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Michael’s Corner

Michael BeallMichael's Corner is a monthly publication written by Michael E. Beall, Autodesk Authorized Author and peripatetic AutoCAD trainer. Michael travels all over the USA, bringing his fantastic experience and great understanding of AutoCAD to his clients. Michael's Corner brings together many of the tips, tricks and methods developed during these training sessions for the benefit of all users.

Michael's Corner provides something for every AutoCAD user. Every month, a number of articles cover a wide range of topics, suitable for users at all levels, including "The Basics" for those just starting out. Essentially, the aim of Michael's Corner is to help all AutoCAD users work smarter and faster.

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This month…

June - Once Upon a Time

The Explode buttonMaybe it's because I'm just older (old!?), but I sure do miss the dynamite on the Explode button. Oh, wait here it is now! Really?

While Autodesk keeps putting new stuff in, I just want to make sure you know how to use the old stuff as efficiently as possible before moving on. To that end, I have a rather eclectic collection of customization bits that can be applied to all currently supported versions of AutoCAD. (How was that for being vaguely specific on where this tricks will work!?)

…Tweaking the Double Click Action to launch the earlier Edit Attributes dialog box.
…Putting the dynamite .BMP back on the Explode button.
…Viewing the Properties of the current Workspace.
…Modifying the plot scale list displayed when choosing a plot scale for a viewport.

When it's all said & done, however, it's all about economy of movement, productivity… and going home a wee bit sooner.

Hope you enjoy these!

This month's articles

Set ATTEDIT as the Double-Click
Original Explode Button
Properties of the Workspace in the CUI
Shorten the Plot Scales List in a Viewport

From the Vault

Originally published February 2013

Change the Insertion Point of a Block

Block with insert pointIf we assign the basepoint for a block, most of us would Explode the thing, the Redefine the block. My friend, Ben Senior (tech editor, extraordinaire) suggested this very straightforward solution!

How to Use Block Editor to Change a Block's Insertion Point

  1. Single click on the block with the misplaced basepoint, then click Block Editor from the shortcut menu. If your right-click isn't set up that way, type BE, then select the block and press [Enter] to open the Block Editor.

    Note: If it's not an attributed block, you can double-click on the block to open the Edit Block Definition dialog box, then press [Enter] to open the Block Editor.

  2. By default, in the Block Editor, the UCS icon is placed at the Base Point of a block. With that understanding, enter UCSICON, then OR for the ORigin option. This will position the UCS icon where the Base Point is located on this block.

    Note: Unfortunately, in the Block Editor, you cannot manipulate the UCS icon using grips.

  3. BlockLaunch the Move command, select the objects and specify a base point where you want the Insertion point of the block to be.

  4. For the 'Second point of displacement', enter 0,0.

  5. Click Close Block Editor and Save the changes. Click on the block to see a grip at the new Insertion Point!

I think you now understand the fundamental principle that dimensions are all about the current XY plane. The nice thing about creating the dimensions in Model space is that you can now tweak the view in 3D and the dimension is treated like any other object in 3D.

To put the UCS back to <World>, you could type PLAN and press [Enter] twice, or you could click on the UCS icon again, hover in the 0,0,0 grip, then click World.

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