Installation Package creation

by GRAPHISOFT and Andor Szőke · updated: 09.01.2008

With a Commercial and certain Educational licenses, it is possible to create a custom installation package that contains all the company standard environment settings, such as:

  • • Work environment settings
    • DXF/DWG Translators used by default
    • Project templates

Distributing this installation package in the office makes it possible for all associates to have a copy of ArchiCAD customized according to the company standards determined by the CAD Manager.

Note for Educational Institutions: If your ArchiCAD license is registered to an educational institution, you can use the Installation Package Creation process to create a recorded installation and simplify the installation of multiple identical copies of the program – even if you wish to use factory defaults instead of custom-defined settings.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to an error in the Installer of ArchiCAD 13 the installation will not be able to go on silently caused by a dialog coming up and asking for the serial to be entered again. This problem will be solved in the upcoming major ArchiCAD version.

To do this, you (the CAD Manager) must first install ArchiCAD on your own computer, following the standard installation process, and configuring the program according to company standards, following the steps below. Then you will quit and re-install the program on a server (or different machine). This time, you will choose a special installation option which automatically records your installation process and creates an install package: a single executable application file to be launched on each end user’s machine.

To create a custom installation package, follow these steps:

1.) Install ArchiCAD

Install ArchiCAD onto your own computer following the steps under “Standard Installation”. Choose the “Typical” Setup.

2.) Set up Work Environment

Use Options > Work Environment dialog boxes to set up your company standard work environment settings. Most such options are found in three dialog boxes of Company Standard Schemes: Data Safety; Web Options; and Special Folders. To store these modified Work Environment settings/schemes in a separate, custom-created profile, use Options > Work Environment > Work Environment Profiles.
Note: If you create new work environment schemes and if in your Install Package you DON’T want to include the default ones created by the regular installation, then after copying the content of the Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD 12.0.0 INT R1\WorkEnvironment folder to the Defaults/ArchiCAD/WorkEnvironment folder the unneeded schemes should be deleted in the latter.

3.) Create template Files

Create and save any number of template files. Template files include libraries loaded through Library Manager (e.g. “Office Standard Library”). Templates can also include Project Preferences (e.g. Working Units, Zone calculation preferences), and such items as Master Layouts, Project Info, placed elements (e.g. Elevation markers, entire buildings).

  • Note: At least one of the template files in the final Defaults/ArchiCAD/ folder should be called ArchiCAD 12 Template.tpl. This can even be the office template file renamed to the standard name. If not then at running ArchiCAD after the installation there an error message will come up saying: {X} Sorry, ArchiCAD cannot run on this computer. Problem: Latest Project Settings and factory default template Project are missing or damaged. ArchiCAD needs a valid template Project to start from.”

4.) Create DXF/DWG Translators

Use the Translator Setup dialog box (File > File Special > DXF/DWG Translator Setup) to set up Translators and save them to a shared folder on a server that is accessible to all users. (In this case, a TranslatorList .xml file is created, which is a list of references to these translators.) You can also create local translators that you want to install on the hard disk of each user.

5.) Quit ArchiCAD

6.) Create “Defaults” folder

Browse the ArchiCAD install CD – In the “ArchiCAD 12″ folder there is a folder called “Defaults”. Copy this folder to your computer to any location you prefer. You will copy your customized Work Enviroments, templates and DWG translators into this folder.

Since ArchiCAD 13 you might find the Defaults folder on the following location on the CD/DVD:
ArchiCAD XX/ArchiCAD XX-WinYY. Where XX is the version of ArchiCAD and YY is the bit number of your operating system. (32 or 64)

7.) Copy files to “Defaults” folder

Copy the following files/folders to their respective locations in the Defaults folder:

File From PC To
contents of Work Environment folder Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD 12.0.0 INT R1\WorkEnvironment Defaults/ArchiCAD/WorkEnvironment
TranslatorList .xml Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD 12.0.0 INT R1\Dxf-Dwg Preferences Defaults/ArchiCAD/
DXF-DWG Translators you want to install on each machine locally from the folder where you have saved them Defaults/Dxf-Dwg Translators
Templates files from the folder where you have saved them Defaults/ArchiCAD/

Note: Users of Vista operating system will find the Work Environment folder and the TranslatorList .xml at: Users\user\ AppData \Roaming\Graphisoft.

File From MacOS To
contents of Work Environment folder Home/Library/Preferences/Graphisoft/AC 12.0.0 INT/WorkEnvironment Defaults/ArchiCAD/WorkEnvironment
TranslatorList .xml Home/Library/Preferences/Graphisoft/AC 12.0.0 INT/Dxf-Dwg Preferences Defaults/ArchiCAD/
DXF-DWG Translators you want to install on each machine locally from the folder where you have saved them Defaults/Dxf-Dwg Translators
Templates files from the folder where you have saved them Defaults/ArchiCAD/

Note: If one uses both TranslatorList .xml and DXF-DWG Translators when copying files to the “Defaults” folder then please note that the TranslatorList .xml generated later on the user machine will not contain pointer paths to the DXF-DWG Translator files that were populated as a result of the installation. Therefore we suggest one uses only one of the two methods in order to avoid confusion.

The result should look like this:

defaults2.png

8.) Uninstall ArchiCAD

Uninstall ArchiCAD from your machine, then run ArchiCAD Installer on the server or another machine.

9.) Install ArchiCAD with “Installation Package Creation” option

When you get to Choose Setup Type, choose the Installation Package Creation option. The screens of the Installation Wizard will now show the message “Recorded Installation.” Proceed through the screens of the Installation Wizard and set options for the content of the recorded installation package:

a.) Feature (Component) Selection

Choose the components you wish to install.

b.) Select Company Standards Defaults

If you wish to customize your install package, check the Install company standard defaults box, and browse and locate the “Defaults” folder (created in step 6 and 7) on your computer.

The program will check to ensure that the Defaults folder indeed contains default content. (If it does not, you will see a warning notice.)

Note for Educational Institutions: If you are using the Installation Package Creation process to create a recorded installation that does not include customized settings, do not check the box on this screen. Your recorded installation process will then skip to the end of the process. (it will skip the following steps: c,d,e,f,g)

c.) AC Work Environment Selection

Use the pop-up menu to define which Work Environment profiles should be included in the install package:

  • • ArchiCAD Factory Default Profile Set; or
    • Predefined Company Standard Profile Set.

The selected profiles (referred to in a single .xml file) will be copied to the following location on each end user’s machine.
On PC: Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Graphisoft\AC12\Work Environment folder.
On MacOS: Library\Preferences\Graphisoft\AC 12\WorkEnvironment folder.

Note: This panel will appear only if the components to be installed include ArchiCAD; and you have activated the Install company standard defaults checkbox; and the defined Defaults folder includes a WorkEnvironment subfolder.

d.) DXF-DWG Translator List

Use this screen to specify the path of the translator list you want to include as part of the install package.

If you have defined company standard translators and have placed the resulting Translator List.xml in the defined Defaults folder, check Install Predefined List of Translators. The paths of the translator files are displayed below.

The chosen .xml will be copied into the ArchiCAD/Defaults folder.

After the package is installed on the end users’ machines, the users will have access to read-only templates of these referred translators (which are located on a server). To edit them, the users should create editable copies by duplicating them in Translator Settings.

If you want to use ArchiCAD’s factory default translators, do not check the box.

Note: This screen will appear only if the components to be installed include ArchiCAD; and you have activated the Install company standard defaults checkbox; and the defined Defaults folder includes a file called TranslatorList .xml.

e.) Local DXF-DWG Translators

If you have defined company standard Translators which you want to install on each end user’s machine, check Install Company Standard Translator(s). The names of these translators are shown in the dialog box on screen.

Upon installation on the end users’ machines, and when the program is first started, these translators will be copied to the following location on each user’s machine:
On PC: Documents and Settings\user\Graphisoft\DXF-DWG Translators folder.
On MacOS: Library\Application Support\Graphisoft\DXF-DWG Translators.

Note: This panel will appear only if the components to be installed include ArchiCAD; and you have activated the Install company standard defaults checkbox; and the defined Defaults folder includes at least one file called Translator.xml.

f.) Template Projects

If you have defined company standard Templates which you want to install on each end user’s machine, check Install Company Standard Template(s). The template files that you have copied to the Defaults folder are listed on the screen below.

Upon installation on the end users’ machines, and when the program is first started, these templates will be copied into the following location on each end user’s machine.
On PC: Documents and Settings\user\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD Template folder.
On MacOS: Library\Application Support\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD Templates

When creating a new project in ArchiCAD with the “Use a Template” option, end users will find these company standard templates listed in the pop-up, together with other, recently used template files.

Note: This screen will appear only if the components to be installed include ArchiCAD; and you have activated the Install company standard defaults checkbox; and the defined Defaults folder includes at least one Template file.

g.) Complete Recorded Installation

After viewing a summary of your installation choices, click the Install button on the screen to initiate the recorded installation.

On the next screens, three additional options will be added to the recorded installation, and will be carried out on each end user’s machine:

  • • if the installer detects customized Work Environment Profiles from

earlier ArchiCAD versions (AC 9, AC 10 or AC 11) on the end user’s machine, decide whether these should be imported to ArchiCAD 12 or not.

  • • decide whether an “ArchiCAD 12” desktop shortcut should be created

on the desktop

  • • decide whether the end user’s system should reboot automatically

following the installation

Finally, define the path to which the recorded file – an executable application – should be saved.

10.) Finish

You have now created an installation package. When users launch “setup.exe” or “ArchiCAD Installer” on the server, the usual queries posed by the Installation Wizard are skipped; the installation begins immediately. The installed copy of ArchiCAD will have the previously defined default settings.

After creating the Installation Package you may use an automation of remotely installing the package on several client computers at once. For reading more on deploying ArchiCAD installation packages go here: DeployingInstallationPackage.

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