I have a layout book template that contains preset links to about 30 Word and Excel documents that contain standard information used on every project. The documents might change once in a while, but not often.
When we start a new project, the layout book and all of its linked files get copied to the project directory. The drafter then opens the layout book and links their model in. What most users don't understand is that the preset links are still pointing back to the original directory the layout book was copied from. If I make a change to the template that is effective "from now on", I start getting calls from other drafters telling me their information has changed.
Once I explain the relinking process to them, it takes up to an hour to get everything pointing to the right place and updated. It takes longer if I mail it to a sub-contracted architect who doesn't have any of the drive maps that we work with.
I would like to see all linked drawing and document paths stored relative to the location of the layout book. So, if I have the layout book at the same level as a sub-directory called NOTES with a Word document called GEN_FLOOR_PLAN.DOC in it, the path would be stored as ../NOTES/GEN_FLOOR_PLAN.DOC, not as X:\SERVER\PROJECTS\AC123\DRAWINGS\NOTES\GEN_FLOOR_PLAN.DOC.
It would also be nice to have a PATH field in the PlotMaker navigator that you can sort by if you ever have to "Relink" or "Read From" a whole series of imported drawings.
I couldn't agree more and have personally asked GS for this on many occassions.
When I create custom templates for users, I put all of these files into a 'Linked CAD Files' folder. The intention is for them to simply copy this entire folder to each new project folder and start working. As you know, they have to relink the layout books with the project, which becomes especially messy when you have OLE's, as well as multiple project links, (ie. linked titleblock sheets [read from a single source] + linked project views).
Would be so nice to have copied files link to copied files!
Too often these CAD Management issues are overlooked by GS.