Monday, February 06, 2006

AutoCAD Wormholes using Shortcuts

As a CAD Manager I was responsible for a lot of different people who all had various projects going at any given time. One problem I ran into was I had many clients that wanted thier drawings plotted with thier own CTB files. Being a control freak, I had locked down CTBs on a network drive so my users wouldn't willy nilly change the company standard. Now, I had a problem. Every time a new CTB was called for, users needed me to place it in the appropriate network folder so they could have access to it.

Being lazy, that was too much work for me. My solution was placing a Windows shortcut to "C:\AcmeCAD\CTB" in the appropriate network folder. Because I created this exact folder on all my users hard drives, they could place any CTB they wanted there. The pathing in AutoCAD would go to the assigned network path, then wormhole through the Windows shortcut back to their own hard drive for the needed CTB file.

This gives the user access to an editible area for files (not just CTBs, think about it...) and holds a secure area for company standards. I hoped this gave my users the ability to get thier jobs done and me the security of knowing my company standards were safe.

Look through the paths tab in options, are there any other places a wormhole might be useful for your company. I bet there are.

Another Use

If you are using the Project Navigator in ADT or ABS, you can place shortcuts to all of your projects in a single directory. I like the idea of placing them in the root of your personal network drive (sometime mapped as the H: drive or Home drive). Now when every I open the Project Browser, I simply select the H:\ drive and I see only my current projects.

This process frees me from changing my network architecture to accomodate the Project Browser and gives every user easy access to thier projects without browsing them out. Awesome.
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