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  1. #1
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    Default How do xrefs work?

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    I have used xrefs a long time ago but have come across them very briefly of late.

    The only time i have used them was working in an M+E consultancy office where many people would be working on one project using xrefs for base layouts such as ground floor, first floor etc. The problem is I cant remember the purpose and process of setting them up.

    Can someone please explain what they are and how they work in simple form.

    Sorry if this post has already been posted.

  2. #2
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    Cant really be summarized
    You should do some research first, n then ask questions about the areas that you need clearing up after that

  4. #4
    Junior Member Stangman's Avatar
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    XRef and Blocks are practically the same; however, xrefs are updated when the original file is changed.

    For instance, when I create a block and then bring that block into a drawing, that block is saved to the new drawing. It's basically just copying an object.

    XRefs are more like voodoo dolls, hehe. Like a block, it can also be copied into a drawing, but rather than saving itself to the drawing, which it does it references itself with the original.

    Example: I wanna make a Pac-Man game screenshot or something. I have created 4 different game board drawings, and in a separate drawing I make Pac-Man (yellow circle with a mouth). I create a block of Pac-Man, then in each drawing I insert the block of Pac-Man into the game board. So now I have the original Pac-Man, and I also have 4 other Pac-Mans, each saved separately to each drawing. Essentially, they're the same drawing, just copied to different locations (I know that's redundant).

    Now let's say I want to change Pac-Man to Miss Pac-Man, so in the original drawing I add a bow. But in doing so, that does nothing to other drawings, and so essentially we have 1 Ms. Pac-Man and 4 Pac-Man. So, because Pac-Man is a block I go to the other drawings, and add a bow to two of the drawings. Now I have the original drawing of Ms. Pac Man and two drawings with Ms Pac Man on the game board and two drawings of the regular Pac Man on the board. See how if you wanted to make a change to all the drawings could be difficult and take lots of time.

    This is where XRef is helpful. Instead of saving Pac-Man as a block, I save him as an XRef. Then, I insert him into all the game boards. Ah, but wait, now I want to change him to a her. So I go to my original file of Pac-Man, add a bow and the next time I open those other drawings. All the Pac-Men will be Pac-Women. If those drawings are currently open, you'll have to update them, either a regen, or I think there is an XRef update or something on the XRef menu.

    End Example

    That's about the best way I can explain it. I do think there is a way to make a block within a drawing change all the other copies of the blocks only within the drawing itself. I can't quite think of what it is though...I haven't used these tools for quite sometime as well, so I'll probably go back to my AutoCAD reference book and see.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Stangman's Avatar
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    I hate to double post, but I was having trouble loading the edit tool. So anyways, I went back and worked with the XRef tool. You've probably looked at the tutorial above, but if not...then I'll try my best to explain.

    Basically, type xref in the drawing you would like to insert the object into. What you will get is a window which has an area titled File References. You should see the current file you're in and under status it will say opened, because that's the opened file. Under the type tab (still under File References) it'll say Current, since that's the current drawing.

    Okay, now there's three buttons in the upper left hand. The first is the attach button, which will allow you to attach a .dwg file, and image file, or a .dwf file. So for this example we'll choose .dwg to insert another drawing. Once you attach that drawing you should see in the File Reference area a new reference, which is titled that of which you just attached and under status should say loaded.

    The other tabs there, give some more information about the file you attached such as size, type (saying it is attached), the date it was created or last edited (not sure exactly), and lastly the saved path, which is the location of that attached file.

    When it inserts it, it will insert like a block, so basically one big object. The insertion point probably isn't identified for most drawings, but that's a no biggie. You won't be able to explode an XRef tho, mostly because the only way to edit them is by using the original (which is under the location or saved path).

    When you edit the original drawing and both drawings are open, that's where the second button comes in. There are two options, refresh and refresh all. Now if I have several references in a drawing, and I click the refresh button it will simply call out the referenced which have had their original drawing changed. It doesn't refresh anything, merely calls out those which need refreshing. This can be useful if you want to only reload specific references and leave others alone.

    If I push, refresh all, it will just reload all the references. If you go down to the File References area and right click on the references it'll bring up a pop up menu. Open simply opens up a drawing. Attach will attach do just that attach something else. Next you'll see unload, which simply removes it from the drawing, but leaves it available on the file reference menu. If you refresh all, then it will reload this drawing.

    After unload is Reload. Doing so will allow you to refresh specific references, rather than all of them. Next is detach which is the opposite of attach. Unlike unload, this not only removes it from the drawing, but removes the reference as well. Basically, it purges it from the drawing.

    And last is, bind, which takes that particular reference and makes it one with the drawing you are in and is no longer a reference.

    The third tab is help, so if this doesn't help you, you might wanna go there. There are also some other statuses under the status tab in the File Reference area which might be helpful to know, besides loaded and unloaded.

    Not Found: Probably means the original was deleted or something or renamed and moved, could be lots of problems. I would detach this and then try and find that file and attach it again.

    Unresolved: Files that can't be read for various reasons are unresolved. I'm thinking this is an invalid extension, for instance trying to load an .ini file or .dll file probably wouldn't be readable.

    Orphaned: Means the referenced file is attached to another file which has an unresolved status. I find this concept here a bit difficult to muster, and I've never had this problem, so I don't understand this whole status.

    Hope this goes into enough detail, feel free to PM me if you need more help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stangman View Post
    Orphaned: Means the referenced file is attached to another file which has an unresolved status. I find this concept here a bit difficult to muster, and I've never had this problem, so I don't understand this whole status.

    Hope this goes into enough detail, feel free to PM me if you need more help.
    Orphaned: it applies when instead of detaching you delete the referenced file in the host file.

    Always use relative path for x-ref. Sometimes if it does not allow u to select relative path while attaching, do it with full path but later don't forget togo to modify path to relative.

    Last edited by Dipali; 11th Apr 2008 at 06:47 am.

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