In this video, author Shaun Bryant demonstrates how to reference in external reference drawings (XREFs) and raster images.
- [Narrator] We're now going to start taking a look at reference drawings or XREFS as they're known, external reference drawings. The abbreviation for that is XREF and it tends to be used very commonly in the AutoCAD community. Now, you'll notice I've actually got two drawings open this time, both of which you can download from the website and use as exercise files for this particular video. Make sure that you store them in the same folder so that you can use the relative file path when you're bringing the reference drawing into the host drawing.
So, we've got Reusing_XREFS open at the moment. That's the host drawing. The XREF_Shaft drawing is going to be the reference drawing that we bring into the Reusing_XREFS drawing. So the shaft basically will come into this drawing and become part of the assembly by sitting inside the sleeve there. Now, how do we reference in one drawing into another? Well, we go to the insert tab on the ribbon.
We go to the reference panel, and we click on attach there. And you can see that goes to the folder where all my drawings are for this particular chapter. There's the XREF_Shaft drawing there. You can ignore all these DWL files. Basically, they're telling me that those files are already open and are locked. So if I try to open those at the moment it would prompt me only to open a read only version of the file. There's XREF_Shaft there. A little preview of it there as well.
Click on open, and I now get the attach external reference dialogue box. Notice the path type is relative path. If your two files are in the same folder, that's fine and it will find the file quickly and easily. That's the best way to do it or you can go and browse for a file as you can see up here. Now the scale itself, I'm going to leave all of that as one, and it's a uniform scale so I can tick that box. And insertion point we're going to leave unticked. We're going to utilize zero, zero and zero for the X, Y and Z values.
Now I've deliberately done that for you. Basically, the point where this XREF_Shaft drawing comes in is 80, 150. And what I've done is I've located the sleeve at 80, 150 as well, so they are both sharing the same coordinate value. Which means you can insert this particular reference file at zero, zero, and you know that everything will fit together. It's a fairly common practice with XREFS to make sure that when you bring a reference file in it's utilizing the same coordinate settings as the host drawing.
Now, we don't need to worry about rotating it so we'll leave the angle at zero and the block unit will be millimeters. Everything in these two drawings is in metric millimeters. So, I click on OK now and as you can see, if I just zoom out slightly, there's my shaft sitting nicely inside the mechanical sleeve. If I click on it like so, you'll see there that I get a very different tab up on the ribbon there saying external reference, XREF, and it allows me to edit the reference in place, open the reference. I can also create clipping boundaries only to show certain parts of the reference and if I go to the external references dialogue box you can see that the XREF_Shaft drawing is loaded into the host drawing, the Reusing_XREFS drawing.
And I've got options there that I can use with that particular reference file. I can unload it, reload it, detach it, bind it and so on. If I unload it, it still remains attached and then I reload it again. Sometimes you might unload it, work on the shaft drawing and then reload it so that it looks different, for example. Detaching removes it completely. Binding actually binds the XREF to the host drawing, making it one drawing, and then you can also change the XREF type, change the path type, select a new path, or perhaps even find and replace using a different XREF drawing.
So there's lots of different tools there available. I'll just close the external references palette there and it takes us back into the drawing. I'll hit escape now just to deselect the reference file and you can see that's how you use your XREFS to reuse design content when you're working in your AutoCAD drawing.
Note: The exam objectives are not release specific, but the course has been revised to reflect the most recent version of the software, AutoCAD 2018.
- What is AutoCAD certification?
- Drawing shapes and lines
- Creating isometric drawings
- Modifying objects
- Creating and using arrays
- Working with polylines and splines
- Organizing objects and layers
- Reusing content with blocks
- Annotating drawings with text, dimensions, multileaders, and tables
- Creating layouts
- Setting printing and plotting options