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Block vs. wblock

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I'm trying to update a block in my upper floor plan drawing which I have already edited in my first floor plan drawing. The block was already in both drawings before I edited it on the first floor plan.


I'm seeing differing ideas in this thread. First, I've read that I should be able to insert the block into the upper floor plan and it will ask if I want the block to be redefined. When I insert the block into the upper floor plan, I'm still getting the 8" column (I have edited the first floor plan block to be a 10" column). Second, I've read that defining a block within a drawing defines that block for only that drawing. This must be why I keep inserting the 8" column into the upper floor plan (the column was already a block in that drawing).



Problem two: When I try to copy and paste the porch from my first floor plan drawing to my upper floor plan drawing, the lines will paste in, but the blocks do not get pasted in.



Problem three: Several times, I have tried to redefine a block within a drawing and it scales itself up when the command finishes. This has happened using the block editor and by exploding a block and recreating it using the same name.

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It sounds like when you CLOSED THE BLOCK EDITOR you forgot to SAVE the changes to the block.


When you want to use the block in the upper floor plan, use the INSERT command, then select it from the drop down menu of blocks which are already in the drawing, which you said you had redefined.

In that way you will get the one you want.


You need to be careful when creating blocks that the UNITS of the block are what you want them to be.

If the UNITS of a block are not of the same UNITS as the drawing into which it is inserted, then

it will be scaled accordingly. In this way blocks can be used across dimensional platforms (Metric or Imperial).

You don't want to EXPLODE the blocks in the block editor. :)

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when you edit a block within a drawing, the block is only redefined in that one drawing.


You can then either WBLOCK the new definition from that drawing to make it available in other drawings,




you can use the Design Center to bring the definition across from one drawing to another. Open DC and navigate to the source drawing. Navigate to the Blocks page and right click the block you want redefined. Select redefine only and all is done. This is the same as using INSERT on a WBLOCK or -insert from the command line. If you just use the insert command you will always get the definition contained within the current drawing.


The problems you are having with scale is I think as Dadgad has suggested all to do with drawing units. Sometimes AutoCAD decides to scale blocks by about 25:1 as it guesses incorectly which parts are metric and which parts are imperial. We had to stop using UNITLESS blocks because of this.


And NEVER explode (my) blocks. :)

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The prompt to redine a block comes when you insert an external file as a block when that file has the same name as a block already in the drawing.


What you need to do is edit your first floor block to take on the new geometry then use the WBLOCK command to save this block onto your computer (most firms will have a general CAD library you can save it into, some may have a job-specific library as well).


Now move to your third floor plan. Type INSERT to enter the insert block dialogue box. Click browse and navigate to the block you saved. Click the various "OKs" until you're about to insert a new instance of the block - it should be at this point that you're prompted to redefine the block. Once this's worked you can move onto your remaining upper floors.


Bear in mind that any nested blocks would not be updated during this process. If, for example, you had a block called "column-junction" which referenced a block of an 8" column called "column" and you changed this block to be 10" redefining "column-junction" as I described above would still use the 8" column defined in you third floor plan.


Not sure what to suggest about your second problem. Are any of the blocks contained in your porch drawing already in an upper floor drawing? Make sure they tie in with each other. If any of the objects selected for copying are on locked layers then they wouldn't be included in the copy.


The most likely explanation for your third problem is that the original blocks are inserted scaled down. When you then redefine them at that size the original geometry would seem that much bigger.



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I went to my first floor plan drawing and opening the column block with the block editor and saved it. I was then able to insert it into my upper floor plan drawing through the design center. The block came in successfully, but the other blocks of the same name that were already there scaled up as they redefined. I drew the block 1:1 and I have not done any scaling of the block.


After saving the block with the block editor, I was able to copy and paste it from drawing to drawing.


I don't know what a UNITLESS block is. My drawing units are set to architectural and I drafted the block 1:1.


I suppose the parts of the problem, which have been corrected, existed because my method of redefining the block had been to explode it, edit it in model space, and redefine it by creating a new block with the same name. I will avoid that method from now on.


I'm using annotative dimensions in my drawing. Could the blocks, which were already in the drawing, get scaled up as they are redefined because of a glitch with my annotative objects in the drawing? When prompted, I set my annotative dimensions to plot at 1/4"=1'-0". The redefined blocks scaled up by a 48 factor.

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JD Mather
I've been using AutoCAD for the same time, and have often heard the term "world block". I prefer to think of it as write block though.


I have never heard the term "world block". For me it was always "write block" as in writting out a file back in the DOS days.

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  • 2 years later...
You wanted to know about the advantages and disadvantages of blocks. The main advantage is in organization. If you have to draw, say, a cafeteria with tables and chairs, you can make a block for a table and another block for a chair. You only have to draw them once, then it's a matter of placing blocks instead of drawing or copying new tables and chairs. When you're dealing with dozens or hundreds of objects, it saves a lot of time.


Another advantage is in modification. If you've placed hundreds of chairs and then someone decides you need a different model of chair, you modify the block definition once and those hundreds of chairs all automatically change.


Disadvantages: you have to deal with scales, especially when you recycle old blocks in new drawings. There's no way to change some of the inserted blocks and not others. You have to be careful defining a block because they can do some strange things (you can find some on this forum).


As for duplicate names, you can't create a new block with the same name as an existing block. There's a table of block names in the drawing, and AutoCAD checks that table when you add one. If you define a new block that is a duplicate of an existing block, but give it a different name, AutoCAD will let you do that. If you want to use a block from an old drawing in your current drawing, you can cut and paste it.


WBLOCK is short for Write BLOCK. It's nothing but a procedure. It doesn't make sense to compare blocks and wblocks.


Thnx, you explained it very well :)

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I've been using AutoCAD for the same time, and have often heard the term "world block". I prefer to think of it as write block though.


I pulled down my AutoCAD R9 manual and in there it is shown as:

WBLOCK - Write Block to disk


The good ole days.

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