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Binding external references to drawings

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 person receiving the drawings must either re-create 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.

To bind an existing external reference to a drawing

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Insert > Xref Manager.
    • On the Tools toolbar, click the Xref Manager tool ().
    • Type xrm and then press Enter.
  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 entity, 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 entities 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 entity in the external reference takes on the properties of the named entity in the current drawing.
  5. Click OK.

Attaching external references

Changing the path for external references

Opening external references

Reloading external references

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