Empty AutoCAD Drawing Syndrome - AutoCAD for Principals

It is not unusual for us to receive a drawing with missing Xrefs from a customer who needs a deadline met yesterday!

Our unlucky client then has to negotiate with their contact to retrieve the missing files or even worse, look through an old project and try to figure out where all the needed drawings are.

If you open an AutoCAD drawing and see that it is empty, the file may be missing Xrefs. These are simply more drawing files linked to your drawing.

One way to determine if absent Xrefs are the culprit is to look for a text string in the drawing which indicates the path of the missing file. See screen shot example. The size of this text can vary depending on settings in the drawing. In this case, the small horizontal line (to which black arrow points) is actually a line of text which contains the path of the missing file.

The XREF command will list all the Xrefs in the drawing along with their current status in a dialog box.

We recommend that you encourage those you work with to send you AutoCAD drawings using Etransmit. This command pulls all relevant files into a convenient zip file so that Xrefs should be included if they are available.


Core FTP Lite - Reviewed by Dummies!

We like to experiment with different FTP clients.

Recently, we tested CoreFTP Lite. We decided that we don't recommend it for non-technical users or diverse remote teams. It is good for IT pros who have experience with FTP servers.

Findings here are the results of running several CAD projects with this client.


Free to download and install.

Seems to get through everything. Helpful if you are running or monitoring FTP servers with multiple projects and/or users with different rights. You can easily see where security needs to be tightened.


Settings are finicky. We had to keep changing SSL check box options because our selections did not always work consistently.

Our offsite teams did not get reliable results. They complained of time-outs while downloading large amounts of data over slow connections.

Not recommended if you have to download files to a Windows server.