I have had so many users who have had troubles with projects and delivering files because they used Hard Coded Paths (Full Path) for Xrefs.
Full Path stores the location of the file that you have attached starting from the drive letter and moving down the tree to where the file is located.
C:\Documents and Settings\mkiker\My Documents\Acad2007\XREF\Wall Base.dwg
So it starts from the “C” drive – or wherever and travels down the tree to find the DWG file.
If the drive letter changes because you move the project or you send the files to someone else and they do not put the files in the exact locations (including drive letter) that you did – the file does not load in AutoCAD.
Enter Relative Paths…
Relative Paths start from the location of the host file and moves to where the XREF file is located.
So it starts looking by backing out of the folder of the host (the two dots) and moves into subfolders to find the XREF.
Both ways will find the file when you first load it. Relative Paths will ensure that the file is found in the future in more cases that Full Path.
Here is where you set it in AutoCAD 2007. Open the XREF palette or Dialog box and look for the Path type option. This only appears when you are actually loading the file the first time. The default is Full Path.
Here is how to change it once it is set in 2007.
Select the XREF you need to change and highlight the area of the path that you need to change.
Now – just type in two dots “..” in place of that full path and hit Enter. Be sure to leave the backslash after the two dots. If you have to back up two folders before going into a subfolder the use two sets of dots “..\..”
It sure would be nice to have a tool inside AutoCAD (not on the Start Menu) that would do this quickly. Do you know of one?