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Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010 & 2011 & 2013 Certified Professional, Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Certified Professional, Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 Certified Associate

Monday, January 24, 2011

Central Files

Step one.
                Any project started with a template file IS NOT a central file.  A standard project file acts the same as any other file.  Only one person may access this file type at a time.  And it can be saved anywhere, preferable in a project folder on the server, but not in all cases.  Some mobile users may wish to save it on their desktop, thumb drive or external hard drive.  Just keep in mind that these locations are not backed up by the server.  So save in those locations at your own risk.
Step two.
                When it comes time for multiple people to work on the project, it must be converted to a central file.  To do this, select the "Collaborate" tab.  Look in the "Worksets" panel and select the "Worksets" button.  After you do this, a "Worksharing" dialog box will pop up.  Just go ahead and select "ok".  After that another "Worksets" dialog box will appear.  You can either select ok, or if you want to make additional worksets, now would be the perfect time.  When you are finished making your worksets, click "ok".  At this point the file is a Central file, but it has not been saved.  Next open the application menu (The big R in the upper left), and select save as.  (Note: The first time you do this after making it a central file, the "Make this a Central File after save" under the options button will be checked by default.)   Save this central file on the server in the proper folder.  After the save has finished, it is critical to note that you are still in the Central file.  (I recommend NEVER working in the central file!)  At this point you have two options.  The option I recommend is to close out of the central file.  Click the Applications Menu and select open.  Navigate to the Central file.  Select it and make sure the Check box at the bottom is checked to "Create New Local".  After the file has loaded you are ready to begin working.  The second option is to select the Applications menu and select "Save As".  Navigate to your local Revit files folder and save the project.  (Note: Using this option it is critical to note that we did not open the "Options" dialog box and check to "Make this a Central File after save".  By not checking that box all you're doing is creating local files.  This is where most of the confusion comes from.) 
                1.  It's a good idea to actually put the word "CENTRAL" in the central files name.  (Note: Putting the word central in the name does not actually make it a central file.)
                2.  By default is a good idea to put your name after the local file.  If you use option 1 from above, this is done by default.  If you use option 2, you must manually enter your name yourself.
                3.  NEVER and I mean NEVER work in the central file.
                4.  NEVER save a local file on the server.
                5.  NEVER move a central file.  If the file is moved or the folder is renamed, the central file and all locals attached to it will have to be recreated.
                6.  Depending on how much the central file is being updated or changed, it's a good idea to try and recreate your local files once a week.  If you have more than 10 users on a single project, recreating your local file daily is not out of the question.  If you are the only one working on a project you may never need to recreate your local.
Trouble Shooting:
                1.  When you navigate to a project on the server and select a "Central File" to begin work on it, there are a couple things to look for.  When you select the Central file the "Create New Local" box should automatically check itself.  If it does not, there is a problem.
                A.  This is NOT a central file at all.
                B.  This is a Central File in a previous version of Revit (ie Revit 2010 or 2009, etc...)
                C.  This is a local file save saved in the wrong spot.
                2.  In the event of one of the above problems, the Central file will need to be recreated.  You have a few options here.  This is the procedure I recommend.  First locate the proper file you wish to create a new central file from (This will be the most up to date file).  This file can be either a central file or a local file.  Before opening the file, be sure to select the "Detach from Central" option.  (Note: This will remove connections from other central files and remove connections from other users.)  After the file is open, click the application menu and select save as.  By default again, the "Make this a Central File after save" will already be enabled.  So after the save is complete, close out and recreate your local file.  (Note:  If you open the file (local or central) without selecting the "Detach from Central,"  then you will have to manually open the "options" menu and select "Make this a Central File after save")
If you need to create another copy of your central file (ie... another scheme), please follow the steps above under Trouble Shooting 2. 

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