If you are an AutoCAD user who is migrating to MicroStation, you might find in some design files you can’t snap to elements in referenced files. Or even worse, you can’t modify the XREF files like selecting, moving, scaling, etc.
It’s not a bug. It works as designed.
Why would people want the ability to prevent that? When you work with many references, and the design become complex, you would want the ability to exclude some drawings from selected, snapped, etc. But sometimes we still need to see them.
Let’s open MicroStation references dialog box. You can do it by accessing menu file> references.
On top of this dialog box, you can see some manipulate tools (1).
Before MicroStation XM version, this is the only way you can manipulate a reference file. You can’t select reference on screen and use manipulate tools like other drawing elements.
In recent version, you can still manipulate reference files from this dialog. And also able to manipulate reference files like other drawing elements (more about it below).
Changing reference properties
Below the dialog box, you can change the reference properties (2).
Again, if you choose not to manipulate reference as element, you need to edit here. If you choose to edit it as element, you can also change these properties from element information.
Now let’s examine the reference list (3). There are several columns hold information of reference properties. You can change it from area (2), or directly changing it from area (3).
Now let’s see below. From left to right, the columns show that the reference is displayed, snap-able, selectable, and treated like other elements.
If you want to exclude the elements in that reference from snapping, you can simply uncheck snap next to the reference.
Do you like this feature?
So do you think these features are helpful? I know some AutoCAD users want to have this for years. It’s simple, I wonder why Autodesk hasn’t implemented it to AutoCAD yet.