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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
Blocks are a great tool to use when you have geometry that's repeated throughout a drawing. In an architectural design, we might use blocks to represent doors, furniture, kitchen appliances, or plumbing fixtures. What you do if you have inserted the block multiple times in a drawing and then you decide you'd rather use a completely different symbol? In this lesson we're going to learn how to exchange one block for another. On my screen I have a drawing of a proposed high school gymnasium. Let's zoom in on the restroom are, and as you can see, I have inserted several basins into this drawing.
Now each of these basins is a block and if I select one of these you can see that this is a generic block called basin-counter. When I inserted these, I didn't have a specific basin in mind. I pretty much just used this block as a placeholder to represent where I would like to install each basin. Well, I've now decided on the fixtures that I would like to use and I was actually able to download the geometry for that basin from the manufacturer's website. I've inserted one of those blocks over here. If I select this, we can see that this block is named after the basin's model number.
To exchange my existing blocks with this new symbol, I'm going to start by inserting one of my existing blocks. I will select basin-counter and I will click OK and I will place this off to the side. I will then select both blocks and we will do a little black comparison. Take a look at the insertion point on the original block. Notice it is centered on the symbol, whereas the insertion point on the new block is centered on the faucet. Before I swap these symbols, I need to make sure that the new block has the same insertion point as the original.
To do that, I will double-click on the block and then I will click OK to bring up the Block Editor. Then in the Block Authoring palettes, I will make sure that the Parameters tab is current. I will select Base Point and I will place this to the center of the symbol. I will then save the block and I will click the X to close the Editor. Now that these have a common base point, I don't have to worry about my existing symbols shifting at all when they get replaced. To replace the blocks, I'm going to go to the Express Tools tab and in the Blocks panel, I will select Replace Block.
Now which block do I want to replace? Well, I can select its name from the list, or even easier I can click this Pick button and I can select one of the blocks in the drawing. Next, which block is going to serve as the replacement? I will click the Pick button and I will select this block. Finally, since one of these blocks is going to be removed, AutoCAD wants to know if I'd like to purge that block when I am finished. I am going to press Enter to accept yes. And as you can see, AutoCAD has exchanged all of my basin placeholders with the actual basin I'd like to use for this project.
Most times when we think of block editing, we think about redefining a block's geometry. As you can see, it's also possible to replace the entire symbol with another block using the Replace Block tool.
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