Most drawings have Proxy Objects and if you are sharing drawings with others they should be there. You can also populate your drawing with Proxy Objects by saving to an older version. This can be a confusing subject, let me shed some light on it.
So, what is a Proxy Object?
In AutoCAD Architecture if you insert a door, that is a proxy graphic in AutoCAD because AutoCAD doesn't know what that object is and will display a rectangle with some text... unless you install the Object Enabler (OE).
What is an Object Enabler?
The OE allows you to see custom (proxy) objects that are registered in the drawing database by other programs. You can perform very limited actions on that object, move, stretch, change its layer. Think of it as a smart image that has been inserted. If you reopen the file in AutoCAD Architecture it's a door again and fully editable.
To get an OE, you do need to know what program created the object and what program you are using to download and install the correct OE. Or, in options you can also tell the AutoCAD based program to automatically check for "live enablers". The live enablers are a bit finicky though and you may need to use the manual download and install method.
I drew a Helix in AutoCAD 2009 and saved back to 2004 format and opened it in AutoCAD 2005. My 2005 had the OE installed so here's what I see!
Reopen that drawing in 2009 and it still shows as a Helix.
Is it always this simple?
Absolutely not and that's partly why there is so much confusion. Should you need help or have more questions about Proxy Objects or the Object Enabler, call us at 800-808-7645.