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    By Dennis Collin 

    Are your AutoCAD External Reference Files not attaching in the correct position?

    Try this, The Autodesk Developer Routine 'Reference UCS Spy'

    In the Architectural and wider Construction Community CAD users have reference files set up in 'Real World' coordinates. Indeed this is the correct way to work as it provides a guaranteed coordinated origin which everyone agrees upon. However when attaching such files when in a different User Defined Coordinate System or UCS will result in the reference drawing appearing at an incorrect location.

    Autodesk have written a very useful Plug-in to combat this scenario informing users if the above situation occurs with a very handy dialogue box. Recently updated to work with AutoCAD 2016 this utility should be installed and used when working with any Reference Files or XRefs on a regular basis. Indeed I would suggest to Autodesk to perhaps include this tool as a standard function or at least as an Express tool! It’s too good a tool not to have!

    Once loaded, the plug-in will watch for certain commands to be executed: Including DWG,DGN, Image or Point Cloud file attach and should the UCS is not set to World, a task dialog will be displayed, asking the user whether they would like to set the UCS to the World coordinate system temporarily for the duration of the command. This will then ensure that the External Reference File will be inserted at the correct position! Vital in any project!

    The AutoCAD coordinate system is then reset once the command has completed allowing local setting out and working to continue. By this unobtrusive and simple function it can eliminate many coordination issues that can occur in the drawing office.

    Subscription users can download The Reference UCS Spy utility on the AutoDesk Exchange Apps site , which can be accessed below;

    https://apps.exchange.autodesk.com/en