To eliminate this confusion, Auto CAD 2018.1 the “Layers Properties Manager” now includes an icon that clues a user to any XREF overrides that exist on a specific layer.If a drafter hovers their cursor over the layer, any overrides that are present will be spelled out in a pop-up dialog box.You may have brought in your title blocks as block files in the past, and the custom fields updated successfully.You're wondering why they are not updating when you bring them in as Xrefs.Don't forget: and have you tried it in a full teamworked condition: arrrgghhh!!! but haven't quite sorted it out for a 'reload' when they all revert to the same story.
Naturally the XREF disappears, and to get it back you would think a reload will do the trick. But if you delete a few elements from the XREF a reload will bring them back. We really need to get the strict AC7 ways back into effect I think. Why would we need this, if we can just replace & update the XREF and then reload it? So is the only benefit of a Smart Merge to have newly created items placed on a new layer? I am supposed to explain the XREF Management to a group of 20 people tonight! Better that people are apples to apples with R1/V1, yah? I just confirmed that the problem you're talking about does exist still in 8.1 R1 - and agree that it is stupid that we have to manually delete layers, etc.
Your field names may not match between the DWG Properties dialog box and the Field dialog box.
As a result, Auto CAD is not recognizing your custom fields.
In 7 we couldn't alter an XREF, which proved as a safeguard IMHO.
In 8 and 8.1 we can edit them willy-nilly, which not only seems undesirable, but dangerous.
If a change is made to the externally referenced drawing, such as moving a wall, the change shows up in the host drawing but does not update in the Graphic after Publish. It's as if the Publish command does not "see" that the XREF has changed and it's using a cached image of it instead. These drawings were all processed during the platform upgrade recently and the problem became apparent after that. Is there something in the upgrade process that does something to the xrefs?