PDF UNDERLAYS VERSUS DWG XREF ATTACHMENTS

XREFs can cause headaches regarding different Issues: Attachments Vs. Overlays, Demand Load Settings, corrupted files (Recovery demanding), CAD Standard Issues (mainly Layering Properly), Library Structure (Were files eTransmitted and how – or arrived as an Email Attachment – with or without Fonts and data extraction, images, etc.)

PDF UNDERLAYS VERSUS DWG XREF ATTACHMENTS

On the other hand, PDF Underlays can exclusively contain the data that interests you: in a short session, the drawings of your interest can be elaborated to suit your needs.

PDF UNDERLAYS VERSUS DWG XREF ATTACHMENTS I

If you get a file you need to attach as an XREF and it’s causing you trouble, consider the PDF Underlay alternative. You might use a tool like he macro recorder to create a procedure that uses the file you got to make it proper for your needs. Furthermore, the PDF result could be a set of files to suit your needs.

PDF UNDERLAYS VERSUS DWG XREF ATTACHMENTS II

  • Excessive- unnecessary Annotation Scales? You won’t be messing with them if using a PDF Underlay.
  • Unreconciled New Layers? Forget about those.
  • Layer Properties not set ByLayer? Plot all the drawings using a monochromatic grey at the line width of your preference obtaining the Underlay that suits you best.
  • Problems with non standard layering? – Select and Isolate the Objects you need to be plotted.

PDF UNDERLAYS VERSUS DWG XREF ATTACHMENTS III

I’ve been looking at the most popular Tech-Support Issues at our business. Many approach us on XREF issues, then there are Problematic File Issues and those are catching a big deal of time to our support guys. People are not aware of the fact, the newer the Version the more Sensitive it gets. In forums, I can see many people are getting PICKADD, PICKFIRST issues most as a result of using malpractice old lisp routines, I daily open dozens of files with thousands of RegApps, dozens of excessive Annotation Scales, etc. If you have a good CAD Standard, using the PDF Underlay as an alternative to XREFs, might contribute to you data flow, think about it…

3 Responses
  1. Mark Hultgren

    PDF Underlays are nice in respect to the pros you mention above, but (there always is one around somewhere, isn’t there?) the impact on the drawing with regards to access speed, snap issues, panning and zooming speed, etc.. seems until those are addressed, PDF underlays will only be used “As Needed” as a last resort (at least in my office according to the staff).

  2. Douglas Almond

    We generate a lot of shop drawings and using the PDF underlay to import the backgrounds without hassle has been a total time saver and doesn’t require Architects to submit the CAD files.

  3. Bryan Collins

    I mainly work in Civil 3D 2015 and as nice as it is to be able to pull in PDF’s as Xrefs for drawing on top of…its always a headache to actually work with them because my system drags to a halt. And if you are ever in an active command and you zoom in tight…well a few words get expressed as those drawing crash errors start to popup. If the system could handle the PDFs more efficiently then I could see possibly using them more in the future. Oh and another thing, when I have attempted to use PDFs in production drawings the boss is always wanting existing lines removed and that means wipeouts. One or two wipeouts in a drawing isn’t so bad, but when they start to add up…well those bad words start spilling out again while more drawing crash errors appear on the screen. Of course this is only my own experience.

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