on 2020-03-18 02:00 PM - edited on 2023-05-15 05:09 PM by Emoke Csikos
If you are planning to work on your project from home or a different office, or you need to move it to a different server or BIMcloud, you will also need to consider all the external files you have been using with your project that are not included in the PLN/Teamwork project by default. Let's see what are the external elements you might be using, and how to make sure that they won't go missing when you continue working at your new location.
See the list below for the items that you might need to relink or transfer with your project, depending on your setup.
|Linked item||Where to manage these settings?|
|External Drawings (PDF, JPG, PMK, PLN)||File > External Content > Drawing Manager|
|Hotlinks (PLN, MOD, TW, 3DM, IFC)||File > External Content > Hotlink Module Manager...|
|Linked Libraries||File > Libraries and Objects > Library Manager...|
|XREF||File > External Content > XREF Manager...|
|DXF-DWG Translator||File > Interoperability > DXF-DWG > DXF-DWG Translation Setup...|
|Work Environment Profiles||Options > Work Environment > Work Environment...|
|IFC Translator||File > Interoperability > IFC > IFC Translators...|
If you need details about how to take care of each of these, see the detailed explanations below.
If you only use the ARCHICAD default options of the things listed above (default Libraries, default Template, etc.), then you have nothing to do. Wherever you use ARCHICAD, these defaults should be available (given that you are using the same language version fo course).
If you work in Teamwork, it is suggested to keep your linked items on a server location in your office (or in a cloud service), and keep that location mounted as a drive, with the same name/ID on each computer, so that the file path is the same on all computers (e.g. no matter which computer you are working from, the Hotlinks are at F:/Shared Server/Name-of-this-project/Hotlinks/).
It is important to consider, that when you are moving a project from on Operating System to another, or work on the same Teamwork Project from different Operating systems (macOS and Windows), then because of the difference between the file systems, links and file paths will only work on one operating system at a time. So in this case even though you have the same server mounted on both computers, the path to it will be different on the two operating systems, so you will only be able to set it up for one of them.
In case you ever need to work out of the office, it is a good idea to set up a VPN connection, and mount the same server on your distant computer, or use a Remote Desktop Application to work on your office computer from a distance. You can find out more about these options in our Working from Home with ARCHICAD Article.
When you place any kind of external 2D graphic in a viewpoint (e.g. PDF, JPG, etc.), or you place a drawing from a different Project in your documentation (through the Organizer), you are linking these files to your project as external drawings. These files can be stored on your computer or on a shared server drive in your office.
These drawings will always load their content directly from the linked file, so if they can't find the file, they might show up empty.
You can find out more about How to Manage Drawings from our User Guide.
If there are certain repeating parts in a building (e.g. bathroom layouts, typical offices, hotel rooms, flats, etc.), you can save these layouts as Hotlink files, and use them as repeating units. This can save you a lot of time, because if there is a need to make any changes to the units, you can do them in the Hotlink Module file once, and then update all of these instances at once.
If ARCHICAD cannot find the linked projects at the same location anymore, it won't be able to update the instances when you need to make changes to them. Updating Hotlinks is always manual though, so the already linked geometry doesn't go missing from your host project, you just can't update it.
You can find out more about How to Manage Hotlink Modules from our User Guide.
Libraries contain all the GDL Elements used throughout the project (e.g. Objects, Curtain Walls, Doors, Windows, etc.), and all additional files related to them and certain attributes inside ARCHICAD (like picture files used as textures).
Library parts are always loaded from the Library whenever they are needed, they are not stored in the Project (except for the Embedded Library), so if a Library is not found at the location it is supposed to be at, Things will go Missing, and replaced with a thick dot.
Also, if you just download a PLN version of your project, it will still be linked to the BIMcloud Library on your original BIMcloud, even if you share it to a different BIMcloud, meaning the project will be on the new BIMcloud, but it will still browse the Libraries from the old BIMcloud, and they will be missing, if the old BIMcloud is not accessible.
You can find out more about Libraries in our related Article.
You can attach DWG-DXFs as regular External Drawings, but in that case they will be just a drawing, with quite limited options and functionality. But if you need to keep them as part of your 2D plans, you can also link them to your project as External References (much like a hotlink).
Reloading XREF files to update them with the new changes is a manual process, so if the DWG-DXF file goes missing, the content stays intact in ARCHICAD. You will need to reload it though in case there are any updates made to the DWG-DXF file.
You can find out more about How to Work with XREFs from our User Guide.
DWG and DXF drawing elements are substantially different from ARCHICAD 2D elements, so if you want to import/export or XREF DWG files, you need a way to translate the AutoCAD hatchings and lines to ARCHICAD Fills and lines. To make sure everything is converted the way you want them to be, ARCHICAD uses Translators to decide what to convert into what.
These translators are stored on your hard drive in XML format.
If you have a custom Translator set up in a way you usually translate DWG files, and you don't have them with you, things might look wrong (at least not as expected) when you import/export DWG files.
You can find out more about Working with DWG/DXF Files from our User Guide.
ARCHICAD comes with a set of defaults when it comes to how the windows, palettes and toolbars are arranged when you open the software, and also for many additional things, like what color the selection highlight or the guidelines are, what tools are available in your toolbox and in what order, what items are in your top menu bar and what options are present in the settings dialog of each tool, jsut to name a few.
These settings can be stored in ARCHICAD as so called "Work Environment Profiles".
These settings are not related to any project, but to the User, so they are stored on your computer. If you start working from a different computer, and your Work Environment is not available, you might be less productive, because things are not set according to your taste.
You can find out more about Work Environment Settings from our User Guide.
Before ARCHICAD 21, IFC Translators worked similarly to DWG Translators - they were stored externally in XML files. But since ARCHICAD 21, the Translators are actually stored inside the project, so you have nothing to do about them, they will always be available, wherever you take the project.
If you are working in an earlier version of ARCHICAD though, you will need to make sure, that all of you have access to your custom Translators, either by having a copy of them on everyone's computers, or by having them shared on a central Server that is accessible for all of you. Either way, make sure that you go to 'File > Interoperability > IFC > IFC Translators...', and browse them at their new location.