Week #3 – Get More Organized
3-3. Library Management

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 3-3)

This 21 minute segment on Library Management is the final part of week #3: Get More Organized. It serves as an introduction to this topic, which will be elaborated on throughout Week #4.

Libraries are used by ArchiCAD to define and manage parts such as windows, doors, objects and other scriptable components of the project. The Library Manager allows one to load multiple library folders as well as individual parts. This lesson explains the best approach for general use in projects, in which one loads exactly three main libraries:

  • The ArchiCAD Library (supplied by Graphisoft for each version of ArchiCAD)
  • Your Office Library (components that you create or acquire that may be used in multiple projects)
  • The Project Library (elements that are specific to the individual project)

This general approach to library management is described in detail. The concept of saving a project as a PLA archive file is also presented, and contrasted with the option to Embed library parts into the project that was introduced in ArchiCAD 13.


GDL Object Depository – This is a resource maintained by Graphisoft on the ArchiCAD-Talk Forum, however any user may offer a contribution (“make a deposit”). There are a lot of miscellaneous objects to download, some more useful than others. In addition, Graphisoft has placed in the GDL Object Depository a number of older commercial add-on products for free download. My favorites include:

  • In the ArchiCAD Textures category, you’ll find Building Textures Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 – a collection of more than 2000 textures and alpha channel picture objects (broken up into 3 downloads) to help you create photorealistic images with ArchiCAD or other rendering applications. These tend to be lower resolution than current-day collections, so they’re not quite as realistic, but this is still a comprehensive collection that is very useful.
  • The 02 Sitework category includes the Street and Traffic Library (200 objects with vehicles, roadsigns, barriers, playground equipment, etc.), the Construction Equipment Library (100 objects to represent electrical, excavation, concrete equipment, etc.) plus other landscape and massing model elements.

File Synchronization Software

There are many tools available to help you synchronize files between a desktop and laptop, between an in-office server folder and your local hard drive, an internet-based FTP directory and your local computer, etc. Here are some that I’ve used:

  • Allway Sync is a good Windows-based utility that offers a free version as well as an inexpensive license.
  • GoodSync and GoodSync Desktop for Mac are excellent tools that you can try out for a limited period, then buy a license for about $30 USD.
  • FileSync is a somewhat less sophisticated option for Mac users, but it covers the basics for free.

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: Library Management

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

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  1. BinhNguyen
    11 years ago

    Hi Eric
    There is a problem with the pdf file, it cant be opened

    • Eric Bobrow
      11 years ago

      Binh – I have corrected the link for the PDF file, and it opens OK now. Thanks for letting me know about the problem. – Eric

    • BinhNguyen
      11 years ago

      Thank you

  2. Avatar photo
    Lilian Seow
    13 years ago

    At 18:24…..I’m feeling nervous as to how am I going to catch up and to remember what the various ‘Library’ folders are ….

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Lilian –
      There’s no big rush. Absorb what you can from each lesson, and move on. You can return to them later and perhaps glean more from them at that time. There’s only so much you can take in at any given time, so be easy on yourself.

  3. francisco
    13 years ago

    “you mention that you will be placing links on this page (to libraries, etc). Where do I find these?”

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Francisco and Greg –
      Thanks for reminding me about those links!
      I just posted them – see above…

  4. Greg Butler
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric

    you mention that you will be placing links on this page (to libraries, etc). Where do I find these?