Since the introduction of Themes in 12d Version 15 there have been some changes with the use and setup of project workspaces.

When a project is saved a “workspace” file is written into the project directory.  This is to ensure when the project is subsequently opened the icons and toolbars are where you last placed them.  Now, given the number of Themes and the ability to change themes during the life of the project, a number of files might be created to hold this information.

Please note: For “generalist” themes (Classic, Standard, Neo) if these are selected by Users when a project is created then your “User” defined workspaces will be loaded.

For “specialist” themes (Survey,12d Field, Design, Water, Cad, BIM, Tin) the default workspaces will automatically be loaded for all project when created and can be changed once the project is created.

Once you have a layout you prefer to use as a “generalist” theme, open the “Project -> Management -> Workspace -> Setup” panel, select the yellow folder icon and Browse to the $User directory.  Select the Write button on the panel and the file will then be used on all future projects when they are first created, using the generalist themes.

If individuals within your company wish to have their own workspaces layouts files for their offcie setup.  Have them create the workspace file as outlined above and save this also into the $User directory.  Note to add their name etc to the file so it is easily recognisable.

They can then load the standard company setup and using the icon shown below simple select their layout which will again be remembered when the project is opened in the future.

ENV Variable

If you wish to use a different file name than “workspace.4dw” for your company.  eg, “XYZ_Company_workspace.4dw”.  Then you can add the env variable below to have this files selected when a project is created using a env_config setup.

WORKSPACE_FILE_4D   “XYZ_Company_workspace.4dw”

If you’re expecting some issues with your workspace setup, we have found the steps below might resolve any issues.

Using a “testing” 12d project:

  1. Close the project
  2. Delete the current “workspace.4dw” from inside the “test.project” folder.
  3. Unzip the “” file provided below and place the file into the “test.project” 12d folder, after it is renamed to be “workspace.4dw”.
  4. Open the “testing” 12d project again. There should be minimal toolbars displayed.
  5. Setup your toolbars, Output Window, Background tasks etc, how you would like them to be structured.
  6. Save the project and restart to check the location of the final positions.
  7. Copy and/or rename “workspace.4dw” from the “test.project” folder and place it in your $USER_4D folder. (“workspace.4dw” is the default workspace for new projects)

An alternative to step 6> is to use Project => Management => Workspace => Setup to Export a workspace file.

Note that the workspace file is related to the found toolbars file(s). If a found toolbars file changes, you will need to update the workspace file(s).

It is recommended 12d users review the toolbars provided from 12d Solutions when a new version is available, as additional 12d tools may have been added.