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Edit External References in Place

May 20, 2011

Edit xrefs of current drawing without opening the xref drawings.

Edit Selected Objects in Xrefs and Blocks

      You can edit or modify the visible text of xrefs attached to the drawing through edit in place. Because block references and xrefs are different types of reference files, editing and modifying the block references will be illustrated here.

     Generally, one or more xrefs and block references are contained in each drawing, the objects assigned to be edit must be block references so as to redefine.

      When you work with xrefs, you can modified the included objkects, and save the modifications back to xrefs. This may be proper to use when making small changes to the current drawing. But for complex modifications, you should modify the xref drawing directly, then update the attached xrefs in current drawing. Using edit in place for the xrefs may increase the size of the drawing and lower the capability of the computer.

Understand the Working Set

      Objects contained in working set are components of selectec refernces. Extracts selected objects from the selected xrefs to edit in current drawing, these objects having been extracted form a set called working set. Objects in working set can be changed and saved and the xrefs or block definitions can be updated.

     When constructing working set, all the excluded objects of the working set may be fading displayed.

Control the Fading of Objects

      When editing references in place, the selected objects are normally displayed except for other unselected xrefs or block references. The fading degree is controlled by system variable XFADECTL. This value set the displaying tensity of objects outside the working set. The greater the value, the more fading of the objects outside the working set displayed.


Use the Refedit Toolbar

     Buttons on refedit toolbar are obly available when you use edit in place command, which contains the following buttons:

  • Edit reference

  • Add objects to working set

  • Remove objects from working set

  • Discard changes to reference

  • Save back changes to reference

Add or remove objects from the working set

      When editing attached references, you can add or remove refernces by clicking at Add objects to working set oRemove objects from working set.

      If new objects are created when editing references, the new object may be taken as one of the objects in selected reference, and automatically add to working set, the objects outside the working set may be fading displayed.

     The objects to be edit in-place created in layer that the reference are locked are also editable. Before editing the references, you should unlock the layer on which the objects are located, and then modify this object. After modification, you can save the changes back to references. But the status of layer keeps unchanged regardless of lock.

     When saving the changes for the references, all the objects in working set are saved to references. Objects that are removed from the working set never contained in the reference, subsequently become other parts of the drawing. Objects that are added to the working set will be removed from its original position from the drawing. The objects being created or removed will be added or removed into the working set automatically.

Save Back Edited Xrefs and Blocks

   Changes to the references are optionally saved to the current drawing.

    If you choose saving the changes, system automatically regenerate the drawing, in addition, block definitions are redefined and all the blocks are regenerated as well. Thus, changes to the xrefs can be saved also, if the objects in working set inherit its original properties defined in external references, these objects retain new properties. If you remove some objects from the working set, these objects will be added into current drawing.

     If you discard the changes, the working set removed as well and return the block references to the original state. When editing references in-place, if objects excluded from the working set are removed and you discard the changes to the xref, the objects having been removed can't be restored.

     If you have saved the changes for the xref, you can get back the reference file and discard the changes, use UNDO command.

     If objects in current drawing inherit properties defined in xref, these objects will be displayed in new properties called binding properties. Additionally, you can specify how the xref names are displayed through system variable BINDTYPE. If the BINDTYPE si set to 0, the xref names will be added a prefix $#$, if the BINDTYPE si set to 1, keep the xref names unchanged.

   It should be noticed that you can't edit or change the referenced drawings when editing in-place, which are only readable.

Edit Xrefs and Blocks with Nesting, OLE, or Attributes

     Edit in-place set limits for those nested xrefs in current drawing. When you editing nested xrefs, references together with their nested references are displayed in Reference Edit dialog box, you can also change all the nested references. But changes are available for one reference at a time.

    OLE objects included in reference you are editing can be displayed but not edited.

     If the block reference to be edited contain attributes, you can edit the attributes while editing the references by selecting Display attribute definitions for editing in Refernce Edit dialog box. Attributes are invisible, but attributes definitions and selected geometric drawing can be edited together. The attributes of original references keep unchanged after saving, and new attributes definitions only affects the block subsequently inserted into ther drawing.

Command Reference

REFCLOSE: Saves back or discards changes made during in-place editing of a reference (an xref or a block)

REFEDIT: Selects a reference for editing

REFSET: Adds or removes objects from a working set during in-place editing of a reference (an xref or a block)

System Variables Reference

BINDTYPE: Controls how xref names are handled when binding xrefs or editing xrefs in place

REFEDITNAME: Displays the name of the reference being edited

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

XFADECTL: Controls the fading intensity percentage for references being edited in-place


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