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Edit External References

May 20, 2011

Edit xrefs that are attached to the drawing, such as clipping, bingding or detach as well as specifying full path or relative path for xrefs.


Clip External References and Blocks

      You can define a clipping boundary through XCLIP command once a xref has been attached to the drawing, the clipping boundary defined by users are allowed to display only a part of the xrefs and compress the displaying of the external geometric objects.

      The clipping boundary is composed of coplanar lines and polyline as well. But self-intersecting polylines are not available for creating clipping boundary.

     XCLIP can be used for generating or removing clipping boundaries, generating polylines from clipping boundary or undisplay the part being clipped for one or more xrefs or blocks. XCLIP only affects the single object of xref, retain the xref definitions unchanged. The part of xref or block inside the clipping boundary is still visible, while the remaining part are invisible. The geometric drawing being referenced itself is unchanged, only its displaying way is edited.

  
You can use XCLIP to do the following:

  • Create new clipping boundary

  • Remove existing boundary

  • Generate polyline objects that are concurrent with vertex of clipping boundary.

  • Turn on or off xref Clipping

     If xclip is turned on, all the clipping boundaries will be started to display the clipped part of a xref. If the xclip is turned off, the clipping boundaries will not displayed, only display the drawings in xrefs containing contents both inside or outside the clispping boundary. The clipping boundary can't be restored once removed. The xref having been clipped can be modified, moved, or copied as those unclipped xrefs. While modifying the xrefs, the clipping boundary moves together with the xrefs. If the xref attached to the drawing contain nested clipped xrefs, these xrefs will be displayed as it was after clipping. The nested xref is also clipped if superior xref has been clipped.


Turning clipping boundaries on and off

      The clipping boundaries can be controlled whether to display or not through system variable XCLIPFRAME . If set this system variable to 1, the clipping boundary can be selected and plotted as a part of the object.

      When a clipping boundary is turned off, the boundary does not display and the entire external reference is visible, provided that the geometry is on a layer that is on and thawed. However, deleting a clipping boundary is permanent.


To turn clipping boundaries on and off

  1. Choose Modify > Clip > Xref.

  2. Select the desired external references.

  3. Press Enter.

  4. To turn off clipping boundaries, choose Off. To turn on existing clipping bound aries, choose On.

  5. Press Enter.

Reference toolbar\

Command line XCLIP

TIP When the XCLIPFRAME system variable is on (set to 1), you can select and print the clipping boundary frame.


Clipping Boundary Options

      When clipping boundaries, you can specify a rectanglar window or use polyline to define clipping boundary through New boundary option. If the selected clipping boundary is rectanglar window, only xrefs within the rectanglar window are displayed. The clipping boundary is parallel to current UCS, and the clipping boundary will be applied to the normal direction of its plane.

 

To define a rectangular clipping boundary

  1. Choose Modify > Clip > Xref.

  2. Select the external references to clip. If desired, you can also select blocks.

  3. Press Enter.

  4. Press Enter to create a new clipping boundary.

  5. If prompted, press Enter to delete any existing boundaries.

  6. Choose Rectangular.

  7. Define the first corner of the clipping rectangle.

  8. Define the second corner of the clipping rectangle.

The selected external references are clipped by the rectangle.

Reference toolbar \

Command line XCLIP

TIP You can first select all external references, right click the selection, and then select Xref Clip from the shortcut menu.


      When using polyline to define clipping boundary, the clipping boundary is in accordance with the polyline. If the selected clipping boundary is polyline, it can't be self intersected. System takes the open polyline as closed polyline if the arcs contained in the polyline have been smoothed. The clipping boundary created this way is located on the plane parallel to the UCS that puts the polyline.


To define a clipping boundary using a polyline

  1. Draw a polyline where you want to clip external references.

  2. Choose Modify > Clip > Xref.

  3. Select the external references to clip. If desired, you can also select blocks.

  4. Press Enter.

  5. Press Enter to create a new clipping boundary.

  6. If prompted, press Enter to delete any existing boundaries.

  7. Choose Select Polyline.

  8. Select the polyline to use as clipping boundary.

Reference toolbar \

Command line XCLIP


Clip Depth

      The front and back clipping planes for xrefs can be set before clipping the xref. To specify a clip depth, the xref must contain a clipping boundary. The clip depth is always calculated normal to the clipping boundary. When setting clip depth, you are prompted to specify a front and back point or distance relative to the clipped plane. Regardless of the current UCS, the clip depth is only available at the direction parallel to the clipping boundary.

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Deleting a clipping boundary

If you no longer need a clipping boundary for an external reference, you can delete it.


To delete a clipping boundary

  1. Choose Modify > Clip > Xref.

  2. Select the desired external references.

  3. Press Enter.

  4. Choose Delete, and then press Enter.

  5. Click the clipped portion of the external reference.

The previously hidden portion of the referenced drawing displays.

Reference toolbar \

Command line XCLIP


Binding an xref to a drawing

      External references are not part of the drawing. Rather, they are links to an externally referenced file. To provide a copy of a drawing containing external references to someone else, you must also provide all the external reference files. In addition, the user receiving the drawings must either recreate the same paths you used when linking the external references or change the paths for the external references.

     To provide a copy of a drawing that contains external references, it is often easier to first bind the external references to the drawing. Binding the external references makes them a permanent part of the drawing, which is similar to inserting a separate drawing as a block. You can bind external references that are attached directly to the current drawing; you cannot bind nested external references. Xrefs rely on the naming sentence of named objects from "Block name|Definition name"to"Block name$n$Definition name". Thus, you can create unique named objects for relative definition tables that are bind to all the xref in current drawing.

      If select Insert, the xref will be inserted to the drawing after converted to blocks as inserting reference drawings. Xref relys on named object, using the xref name removed from the names but not using the "Block name|Definition name" sentence. If internal named objects have the same name with binded xref names in the drawing to be inserted, new names will not be added in symbol table, and the binded xrefs rely on named objects adopts properties of named objects local defined.


To bind an existing external reference to a drawing

  1. Choose Insert > Xref Manager.

  2. Select the external reference to bind.

  3. Click Bind.

  4. Choose one of the following:

  • Bind Binds the external reference and creates a unique name for each named object, such as a layer or block, that is located in the external reference. For example, a layer named Electric in the external reference will be named Xref$0$Electric in the current drawing. If the current drawing already has a layer or block with the same name, the name is changed incrementally, for example, Xref$1$Electric.

  • Insert Binds the external reference, but does not change the names of any named objects in the external reference. For example, a layer named Electric in the external reference will have the same name, Electric, in the current drawing. If the current drawing has a layer or block with the same name, the named object in the external reference takes on the properties of the named object in the current drawing.

  1. Click OK.

Insert toolbar \

Command line XREF


Detach External References

      To detach the xref from the drwing, the selected xrefs will be removed from the xref list. Meanwhile, relative xref in current drawing will be removed as well. This can be also applied to xrefs directly attached to current drawing, but the nested xrefs can't be treated like this.

    You should distinguash with detach and remove, which are totally different concepts, removing a xref will not remove its relative layer definitions. Using Detach option to remove all the associated information of the xref.


To detach an external reference

  1. Choose Insert > Xref Manager.

  2. Select the external reference to detach.

  3. Click Detach.

Insert toolbar \

Command line XREF

NOTE Only the external references that are attached directly to the current drawing can be detached; nested external references cannot be detached.


Set Paths to Externally Referenced Drawings

     You can set saving path for the xrefs that are changed after attached to the drawing, when you selecting saving path for the xrefs, three types are provided for you: Full path, Relative path and No path.


Full Path

      Full path refers to the path that marked by locak disk or network server driver.By default, the path for saving the xref files are Relative path, but this path lacks flexibility, once the file is changed, the path becomes invalid.


Relative Path

     Relative path refers to path assigned by folders including current driver or original drawing file. User can move the original files among multiple drivers within the folder at the same hiberarchy without affecting updating xrefs.

     You can't set the relative path in locak disk or network server driver. The relative path for xref original files are assigned as follows:

  • \: Look in the root folder of the host drawing's drive

  • path: From the folder of the host drawing, follow the specified path

  • \path: From the root folder, follow the specified path

  • .\path: From the folder of the host drawing, follow the specified path

  • ..\path: From the folder of the host drawing, move up one folder level and follow the specified path

  • ..\..\path: From the folder of the host drawing, move up two folder levels and follow the specified path

    If you have changed the path that include the xref drawings, such as moving the file or save it to a different path or disk, then all the relative paths of the xref must be changed individually so as to adapt to the new position of its parasitifer.


No Path

      Specifies the path type of inserting xref as No path, the xref will not save the path information, if you want to search the original file of xref, you can search through the following ways:

  • Search for the current folder of original drawing

  • Search for the DWG file search path defined in File tab in Options dialog box.

  • Search for the start folder assigned by shortcut of Windows applications

No Path is useful when users want to move their drawings to another or an unkown folder hibrearchy .


To change the path for a single external reference

  1. Choose Insert > Xref Manager.

  2. Select the external reference whose path you want to change.

  3. In Xref Path, do one of the following:

  • Enter a new filename or location.

  • Click Browse to locate and select the referenced drawing. ZWCAD reloads the specified external reference automatically.

Insert toolbar \

Command line XREF

NOTE You cannot recursively reference a drawing from the same original drawing.


Command Reference

XCLIP: Defines an xref or block clipping boundary and sets the front or back clipping planes

RENAME: Changes the names of objects

XREF: Controls external references to drawing files

System Variables Reference

XEDIT: Controls whether the current drawing can be edited in-place when being referenced by another drawing

XCLIPFRAME: Controls the visibility of xref clipping boundaries

 

 

 

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