Categories

AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 BibleAutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

AutoCAD tutorial: Attach an xref

Xrefs (external references) let you view another drawing within your current drawing without actually inserting that other drawing.

Why use xrefs?

  1. Xrefs keep your drawing smaller.
  2. Each time you open a drawing, AutoCAD loads a current copy of the xref, so that you always have the most updated version. The drawing contains a link to the xref, so you don’t have to worry if what you’re seeing is outdated.
  3. You can attach and detach xrefs easily. You can also load and unloaded them to display or hide them, without losing the connection.

Xrefs are ideal for times when you need to reference another drawing but don’t want the relationship to be permanent. They are also ideal for situations in which multiple people work on a drawing. For example, both an electrician and a plumber might add an architect’s plans to their drawing as an xref.

Attach an xref

Follow these steps to attach an xref:

  • Choose Insert tab> Reference panel> Attach (the ATTACH command) to open the Select Reference File dialog box. (In earlier releases, this was the XATTACH command.)
  • Make sure Drawing (*.dwg) is visible in the Files of Type drop-down list in the dialog box. If not, click the list and choose it.
  • Navigate to the drawing you want to attach, choose it and click Open. The Attach External Reference dialog box appears.

  • Set the Reference Type to Attachment (the default). If you want, you can specify the scale, insertion point, and rotation in the dialog box. Click OK.
  • If you used the settings you see in the dialog box here, you’ll be prompted for an insertion point. You’ll see an image of the xref, so you can place it by eye if you want. Click to place the xref.

Notes:

  1. An overlay is useful when you’re sharing drawings over a network. If someone else attaches your current drawing, that person doesn’t see the overlay, only the main drawing.
  2. In the Scale section, you can check the Uniform Scale checkbox to ensure that the Y and Z values are always the same as the X value. This ensures that the xref isn’t distorted from its original ratios.

Do you use xrefs a lot? What tips do you have to make using xrefs easier and more efficient? Please leave a comment and let everyone know!

14 comments to AutoCAD tutorial: Attach an xref

  • Joseph Troiano

    We use Xrefs a lot and find them very useful. Under “Path Type” I recommend using Relative Path. Your example shows the Full Path which will cause problems when sharing your drawings. Note: AutoCAD will not let you select Relative Path unless you recently saved the drawing.

  • Mike Freeman

    Xref’s are extremely useful when working in a multi discipline office, if our architects change something on the drawing it will notify you to reload the xref & the change they made will becoome apparent. I can them amend the building services drawings to suit.

  • mohammed

    hello

    i want some clear information about x ref. i want the steps to complete x refs. please help me. thank you

    regards
    jameel

  • kith

    WHEN I PRINT OR CONVERT INTO PDF XREF LAYER IS NOT COMING.PLEASE HELP ME.

  • may

    plz help me,can I have more infomation about xref? may I know what’s the reason the file cannot be reload? I did copy the file to other drive but i copy the xref file as well. may i know other than re-attach, do you have better way to reload the file? hope to get your valuable tutorial as soon as possible, thank you.

  • Bill

    When inserting the xref into your dwg it will be on the layer that you are currently in. Therefore change it to “0″ layer or a layer that you have designated as an xref layer or it could be frozen or not plotted.

  • ANDRES RONCAL

    Cuando creo varias ventanas despues de haber adjuntado varios archivos en el model, algunas ventanas se desactivan cuando se crea otra ventana. Cómo procedería para que una vez creada la ventana a satisfacción y al crear otras, las primeras dejan de visualizarse.
    Gracias
    English translation from Google Translate: When I create multiple windows after you have attached several files in the model, some windows are disabled when another window is created. How to proceed after creating the window to the satisfaction and the new ones, the first stop display.
    thanks

  • Nish

    When Xref a file onto the current file shows differents in elevation;but the value of elevation shows “0″ for both current file elements & xref. both files BASE(0,0,0) & Units are same.
    Pls any one know how to solve it?

  • yes i recommend also relative path. Relative path means are partially specified folder paths that assume the current drive letter or the folder of the host drawing. This is the most flexible option, and enables you to move a set of drawings from your current drive to a different drive that uses the same folder structure.

  • Sue

    What is the solution to not receiving a large busy bunch of X shape construction lines over the Architectural drawings? After I copy & paste external drawings into my new AutoCAD drawing to explode them, the Xs appear on drawings!
    Sometimes I can’t even attach them because I can’t explode in this case too, or I may lose part of my drawings.
    Can you please help me to save my time for cleaning these drawing?

    Thanks

  • MADHURA

    i am attaching a dwg file as an xref, the xref layers are getting imported but i cant see the xref drawing in my drawing area. plz tell me the solution for it.

  • Daniel

    the current layer may be turned off…when attaching xref, it will assume the layer that is current. Once you have attached xref, go to layer states manager and highlight one layer. Hit CTL A to select all layers. Turn all layers on. Hope this helps.

  • annu

    I am using AutoCAD 2013. I have a problem in dimensions please solve it. I use architectural dimensions. when I take value in foot it shows correct dimension but whenever I need value in inches and use it (eg-9” or 4’7” etc.)it always shows incorrect value in drawing. please tell me how I it will be correct…..

  • Anton Joseph

    You have to possibly check on the unit system that you are using. Another check you should make is, if you using the ACAD – Imperial or ACAD – Metric shortcut to use Acad?

    Have a nice day

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>