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Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.
July 2004 Archive

In PlotMaker 3 (and above), you can place special tags in text elements which can intelligently display information about the project, the layout, the drawings, and the system environment (e.g., the date). This functionality, and the tags themselves, are known as AutoText.

AutoText tags must be in all caps, and they must be inside greater than/less than brackets.

When viewed in Archicad, tags will always appear with their name. In PM, the tag is interpreted and the proper text is displayed.

The main categories of tags are:

Info about the placed drawing,

Info about the layout,

Info about the system environment and the project files,

Info about the project itself, as stored in the 'Book Info'.

We already use AutoText tags in our drawing titles. They appear as "DRAWINGTITLE" in Archicad, then display the proper drawing number, depending on the arrangement, in PM.

AutoText is also used to generate the sheet numbers in the layout book. In the place of the number on the master layout, we have the tag "LAYOUTNUMBER", which is interpreted in each layout according to each subset's settings.

The "LAYOUTNUMBER" is placed directly in the layout using the text tool. To see how it works, go to a master layout and activate the text tool. Click to start the text, then right-click and mouse over 'Insert AutoText...' The flyout contains all of the AutoText items. Select 'Layout Name', then close the text. Switch to a layout that uses that master, and you see the text has turned into the layout name. (In master layouts, layout- and drawing-specific tags will always be interpreted as 'Undefined [Something]').

Like everything in PlotMaker, this is obsolete. In AC10, the info is in Project Info.

PlotMaker AutoText can display information about the project stored in the Layout Book Info. You can then use AutoText tags in title blocks to display the project name, address, etc.


The defaults for the following parameters the the main title block object have been changed to their respective AutoText tags:

• Project Name

• Type

• Street Address

• City

• State

• Zip

The SK title block uses AutoText tags in the Project Name and Type fields.

That means, new placements of the objects will have these values unless you change them. That means, you need to fill in the book info for the tags to be interpreted correctly (recommended), or edit the settings to display the info the old way. (But why?) Current projects should not be affected, but feel free to set up your book info and use the AutoTexts if you like. If you are going to issue SK sheets, this will make it much easier.

The templates have been updated with the new defaults. The 'Starting a Layout Book' workflow procedure now includes adding the book info.

For new projects, you must set up the book info, or you get this:

Wow, that makes 'Somebody Residence' look positively elegant.

Location: 01 General/1 Graphic Symbols

An Sheet Size option for 'B 11x17'.

I have updated the templates with an additional detail window to hold the title block at this size. In the layout book templates, I have added a master layout for the 11x17 size.

To use 11x17 sheets in current projects:


Note: This is obsolete starting with AC10. Use pen sets instead.

Now that you've had a look at the Attribute Manager, here's a move that would be almost impossible without it: Flip all your Archicad pens to PM settings, then flip them back, and it doesn't take all day.

Why? To print, especially to print PDFs. (PM is more capable in this area, but Archicad is quicker, and this pens trick gets you around the rainbow-lines thing.)

Along the way, we will meet a new friend, the attribute file.