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Library Migration

by GregKmethy, updated 2011-09-06 • ArchiCAD15 and newer

When you migrate a project to ArchiCAD 15, new features ensure that your ArchiCAD library parts will also be migrated to use the latest available versions.

  • Automatically use latest library part versions
    If you consolidate your older ArchiCAD libraries (13 or 14) with the ArchiCAD 15 library, placed objects from the older libraries will automatically be replaced with their latest compatible version in the ArchiCAD 15 library.

  • Avoid duplicates when embedding objects
    You may wish to embed a particular library’s placed objects into your project. Now you can ensure that you won’t embed objects that already exist in other, linked libraries, by using this new Library Manager feature.

  • Backward compatibility supported for library parts
    When back-saving your ArchiCAD 15 project to version 14, any library parts that were revised for 15 will be automatically replaced by their original counterparts in version 14.

Library Migration in ArchiCAD 14

Migrating old projects with their libraries got a lot easier in ArchiCAD14 with the introduction of two new features:

  • Consolidate Library
  • Embed placed objects

Using these tools, migrating a project from ArchiCAD 10 or newer now only takes a few clicks. Migrating older projects need some clean-up work, but the enhanced Library Report in ArchiCAD 14 will significantly ease that process too.

Migrating ArchiCAD 10 and newer projects

Note: This article details how to migrate single ArchiCAD project files. To migrate large projects which include several files hot-linked to each other, probably different approach is necessary. GRAPHISOFT does not recommend embedding the Migration Libraries in that case - Migration Libraries should be kept as Linked libraries.

STEP1: Loading original libraries

It's best to start off with the originally used libraries. It's best if you have the original .PLN file and all the necessary libraries. However, often Project Archive (PLA) format is used fro archiving. If you are opening a PLA file, you have to determine what libraries were originally loaded.

In this example, we are going to migrate the "NHS Office.PLA" file. When opening the file, we choose the option "Read elements directly from archive". We will extract the PLA into a folder that we name "NHS"


In the extracted "NHS" folder it is visible, what libraries were originally used:


Instead of loading the extracted "NHS" library directly, we will tell ArchiCAD to load the two sub-folders in it - this step is necessary so that ArchiCAD recognizes that the "ArchiCAD Library 10" library was originally used in this project. So here is what to do:

  • We add "ArchiCAD Library 10" (use the large "Add" button)
  • We add "NHS Office project Library"
  • We delete "NHS"


STEP2: Consolidating Libraries

Now it's time to load the ArchiCAD 14 library too - after all, our goal is to be able to use the new ArchiCAD 14 objects from now on. When we load the ArchiCAD 14 Library, this message will show up:


Click "Use Migration Library". As a result, ArchiCAD will automatically replace the "ArchiCAD Library 10" with necessary Migration Libraries.


STEP3: Embedding placed objects

We have a bit too many libraries loaded now. They are all necessary to make sure all the placed elements look right, but we only use a few elements from all those libraries. For example, only 22 objects are used from the "Library Subset 10". We can embed those 22 objects (with all their invisible macros) just by clicking the "Embed placed objects of selected library" button. This will move the 22 objects and their macros into the EmbeddedLibrary.


Repeat this for all the other Migration Libraries. You will get this question asked every time you embed a Library:


  • Consider this when deciding which option to check:

  • Texture files do not have a GUID, they are identified by name. It's possible that the same texture file already exists in the ArchiCAD Library 14. If you embed the textures, on one hand, you can be sure that all the necessary textures are loaded, on the other hand, you will probably have duplicates.

  • Zone stamps are referenced by Zone Categories. If you choose not to embed all zone stamps, they might appear "missing" in the Library report - but nothing will be actually missing from the floor plans, only some of the existing "zone categories" will reference "missing" zone stamps.
  • Property objects are used for calculating quantities. If you have not used these, or don't even know what they are, then you should not worry about them.

    In short: Most of the times you do not have to check this checkbox.

This is what you end up with:


As you see we ended up with just the project-specific Library and the "ArchiCAD Library 14" loaded as linked libraries, everything else is embedded in the project. Some thoughts about the EmbeddedLibrary:

  • We could have embedded the "NHS Office project library" too, but be cautious with embedding too many objects - it will increase the size of the file.
  • Custom parts that you change often should not be embedded - keep them in linked libraries.
  • Definitely do not embed the current ArchiCAD Library - you will not be able to place elements that you have not used before, and you will not be able to update parts when a Library Hotfix comes out.
  • Routinely check what's in the Embedded Library - the new Library Manager interface tells you the "number of placed elements" when you select an element in the Embedded Library. Get rid of elements that you no longer use.

Short summary on the Migration Libraries

Each new version of the ArchiCAD Library contains many objects that have been updated since the previous version. For the most part, these updated objects are compatible with placed older versions of the same object. In some cases, the updated library part versions are not compatible with their older versions. Thus, when you migrate a project to ArchiCAD 14, your project still needs the older object versions to be available. ArchiCAD Migration Libraries serve this purpose: they contain only those objects from an earlier-version ArchiCAD Library that do not have compatible counterparts in the latest-version ArchiCAD Library. A Migration Library is much smaller than full-version ArchiCAD Library, so it is preferable to use just the latest-version ArchiCAD Library, plus the Migration Libraries for previous versions.

Question: If I open an older project (eg. AC10) why does library consolidation add all the migration libraries between the two versions?

Answer: In case of a particular old object, it is not obvious between which versions did it changed. (E.g. it is changed between AC11 and AC12, this means it will be in the ArchiCAD11 Migration library) So only after loading all the Migration libraries we can be sure that all library parts are loaded. But using the information on the Placed Objects mentioned above at STEP3, you can narrow down the actually used Migration Libraries.

Categories: CategoryLibrary CategoryMigration

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