Import/Export File Formats in ARCHICAD

by GRAPHISOFT, Katalin Götz, Ákos Karóczkai, Dániel Alexander Kovács and Verginia Pozneac · updated: 06.13.2017

File Format Compatibility in ARCHICAD 21

 

ARCHICAD Formats

ARCHICAD Projects

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.PLN ARHCICAD Solo Project File (./) (./) Contains information about the project, associated files, metadescriptions, and other important content. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as… More details on this link
.PLA ARCHICAD Archive File (./) (./) Includes all library parts, linked images and textures. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…More details on this link
.BPN ARCHICAD Backup Project File (./) (./) Allows to recover the latest saved version of a damaged file. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…More details about damaged files on this link
.TPL ARCHICAD Project Template File (./) (./) Contains all project preferences settings, placed elements and tool default settings of the project. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…More details about template files on this link
.MOD ARCHICAD Module File (./) (./) Allows to insert the contents of external ARCHICAD files into another project. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…More details about Hotlink Modules on this link
.2DL ARCHICAD 2D Line File (./) (./) 2DL is a vectorial drawings saved from ARCHICAD. These drawings contain no model information and can be touched up in the Floor Plan with 2D tools. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…This option is only available in the 3D Window with the Vectorial 3D Engine – not available in OpenGL mode.

BIMx Format

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.BIMX BIMx Format (./) (./) The BIMx model is known as a “Hyper-model”. The BIMx model can contain the full documentation of your ARCHICAD project: the 3D model, plus any views, layouts and camera path. Export:
File > Publish BIMx Hyper-Model…  Can be opened by BIMx professional BIM project viewer.More details about BIMx on this link

Teamwork Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.BIMPROJECT BIM Server Import/Export Format (./) (./) BIMPROJECT is the server data of one project. After importing this to the server you can work with the ARCHICAD project in Teamwork. Import/export:
in BIM Server Manager. ARCHICAD 14 and higher version BIM Server import/export format. More details about BIMPROJECT on this link.
.TWTRAVEL Teamwork Travel Package (./) (./) The Travel Pack function creates a portable copy of your local data from the current Teamwork project. You can transfer project data and/or libraries in ARCHICAD to a remote computer and continue working there. Import:
Teamwork > Project > Traveling > Import Travel Pack
Export:
Teamwork > Project > Traveling > Create Travel Pack
.BACKUP BIM Server Backup File (./) (./) Allows to recover the latest saved version of a damaged BIM Server. Backing up your BIM Server is essential to avoid data loss and minimize the time needed in case of a disaster recovery. Import/export:
in BIM Server Manager.More details about backup on this link.

Library Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.LCF ARCHICAD Library Container File (./) (./) LFC is a single file, that keeps all the objects used in your projects in one place, while keeping hierarchies intact within the LCF. Import/export:
More details on this link
.GSM ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) GDL are usually created and used as binary objects with GSM extension. Import:
More details on this link
Export:
More details on this link
.GDL ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) GDL file can be used to load attribute definitions, define line types, and materials etc.

Import:
More details on this link
Export:
More details on this link

PlotMatker Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.PMK PlotMaker Drawing (./) (./) In ARCHICAD 9 and earlier versions the layouts were saved into a single PMK files that PlotMaker layouting program handled. Import:
File > Open > Open…More details about PlotMaker on this link
.LBK PlotMaker Layout Book (./) (./) The Layout Book was introduced in PlotMaker 9, which had the LBK files. Since ARCHICAD 10 it is intergrated into ARCHICAD. Import:
File > Open > Open…More details about PlotMaker on this link

 

Other CAD Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.DWG Drawing Database File (./) (./) DWG is used for storing 2D and 3D design data and metadata. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…More details about DWG on this link
.DXF Drawing Exchange Format (./) (./) Enables data interoperability between CAD and other programs. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…More details about DXF-DWG Translator on this link
.DGN MicroStation Design File (./) (./) MicroStation is a CAD software product for 2D and 3D design and drafting, developed and sold by Bentley Systems. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…

 

Other BIM Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.IFC Industry Foundation Classes File (./) (./) IFC is neutral file format that makes it possible to exchange information between different CAD systems and other systems in the building and facility management sectors. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as… More details about IFC on this link
.IFCXML Industry Foundation Classes XML (./) (./) IFCXML is recommended for architects whose partners’ applications cannot read the original .IFC format, but can manage .XML databases. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as… More details about differences in IFC formats on this link
.IFCZIP Industry Foundation Classes ZIP (./) (./) IFCZIP is the compressed version of both the normal and the XML-type formats, resulting in file size that is, on average, one-quarter of the original (file size varies depending on model size). Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as… More details about differences in IFC formats on this link
.BCF BIM Collaboration Format (./) (./) IFC-based data exchange can be enhanced by using the BIM Collaboration Format BCF-based communication. Import/export:
More details on this link
.NWC Navisworks Model File (./) (./) Exports whole-project models for simulation and analysis in Navisworks. Import:
Add-On available from Autodesk
Export:
More details about NWC export on this link
.SMC Solibri Model Checker File (./) (./) Exports whole-project models to Solibri Model Checker. Import:
More details about ARCHICAD and Solibri Model Checker on this link
Export:
More details about SMC export on this link

 

Model/3D Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.C4D Cinema 4D File (./) (./) Cinema 4D Exchange is Maxon’s high‐end 3D modeling, rendering and animation solution, which is tightly integrated with ARCHICAD. The connection between the two applications, using the C4D format, offers a streamlined 3D design workflow. Import:
More details about Cinema 4D Exchange Add-On on this link
Export:
Document > Creative Imaging > PhotoRendeting Settings > Export to Cinema 4D
.3DM Rhinoceros 3D File (./) (./) ARCHICAD is able to read and write native Rhino 3DM file format, enabling a “reference model” workflow between the two applications. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about working with Rhino 3D Models on this link
.3DS 3D Studio Scene File (./) (./) 3DS files are created with 3ds MAX 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. With ARCHICAD it is possible to import and export 3DS files. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about 3D Studio Files in ARCHICAD on this link
.ATL Artlantis Render Studio 6.5 File (./) (./) Artlantis is the fastest, stand-alone rendering application developed especially for architects and designers. ARCHICAD exports the model in the Artlantis file format through its dedicated plug-ins. More details about Artlantis on this link
.KML Keyhole Markup Language File (./) (./) KML is an XML notation for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet based, 2D maps and 3D Earth browsers. KML was developed for use with Google Earth. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about Google Earth Connections on this link
.KMZ Zipped Keyhole Markup Language File (./) (./) KML files are very often distributed in KMZ files, which are zipped KML files with a KMZ extension. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about Google Earth Connections on this link
.SKP SketchUp File (./) (./) SketchUp is a 3D modeling computer program. It is useful from the earliest stages of design to the end of construction. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about Google Earth Connections on this link
.DAE COLLADA File (./) (./) COLLADA (Collaborative Design Activity) is an interchange file format for interactive 3D applications. COLLADA documents that describe digital assets are XML files, usually identified with a DAE (Digital Asset Exchange) extension. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…
.EPX Piranesi File (./) (./) Piranesi is an interactive paint system that enables the user to create artistic images from 3D scenes created using conventional modeling applications. Piranesi uses the proprietary EPX file format. Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…
.FACT Electric Image File (./) (./) The Electric Image Animation System (EIAS) is an eminent 3D animation and rendering package. FACT files can be created with this program. Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…In ARCHICAD Fly-Through and Sun Study can be saved into this format.More details about Fly-Through and Sun Study
.OBJ Wavefront File (./) (./) OBJ is a geometry definition file format first developed by Wavefront Technologies. The file format is open and has been adopted by other 3D graphics application vendors. The OBJ file format is a simple data-format that represents 3D geometry alone. Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…
.STL StereoLithography File (./) (./) Stereolithography (SL) is one of several methods used to create 3D-printed objects. STL (Standard Tessellation Language) is one such file type and is the language most commonly used for stereolithography. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about ARCHICAD and StereoLithography collaboration on this link
.U3D Universal 3D File (./) (./) U3D (Universal 3D) is a file format for 3D data. It is a standardized 3D data format with the purpose of facilitating 3D data exchange among programs of various kinds. Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…More details about U3D on this link
.TMA Twinmotion File (./) (./) Twinmotion is a real-time 3D immersion software developed for the Windows OS that is changing the way designers and engineers interact with their models. The Twinmotion add-on for ARCHICAD allows you to export a TMA version of your ARCHICAD project.
The add-on is installed by default in ARCHICAD. More details about Twinmotion on this link
.WRL VRML File (./) (./) VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is a standard file format for representing 3D interactive vector graphics. VRML files are in plain text and have the WRL extension. Export:
Available only in 3D Window
File > Save as…In ARCHICAD Fly-Through and Sun Study can be saved into this format.More details about Fly-Through and Sun Study

 

Vector Graphic Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.PDF Portable Document Format File (./) (./) Import/Export:
More details on this linkPhoto Rendering can be also saved to this format.
.DWF Drawing Web Format File (./) (./) DWF is a secure file format developed by Autodesk for the efficient distribution and communication of rich design data to anyone who needs to view, review, or print design files. Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…

 

Image Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.BMP Bitmap Image Format (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
Export:
File > Save as… Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study can be also saved to this format. More details about Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study
.DIB Device Independent Bitmap File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.RLE Run Length Encoded Bitmap File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
Export:
File > Save as…Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study can be also saved to this format. More details about Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study
.JPG Joint Photographic Experts Group File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.JPE Joint Photographic Experts Group File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.JFIF JPEG File Interchange Format (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.JP2 JPEG 2000 Image (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.GIF Graphics Interchange Format (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
Export:
File > Save as… Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study can be also saved to this format. More details about Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study
.TIFF Tagged Image File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
Export:
File > Save as… Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study can be also saved to this format. More details about Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study
.TIF Tagged Image File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
Export:
File > Save as…
.PNG Portable Network Graphics Format (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
Export:
File > Save as…Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study can be also saved to this format. More details about Photo Rendering, Fly-Through and Sun Study
.PCT Macintosh Picture Image File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.ICO Windows Icon File (./) (./) Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.HDR High Dynamic Range Image File (./) (./) In HDR image format raster images or digital photos can be saved. Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.EXIF Exchangeable Image File Format (./) (./) EXIF is based on JPEG,  stores the image information, but additional metadata as well, such as date, time, camera settings etc. Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing
.LWI Lightworks Image File (./) (./) LWI is an image file format developed by Lightworks Design Ltd. Import:
Can be linked into ARCHICAD as Drawing

 

Other Formats

ARCHICAD Diagnostic Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.RPT Crash Report File (./) (./) Contains report about bugs, errors, crashes or other incorrect functionality of GRAPHISOFT products. More details about Bug Reporter on this link.
.REP Bug Reporter Format (./) (./) Contains report about bugs, errors, crashes or other incorrect functionality of GRAPHISOFT products. More details about Bug Reporter on this link.
.SUPPORT Solo Project Support Package (./) (./) The package captures the current state of your project and includes other data that will help the GRAPHISOFT team to efficiently investigate troubleshoot the problem. Export:
Help/Create Support Package… More details about Support Package on this link.
.TWSUPPORT Solo Project Support Package (./) (./) The package captures the current state of your Teamwork project and includes other data that will help the GRAPHISOFT team to efficiently investigate troubleshoot the problem. Export:
Help/Create Support Package… More details about Support Package on this link.

Point Cloud Files

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.XYZ Point Cloud File (./) (./) The Point Cloud XYZ file format have 6 data (3 coordinates and 3 RGB data). Import:
File > Interoperability > Import Point Clouds
.E57 Point Cloud File (./) (./) E57 files can be imported into ARCHICAD to display Point Clouds in floor plan, section, elevations or 3D. Import:
File > Interoperability > Import Point Clouds

Video File Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.MP4 MP4 Movie File (./) (./) Export:
Document > Creative Imaging > Create Fly-Through…/Create Sun Study… More details about Fly-Through and Sun Study
.MOV Apple QuickTime Movie File (./) (./) Export:
Document > Creative Imaging > Create Fly-Through…/Create Sun Study… More details about Fly-Through and Sun Study

Metafiles

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.WMF Windows Metafile (./) (./) Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…
.EMF Enhanced Windows Metafile (./) (./) Import:
File > Open > Open…
Export:
File > Save as…

Documentation Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.DOC Microsoft Word Document Format (./) (./) Export:
Available only in Schedule Window
File > Save as… Interactive Schedules can be saved to this file format.
.XLS Microsoft Excel Worksheet Format (./) (./) Import/Export:
More details on this link Interactive Schedules, Energy Performance Reports can be saved to this file format.‘Mass property value import’ functionality is a semi-automated way to import data from an Excel worksheet into Interactive Schedules. More details about ‘Mass property value import’ on this link
.XLSX Microsoft Excel Worksheet Format (./) (./) Import/Export:
More details on this linkInteractive Schedules, Energy Performance Reports can be saved to this file format.‘Mass property value import’ functionality is a semi-automated way to import data from an Excel worksheet into Interactive Schedules. More details about ‘Mass property value import’ on this link
.TXT Text File (./) (./) Import/Export:
More details on this linkInteractive Schedules, Lists, Energy Performance Reports can be saved to this file format.
.PLT HPGL Plot File (./) (./) Plotter drivers shipped with ARCHICAD all use the HPGL vector-graphic language. Export:
File > Interoperability > Merge… More details about Plot on this link.
.LIC Binary List Criteria File (./) (./) Import:
More details on this link Can be added to ARCHICAD as a library part in Library Manager.
.LIS List Setup File (./) (./) Import:
More details on this link Can be added to ARCHICAD as a library part in Library Manager.
.PHPP Passive House Planning Package (./) (./) PHPP is the official Excel Workbook created by the Darmstadt Passivhaus Institute, to calculate the energy demands of Passivhouse projects. Export:
More details on this link.
.GBXML Green Building XML File (./) (./) The industry standard Green Building XML format (gbXML) is recognized by several energy analysis applications such as Green Building Studio, Ecotect or IES. Export:
More details on this link.

 

Legacy File Formats in ARCHICAD

 

ARCHICAD Formats

ARCHICAD Projects

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.MDE ARCHICAD Education Module File (./) (./) This file format is no longer supported.

Teamwork Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.BIMPROJECT BIM Server Import/Export Format (./) (./) ARCHICAD 14 and higher version BIM Server import/export format
.TWPACKAGE BIM Server Import/Export Format (./) (./) ARCHICAD 13 BIM Server import/export format
.PLP ARCHICAD Teamwork Format (./) (./) ARCHICAD 12 and earlier version Teamwork format
.PLC ARCHICAD Teamwork Format (./) (./) ARCHICAD 12 and earlier version Teamwork format
.PCA ARCHICAD Teamwork Format (./) (./) ARCHICAD 12 and earlier version Teamwork format
.BPC ARCHICAD Teamwork Format (./) (./) ARCHICAD 12 and earlier version Teamwork format

Library Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.DOR ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.WIN ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.LMP ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.RSM ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.LSM ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.ISM ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.ESM ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object
.GPS ARCHICAD Library Object (./) (./) ARCHICAD 8 and earlier version Library Object

PlotMaker Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.PMK PlotMaker Drawing (./) (./) In ARCHICAD 9 and earlier versions the layouts were saved into a single PMK files that PlotMaker layouting program handled. More details about PlotMaker on this link.
.LBK PlotMaker Layout Book (./) (./) The Layout Book was introduced in PlotMaker 9, which had the LBK files. Since ARCHICAD 10 it is intergrated into ARCHICAD. More details about PlotMaker on this link.
.STB Plot Style Table File (./) (./) This file format is no longer supported.

 

Vector Graphic Formats

File Format Import Export Description Notes
.EPS Post Script File (./) (./) Since version 10, ArchiCAD no longer supports this format.

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