Lighten up Xrefs in AutoCAD! (Quick Fade Control options!)

In Today’s post, we will look at External references and Blocks in AutoCAD. More particularly How to make Xrefs more visible in our AutoCAD Drawings. The trick is hidden in the Fade Control options which we are exploring below.

As previously said I like to work with X-refs and Blocks. This way the drawings remain more responsive and easier to work with. In addition to that, when using Xrefs we can easily arrange work between several drafters, each of us can work on a different drawing. You can learn more about External References in our post What is Xref in AutoCAD? And How to use External References in AutoCAD!

How to use Fade Controls in AutoCAD

However, often times shaping to an object from Xref could be quite hard as those objects are very faded out. You can see an example of that in the image below:


This is due to the Fade Control options of AutoCAD. To make referenced objects stand out a little bit more you will need to set the Fade to a different figure. The value is usually set by default to 70 or 50 (depending on the version of the software).
I would suggest you experiment a little with it, try a different value! The lower the value the brighter the External Reference will become.

To find the Fade Controls in AutoCAD follow the steps below:

  1. First, right-click on the empty space of the drawing.
  2. Select Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. A window will pop up, go to the Display tab. There, under Fade control use the slider to change the Fade Control for Xrefs.

Check out the results after changing the fade control of the first picture from 70 to 40, what a difference!


Using the Fade Controls, you can also change the appearance of the objects when you are using Edit in-place. For example, when Editing Blocks in place you can make the objects outside of the block definition look more vivid when decreasing In-place annotative representations.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

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