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Sometimes drawings require the use of custom symbols. Fortunately, AutoCAD WS supports blocks using a workflow that is similar to traditional AutoCAD. In this lesson, we'll create and insert a block. On my screen is the beginning of a tree removal exhibit. What we have is some proposed lot geometry that has been placed over the top of an existing site. I am going to launch the Zoom Window tool, and I'll zoom in on these trees at the middle of the site. Right here we can see that one of the proposed roads is passing through some existing trees.
So a requirement of this design is that a few of these trees will have to be removed. Now, rather than marking this drawing up for someone else, I can easily finish this exhibit myself by creating a block to mark each tree that needs to be removed, maybe something that looks like a large red X. Let's zoom in a little closer. To create my symbol, I am going to start by launching the Circle command, and I'll draw a circle at the center of one of these large trees. I will then pull out and click such that my circle is slightly larger.
I will then select the circle and use the Move tool to pick it up from the center and place it over here in an open area. This gives me some room to work. To create the X shape, I'm going to go to the Draw tab, I'll launch the Rectangle command, and I'll create a rectangle over here on the right side that is about the same height as the circle. I will then launch the Line command, and I'll create a diagonal line from the upper-left corner to the lower right. This gives me a nice midpoint object snap at the center.
Next, I'll select my rectangle geometry, and I'll use the Copy command to copy it from the midpoint of the diagonal line to the center of the circle. I'll press Escape when finished. I will then reselect my rectangle geometry, and I'll use the Rotate command to rotate it from the same midpoint 90 degrees. I will reselect the geometry again and use the Move option to move it from the midpoint to the center of the circle.
At this point, my geometry looks a lot like a plus, so I'll use a crossing selection to select both rectangles and use the Rotate option to rotate them around the center of the circle 45 degrees. Finally, I'll select each of my diagonal lines, and I'll press Delete because they're no longer necessary. Now to convert this geometry into a block, I'm going to select it, I will then go to the Insert tab--this is where we'll find the Block tools-- I'll click the Create Block button, and I'll give my block a name. I'm going to call this Removal.
I'll click the Pick Point button, and I'm going to select the center of the circle as the insertion point. I will also select Open in Block editor, and I'll click OK. This opens the geometry in the Editor, giving me one more chance to make any file changes. I'm going to take this opportunity to select the circle, and I'll press Delete to remove it. I will then click Save Block, and I'll click the X to close the Block Editor. If I select my original geometry now, you can see that this has been converted into my first inserted block.
Now I don't need a block in this location, so I'm going to press Delete to remove it from the drawing. I will then pan the file over and center the trees on screen. Now I can start inserting my new symbol. First, let's check the current layer. To do that, I'll go to the Home tab, and then I'll open the Layer Control, I'll push the slider up, and I'm going to select the _AutoCAD WS layer. This happens to be red, which is perfect. To insert my block, I'll go back to the Insert tab, and I'll click the Insert Block button.
Note that in AutoCAD WS, we can insert any block that has been defined in the drawing. I'll select the Removal block. I'm going to keep the original Scale and Rotation, and I'll click OK, and I'll place this at this center of this large tree. Now at first glance, this symbol doesn't carry quite the weight that I wanted it to. No problem, I can simply edit the block. To edit the block, I will click to select it. I will then move up and click the Edit Block button. Note that you can also edit blocks by double clicking on them.
This takes me back into the Block Editor. From here, I am going to come down to the Draw tab, and I'll add some hatch. I'll click the Hatch tool. I'm going to stay with the Solid fill, and I'll use the Hatch Select method. I'll choose one of my rectangles and press Enter. I will then select the other rectangle and press enter. When I am finished, I'll click the X to close the Hatch tools, and then I'll click the X to close the Block Editor. I will then choose Yes to save the changes and my symbol looks much better.
Let's insert a few more. I'll go back to the Insert tab and click Insert. I'll click OK, and I'll place this symbol at the center of this other large tree. To mark these three smaller trees, I'm going to go back to the Insert command, I'll change the scale to .5 and click OK, and I'll place a marker at the center of tree 87. Note that it came in at half the size. I will then repeat the process for the remaining two trees.
In case you're wondering, I could also accomplish something similar using the Copy command. At this point, I am well on my way towards finishing this exhibit. All I have to do is pan around the drawing and identify any remaining trees that need to be removed. With its support for blocks, AutoCAD WS becomes an even more powerful tool to add to your workflow. Just imagine using it to place furniture inside a floor plan or maybe trees in a landscaping plan. With this tool, you are only limited by your imagination.
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