You Xrefed a Survey, Topo, or Base Map File Into Your Drawing, and All Linetypes Disappeared from That File
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You Xrefed a Survey, Topo, or Base Map File Into Your Drawing, and All Linetypes Disappeared from That File

Issue

A survey, topo, or base map you received is showing all linetypes perfectly, but when you Xref that file into your own working sheet, all the linetypes disappear.

 

Cause

The scale system variables of each drawing are set in a way that they do not match up. Several possible combinations of settings can cause this type of misalignment, but in most cases it comes down to whether you (or the other firm) are using annotative objects – therefore, using the MSLTSCALE system variable.

 

For information about how the Linetype Scale (LTSCALE), Paper Space Linetype Scale (PSLTSCALE), and Model Space Linetype Scale (MSLTSCALE) variables work, see our LTSCALE, PSLTSCALE, and MSLTSCALE documentation.

 

 

 

Solution

Step 1: Check the file you received.

Open the file you were given, and note the settings for the following system variables:

  • LTSCALE
  • MSLTSCALE
  • PSLTSCALE
  • CANNOSCALE

 

 

The ideal values for these variables in that drawing will be (but don't change them to):

  • LTSCALE = 20 (metric/Decimal Feet plan) or 240 (Architectural Inches plan), or 30, 360, etc. (whichever value is appropriate for the intended viewport scale for the drawing, and matches the current units setting)

 

  • MSLTSCALE = 0 (This setting will allow the LTSCALE value to govern the global linetype scale of the drawing.)

 

  • PSLTSCALE = 0 or 1 (This setting will essentially not matter, as this is a value you will set in your working drawing to display objects properly when laying out your sheet.)

 

  • CANNOSCALE = 1:1 (If the drawing includes annotative objects, this setting will likely be something else.)

The CANNOSCALE system variable has the same effect as changing the lower right corner scale in Model Space. Never change this setting from 1:1 if you are not actively using annotative scaling for objects, and never change the other firm's setting, as you may unexpectedly turn off objects you may need.

 

However, you can leave your MSLTSCALE setting at 0 and use CANNOSCALE to continue to manipulate what is annotative in the Xref.

MSLTSCALE setting at 0 and use CANNOSCALE

 

 

Also keep in mind:

The drawing you received may also have the system variables set up as follows:

  • LTSCALE = 1 (If so, be careful where you look next. The issue could be as simple as the drawing's creators having set the MSLTSCALE value to 1, or that they have modified the linetype scales manually in the object's properties to something other than 1.)

 

  • MSLTSCALE = 1 (This value set to 1 means the CANNOSCALE system variable takes precedence over how the linetypes are scaled in the drawing.)

Keep in mind that changing the CANNOSCALE value will scale the linetype based on the current LTSCALE setting. So if LTSCALE = 1, CANNOSCALE set to 1" = 20' will scale x1, equaling 1" = 20'. If LTSCALE = 2, CANNOSCALE set to 1" = 20' will scale x2, making it look the same size as if it were 1" = 40'.

 

  • PSLTSCALE = 1 (This setting still does not affect anything in your drawing.)

 

 

Step 2: Check your working drawing to see what these same values are set to.

Note that you do not need to change your settings to match the drawing creator's settings quite yet, but you need to understand how each file is set up so you can determine which setting will give which result when changed.

 

 

Now note those same system variable settings from Step 1 in your own file, then try making the following changes in your drawing only:

 

Scenario 1: The file you received had the following settings:

 

The drawing creator's file:

 

LTSCALE = 1

 

MSLTSCALE = 1

 

PSLTSCALE = 1 or 0

 

CANNOSCALE = 1" = 20'

Your file:

 

LTSCALE = 240 (or 240 if your drawing is set to Decimal Feet)

 

MSLTSCALE = 0

 

PSLTSCALE = 0

 

CANNOSCALE = 1:1

The opposite setup would apply if your firm works with annotative scaling and uses the CANNOSCALE variable to dictate linetype scale and other annotative objects.

 

 

Scenario 2: The file you received had the following settings:

 

The drawing creator's file:

 

LTSCALE = 20

 

MSLTSCALE = 0

 

PSLTSCALE = 1 or 0

 

CANNOSCALE = 1:1

Your file:

 

LTSCALE = 1

 

MSLTSCALE = 1

 

PSLTSCALE = 0

 

CANNOSCALE = 1" = 20'

Even if you wanted to use the same setup in your drawing as you've noted in the file you've received, you could do so as long as the settings match the units of your drawing.

This solution applies to the working drawing setup and how you are seeing objects in Model Space as you do your design. If you plan to plot directly in your working drawing, set the PSLTSCALE value to 0 (per layout) and you should be able to see the linetypes. Our recommended setup for plotting is to create a Sheetset drawing file that you Xref all files into Model Space, where both LTSCALE and PSLTSCALE are set to 1. Doing so will allow you to set the different layout viewports to your desired scale, and the viewport scale will dictate the proper linetype scale per layout, making all linetypes across all layouts consistent, regardless of the scale.

Last modified on Apr 18, 2022

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