We all know how to check our drawing files for attached external references (XREFs)...but have you ever wished you could do a "Reverse Search"? Maybe you want to know which drawings a specific drawing is referenced INTO. For example, I have a drawing called ELEC.DWG. I know it is referenced into many other drawings. I need to make some changes to ELEC.DWG but first I want to know which other drawings this is going to affect...make sense?
The underused Design Center to the rescue! If you haven't discovered the very powerful Search tool in Design Center then you are just going to love this! Go into Design Center (Control+2) and you'll find the search tool at the top as seen in the figure below.
Here you'll find you can search for a myriad of things...blocks, drawings but most importantly - XREFs!
In the upper left corner you'll find you can select the directory (or directories) you want to search through. You can actually search an entire drive if you want...you'll just need to be very patient as it does it's search. The key here is that Design Center can mine your files for all types of data and that is really powerful!
We'll select the XREF option and then key in the name of the XREF we are searching for. I am searching for a drawing file called "The Wine Cellar" (of course...I live near Napa!). below you'll see that my drawing file "The Wine Cellar" is referenced into one drawing in this directory.
I noticed you can't just include key words to get the proper results. For example, if I just key in the word wine to search for it won't find my drawing file. You can, however, user wildcards (if you remember your wildcard symbols). So...I could type in *wine* , with an asterisk in the front and one at the end and it would find my drawing as seen below.
The good news is...it will find all the drawings that my drawing file is referenced into! Be sure to give this great tip a try!