On Land

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.

Element Transfer Settings is a new feature of Archicad 21. It allows the user much greater control over what settings are injected during a syringe operation and/or when favorites are applied. I haven't explored the feature enough yet to be inspired by what it can do, but I think it's going to be helpful.

But I have a problem with the way the feature behaves in projects migrated from Archicad 20. When you open a project in Archicad 21 the first time, a single ETS option is created, Transfer All Settings. As you would guess, every setting in every tool is checked off. This includes settings that didn't transfer in Archicad 20, such as story, ID, and zone name and number. These are the personally annoying results that drew my attention:

• Favorites are set to include the story. So on every story except the home story when the favorite was created, you will get that wonderful dialog box about changes on an unseen story, and then you undo, fix the story, and do it over. (In 20 this just behaved badly and acted like a bug. It works perfectly now once you know what ETS is.)

• ID is included, so if you use unique IDs to schedule elements such as doors and windows, you are going to start to see duplicate IDs (i.e., data loss) from using favorites or the syringe.

• I don't think I've ever eyedropper/syringed a zone, but if I did, I wouldn't want the name and number to transfer, that's crazy.

The old way in Archicad 20 offered some control over these things, so if you wanted to transfer ID via favorite you could, though you couldn't via syringe. (That's really confusing and the new way is better, once you know about it.)

So a migrating user of Archicad 21 is probably going to encounter frustration and data loss, before they even meet the new feature that is responsible. The migration process should have created a safer default ETS option. Note, this is only an issue with migration - the templates have a sensible assortment of options.

I have only made a few ETS options so far, but my default one excludes story, ID, name, number, reference ID, title, and label text content. I have a separate option to transfer label content. And I renamed the bad one to: 'Transfer All Settings BE CAREFUL'.