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Migrating to ArchiCAD 17: Working with Hotlinks: What Happens to the Attributes

Date: Thursday, June 27, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 9.36.59 AM

When you add or update a hotlinked file, if the attribute sets do not match, ArchiCAD automatically manages them as follows:

Attributes from the hotlinked file (module .MOD or native ArchiCAD .PLN files) are associated to attributes in the host file, via their name within the same attribute type. For example:

  1. If the same name exists – “Attribute A” in the hotlink will link to “Attribute A” in the host.
  2. If the same name doesn’t exist – “Attribute A” in the hotlink will create a new “Attribute A” in the host.
  3. If “Attribute A” is renamed to “Attribute B” in the host, and the hotlink file is updated, a new “Attribute A” will be created (see point 2)

When migrating hotlinked files, the same ‘use attribute name’ logic described above still applies to maintain an accurate model appearance.

As described above, in ArchiCAD 17, Building Material attributes generated from a migrated project will use the Cut Fill name and a unique nine-digit number. This identifier represents the contents and settings of the generated Building Material; therefore, attributes with the same unique number have identical settings. If you change Building Material names (including the ID number), such attributes will not be paired with their identical counterparts in hotlinked files, so new attributes will be created after the hotlink is updated.

Recommendations for Hotlinked Files

  • When working with hotlinked files in a Project, it is best to use the same set of attributes in both the host and hotlinked files.
  • It is best to migrate all hotlinked files to the same version to maintain consistency between files.
  • If you are migrating both the host and hotlinked files to ArchiCAD 17:
    • First consolidate and update attributes in the host
    • then do the same with all hotlinked files before updating any hotlinks – otherwise an update may cause unnecessary attributes to be generated
  • It is recommended that you do not change Building Material names in files that are to be used as or with hotlinks, until all of the participating files have been migrated. Such name changes should be made before the hotlinks are updated
  • If you do change Building Material names, make sure you do so consistently in all linked files

In some instances, you may not want to migrate hotlinks to ArchiCAD 17 (perhaps they are still being used in older-version ArchiCAD version files). Due to automatic attribute generation and naming, again: it is recommended that you do not rename the Building Materials generated from these hotlinked files in the ArchiCAD 17 host. If you do rename them, this will cause new attributes to be generated the next time these older-version hotlink files are updated in the host.