How to create an LCF (Library Container File)

by GRAPHISOFT and lnagy · updated: 09.26.2012

In certain situations having a full library in an LCF is more useful than having the library in its original hierarchical folder structure form on your hard drive. Such situations are:

  • Library Parts are not modified or not to be modified. Let us say you have an Office Library you are maintaining. If you believe the library will not be modified soon or you do not want anyone to modify it, you should create an LCF. People will not be able to overwrite Library Parts within the LCF.

  • You want the whole library to be handled as a whole and don’t want people to be able to load only certain folders within the library. If this happens they may not load folders that are needed for Library Parts in the library to work correctly (such as folders containing macros or textures/images etc.). Again, creating the LCF will make sure all necessary files are there and loaded.

  • Easy management of the library is a concern. If you have an extensive office library with many folders and Library Parts, people will be able to handle it more easily if they only need to handle a single LCF. Also, if you need to copy or send the library, it is again easier to handle only one file instead of dozens or even hundreds.

  • Speed is important. ArchiCAD handles and loads an LCF faster than library hierarchies on your hard drive. Also, the user experience in Object Settings Dialogs is the same since the LCF preserves the folder structure of the folders it was created from.


So here is how to do it:

Step 0: Check Folders

Before creating the LCF make sure that all folders you which to include in the LCF are linked and loaded into ArchiCAD so you can include only currently loaded folders in the LCF.

We will create an LCF and include the last 3, currently selected folders in it.

  • CreateLCF-00.png


Step 1: Go to “Create a Container” Dialog

Use the File\Libraries and Objects\Create Container menu command to create a container.

  • CreateLCF-01.png


Step 2: Select Folders

In the appearing Dialog, select the folders you wish to include in the LCF and click the Create button.

Note: You can use the familiar CTRL-click and SHIFT-click methods to select more than one library.

  • CreateLCF-02.png


Step 3: Specify Name

In the file selection Dialog, specify the name of the LCF to be created.

  • CreateLCF-03.png


Step 4: Compress File

Click the Options button, check the Compress file checkbox in the appearing dialog and click OK.

Then click the Save button to create the Library Container File.

  • CreateLCF-04.png

    CreateLCF-05.png


Step 5: Close Dialog

Click the Close button to leave the Create Library Container Dialog.

  • CreateLCF-07.png

At this point you start using the LCF instead of the folders. To do so:


Step 6: Remove Library Folders

Go back to the Library Manager and remove the libraries added earlier.

  • CreateLCF-08.png


Step 7: Load LCF

Add the created LCF to the Local Libraries and click OK to reload libraries.

  • CreateLCF-09.png

    CreateLCF-10.png

Related content

Library Container File

The extension.lcf identifies a “Library Container file”. The default ArchiCAD 17 Library is stored in an.lcf, but you can also create your own Library Container file, or extract its contents, using the File > Libraries and Objects > Create/Extract a…
OpenLibraryManagerIcon

Library Manager

The Library Manager displays the project’s libraries and objects. Open Library Manager Do one of the following: Use the File > Libraries and Objects > Library Manager command Go to Library Manager from the Info Box pop-up of any Library Part…