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Chapter 13. Creating and Using Blocks > Redefining Blocks with In-Place Referen...

Redefining Blocks with In-Place Reference Editing

The ability to redefine blocks with In-Place Reference Editing is new with AutoCAD 2000. This feature allows you to edit an inserted block, altering its child objects and automatically redefining all block insertions. Although this feature allows you to edit inserted blocks, its real power is found in its ability to edit attached external references in the current drawing and save the changes to the original drawing (for more information, see Chapter 14, “Working with Drawings and External References Productively”). Nonetheless, you can use it to quickly edit an inserted block without having to explode the block. The following exercise shows you how.


Open the 13DWG10.DWG drawing file on the accompanying CD. The drawing opens and displays four insertions of the same block.

From the Modify menu, choose In-Place Xref and Block Edit, Edit Reference. AutoCAD prompts you to select the reference to edit.

Choose the block in the upper-left corner named Terri. AutoCAD displays the Reference Edit dialog box. Notice the block’s name is listed as Circle in a Square.

Select the Display Attribute Definitions for Editing option, as shown in Figure 13.11, because the name in the center of the block insertion is an attribute. Selecting this option allows you to edit the block’s attribute.

Figure 13.11. The Reference Edit dialog box allows you to edit inserted blocks.

Click OK. AutoCAD prompts you to select nested objects.

Select the circle in the block named Terri, and then press Enter. The circle is added to the list of objects to edit. AutoCAD then displays the Refedit toolbar, as shown in Figure 13.12. There is no need to try to select the attribute.

Figure 13.12. The Refedit toolbar.

Choose the circle. AutoCAD highlights the circle and displays its grips.

Choose the grip in the bottom quadrant of the circle, and then drag the grip down to the bottom line in the square. Use the midpoint snap to snap the circle to the midpoint of the line. The circle’s radius increases.

Right-click anywhere in the drawing area and choose Deselect All from the shortcut menu. The highlighted circle is unselected.

Choose the attribute, and then drag and drop it towards the lower half of the circle. Notice the enlarged circle object appears in all the blocks. However, the attribute you moved toward the lower half of the circle appears to not have changed, as shown in Figure 13.13. This occurs because changes in edited attributes do not change in previously inserted blocks, but only relocate in new block insertions.

Figure 13.13. The circle object is updated in all inserted blocks, but the block’s attribute is not updated.

Press the SAVE BACK CHANGES button on the REFEDIT toolbar (the far right-hand icon). Then press ok to verify and save changes.

From the Insert menu, choose Block. The Insert dialog box displays.

Make sure the Circle in a Square block is selected in the Name drop-down list, click OK, and insert the block on the right side of the drawing. Then enter your name when prompted. AutoCAD inserts the revised block. Note that the attribute appears in its modified position in the lower half of the circle, as shown in Figure 13.14.

Figure 13.14. The redefined block attribute appears in its new position, but with new block insertions.



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