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CAD tip CAD tip # 4155:

Question CAD 
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Q - question

The difference between XRef Overlay and XRef Attach.

A - answer The difference between overlaying and attaching an xref is in cases with multiple levels (nesting) of xrefs (A.dwg references B.dwg, which references C.dwg). If you xref-attach C.dwg in B.dwg, and then attach B.dwg in A.dwg, you can see the C.dwg contents/entities in both B.dwg and A.dwg. But if you overlay C.dwg in B.dwg, you can see the C.dwg geometry in B.dwg, but not in A.dwg.

Simply - the overlaid xref displays only one level up in the hierarchy while attached xref appears in all levels up. Overlays also allow to create circular references.

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See also:
Tip 11868:Open just a part of a DWG drawing - layers, views.
Tip 11376:Attaching a xref to AutoCAD DWG sets a relative path automatically, can I change it to absolute?
Tip 10394:Attach xrefs from a predefined folder (path).
Tip 9870:Xref NAME has multiple references. Not detached.
Tip 9516:Automating properties in DWG drawings - hidden gem in Express Tools.

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