The use of Reference Files is a great way to improve
CADVANCE performance and allows you, and your design team, easier access to specific data
in your drawings. Referenced files are multiple drawing files (.VWF's) stacked one on top
of another in the background of the active file. As these files are being referenced, they
cannot be edited in any way, but you can SNAP to the entities in them.
In the File/Reference/Setup command, there are 2 radio buttons:
one to add/delete up to 8 specific reference FILES, and the other to specify LAYER information for the reference files. On
the layer setup, you can make layers visible or not and SNAPpable or not. Remember, you cannot edit
referenced files, but you can SNAP to the elements in them if the layer they are on has the SNAP turned on.
To edit a file, it must be loaded as the active drawing.
When using the File/Reference command, you also have the ability to REGEN or regenerate
from the disk. This means that the "last saved" version of the
.VWF will be refreshed to your
screen. In a workgroup environment, this allows multiple users working on various aspects
of a project to view updates instantly. Note that in a networked office, two users cannot
open the same file as an active drawing simultaneously. However, others can open an active
file as a reference file. This also holds true if a file has a password attached to it.
There are several ways to load reference files into your drawing. One was mentioned
above - simply add filenames to the Setup/Files screen. The other two ways have different
advantages as follows:
Saved reference drawings (.REF) files can be placed into other drawings with File/Open
(.REF) type. (.REF) files store reference file geometry. Therefore (.REF) files act like snapshots of the
original drawings. Changes to the original drawings have no effect on (.REF) files. To create a (.REF)
file, load one or more reference files into a drawing. Then use File/Save As (ALT, F, A) with the file
type set to Reference (.REF). To place a (.REF) file into the current drawing, use
File/Open (ALT, F, O) with the file type set to Reference (.REF). You can manually update
reference files by using File/Reference/Regen (ALT, F, R, R) to read changes to the reference drawings and then re-saving the reference file with
File/Save As (ALT, F, A).
(.RFS) files act as a pointer to the original drawings. At your option,
the original drawings are reflected in reference files loaded via (.RFS) files. To create
a (.RFS) file, load one or more reference files into a drawing. Then use File/Save As
(ALT, F, A) with the file type set to Reference Setup (.RFS). To place a (.RFS) file into
the current drawing, use File/Open (ALT, F, O) with file type set to Reference Setup
The use of referenced drawings is highly recommended for large or multi-story
buildings. Not only will elements be easier to locate, file size will be greatly reduced
and speed will increase. For those who do facilities management, reference file use is
ideally suited for a variety of remodeling scenarios.