Join Josh Modglin for an in-depth discussion in this video Working folders versus data shortcut project folders, part of Autodesk Civil 3D: Data Management Workflows.
- [Instructor] Previously we talked a little bit about the fact Civil 3D creates shortcut files. When we choose to share data, that first step in the two step process, it creates a little pointer file saying which drawing to go to and which data is shared. And Civil 3D manages the shortcut files and creates them automatically, we don't have to do any of that. What we do have to manage is where Civil 3D creates the shortcuts. What shortcuts are available to us when working in a specific drawing. This is because we don't wanna see all the shortcuts for all the projects, we just wanna see the shortcuts, what's shared, that's specifically applicable to project that the drawing belongs to.
So there are two different paths that we manage which leads to two different potential work flows. We'll talk about those later. Let's first learn about the paths. The first path is what's referred to as the working folder. The working folder establishes the path that the data shortcut projects will be kept. A lot of you are coming from good old Land Desktop and Autodesk product from years ago, or even Softdesk which was Land Desktop's predecessor.
You could consider the working folder path to be very similarly compared to the project path. The intent with the working folder is you set the path where all your projects, your data shortcut projects are as you see on the screen. The working folder is the main parent folder to the data shortcut projects, project one and project two. Now the data shortcut are stored in the data shortcuts project folder. This is a sub folder within the data shortcut projects.
So you see in the project data shortcut project one, underscore shortcuts, data shortcut project two, underscore shortcuts. And so there's a special folder there, and inside the underscore shortcuts, that's where Civil 3D is looking, and that's where it's gonna set and store the data shortcuts. Let's see how this works in Civil 3D, and so I'm going to open up my AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019, and we're going to go ahead and open up our exercise file for this video.
So I've downloaded the exercise files to desktop, exercise files folder, I go into chapter one. Then we're going to choose to open up the 01 sharing data drawing. Now once I do that you'll see that there's a lot of Civil 3D data in here. But if you come to your prospector in toolspace, and you scroll down to the bottom of all of the options available in that drawing, you'll also see data shortcuts.
You can also manage you data shortcuts from the manage ribbon on the left side, all of the options with data shortcuts are there. Now if I right click on my prospector where it says data shortcuts, notice that I can set my working folder. Now we're gonna change that in a minute, but before we do, notice that by default it set to C Civil 3D projects. That's a folder that Civil 3D will create upon installation out of the box, unless your company has set something unique.
So let's right click and we're gonna set our working folder. And again, we're gonna go to our desktop and you'll notice in the desktop there, let me click on desktop, a little bit lower for my user setup, my profile, and choose exercise files. Choose chapter one and you'll notice there's a folder there called working folder. Go ahead and select that as our working folder, that's what we're gonna set our working folder to. I click okay, and you see now the path is really long, it's changed to not just working folder, but it changed to data shortcut project one.
It was the very first Civil 3D data shortcut project that it found. What do I mean by data shortcut project? Well, I'm gonna pull over Windows Explorer here, and we're gonna take a look at the directory structure in working folder a little closer. I go into working folder, and data shortcut project one, and notice there's an underscore shortcuts directory there. That's what Civil 3D's looking for. So as long as each one of these folders within the working folder has underscore shortcuts, it's going to assume it's a data shortcut project.
In other words, it's able to store data shortcuts in this location. Now maybe I don't want it to be data shortcut project one that we're working in. So if I right click, I can set the data shortcut projects folder. When I choose the set the data shortcut project folder, notice the two projects listed there. Shortcut project one and project two. Again, that matches what we see in Windows Explorer if we look closely there under working folder shortcut project one and two, again, because of the underscore shortcuts there.
Lastly, what if I wanted to create a brand new data shortcut project? I can right click and say new data shortcuts project folder, and it's gonna open up this dialogue forum, and we're going to just type in data shortcuts number three. Now if I have a project directory template, in other words, I have all these standard sub folders, we can use that and then browse to where that template directory structure is and use that path.
I don't have one in this exercise, so we're just going to type in the name of the data shortcut project, it's project not profile, data shortcut project number three, and I'm gonna click okay. Now what it's done is it's written to Windows Explorer, or to my server, under the working folder, a new directory called data shortcut project three.
So what've we learned about this process regarding working folder versus data shortcut project folder? Well let's take a closer look and review this. We have the working folder and that is a directory path. And then under that directory path you have data shortcut project directories or paths that you can have set. Within those data shortcut projects, you'll always see an underscore shortcut folder.
That is where Civil 3D needs to have a place to store the shortcuts. We don't have to worry about what it stores in there, that's for Civil 3D the software to figure out. And notice a very key point here, the underscore shortcuts folder is always two levels underneath the working folder. So I go up one, that's my project. I go up another, that is my working folder. Something good to keep in mind as we look at the potential workflow options in upcoming videos.