Data Shortcuts and XREFS | Autodesk BIM 360 Design: Collaboration for Civil 3D

  The following is a portion of an article written by our IT Manager, Bryson Anderson, for DLT:


Data Shortcuts and XREFS

Next you need to set your Data Shortcuts working folder. Data shortcuts are managed through the same dialog that is typically used; Data Shortcuts on the Prospector tab of Toolspace. To set the working folder, right click on Data Shortcuts in Toolspace, and select ‘Set Working Folder’, then browse to the BIM 360 location you want to store shortcuts and hit ‘Select Folder’. Once selected, you will see a Blue cloud icon, as well as a BIM 360:\... location set.

Next, right Click ‘Data Shortcuts’ and select New Data Shortcuts Project Folder, give it a name and fill in any other project details. Once created, right click ‘Data Shortcuts’ again and hit ‘Set Data Shortcuts Project Folder’, select the project folder you just created.


You can then create and reference Data Shortcuts the same way you are used to.

Civil 3D X-References are also supported. When dragging and dropping or pasting files through the Desktop Connector, XREFS are automatically checked, uploaded to BIM 360 and paths updated.  Even if you only copied in the host drawing, the XREF check will see that drawing has a reference, automatically go get that reference file if it can be resolved, and upload it, updating the path to a BIM 360 location. The referenced file will be copied to the project location, replicating the directory structure where it was found.   If it is not able to resolve the reference, you will get an error message saying ‘Failure Gathering References’ and the missing XREFS will be ignored and the host drawing uploaded with a broken reference.

To create a new reference, you follow the same procedure you normally do, but select the file to be referenced from the Desktop Connector folder structure. If you look at the absolute path for a reference you will notice its pathing to your C:\Users\UserName… Folder. But don’t worry the BIM 360 Design system makes the translation in the background to the cloud. Even though it shows a local path, when another user opens, it shows their local location of the desktop connecter, the translation from local folder to cloud is being made in the background.

To check for any updates to References and Data shortcuts, on the Collaborate tab, Cloud Collaboration panel of Civil 3D is a ‘Check Reference Status’ button. Clicking that will check for any updates and give you the pop-up message to reload to see the changes.


To learn more about BIM 360 Design: Collaboration for Civil 3D, click here.

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