Subject: Understanding external references

External references provide additional capabilities not available when you insert a drawing as a block. When you insert a drawing as a block, the entities are stored in the drawing. Any changes you make to the original drawing are not reflected in the drawing in which you inserted it. When you attach an external reference, however, any changes you make to the original drawing file are reflected in the drawings that reference it. These changes appear automatically each time you open the drawing containing the external reference. If you know that the original drawing was modi­fied, you can reload the external reference anytime you’re working on the drawing.    

External references are useful for assembling master drawings from component draw­ings. Use external references to coordinate your work with others in a group. External references help reduce drawing file size and ensure that you are always working with the most recent version of a drawing. However, if you send or receive drawings that contain external references, it is important to include with the master drawing all of the external references attached to it. When you open a drawing that contains external references, the source external reference files must be accessible for the external ref­erences to display in the drawing.     

The Xref Manager helps you easily attach and work with external references.

© Copyright 2023. BackToCAD Technologies LLC. All rights reserved. Kazmierczak® is a registered trademark of Kazmierczak Software GmbH. Print2CAD, CADdirect,, CAD Direct,, CAD Bot, are Trademarks of BackToCAD Technologies LLC. DWG is the name of Autodesk’s proprietary file format and technology used in AutoCAD® software and related products. Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, AutoCAD, DWG are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. This website is independent of Autodesk, Inc., and is not authorized by, endorsed by, sponsored by, affiliated with, or otherwise approved by Autodesk, Inc. The material and software have been placed on this Internet site under the authority of the copyright owner for the sole purpose of viewing of the materials by users of this site. Users, press or journalists are not authorized to reproduce any of the materials in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including data storage and retrieval systems, recording, printing or photocopying.