Chapter 17

The ABCs of Blocks


Introducing blocks

Creating block definitions with Block

Inserting blocks with Insert

Adding attributes to blocks with ATTdef

Removing unwanted block definitions with PUrge

In Chapter 11, you can see how to copy objects within a drawing, or even to another drawing. That’s one way to use AutoCAD to improve drafting efficiency. You can make a copy of a DWG file and then modify it to create a similar drawing, which can be an even better productivity booster as long as you’re in the habit of making similar drawings. But those are all baby steps compared with the techniques I cover in this chapter and in Chapter 18: treating parts of drawings as modules that can be reused and updated. AutoCAD calls these modules blocks.

This block treatment applies also to entire drawings, drawings saved in web format (Design Web Format, or DWF), Autodesk Inventor 3D models, PDFs, MicroStation DGN files, and raster images. To make drafting production more efficient with AutoCAD, you should know how to use blocks, xrefs, the alphabet files — consisting of IPTs, IAMs, PDFs, DWFs, and DGNs — and raster files.

In this chapter, I present the ABCs of blocks, including the basic creation of blocks and their insertion into drawings, adding attributes (data), and getting rid of block definitions you no longer need or want. In Chapter 18, I show you how to make even more of existing drawing data, including dynamic blocks, associative array objects, and several flavors ...

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