This section explains the concepts and procedures for managing data shortcuts.
A data shortcut provides a direct path to the location of a shareable source object, either a surface, alignment, profile, pipe network, or view frame group. In a single operation, you can create data shortcuts for multiple objects in a source drawing. The data shortcut is used only for the creation of data references.
A data reference is a read-only copy of a source object, inserted into another drawing, often called a consumer drawing. From the Prospector tab, you can select a shortcut for an object and create a reference to that object in the active drawing. The data reference maintains an active link to the source object in the source drawing, without relying on the data shortcut.
The term ‘project’ is used here for ease of reference, and to explain a sample data structure. Formal projects and particular folder structures are not required with data shortcuts and references, but some form of structure usually helps to keep related data organized.
On the Toolspace Prospector tab, the Data Shortcuts node displays the path to the active project, where data shortcuts are stored. These data shortcuts can be created from any drawings associated with the active project. The figure shows how the Data Shortcuts node appears if the active project is Arc.
Shortcut folders on the Prospector tree for sample project Arc
If you change the active project, the new project name appears on the Data Shortcuts node, and the subfolders contain only the shortcuts in the new active project. A particular consumer drawing can contain data references from multiple projects.
The reference object has read-only geometry, but the user can apply a local object style, apply custom annotation, do limited analysis, and access the source object's properties. The reference object takes up less file space when the consumer drawing is saved. If the source object is edited, the synchronization process ensures that changes are reflected in the reference object. Synchronization occurs when the consumer drawing is opened, and can also be done manually by a user. You can promote a data reference to an independent object that can be edited; after promotion it is no longer updated from its original source object.
This section explains how to organize the data for a new project, including some configuration options to consider.
Specify the project path for data shortcuts.
Make a data shortcut project the default for the current drawing.
Associate a data shortcuts project with all the drawings in a folder.
Create data shortcuts from the active drawing.
Import a reference object into the active drawing.
Remove a data shortcut to make it unavailable for future data references.
Control access to the use of data shortcuts.
Synchronizing a data reference brings in any changes made to its source object.
Promote references to independent objects.
Data shortcuts can become invalid if changes occur to the names or locations of drawings or reference objects.
You can recover from minor changes such as a moved or renamed drawing.
You view the full path to the source drawing for a data reference object.
Open the source drawing for a data reference.
You can update data shortcuts to the current format or move them to a different folder.
Use the Data Shortcuts Editor for bulk operations on data shortcuts.