Course Content
AutoCAD Advanced Techniques
About Lesson

In this lesson you will learn how to divide a more complex drawing into several parts. If after that you connect all those parts through external references, you will create conditions for collaboration, simultaneously engaging more people who will have the opportunity to jointly participate in the creation of one project.

Before I get into something more specific, I’d like to show you how AutoCAD protects the drawing you’re currently working on. To that end, I’ll run the Open command and try to open a drawing that’s already on the screen. As soon as I click on the Open button, a warning box will be displayed on the screen, and this message would also appear in case one of my colleagues tried to do the same thing. Admittedly, there is a possibility that this drawing can be opened in the so-called Read-only mode, but in that case it is not possible to make any changes. It doesn’t suit me, so I will first click on the No button and then close the second box with Cancel.

In order to achieve full cooperation, it is necessary to divide this drawing into several parts. At the same time, I will keep for myself the possibility of working with basic elements such as, for example. walls, and allow their associates to change the furniture. To that end, it is necessary to export everything that falls into this category into a separate file, and this can be easily achieved through layers. So I’m going to run the Layer Isolate command and click on the element that represents the chair. At that moment, everything that is not on the selected Layer will be removed from the screen, so it won’t be difficult for me to select the appropriate objects. Before that, of course, I need to run the corresponding command, and in this case it is WBlock, or simply W. Since I want to export several different elements at the same time, it would be best to keep the coordinate origin as a characteristic point, and that will not be difficult for me because in the fields for the X, Y and Z coordinates it already finds a value of 0. Now that’s fixed, I can click on this icon and select all visible objects with one swipe and press Enter to confirm their selection. AutoCAD now expects me to determine their fate, which means I can convert them to a standard block (Convert to block), keep them in the drawing and copy them to an external file (Retain) or simply remove them from the screen (Delete from drawing). I will opt for the last option and check if the location offered for the new file is suitable for my needs. It seems to me that this is fine, so I can click on this button and in the new box for the file name, enter Furniture. This file will be placed in the same folder as the base drawing which is fine with me so I can click the Save button and complete this operation. Before I close the main frame as well, I’ll check that I’ve selected the correct measurement system and go back to the basic drawing. As you can see, all the furniture is now gone from the screen, but that’s why there is a new file on my disk that contains all the necessary information.

Finally, I can deactivate the Layer isolation and render the complete drawing again. As you can see, there is not a single piece of furniture left on it because I moved everything to a separate file. It’s on my disk, so it won’t be difficult for me to find it and check what I’ve accomplished. Since these contents are now completely independent, I can open them simultaneously and continue working normally.

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