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Working with blocks
Blocks represent a special type of entity that, once saved, can be inserted and manipulated in the drawing as a single entity.
A block can consist of visible entities such as lines, arcs, and circles as well as visible
or invisible data called attributes. You can use attributes to track things such as part
numbers and prices and to export attribute information to an external database. You
can also track the number of parts by counting the number of times a block has been
inserted into the drawing. Blocks are stored as part of the drawing file.
External references have similar uses to blocks. Using external references, you can
attach entire drawings to your current drawing. Unlike a block, however, an external
reference does not become part of the current drawing.
You can save blocks in the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer. You can also use the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer to manage and insert copies of blocks. The
CAD.direct 2019 Explorer lists the names of all blocks contained in the current drawing, along with other information about each block or external
You can also rename a block, modify its insertion point, and change the path of an externally referenced drawing by single-clicking on the property and making your edits within the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer.
Displaying block information in CAD.direct 2019 Explorer
To display blocks in the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer
Do one of the following to choose Explore Blocks:
• On the ribbon, choose Tools > Blocks (in Explorer).
• On the menu, choose Tools > CAD.direct 2019 Explorer > Explore Blocks.
• On the Explorer toolbar, click the Explore Blocks tool.
• Type expblocks and then press Enter.
The Blocks element in the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer defaults with icons on. The Icons view shows you a small image of each block.
To see more information about each block, click the Details tool ( ). In the Details view, you can edit the path and the insertion point by clicking the setting and typing your changes.
Creating and naming blocks
You can combine any number of entities into a single block. After you create a block, you can insert copies of it into a drawing. Each block insertion is treated as a single entity; for example, you can rotate or scale each block when you insert it. The program adds the name of the new block you insert to the Block Name list in the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer.
Inserting a block
You can insert into a drawing any block listed in the Block Name list in the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer. This includes blocks contained within any open drawing.
Inserting a drawing as a block
You can insert another drawing as a block into the current drawing. After you do this, the block name is added to the Block Name list in the CAD.direct 2019
Explorer. Changes made later to the inserted drawing will not be reflected in this drawing.
Saving a block as a separate drawing
You can save a block as a separate drawing, and then you can open and modify that drawing as you would any other drawing.
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