Concept: Layer referencing

You can reference specific layers with all of the classes and resources used in those layers, as well as any resources from a master file. Referenced design layers can be displayed in viewports. Referenced items are indicated in the Resource Manager and in the Organization dialog box by italicized names.

There are two ways to reference design layers:

In the Vectorworks Fundamentals product, design layers are imported into the target file when they are referenced. For backward compatibility, Vectorworks Design Suite products support this method; see Adding and editing reference files.

In the Vectorworks Design Suite products, the recommended method is to create a design layer viewport and then reference the desired design layers from the master file. See Creating a referenced design layer viewport for details about this type of reference.

Depending on the type of object referenced, you may be able to update the master file from the target file.

If in-place editing is enabled, resources can be edited or renamed in the target file, and the corresponding resource in the master file is automatically updated. See Setting the referencing options and Referencing resources.

Objects on layers referenced with layer import referencing are locked; they can be unlocked and edited in the target file, but the change will not appear in the master file. Moreover, when the target file’s references are updated, referenced items are over-written to reflect the master file. Therefore, any permanent change to a referenced item must be made in the master file.

Objects on layers referenced in a design layer viewport cannot be edited directly, but there is an option to navigate to the master file, make the change, and then return to the target file to view the change.

Keep the following concepts in mind for both design layer referencing methods.

Drawing information is shared and updated on a layer-by-layer basis.

For layer import referencing, referenced layers should be treated as read-only layers; any changes to referenced information and any information added to referenced layers are removed the next time the referenced layer is updated.

Referenced layer names cannot be changed.

Resources in layers that are referenced from the master file take precedence over resources in the target file.

If there is a naming conflict with pre-existing symbols or pre-existing layers in the current file, replace the symbols or rename the layers.

Sheet layer viewports cannot directly reference layers in external master files. If you are using layer import referencing, create a reference to the master file, and select the external layers to import into the target file; then make the imported layers visible in a sheet layer viewport. If you are using design layer viewport referencing ( Design Suite product required), create a design layer viewport from the master file and make the desired layers visible; then make the design layer that contains the viewport visible in a sheet layer viewport.

When the master file is georeferenced (Design Suite product required), externally referenced layers or design layer viewports are automatically transformed, if necessary, to match the GIS settings of the master file (projection, origin, and/or true north angle). This has no effect on the actual GIS settings of the referenced file, even if it is different. If the georeferencing settings of the master file change later, the reference may need updating to be properly transformed.

Setting the referencing options

Adding and editing reference files

Creating a referenced design layer viewport

Prioritizing referenced files

Updating references

Correcting broken references

Referencing resources

Deleting references

Opening referenced files

Sharing custom content using workgroup folders


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