Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

How to Cross-Reference an Elecdes Project


The Ebase cross-reference function creates two cross-reference reports for your current project.

The Ebase cross-reference function can also place cross-reference annotation on all of the drawings in your project without using your CAD package. This is called "back-annotating cross-references".

For general information see Coil and Contact Cross Referencing (Elecdes).

The Cross-Reference Report

The report file, <ProjectName>XREF.dbf, is generated by selecting this function. The file can be used to print or view cross-referencing information and check for errors.

Reports from multiple projects can reside in the same directory, as each report is uniquely linked to its project number by the first part of the filename.

The cross-reference report contains:

  • Duplications of a component or conductor marker with the same name.

  • Devices that have multiple subcomponents inserted on drawings in the current project. Unused subcomponents of a device are also listed.

  • Modular subcomponents [e.g. A detachable auxiliary contact block] with the same tagname as a device will be listed - with spares.

Some examples of symbols that will be cross-referenced are:

  • A terminal intentionally duplicated on two sheets (for the purpose of showing different connections).

  • A subcomponent of a device. e.g. a relay contact.

  • A wire or cable core (conductor) EXTENSION marker showing continuation across sheets.


The cross-reference report is sorted by:

  • Tagname.

  • Non modular before modular subcomponents.

  • Errors come last.

  • Subcomponents are in alphanumeric order. e.g. *M0 before *M1

  • If none of the above conditions can be used to sort items, then a/ Drawing name and b/ Position on the sheet are used to sort items.


Elecdes assumes that any symbols with the same name and location represent the same physical object.

For the purposes of reporting, the name of a device is TAGNAME and the location is PNLNO.

Similarly .

  • WIRENAME is the name of a wire

  • CABLENAME and CORENAME combined form the name of a cable core (conductor)

  • TBLOCK and T1 combined form the name of a terminal. The location is PNLNO.

MTD terminals

MTD terminals have the block name TERMPxx.DWG (where xx can be any number). These are recognised by EDS as being the terminals of an MTD device. They are not reported in the materials lists as "parts to purchase" but you can cross-reference the MTD terminals.

Blank names

Blank names (or parts of names) are treated as identical, and hence will cross reference as duplicates! - You must NOT leave components [devices, terminals, wires, cables] unnamed if you wish to use the cross-reference facilities.

If you do not wish to view a symbol's tagname, make its attribute invisible.

Cross-referencing with Zones

If a symbol is placed in an Elecdes zone then references to that symbol will contain its zone number. Zone numbers override all other methods of cross-referencing. If a reference list header or table header appears in a zone then symbols referring to that header will use the zone number for their reference.

"Single Line Zone" areas and their effects

Cross-referencing may show warnings where duplication problems occur as a result of components that have been shown on a single line diagram as well as shown on the equivalent schematic in your project. These warnings may be avoided if Ebase can recognise the single line circuit. To avoid these warnings you must place the single line diagram inside a single line zone symbol's designated area.

Single line zones can be inserted and sized with Elecdes.

The Reference Drawings Report

The report file, <ProjectName>XREF_DRAWING.dbf, is also generated by selecting the cross reference report function. The file can be used to print or view referenced drawing information.

Reports from multiple projects can reside in the same directory, as each report is uniquely linked to its project number by the first part of the file name.

The referenced drawing report contains:

  • Each row represents a one-way reference between a source drawing (in the DRAWING column) and a related drawing (in the REF_DWG column).

    For example: The DRAWING column could specify the file Schematic1.DWG and the REF_DWG column could specify the file WiringOfPanel1.DWG. This would indicate that WiringOfPanel1.DWG contains components which are in the circuits found on (and hence is related to) Schematic1.DWG.

    The types of references included in the report can be modified via the cross reference preferences.

  • Each drawing file in your project can have several rows in this report, with each row specifying one related drawing.

    The REF_NUMBER column contains a numeric value (e.g. 1,2,3) that indexes each of the related drawings for any particular source drawing.

  • Columns prefixed with DWG_ are derived from the source drawing.

  • Columns prefixed with REF_ are derived from the related drawing.

The report has special columns containing title block information from the source and related drawings. You may use these to populate a Reference Drawings table on each drawing.

  • DWG_NAME is extracted from the DRAWINGNO title block attribute in the source drawing.

  • REF_NAME is extracted from the DRAWINGNO title block attribute in the related drawing.

  • DWG_SHEET is extracted from the SHEET title block attribute in the source drawing.

  • REF_SHEET is extracted from the SHEET title block attribute in the related drawing.

  • REF_TITLE1 to REF_TITLE4 are extracted from the TITLE1 to TITLE4 title block attributes in the related drawing.

If your title block contains different attribute names, you can provide a mapping from your title block attribute names to those listed above.


The drawing-reference report is sorted by:

  • Source drawing name (the DRAWING column), then by

  • REF_NUMBER column (the index of the related drawings for the source drawing).

File names

Full paths are used for the source and related drawing names (DRAWING and REF_DWG columns).


  1. Save the current drawing, if it is currently open in a CAD session. This ensures that the cross-reference function is not working with an old drawing file while the drawing session has new data.

  2. If you will be back annotating cross-references, you must ensure that none of the drawings in your project are open in a CAD session, as this will prevent Ebase from writing information to them.

  3. Run EBASE.

  4. Ensure your current EBASE project contains the drawing files relevant to a cross-reference.

  5. Check the box for "Cross Reference Reports".

  6. Check the box "Back Annotate Cross References" if you want to place the cross-reference annotation and symbols onto the drawings.

  7. Press the "Compile Reports" button.

  8. As each drawing file in the project is processed a message will appear showing the drawing name and the size of the drawing file. Ebase caches unmodified drawings for speed. If drawings do not appear to be scanned, on successive report generations, it is because they are cached.

  9. During cache scans there is a possibility that the database engine will be busy. You will be displayed a message indicating this and given options to wait or cancel.

The database format reports, <ProjectName>XREF.dbf and <ProjectName>XREF_DRAWING.dbf, will be available in the current directory.

You may use Database Editor to view database reports.