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PMK When is it relevant?

Thomas Nymann

Hi guys.


I´m wondering whether using pmk files is still relevant. ( I´ve found most of the post in here are way old)


Let´s say your project has grown big, and "slow" - updating layouts takes time...

Would it then make sence to switch to the pmk methodology, and what if you have 100+ layouts and 150+ active views.


If yes, then;

If one hasn´t prepared the project for this, then you would have to create a new project and setup all Layouts (again) and then link/load and arrange all pmk´s on new the new Layouts from scratch...


Or simply create a copy of the original project, and the delete the model, and the views, leaving only the layouts, and then link/load all the pmk´s into the new Layout-project


If the Project wasn´t prepared to facilitate the pmk method, would it then even make sence to start this process/workflow when you already did layout some 100+ Layouts in the original .pln?


Any tricks to automate the pmk linking process? - In an "empty" project you could browse for views in another project, then drag those onto the layout book of your current project, and have AC create Layouts and place external linked views on them, however they need to be properly arranged - Then one would have to relink the external views to external pmk files....


...Or is there any nice tricks to automate the process, if you want to go with pmk´s after the entire project has been set-up in a main .pln with both model, views and all the layouts?


Hope my question makes sence, at least the final one 😉


By the way, upon a small "Publish pmk test" where views was published as pdf´s, vs. views published as pmk´s The pmk files is 10,5mb whereas the pdf files are only 5,0 MB!?


Any input an comments will be appreciated



ASUS ROG I9 12900H 🙂 - RTX 3080ti (16GB) - 32 GB RAM - Ryzen 7 1700X 3,8GHz. - GTX 1080ti 11 GB- 16GB RAM
AC 13 +

I’m not sure if you’ve seen this already but it may be useful to you. Interesting that you can swap the PMK files back to Views. Not sure if you can do the reverse.

Lee Hankins
ArchiCAD 4.5 - Archicad 27UKI Apple Silicon 5003
macOS Ventura (13.5.2)

Yes PMK is still a relevant workflow for large projects. 


Sadly there really isn't a lot you can automate in the process. You need to plan your project right from the start to be honest with you if you want to go down the PMK route. 


I suggest that the PMK methodology doesn't work well when drawing names are changing or being deleted, as the old PMK will still sit there in the layout sheet and you don't realise that it  a dead drawing, unless your process is to have a single location where you save your PMK's and you drag all the previous PMK's into a superseded folder, so the file knows that the link is broken. It requires a lot more management, but can be a significantly quicker way to work on large projects.


Personally when I have made the jump in the past is at the transition from Concept Design to Design Development. This is the point where the project file settles and the views will be consistent and further built on as you develop the model and the respective views and layout sheets you create. 


I am sorry I don't bring happiness in my post, it can help with file bloating, but requires good management.

Nathan Hildebrandt fraia
Director | Skewed
AC6 - AC27 | WIN 11 | i9-10900K, 3.7Ghz | 32GB Ram | NVIDIA GeForce RTX

There is an issue when having a Teamworked view from another file on a sheet in your active file. It is very temperamental about being able to update that view. I believe you can't have both Teamwork files open at the same time in separate ArchiCADs and have it update... for instance, my sheets are all in my building file, but my site plan is in my Teamworked site file.

Anyway, to remedy this situation, I set up a publisher action in the site file to save a PMK of the site plan, and that is laid up in the sheet set in my building file.


So, that's one case where PMKs saved my bacon.

Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA -
ArchiCAD 26 (user since 3.4, 1991)
16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU
Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System

William Yan

I am very interested in the collaborative approach to the PMK file format, which I have only recently heard about. I'm not quite sure what advantages PMK has over hotlink modules or PDF?

AC 26 5002 CHI, Windows 10

PMK is a more advanced workflow, one I don't suggest for beginners as it requires a lot of discipline and only should be used on large projects where you see lagging in the file. 


PMK and hotlink modules are not the same thing. I am guessing you mean linked views not hotlinked modules. Advantage of PMK is that it performs the same way as a view in many ways, where a PDF acts as an external drawing.

Nathan Hildebrandt fraia
Director | Skewed
AC6 - AC27 | WIN 11 | i9-10900K, 3.7Ghz | 32GB Ram | NVIDIA GeForce RTX

OK, I am doing some big project, and I will look some explaintion in the Archicad manuel about this PMK workflow. Thank you Nathan.

AC 26 5002 CHI, Windows 10

Good luck. I don't know how much documentation exists on that workflow anymore as it was a process when Plotmaker existed and the layout book was not in Archicad. Pre Archicad8. I have tried to go digging through my old books and can not find anything on the topic sadly. But @Lee Hankins has pointed out the current content on it in the help section. It might be a good topic to put into my next conference for February next year as it is a topic that is still of relevance to people within practice and there are a lot of pitfalls if you are not aware of them.

Nathan Hildebrandt fraia
Director | Skewed
AC6 - AC27 | WIN 11 | i9-10900K, 3.7Ghz | 32GB Ram | NVIDIA GeForce RTX


I'll just chip in here, but slightly off topic. I don't normally use PMK, but I had an occasion recently where I needed to share my plans with another AC using business. My drawings contain commercially sensitive objects so I didn't want to send the full model and thought being vector based they would be better for the required layout checks than PDF. So I set up Publisher and issued the appropriate views. I was then advised by the recipient that the files were unreadable, reason: They were on AC24 and I was issuing from AC25. Given PMK's are simple 2D drawings I can't see the logic of having them only work in the current or newer version of AC. They should operate like PDF and be readable in older versions of AC. It would certainly take down one of the barriers to collaboration.

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

My guess would be that that would be by design that they would not be able to open them up and use them in an older version to prevent people from only upgrading a single license and then keeping the remaining licenses on an old release. It makes sense to me.

Nathan Hildebrandt fraia
Director | Skewed
AC6 - AC27 | WIN 11 | i9-10900K, 3.7Ghz | 32GB Ram | NVIDIA GeForce RTX

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