For best results – the best XREF Attachment practices should be considered at all times. On the one hand, XREFs are the best only way to share data with the Design Team, on the other, you’re responsible for the results. That might cause some problems. So there are…
A Few AutoCAD TIPS & TRICKS for Best XREF Attachment Practices
- Before you attach external data, clean the files using a “deeper than AutoCAD’s” Purge App. I’m very happy with Gilles Chanteau’s Radical Purge APP. After Purging with AutoCAD, it still digging deeper and remove many “unaccessible” purgeable data (available at the AutoCAD Department at the Autodesk Exchange Appstore)
- If the file you’re gonna be attaching is UNITLESS, Select the right units and set them.This will enable AutoCAD to Automatically set the SCALE FACTOR.
- Sometimes there are lots of excessive Annotation Scales with the file(s)- If you are using the Purge App, it might help but sometimes you’ll be better doing this manually. Excessive Annotation Scales will cause Slow File Opening (Every time).
- By default, attached files come with all layers On and Thawed, click the freeze layer button to freeze within the attachment and finally create a Named View with the Default Layer Snapshot Checked. That will include both Your Layers and the XREF’s altogether.
- Within the File to be attached, set everything to By Layer Using the SETBYLAYER feature. In Newer Versions, You might use the XREFOVERRIDE feature to force the entire attachment to be ByLayer.
- If the file to be attached is Layer-Chaotic, before saving it, ISOLATE the OBJECTS (Not Layers) of your interest and save the file. IF You reload and don’t see it right, detach an re-attach the file. This is the shortest way to deal with Chaotic Layer Files.
- In some cases, prefer selecting only the part of the drawing you need. There cases in which CAD Users place all the Plans, Elevations, Sections and Detail in the same file, if you work in different files, you might opt for separating the data to suit your needs.
- UCS Thumb rule: Always attach while in WCS (your file). To make the rule easier save both files at WCS before you attach. The best practice is to attach to 0,0. If something goes wrong, open the external file and check the BASE coordinates. The trick is to share the same BASE in both files. Do not move the External Reference! You can install an App to warn you and help you return to the Current UCS after attachment. Best App: RefUcsSPY.
- If the External File Source contains Nested XREFs, decide if you use it as an attachment or as an Overlay. In modern Versions, this can be achieved within the same session (after attachment). In older AutoCAD versions, You’ll need to do it from within the Source file(s).
- In the worst cases, you can create a PDF of the file to be attached and Use it as a PDF Underlay. This might save a lot of trouble. Make sure to create the PDF using Autodesk’s DWGtoPDF or AutoCAD PDF Features to create a Vector based PDF.
I’d like to invite you to attend to my next WEBINAR on CAD Standards.
“It’s All About CAD Standards” Is a unique Webinar (English, Free Of CHARGE) that focuses on:
- From AutoCAD Commands To AutoCAD TOOLS – Tools are managed predefined features both Internal (AutoCAD) and External (Whatever: Files, Web Pages,etc.)
- AutoCAD Best Infrastructure – all kinds of Template Files used for Automating processes & Workflows
- Project Management within the AutoCAD Environment…In a Right CAD Environment we differentiate Sheet Files from Reference Files, Why is That?