Restoring Imagery imported with Plex-Earth 5 found in XREFs


External references (XREFs) are drawing files that behave as single entities when linked to a drawing. The most important attribute of XREFs is the fact that they do not have to be inserted into a drawing in order to be attached to it, which means that they provide drafters with valuable information without taking a toll on the original drawing's file size. This is one of the main reasons why XREFs are widely used by engineers working on large-scale projects, as they basically enable entire teams of professionals to work on individual components of a given project simultaneously, while staying updated with any changes that may occur during the design process.

Here at Plexscape, we do realize the importance of providing our customers with the ability to make use of this particular feature of CAD software when dealing with high-quality, up-to-date imagery imported with our software. Therefore, we have created the "PXV_IMAGERY_XREFUPDATE" command, which enables users to restore imagery imported with Plex-Earth 5 into external references attached to their drawing, and this tutorial is intended to demonstrate the step-by-step process that needs to be followed in order to fully leverage this key feature.


Step 1: Create a Georeferenced Drawing & Import Imagery

First, we need to set up our drawing's georeference using one of the two available options provided by Plex-Earth 5. In case we are dealing with an already georeferenced drawing, no further action needs to be taken, as Plex-Earth 5 automatically recognizes the coordinate system applied. We then proceed with the creation of an Imagery Mosaic, which is the best option when it comes to having a high-quality background with satisfactory clarity to be used as an underlay for the design process. 


It is worth noting that Plex-Earth 5 offers the ability to get rid of unnecessary tiles when creating Imagery Mosaics, allowing users to save up precious Mosaic Images and make the most of their Premium Image Packs.


Step 2: Create a new Drawing & Attach your previous one as an XREF

In this step, we are going to create a new drawing and attach our existing drawing to it using the XREF command. It's worth mentioning that we will have to use the same georeferencing settings applied to our previous drawing for the software to know where to place the restored imagery.


1)   Once we are all set, we type XREF on the command line as shown in the screenshot below:


Once we hit the ''Enter'' button, we are presented with the external references palette.


2)   We then hit the DWG icon situated on the top left of the external references palette, and then select ''Attach DWG...", as demonstrated in the following screenshot:


In the next step, we have to specify the DWG file we would like to attach to our existing drawing as an external reference.


3)   Once we have picked our preferred XREF, we click ''Open'', as shown in the image below:



Step 3: Restore Imagery Imported with Plex-Earth 5

Once our desired XREF has been attached to our drawing, we are good to go.


1)   We start Plex-Earth 5 and type "PXV_IMAGERY_XREFUPDATE" on the command line. We then hit the ''Enter'' button on our keyboard:



2)   Now it's time to visit the Imagery Panel of Plex-Earth 5 and open the Imagery Manager palette by clicking on the ''Show Imagery Manager'' icon:


Our images are now available in the form of an external reference file, and thus, we can begin designing using high-quality imagery imported with Plex-Earth 5 as an XREF


We can zoom to our restored imagery's extents by hitting the ''Zoom to object'' button, as shown in the following screenshot:


And there we go! We have now restored our imagery successfully and can use it to extract valuable information about our project area. There's literally nothing stopping us from moving forward with the digitization process.



Step 4: Manage workload like a boss

Thanks to the "PXV_IMAGERY_XREFUPDATE" command of Plex-Earth 5, it only took a couple of hours to finish digitizing all our catchment areas, manholes and conduits, as it was feasible to get three of our team members to work on the same project concomitantly. Talk about saving time in style.


At first sight it may seem easy, but if you take a closer look, you will realize that we actually had a lot of work to do. This goes to show that XREFs come in handy when you need multiple people working on the same project, and Plex-Earth 5 has once again stepped up to the challenge, making life much easier for engineers


It's no exaggeration to say that this is just a glimpse of what Plex-Earth 5 has to offer. Start your free trial here today, and find out what you have been missing out on!



Feel free to contact us at for any questions you may have and don’t forget to start your free trial today.



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