AutoCAD’s XREF-ellent Adventure, Part 1: Tuesday Tips With Lynn | AutoCAD Blog

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Let’s face it—we all have a love-hate relationship with XREFs.
We love that we can change it once, change it everywhere… but
we hate those pesky broken links! AutoCAD 2018 brings with it
some exciting updates to avoid and fix broken XREFs—and you
know what? They’re WAY more intuitive now. Let’s dive right in,
friends.

Default XREF Paths

Choose your own adventure! Now, when you attach an XREF, the
default path type is set to Relative (as opposed to Full path).
Don’t like that? Set REFPATHTYPE to 0 for No path, 1 for
Relative, and 2 for Full path. This should help avoid broken
XREFs in the future!

Broken AutoCAD XREF Paths: Default XREF Paths

And speaking of avoiding future broken links, if you have
relative references in the current drawing and you save it to a
different location, AutoCAD will prompt you to update the
relative paths. Let’s keep everything straight!

Broken AutoCAD XREF Paths: Avoiding Broken XREF Links

Relative Paths on Unsaved Drawings

Ever tried to assign a relative path to a reference file when
the host drawing is unnamed (or not saved)? “Yes, and it didn’t
seem possible!” you’re probably saying. Well, it was
impossible—until now!

Try it: If you select the XREF in the External References
palette, the Saved Path column will display a full path with an
asterisk (*) prefix. This indicates that a change will take
place when you save the host drawing—and a property in the
Details pane also clues you in that it is pending a relative
path. Helpful, right?

Broken AutoCAD XREF Paths: Relative Paths on Unsaved Drawings

Now let’s talk about fixing those broken links. If you right
click on a reference file that is not found, you have two
options now: Select New Path or Find and Replace. Clear as day!

Broken AutoCAD XREF Paths: Selecting XREF Paths

Just use Select New Path to browse to a new location to find
the missing XREF.

Bonus Tip: You can even apply the same new
location for other missing references (fix all)! Now that’s a
time-saver!

Fix All Missing XREF ReferencesFind and Replace does
exactly what it sounds like it does. It locates all references
that use a specified path from the selected references–and
replaces them with a new path.

Broken AutoCAD XREF Paths: Find and Replace XREF Paths

And now it’s perfectly clear when changing the path type (from
absolute to relative or vice versa) from the right-click menu
(or toolbar menu). The current path type is even disabled so
there’s no confusion!

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