DraftSight Data Link & Reference: Bringing External Resources into The Game

After testing out all the new features introduced in DraftSight2024, we finally managed to identify few features that can upskill your game in the drafting workflow; which will be focusing on the features, where we can utilise external data into our drawing sheet without reimporting the block and data into our model view in DraftSight. These features are known as Datalink and Reference in DraftSight.

Support external files become an essential part of the solution when we move into the cloud solution era.


Datalink has been introduced in DraftSight2024, to provide a more convenient function for the user to import data from external files. Utilising the excel sheet, ease user to create the data table, such as bill of materials, table for project description and detail. After we set the table template in the DraftSight software, we can link the excel sheet into our drawing sheet.

Not only that, changes or restore the data can also be done within DraftSight. After unlocking the table, we can easily change or modify the data in the table generated by the datalink. The datalink feature comes with few options when we right click the table. If we accidentally remove or change the data, we can re-update the table so it will restore back to its original data. If we want to change the data, and want to update the excel sheet, we can directly overwrite the data in DraftSight.

Datalink will show the preview of the excel sheet before you import to the drawing view.

Whether you want to restore, modify the data, easily edit in the drawing view.



Reference in DraftSight can support various formats in DraftSight, such as, JPEG, PNG, DWG, and PDF. The reference feature allows user to directly import the files into the drawing sheet, without adding additional blocks or drawings to the model view.

As usual, after you select the files to import to the drawing sheet, you can adjust the scale or the size of the files in the drawing sheet. The reference palette considered as the file manager in DraftSight, you can direct detach or add new external files in the DraftSight.

Support several types of files, to import in the drawing sheet.

Reference’s function allows users to show different drawings from different drawing files, to show in 1 drawing sheet.

The drawings, images, or files that were imported in the drawing view, will not be included in the model view.

Privilege of having these features in DraftSight 2024


Let’s take a step deeper in how these features help us in the drafting process. Creating a table in model view is quite a challenging task, as you need to pre-create the table and are required to key in the data manually. Compared to excel sheet, it is easier to create table and use formula to sort out the data in the excel sheet. To save the time from re-creating the table in DraftSight is truly a saver for drafter. By using this method, any changes made by managers or purchasers on the excel sheet can easily update the table in DraftSight, so the user will not miss out the detail in the table.

Data or table imported from the Datalink feature, can cross update easily.

The reference function introduced in DraftSight provides more flexible way to import the drawing sheet from the other drawing files. Previously, if we wanted to show different drawing views in the same drawing sheet, we required to import the drawing block into the model, then use viewport to show the detail of the drawing. Duplications of these drawing sometime will mess up the block in the model view. If our intention just to show the drawing as a reference, it is good to use the reference function to direct import the drawing into the drawing sheet without affecting or changing the entities in the model view. Furthermore, the reference allows users to import not only DWG files, but it also supports the picture format and PDF format; making it easier for users to recreate the drawing template and insert company logo with ease.

The reference feature allows users to import images, to import the company logo directly into the drawing template.



Introducing these two features really shows the developer or R&D team paying attention to the user feedback, produce a solution or feature to improve the drafting experience for the existing users, which also makes the DraftSight software still standing strong in the market, helping the user to adapt in the digital transformation era.

As an exclusive DraftSight partner in Malaysia, we will conduct online webinar for DraftSight. We talked about the ecosystem and the features that help to improve the drafting workflow. With that being said, join us in our upcoming webinar as we will cover the details on the hidden tips and tricks that you can use in DraftSight. Register now: DraftSight Tips & Tricks – Maximising Your 2D CAD Efficiency with DraftSight

Reach us if you have any enquiries or questions about DraftSight via talk2us@cadcam.com.my.

– Henry Chai, Senior Solution Advisor, IME Technology Sdn Bhd.