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Thread: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

  1. #1
    Member ameave's Avatar
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    Question What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    I looked everywhere. Back in December I landed on an article in Autodesk describing four available methods of starting Autocad which provided support for relative paths. Now I just can't find it anymore or any related article on the subject.

    I will paste a question I posted at that time on the google groups which did not receive much responses, I hope this forum can help me out.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Relative Path for Xrefs & Images

    An interesting one I can drop for all super users who are familiar with
    setting up systems to manage "Relative Paths" efficiently.

    18 months ago I joined a company that has adopted the method of
    starting every single project with a shortcut to acad.exe and the path
    to the project truncated in "Start In folder". It also starts a barrage
    of scripts running in the background, but that will be another topic.

    "e.g. x:\officeprojects\project5552444\dwgs\"

    When starting autocad with the icon, it will define that path into the
    "search folders" for reference files.

    Thus, every xref attached into a drawing should be striped out of that
    portion of the path. The rest of the file structure after the \dwgs\
    (e.g.\dwgs\01_arch\; \dwgs\08_Inter\) should start the path for any
    file attached (without the \dwg\ portion)

    This method seems to work with any external consultant that will work
    on the project and provide with data to be inserted back and forth into
    all the drawings... This is as long as they use the same startup
    system. (seems like).

    I wonder, how many of you out there is using a similar setup, and on
    your experience, which setup works efficiently.

    I have not experimented yet with the "PROJECTNAME" variable as this
    company has every variable stored on a read access only server.
    Customization is not allowed. (Another topic altogheter)

    I prefer to use the standard conventions created by autocad, (e.g.:
    ..\..\path) but need a load of input from outside as far as efficient
    running setups before I submit a request to revise the current ongoing
    standards.

    Your input and comments are welcome.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks in advance

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    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    I'm not certain what you're asking for but -
    I just edit the "found at ..." path to read ".\filename.ext" then click "save path".
    John B

    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

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    Member ameave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    Quote Originally Posted by jaberwok
    I'm not certain what you're asking for but -
    I just edit the "found at ..." path to read ".\filename.ext" then click "save path".
    It's simple, how do you start AutoCad? You click on default acad icon? Do you add any additional switches and parameters?

    My company has 300+ shortcut AutoCad icons for each project in the company. Each defining the path to the project to be truncated. The rest is explained above.

    What are the available options?

    Thanks in advance

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    AUGI Addict madcadder's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    "C:\Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007\acad.exe" "/nologo" /p "AutoCAD" /t "CAD Template"

    All support files local to machine.

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    Member ameave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    Quote Originally Posted by madcadder
    "C:\Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2007\acad.exe" "/nologo" /p "AutoCAD" /t "CAD Template"

    All support files local to machine.
    Yes. Evry shortcut does have that line. It also has the 'Start In" field with the path to the project to be truncated. This, to "guide" the system to find xrefs. Of course, as long as they have been truncated when inserted.

    Still, anybody can share how they manage for each project be able to find xrefs and use relative paths?

    (Support files are located on a read only server, another topic altogether)
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    AUGI Addict madcadder's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    Ah, sorry. you need the next steps too.

    We use sheet sets stored on a network server.
    I wrote a lisp that pops a small dialog asking for the project number.
    From that it creates the folder on the network, copies the cad standards file to that folder, changes the registry key for the default path, and pops the sheet set wizard.
    Fill it out and go to work.

    Approval drawings are created. Piece drawings from those for fabrication. Combine by xrefs to create an assembly drawing for the customer. Every phase has it's own titleblock according to information needed. Template file contains all possible titleblocks, layers with descriptions, linetypes, text styles, etc. Standards file is a DWS of the DWT.

    Sheet set properties contain project info such as saleman, customer, project, date, architect, gc, application, etc. Not all information appears on a titleblock.

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    Member ameave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    Quote Originally Posted by madcadder
    Ah, sorry. you need the next steps too.

    We use sheet sets stored on a network server.
    I wrote a lisp that pops a small dialog asking for the project number.
    From that it creates the folder on the network, copies the cad standards file to that folder, changes the registry key for the default path, and pops the sheet set wizard.
    Fill it out and go to work.

    Approval drawings are created. Piece drawings from those for fabrication. Combine by xrefs to create an assembly drawing for the customer. Every phase has it's own titleblock according to information needed. Template file contains all possible titleblocks, layers with descriptions, linetypes, text styles, etc. Standards file is a DWS of the DWT.

    Sheet set properties contain project info such as saleman, customer, project, date, architect, gc, application, etc. Not all information appears on a titleblock.
    Thanks Tod.

    What you described seems to be the very begining of a new project. For that, I just copy a file directory structure which already has master DWT's and DWG's and a dst setup for either metric or imperial drawings.

    Now, you mentioned your lisp routine will modify the registry for proper xref mapping, In my industry now, I coordinate information between several projects at a time, which means I can have sometimes several sessions of CAD running at the same time. This method sounds like it will make a previous session to fail to find xrefs after a new project is opened.

    I am in the architectural bussiness btw. I know it sounds absurd to ask how to start the program, and seems like most don't have a problem to work on several projects and their xrefs. I would like to hear from them.

    Thanks again.

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    ATP Manager CADKitty's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    Quote Originally Posted by ameave
    Still, anybody can share how they manage for each project be able to find xrefs and use relative paths?
    I'm just trying to make sure I'm understanding this correctly - you're asking how we arrange folders, drawings and the like for projects, correct?

    If so, here's how I've done it at three different companies now - each project has it's own project number. Each project number has it's own folder. Within that folder are standard folders found on each project, and one of them is an ACAD folder. Within that is a folder for each discipline - mechanical, electrical, civil, etc. depending on the project scope. Also within the ACAD folder is a 'Base Drawings' folder in which we store our common xrefs - floor plans, site drawings, titleblocks, etc. Each discipline's drawings are then stored within their own folder.

    My current company also has multiple offices, like yours I believe. The way that works is we have a specific network drive that all of our offices have access to. That way, someone in New Jersey and someone here in New York can work on the project no problem.

    Does this help? As far as actually opening AutoCAD, I click on the shortcut on my desktop to open it, then from there choose what drawing I want to work on.
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    Member ameave's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    Quote Originally Posted by CADKitty
    I'm just trying to make sure I'm understanding this correctly - you're asking how we arrange folders, drawings and the like for projects, correct?
    Nope...

    Just think of the directory structure as a typical architectural one (Or for any discipline actually). e.g.: under a ..\dwgs\ folder you will find most typical disciplines subfolders and within each, more subfolders as required.

    The question remains as how do you open drawings from several different projects and these are able to find all their xrefs while having a relative path or truncated or soft pathed. Whichever terms applies better.

    The first post reflects the setup employed by my workplace. I would like to know about options. I know I can setup a project using the dot-dot's and run one instance of autocad with one shortcut, I want to know how many out there uses the method described in the first post and other available options.

    If a have been unsuccessful on trying to describe the situation here, can you people imagine how bad it gets when sending or receiving drawing files from other consultants?

    Anyone? ... and thanks

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    Administrator Ed Jobe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are the different ways people (methods available to) start up AutoCAD

    I'm not sure if you use ADT, but each instance should be able to open a separate project, provided you're using the project manager and not just sheet sets.
    C:> ED WORKING....

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