Chapter 18. Going Dynamic and External
In This Chapter
Introducing dynamic blocks, external references (xrefs), and raster images
Authoring dynamic blocks
Attaching and managing xrefs and DWFs
Controlling xref paths
Attaching and managing raster image files
In Chapter 17, I introduce blocks as collections of object geometry that are treated as single entities in AutoCAD. In that chapter, I also describe giving blocks a little more oomph by adding attributes — changeable text tags that can differ with each insertion. Other than that kind of slight variation though, the blocks I describe in Chapter 17 tend to be pretty static.
But blocks don't have to be static creations. Instead of having a half-dozen regular blocks for a half-dozen different door sizes, you can create a single dynamic block that includes all those sizes. Unlike a regular block, in which every instance of a particular block is geometrically identical, each instance of a dynamic block can display geometric variations. For example, you can insert one furniture block three times and have one instance display as a sofa, one as a loveseat, and one as an armchair. I introduce block authoring — the process for creating and editing dynamic blocks — in this chapter.
An external reference drawing, or xref, is like an industrial-strength block. An xref is a pointer to a separate drawing outside the drawing you're working on. When you attach a reference drawing, it appears on-screen and on plots as part of your drawing, but it continues ...