Auto Cad Tip Applications for Xrefs

Applications for Xrefs

There are many different uses for external references. I will describe two common applications to illustrate their range.

Let’s suppose you are working on a project as an interior designer and a subcontractor to the lead architect. The architect can give you a drawing of a floor plan that is still undergoing changes. You load this file onto your hard disk, in a specially designated folder, and then Xref it into your drawing as a background— a drawing to be used as a reference to draw over. You can now proceed to lay out furniture, partitions, and so on, while the architect is still refining the floor plan.

At an agreed-on time, the architect will give you a revised version of the floor plan. You will overwrite the one that you have on your computer with the latest version. You can then reload the Xref into your furniture layout drawing, and the newer version of the floor plan will now be the background. In this example, the lead architect might also be sending the same versions of the floor plan to the structural and mechanical engineers and the landscape architect, all of whom are working on the project and using the architect’s floor plan as an Xref in their respective host drawings

A single floor plan as an Xref to three subcontractors

Xrefs are often used when parts of a job are being done in an office where a network is in place. Suppose a project involves work on several buildings that are all on the same site. By using Xrefs, each building can be externally referenced to the site plan. This keeps the site plan drawing file from getting too large and allows the project work to be divided among different workstations, while the project manager can open the host site plan and keep track of progress on the whole project

Three buildings as Xrefs to a single site plan

These two applications for setting up Xrefs in relation to a host file are applicable to almost any profession or trade using AutoCAD.