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File Conversion EDU to Comercial


I was getting in touch because once I was working on the educational version, I created a template (pens, vegetables, ovm, overlays, views, layouts, compositions, etc.) However I bought your annual license and wanted to start working on the commercial one but with the template I created previously in the EDU version, however it gives me error because they are different versions (one EDU and one educational) even though both are Archicad 26, is there a way to fix that?


Eduardo Rolon

Just to be clear. You cannot buy an Educational version.

If you bought a Commercial Version the only option is to recreate the Template in the commercial version.


There is no option to change/upgrade EDU to Commercial.


The commercial version can open EDU but it will switch to EDU as long as that file is opened. If you start a project in the Commercial version with an EDU template then that project will become EDU.

There shouldn't be an error besides the warning that AC will switch to EDU.



Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator


Maybe exporting all attributes, graphic overrides, renovation filters, etc, from EDU and importing those back to an commercial version could work, though I never tried it myself. An edu project file is not and most likely never will be compatible with a commercial Archicad version (without switching to edu mode).

| Archicad 4.55 - 26
| HP Z840 | 2× E5-2643 v4 | 64 GB RAM | Quadro M5000 | Windows 10 Pro x64
| HP Z4 G4 | W-2245 | 64 GB RAM | RTX A4000 | Windows 11

Yes, that is the only error that appears. I bought the commercial version and thought I could keep working on the things I was doing in the educational version without getting that error, and that the commercial version would assume despite the file being educational. But it seems archicad doesn't do that, right?


Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator


It is apparently the developers' philosophy that students are forbidden to leverage their labor while students once they graduate and buy a regular, non-educational product license. The idea that students learn largely by contributing to larger projects that involve people who have commercial projects appears not to be of interest to Graphisoft; apparently professors are supposed to have no commercial work … I'm trying to imagine a student trying to show a portfolio to a prospective employer, or an adjunct professor unable to open student projects to grade them.


I'm interested in the solution. If I buy a regular license, can I see feedback from instructors with an educational license?


I have licenses in other fields in which, at least in my country, there is considerable overlap in academia between real-world work and graduate study. The ordinary solution for software developers is to let academic licenses expire so the users buy a license to keep using all the content they've designed – not cripple the output so academics must live in a bubble isolated from the professional communities to which they should be connected. 


Imagine a world in which word processor licensing and file formats did what Graphisoft has chosen to do.

MacOS 14.1.2 on M1Ultra 64GB RAM

Not really seeing a problem here.

Both versions, EDU and commercial, can read both files.

So: EDU can open EDU and commercial, but if you save the latter, it will become an EDU file, too.

Commercial can open commercial and EDU, but it will be tempory act as if its an EDU version, and the EDU file will stay as it is.

The only difference between both is the watermark. Everything else does work the same afaik.

This approach is very fair and also resonable. If this would be different, then offices would just hire a bunch of students and they would work with their FREE (!) license on commercial projects. That's not sustainable as a business 😉

Lucas Becker | AC 27 on Mac | Editor at SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»


As somebody who has been teaching AC for the last 20 years while having my professional practice I have never had any problems. Portfolios are sent in PDF or printed never in native format. Except for some specific cases (like Rhino) every single CAD/CAM/BIM package limits the sharing of Data between Academic and Profesional and AC started their EDU program (AC4.5 or 5 IIRC) way before some of those existed.


As @runxel indicates you can open files in both versions and there are no missing functionality.

Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

That's good to hear; as a newcomer I haven't been in a position to do any experiments, and have only seen posts about incompatibility of edu files with non-edu licenses, which would seem to mean one would have some trouble trying to access, use, improve, or modify anything designed while a student. In a lot of other fields the academic license doesn't prevent use of your work while a student, just expires with student status.


As for the joke explanation this somehow protects practicing architects from unfair competition (!) with students, I assume architect firms can tell the difference between student work and the output of those who are fully trained. I can tell you in the field I'm coming from there's no competitive advantage having student software: the edge goes to those who've been at work long enough to know how to do the work right, not those who are falling over themselves to do it "cheap" (which means expensive, as spotting and correcting errors is costlier than doing work right in the first place). 


Earlier posts I'd seen described the file format lock for edu licenses differently than you're describing. Perhaps the behavior has changed over time?

MacOS 14.1.2 on M1Ultra 64GB RAM

@Sea_Dragons wrote:


Earlier posts I'd seen described the file format lock for edu licenses differently than you're describing. Perhaps the behavior has changed over time?

If you found earlier posts that describe something different, then those posts were wrong or perhaps misinterpreted.  The behavior of student/EDU licenses vs commercial licenses has always been as described here.


To be sure you understood... student work begun with an EDU license can be continued with a professional license...but it will still be an EDU project, as the professional/commercial license will open the file in "EDU mode" with the watermark.  Commercial work can be converted to EDU files, but an EDU project file can never be converted to a commercial file.  Always been this way.

If a student is working with a professional firm, it is up to that firm to provide a professional license to the student so that they can collaborate.  Licenses are available for monthly rental for such purposes.

One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.2, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB

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