In this video, Shaun Bryant demonstrates how to use the External References palette to resolve broken external reference (XREF) filepaths.
- [Instructor] Welcome to another AutoCAD tip and trick. Now, this particular tip and trick is I think extremely useful. Quite often you'll be sent an AutoCAD drawing with an Xref file that is not attached or the path or the link is broken. And what you need to do is locate that file and fix it. Now, one of the benefits you've got in the later versions of AutoCAD is the ability to do that. Now, I've got a new drawing for you. You can see it here in my recent documents in the start tab.
It's HostDrawing.dwg. Now, the reason I haven't got it open is because the link to the Xref, i.e. those shapes in the little preview there is actually broken, so if I go and click on it now, what'll happen is it'll tell me that one or more reference files could not be located or read. What do I want to do? Do I want to ignore it and just totally ignore it and forget about it? I can also tick a box where I can always ignore unresolved references.
Perhaps not good CAD practice in this particular case. Now, it's telling me that it cannot find a reference file. Now, the reference file as well is another part of the download from the website that you can use. I'll explain that in a moment but basically you need to now go find this particular external reference drawing, an Xref, so what you're going to do is you're going to open the external references palette. Now, what happens is it's trying to find this file here, EXTERNALREFERENCE001.
Now, that particular file I've got stored somewhere else, so I've moved the drawing, so basically what's happening is in the reference manager here, if I go across, it's telling me it's not found, it is an attachment and the relevant path is EXTERNALREF001 there but it can't find it, the drawing isn't in the relative folder. Now, the relative folder is the same folder as where the 13_HostDrawing is, so what I'd like you to do is when you open this 13_HostDrawing file, you will find that it should open and it will tell you that it cannot find the EXTERNALREF001, it will tell you with that little dialog box that comes up at the beginning of the video.
Now, we've got to go and locate that broken link, we've got to go and locate EXTERNALREF001, so what I can do is I can right click on it and I can go and find it, find and replace, select new path or change the path type. Now, all I need to do is select a new path to the new location where the drawing is. So, when you download the files from the web, just make sure that you put your EXTERNALREF001 drawing somewhere else than the 13_HostDrawing for this particular exercise to work.
So, I select new path and it's prompting me to go to that folder. Now, what I'm going to do, I'm going to go to my C drive and in my LDC folder here there's my EXTERNALREF001.dwg file. So, it's in a different location to where I may have my 13_HostDrawing.dwg. So, what I do is I click on open and as you can see now, look, the little alert symbol goes, HostDrawing now needs to be saved and if I close the external references palette, there's my Xref drawing, my external reference has come in with all my shapes and so on and so forth.
So, basically what I've done now is I've resolved that path because the path was not a relative path anymore. The external reference file was stored in a different folder to the HostDrawing, the 13_HostDrawing that you can see on the screen. Now, obviously when you load up this 13_HostDrawing, it'll actually tell you that it cannot find that reference file, you'll get that little warning at the beginning. Make sure you've also downloaded your EXTERNALREF001.dwg file and just put it somewhere else, put it on your desktop for example and then go find it using the reference manager and you'll see how you can find that new path and select it and thus resolve the broken Xref link in your AutoCAD drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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