Quick Tip – Location Shortcuts

Have you ever used a folder location over and over that you got tired of navigating to it even if you mapped it? Have you needed a folder location that was buried so deep in the Windows folder abyss that you fear you will never be able to find it again? If so, this tip may help you. See it after the jump.

When you click on browse in Civil 3D, you get the familiar  dialog box. To the left of the browsing folder is a series of folders labeled: History, Documents, Favorites, FTP, Desktop, and Buzzsaw. This is called the Places list.

These (along with 90% of all Autodesk products) are customizable. First, let’s delete the ones that we don’t want/or need to see here. RIght-click in the Place list and select Remove. Repeat this for all the ones you don’t want to see.

Now that we have a blank slate so to speak, we’ll start adding ones that we want to see any time Civil 3D is opened. In my case, I want an easy way to navigate to the Blocks and Detail that are located on our server. The tip is in the Look in: drop-down list. Navigate to the location of Blocks via the Look in list.

Now go back to the Places list, and right-click. Select the ‘Add Current Folder’ from the right-click menu. And it is now added to the Places list.

Take notice that the name of the shortcut in the places list contains the entire path of the folder. I don’t really want to see all of that, I just want to see BLOCKS. Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties from the right-click menu. The Places Item Properties dialog box opens. Swipe over the Item Name text box and replace the contents with BLOCKS and then click OK.

You can add as many Places as you want but I would be cautious to not go overboard with this as it will defeat the purpose of the QUICK location.

By Clicking on the Add right-click option, you can manually select your Name and type in the path.

The Restore Standard Folders right-click option will add back the History, Documents, Favorites, FTP, Desktop, and Buzzsaw IN ADDITION to your customized list.

Hope this might help you and save a step or two along the way.


  1. Kevin Spear says:

    Nice post! we do something similar. We have a single custom PLACE we add that points to a folder on our network. This folder resides in the standards directory and contains a collection of links to current projects. A subfolder contains projects that have been completed or otherwise are dormant to minimize the list.

    That was the only way to keep from going insane as our folder structure is not for the weak. 🙂

  2. Dave Drahn says:

    I’ve been using a method similar to Kevin Spears for years. On my desktop I have a folder named ‘Projects’ which contains shortcuts to any number of project locations (named as I like). It’s easily customizable – archiving stalled projects and adding new ones easily by dragging the location to my open Projects folder.

    I have this desktop Projects folder in the autodesk Places List which makes it quick to navigate to any current network project location.

    Another benefit of having this folder on the desktop is that it makes it available in the path dropdown of any application on Win XP and Win 7. So I can have this same quick project access from within any app. Having it as a “Place” for autodesk apps just makes it one click closer.

  3. Mark Spatz says:

    I like the combo desktop folder with links inside and adding that folder Work Places. I think I may teach at our montly meeting. Good post… thanks for the comments fellas.

    • Dave Drahn says:

      Not to beat this to death, but I forgot to mention that I also add that desktop Projects folder to the Windows task bar (right click, Toolbars -> New Toolbar and navigate to the desktop folder) – so it becomes a perpetual pop-up option at the bottom of the screen.

      That just gives you another way to do a 2-click open of any current project folder in Explorer at any time without having to minimize app windows, etc.

  4. Justin Ralston says:


    I use to use Dirkey in normal window apps to save and jump to folders however it does not work in the autocad dialog boxes. In Autocad I use quickchangedir to jump to various job folders just using the keyboard.


    here a video showing now quickchangedir works



    Justin Ralston