AutoCAD/Xrefs not showing


QUESTION: Hi Shauna,
I've just bought Autocad Lt 2014. I opened a zip file with Xrefs. The dwg opened, in the layer properties manager it said the Xrefs were there (on, in frozen etc) but the Xrefs layers didn't show in my dwg.
I used autocad Lt 2007 at a beginner level before the 2014 version and find this one very different so I'm probably just not clicking the correct button (although I've tried every button I could think of!). Can you please explain in easy steps what I may be doing wrong?


ANSWER: Thanks for the question Bronwyn!

There are a few things I can think of. The first is that if someone has done a bind on this drawing you are going to see Xref layers, even if the Xrefs you are trying to load aren't there. The new bind option BINDTYPE can be set to 2, and the drawings will save like a bind-bind, but change layers like a bind-insert.

Next, there were some changes in ACAD2014 to Xrefs, and it could be this that is stopping you.
If the Xref drawings show up in the Xref Manager palette, then it probably has to do with the path. 2014 allows you to be able to change the path without having to detach and reattach. (Yay!#
In the Xref Manager right click on the drawing and check the path. Check REMOVE PATH if needed. Then make sure that all of the drawings are in the same directory, and you should be able to see everything. Xref Manager palette is under the VIEW tab on the ribbon, then on the palettes palette.

The last possibility actually has to do with Viewports. If this is just in the layout, make sure that the viewport itself is actually displaying. You can right click on the view port and the option "Display Viewport Objects" be sure that says yes. There is also a setting called MAXACTVP #maximum active viewports) be sure that number is set high enough to include the viewports.

I hope one of those is the fix. Please let me know. If it is not, I will try to come up with some other possibilities, but I think it will be one of these things.

Best Wishes,

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QUESTION: Thanks Shauna, once I went into Xrefs manager and checked remove path it worked. So thank-you!

Just another related question though,
When I save the file to my C drive then reopen, the base drawing and Xrefs have gone. All that shows is the layers that I've been working on. However when I save exactly the same way but to an external drive it opens perfectly!  Can't see how it makes a difference but something mustn't be working properly.


Hi Bronwyn,

Glad the removing path worked. So when you save to your C drive, is that where the base drawing and Xrefs are located? You definitely want to be saving where those files exist. The other option is to put a path back on to where they sit, but it works like this:

If I tell it Absolute path, and it is in serverprojectdrawings then I send it to someone else - in our case a document center that does the printing and release of the drawing - they have to have the very same path. If theirs is docserverprojectdrawings  they won't find the xrefs.

With a Relative path, they have to have the drawings folder. So they would find them on the example above.

With no path it can be anydriveanyfolderanyname and as long as everything is in the same directory and set with no path. So if your drawing is on your C, and the other files are on a server, that is why you are losing them. If you can I would absolutely save to the same server location.

Hope that helps!


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Shauna Anderson


I can answer most AutoCAD questions. I can not answer questions about their vertical products. I do not do 3D.


20+ years working with AutoCAD from Release 10 I have been the CAD Coordinator in my Engineering and Design group for the last 8 years.

AutoCAD Users Group International (AUGI) Tri-Cities AutoCAD Users Group (TCAUG) World AutoCAD Users Network (WAUN)

AA degree in Engineering Drafting with an emphasis on Computer Aided Drafting. BAS in Applied Management.

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