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-   -   Custom .user file locations? (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=14912)

Stormwarden November 29th, 2011 03:15 PM

Custom .user file locations?
I'm using Dropbox and would like to keep my .user files there just like my portfolios.

I've looked around the menus and searched the forums but not seeing anything that will allow me to point Herolab to an alternate location for .user files.

I'd prefer not to store the whole application in Dropbox, but keeping .user files and portfolios in the cloud would allow me to use HL from all 3 of my machines without having to manually update those files.

Am I missing something or is this a candidate for a future update?

Thanks for any help

Mathias November 29th, 2011 04:04 PM

I think what you're looking for is available through the help menu in Hero Lab - choose "Help Topics", then "View User Manual", and once that opens, follow the "Miscellaneous Details" link.

Stormwarden December 1st, 2011 03:47 PM

I don't think it is, Mathias, unless the documentation is incorrect.

There are 2 user definable paths listed.

-dataroot=path If this parameter is present, Hero Lab treats the specified folder as its "Program Data Folder" - it will look for data files, custom output types, skins, and more under this folder.


-userroot=path If this parameter is present, Hero Lab treats the specified folder as its "User Data Folder" - it will look for saved portfolios under this folder.

I'd like to have my .user files in the cloud (Dropbox in this case) but not the base game data. From what I understand, Herolab expects all of these files to be in the same place, defined by the dataroot path.

.user files are generally small and are changed frequently by me, making it very useful to keep them in the cloud.

Game data is a much larger set of data (something I'd rather not take up Dropbox storage for) and is automatically updated by the application anyway, so there is no great need for a common file location.

chiefweasel December 2nd, 2011 05:57 AM

I think what you are looking to do is split your files up, Core files in the root dir and user created files someplace else. This has been brought up before as well, so that multiple machiine could access the same files and thus maintain 1 consistant image. Its a good idea but I dont think HL can do this on the fly.

You can use the secondary file system to get downloads from different sources, so if you would like to do installs each time you load HL you could do it that way.

Stormwarden December 2nd, 2011 09:57 AM

Indeed, having .user (and other user created game data) files be in the same location as base game data seems to be a requirement with HL currently. One that will hopefully be reconsidered soon.

Last night I decided I'd try putting my game data into Dropbox. After trimming down the unneeded fluff (e.g. game systems I'm not using and import files that have already been applied) it comes to half a gig or so. More than I'd like, but doable.

Unfortunately I didn't think about the fact that it would mean that I'm sharing the .pref file between the two systems and now I'm on a cooldown period for one of my licenses. Hopefully Lonewolf support can fix me up when I get home.

I think I should be able to set up different .pref files to load with the 2 PCs so that I can seamlessly swap between them with Herolab. We'll see.

Stormwarden December 2nd, 2011 05:41 PM

Yeah, each time Herolab runs on a particular system, it updates core.hlz, data.hlz and HPkey.lic. Then when I start HL on the other PC it's forced into demo mode until I activate the license again.

So back to loading the data from my hard drives rather than the cloud. I'll have to transfer my .user files manually whenever I make a change. Pity I have to do that in the 21st century!

Cuzza December 7th, 2011 12:31 AM

I was wondering this as well, I now have Hero Lab running on a VPS as well as my laptop with the .por files synced but having to manaually move the .user files is a pain. I think I might hack together a script to run on each to copy updated user files from the system to Dropbox, then check to see if the ones in Dropbox are newer and copy them back.

Unseelie December 7th, 2011 08:21 AM

Add my vote as this being something I really, really want...

Also, if there ever is an iPad App, dropbox support or iCloud support will be damn near impossible to do without.

Siminic January 2nd, 2012 07:28 AM

Add my vote as well. A separate variable -userfileroot=path would be an excellent add-on, and could default to the same path as -dataroot=path initially, for new users. I use HeroLab on a netbook, and don't really back it up, with the exception of anything Dropbox'd. Having to copy over my .user files to a Dropbox folder -- manually -- drives me crazy.

Amalasan January 12th, 2012 08:59 PM

There is a solution using symbolic links managed by the filesystem.
My friend Ben and I worked out how to do it this morning so that we can use Dropbox for the .user files exactly as you want.

Anyone who has used Linux or Unix would be familiar with symbolic links - they create a "symbolic" file at a location which is actually a mirror of a file in another location. You can do it in Vista and Windows 7 too. Check the wiki here on them:

So to get this working follow the following steps, this will make HeroLab think the .user file is in the Program directory, but it is actually just a link to the real file in your Dropbox folder.

1) make sure your Dropbox folder is setup for auto syncing the .user files etc on the computer you have HeroLab installed on.

2) type "cmd" into the search bar in the start menu.

3) in the terminal that comes up navigate (use the 'cd' dos command) to your HeroLab folder which normally contains the .user files. i.e. type "cd C:\ProgramData\Hero Lab\data\pathfinder"

4) use the 'mklink' dos command to create the symbolic link as follows (change the folder/file names as appropriate):

mklink /H "Pathfinder-Forgotten Realms.user" "c:\Downloads\My Dropbox\D&D\Hero Lab Resources\Pathfinder-Forgotten Realms.user"

(i.e. mklink /H "userfilename.user" "\<dropbox folder>\userfilename.user")

This should create a symbolic link file in the program directory which links to the real file in your Dropbox, which will keep up to date and synced across all your computers.

Ask if you have queries.

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