Can't delete reference layer




I use a fair amount of nested blocks but have only recently started using linked only blocks, i.e. linked and not embedded. I would prefer to use reference style layers for non-embedded blocks but have hit a problem - I can’t delete an unwanted layer even if I no longer use the block.

For example, I complete a drawing with a couple of linked blocks, layer style ‘reference’. I then duplicate the drawing as a new file because I want to create a different version with different parts. In the duplicate drawing one of the blocks from the old drawing is no longer needed. I can delete the block in the block manager but cannot delete its associated layer.

Thanks for any help,


(Rob McPherson) #2

Not sure if this will help but, when I import dwgs from autocad and I want to remove unwanted layers I have to go through the following process-

  1. ExplodeBlock with option All.
  2. Open BlockManager.
  3. Delete all the billions of blocks that I don’t want.

Then i can delete layers as normal.

(Pascal Golay) #3

Hi Nick, Rob - - use Purge to remove unused block definitions. Mind the other command line options in Purge though, so you don’t get rid of other stuff you might want.


(Rob McPherson) #4

Thanks Pascal, that’s a new command for me!

(Miguel Villegas Ballesta) #5

Have the same problem here.

(Pascal Golay) #6

Did Purge help?


(Miguel Villegas Ballesta) #7


(Pascal Golay) #8

Hi arquitextonica - I suppose it could be that you have some nested definitions using a layer that is otherwise empty - you may need to BlockEdit an instance and see if there are components that still exist on the layers you’d like to delete, and move them.



Thanks for the Purge command tip, however, even though Layers are selected to be purged, reference layers are not. Using a test file I can see that unreferenced layers are deleted with no problem.

(And yes, there are reference blocks which I cannot delete nor move nor see any more and which Purge does not remove).


I think I see what’s happening. Purge deletes the block but leaves their nested reference blocks intact and therefore their reference layer. Like ghosts… Is there an exorcise command?

(Pascal Golay) #11

@arquitextonica , can you please send us a file that shows the problem you’re seeing?




Hi, did you figure this out? I still have files with reference layers I can’t delete.

(Pascal Golay) #13

Hi Nick - can you send one of those please? -, or if large, to my attention… thanks



Hi Pascal,

You can find a file here[1].

I usually open this file from a shared network drive at the office but
by chance I am at home today and opened it by downloading it first. The
offending blocks are not found, (error message is produced), and
subsequently the layers are not visible.

Thanks for your help,


(Miguel Villegas Ballesta) #15

Hi @pascal. Sorry for the delay. Can’t send file due to confidentialitz clause with the client. If I can replicate the bug with another file, I’ll send it.

Thx though!



I sent you a link to a file a while ago, any luck with the reference layer?



(Pascal Golay) #17

Hi Nick - sorry - the message above does not have a link where it looks like it is supposed to - did you send it other than via this link, like to



Hi Pascal,

I have sent you the link in an email to


(Pascal Golay) #19

Hi Nick- your file seems to remain strangely inaccessible via the link you provided - can you please uplpoad via, to my attention? Thanks.



Hi Pascal,

File has been uploaded via your site.