A substantial chunk of the issues seen by our technical support team are the result of drawing corruption. With a few simple steps, you can get rid of drawing corruption and get back to work.
It's important to note that our software does not cause or spread drawing corruption. It's an issue that's inherent to AutoCAD and DWG files. We just recognize the importance of avoiding corruption, so we've engineered our software with the ability to detect and eradicate it.
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Drawing cleanup: Ignore at your own risk!
Cleaning drawings will take time – you cannot avoid this. But trust us: You'll lose much, much more time to a corrupt drawing than you'll spend cleaning drawings and Xrefs. You have a simple decision to make, right here, right now: Spend some time to understand and implement drawing cleanup practices, or spend far more time at a far more inopportune moment to deal with recreating entire drawings. The choice is yours.
How to Clean a Drawing
Prerequisite: Detect corruption in your drawing
Make sure you have the Proxy Information dialog box configured according to our recommendations. That way, you'll be able to detect corruption in the drawing – and know that you'll need to complete the following steps.
Step 1: Save
Save the file to your computer – ideally in the correct project folder. Identify needed Xref drawing files.
Step 2: Shut down CAD, restart, and reopen the drawing
Why? Because drawing corruption can travel through an instance of AutoCAD. This means you can open a corrupt file, close it and keep AutoCAD open, then open a clean file, and the corruption will still jump into the clean file. Closing AutoCAD often prevents cleaned drawings from becoming corrupted in this way.
Step 3: Detach unneeded Xrefs
Open the file, and detach all irrelevant or unreferenced Xrefs. This can include any files that were not sent to you or aren't necessary for your design.
Are there Xrefs in here that you do need? After detaching the Xrefs you don't need:
1. Save this drawing.
2. Close AutoCAD or F/X CAD completely.
3. Open the Xref file you do need, and clean it first.
Why? If the corruption is coming from an Xref, it doesn't matter how many times you clean it – the Xref will keep reinfecting it. Detach and clean all attached (and necessary) Xrefs first.
Don't know what an Xref is? See our External References (Xrefs) page.
Step 4: Clean the file
Clean the drawing file using one of two possible methods:
Option 1: Running our Nuke tool on drawings you receive from others
Additional resources for this article
Our Nuke tool automates several important cleanup commands and combines them into one button. It's a way to clean drawings and Xrefs with a single click.
Do not run the Nuke tool on your own drawings. The Nuke tool is designed to clean Xrefs by deleting layout tabs and setting everything to ByLayer, among other actions. As a result, it will delete several critical items in your own working drawing but makes Xrefs more usable.
Option 2: Cleaning the drawing manually
If you have layout tabs you can't afford to lose, or if you're simply not comfortable running an automated cleanup process on drawing files, you can also complete our manual drawing cleanup steps.
Step 5: Reassign the correct Land F/X project to the clean file
Now that you're working in a new file, don't forget to use our Projects tool to open the project that was originally assigned to the file you cleaned. That project will now be assigned to the clean file.
Repeat steps 1 through 5 on every DWG file you receive.
About Drawing Corruption
The vast majority of the technical support issues we see are the direct result of drawing corruption.
What is drawing corruption, and what causes it? Find out here >
Although you might encounter drawing corruption while using our software – and it can definitely result in huge problems with Land F/X objects, such as plants or irrigation equipment losing all their assigned data throughout a drawing – it's not actually a Land F/X issue. Drawing corruption spreads from file to file, and it commonly originates in drawings created by those outside the landscape or irrigation fields, such as civil engineers. It's caused by AutoCAD objects that can be present in any DWG file, whether or not it was created using our software. These include:
- DGN linetypes
- Proxy objects
- Layer filters
- Scale list entries
- Shape definitions
All of these issues are completely preventable with proper drawing cleanup.
How to Prevent Corruption in Future Drawings
Although the process of cleaning a drawing can address existing corruption issues, we strongly recommend implementing a specific prevention and cleanup process as a standard procedure in your office for anyone who opens a drawing. This process will become a valuable safeguard against the spread of drawing corruption.
Remember: The drawing cleanup instructions outlined above are one component of a larger set of steps to prevent corruption in all drawing files you open. We can't put enough stress on the importance of taking the time to learn about drawing corruption and how to avoid it. It's a CAD best practice that will only save you time and effort in the future.