Element Properties - Troubleshooting Guide

Tamas Gaspar
ARCHICAD Properties are used to add optional descriptive data to a Building Element (Construction Element, Object-type-Element or Zone. Please find below some of the known issues, limitations and requirements that you should be aware of.

Known Issues

Property value export problem to Excel spreadsheet in case of special characters

Affected version: 20 | Severity: workaround applicable | ID: 211207 Issue The Export Property Value from Schedule command is not working if the Interactive Schedule's name contain special characters (ä, ü, ö, etc.) Cause The excel exporting engine have a bug which simply cancels the export process if there are such special characters in the name of the exported Interactive Schedule Workaround The workaround to this problem is to change the Schedule names in ARCHICAD before exporting the spreadsheet to excel. (We plan to fix this issue with a Future Update of ARCHICAD 20)
NOTE: We plan to fix this issue in an Upcoming ARCHICAD 20 Update.


Date format is imported incorrectly

Issue Date properties aren't imported correctly if the Schedule had been modified in Microsoft Excel than imported back to ARCHICAD.
Cause As default, the dates are created as General type Properties in the Property Manager. Therefore only texts can be imported to these cells. Microsoft Excel handles xx/xx/xxxx, xx/xx/xx and xx-xx-xx formats as Dates. When the user switches the format of these cells back to General or Number, the date will be converted to a five digit number. This is the native value of the Date format. It is informative for Excel, but irrelevant for other softwares. When there are Date format cells in the Schedule, ARCHICAD will import the five digits number. Workaround There are three possible workarounds of this phenomenon: - Use formats that are not recognised by Excel as Date (e. g. xx.xx.xxxx); - Modify the preferences of Excel to don't change to Date format automatically; - After it turns to Date format, change it back to General than rewrite the date again.
NOTE: You can find further information about Import/Export Property Data via Spreadsheet in the ARCHICAD 20 Reference Guide.

Communication between ARCHICAD Properties and IFC Properties:

IFC Properties can not be managed from the Property Manager, but ARCHICAD native Properties can be mapped to IFC Properties.
After the mapping, the Properties can be exported to IFC.
NOTE: You can find further information about Imported Properties in the ARCHICAD 20 Reference Guide.

Level of Data:

ARCHICAD supports Properties of Element level (Wall, Slab, Beam, Zone...), but it doesn’t handle Project level (Terrain, Plot, Building...) and Component level data (Profiles, Composites). Building Materials have several hard coded Properties, but they can not be custom-created or managed as Element Properties.

Element Classification:

Element Properties are distributed to Elements according to their Element Classification. This gives the user more freedom than relying only on Element Types. However, it also has some limitations. This Classification Sytem is based on the IFC 4.0 standard, it’s a flat, hard coded list without a hiyerarchy and cannot be further customized by the user. Whenever it is required to search for or schedule Elements of various Type, but similar purpose, we recommend to use Element Classification as criteria. However, unlike parameters, the list of available Fields or any further criteria will not be filtered according to the previously chosen Criteria. Since all properties are available for Fields, it is possible that some selected Fields will not be filled as they are not valid for the selected criteria. In this case the invalid value will be represented with an "---" symbol.

Graphic Override:

ARCHICAD Properties can be used as criteria for a Rule of Graphic Overrides, but IFC Properties and GDL not.
NOTE: You can find further information about this topic in the Graphic Override - Troubleshooting Guide.

Hotlinked Modules:

Like other Attributes, Element Properties can be managed in the project where they were created. However, properties from Hotlinked Modules can be seen and scheduled in the target project as well. Hotlinked Properties that have the same name and group as any existing ones in the target project will be merged and scheduled together. In case they share the same name and group, but any other property data is different, you will get a notification, as long as the „show Hotlink conflicts” checkbox is active in the Property Manager. In this case you can solve conflicts by changing the definitions of Properties in the Host file to match those  in the module. If you do not resolve the conflict, then the property definitions of the host will prevail. Of course, you can always edit the Property definition in the Hotlinked Modules.

Export & Import of Element Properties:

Saving an Interactive Schedule into an Excel format has been available already, while importing Element Data from an Excel file is a new feature introduced in ARCHICAD 20. The latter function also requires exporting the data into an Excel file, but it differs from saving to Excel in the following respects:
  • It is not possible to import data into the project from an Interactive Schedule saved in Excel from the File menu.
  • Exporting property data is necessary for providing the template for filling the data to be imported.
  • For this reason, no text or cell formatting, merging or resizing will be exported with these data.
  • The resulting spreadsheet will contain identification data for Elements and Properties.
„Save As...” and „Export Values into .XLS” don’t give the same result:
  • Save As” creates a simple XLS document that can be used for further work in Microsoft Excel.
  • „Export Values into XLS” creates an interactive table that can be imported into ARCHICAD again.
Although this function can be used for several workflows and workarounds, it also has some limitations:
  • While any Element parameter can be exported in order to help identify the Elements in the Table, only Property values can be imported into elements
  • No new Elements or Properties can be created by importing from this file
  • In case of value sets, or tags lists, no new value options can be created by importing
  • It is not recommended to import into a different project than the one from which the file was originally exported, as we cannot maintain the identification of data.
  • We cannot import data into Elements that are locked, not reserved, orginated from a module file, or otherwise unavailable for editing.
New Properties can’t be created in Excel, and only the values of Properties can be modified. (Parameters like ID, Name, Sizes can’t.) The modified XLS can be Imported only to the PLN where it had been created originally.
NOTE: You can find further information about Import/Export Property Data via Spreadsheet in the ARCHICAD Reference Guide.

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