How do I get my offscreen palettes back?



If you are an Archicad user and employ a multi monitor setup, most possibly with a notebook, you might have encountered this problem already:
When detached from the external monitor you are missing some of the palettes! They are still there in fact – just offscreen, outside of the boundary of your current monitor with no way of getting them back.

Some tips online seem to suggest that applying one of the default work environments (or workspace schemes) might help to mitigate this. This did not work for me however, so I went to look for another solution to get my missing Archicad palette back.

Craft your own solution

We still have an ace up our sleeve! Archicad lets us ex- and import the settings of our work environment which includes the workspace schemes.
Let’s do that! Go to Options > Work Environment > Workspace Schemes and export your current scheme. Then open the file you just saved – it’s a “simple” XML and can be opened with any editor.

First we need to find the GUIDGlobally unique identifier of the palette we need to get back onto our screen. For me it was the PhotoRendering Settings palette. You can find all palettes under the <PaletteVisibilityTable> node. The code looks like this:

<PaletteVisibility comment="PhotoRendering Settings" guid="6E7F80CC-565C-4D21-814C-7D6865DFB6F2" value="1"/>

Write that GUID down, we will need it in a minute! Also set value to 1, so you can see directly if it worked, when we load the scheme back into Archicad.

Now scroll down until you see the <SizeableFloatingRootNodes> node. Inside you can basically copy and paste any of the existing items. There are two things that need our attention: the paletteGuid attribute inside of <DockPalette>, where you have to put the GUID you just copied, and the Rect attribute of <SizeableDockData>.

<SizeableDockData Rect="334, 220, 681, 876" ScaleFactor="100" Type="Floating">
    <DockPalette comment="PhotoRendering Settings" paletteGuid="6E7F80CC-565C-4D21-814C-7D6865DFB6F2" ratio="0" visibility="true">
This part is the key. Note 'Rect' and 'paletteGuid' attributes.

Rect has four comma separated values. They are the pixel coordinatesWith the upper left corner of your main screen being 0,0. of the upper left and lower right corner of the paletteWithout any window decorations. See also image.. Positive X-values are to the right, positive Y-values are below.

When editing the numbers just be sure the palette will now sit inside the dimensions of your monitor. If you’re done save the file and load it right back into Archicad. Apply the workspace scheme and you should see your formerly missing palette!

What do we learn?

To be safe also keep a separate work environment for your multi monitor setup – otherwise you’d easily be upset.