How to use RefManager to enable live nesting in multiple sheet files

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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA — In this how-to, I will go over how to enable live nesting (displaying references of references) in multiple reference files without having to change the reference file’s attachment settings one file at a time.

When a new reference file is attached to an existing set of drawings, many hours can be spent attaching, scaling, clipping and rotating the reference file in each design file — not to mention time spent modifying level display, locks, logical names and descriptions. Since you have already done this once in the design phase, there is no need to do it again when preparing sheet files for plotting at the end of the project.

Enabling live nesting in one design file is not particularly challenging, but doing so in hundreds of design files can be a time-consuming and tedious process.

For this exercise, we will use a sheet file (master design file) that includes a section of a base map as a reference file. Our task is to enable the display of a third design file (one that contains topographic data) that is itself a reference file to the base map design file. This exercise assumes that the topographic data has already been referenced (although you can use RefManager to attach the file if it hasn’t).

The Process

  1. Open the base map design file and ensure that the topographic file is referenced.
  2. Close the file and open up the first sheet file. For our example we are using Sheet_File1.dgn. Notice that the sheet file has two references: Border.dgn and Project_SectionA.dgn (a clipped section of the base map file). Also, notice that the nesting setting (red box) is set to “No Nesting”.
  3. Open RefManager from the Axiom menu.

  4. Open the Edit File List dialog box by clicking on the <Select> button next to the Design Files field.
  5. Add all the sheet files you want to process by selecting them from the Available Files menu or by using a wildcard string to add all files with a filename that matches the string. In our case, all our sheet files have a similar name. Usually, sheet files will have a project number in the name, which makes the file selection process easier. In that case, in the “Select files by Extended File Specification” field, you can type in “Sheet_File*.dgn” and all files beginning with “Sheet_File” will be added to the list. The “*” is a wildcard character. When done, click <OK>.

  6. Select “Modify Reference File Attachments” from the Mode drop down menu.

  7. Under the Vector Settings category, select Live Nesting from the Nested Attachments drop-down menu. Also, set the Depth to “1”. The depth number represents the number of “references of references” that live nesting will display. For example, by setting the depth to “1”, only the references of the references will show. If the depth is set to “2”, then the references of the references of the references will show up. Click on <Close> when done.

  8. In order to only change the nesting preferences in all sheet files containing a referenced section of Project_Section.dgn, we have to filter out any other references, like the Border.dgn for instance. To do so, click on the <Filter> button next to the Mode drop-down menu.
  9. In the “Filter Reference File Attachments By…” dialog box, select the File Name category, and in the string field, type in a string that will only include the base map attachments. In this example, we want to only process all reference file attachments that begin with “Project” in their name. Click on <Close> when done.

  10. Click on <Start> on RefManager’s main dialog and watch it go! When you are done you will get a dialog box that looks like so.

See for Yourself...
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