, Layout Book, Project Preferences – evaluate and recreate in the TPL
  • Work Environment – palette layouts and keyboard shortcuts – save a Scheme to take to another computer
  • Room Configurations – consider saving them for reuse in an Interactive Legend or Module file

If you think about optimizing your template as you work, and take notes on what you discover or revise, it will help you a great deal over time.

Thank you for visiting the Best Practices Course website. The video lessons are available for members only. If you are an active member and would like to watch the ArchiCAD training video on this page, please login to the website. If you are not currently a member, please visit the following pages for more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course or for the Best Practices ArchiCAD Coaching Program. Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course
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ArchiCAD Training: Optimizing Your Template

Let us know how you feel... (8 comments so far)

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  1. Avatar photo
    9 years ago

    Love love love your vids. Saves me hours of time. A quick question. How would I save my keyboard/shortcuts? This is of course when I’m tpl from a pln.

    Many thanks,

    • Eric Bobrow
      9 years ago

      Hi Brian –

      Thanks for the enthusiastic feedback on the training videos. I’m very glad to know that you’re finding them so helpful in terms of saving time!

      Re the keyboard shortcuts, they are part of your Work Environment, since they aren’t specific to individual projects or your template. Any shortcuts you set up on your computer should be available for all your projects.

      If you want to transfer these shortcuts to another computer (for example, your laptop or your home computer) you may export the Keyboard Shortcut Scheme or your entire Work Environment Profile to a file or folder, then import them on the other computer. I explain all of this in the lesson on Work Environment Preferences in Week 20 Part 7 – http://www.acbestpractices.com/member-home/the-course/week-20/part-7/


  2. JohnCassel
    13 years ago

    Aloha Eric,
    I may have made a mistake but it sounded like sessions 3.1 and 3.2 have the same content.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      John –
      Session 3.1 is an introduction to the topic.
      Session 3.2 goes deeper into this important discussion.

  3. Meggan
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric, I can watch this video but am unable to download it…

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Meggan –
      Instead of just clicking on the download link, right-click and choose Save Target As… or Save Linked File As…
      This should allow you to download the file without a problem.
      Let me know if this works or if you need further assistance.

  4. Avatar photo
    Lilian Seow
    13 years ago

    Scheme – I’m having problem with this ..how is this different from the work environment ?
    Project Library & Office Library – what is the difference?

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Lilian –

      A Scheme is a named setting WITHIN the Work Environment dialog. Sometimes it controls multiple preference panels, and sometimes just one. You may save, switch and restore Schemes for different purposes and contexts. For example, you may save a Keyboard Shortcut Scheme and then import that Scheme into another workstation, perhaps your laptop, in order to be able to use the same shortcuts on both computers.

      The Office Library is a place where you may place individual parts you create or buy, or groups of elements you download or purchase, that you would like to access for multiple projects. If each of your projects loads this Office Library folder routinely, then any changes or additions to that folder are seen in each project without any intervention.

      A Project Library is where you will place objects you create that are specific to that project – for example, stairs that you make with StairMaker, or other components specially made for a particular context. Before ArchiCAD 13, these parts could be loaded individually from anywhere on your hard drive but it was best to compile them into a single folder to ease management – that way you simply load that folder. Starting with ArchiCAD 13, it’s generally best to store these project-specific library parts in the Embedded Library – which is maintained within the actual PLN project file.

      I hope this clarifies both of your questions. Welcome to the Best Practices Course!