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.
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This is everything I can think of about libraries management. There have been a lot of changes over the years.

Tell me one more time what's in the libraries

Objects, doors, windows, lamps, skylights, labels, zone stamps, section/elevation/detail markers, door/window/skylight markers, change markers, drawing titles, patches, databases, list schemes, properties, textures, surface definitions, background images. Not much, really.

What isn't

Attributes, work environment schemes, display option combinations, view sets, schedule schemes, dimension standards, DXF-DWG translation settings

Which libraries should be loaded

More on what libraries are where can be found here. Version numbers in library names (LIB18, e.g.) will change periodically.

From the carrot (2 Libraries): 1 Rill LIB18. It's located in the Master LIB 18 folder. Don't load the whole Master LIB folder. Use the most current library relative to the Archicad version you are working in. Most of the time, I only do active maintenance on the most current version of the library. When you migrate a project to a newer version, use the Library Manager to unload the old Rill LIB and load the newer one. Don't load a library with a higher version number; some parts will certainly not work.

From your local disk: For AC18, Archicad Library 18, the entire folder. Its location is Applications/Graphisoft/Archicad 18. This naming pattern has been consistent for many versions, so I expect you will do the same for future versions.

Why are our libraries on a server

So we all have the up-to-date library all the time. I update library parts frequently.

Why is the Archicad Library loaded locally

Because that's where Archicad expects to find it. There is absolutely never any reason to move the Archicad library or load it from somewhere else.

Can I copy the carrot libraries to my local disk and load them from there

No. Again, I update library parts almost every day. If you are using a local copy, you are out of date. You could copy them every day, but this isn't any faster than loading them directly from the server. We sacrifice a few seconds of loading time for the benefit of having one consistent library for everyone. tl;dr: No.

Tell me about the History tab in the Library Manager

They took it out when they redesigned the library manager for AC13. I am still bitter about it.

In AC16, they restored some history functionality. On the flyout next to the big Add button in the library manager, there is a list of recently loaded linked libraries. It seems to work, but there duplicates, and the list is confusing because there are no paths shown, and I don't see how to edit the list. I often end up dragging things from the Finder, like a caveman.

What is library migration

Since AC14, Archicad has had the ability to consolidate the Archicad library. This means to load the current version of the AC Library, and load special migration libraries of parts from previous libraries which are placed in the project. This way you get the new AC Library, but your old placed parts should not be disrupted.

In AC18, on first opening a project from AC17 or earlier, you will get a dialog box offering to perform this migration and consolidation process automatically. Do it. If you skip it, you can do it later by clicking the 'consolidate' button in the library manager. After migration, you will see the 'Archicad 18 Library' along with the 'Archicad Migration Libraries'. (In earlier versions, the separate version libraries were listed individually.)

Migration only applies to the Archicad Library. After migration, the 'consolidate' button is no longer shown.

What about migrating our library then

When opening a project in a new version, always use the Library Manager to switch to the most current version of the Rill LIB. This is separate from the AC Library process above. Again, I only actively maintain the most recent libraries. (Bug fixing is different.)

What is the embedded library

It is part of the project file. It is shown in the Library Manager, but it is not an external resource. Parts in the embedded library are not available to other projects (unless they are hotlinked). Use the embedded library for parts which are highly specific to the current project. Often these are one-off slabified objects and 2D patches. If you think you will use a part in another project, save to an external folder.

Some object isn't working right

Tell me. Wait, back up a little. Before you tell me, reload the libraries. Some apparent problems are caused by my fooling around with things, and you just need to get the latest version of something. Tell me even if it's an AC object; I can probably help you work around its issue.

How do I reload

There's a command on the File -> Libraries and Objects menu. I never use it. There's an option under the green button in the Library Manager. I don't really use that either. (The big Reload button in Library Manager is gone.) We have a keyboard shortcut for Reload, which is Ctrl+Opt+L. The Library Manager is Cmd+Opt+L. The default AC work environment doesn't have shortcuts for these items, like a caveman.

All the objects are missing

Make sure the carrot is mounted. If it isn't: In the Finder, Connect to Server (Cmd+K). The server's address ends in 91.

The Library Loading Report says things are missing

Do not ignore missing objects. These directly affect the project itself. (Exception: Sometimes a zone stamp will be reported missing when it isn't, it was merely in use in the previously open project. Bug. Still! For so long.) Tracking down missing parts in very old projects can be a chore, but I know you can handle it. Ask for help.

The Library Loading Report says duplicates

Generally, do not ignore duplicates. Try to resolve the issue. Ask for help if needed. If you have duplicate objects, you can't be sure that the one that gets used is the right one; it may be that the other one is more current.

You will often get duplicates when opening an old project. If you determine that the duplicates are from the Archicad library, you may be able to let it go. If the duplicates are from the old Smart Parts library, you can definitely let it go; those objects have never changed.

Another problem with tolerating duplicates is that you get used to seeing the report pop up, and you ignore it, and when it says something important you've stopped paying attention.

What makes a duplicate

Not the name. (Ikr.) Library parts have an internal identification number which is usually hidden from the user called the GUID. It is this number which has to match in order to have a duplicate reported.

If you Save As on an object, the new copy gets an entirely new GUID which cannot be modified by the user. Even if you don't change the name. Archicad is just fine with having multiple objects of the same name, as long as the GUIDs are different. They always will be different, as long you do normal saving and saving as of library parts.

You can create library parts with identical GUIDs, but you have to go out of your way to do it.

The good thing is, you can change the name of an object file in the Finder, and since the GUID is not changed, placed objects will not be disrupted. The name will change in place automatically.

How do I get the Library Loading Report back if I close it

Window -> Palette Display -> Show Library Loading Report.