What is Xref? Why should we use it?

What is Xref? Why should we use it? AutoCAD Guides

Since I am using Xrefs in almost every project I think that Xrefs deserve special attention, so in next few posts, I will try to explain everything you need to know about them.

In the first post, we are going to look at What exactly is a Xref.

Xref or external reference is drawing file which is inserted in your current drawing. It behaves as one and Xref’s objects can’t be easily edited (by mistake) in the current drawing. As you can see in the picture when we select part of an Xref it will glow¬†as one object.What is Xref? Why should we use it? AutoCAD Guides   What is Xref? Why should we use it? AutoCAD Guides

With Xrefs, changes made in the referenced drawing are reflected in the current drawing.
Any changes will be displayed to the current drawing when it is reopened or if you reload the Xref. Attached drawings are linked to, but not actually inserted in the drawing there for our current drawing stays light without significantly increasing the drawing file size.

Why should we use Xrefs?

There are a couple of very important reasons why we should use external references:

  1. As mentioned before Xrefs keeps the file size down.
  2. They allow many users to work on individual components of a project.
    For example: We have our house outline and we can use it as an X-ref for our furniture plan, water and sewer plan, electrical plan, etc. That way if correction is made to outline it will be automatically applied to all other drawings.
    Another example: If we have a big project like building power plant road designers can attach land survey, Architect plans etc. for reference while they are designing the roads. In the same time, landscape architect would attach roads into his drawings while he is designing the landscape and so on.
  3. You can Xref drawings that they themselves reference other drawings – this is called nesting and is great for keeping an eye on multiple drawings at the same time. Learn about different attachment types.
  4. Xrefs can be added, unattached, updated, reloaded and clipped in the main drawing at any time – that way we have full control over them. Learn about Xref’s “Extras”
  5. We can control Xref’s layers in the current drawing without affecting the host drawing. Should I edit Xref in-place ?
  6. If someone makes a correction in referenced drawing¬†and forget to tell you, it will automatically appear in your drawing that way mistakes can be avoided. (Corrections will appear after reopening the drawing or reloading the Xref. Don’t worry you will be notified if you need to reload your current drawing)
    What is Xref? Why should we use it? AutoCAD Guides

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