A previous tip article discusses how to periodically make master backups of all your 3D data for safekeeping.  But what if you just want to quickly transfer a form group you've updated to another computer, or perhaps share it with another inspector? Use the special Custom Form Studio Backup/Distribute option.

In the program where the forms where you want to transfer FROM, go into the Custom Form Studio. Right-click the desired form group and choose Backup/Distribute to create and save a .3DF form backup file. 

  • If you want to transfer your latest uncompiled "source" forms that you edited in Custom Form Studio and not just the portion used to start reports in the report writer be sure to mark "include uncompiled forms" before clicking Backup.
  • If you want to only transfer the forms used in the report writer without transferring the source forms for editing (perhaps to provide to an inspector whom you don't want making wholesale modifications  to the forms), make sure "include uncompiled forms" is deselected before clicking Backup.

When prompted to save your 3DF backup filename, you may change the name of the backup file if desired.  For example you may want to perhaps include a date or revision note, if you plan to keep a series of form backups made at different times.

Afterward, transfer the .3DF backup file you created to your other computer (or to backup media as desired). You might use a thumbdrive, CD, other media, or the internet to do so. Or you may email the 3DF backup file to another inspector who has the 3D software.

In the computer you are transferring the forms INTO, go to the Report Writer or Custom Form Studio and click File > install a set of forms.  Navigate to and load the .3DF backup file you created.

If you are simply updating existing forms on the computer, you will be prompted whether to overwrite the files.  This will replace any form files named the same already on the computer.

It's that easy to install your forms.  Now you know how to easily share just your forms, or quickly transfer them to another computer.  You may also want to make a quick form backup for safekeeping before or after making changes to your forms, or in between major changes, just in case you don't like your changes and decide to restore a prior revision.

More details and information about the backup feature or form files may also be found in the Custom Form Studio documentation in your program HelpDesk.