Chapter 18

Everything from Arrays to Xrefs


Introducing associative arrays, external references (xrefs), raster images, and dynamic blocks

Creating associative arrays with ARray

Attaching and managing xrefs, DWFs, and PDFs

Controlling xref paths

Importing other file formats

Attaching and managing raster image files

Authoring dynamic blocks

Simple arrays have served AutoCAD users well for many years. They’re basically just a quick way of producing multiple copies of drawing objects in regular patterns. If you’re not familiar with simple arrays, flip to Chapter 11.

Associative arrays are dynamic: that is, you can edit them by changing the number of items, changing the definition of the objects being arrayed, or substituting a different object set for one or more object sets in an array.

An external reference drawing — xref — is like an industrial-strength block. An xref is a pointer to a separate drawing file outside the drawing you’re working on. When you attach a reference drawing, it appears onscreen and on plots as part of your drawing but continues to live as a separate document on your hard drive or network. If you edit the externally referenced drawing, the appearance of the drawing changes in all drawings that reference it. Like a block insertion (more on that shortly), an xref attachment increases the drawing file only slightly, regardless of the size of the xref file.

A raster image file stores a graphical image as a series of dots. PNG and JPG images seen ...

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