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Editing a drawing that is a reference to another drawing


DreadPirateRoberts

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DreadPirateRoberts

Currently I have a large list of individual AutoCAD 2004 part drawings, and I would like to compile them all into one giant AutoCAD file where I can see them all at once.

 

I am wondering if, after this big drawing is made, I can edit the individual files and have those changes show up on the compilation drawing without too much work.

 

I have been trying to make each individual drawing its own block using wblock, but this has not been working as easily as I would like.

 

Thanks for the help!

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Xref the individual drawings into your main drawing and then use the REFEDIT command to edit them from inside the main drawing, or just open and edit the individual drawings. The changes you make will update in the main drawing.

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Raudel Solis

you can create a new .dwg and drag the other .dwgs into autocad workspace and they will be put in as "blocks"

After that you can use the block editor and make all changes that you need, Cad64's Way also Works this is just an alternative but with my way the filesize will more than likely be larger.

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I am wondering if, after this big drawing is made, I can edit the individual files and have those changes show up on the compilation drawing without too much work.

 

you can create a new .dwg and drag the other .dwgs into autocad workspace and they will be put in as "blocks"

After that you can use the block editor and make all changes that you need....

 

That doesn't allow modifications in the individual drawing files to be reflected in the master drawing as the OP requested.

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Raudel Solis
That doesn't allow modifications in the individual drawing files to be reflected in the master drawing as the OP requested.

 

I did not catch that. Thanks for clearing this up.

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DreadPirateRoberts

xref certainly did the trick. When I edit the individual drawings, I can reload the xrefs in the compilation drawing and I can see my changes.

 

However, when I am in the compilation drawing, and try to REFEDIT one of the drawings, an error window pops up and says 'Xref cannot be checked out for editing...A file lock already exists on the drawing.'

I double checked the file path for the xref and that is correct.

 

Regardless, it is far from the end of the world if I cannot edit the main drawing, but obviously it would make it a bit more convenient.

Thanks for all the help!

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DreadPirateRoberts

Yes, yes I did.

Once I closed all the other drawings using the xref, I was able to use refedit to make changes in the main compilation drawing, that were then reflected in the individual drawings.

 

Perfect! This is working exactly as I hoped it would!

Thanks again

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Just be careful of the RefEdit command. It has tendencies to make strange looking layer names, dimstyles, textstyles, etc. Can be cleared up afterwards, but just so you know where these $1$LayerName, $2$Layername, etc. come from. It's because RefEdit makes those each time you use it, and it doesn't always clean-up after itself.

 

And I'd advise not creating anything associative (dims & hatches) while inside refedit - usually causes errors. And if you're using any wideouts / images together with draworder, this tend to become screwed when used with RefEdit.

 

Other than that RefEdit's a great tool, just wish ADesk would fix these niggley issues.

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DreadPirateRoberts

Good call, unfortunately...

 

Right now, every time I bring in an individual xref of a part, it brings with it its own set of layers. Since my drawing will eventually have hundreds of parts in it, having 100's of layers is very inconvenient.

 

My individual drawings are exceptionally simple. They all have the same layer names and properties, and are basically just lines. Ideally, the layers would just match up and I would just have one set of layers which apply to each of the individual drawing in the huge compilation drawing. Is this possible?

I know when you drag a normal drawing (one that is not an xre) from one window to another, it will automatically merge identical layers.

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Actually, being able to control Xref layers on a per drawing basis is one of the biggest advantages of using Xrefs. Personally, I would not Xref hundreds of individual parts (that aren't subject to frequent editing) into a master drawing. I would insert them as blocks.

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I agree with Nestly, you can over complicate things by having to many nested references and it only takes one one individual in the mix to completely destroy said work ...

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Here's some options:

 

- Continue doing what you're doing, and use layer filters to exclude Xref layer names from being displayed in the Layer Manager and Layer Manager toolbar.

 

- Insert your simple parts into the master drawing as blocks. If you need to change a part, edit the original drawing and then "update" the block in your master drawing by re-inserting it with the re-define option ... or edit the block in your master drawing and then use it to "update" your original drawing.

 

Personally, I don't have individual drawings for parts anymore. My "parts" are all organized in one library drawing as blocks.

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DreadPirateRoberts

I think switching to blocks may be my best option. The parts are not going to be updated so often, and it is more important that I can easily turn on/off layers that apply to all drawings.

 

Also, now I know how to use xrefs AND blocks. That is a productive day. Thanks again

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Yep in your case I'd also suggest not going for a xref system. This combined DWG of yours sounds a lot more like a block-library, which should work quite well using Tool Palettes and/or the Design Center.

 

For updating to/from the original blocks' DWG files you could create a macro button / script / lisp routine to do it automatically - to save you some time. But I generally don't see the point of even having all those individual blocks - unless you're using some legacy lisp to insert them in your DWGs (you could update that to use ObjectDBX instead to work with blocks from inside the library DWG as Design Center does). So if it was me, I would simply keep all the part blocks inside the library DWG and use DC / custom tool palettes to use them in other DWGs - thus there's only one version of these blocks to edit.

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