(Note: This document hasn’t been updated for ARCHICAD 8.)
ARCHICAD tools cannot be created by Add-Ons, but there is a way to integrate specialized object editors into ARCHICAD which appear as new items in the Toolbox. Examples for this are StairMaker or ArchiSITE. These tools register a new object type with ARCHICAD. The objects they handle have all the data for ARCHICAD to display them in the various views, plus a section for tool specific data like the complex set of stair parameters in case of StairMaker.
External Object Editors must contain the following information:
This icon will be displayed in the Toolbox, right below the Camera tool. Its size should be 29 by 20 pixels.
The type tells the user what exactly the tool does. In case of StairMaker, it is “Stair”. This will be displayed at several locations in the ARCHICAD user interface.
Class (object, lamp, door, window)
Standard ARCHICAD objects of the above classes have Settings dialog boxes with different content and layouts. This declaration tells ARCHICAD which dialog box to use with the given external object type.
Once installed in the Toolbox, a user can interact with an External Object Editor in the following ways.
Popup in <Type> Settings
From the Toolbox icon, an Element Settings dialog of the appropriate class will open. On the right side of the object name field, a small pop-up control lets users access two commands.
- New <Type> This command opens the editor on top of the Settings dialog box, with a new untitled object.
- Edit this <Type> This command opens the current object displayed in the Settings dialog box, with the external editor.
New type in New Library Part hierarchic menu
The tool type will also appear in the File/New Library Part submenu, and opens the editor with a new untitled object.
New file format in Open Library Part dialog box
Opening this dialog box from the File menu, you find a pop-up menu listing the library part types.
Managing multiple instances
Create an object with an external editor and place it in a project several times. Select one of them and change it with the external editor. When saved, ARCHICAD will ask whether you want to change all instances or just the selected one.
If you choose changing the selected object, you will be forced to save it with a new name. If you change all instances, this step is not required.
Editing an object with ARCHICAD’s object editing environment
If opened and edited with the built-in object editing environment of ARCHICAD, all of the data sections used by ARCHICAD can be modified and this way, the floor plan symbol can be further customized.
However, if saved, you will be warned about the fact, that if edited by its native external editor later, these changes will be lost as the external editor will overwrite these data sections.