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AutoCAD - Clean and Purge Drawings

How to

Last modified on 15 April 2020

AutoCAD Clean and Purge drawings:

How often do we wish for 'third party' supplied drawing to 'just work', but they simply do not.

Many thing can go wrong when using a drawing, as sson is there is any thing wrong it migth effect the rest of the drawings in the project. Few of the most common problems experienced are slow opening of the drawing or even stalling and/or crashing AutoCAD completely.

Following procedures migth help solving the problems.


DWG TrueView Conversion

  • Open DWG TrueView
  • Click the DWG Convert icon

  • Go to Conversion Setups

  • Select, in the 'Modify Conversion Setup' the next options:

  • When you 'open' the drawings, they will be purged, audited, and any plotter reference will be removed.
  • Next to this you can also let the drawing be saved to another DWG format (version).


Recover en Recoverall

Open a drawing with Recover or Recoverall to fix any 'hidden' errors within the drawing (and referenced files).

RECOVER Fixes only the drawing you open.

RECOVERALL Fixes not only the opened drawing but also any referenced file attached.



Erase items which are no longer physically present in the drawing.

The PURGE command lets you erase all objects not used in the drawing.

Option: Purge Nested Items ; also erase unused items nested in other items.

Option: Purge Zero-length geometry, Empty text objects, orphaned data, also erases items with Zero length, texts that are placed but not filled and data that is no longer connected to anything.



With the -PURGE command (including the hyphen) u can also erase so called regapps.

These can cause serious delay.

NOTE! Only perform this with architectural reference files. Do not perform this on any Nordined or Techline file, because it will break functionality.



The AUDIT command is a light version of Recover. This will also check the drawing, but only can when the drawing is already opened. The results between Audit and Recover may differ.



With the -SCALELISTEDIT command the Scale list can be cleaned/reduced. The Scale list is used for annotation scaling, but to many scales (including xref scales) can reduce performance.



Enter option [?/Add/Delete/Reset/Exit] <Add>: R

Reset scale list to defaults? [Yes/No] <No>: Y

Scale list reset to default entries.

Enter option [?/Add/Delete/Reset/Exit] <Add>: E



Drawings with AEC-objects can be exported with the AECTOACAD command. De AEC-objects will be converted to 'plain' AutoCAD objects.

You can provide following settings:

Drawing format/version

Whether or not Xref's should be bound and their settings

Provide a Prefix or Suffix for the new drawingname.



Create an new drawing using WBLOCK of part of or the entire drawing. Because you only select the things visible they are put into a new (empty) drawing most problem causes and excess data are not copied.


Insert in new drawing

Insert the Wblock drawing into a new drawing. With this some problems may be fixed.


Repeat action as stated above

Sometimes it is wise to repeat several action more than once. So you can be sure most or alal problems are solved. Mostly the RECOVER, AUDIT and PURGE commands can take several passes to be completed..


Using the VAT command from Handige Hulp (Nordined function)

The VAT function can be used to simplify drawing received from a third party. It is mostly used to clean and simplify Architectural drawings. Through a Dialog screen several sub-functions can be selected to perform there task. Each of the sub-functions can be used separately as well. The fastest method of cleaning and simplifying is using the 'standaard 

instelling', which can be selected by clicking the [ Minimaal ] button.

NOTE: There is no setting that works for all drawing alike. Every drawing may need different setting and tsks to be performed. Make sure you have a drawing copy to experiment with, without touching your original.


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