AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012

AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012

Active Member
7 Posts
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Registered: ‎07-16-2009
Post 1 of 4

Excessive File Size after attaching /detaching external reference

234 Views, 3 Replies
10-22-2011 02:20 PM

I have a drawing file that was created from another drawing that was about 1.5M but the actual used data was very small. After much frustration from not being able to purge all unused items (ran purge many times, used laydel on unwanted layers, ran audit, recover, etc.), I decided the best method was to copy all the desired entities into a new drawing.

With immediate relief, the drawing was then reduced to 62kb (not much data).

I then reattached 2 external references (3.6M & 1.8M) that increased the file size back to about 1.4M. Even after detaching these external references (and purging, etc), the file size is remains a 1.4M when it only has small amounts of desired data.


Why does this happen and are there any solutions?

My overall issue is that I have a large group of drawings that get referenced to make a complete drawing. This becomes very large drawing file that is difficult to work with. I am trying to reduced all file sizes to 'clean up' the drawings a bit.


*Expert Elite*
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Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Post 2 of 4

Re: Excessive File Size after attaching /detaching external reference

10-22-2011 02:52 PM in reply to: BrianMcKinley
Too many scales come along?
Or other apps?
Appears you need to fix the other files the same way too.
Look up WBLOCK instead of what you did though.
Dean Saadallah Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | PINS
Active Member
7 Posts
1 Kudo
Registered: ‎07-16-2009
Post 3 of 4

Re: Excessive File Size after attaching /detaching external reference

10-22-2011 03:00 PM in reply to: pendean

I still do not understand why the file takes and keeps 1.4M of size by attaching & detaching reference files. 

*Expert Elite*
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Registered: ‎10-12-2006
Post 4 of 4

Re: Excessive File Size after attaching /detaching external reference

10-24-2011 11:33 AM in reply to: BrianMcKinley

When you bring in an XREF, AutoCAD needs to be able to process the contents of that file.  Since files may contain a variety of custom objects and/or data in order to be shown properly, certain things end up being copied from the XREF into the host drawing.  These include, but are not limited to, annotation scales, registered application names, and third-party data (depending on availability and function of object enablers).


Not every "object" in AutoCAD is a drawing entity - many are data-only and have no corresponding entity in the drawing proper.  With no visible entity its easy for users to forget about or not even be aware of this extra data, allowing it to follow from drawing to drawing as users insert, XREF, and copy-paste their way through their jobs.  This is where WBLOCK can hold an advantage - if you just WBLOCK your non-intelligent items to a clean file the abandoned-in-place data will not follow.  At least, provided its not attached directly to the objects, but thats another issue...

If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
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