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Wishes forum

Global parameters for pen numbers in GDL objects

Not applicable
A lots of offices are making their own optimized pen sets to better suit their needs and habits.
This often leads to their pen sets having a completely different structure than the original ArchiCAD pen sets.

The big problem with this is that every GDL objects form the library has been coded with specific pen numbers corresponding to the ArchiCAD pen sets structure. So if you change this structure, these objects will not appropriately use your customized pen sets. You have to manually edit every object. You can of course use the favorites to ease this process, but there is, I think, another way of dealing with this issue that would greatly improve the customization capability of ArchiCAD :

Instead of using pen numbers in the GDL script of objects, the idea would be to use global parameters referencing each particular use (e.g. : General - Drafting, Objects - General, Annotation - Markers, …).
These global parameters would be accessible in a new menu (probably in the elements attributs menu) that would let the user customize the pen attributed to each one of them. This would be in a way similar as the current building materials menu that lets you customize the pen of every material.

This menu should of course follow the new standard organisation of ArchiCAD menus letting you restore defaults settings, save, export or import.

I think this would be a great improvement for everyone.

Thanks for your attention

This could be achieved using Model View Options (similar to the Door/Window Opening overrides). The technology is there, but all the affected library parts would need additional code added.

David Maudlin / Architect

Digital Architecture

AC26 USA • iMac 27" 4.0GHz Quad-core i7 | 24 gb ram • MacBook Pro 2.8GHz | 16 gb ram • OSX10.15.7

Pen sets are almost obsolete if you use Graphic Overrides. You only need one pen set with an appropriate range of pen colours and weights, the GOs then allow you to highlight whatever is relevant to the final publication. For me the use of GOs has eliminated that annoying process of publishing and then finding something is displayed with an inappropriately heavy pen.
Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Not applicable
Hi all,

I'm sorry but your various answers do not respond to the problem in hand.
You can't possibly have graphic overrides change the pen attributes of every object you draw. That's just not efficient.
If you draw a window or a toilet, you want it to have the correct pen attributes immediately. You won't be able to adjust every pen used by the window with graphic overrides.

I made a little research and it seems that the pen settings of every ArchiCAD object comes from its subtype. Does someone know if it is possible to edit those subtypes gsm files to adjust the pen numbers?

The point is GOs will resolve presentation issues very quickly. With GOs you can set everything to a fine pen and highlight with a heavier pen the type of object that need promoted on your final drawing e.g. windows or toilets. This is easily done by filtering by object type or by elements placed on a layer. Works for me and is very efficient.
Apple iMac macOS Monterey / AC26UKI (most recent builds)

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin

I think this can best be done by the GDL-XML Converter:
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Not applicable
Hi Laszlo,

I didn't know there was such tool in ArchiCAD.
It looks like it will do exactly what I'm looking for.

I will give it a try.


Nader Belal
@Johan Cosandey

It's not required to do any of those, since that:

1. You can simply import Pen Indexes as XML.
2. You can create a template with all the required objects with the new Pen set, and save the file and then Copy and paste.
3. Use favourites.
4. Object each object using the GDL editor, in the parameter tab change the pen set, save the object into Archicad embedded library then when you finish, you save your new library to your office depositary. And when you have to make a fresh install, just override your library from the office repositary to where archiCAD is installed.

Beside what you're asking can add a level of complexity to the already made objects that you have no idea if it can suit all the offices that are using ArchiCAD.

If your suggestion is to make a quick patch for project delivery when time doesn't permit nothing else then that can be your only choice, but as an office standard, that is just bad practice since that the name itself contains it "Override".
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

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