FINALLY, Associate drawings to a Data Shortcut Folder

As many of you know, I have been a proponent of Data Shortcuts through the years. With C3D 2009, DS’s finally showed that they could stand on their own successfully. Now in the Prospector you can set the Working Folder and the DS folder and all is well. However, in C3D 2009 the DS folder was not connected to the drawing. Thus, if you opened up a drawing that was from a different project then the current DS folder, you would never know.

In Civil3D 2010, you can Associate drawings to a DS folder!!!

There are three hidden commands that we want to look at.


This command turns the associate functionality on. By default, it is off.


This command turns the associate functionality off. This is the only way to disassociate a drawing from a DS folder after you have associated it.


This will associate a DS Folder to the open drawing. So no matter what the DS Folder is set to, when you open this drawing it will change to the project that it is associated with.


Two things to keep in mind:

  1. These are undocumented because they may not have been fully tested. They work and work well but just keep this in mind.
  2. The associations are stored in each user’s directory. Thus, there is no universal way to create associations as of yet. (Should EE create one??)


  1. Sweetness! Thanks for sharing Josh!

  2. J. Stevens says:

    This is something I have requested from Manchester as well. I think that would be an awesome ProPack tool.

  3. Kevin Spear says:

    Awesome! seems like a simple add to create a “projectlibrary.xml” type file that lives in the _Shortcuts folder… Simple at least to those with time to do such things…. 🙂

  4. J. Wedding says:

    For all, please remember that this is NOT an approved feature, and that any experimentation/functionality we may add to it might very well be broken by future changes to said feature. The joys of playing with unofficial features are many and numerous, but include heartbreak and hair loss, so remember, you’re on your own here.

    Kevin, you’re probably right, and we’re knee deep in attempting to understanding it, believe me. When we have something that takes advantage of the process, we’ll be sure to talk about it here.

  5. For those of you with department oversight, be sure to remember that ShortcutAssociateEnable is a PC specific setting. Set it up in your company’s profile and make sure everyone company shares in the joy, heartbreak and hair loss!