AutoCAD: VISRETAINMODE System Variable


Most know about the VISRETAIN System Variable which allows you to keep changes to Layers in the Client file of an External Reference. However, there is more to VISRETAIN when you use the System variable VISRETAINMODE.


VISRETAINMODE is a Systems Variable that works with VISRETAIN. This helps control what is Synced upon opening.


VISRETAIN is a System Variable which will control how information from an external reference is held in the Client file that uses this External Reference. However, there is more to this Variable. You can control what is being Synced from the External Reference file using VISRETAINMODE.




This Variable is held in the Registry.

The Initial Value is 0.


The VISRETAINMODE System Variable can be used with the VISRETAIN System Variable to control exactly what is being synced with the External Reference on open.



0 –        Using this value no settings will be synchronized. (This is the exact same as having VISRETAIN set to 1 in version 2017 and previous.)

1 –        This Value will turn on/off Synchronized.

2 -         Freeze Thaw is Synchronized.

4 –        Lock/Unlock

8 –        Plot/No Plot

16 –      Color

32 –      Linetype

64 –      Lineweight

128 –    Transparency

256 –    Plot Style

512 –    New Viewport Freeze

1024 -   Description

Note: To specify more than one layer property to sync, enter the sum of the bitcode values. For example, a value of 3 specifies that both the On/Off (1) and Freeze/Thaw (2) layer properties will automatically sync when the xref is reloaded.

Note: External References layer properties with overrides are not synced when the External Reference is reloaded. To clear any overrides, use the shortcut menu option, Reset External Reference Layer Properties For, on the Layer Properties Manager.

About the Author

Jeff Arbogast

Manufacturing Solution Center Team Lead<br><br>Jeff is responsible for manufacturing Technical Support for both internal staff and customers. In addition to the daily activities of the support center, he helps write for the National Support Center blog, and has written online classes for the IMAGINiT training on demand site.

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