Author Topic: Visretain & Attached Xrefs  (Read 3017 times)

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Dave M

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Visretain & Attached Xrefs
« on: May 27, 2021, 02:32:35 PM »
Where I work we use Microstation as much as we use AutoCAD/C3D, and when we are doing a MS project we will create a Base file with references attached that are specific to the type of plan sheet we are creating. P&P, SWPPP, etc.  We will attach the necessary references then get the layer display, colors, linetypes, etc. set so all we have to do is attach the newly created base into the sheet and we are good to go.  If we need to change something that pertains to symbology, we only have to change it in the base and it will display correctly in the sheets.

I am trying to do something similar for AutoCAD/C3D, and just can't seem to make it work.  Here's how I set it up:

I created an empty file and attached the files I want using the attach option.  Then I got the layers to display how I want them to for the sheets.  I have visretain set to 1 in the base, and 0 in the sheets.  For some reason though, when I attach the base into the sheets, the layers just look like they would if I had attached the individual files in their default state.

if anyone knows how to accomplish what I am trying to do, I would love to know how you are doing it.


Dave M
Civil 3D 2018 - Microstation SS4 - Windows 10 - Dropbox


  • Newt
  • Posts: 130
Re: Visretain & Attached Xrefs
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 03:33:00 PM »
Make sure the xref names are consistent between files and export/import layer states to copy settings between drawings. Visretain needs to be set to 1 in the sheets so that the xref layers are remembered differently from the original xref file. The visretain setting in the base file has no effect on other drawings which xref the base file. Once a sheet file xrefs the base (which has nested xrefs to actual drawings with linework), that sheet file has its own independent memory of the layer settings. From that point on if you want to change an xref layer setting, it will have to be done for each sheet file. The base file is only useful to organize the nested xrefs for attachment point, rotation, xclipping, etc. It will have no affect on layer settings in other files.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 03:38:47 PM by danAllen »


  • Bull Frog
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Re: Visretain & Attached Xrefs
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2021, 09:56:15 PM »
As xref's have their own separate xref layers those would not be affected by layer properties already set in the drawing.
Applying Layer States to a drawing before xrefing it into another drawing is an easy solution.
Simply insert a drawing into the drawing that has the layer properties you want should give you the results you want as well.
Tom Beauford P.S.M.
Leon County FL Public Works - Windows 7 64 bit AutoCAD Civil 3D