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Each time you save a drawing, as a courtesy AutoCAD creates a backup file that represents the previous version. By default, AutoCAD saves these backups in the same directory as the original drawing. Now backup files are a double-edged sword. When you need one they're fantastic. The rest of the time they take up space all over the network. In this lesson we will look at a way to consolidate all of our AutoCAD backups into a single folder. On my screen I have an example of a mechanical drawing. I am going to press the Windows key and the letter E to bring up Windows Explorer, and I would like to navigate into the Exercise files folder where this drawing is saved.
I will open up Chapter 8 and then I will click and drag this window over to the right side of the screen, such that it takes up half of my monitor. I will then click on the AutoCAD title bar, I will move over and click the Restore Down icon, and then I will drag this application over to the left side of my screen. Let's take a look at the creation of a backup file. I am going to save this drawing. When I do, watch over here. Notice AutoCAD has created a file with the BAK extension. This file represents the previous saved state of my drawing.
In fact, there is no difference between a BAK and the DWG file. If my main drawing were to become corrupt, I can simply rename this BAK extension to DWG and then I could open this drawing directly into AutoCAD. By default, AutoCAD saves these BAKs in the same directory as the original drawing. We also have the option of saving all BAK files into a single directory. To do that, first you need to choose a directory. As an example, I'd like to use this backup storage folder. So I will double-click to open this.
I will then click in the address bar, so I can see the full path to this folder. I will make sure the path is selected and then I will right-click and select Copy to copy the path to my Clipboard. Then I will come back over AutoCAD and I will type movebak and press Enter. Then I will click down here at the command line. I will right-click, paste to my path, and I will press Enter. From now on, each time I save this file or any file for that matter, AutoCAD will save the backup file in my Backup Storage folder.
Now there is a side effect to using movebak. Each time you save your drawing, you'll see this meaningless statement down here at the command line. Simply disregard this error. If the time comes that you'd like to restore your backup feature to the default behavior, you can re-launch the movebak command, enter a period for the path, and then press Enter. Now each time I save, my backups will once again be saved side-by-side with the original drawing. When it comes to saving backup files, there are pros and cons to either storage method.
The important thing is that AutoCAD lets you choose a strategy that works best for your organization.
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