PlotMaker was a layouting program that was part of the ARCHICAD package. This standalone application was optimised to prepare an architectural documentation set based on the views, drawings and images created in ARCHICAD. PlotMaker could also accommodate data from external sources such as other CAD and image files, word-processing documents and spreadsheets. The Layouts were saved into single .PMK files until the Layout Book was introduced in PlotMaker 9, which had a separate file format (.LBK).
Since ARCHICAD 10 the PlotMaker is integrated into ARCHICAD. Thus no more separate Layout files are needed. In the later ARCHICAD versions layouts can be accessed and managed through the Navigator or the Organizer. However in cases of large and complex projects the usage of .PMK files can still be advantageous. In this workflow the model is located in one or more project files, and the Layout Book in a separate project file. Drawings are published as .PMK files and are linked to the ARCHICAD documentation project file. (You can find more information on this kind of workflow here.)
Layout Books and .PMK files from ARCHICAD 8.1 and 9 can be migrated in ARCHICAD 20. For more information please check the relevant article: Migrating PlotMaker Layout Books to ARCHICAD 20.
Working with PlotMaker
There are many ways to integrate PlotMaker smoothly into your practice. The following outline includes the recommended steps.
- Set up the Master Layout
- Define the structure of the Layout Book , including Title Types
- Generate and organize Layouts
- Import and place Drawings
- Edit Drawings in the Layout Window, if needed, and set edibility of Drawing attributes
- Manage and update linked Drawings
PlotMaker vs. ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD is where you will do the vast majority of your work: modelling, detailing, noting, and dimensioning.
PlotMaker is primarily a sheet layout and numbering tool. Most of the tasks you will perform in PlotMaker involve laying out viewports on a page, and cropping them to size. PlotMaker will sequentially number your sheets and fill in most of your section & detail references.
Layout Book refers to the documentation of your Project in ARCHICAD. It consists of layouts of different size organised in subsets in your Navigator. Layout Book was introduced in PlotMaker 9, and had a separate file format (.LBK). Since ARCHICAD 10 PlotMaker is integrated into ARCHICAD.