Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Design forum

Design concept within (1) ArchiCAD File

Let me start off saying to the Moderators, if this is the wrong place for this post, feel free to move it accordingly. I have searched and searched, but I couldn't find any similar posts to this topic. Maybe typed in the wrong keywords. That said.......

To all the architects / designer developing a building or site concept.

Lets say you call your first concept SD 01 ( schematic design 01 ). Now you wish to develop concept SD 02. Do you duplicate the SD 01 file and make changes to it to accommodate SD 02, or is there a way to archive the SD 01 concept in the AC file that SD 02, SD 03, SD 04 etc is in?

What I am getting at is I would like to be able to "click" through SD 01, SD 02, SD 03 etc all in one ArchiCAD file without creating layouts, if that is possible.

Something tells me I have been missing how to do this for too long, as I have simply created each successive concept by duplicating the file and renaming it. That seems so wasteful and inefficient.

Hopefully there is a built in solution to this problem within ArchiCAD and I have just completely missed it previously.

Thanks for your input!
Robert Mariani
MARIANI design studio, PLLC
Architecture / Architectural Photography

Mac OSX 13.1
AC 24 / 25 / 26

Hi Robert

Interesting question and I don't think there is a Software on the market that will do this, any Software.

I still think it is quite easy to do, just use layer combinations.

1. Make sure for Concept 1 all layer names have an extension like 01 as example
2. You finished your Concept 1, now select everything and copy
3. Turn all layers of Concept 1 off
4. Paste and choose - create new layers for element - click continue. This will add the same layers with same layer names into your list BUT with a 01# extension. ( Now you have a copy of your concept 1 design on the new layers )
5. Change all layer name extensions from 01# to 02
6. Create layer combination for Concept 2

Keep designing !

I did create a tutorial about how to duplicate layers and its content last year if not clear here:

AC 3 to 26 -Windows 7 - 24GB - 8core 4.4Ghz

Barry Kelly
Instead of duplicating layers, you can set up renovation filters and set your elements to display only for that particular renovation filter.

Maybe this will help?


One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

Eduardo Rolon
Just to dissent,

I am in the group that duplicates files since for me it is easier to see the progression of the file without having to deal with Layers and/or Renovation Filters (doesn't mean that I don't use them though).
My usual workflow is do the "Save as" then relink all views from current version to previous version and then keep working.

If I need to compare files I just open another AC session, and inn my case it makes it easier to do coordinate changes.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC26 US/INT -> AC08
Puerto Rico, BVI, Miami

Vectorworks 2023

Erwin Edel
Same as Eduardo here: we save out files as .PLN for variants. We also archive our files whenever we send something out as .PLA-files.

It takes some discipline to recognise when a proposed change is so drastic that you need a 2nd .PLN during design development though.

A lot of our design research is still pen and paper though, which is faster than changing the model quite often.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Didn't find the answer? Start a new discussion

Still looking?

Browse more topics

Back to forum

See latest solutions

Accepted solutions

Start a new discussion!