Partialopen, a command that’s been around since AutoCAD 2000, allows you open only a specified portion of a drawing. To use Partialopen, select Open as usual from the File menu. Select your desired drawing file in the Select File dialog box, then select Partial Open.
Caption: Use the regular Open command if you haven’t used Partial Open on the drawing before. Once you select the drawing, you can select the Partial Open option.
The Partial Open dialog box appears. Here you specify a view to open (Extents is the default). Note that you can load only geometry from model space views saved in the drawing.
Caption: Select your view and layer geometry to load.
Next, select your desired layers. If you don’t select any layers, no layer geometry will be loaded, but all layer names will appear in the Layer Manager. Never draw on a layer that you haven’t loaded because you could be drawing on something.
Caption: Even if you don’t load the layer, all of them will be available in the drawing. You just won’t be able to see the geometry on layers you didn’t load.
Note that xref-dependent layers will appear in the selection list only if the drawing was last saved with VISRETAIN set to 1. Also note that any layers created in the xref since the xref was last loaded into the drawing will not appear in the selection list. You can opt to Unload All Xrefs on Open if you don’t want to load any xrefs contained in the drawing. One final xref note: If you partially open a drawing that contains a bound xref, only the portion of that xref that is loaded in your selected view will be bound to the partially open drawing.
If your drawing has a spatial index, select the Use Spatial Index option. This will help AutoCAD open the drawing more quickly.
When you’ve completed your selections, select Open. If you decide you need more of the drawing, select Partial Load from the File menu, or type Partiaload at the command prompt. This command is active only when the current drawing is a partially open one. In the Partial Load dialog box, select a view or choose Pick Window to define a view.
Caption: Running Partial Load from the File menu brings up a slightly different dialog box, which offers the option to use a window to define the view.
Save a partially opened drawing as you would a fully opened one. When you reopen a drawing that was saved in the Partial Open state, AutoCAD displays an alert message with options to Restore the partially opened state or Fully Open the drawing.
Caption: Alert message displays when you reopen a drawing that you saved when it was partially open.
Note that Partial Open works only with the AutoCAD format you're using. If you have AutoCAD 2010 and try Partial Open on an AutoCAD 2007 drawing, it won't work. Open and save the drawing in AutoCAD 2007 format, then run Partial Open.