Inventor General Discussion

Inventor General Discussion

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Dunehunter
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-08-2012
Message 1 of 15 (425 Views)
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Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

425 Views, 14 Replies
10-08-2012 12:24 PM

I've been told throughout my life countless times never to open Autodesk files (In my case inventor .ipt and .idw) through windows explorer. WHY?

 

The best explanation I've received to date is that "it creates bad paths". The person was not able to elaborate any further.

 

This frustrates me to no end. Why would autodesk make a product that fails in a non-obvious way when you open it's files the same way you would open any other file on your computer? Is this just out of date nonsense from older users? Why is this even an issue in the first place?

 

Somebody please elaborate on what is happening here.

 

Thank you,

~Jon

I figured it out. I started a discussion with my block of cubicals and here is what we came up with.

 

Shortcut directories.

 

When you open files thru the folders provided on the left side of the "Open" dialog window you are only given the options of direct network paths. If you use the drop down or windows explorer you could end up using shortcut paths. If you use a shortcut path to open a part or assembly you could accidentally remap it to be located in that shortcut directory in whatever file uses it. Now if another user goes to open the file that uses it they will have missing links (as they do not have the same shortcut directories on their computers) that they will need to manually remap.

 

So opening files in explorer vs. in the program doesn't actually make a difference, it's that by not using the the folders provided by the ipj in the open dialog box you risk opening the file thru a path that has a shortcut in it.

 

~Jon

*Expert Elite*
harco
Posts: 879
Registered: ‎02-16-2006
Message 2 of 15 (401 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-08-2012 01:26 PM in reply to: Dunehunter

Can't speak for anyone else but I open from explorer almost all the time, especially if I'm going through a lot of files sequentially.

Often just drag and drop.

It's usually quicker than using the Inventor open dialogue.

I rarely have a problem, even opening files outside the project.

Sometimes, with other folk, Inventor will start a new instance because there's a program installation or registry problem.

One thing I notice is if you open multiple files at once, and there are unresolved links in a file because a path is missing from the project, that file will open showing question marked links.

No big deal just close that file and open on its own then resolve links.

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trumpy81
Posts: 317
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
Message 3 of 15 (393 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-08-2012 01:54 PM in reply to: Dunehunter

Jon, there will be problems opening files from WE if those files are located outside of your current project. Otherwise, there shouldn't be any problem with it.

 

As Harco noted though, a new instance of Inventor will open if the part/assembly file is not located in the current project.

 

Using drag & drop is a better method other than using the Inventor open command.

 

I personnally use the Inventor Open command, it saves having to search through all my project folders as it will always open in the current project folder. If for example, I can't find a file in the current project folder, then I will open WE and copy the needed file into the current project folder. It saves a lot of messing around adding libraries and such and you wont get any error messages about the file not being in the current project.

Regards
Andy M
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autodesk Inventor 2013 Pro SP1.1, Win7 Pro - 64Bit - SP1, Intel i7 960 @ 3.333 GHz
Asus X58 Sabertooth, Corsair 12Gig DDR3, AMD Radeon HD6970, Samsung 830 Series 256G SSD, 2x 3TB Seagate, 2x 2TB Hitachi,
1x 1TB Samsung, 4 x 2TB Seagate in Netgear ReadyNAS NV+, Dual Asus VE278Q Monitors
*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,968
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 4 of 15 (381 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 04:09 AM in reply to: Dunehunter

This frustrates me to no end. Why would autodesk make a product that fails in a non-obvious way when you open it's files the same way you would open any other file on your computer? Is this just out of date nonsense from older users? Why is this even an issue in the first place?


Because opening some files (drawings, assemblies, presentations) in Inventor is not at all the same as opening a Word document, for example.  Most applications work with files that are essentially standalone-- that is, they have no dependency on any other file.  Opening a large assembly drawing in Inventor opens hundreds or thousands of files at a time, and Inventor uses projects to help limit the locations that it must search to find those thousands of files.

 

As others have pointed out, you can certainly use Windows Explorer to open Inventor files, but you must also be aware of what is happening behind the scenes and be reasonably disciplined in your use of projects and folder structure, or you may get unexpected results.  This is not a defect or oversight by Autodesk, but merely the natural consequences of a program that can create and document a 5,000-part assembly.

 

 

Member
Dunehunter
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-08-2012
Message 5 of 15 (369 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 05:12 AM in reply to: Dunehunter

So far I like all these responces, but I'm still looking for more of what you are getting at. What IS going on behind the scenes? What might specifically happen within the program that would be different if I were to open the same file thru the open button vs. thru windows explorer?

 

~Jon

*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,968
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 6 of 15 (361 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 05:36 AM in reply to: Dunehunter

Imagine opening an assembly drawing-- Inventor opens that .idw file and looks for parts, presentations, assemblies that are referenced by it.  The assembly (in this case) has a name and a path (I think) stored there, but if the path isn't found in the current project (.ipj file), it looks through all the paths in the .ipj file for that file name.  When (if) found, Inventor opens the assembly and works the same process with each component, sub-component, sub-sub-component, etc. 

 

If you did not remember to change projects to the one corresponding to the drawing you're trying to open, this process will take a long time, and probably not find the needed files at all.  When you open inside Inventor, you can tell immediately that you're not in the right project, and if Inventor can't find the files it tells you exactly what the problem is.

 

Again, with reasonable discipline, the direct open method is fine.  It may be quicker, but there isn't as much built-in protection for you, so you have to do a little more thinking to use it effectively.

Member
Dunehunter
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-08-2012
Message 7 of 15 (350 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 06:06 AM in reply to: sbixler

So is the consensus that the only difference it makes is in preventing you from accidentally opening a file with the wrong .ipj? If so, then thank you.

 

I just want to leave this thread open for a little bit longer incase someone knows of another reason.

 

I'm still curious were my co-worker (a multi-decade cad user) came up with the "it generates bad paths" line. I pressed him further and he told me if I open files with explorer, work on them, save them back were I found them, and then put those files into an assembly that when someone else on the server tries to open that assembly they will have to fix a bunch of missing file paths. Conversely that wouldn't be a problem if I initially opened the files using the open command instead.

 

Is this out of date nonsense? Complete nonsense? Or may there be some truth to it?

 

~Jon

*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,968
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 8 of 15 (339 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 06:42 AM in reply to: Dunehunter

It would be great if someone from Autodesk could give a short dissertation on this topic.  We'd all learn a lot and not have to speculate based on our experience.

 

My understanding, based only on my experience, is that your co-worker's "bad paths" explanation is totally bogus (or maybe you misunderstood him/her?).  If a part file is opened, saved, closed, nothing has changed.  The part doesn't store any path information to assemblies or drawings where it is referenced, nor to projects that include it, only to its references such as Excel workbooks or parts from which it is derived.  For editing simple parts, I can't see how it can be a problem.

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trumpy81
Posts: 317
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
Message 9 of 15 (330 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 07:17 AM in reply to: sbixler

Sam, that's not strictly true in regard to opening, saving a file. For one, the Time/Date stamp will be different and if my suspicions are correct, that will have an impact for anyone using Vault, which I believe is what Jon's friend is talking about.

 

I only have limited knowledge of Vault and it's operation, so I could be off track a little here, but from my limited experience I can tell you that opening Vault files with anything other than Vault can be a bad thing. It's one of the reasons I don't use Vault.

Regards
Andy M
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Autodesk Inventor 2013 Pro SP1.1, Win7 Pro - 64Bit - SP1, Intel i7 960 @ 3.333 GHz
Asus X58 Sabertooth, Corsair 12Gig DDR3, AMD Radeon HD6970, Samsung 830 Series 256G SSD, 2x 3TB Seagate, 2x 2TB Hitachi,
1x 1TB Samsung, 4 x 2TB Seagate in Netgear ReadyNAS NV+, Dual Asus VE278Q Monitors
*Pro
sbixler
Posts: 1,968
Registered: ‎09-15-2003
Message 10 of 15 (322 Views)

Re: Opening Files, Explorer vs. Thru the program

10-09-2012 07:43 AM in reply to: trumpy81

trumpy81 wrote:

Sam, that's not strictly true in regard to opening, saving a file. For one, the Time/Date stamp will be different and if my suspicions are correct, that will have an impact for anyone using Vault, which I believe is what Jon's friend is talking about.

 

I only have limited knowledge of Vault and it's operation, so I could be off track a little here, but from my limited experience I can tell you that opening Vault files with anything other than Vault can be a bad thing. It's one of the reasons I don't use Vault.


Regarding the Time/Date stamp, what would be the difference between opening through Inventor or opening directly from Explorer?

Regarding Vault I have little knowledge, but you couldn't even find the file in Explorer to open unless it was checked out, and then it's just like any other file until checked in, I think.

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