Week #4 – Library Management & Migrating Projects

This week we’re going to spend a lot of time on an area that is often confusing – managing libraries. We’ll also look at strategies for migrating a project from one version of ArchiCAD to another.

I suggest you watch all three parts of this lesson, regardless of which version of ArchiCAD you have, since various strategies and tools are demonstrated that apply to all versions. In addition, sometimes it helps to understand how to use one methodology when it is compared and contrasted with a similar process from another generation of the software.

Part 1 demonstrates the traditional strategy for library management that was used through ArchiCAD 12, and with variations, still applies today. The Library Manager in this segment is pretty much the same for ArchiCAD 10, 11 and 12.

Part 2 looks at the changes in the reworked Library Manager for version 13, when the new concept of Embedding library parts became available. In addition, an ArchiCAD 12 project is opened in ArchiCAD 13, and several approaches are discussed and demonstrated for migrating the project for use in the new software version, and to convert elements in the project to use the new library.

Part 3 examines ArchiCAD 14’s Library Manager, which looks similar to version 13 at first, but has quite a few new features and capabilities. The same ArchiCAD 12 project is opened and the migration into ArchiCAD 14 is shown using some of the new automatic library conversion options.

Please add your comments, questions and feedback below or on the individual pages.


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This 15 minute segment shows the traditional strategy for library management used through ArchiCAD 12.

This 24 minute segment shows the Library Manager in ArchiCAD 13, and discusses how to migrate a project from one version of ArchiCAD to another.

This 16 minute segment shows the Library Manager in ArchiCAD 14, and looks further at migration of projects with complex library usage.

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

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  1. William Curtis
    13 years ago

    Eric, The course is very helpful so far. I have finally caught up through week 5. Even though I have been using ArchiCAD since it first became available on the PC platform you have brought up some topics/hints etc that were never clearly described in any of of the versions. Thank you for that.

    You had mentioned during the library section about providing a link to a graphisoft site for materials library. Where would I find that link?

  2. RJ Dial
    13 years ago

    Very nice treatise on what is a subject that Graphisoft never explained very well through the years.

    I noticed that you kept the older Master Template Library in place, and I suppose maybe the Hot Linked Interactive Legends? So that means you can retain & use HLM’s from older versions of AC?

    Also, while not GS fault, Cadimage migration is really bad, and is one reason I have AC 14 sitting the box still, as will probably AC 15 when it shows up in July. You can migrate, but any objects created with older versions of the CI tools are frozen in time and not modifiable unless you shell out more $$ for all new upgrades.

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      RJ –
      It is possible to keep older library parts in a project by using the strategies I outline in this week’s lessons. However, in general, where practical, it is good to migrate things forward.
      With regard to the Interactive Legends used in MasterTemplate – these files can be swapped out for their updated versions. One can simply go to the File menu > Hotlink Manager and highlight each one and choose Relink…from File, then select the newer version of that file. After Updating, the new version of the Legends will be in use in that file.
      Cadimage does charge a small amount for their upgrades. I think it’s 25% of the original price for a single upgrade, or 37.5% of the original for a double upgrade or more. From my experience, it takes a significant effort to maintain these tools (on their part) so I don’t begrudge them the charge. Their tools are excellent additions to ArchiCAD.
      In general, I think you’re cheating yourself if you don’t upgrade ArchiCAD and leave the new version in the box, however I understand if you feel you don’t have time or money right now to do it “right”.

  3. Andrew Passacantando
    13 years ago

    Very big help with understanding the library migration.

  4. Avatar photo
    Chris Sinkinson
    13 years ago

    Hi Eric Happy New Year. Just Thinking! Wasnt there supposed to be another segment on week 3 with a small startup template.
    Im sure I read in one of your emails you were in the process of producing this.
    Have I missed it somehow?

    • Eric
      13 years ago

      Chris –
      There is one more piece to week #3 that I have not yet produced. It will show how to create and manage a word processing document with General Notes that are displayed automatically in columns on one or more layout sheets. I’ll definitely get it posted this week.

  5. chao chiun lai
    13 years ago

    very helpful !