Working Folder, Data Shortcuts Folder Best Practice

My AU class was on Data Shortcuts and really in AutoCAD Civil3D 2009, the only thing to talk about with data shortcuts is the pathing of the Working Folder and the Data Shortcuts Folder. At the class, many were asking for a best practice. Would you like to know what I recommended?

Find out after the jump.

Okay, first off I really struggle with the concept of best practice with certain things. Layers, Xrefs, folder structure, etc. – these items (and many others) really vary as to what would be best based upon your use and company needs. Nevertheless, there is a setup of your paths that I think works really well for Data Shortcuts and suggest.

The way Civil3D is able to know if a folder is Data Shortcut folders simply is if the folder has a “_Shortcuts” subfolder.

imageIn the figure, if your working folder was set to Projects then Project_001 would be read as a Data Shortcut folder whereas Project_002 would not. Again simply because of the “_Shortcuts” folder. So manually ADD the “_Shortcuts” folder along with the five required subfolders under “_Shortcuts” – Alignments, PipeNetworks, Profiles, Surfaces, and ViewFrameGroups.

image Now all the users don’t have to worry about setting up anything. All they have to do is change which folder to store the data shortcuts under. For example, IF you can get your IT department to agree to storing the “_Shortcuts” right under the main project folder then the users would have EVERYTHING set for them when they set their working folder to the “Project” drive (P:\ or whatever your company has setup).

image Users then can just use the “Set Data Shortcuts Folder” to browse to their projects.

image Of course, most companies would have to bury the “_Shortcuts” folder a little deeper in the folder structure. That is fine – just set in the standards that the users would “Set Working Folder” to the folder TWO levels up from the “_Shortcuts” folder to get to the project’s Data Shortcuts.

image Hopefully, this clears any confusion up and gives you ideas to get your company using Data Shortcuts.

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