MEP Modeller
BIM Explorer


ArchiCAD Tips
Send Us a Query

Buy ArchiCAD
Download Trial

Click here to return to ArchiCAD Tips Index
ArchiCAD Tip: Layout Book Transfer Procedure

Through the duration of ArchiCAD usage within any office, many office standards may change with respect to ArchiCAD.
Layer standards and Pen settings are two major examples.
Another would be Master Layout design, commonly (and slightly incorrectly) referred to as 'Title Block setup'.

A Master Layout controls the Title Block design of a printable sheet, but also controls other parameters, such as papersize, margins, orientation and auto-arrange functionality.

Typically, an ArchiCAD office template may include at least 8 Master Layouts (A3,A1,A0 with Portrait & Landscape variations)

In a case where a Master Layout in any ArchiCAD project differs from the 'most current' office Master Layout design, an ArchiCAD user may be asked/required to update that project to suit the new Master Layout design.
The simplest, but not necessarily 'best', method is to copy-and-paste the geometry from the current design (typically held in a template) to the actual project file.
This might be tedious if there are many Master Layouts involved, and ,technically, just copying the geometry across is not a true Master Layout transfer operation, as margin settings may have changed also - these would not be transferred via copy-and-paste.

The best method is to use the Organiser palette, found via Navigator, or via the pulldown menu: Window > Palettes > Organiser.
The Organiser allows a user to access (i.e. not open fully) a separate file, and transfer specific content in the current file - perfect for Master Layout transfer.

This process:
• is only required for projects out-of-date with the current Master Layout design.
• only has to be done once 'per project file'.


  1. Open your current ArchiCAD template file - which should contain your most up-to-date Master Layouts.
  2. Ensure the Master layout names are appropriate.
  3. It would be suggested to suffix these names with a revision description, so as to differentiate from previous versions of Master Layouts using the same description, for example DCS A3 Landscape v16r3.
  4. Save the template file as PLN, unfortunately ArchiCAD will not allow a *.TPL template file to be accessed via the Organiser.
    A sample template file (saved as a PLN) is found here but NOTE do not use this for regular work, contact your local reseller/agent for more information on proper template development, this file only for use in this tip example.

Actual Workflow:

  1. Open the old/out-of-date ArchiCAD project in ArchiCAD 16
    A sample file (based on the out-of-the-box Graphisoft template) can be found here.

  2. Click on Navigator > Show Organiser

  3. Click 'Browse Project' in the LHS Panel

  4. Browse to the most recent template file (saved as a PLN)

  5. Click Layout Book icon in both panels
    At this point:
    • the Left-hand panel shows the Layout Book elements of the template file
    • the Right-hand panel shows the Layout Book elements of the current file

  6. Select all the Master Layouts from LHS and drag to RHS

  7. Re-assign the new Master Layouts to any/all of the existing layouts.
    In the example shown, all seven existing layouts were set as A2 Landscape (orange arrow) and they were all re-assigned to the DCS A2 Landscape v16r3 (red arrow)

  8. Once re-assignment is complete, the original (out-of-date) Master Layouts can be deleted.

  9. The transfer process is now complete - the Organiser can be closed and the current PLN file should be saved.

To become familiar with another important transfer procedure, please take a look at our previous tip on Transferring Attributes.
To become familiar with Master Layout setup, please take a look at our previous tip on Creating Master Layouts.

Last Updated: 23 October 2012