2020 | 014 – Foundations of the Attribute System

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ARCHICAD Training Lesson Outline

Foundations of the Attribute System

Element attributes are the foundation of every element you model or draw in ARCHICAD. They are managed in Attribute Manager:

  • Layers
  • Line Types
  • Fills
  • Surfaces
  • Building Materials
  • Composites
  • Complex Profiles
  • Zone Categories

Note: Also found in Attribute Manager, but not associated with elements:

  • Layer Combinations
  • Pen Sets
  • Cities
  • Operation Profiles
  • Markup Styles

Element attributes are built up on top of each other:

  • Fills refer to Line Types
  • Surfaces refer to Fills and Line Types
  • Building Materials refer to Surfaces and Fills
  • Composites and Complex Profiles refer to Building Materials, Surfaces and Line Types


Element Attributes are referred to internally via Index numbers, which allows you to rename them without losing data or breaking references.

Note: Views refer to NAMES of Settings; these "text strings" can lose their association when the name is changed.
Examples: Layer Combinations, Pen Sets, Model View Options, etc.

Element Attributes can be renamed and/or redefined manually or via Attribute Manager, allowing iterative development and experimentation. Elements that refer to these attributes will update automatically.

Advanced Best Practices TIP: 

Build your model thinking ahead about TYPES of elements, name the attributes based on the Type, then redefine as you develop your design.

Define several different basic composites for walls, name them WALL TYPE 1, WALL TYPE 2, etc. As you work through your design, refine the definitions to have more detail; the elements that reference these types or categories of wall assemblies will update automatically.

ARCHICAD Training Lesson Transcript

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