Friday, April 3, 2009

Another Way to Save Customizations

Hello again, I hope this note finds you all in a good mood. Here in Boulder it's a beautiful sunny morning, but we're supposed to get another snowstorm tonight that could continue into tomorrow. At least tomorrow there won't be as many people who have to get to work, so there won't be as many idiots - those who refuse to slow down! - sliding into the ditches.

I think you'll like this little tip. I have explained previously about saving your .cui file, and how that's where your custom settings live. Well, that wasn't wrong exactly, but I found out there's a better way, thanks to the Techs at Autodesk.
Have you ever noticed that when you install a new version of an Autodesk product, a message pops up telling you it noticed you have a previous version and would you like to migrate your custom settings?
I love how computers can be so polite.
What I found out was that you can use that function at any time, to save any custom settings you have. It's better and safer than depending on your acad.cui file to keep any custom toolbars safe. How this came about was a man called who had copied his .cui file from one computer to another and lost his custom toolbar names. They were still there, only it was hard to find them, and they were renamed "Toolbar 1","Toolbar 2", and so on.

So, here's another way to save your custom settings and avoid the problem this gentleman came up against.

In your Start menu ( sorry I don't know where to start in Vista, but if you've gotten proficient at using that OS I bet you'll be able to figure this out) go to All Programs, then find Autodesk, and then whichever version you customized. Notice the menu in the picture. From here you can both save your custom settings by exporting them, and you can import custom settings from previous versions.

You'll get this little warning, as shown on the right here. Notice that you can choose to save settings that 'live' on your network.

Doing this creates a .zip file, just pay attention to where you save it!

Then some day when you want to restore those settings, just reverse the process. Go to the Start menu as before, and in the Autodesk program you want to import to, select "Migrate Custom Settings". Browse to the zip file you created earlier, and it imports them.

At the end you get a report of what was installed and what doesn't work. I had a few error messages, mostly that access to the font files was denied, and then General Information and Migration Details.
This is a better way to have all your custom toolbars, icons, etc, safe and in a way that you can surely get them back again. The thing about this that I never thought of before is that you can use it to save and move custom settings from one machine to another, besides the normal function of using it to migrate custom things from one version to another.

Have a nice Spring day! I hope the weather is getting nice, wherever you happen to live. And for anyone who lives south of the equator - enjoy your Autumn. It's my favorite season.

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