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Using the Timeline feature

From: AutoCAD WS Essential Training

Video: Using the Timeline feature

When collaborating on a project, it's important to keep backups of your drawings such that you can go back to a previous version or view a history of how the project has evolved. AutoCAD WS manages this process for us by retaining a history of our drawing revisions. It will even retain meeting notes or changes made during a real-time collaboration. In this lesson we'll explore the features of the Timeline tool. On my screen is a drawing that represents a portion of a floor plan. To see a history of this drawing, I'm going to visit the Timeline tab, and as you can see there isn't much history yet, just a marker identifying the Current state of the file.

Using the Timeline feature

When collaborating on a project, it's important to keep backups of your drawings such that you can go back to a previous version or view a history of how the project has evolved. AutoCAD WS manages this process for us by retaining a history of our drawing revisions. It will even retain meeting notes or changes made during a real-time collaboration. In this lesson we'll explore the features of the Timeline tool. On my screen is a drawing that represents a portion of a floor plan. To see a history of this drawing, I'm going to visit the Timeline tab, and as you can see there isn't much history yet, just a marker identifying the Current state of the file.

Let's make a change. I'm going to select the bed geometry here in BEDROOM #1, and then I'll use the Move tool, I'll pick the geometry up from a point in space, and I'm going to place it a little closer to the west wall. I will then switch to the Home tab and launch the Save Command, then I'll return to the Timeline. Now I have two drawing states: the one on the left represents the drawing as it was originally uploaded, and the one on the right represents the Current state of the file.

If I click to select the state, I can view the drawing just as it was when the state was created. To go back to the Current state, I'll select Current on the Timeline. To restore the drawing to an older state, I would select the state and then use the Save As option to save the file with a new name. Each time the drawing is updated, a new state will be added to this Timeline. That being said, this Timeline represents a collaboration history. So if one person saves the drawing multiple times, it only counts as one state in the Timeline.

So generally speaking, we've had our turn. At this point, the Timeline will wait until a newer version of the file is uploaded or a shared recipient saves the drawing before it creates a new state, then we would get another turn. To simulate this, I'm going to click the Upload Version button. I'll make sure that I'm uploading my drawing to the chapter_07 folder. I'll click Browse. I will then navigate to the exercise files on my local machine, and inside the chapter_07 folder I'll select the timeline drawing and click Open to re-upload it to my account.

I'll close the dialog box when finished. There are now three states in the Timeline, one for the original upload, one representing my changes, and the current state of the drawing. If you don't mind, I'd like to close this drawing so I can show you one more thing. Earlier in the title I simulated a real-time collaboration. Here in the Drawing pane, I'm going to make sure that I'm looking in the chapter_07 folder, and I'll select the collaborate drawing and click open. Then I will ensure that the Timeline tab is selected.

Now let me mention that your timeline probably looks different than mine, and that's okay. When I used this drawing to simulate real-time collaboration, I needed multiple email addresses, and I worked in two browsers at the same time. Due to the crazy workflow in that lesson, I'm not expecting that you finished this drawing the same way I did. Knowing that, let me show you how real-time collaboration is handled in the timeline. First of all, collaborations are displayed using a green icon. If I hover over this, I can see who attended the meeting.

If I select this state, I can see what the file looked like at the end of the meeting. Let me pan this geometry over it, and I'll center it on screen. I can also use the Meeting Summary tool to walk backward and forward through the changes made at the meeting. If I visit the Summary tab, I can see any messages exchanged during the meeting. When I'm finished reviewing this information, I'll return to the Timeline and click to view the Current state of the file.

As you can see, using the Timeline feature, AutoCAD WS manages a complete collaboration history of each drawing. Knowing this, everyone on your project team can easily track changes, review meeting notes or if necessary restore a previous version.

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AutoCAD WS Essential Training

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Jeff Bartels
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