External Reference Status

In the External References palette, in the List View, there is a status column. As you might expect, this informs you of the status of the reference file. Have you ever seen a status that you did not know the meaning of? There are SIX documented states for a reference file, plus at least one more.

  • Loaded - The reference file is currently loaded and attached, and there are no issues.
  • Unloaded - The reference file is unloaded, but still attached to the drawing. This does not indicate a problem either.
  • Not Found - AutoCAD could not find the reference file in its saved path or by other methods.
  • Unresolved - The reference file cannot be read (for example: the reference file was saved by a newer version of AutoCAD)
  • Orphaned - This indicates a nested reference with a status of Unresolved in its parent drawing.
  • Unreferenced - This means the reference geometry was deleted from the drawing, but the reference itself was not removed.
  • Needs Reloading - This means that the reference file has been updated and needs to be reloaded. I have seen this status immediately upon opening a drawing when I know the reference file has not been updated - so I'm not quite sure of the criteria used to determine whether or not to display this status.

Below are some examples of the various states.


Hi, I've been using acad 2008 for a few years and everything is pretty good.
Like lots of people, I'm trying to do more with less. Would it be worth the effort to upgrade to r2011? How is the learning curve for the ribbon? Our work is mainly 2d but we are needing more 3d views all the time. We do architectural millwork.
Thanks for your suggestions.

p.s. GREAT site!


Moving to AutoCAD 2011 is not that tough. All of the older stuff is still available to you and the newer items make the jump well worth it. And if you're worried about the ribbon you can ease your way into it by setting the workspace (your evironment) to look and act like the older versions of AutoCAD.

Good luck,


As JP said, it's not that bad. The Ribbon will take some getting used to, but you can revert back to the classic workspace, or take it a few steps further to get 2011 to look and feel like earlier versions...

A couple of the new things I find myself using a lot are, the new polyline editing grips, and Add Selected.

Don't worry about the switch over. The prior comments hit it right on the head. Just switch your workspace over and you'll be fine.

Good luck and please enjoy AutoCAD 2011!

Best regards,




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