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Set Insertion Scale Units
Tip# 3089 By Carole Hibbard On 11-Jan-2009
4
Rated By 2 users
Categories : Units, DWG, Import, Blocks
Software type : AutoCAD 2009
Rename File To : No Files to download.
When inserting xrefs, make sure your units settings are correct.

Carole Hibbard works in the GIS field so she does a lot of mapping in CAD and sent us this tip on inserting Xrefs.
Back around the 2004 release of AutoCAD Land Desktop, I had a problem when I inserted another drawing as an Xref.  The Xref should overlay the current map. Instead, it was sent out to 'La la Land' and the maps would be miles apart on the screen.  I spoke to others who had the same problem but couldn't find a fix.  Finally, after much research, I found that the system variables were to blame.  So, if you have this situation, set the following variables as shown:

INSUNITS=0
INSUNITSDEFSOURCE=0
INSUNITSDEFTARGET=0
 
This still works as of the current release of Map 3D 2009.  If I have a 'lock up' or crash of my system, I usually have to go back to reset these variables as they sometimes go back to other settings, causing the Xrefs to come in at the wrong insertion point again.

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol:  A drawings units settings is one of the most (if not the most) important settings.  If it is wrong, then your drawing will not be correct.  This is true when inserting (or referencing) other files.  Land Desktop handles units the same way AutoCAD does.  The drawing you are working in and the drawing you are referencing need to be using the same units.    If not, then the referenced file will have to be scaled or altered in some way.  The settings the tipster provided may need different values than what was given.  It will depend on what you are working with.  If every file is set to No Units, then these settings will work great.  The INSUNITS setting determines a drawings unit's value so that it can automatically scale blocks and xrefs inserted into it.  That means that if your drawing is set to inches, and the referenced drawing is set to meters, it will interpret the referenced block and scale it accordingly.  The INSUNITSDEFSOURCE sets the source file units value when INSUNITS is set to zero.  INSUNITSDEFTARGET sets the target drawing unit’s value when INSUNITS is set to zero.  This is a little complicated and can cause errors in a file.  Make sure your units are correct.  This routine was tested in AutoCAD 2009.
 

 

Average Rating:
4


User comments
Comment by struckmann,cord
Posted on 2009-02-02 12:40:56
Correct, units are one of the most important settings. Different disciplines prefer different units. And there are the various imperial and metric units people work with. All need to be compatible when exchanging files. Having the settings in the DWG files work perfectly is paramount. AutoCAD’s unit setting and the related variables went through a lot of changes over the last releases of AutoCAD. Between AutoCAD2004 and 2005, the drag-and-drop scale became the insertion scale (which works very differently). AutoCAD2008 brought annotation scale that eliminated unitless files. To add an extra layer of complexity, AutoCAD-based software such as AutoCAD Architecture, have a more sophisticated, industry-specific approach to units. Overall, it seems risky to rely on the settings of some variables. If you receive outside files, do you know in which software they were created in? On this topic, I could go on forever. To make long story short, here are 2 key aspects: 1) If mastering the different units is important, using a recent AutoCAD release is critical (2008 or 2009). 2) Your safe haven are templates which need to have flawless units settings. Any erraticly behaving file can be inserted into a template to get to a predicatble behaviour. For the integrity of the template, don’t save over template from previous AutoCAD release. Use the Autodesk-provided ones, or create any custom templates from them.
Comment by struckmann,cord
Posted on 2009-02-02 12:41:52
Correct, units are one of the most important settings. Different disciplines prefer different units. And there are the various imperial and metric units people work with. All need to be compatible when exchanging files. Having the settings in the DWG files work perfectly is paramount. AutoCAD’s unit setting and the related variables went through a lot of changes over the last releases of AutoCAD. Between AutoCAD2004 and 2005, the drag-and-drop scale became the insertion scale (which works very differently). AutoCAD2008 brought annotation scale that eliminated unitless files. To add an extra layer of complexity, AutoCAD-based software such as AutoCAD Architecture, have a more sophisticated, industry-specific approach to units. Overall, it seems risky to rely on the settings of some variables. If you receive outside files, do you know in which software they were created in? On this topic, I could go on forever. To make long story short, here are 2 key aspects: I1) f mastering the different units is important, using a recent AutoCAD release is critical (2008 or 2009). 2) Your safe haven are templates which need to have flawless units settings. Any erraticly behaving file can be inserted into a template to get to a predicatble behaviour. For the integrity of the template, don’t save over template from previous AutoCAD release. Use the Autodesk-provided ones, or create any custom templates from them.


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