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Hotlink methods - which one do you use?


Since the early days I've always used the simple method editing the modules in another Archicad. However on the last project we ran into a few attribute problems and it was suggested we use the Iceberg method. Personally I don't like lots of negative stories and the thought of overwriting a module file makes me uneasy.


After trying this method I believe it takes longer to select, save as module, navigate to the location and then overwrite the existing file. I do see the advantages (attributes, trace references) however I'm not convinced I'll be staying with it for very long.


I'm curious how many of you use the Iceberg method?

iMac 4 GHz Quad-Core i7 • 16 GB • macOS Big Sur
Archicad 26 [since Archicad 5.0]

I assume you have read the GS Hotlink Management Workflow Guide?

I have probably been lucky that I have developed workarounds to save having to use external Modules, but on the few occasions I have tried to use them, chasing attributes became a nightmare. I have also tried the iceberg method and found the management on multiple (50+) negative storeys to be a complete time sink for limited benefit. Why after 18 years of asking, we still don't have an in place modules [aka Block/Component] editing option defies belief. 


I'm probably not helping here, but I wouldn't be surprised if even the seasoned users of modules come here and post anecdotes of attribute nightmares... 

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)
Erwin Edel

We don't use separate stories as a workplace, but rather have a workplace for modules set off to the side on the first story the module will appear at.


We draft a polyline around the module for easy quick selecting with magic wand and marquee tool.


We hide the module workplace by selecting the items and showing them only on a custom 'module workplace' renovation filter.


We have a saved view set up for editing the modules at the top of our view map.


It is a lot faster than opening the file in a new session.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

I usually work in separate files per module and manage the attributes with an Attribute Manager file. When I make a material or attribute change in any module, I update the master Att. file first, then I bring/merge/update any needed attributes in the host file with this method.

Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA -
ArchiCAD 27 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Apple Vision Pro w/ BIMx
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System

Having said that, I don't usually work with pure modules very much. Most hot linking is .pln or .tw file into another--such as a building file into a site file. However, the Attribute Manager is still a useful tool here as well.

Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA -
ArchiCAD 27 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Apple Vision Pro w/ BIMx
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System
Tim Ball

I do use the iceberg method and use two ways to help manage it.

firstly I only have one module on each storey and save views of that module like plan and 3D to make it easy to access

secondly I set up the save module in publisher where you can limit the file save to a single storey. That saves so much time because you don’t have to select you just hit the publish button

as well as retaining control of attributes, you also control properties much easier because you can schedule and edit them

Tim Ball

AC26, iMac

User since V5
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