Now that it seems more and more users are using Data Shortcuts, it makes perfect sense to give you more information about what is going on with some files. I have received an issue where one of our customers could not see the description shown in the Set Data Shortcut Folder dialog. For all of you working in production and having years’ worth of work stored in your project directory, it makes whole lot of a difference to have description listed next to the project.
Here is what happened. Customer had descriptions showing in his XML files that are in charge of storing these descriptions. If the file ShortcutsHistory.xml is opened with browser or XML Notepad this user could see the descriptions but just could not see them in the dialog. I have to admit it, was pretty puzzling to me too, since all permissions to the files and folders were showing properly. With little help of Eddie Ng, our developer, I was quickly able to find out the missing piece.
Here is how to resolve this and here is what happens in the background. First let’s make some things clear.
I have created a project called “DS Test” in the default location set for Working Folder (Civil 3D Projects). The Description is saved in the following directory for that project. C:\Civil 3D Projects\DS Test\_Shortcuts\ShortcutsHistory.xml
If we open this file with browser, Notepad or XML Notepad we could see the content of the file, and confrim the descriptions are there. This is the same place where you can add your descriptions.
If our XML file shows the description then our XML file is fine. At this point our “Set Data Shortcut Folder” will still show nothing for project description. That is what the issue reported to us was. See image.
After that, go to your C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\C3D 2013\enu\Project Management folder and remove ShortcutFolders.XML file. This file will get recreated by Civil 3D. The reason for that is that Civil 3D has a cache of that XML file in history so we will have to restart Civil 3D after deletion of ShortcutFolders.XML file. This is how cache works, at least the way I understood it.
The file is normally kept in some storage system. As it is used, it is copied into a faster storage system -the cache - on a temporary basis. When we need a particular file, program first checks whether it is in the cache. If it is, the program uses the file directly from the cache; if it is not, we use the file from the source, putting a copy in the cache under the assumption that we will need it again soon.
After we restart Civil 3D program will restore removed file and we should be able to see our custom description.