Reference Other LO docs? (LO XREFs)

Couldn’t find this anywhere else in the forums so apologies in advance if it’s been covered. Curious if there’s a way (or discussion of future features) to insert other LO docs as ‘live’ objects that would show up in the References tab of Document Setup. I know there are Scrapbooks now which is great but those generally import ‘isolated’ static objects (unless they’re images, generally).

For example, I could create a standard titleblock as a LO file and my various project LO documents would reference that titleblock doc. If I ever needed to make a major formatting change to the title block, I could open the titleblock LO file, edit it in there, and update the reference in my working project file, much like I do with SU files when they need updating.

Basically this is asking for XREF functionality for external LO files. Hoping there’s a way to achieve this.

Thx in advance


That’s an interesting idea. I could see some benefits to that as well as some situations where it could make things go pear-shaped in a hurry. This seems like it is a feature request.

By the way, please complete your profile with current SU version/license, operating system and graphics card.

Thanks Dave, yes, I had the same thought (e.g. references a highly complex LO file that itself has other referenced files). That might just be on the user to understand wrt the feature’s intent (not always an easy conversation).


This is closely related to components in LayOut. A referenced file would be viewed as a component, similar to how components in SketchUp can be associated with external files.

And pages in root.layout are deriving from xref.layout?

I definitely don’t know the code behind these programs like you do but i generally see SU components as operating slightly differently from the ‘XREF’ type functionality I’m thinking of. Components in SU seem to become their own ‘island’ once they’ve been referenced into the model. In other words, if you change the component file itself, it doesn’t update the component that’s already been imported into the SU model (I think).

No idea what this means but I’m glad ya’ll do!

Well, ideally you want them to update as well. And that is where Christina’s reference manager extension comes in handy.

Dang, I didn’t know that existed. This is soooo useful! This is exactly what I had in mind for LO though extensions/plugins aren’t supported. Maybe one day?

You want to control it. It should not be an automated process unless you are involved in some collaboration in a current project.

Components are functionally different from XREFs in how they (optionally) embed files rather than linking them, but conceptually it is still somewhat similar. It’s a matter of perspective.

This got me thinking. I avoid splitting my layout files into separate files for sheets because I don’t want to have to copy titleblock info as it changes across numerous files. And I think Autotext works only in one file. Sooo what if the titleblock info were in a spreadsheet and placed in the titleblock each layout file would read the new text each time the spreadsheet is updated? Correct? Cause let’s face it once a project is started the only thing that changes is dates and revision dates.

Also we have control of cell range in layout so different insertions in layout could ref different areas of the spreadsheet so you only need one.

And this got me thinking that there should be a tool to copy autotext values from one file to another with a single click :thinking:

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You can edit the (unzipped)xml reference in the .layout file and they will pop up in LayOut.

Check also this thread:

In general, when dealing with lots of (ever changing) data, you would need an ‘information- or data model’ that is reliable for every participant. The way Trimble tries to ‘transform the way the world works’ is through Trimble Connect.

There, it is not a 3D (SketchUp, any other modeller) model, but an information model with access to many different filetypes (ranging from pdf to revit, SketchUp and Tekla, excel, ifc etc)
You can actually view most of those in the 3D Viewer, choose wich one to display, simultaneously(!) and add (multiple!) section cuts for clash detection etc.

With the introduced ‘workflow extensions’ (yes, API controlled in the web) you can now extract any data from the models you uploaded in the project, but also add data.
(Alas, you need to have the right plan for that)

So what I proposed above works. I created a spreadsheet with project data in it and inserted multiple copies in the layout file. I limited the fields for each copy to what I wanted and where I wanted it and let layout control the formatting. So anytime I change the project data in the spreadsheet I just update the reference in the layout files and it’s updated. All the sheets are talking to the same spreadsheet.
I’m convinced that since you can reference a single cell in a spreadsheet and format it as text and display it any way you want in multiple LO files or sheets it’s like autotext on steroids.

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