Saving & Exporting Files / Auto-Recalling Incorrect Folders

I don’t even know how to search this, so forgive me if this has been discussed.

At our firm, we organize all of our clients into individual folders, and we constantly jump around from project to project. There’s one thing that has always bothered me though. Let’s say I’m working inside the “Jones” folder. I create the Jones layout file, I finish it, I export the Jones PDF, and then exit out and switch over to the “Smith” folder. I open up the Smith layout file, finish it, and then when I go to export the Smith PDF, it automatically recalls the “Jones” folder I was in earlier and recommends that I save the Smith PDF in it as well.

This is only a problem when we get to working really quickly and we forget to double check where it’s recommending we save to. So as you can imagine, we frequently end up accidentally exporting PDFs to the wrong folders and lose track of them. And I know that it’s simple enough to just do a search inside Windows file explorer to find my PDF if I happen to accidentally save it to the wrong place. But it’s still an inconvenience.

Why would it not just assume I want to export this new PDF into the same folder where I opened it’s parent Layout file? It seems like this would be the intuitive way to program it, as SketchUp does this correctly when you’re doing the same kind of thing. But Layout does not.

Is there anything I can do about this, or is it just a minor inconvenience that I have to continue to live with?


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LayOut has this behavior to support a workflow where people are exporting to PDF in a “convenient” common location like the Desktop or a Documents folder. However, I can certainly see that it’s the opposite of the desired behavior for your workflow.

Anybody else want to chime in with their pdf-export workflow?


I don’t know if it helps, but at work I keep a folder that has shortcuts to all my ongoing project folders that tend to be scatered over network drives. Then, in applications I use, I place a shortcut to this folder to the Favourites section of the navigation pane in the File dialogs. Most applications support this, and it reduces greatly the number of clicks I need to find the files I want to open, link or export.

Our work flow is just like brad.holley’s. So as a work around, I just export all my PDFs to my desktop and then move them to the correct folders.

So for us, a pdf-export to the same folder as the layout file would be preferred.

MacOS has a feature of listing the recent save locations in a pop down menu. For some things this works well, like when you export a pdf file from SU, and then go immediately to email and want to attach that file, that folder is right there on top of the list. For other things, it’s not helpful just as you descirbe. Often, the place the file came from is not conveniently suggested. Same experience here; I send stuff to the wrong folder all the time. I got fed up with MacOS’s built in search features and found Find Any File to be a help.

SU preferences at least gives some default folder settings for Models and Exports among other things, yes?

SketchUp actually does this very well. If I open the “Smith.skp” model, and then I go to export an image, a DWG, or a video, it automatically assumes I want to export those things into the same directory that the .SKP file is located in. Which, for us and for our workflow, is exactly what we prefer. But for some reason, Layout assumes that when you open the “Smith.layout” that you want to export your “Smith.pdf” into whatever the last folder was that you exported to (for example, the “Jones” folder you were just in an hour ago). Which, I suppose makes sense for the people that tend to export anything and everything into a single, common location. But for us, this isn’t intuitive or helpful, and only creates more work for us. I guess, all I’m saying is, “Give me the CHOICE. Let ME decide.”

I’m trying to remind myself that I’m essentially just complaining because I’m having to click through more folders than I want to… I know. I’m spoiled and lazy.

b r a d h o l l e y
asst. designer

214.908.4484 office
214.789.6849 cell
972.964.1685 fax

Like Jerry Seinfeld’s rant about how lazy we’ve gotten with Amazon pitching us One Click Shopping, “If I have to click twice, I’m out of here!”

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