Category Archives for "News"

Jan 26

MasterTemplate User Newsletter

By Eric Bobrow | News

Thank you for your interest in MasterTemplate (AMT). We at Bobrow Consulting Group are pleased to report that in 15 months well over 200 licenses of MasterTemplate have been purchased by ArchiCAD users around the world.

Today I have three things to tell you. One is a technical notice about a bug in ArchiCAD that may cause problems for MasterTemplate users. [NOTE: This bug was corrected by Graphisoft in the March 2009 Hotfix.] The second is to announce an upcoming update to MasterTemplate, and request your input and suggestions for what you’d like to see. The third is to request feedback on how MasterTemplate has affected your work in ArchiCAD, hopefully for the better.

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1. TECHNICAL BULLETIN – A Bug that may Cause Issues for MasterTemplate Users

[NOTE: This bug was corrected in the March 2009 Hotfix – this blog entry has been retained for historical purposes.]

Periodically this past fall we heard comments that the Autosave functionality in ArchiCAD 12 was broken. Users reported that when they crashed, and tried to open the Autosave Temporary file, that ArchiCAD would hang during the process, and that they had to go back to an earlier saved version of their project, sometimes losing a significant amount of work. Since the reports were sporadic, we assumed that Graphisoft would eventually find and fix the problem.

However, in late December one of our clients told us that this problem occurred in projects based on MasterTemplate, and not on others started before they purchased the template. This made me concerned, so I spent several hours troubleshooting and finally narrowed down the problem.

It turns out that any project file that uses a Hotlinked Module that has a skylight in it will hang when attempting to open the Autosave file after a crash. Graphisoft has now confirmed this as a bug.

Since MasterTemplate’s Legend file is a kit of parts that includes a skylight, this triggers the bug, and after a crash, the Autosave file will not open successfully.

The simple solution is to open up the MasterTemplate Legend PLN file, find and delete the skylight, and resave the PLN. The next time the template is used to start a project, or any active project based on MasterTemplate is opened, you’ll get a message that the Hotlinked Module is out of date and needs to be refreshed. Go ahead and tell it (using the File menu > External Content > Hotlink Manager) to update the Hotlink for the Legend, and then that PLN file will be OK. Update of the hotlink for each project once, the next time you open them, and all will be well.

We expect Graphisoft to fix this bug in an upcoming hotfix, however we do not have any estimate as to the date this will be released.

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2. MasterTemplate UPDATE – Coming Soon!

BCG has several significant ideas to improve MasterTemplate. I’ll briefly outline them, then will request your input. All of these will be made available in two ways. We will provide new downloads, for those who would like to start with the official distribution of AMT then reimport their title block and make other modest customizations. For others who have customized AMT extensively, we will include detailed instructions for how to add these features into your own version of template.

a. We will improve the speed of accessing the Legend by referencing it as a Virtual Trace from a Worksheet. This simple change will allow keyboard shortcuts to jump to the Legend (for pickup of element settings using the eye-dropper) and back again. This will cut in half the time and effort of using the Legend!

b. We will extend the concept of the Interactive Legend of Visual Favorites by setting up a number of worksheets, Each one will have objects for one room or area, such as kitchen, bath, bedroom, living room, site and landscaping, commercial restroom, etc. Worksheets are 2D of course, and only allow 2D elements plus objects – but these objects can include all their 3D parameters. These room groupings will be supplied as separate MOD files, but will also be embedded into the TPL file into individual worksheets.

c. We will pare down the actual TPL file to make it somewhat smaller, by removing some of the instructional materials and examples. These will continue to be included in the SAMPLE project files, but aren’t needed in the TPL.

d. We expect to finally work with Cadimage to make a version of MasterTemplate that can take advantage of their add-on products, including Window and DoorBuilder, Key Notes, etc. I’m hopeful this can be done at the same time as the rest of this update, but it may have to be released slightly later depending on how much time and effort is required.

e. I will rewrite the manual for MasterTemplate, to improve it’s organization, legibility, graphic style and make sure it is fully up to date and as complete as possible.

f. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Please share them with us. We’d like to make MasterTemplate as fine a product as it can be. Don’t delay – tell us now! We’re about to start work on this update, and may be able to include your ideas!

The release date for this update is not set, however we will be starting work on it shortly and hope to finish it within a few weeks.

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3. FEEDBACK and TESTIMONIALS – Tell us What You Think!

Many of you have written very nice notes telling us how much you enjoy MasterTemplate. We’d like to hear from more of you. Have you been able to get your work done more quickly? Has AMT helped you to understand ArchiCAD better, and take advantage of more of its features and possibilities? Do you feel more organized?

We’ll be creating a separate page on the MasterTemplate website with testimonials, and want to get as many of your comments as we can. If you wish, we’ll use your name and can even post your picture – or you can share your thoughts with us but remain anonymous.

Of course, if you have constructive criticism or suggestions, by all means, give them to us. We want to hear from you, whatever you have to say!

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Thanks again for your interest in MasterTemplate.

We look forward to continuing to work with you for a long time!

Best regards,
Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group

Jul 29

MasterTemplate for ArchiCAD 12 – Now Available!

By Eric Bobrow | News

Bobrow Consulting Group is pleased to announce the release of MasterTemplate 12, now fully updated for compatibility with ArchiCAD 12 USA and International versions.

Revisions include modifications of composite walls for use with the new Partial Structure Display; inclusion of some views and examples of 3D Documentation; addition of Curtain Wall components into the Interactive Legends of Visual Favorites; adjustments for compatibility with the new ArchiCAD 12 Library; and miscellaneous fine-tuning. Both USA and INT versions have been prepared for simultaneous release.

The update is a free download for all MasterTemplate licensees. Login to the BCG ArchiCAD Forum, then click the MasterTemplate Download link.

Revisions to the MasterTemplate Manual and Quickstart Guide will be completed in August. Until then, the previous MasterTemplate 1.1 versions are still quite relevant and useful.

Here is a more extensive list of changes to the Template since version 1.1:

2. Deleted layer: C | SLAB | MODELING BASE (TERRAIN).3D.
3. Added layer combination: MODEL | BUILDING ONLY | 3D DOCUMENTATION that allows dimensions to be visible as part of the view.
4. Added layer combination: LAYOUT | REGISTRATION STAMP.
5. Added 3D Document viewport and axo example: AD-01 ANNOTATED 3D DOCUMENT.
6. Created a clone folder for 3D Documents.
7. Placed CUT AWAY-01 ANNOTATED CUT AWAY view onto Layout sheets A.12 ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS in the A SMALL PROJECT EXAMPLE SET, as well as sheet A8.01 in the standard project set.
8. Set the clone folder STRUCTURAL PLANS | DWG to use the Core Only Structure Display setting.
9. Converted all Visual Legends PLN Module objects to ArchiCAD 12 Library parts, and integrated all Legend MOD files into a single PLN file hotlinked into the template, located at the top level of the AMT folder instead of inside the MasterTemplate Library.
10. Deleted Modeling Slabs from EXAMPLE SOURCE SAMPLE and DESTINATION REMODEL PLN files, however they are retained but moved to the C | MESH (TERRAIN).3D layer.
11. Set all composites Structure Display Settings, including Complex Profiles.
12. Added layer: U | PRESENTATION | PLAN + SECTION + ELEVATION.UNIQ to accomodate new Image Fills.
13. Added Image Fills to PRESENTATION DOCUMENT VIEWS (Presentation Site and Floor Plans) in sample projects.
14. Renamed files for legibility and consistency.

Jul 16

MasterTemplate for ArchiCAD 12 – Coming Soon!

By Eric Bobrow | News

BCG is finishing up the updates for MasterTemplate to ensure compatibility with ArchiCAD 12. We expect to be able to post the new version within the next few days.

Revisions include modifications of composite walls for use with the new Partial Structure Display; inclusion of some views and examples of 3D Documentation; addition of Curtain Wall components into the Interactive Legends of Visual Favorites; adjustments for compatibility with the new ArchiCAD 12 Library; and miscellaneous fine-tuning. Both USA and INT versions have been prepared for simultaneous release.

The update is a free download for all MasterTemplate licensees. A notice will be posted when the files are available.

Jun 10

BCG Announces MasterTemplate International Version

By Eric Bobrow | News

Bobrow Consulting Group announces the release of the international version MasterTemplate (AMT). This version of AMT has been reworked to use the international ArchiCAD Library, standard attributes from the Graphisoft international template (pensets, fills, materials, etc.), and metric standards for building components, drawing scales and layout sizes.

To access the international MasterTemplate, please login to the BCG ArchiCAD Forum and visit the MasterTemplate download page.

Mar 15

MasterTemplate Reaches a Milestone

By Eric Bobrow | News

We reached a significant milestone this past week with the 100th license of AMT sold. I’m delighted with the continuing and growing interest in our product, which is about to extend its reach around the world as we prepare an international metric version. We’ve already had purchases from all parts of the U.S. as well as a few from Australia, South Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.

I’d like to ask your help in two ways.

The first one is to give us feedback, ideas and suggestions so that we can improve AMT. If you’ve been using it on your projects, you’ve undoubtedly customized it to suit your needs. We’d like to hear what you’ve done besides putting your name on the corner of the title block.

If you added layers or layer combinations for specific purposes, and feel others likely would need the same, let us know. If you’ve created new schedules or views that could be of general use, share them with us. I’m particularly interested in developing the Interactive Legends further, with more element types and variations as well as sample room layouts.

The second way you can help is by writing a short statement about how AMT has helped you in your work. These testimonials are crucial for establishing the credibility of AMT. When we say the ArchiCAD MasterTemplate is good, it’s one thing; when users says it’s good, that’s much more powerful.

Email us your feedback or testimonial at, or post it at the BCG ArchiCAD Forum at

If you’d really like to help AMT succeed, you can go further. Post your comments on ArchiCAD-Talk, the online discussion board maintained by Graphisoft. I’ve placed a notice in the ads section with a short summary of AMT along with several quotes from users. Your positive comments here will go a long way, and will be greatly appreciated by me and Scott. Feel free to mention AMT in other areas of ArchiCAD-Talk or on other online places if you feel it is relevant to the discussion.

We’d like to reach out more to ArchiCAD resellers and distributors. In addition to being sold at our website (, ArchiCAD MasterTemplate is now available at the web stores of Objects Online ( and Graphisoft West ( Let your reseller know that you are using AMT and find it a worthwhile add-on for ArchiCAD users. When they hear from a few users about AMT, they’ll tell others about it. If they’re interested in getting a free review copy, or in adding it to their product line, tell them to contact BCG at

Thanks again for your support.
We look forward to continuing to serve you with the best startup kit for ArchiCAD projects in the world: MasterTemplate!

Feb 07

MasterTemplate 1.1 released

By Eric Bobrow | News

Bobrow Consulting Group is pleased to announce the release of MasterTemplate (AMT) version 1.1. The update incorporates user feedback to refine the layer system to better support remodels/additions and structural models, and provides an alternate layer set for compatibility with AIA/NCS/UDS standards.

Files have been posted on the BCG ArchiCAD Forum website – – for download by licensees. A complete guide for users to update their customized versions of AMT will be posted during the next few days, as well as a list of all the changes and improvements.

Bobrow Consulting Group is proud that AMT has garnered great praise and feedback from both novice and veteran users alike, with over 100 licenses distributed in less than 3 months. BCG has started to develop a version of AMT supporting international metric standards and libraries, to be released in March.

We have just posted updates to the Manual and QuickStart Guide.
You can find the latest versions in the MasterTemplate section of the FORUMS.

A draft version of the AMT 1.1 Release Notes may be downloaded from
It has a description of what’s new and what’s changed in version 1.1, as well as guidance for how to update customized office templates.

Nov 21

MasterTemplate 1.0 Released

By Eric Bobrow | News

Bobrow Consulting Group is pleased to announce the release of MasterTemplate 1.0 today, November 21, 2007.

All licensees who have downloaded a Beta version during the past few weeks are encouraged to go to the BCG ArchiCAD Forum website at then login, and download the latest versions of all files. (Note that the large FREE TEXTURES file has not been updated and does not have to be downloaded again.)

As before, place all of the files and folders into a single folder, and unzip so they all are “at the top level” next to each other. This way, when the SAMPLE.pln or the MasterTemplate.tpl are opened, they will automatically find the associated libraries. You will still need to go to File menu / External Content / Hotlink Manager to update the links to the Hotlinked Module (HLM) files – see the QuickStart Guide or Manual for more details on this simple process.

The MasterTemplate folder can be anywhere you wish, but we suggest you place it into an “ArchiCAD Office Standards” (AOS) folder inside your Jobs folder. The AOS folder can be on your workstation or on your server in the area where you keep common reference material and libraries.

Over the past few weeks, we have been focusing on refining and extending the template and sample files, as well as building out the forum website. Next, we’ll work on bringing the QuickStart Guide up to date, and expanding the Manual. Other plans in the short term are to create a version of the MasterTemplate for ArchiCAD 10, as well as the creation of an alternate layer set using AIA, NCS and/or UDS compliant naming. We’ll also continue to enhance the Sample file to show more tips and techniques that will be explained in the Manual.

Thank you for your interest in MasterTemplate. Please give us your feedback and post questions and suggestions via the forum. If you have any problems using the forum, please email For urgent matters, call the BCG office at 888-442-4496.

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are very thankful for your support.