I set my working folder and Data Shortcuts folder as in the attached pic but when I go to Create Data Shortcuts I get a message in the second attached pic.
Your Data Shortcuts Project Folder should be set to the Hidden Springs folder, not the _Shortcuts folder. So if that is not the case do as the message says and redesignate the Data Shortcuts Project Folder. Then as the message says, use the Associate Project to Current Drawing command. You should now see the Project Name in  Brackets next to the drawing name at the top of Civil 3D. After saving the drawing you should be abe to create data references.
OK Gavin, first of all thanks for responding. So I have attached a pic of our project folder structure. In that structure our cad drawings are in the folder '10.10 Civil'. So now what do I set my working folder as and where does my New Data Shortcut folder go and does it matter what I name it?
The way you have it set up these should be your settings...
Working Fodler = Data Shortcuts
DS Project Folder = Hidden Springs
When you create a "New" DS project folder, a new folder gets created within your working folder. If that folder already exists, then Yes, it's very important that, when prompted in C3D, you type the name EXACTLY as it shows in Explorer.
Also, if that DWG is associated with another project, you need to do what it says in the error; reassociate the DWG to a different project.
I'm looking at your original image. You've already created the DS project folder under:
10 Eng Dwgs\10.10 Civil\Data Shortcuts
It's called "Hidden Springs".
Maybe I'm not sure what you're asking at this point. You can place them anywhere you want.
Hi jabei and Matt,
Hopefully, Matt's contributions were able to pick up where I left off.
I was trying to find some sort of Best Practice for setting up project folders and the C3D Data Shortcut folder structure. However, I am only finding the basics of how to setup a Working Folder and Data`Shortcuts Project Folders:
Unforetunately, the terminology is a bit confusing and guidance on how to best set things up seems to be limited.
Here is my understanding regarding the C3D Data Shortcut folder structure, that I believe is consistent with what Matt indicated:
Here are the things that I think are potentially confusing and/or inefficient:
I think that jabei may be running into some of these issues when I look at his folder structure, and I believe this might be the root of his latest question? We are only seeing part of his folder structure. If I look at his 1st folder structure image, I see two top level folders of "10-RD-0031 BF 78621 Northern Sunrise" and "10-RD-0031 Hidden Springs". There are probably others at this same level that I can't see. Chances are each one of these folders at that level is going to have C3D work. So I think that perhaps these folders should be your Data Shortcuts Project Folders and whatever folder is their parent is your Working Folder. This way you only have one Working Folder instead of one for every project. In that case, the _Shortcuts folder for each project would need to be moved so that it was directly under its new Data Shortcuts Project Folder (so the "10-RD-0031 Hidden Springs" folder would have _Shortcuts directly under it). Not sure if that violates your folder structure rules, but if my understanding as outlined above is correct that makes the most sense to me.
Matt what is your experience with this topic from a Best Practice standpoint?
Ok, let me clarify my folder structure a little...the following is the folder structure right from drive to drawings:
R:\2010\10-RD-0032 Hidden Springs\10 EngDwgs\10.10 Civil\10RD0032-ROADS.dwg
In this structure the '10-RD-0032 Hidden Springs' is the project. The '10.10 Civil' is the folder all the drawings are in.
Now given this structure and folders, what would my procedure be to create data shortcuts to reference?
I believe that Matt and I have given you all the details and potential choices, and therefore it is up to you to determine your ultimate folder configuration. If you need help actually setting the working folder, data shortcut projects folder and associating drawings, see the link I referenced previously.
It really comes down to where you want the "_Shortcuts" folder to be located in your folder structure. The location of the _Shortcuts folder will in turn determine what folders need to be set as your Data`Shortcuts Project Folder and Working Folder. The Drawings can go anywhere, they just have to be associated with the correct Working Folder and Data`Shortcuts Project Folder.
As already covered, in your original Folders.jpg image you would do the following:
* Set the folder "Data Shortcuts" as your Working Folder
* Set the folder "Hidden Springs" as your Data`Shortcuts Project Folder
You could potentially change the location of the "_Shortcuts" folder from what you showed in the Folders.jpg image to any location. For instance, the "_Shortcuts" folder could be directly under the "10.10 Civil" folder with the "10.10 Civil" folder being the Data`Shortcuts Project Folder and "10 EngDwgs" being the Working Folder. Or you could have the "_Shortcuts" folder directly under the "Data Shortcuts" folder with the "Data Shortcuts" folder being the Data`Shortcuts Project Folder and "10.10 Civil" being the Working Folder, and get rid of the "Hidden Springs" folder.