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, DWFs, and PDFs

  • 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 ...

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