CADTutor: The best free help for AutoCAD on the web
Michael's Corner RSS Feed

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.

This month…

October - One-derful!!!

It's a God-thing.

I had no idea that 14 years ago I would be given the opportunity to make an impact on the professional lives of so many. Only God knew what was ahead, and hopefully, the contributions I have made through Michael's Corner have equipped many of you to be more productive and a bit more savvy using AutoCAD. And apart from all the AutoCAD bashing that is going on, I'm sure it has a long life ahead.

So, in an effort to keep the AutoCAD fires burning, here's what I have for my final installment…

…A reminder on how to customize your hot keys
…Three Power Tools — one for Zoom, one for editing, and one for Layers
…Two Odd Spots — one for Layers and one for Hatching
…Buried text treasure
…And how to Search 14 years of the Archives

As for what's ahead for me, I will continue to present a variety of AutoCAD sessions — Fundamentals, Intermediate, Customizing, Updates, and 2D & 3D. I will also keep training CAP Designer, 20-20 Worksheet, Visual Impression (those three from 20-20 Technologies, Inc.), and some Revit Fundamentals. Next year I'm looking forward to being very involved in training CET (from Configura, Inc.) when Herman Miller joins the growing number of manufacturers embracing this software that is being touted as the ‘Future of Space Planning’. Personally, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Donna, my lovely bride of 30 years. When this posts, we'll probably be within days of going on our 30th Anniversary vacation to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson; Ee-Hah! We had such a good time when we went for our 20th, we figured we'd do it again!

Ah, and I'm hoping to have The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition out before snow flies.

And with that, Mike drop! …so to speak.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

This month's articles

Change F1 to ESC
Smoother Zoom
Stretch with Extension
Lock Layers with a Crossing Window
Layer Columns & Hatch Background Color
Text Frame on Mtext

From the Vault

Originally published September 2010

Updating a Block Definition in a Drawing [Block from the Palette]

Original blockIt would be patently foolish (read "stupid") of me to ever claim I know everything about this endless product called AutoCAD. I don't. As a matter of fact, when I was presenting an AutoCAD Toolbelt seminar for several dozen designers at Metrocon10 in Dallas last month, my mind went blank when asked by one of the attendees – right there in the front row, no less – how I would resolve the dilemma. More attendees to the rescue!

The Problem

  1. You placed numerous references of the Widget block from your tool palette into Drawing ABC.

  2. Now you change the Widget block in its Source drawing (the drawing from which the tool palette pulls the Widget block).

  3. You go to place the newly updated Widget block from the tool palette into Drawing ABC… but the drawing only acknowledges the old one.

The Question

New blockHow do you tell Drawing ABC, "Use this newly updated Widget block coming from the palette"?

The Answer

You need to Redefine the Widget block in Drawing ABC.

Of course, if you are currently in Drawing ABC when you change the definition of the Widget block using the Block Definition dialog box, AutoCAD will prompt you to Redefine the block.

If, however, you are not redefining the block geometry in the same drawing, but simply introducing a block with the same name, AutoCAD will use the block that is already in the drawing with that name.

Widget tool imageAutoCAD can only "compare" block definitions and prompt you regarding the redefinition of the block if you are inserting a .DWG with the same name as an existing block definition.

Update tool imageNote: After changing the block in your Source drawing, right-click on the block on your palette, then click Update Tool Image to see the new ‘look’ of your block. (see Michael's Corner, March 2006, on the importance of the Block Source File of blocks on a tool palette. You will also find this on p. 180 of The AutoCAD Workbench.)

The Solution

You will need to use the Wblock command (Write Block) to create a Widget.dwg from the Widget block, then insert it into Drawing ABC. The Wblock command was covered in Michael's Corner, June 2006 (or p. 79 in The AutoCAD Workbench).

The following solution continues where the proposed scenario in the above ‘Problem’ leaves off


How to Update the Definition of a Block in a Drawing

  1. Write blockOpen the Block Source drawing containing the hypothetical Widget block from ‘The Problem’ scenario above.

  2. Launch the Wblock command by typing W to open the Write Block dialog box.

  3. Click the radio button for Block, then select Widget from the list of block names currently in your block source drawing.

  4. At the bottom, under Destination, you will notice that Widget.dwg has been specified as the file name (the point of the exercise), but you will probably want to specify a path.

  5. InsertClick OK to create the Widget.dwg in the specified path.

  6. Return to the hypothetical Drawing ABC in ‘The Problem’ scenario above, then launch the Insert command [Insert tabBlock panelInsert].

  7. In the Insert dialog box, click Browse, then navigate to where you saved Widget.dwg, select it, then click Open to return to the Insert dialog box.

  8. Click OK and you will see the alert regarding the Widget block definition.

  9. Click Redefine Block.

At this point, all instances of the Widget block in Drawing ABC will look like the Widget block on the tool palette! Phew!Redefined blocks

Top of page

Local Navigation

Sponsored Links

Accessibility statement

Valid XHTML 1.0!Valid CSS!Creative Commons Licence