Work Areas in Xrefs
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Work Areas in Xrefs

Work Areas divide your drawing into distinct regions, allowing you to set different scales, easily check for errors, and limit your schedules to selected plants, irrigation components, or site amenities. We've enabled our software to respect Work Areas within Xrefs.



For detailed information on this extremely useful feature, see our documentation pages on:

Setting Up Your Work Areas Within Xrefs

Step 1: Creating Your Work Areas in a Clean Drawing

Start a blank drawing, and Xref your base file into that drawing.


In the drawing you've just created (which now contains an Xref of your site base), draw the main Work Areas you anticipate needing throughout your site.


Workl Areas drawn

Save this drawing.


Step 2: Xrefing Your Base File and Work Area Drawing Into Your Main Drawing

Open a new drawing – or the drawing where you want to create your planting plan.


Use the Xref command to attach your base file directly to this drawing.



Then use the Xref command again to attach the drawing you created above, which contains your Work Areas.

Attach Xref with Work Areas




Attach Xref as Overlay

Attach the Xref as an Overlay, then click OK.




You should now be able to see the drawing containing your Work Areas within the Xref Manager.

Work Areas Xref attached




Your Work Areas should also now be visible in your drawing.



Work Areas visible in drawing


Step 3: Placing the Xref on the Work Area Layer

This step is the key to the system's ability to recognize the Work Areas within your Xrefs.

Now that you have your Work Areas Xrefed into your planting plan drawing, you'll need to place the Xrefs on the Work Area layer. In most cases, this layer will be named L-WORK-AREA. To ensure that you're placing your Xrefs on the correct Work Area layer, draw a new Work Area in the planting plan drawing. You can give it a name such as Test.



Draw new Work Area
Name new Work Area




Select that Work Area, and type Properties in the Command line.



Work Area layer in Properties

Look in the Properties panel to verify the layer that contains your Work Areas.



In our example, the correct layer is, in fact, the typical Work Area layer L-WORK-AREA.

In some cases, the Work Area may be on our old Work Area layer, LG-ANNO-BRDR if so, just make sure that layer matches the layer settings in the current Preference Set.




You can then move your Xrefs onto that layer using the Properties panel.

Move Xrefs onto Work Area layer




Then delete the test Work Area you just drew.


Step 4 (Optional): Creating Work Areas Within Your Work Areas

Need to create Work Areas within your Work Areas? No problem – you now have this capability. You'll just need to create those Work Areas in another drawing and bring it in as an Xref.


Open another new drawing, and Xref in your base file.


Draw any Work Areas you would like to have within your existing Work Areas.


Draw Work Areas within Work Areas


Save this drawing, and Xref it into the main drawing. Now, when you want to work on these smaller Work Areas, unload the Xref containing the larger Work Areas. When you want to work within the larger Work Areas, unload the Xref containing the smaller Work Areas, and reload the Xref containing the larger Work Areas.



Unload Work Areas
Reload Work Areas




Step 5: Design Your Site and Place Your Schedules When Ready

You can now begin planting, placing plants within the boundaries of your Work Areas as needed. Those Work Areas will be treated as if they're in the main drawing, effectively dividing your planting plan into distinct regions based on the Work Areas.


When you generate a schedule, for example, the system will treat those Work Areas as if they're within the main drawing, rather than in the Xref. When you run a schedule, the Command line will give you the following options: Select Work Area, [All Work Areas], <Entire drawing>. You can select any of these options, and the system will act as if the Work Areas are in the current drawing.


Placing a schedule

For information on generating a Plant Schedule using Work Areas, see our Limiting the Plant Schedule documentation.


This technique also works with RefNotes Schedules and Irrigation Schedules.

Moving Existing Work Areas Into Xrefs

If you've already created Work Areas in the main drawing, you can easily move them into a clean file using the WBLOCK ;(Write Block) command.


Select the Work Area(s) as the object to WBLOCK.


You can easily select all Work Areas in the drawing by selecting one Work Area, right-clicking, and selecting the Select Similar option from the menu that opens.

Select Similar




All Work Areas in the drawing will now be selected. Type WBLOCK in the Command line, and press Enter.



Write Blocks dialog box, ... button

In the Write Block dialog box, select Objects. Click the ... button (shown to the left) to begin saving the Work Areas into a separate DWG file.




Give the file a name you'll remember, and click Save to save it.

Name and save DWG file




New drawing created

You'll now have a new drawing with the name you created above.




If you open this drawing, you'll see that its content consists of the Work Areas you copied over using WBLOCK.

Work Areas copied to new drawing




Open your main drawing, and type XREF in the Command line.



Xrefing in the Work Areas file as Overlay

Bring in the drawing containing your Work Areas as an Overlay, and click OK.




Your Work Areas should now be visible in your main drawing, from within the Xref you created.

Work Areas visible within Work Areas




Work Areas Xref attached 2

You should also see the Xref containing your Work Areas in the Xref panel.

Remember to move this Xref onto the Work Area layer.


General Work Area troubleshooting


Issue: Work Areas are not recognizing or calculating a hatch


Issue: Layers from one or more of your Xrefs are not visible within a viewport or Work Area


Issue: You are unable to create or place a Work Area

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 11:50
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