Tech Tips

Adding XRefs to a Project

This tech tip explains how to add an XRef to a project.


Benefits of XRefs
  • They keep the file sizes down.
  • They allow many users to work on individual components of a project.
  • Every time an X-ref is loaded, it is the most recent version of the drawing.
  • X-refs can be updated, added, or unattached from the project at any time.
  • People from anywhere in the world can collaborate on a project in real time.
Guidelines for using XRefs
  • If possible, remove all layouts from the XRef drawing (only the 'drawing' layout (modelspace) will be displayed in the 'master' drawing.)
  • Remove all geometry lines and geometry circles from the XRef drawing.
  • Make sure drawing settings match the settings of the project, i.e. the drawing needs to be correctly coordinated, and have the same coordinates as the survey (dtm). If there is a constant applied to the survey, the same constant needs to be applied to the drawing and visa versa.
  • Make sure you purge all the unused styles and entities before you XRef the drawing. This is done in CAD Mode > Tools Menu > Purge and click on All. You might need to click on it more than once. Once purged save the drawing.
  • If the XRef drawing has other XRefs embedded in it, then remove them or 'bind' them into the XRef drawing
  • Avoid 'circular references', which is where an XRef drawing contains an XRef which (directly or indirectly) contains a reference back to the 'master' drawing.
  • For XRefs to load correctly in a project, the XRefs must be survey drawings and they must be coordinated correctly.
Adding XRefs to a Project

You can add an XRef to the project via the Project Settings dialog

In any Design Module (Survey, Terrain, Roads, etc)

Select File Menu > Project Settings

Click on XRef Drawing, and then browse to the drawing you want to add.

Select the drawing you want to add, a drawing could be a dr4, dwg or dxf. Click on the Files of type drop down to select the different the type of drawing. Click on Open to add the drawing

Click OK and the drawing will be added to your project.

Another method, which gives you more control is to add the XRef(s) to the XRef Manager.

Change to CAD Mode

Select Tools Menu > XRef Manager

The External Drawing References dialog will open, the drawing that was added to the project will be be listed.

There are various options available:

The XRef will automatically be added to your project

Click OK, and additional drawings may be added if required.

If there are any issues with the XRefs, or the XRefs are not loaded, the drawings with errors will be shown in red.

You can then right click on the drawing with the error, and either load the drawing, fix the drawing path or delete the xtref

Click Close to continue.

Any layers that are part of the XRef drawing will be shown in a grey color in the Layer Settings dialog, and items in the XRef cannot be edited.

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