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AutoCAD X-References



Here's what little I know:

A vectorworks user receives an AutoCAD drawing file that contains has X-refs (but NOT bound - inserted as if a block/symbol) AND the individual X-refs are also available to the vectorworks user. On importing sais drawing into Vectorworks, most will import well, including acad paperspace viewports - but the X-ref's will NOT be resolved.

I persume, the work around at this point, would could be to import each individual dwg, saves as vectorworks drawing and then utilize workgroup referenceing to fudge/emulate the look/functionality of the original AutoCAD drawing.

Now, here's the question. If one exports this Vectorworks drawing (containing workgroup refernces) what does the Autocad user/see get on the other end? A drawing with sysmbols/block where the X-refs/Workgroup references were? Or AutoCAD X-ref's

I guess, what I am really trying to find out is to what extend will an AutoCAD dwg with X-ref's round-trip Acad-to-Vworks-to-Acad????

Clear as mud on a dark night????


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If the xrefs are bound by the AutoCAD user, they'll become symbols or groups in VectorWorks, and will be non-xref blocks when exported again.

If you fake binding via workgroup referencing and rearranging, you'll probably have multiple design layers exporting. In simpler cases, the individual objects of each design layer will be merged into model space, so to the AutoCAD user it would be similar to exploding the xref. In some cases, VectorWorks will need to create a block for one or more design layers, in which case the AutoCAD user would see a block, similar to a bound xref.

In no cases will xrefs be preserved round-trip, although if you don't need to modify any of the xrefs, they could probably be easily reattached on their end.

Support for automatic binding is high on our priority list, so you should expect to see it in a future version of VectorWorks. Support for round-trip preserved xrefs is more tricky, so will take longer, but it's also on the wish list.

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Dear AutoCAD user...

Can you export your DWG as an eTransmit? This way the Vectorworks user can see, and reference, if required, your model files to the drawing. As you correctly assume, VW does not see your XRefs if they are not bound. This is probably due to the fact that the XRefs rely on a filepath to your server (or is this stating the obvious?).

The only way to resolve this is to bind the XRefs before sending the DWG (Vectorworks does this automatically). This is a bit of a pain to both you and the Vectorworks user as the file sizes tend to be much bigger.

I have found eTransmit much more useful because a, the file sizes are much smaller making it easier to import and b, I am not usually interested in the DWG printfile but the data in it, i.e. the Model file, but for some reason I can never get ACAD users to send their Model data. Don't know why not.

And Nemetschek, can you do something about the way AutoCAD line styles are imported, or rather please sort it so that Vectorworks line styles are not overwritten by ACAD line styles on import?

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Hi JimL,

Are you sending an AutoCad drawing and then are expecting it back as you sent it?

If so, my advice is don't bother. Just send the files individually along with a PDF showing how the sheet is arranged.

Then have him send the files back individually so that you can reassemble it the way you want it. How difficult can that be? And you avoid the frustration of dealing with software incompatibilities.


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Note: VectorWorks 12 will automatically bind xrefs on import. They will become bound symbols, so will export out as blocks rather than as xrefs.

Round-trip xref support is on the wishlist, and if there's sufficient demand, the priority of that will be boosted.

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