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How to Use the Block Editor in AutoCAD 2014

In AutoCAD 2014 you can modify the appearance of individual instances of the same block by defining parameters and actions to move, rotate, flip, or align parts of them. You can adjust the block’s appearance while you insert it or at any time afterward. The following steps show you how to use the Block Editor to add some action to a block definition:

  1. Open a drawing that contains some block definitions whose appearance you’d like to spice up a little, or draw some simple geometry that might make a suitably dynamic block.

    Action parameters are most effective in block definitions that contain groups of related objects: for example, an office desk and chair or a furniture arrangement.

  2. On the Block panel of the Ribbon’s Home tab, choose Block Editor to open the Edit Block Definition dialog box.

  3. In the Block to Create or Edit text box, type a new block name or select Current Drawing. Then click OK.

  4. Create some geometry or insert some blocks.

    When you insert blocks, make sure that the Explode check box at the lower-left corner of the Insert dialog box is not selected. Then click OK.

    Draw the geometry or insert the blocks in a group so that you can insert the finished arrangement into your drawings.

  5. Repeat Step 4 until you’ve drawn all the needed geometry or inserted all the necessary blocks.

  6. Click the Parameters tab of the Block Authoring Palettes and then click Rotation Parameter.

    AutoCAD prompts you to specify the parameter location.

  7. Click to place the parameter marker somewhere on the object geometry other than the base-point location.

    If you specify the same point for the parameter location as the base point for the block, you may have a hard time selecting the dynamic option grip.

  8. AutoCAD places a parameter marker at the selected point and returns to the command line, prompting you to specify the radius of the rotation parameter and the default rotation angle.

    The parameter marker’s label appears next to the rotation parameter marker.

  9. Click the Actions tab of the Block Authoring Palettes and then click Rotate. Select Rotate Parameter, select the objects that should be modified when the grip is used, and specify a point for the action’s label.

    AutoCAD returns to the command line. At this point, it’s fine to go with default values and onscreen pick points.

  10. Repeat Steps 6–9, trying different parameters and actions.

    For example, choose a Point Parameter and a Move Action.

    Several of the block components have action parameters assigned. After the block is inserted, you can manipulate the components to which you’ve added parameters to vary the appearance of the blocks.

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  11. Click Close Block Editor on the Ribbon and save or discard your changes.

    AutoCAD closes the block-authoring environment and returns to the standard drawing editor window.

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