Moving Topicscapes

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Can I move my Topicscape folders (directories) around?

"... or will it break all the links between occurrences and their files?"

Once you have made a Topicscape, you can move it around freely on the same computer if you wish, provided you move its whole directory. All files that were move or copied to the Topicscape will still be accessible (technically: relative addressing is used). You will have to navigate to it in its new location to open it.

User access controls may prevent another user seeing it if you move a Topicscape from the 'All Users' folders to a folder under another user's account.

Because relative addressing is used, you can also change the folder (directory) name.

To change the default location of your Topicscape data folders and files, you will need to re-install. These are the steps:

  • Reinstall Topicscape (telling it to put the programs on C:, D: or E: as you wish). There's more about this step here: Re-installing Topicscape on an existing computer
  • start Topicscape
  • reply No to question about keeping old settings
  • reply No to question about clearing metadata describing files in Topicscape Box
  • leave first radio button selected in the "default location" panel that appears next and click through
  • key in the path of the new location for you Topicscape data (no need to make a folder, it will do that for you)
  • let Topicscape open and then close it normally
  • copy all folders and files from your previous Topicscape data folder to the new one just specified.

I am getting a new PC today and wondering what will happen to my Topicscapes.

"When I move the database and all the occurrence files & links to a new PC, how will the Topicscape database know where to find all the occurrences, etc.? Currently I have several disk drives – the one with the TS & files is on G: Drive. My new PC will have 2 x 1 terabyte disks - Do I have to create a partition with the same letter – i.e. G: or is there some other simpler way?

Before you do anything, please ensure that you have a reliable and up-to-date backup of your Topicscape data in My Topicscapes.

You choose your "My Topicscapes" location on the first run after installation:

  1. Install Topicscape.
  2. Start Topicscape.
  3. It will ask you to pick a default location for your "My Topicscapes" folder. The first radio button will be selected. This indicates that you can browse to another. Click Next.
  4. It loads a default location of C:\Documents and Settings\My Topicscapes, or a Windows Vista, 7, 8 equivalent, but you can override this now. Change the folder path to, for example, E:\ Topicscape itself will add the folder, e.g. "My Topicscapes" to show E:\My Topicscapes. You can change the folder name as well if you wish.
  5. Then before doing anything else, close Topicscape, and copy your old My Topicscapes folder on top of your new one, no matter which drive letter it occupied before or now (other than a network drive).

This will preserve most customization detail like favorites, as well. Installation customizations (see demos, run in Limited Mode) will be reset on the new PC and you will have to change them.

A Topicscape called All my stuff when first made, will appear as All my stuff.3DT in a folder called All my stuff in My Topicscapes.

You can move folder All my stuff around anywhere on your PC and that Topicscape will still work. In other words, generally Topicscape uses relative addressing.

Effect of using 'Link' on moving Topicscapes

We say 'generally', because there is one proviso: When you drag in or import files/folders, you are given three options: Move, Copy and Link. If you use Link, the files will not be in the My Topicscape folder and Topicscape has to use the full absolute path. For such occurrences, you will have to place these files in the same drive letter and folder on the new machine. This is why we advise users not to use Link if they can avoid it. See Appendix C in the Help.

There is provision for targetted changing of linked files though. It is described in Moving linked files.

How does the program address external drives, thumb-drives and network shares?

Files on a portable drive (or a thumb drive) will be fine - they are treated like any internal drive, but if the drive is not in place, the files will show up in black text with a 'file missing' tag showing in the details panel.

This is a non-destructive report, and plugging the drive in (no need to restart Topicscape, just press F5 for refresh) will show everything back to normal.

There is a maintenance function that allows you to delete such occurrences (those with missing files) should you wish, but this requires three deliberate actions and would not happen accidentally.

Network drives

Files on network drives are a different matter. The present versions of Topicscape (3D Topicscape Pro, Lite and the free Student Edition) are all Personal Editions and will not access network drives.

There are workarounds - see Network access to files

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