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by Trevor Clayton

It seems that people are starting to get the message regarding Data Shortcuts, must be as I am getting more and more questions about them so here is a few notes about them.

Data shortcuts provide complete reference copies of objects that you can insert into one or more other drawings.

If you are unsure about your need for Autodesk Vault, start with data shortcuts. If you decide to introduce Vault later in the process, you can import your data shortcut projects into Vault. In the process, data shortcuts are automatically converted to Vault references.

Data shortcuts can be created only for surfaces, alignments, profiles, pipe networks, and view frame groups. They provide reference links between drawings without the use of a database. When you create data shortcuts from a drawing, they appear on the Data Shortcuts node of the Prospector tree. From this location, you can insert a reference object into another open drawing by right-clicking its shortcut.

 

ADVANTAGES

  • Shortcuts provide a simple, direct mechanism for sharing object data that is based solely on drawings, without the added server space and administration needs of Autodesk Vault. This can be ideal for small teams or small projects.
  • They offer access to an object’s geometry in a consumer drawing while ensuring that the object’s geometry can only be changed in the source drawing.
  • Reference objects can have styles and labels that are different from the source drawing.
  • Reference objects automatically update when you open a file in which you have referenced data.
  • During a drawing session, you are notified when a source drawing has been modified, both in the Communication Center, and in the Prospector tab of Toolspace.

 

LIMTS

  • They cannot provide data versioning.
  • They provide no security or data integrity controls.
  • Unlike Autodesk Vault, data shortcuts do not provide a secure mechanism for sharing point data or survey data.
  • Maintaining the links between the references and their source objects requires fairly stable names and locations on the shared file system. However, most broken references can be easily repaired.

 

BEST PRACTICE

  • To minimize broken references, do not move or rename shared objects or their source drawings after creation. You can move an entire working folder.
  • If you need to move or rename multiple objects or data shortcuts in a working folder, use the stand-alone Data Shortcuts Editor. Avoid making direct edits in the shortcut XML files, because this can corrupt the files.