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Xref importing


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Hello all

I'm trying to import 2 Autocad files (DWG, 2000). One of them is consultant drawing and the other is an Xref, based on my drawing (VW) that was sent to him. After importing, I see one layer with the plan, another one with the Xref, but I can't find a way to sync between them, or to get them to show together with "layer options" (each of them is different scale and screen position).

My final goal is to plant the consultant plan in my file (in another class), in the correct place. How should I do it?

(I'm using VW 11.0.1 on XP sys)


[ 11-28-2004, 03:34 AM: Message edited by: Yovav ]

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Hello Petri

Of course I don't need to import my data back. Let me try to be clearer:

I send the light designer the plans I draw. He draws the light plans on Autocad using my plan as Xref. Now I need to position his data back into my drawing, in the correct place. Since he used the Xref technology to coordinate between his data and my plans, and VW don't support it, I need a way to coordinate the new light data to my plans. Hope now my question is clearer :-)

As for your scale suggestion ? already did it, but both layers won't fit.


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Tell your consultant to "bind" the xref before he sends it to you. That means making the xref into a block (VW symbol) in the present file, instead of an externally referenced file. It only takes a second, and after binding the consultant can Save As under a different file name to send to you, so he can keep making his own life miserable with xrefs.

Or you can just import the consultant's plan into a separate VW file, then select all, Copy, and Paste it into your own file, perhaps making it into a Group while it's still selected.

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Hello Jan

THX for the "Bind" Tip I'll try it. As for your second suggestion ? this is the procedure I'm using now. The problem is that the consultant plan is just an extra "class" containing just the lights and the electric circuits, and there is no reference object, which let me, superposition the imported group into my plan.

In general, since Xref is so popular among Autocad users, I think that VW import engine should have some features that can support that system.

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Yes, it would be good if the Import function automatically bound xref's, and it sounds like an easy thing to do, but I think I remember reading that Autodesk somehow makes it difficult or impossible to do that.

Some Autocad users don't know how to bind Xref's. Here's a blow by blow description:

1a. Type xref on the command line


1b. Pull down Insert > Xref Manager

2. Select the Xref file from the list

3. Click on "Bind"

4. Select "Insert" and click "ok"

If, in step 4, you select the other option instead of "Insert", it still works, but then the layer names in the externally referenced file are translated into bizarre names in the present file.

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Excuse me if I am out in left field, after all, I am currently only a lowly A-CAD user ;(

If ?you? were to send me a drawing for me to add ?My work? AND I Xref?d ?Your? drawing into ?My work?, I probably would not necessarily send ?your? drawing back to you, as you must all ready have it ( and your both, both as your original VW drawing AND as the exported dwg file you sent me in the first place)

I could either Bind the Xref OR send you 2 drawings ? the ?My Work? drawing and the xref. My question is: Can you not open/import the dwg sent to you and ?overlay? against your original. After all, this is what sort-of happens in AutoCAD. The Xref is in the background and I ?overlay? ?My? work on top of the xref. Granted, you may have to scale the import and/or re position it due to difference in the way the two programs work. Surely, the drawing sent to you must have at least one dimension that references it to a wall/column line or whatever in your originating VW drawing????

Dumb question?? Ok Sorry L


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Originally posted by oldguy:

...the drawing sent to you must have at least one dimension that references it to a wall/column line or whatever...

I think Yovav is saying it doesn't have even one such reference. The consultant just draws ceiling-mounted light fixtures while viewing the plan as an external reference.

But as far as the way the software works, you're absolutely right. If the consultant were to draw the polyline that BAZ suggested, or even just an arrow pointing to a corner of the plan with a note identifying which corner, or if there were as few as two wall-mounted fixtures on walls at right angles to each other, then it would be easy to position the consultant's drawing over the architect's. You would just paste the whole drawing in, Group it, then grab a reference point and drag the group to where it should be.

But it's sometimes hard to get Autocad users to lift a finger to accomodate other software. I've had better luck getting them to bind the xref than getting them to make any other changes.

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As a VW user who migrated from Minicad to Autocad and then back to Vectorworks due to changing offices before establishing my own I would like to make two comments. Firstly binding Xrefs in Autocad while simple in theory can take signicant amounts of time in practice. Secondly, with some minor improvements in VW workgroup referencing it should be very straightforward for VW files to achieve a similar referencing mode. This would also be a huge help in improving the basic functionality of Vectorworks.

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