Tipster Maria Tzanetakou sent us a trick that can instantly update the display settings of layers in a referenced AutoCAD file.
"I work as a mechanical draftsman. Recently we made a submission that included 1,400 drawings. The project was a building with several floors, and every floor needed a different installation. We use these as a base drawing for each installation. We call them LEVEL00, LEVEL01, etc. Like most of our drawings, these drawings have VisRetain set to 1 (for on). The drawing LEVEL00, LEVEL01 is the base, and we call it into an installation drawing as an xref. They have a specific layer that I use when I attach the xrefs. Let's say that the name of the layer is 0_xref_insertion and the name of the xref is xref_level00, xref_level01, etc.
"Just before the submission, someone decided that the background I was using for this submission had the wrong colors, and he noted that I was using this background for several installations. There was no time to correct the installations one at a time. If you experience a similar situation, I suggest the following process:
- Open xref_level00, xref_level01, etc., and correct the colors.
- Open the drawings xref_level00, xref_level01, etc.
- Rename the layer 0_xref_insertion to 0_xref_insertion- or something similar.
When you finally open the drawing of the installation, you'll find the colors have been corrected."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: What this tipster did, in a nutshell, was go to the base files, fix the color issues, then rename the layer. When the files that reference the base files are opened or published, they will see that there is a new layer and adopt its current settings. Everything on the old layer is gone, because that layer no longer exists.
This happens because the VisRetain setting was set to 1 (turned on). VisRetain will retain the visual settings in a file. When a file is xrefed into another file, its layer settings are brought along with it. The working file can override the visual settings of the xref without altering the data of the xref. If VisRetain is on, the file will keep those changes. If it is off, then all override changes are lost when the file is closed.
This is a very quick fix, but it could potentially cause a problem. The new layer will be turned on in every viewport where the file is referenced. If that's not a concern, then this is a great way to quickly change the color of the objects everywhere.