- Transferring To and From School Computers: Why So Difficult?
How to Transfer Files To and From School Computers
- Step 1: Saving Your Drawing and All Necessary Files to a Zip File on Computer 1
- Step 2: Dragging the Zip File to an External Medium
- Step 3: Transporting the Zip File to Computer 2
- Step 4: Updating Your Files & Continuing to Work
- Step 5: Saving Your Changes and Transporting Your Drawing Back to Computer 1 (or Even to Computer 3!)
- What Does the Support Tool Actually Do?
Whether you're a student or faculty member using an academic license of our software, you will undoubtedly find yourself needing to transfer your drawings and Land F/X data between your own computer and a school computer. As you may have found out by now, moving CAD drawings and Land F/X projects to and from a school computer is much more complex than transferring, say, a word processing document. For that reason, we've provided a quick and simple way to get around the challenges and transfer all your data and preferences successfully.
Transferring To and From School Computers: Why So Difficult?
As a student or faculty member, you've most likely transferred a file from your personal computer to a school computer, worked on it, saved it, transferred it back to your home computer, worked on it some more, and so on. With a simple file like a word processing document, this process is seamless and straightforward.
A CAD drawing (DWG file) and its associated project and data will present some specific challenges that can drive you crazy. When you move one of these projects between computers, you're actually moving several files. (We'll get into the details below.)
If any of these files is modified – or is not present – you'll inevitably run into problems when you try to design or plot. Even if you're diligent enough to transfer each of these items over with your drawings, a computer lab presents one major issue: Anyone with access to the computer can potentially modify any settings on that computer that relate to our software.
For example, if you've added plants to a project, configured your preferences (layer colors, fonts, etc.) and plotting settings exactly the way you want them, nothing is stopping some random student or faculty member from saving over those changes. Once you're out of school and designing in the professional world, you'll see why this type of accessibility is extremely helpful. However, in a computer lab setting, it's an unfortunate obstacle to overcome.
To help you maintain your sanity, we're happy to offer a quick and easy way to ensure that all of your data and settings are with you each time want to open and make changes to your CAD designs you've created using our software.
How to Transfer Your Files To and From School Computers
Here's the good news: Our Support tool compresses all the files listed above into a single zip file, which you can easily move to an external medium such as a thumb drive. We've made this process simple and intuitive.
Complete the steps outlined below each time you want to transport your drawing:
- From a school computer to your personal computer
- From your personal computer to a school computer
- Between school computers
In the steps below, we'll refer to the computer on which you're currently working as Computer 1 (whether it's your personal computer or a school computer). We'll refer to the other computer as Computer 2. The steps will be the same on either computer.
Step 1: Saving Your Drawing and All Necessary Files to a Zip File on Computer 1
On Computer 1, open the drawing you want to save. Make sure the correct project is open. If you've configured a Preference Set and/or a CTB file, make sure these items are active.
Open our Support tool:
F/X Admin ribbon, Support flyout
F/X Admin menu
(F/X Admin toolbar pictured)
or type PTechSupport in the Command line
You'll now be prompted: Copy the DWG to the Desktop, so it can be uploaded to the Technical Support team?
Click< Yes to copy the drawing file and all associated data to the desktop.
You might receive a message that This drawing contains custom objects that are not supported in previous versions. If so, just click Close to continue.
You'll see a message that a zip file of your drawing named LandFX Export.zip has been saved on the desktop.
This zip file also includes your project data, Preference Set, CTB file, and any attached Xrefs.
Step 2: Dragging the Zip File to an External Medium
Locate the file LandFX Export.zip on the desktop of Computer 1.
Drag this file to an external medium, such as a thumb drive. You can also use a file sharing website such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Remove your external medium from the computer.
If you're on a school computer, you may want to delete the zip file from the desktop once you're sure you've moved it to the external medium successfully.
Step 3: Transporting Your Drawing to Computer 2 & Continuing to Work
You now have everything you need on your external medium. Insert it into Computer 2. Open the zip file LandFX Export.zip directly from the external medium.
Rather than moving the drawing file onto Computer 2, we recommend working on it directly from your external medium. When it's time to save, you'll repeat these steps and will thus create a saved copy on the desktop. When working on your home computer, you can keep this latest saved copy as a backup. When working on a school computer, you likely won't want to save a copy to that computer anyway.
Once you've opened the zip file, you'll see all the files it contains. These include:
- Your CAD drawing (saved as a DWG file)
- Any DWG files you've attached to your drawing as external references (Xrefs)
- The Land F/X project and Preference Set you had active when you last saved the drawing (both saved as .lfx files)
- Any CTB settings you've configured (saved as a CTB file)
Our Support tool saves all these items into the LandFX Export zip file, automating what would otherwise be a tedious process of moving multiple files back and forth. For more detailed information on this automated process, please see What Does the Support Tool Actually Do? below.
Please note that the following items will not be included in the zip file:
- Images (such as .jpg files) you've attached to your drawing as Xrefs
- Block files you've created or edited
- Details you've created or edited (except for those you've placed in the drawing)
To transport these items, you'll need to drag and drop them onto the external medium each time you move computers.
Step 4: Updating Your Files & Continuing to Work
Assigning Your Project to the Drawing
Open your drawing (from the external medium). Use our Restore feature – available in the Projects dialog box – to restore your project.
To re-assign the project to the drawing, open the project with the drawing still open. You can now work on your drawing and save it as you would normally (but still on the external medium).
Transferring Your CTB File (If Applicable)
If you've transported a CTB plotting file with your drawing, copy that file into the folder that's currently designated as the Plot and Publish folder.
To locate this folder path, open the CAD Options dialog box by typing OP in the CAD command line and pressing Enter. Select the Files tab, then scroll to and expand the Plot and Publish Log File Location entry. The folder listed in this location (shown below) is the folder where you want to drag your CTB file.
Step 5: Saving Your Changes and Transporting Your Files Back to Computer 1 (or Even to Computer 3!)
When you're ready to save your drawing and transport it back to Computer 1 – or even another computer – simply repeat this process, starting at Step 1, where you use our Support tool to create a zip file. (For the sake of these instructions, of course, the computer you're currently on will become Computer 1.)
Once you've completed this process a few times, it will become clockwork. (And trust us – it's a lot simpler than the alternative, which would be to save all these files manually. For details, keep reading.)
What Does the Support Tool Actually Do?
Our Support tool automates the bulk of what would otherwise be a tedious process. We originally developed it as a simple tool for anyone who is having issues with a drawing and needs to send it to our technical support team for diagnosis. The Support tool packages the drawing file, along with the associated project and Preference Set, into a single easy-to-send zip file. In fact, if you're ever having trouble with one of your drawings and need to contact tech support, it's highly likely that we'll ask you to use the Support tool to send us your drawing via a technical support ticket.
If you're just trying to transport your drawing file between computers, you won't need to bother with sending us a tech support ticket. However, the Support tool provides the quickest and most effective way to package your drawing file for easy transport – all by automating the following processes at a single mouse click:
- Saving your DWG file
- Backing up and saving your Land F/X project
- Saving any applicable CTB files and Preference Sets