Working in Teamwork in ArchiCAD: Frequently Asked Questions

by GRAPHISOFT and Katica Avvakumovits · updated: 04.23.2012

What is the difference between “Save” and “Send and Receive”?

The Save command saves your local copy of the project to your hard drive (that is, into your local copy of the shared project). The Save command does not create a PLN file. However, if you wish, you can save your Teamwork project as a PLN file. (Use File > Save As, and choose PLN file format); this newly saved PLN will contain all project elements. This PLN file is solely a local file and cannot be sent to the server, but you can re-share the PLN file as a Teamwork project.

Recommendation: If you are working in Teamwork and suspect any kind of data error, the first thing you should do is to save your project as a PLN file.

The Save command issued on its own does not send your changes to the server. The Send/Receive commands send and/or receive changes, which have occurred since the last Send/Receive, to and from the BIM Server. When you Receive from the server, your unsent modifications in your local copy are not affected – they remain intact.

Do we automatically “Save” when we “Send and Receive”?

No. Send/Receive commands involve refreshing BIM Server data, but do not save anything locally on your machine. Exception: If you do a Send or Receive, then close your project, a Save will automatically occur.

When I “Save”, where is the file stored?

Your Work Environment > Company Standards Schemes > Special Folders panel specifies where your local Teamwork project data will be stored. The database information in this folder is not designed for user browsing or viewing.

What does “Autosave” autosave?

Autosave behaves the same way as autosave for solo PLNs: it automatically stores your Teamwork project to the autosave location on your hard disk at predefined intervals, without your having to issue the Save command. Each Teamwork user sets his/her own Autosave preferences locally, on the Work Environment’s Data Safety page.

How can it happen that local data and Teamwork server data are out of sync?

In order for your local modifications to be added to the Teamwork project on the server, you must Send your changes. Until you send in your changed local data, that data does not exist on the server, and no other users can see it. In this situation, you are out of sync with the server data. Even if you Receive the project from the server, your local changes remain just in your local copy, until you Send your changes to the server. Also, when you work offline, your copy of the project is by definition out of sync with Teamwork server data. When you go online again, you must do a Send and Receive to ensure that your data and also the server data are up-to-date. ArchiCAD will prevent any user from reserving any element or data type that is not in sync with the latest server data. In such a situation, the program will enforce a Receive.

What is the “Reload Project from Server” command for?

This command is located at Teamwork > Project > Reload Project from Server.

Ordinarily, you do not have to use this command during your normal daily workflow. But if you are working along and then realize that you want to discard your local changes and start fresh, or if you suspect any kind of data error in the project you are working on, use Reload Project from Server. This means that your unsent changes will be discarded, and you will get the current, entire state of the project as it exists on the server. (In contrast, when you Receive project changes from the server, your local data, including unsent changes, remain intact.)

Can we use the Marquee Tool to reserve elements?

To reserve elements by selection in Teamwork, you must explicitly select them, so that they show selection dots. Then you can use the Reserve Selected Elements command. Placing a Marquee is not enough, because Marquee selection does not explicitly select elements. You can, of course, use the Marquee to help explicitly select the items you need. For example, draw a Marquee, then use Select All (Ctrl/Cmd +A with Arrow tool selected) to select all elements inside the Marquee.

Alternatively, you can place a Marquee, then use the Find & Select dialog box to identify and select the items.


Once they are explicitly selected (i.e. they show selection dots), you can Reserve Selected Elements.

Do we have to “Leave Teamwork Project” every time before we quit ArchiCAD?

No. When you finish working for the day, do not leave the project; just Close it. This means that the local copy of your project is kept on your local disk, so you can easily continue working from it next time you open the project. The next day, you will not have to join the project (you are already joined in); just Open it. As long as you are joined in to a Teamwork Project, you can Open or Close the project as many times as you like, without losing your reservations or dumping your local copy. However, once you Leave the project (as opposed to closing it), you lose your reservations and dump your local copy. It is recommended that you do not leave the project unless you do not plan to work on it any more in the foreseeable future. Typically, you will leave a Teamwork project when you no longer participate in it.

See also Force Leave.

Can I have more than one Server Administrator on a server? How about Project Administrators?

You may have any number of Server Administrators and Project Administrators on a server. The initial Server Administrator is defined by you when you configure the BIM Server. When you add users using BIM Server Manager (Users page), you are able to define each new user as a Server Administrator, a Project Administrator, or neither, using the checkboxes in the New User Settings dialog box.


(A Server Administrator is automatically also a Project Administrator, since their rights overlap.)

I want to kick a user out from a project. How can I do it? Will I lose the changes made by this user?

To kick a user out of the project, use the Force Leave function. (You must be a Project Administrator or Server Administrator to do this.) If you Force a user to leave, the user cannot send his/her changes to the project. However, if the user opts to “Continue in Detached mode” (see next question), he/she has a way of retrieving important changes and pasting or merging them into the current version of the project. To force a user to leave the project, use the Teamwork Palette: select the user name from the Users panel, then click the “Force Leave” button. A Warning tells you that the user will not be able to send his/her unsent changes to the project. The user is notified that he/she has been forced to leave the project, and about the options for continuing (see “Whoops” dialog below). Unless you also remove the user from the project’s user list, this user will be able to re-join the project immediately.

What is “Detached mode”?

Detached mode is an optional way to continue working after you have been forced to leave a project. A forced leave can occur if an Administrator uses the “Force Leave” command (see previous question), or if an Administrator replaces the current version of the project on the server with a backup copy (“Rollback”). After a forced leave, the BIM Server “notices” that you are no longer part of the project. As a result, you cannot send anything to the server. You get this message:


If you “Continue in Detached mode”, you can still work on your local copy but you cannot send in your changes. Choose “Continue in Detached mode” if you want to retain your important recent modifications. While you cannot send these changes to the server (because you are in Detached mode), you can copy them to the clipboard. You can also save the detached project as a solo PLN. Then re-join the Teamwork project, and paste or merge your changes into this project. Do a Send & Receive: now you are in sync with the latest project data and can continue working where you left off.

I want to check my team members’ work before they send it to the server. How can I do that if they are not located in my office?

Teamwork does not currently support this functionality directly. In such a case, we recommend that you use a remote desktop (screen sharing) solution. Naturally, as long as you and the other users are online, you are able to easily keep track of other users’ work, even if they are in a different office, provided that they regularly send their changes to the server. Another option that is useful in certain limited cases is to utilize the Mark-Up features of ArchiCAD. If the remote team member moves their reserved and new elements into a Mark-Up group and assigns that group to their supervisor/reviewer before sending and releasing, then the assigned member can review those Mark-Up items and convert them back into ‘normal’ elements.

I want to change a user’s role while he is still working in the project. Is it possible?

It is possible to change a user’s role even after the user has begun work. However, if you change a user’s role or related access rights, the changes will take effect only after the user leaves, then re-joins the project. There are two ways to edit a role after the user has begun work:

  1. On the Roles page of Server Manager. (You must be a Server Administrator to modify roles here.)
  2. On the Users and Roles panel of Teamwork Project Settings. (You must be a Server or Project Administrator to modify roles here.) In this location, the customized role settings apply for this project only.

Once you make the role changes and click OK, a warning appears: for the changes to take effect, you must either wait until the user leaves, then re-joins the project on his own; or else you force the user to leave the project immediately.


In the latter case (see Force Leave), the user can no longer send changes to the server. However, if the user opts to “Continue in Detached mode”, he/she has a way of retrieving important changes and pasting or merging them into the current version of the project (see Detached Mode).

Can I still save different versions of a project as Teamwork drafts?

No, in Teamwork for ArchiCAD 13, you cannot save project versions as “draft” files.

You can, however, save particular versions using the Backup function in Teamwork Project Settings (Teamwork > Project > Teamwork Project Settings).

Suggested workflow:
Create Backup Copy of Original “Starting Point”

Work as usual in your project. When you reach a point at which several design variations are possible, you can save the current version as your original “starting point”.

1. Do a “Send and Receive.”

2. Go to Project Settings and click Create to create a manual backup of the current project version; give it a name (e.g. “Original version”).

3. Click OK and exit Project Settings. (This step will create the backup). Then keep working in the project.

Save Design Variation

When you have created a design variation that you want to keep, save it as a separate, named backup.

1. Do a “Send and Receive.”

2. Go to Project Settings and click Create to create a manual backup of the current project version; give it a name (e.g. “Variant 1 – Enclosed terrace”).

3. Click OK and exit Project Settings. (This step will create the backup). Then keep working in the project.

Return to Starting Point; Save Next Design Variation

Now, if you want, you can go back to the original starting point, before you start designing a newer variation. To do this,

1. Go to Project Settings. Select the backup entitled “Original version” and click Rollback.

2. Choose “Overwrite this project.” Your current project will revert to the “starting point” of your design variations.

3. Click OK and exit Project Settings, then keep working in the project.

4. Again, when you create a design variation you want to keep, follow the steps above (under “Save Design Variation”) to create another named manual backup.

Repeat this process as needed to create a named backup for every design variation for which you want to keep a separate record.

How can I clear the project history?

You cannot clear the project history on command. However, you can easily filter the events in the project history, by date, user, and/or action.

  • (The project history is in the Project Log, available from Project Settings and from File > Info > Teamwork Comments & Log.)

Can I use emoticons or special characters in messages?

Teamwork’s messaging system supports all types of textual input. Any keyboard character can be entered in messages, including special language characters. Graphical data and hyperlinks are not supported.

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