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Preparing Architects plan as XREF to use for MEP drawings

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Hi all,

I am curious to know how other users working on building services drawings prepare the dwg file they receive from the Architect to be used as an XREF?


for example:

Do you change all the colours to one colour? ((I use 252))

Do you reduce the number of layers used by placing them all onto common layers?

What other steps might you take?


Just wanting to compare and hopefully pick up on some useful info when prepping an xref plan.

Many thanks 🙂

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My biggest peeve is paging through dozens (or hundreds!) of layers from an xref. The first thing I do is PURGE to get rid of useless layers.


If it's a large file, I'll erase anything that's not relevant, to keep it from slowing me down.


If the layering is confusing, I'll try to straighten it out. Sometimes it helps to turn various layers on and off. I've gotten drawings with everything on layer 0, good luck narrowing that down to relevant details. A close second is one with entities on layers by lineweight. The layer translator can only do so much.


If you get several drawings from one client, or several versions of the same drawing, it's worth your time to create a layer translation table.


As for colors, I change the ones that are hard to see, and (rarely) ones that are hard to distinguish from ours.

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There are a lot of threads about this and also just as many workflows because differing standards and the types/quality of drawings that they are receiving. Some cleanups are as simple as purge, audit, and change everything to the a single color.


If you expect regular updates, you want to make the process as simple as possible. I come from the days when XREFs were finicky and little things could bring performance to a screeching halt. I would make a new file with only the objects that I needed, change all the object colors and lineweights to "By Layer" and change the layer colors to suit our printing needs.

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