Registry or Preferences?

by GRAPHISOFT and Judit Boros · updated: 09.13.2011

In some cases, the only way to activate a feature, or change the behaviour of ArchiCAD is by editing software configuration keys maintained by the operating system. On a PC this configuration system is called the Registry. On a Mac these configuration settings can be found in a PLIST file in the user’s library.


/!\ Commonly the task of modifying operating system configuration keys is left to IT professionals, since incorrectly modifying this data could make a program or your computer inoperable.


Windows: Registry Editor

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Graphisoft\ArchiCAD\[ArchiCAD version] in Regedit

Step 1: Run Regedit

Go to Start Menu and type Run into the search field




Type Regedit and press OK to open the Registry Window



Step 2: Modify the Registry Key

The Registry Editor displays keys organised into folders. An important top most folder is called: HKEY_CURRENT_USER. The keys you might need to change for modifying ArchiCAD’s behaviour will be located under Software, and then under Graphisoft. Here you will find the keys used by all the installed ArchiCADs on your computer. You might even find keys for ArchiCAD versions that are no longer installed on the computer.

Here is an example of what you might see.




For a more in depth discussion of the Registry see also Wikipedia discussion of the Registry


Mac OS X: Preferences

Open ‘com.graphisoft.AC-64 16.0.0 INT v1.plist’ from User Preferences in Pref Setter or Xcode


Step 1: Run Pref Setter

Software configuration keys, commonly called Preferences, are stored in property list files. These files are stored in your Library. The property list files are identified by a .plist extension.

If you have never edited a .plist file before on your machine you will need to find a program that is designed to modify them. A common tool used for this task is Pref Setter.

  • Download and Install Pref Setter
  • you can reach your ArchiCAD registry keys in the following destination: Current User’/Library/Preferences/ e.g.:com.graphisoft.AC version v1.plist

Note: Library folder is hidden by default. You can unhide it with the following step: open Terminal, type the following line: chflags nohidden ~/Library and press enter

  • open the .plist file (property list) with Pref Setter while double clicking on the file (or right click and open with Pref Setter)

Note: during trying to open the .plist file you might receive the following error message:


In this case please go to: System Preferences/Security and Privacy window and se the Allow applications downloaded from option to: Anywhere.


Step 2: Modify the Registry Key

  • search for the key
  • change the value with clicking on it
  • save the file (cmd+Q)

Note: be careful when editing the registry. If you are unsure about the changes you made do not save the file.


For a more in depth discussion of Property Lists see also Wikipedia discussion of the Property Lists