You’ve seen how you can extract a block from a file stored on your hard drive and place it into an open drawing, but what if you want to copy a block from one open drawing to another open drawing? You change the way the Tree view displays data so that it shows only the files that are loaded in AutoCAD. The following exercise demonstrates how this works.
1. In AutoCAD, make sure that 12c-unit2.dwg is open, then open the 12c-unit2 metric. dwg file.
2. In the DesignCenter, click the Open Drawings tool in the toolbar. The Tree view changes-to display only the drawings that are open.
3. Click the plus sign (+) to the left of the 12c-unit2. dwg filename in the Tree view. The list expands to show the listing of components in 12c-unit2. dwg.
4. Click Blocks in the Tree view. The Palette view changes to show a list of blocks available in 12c-unit2. dwg.
5. Locate the Kitchen block in the Palette view.
6. Click and drag Kitchen from the Palette view into the open 12c-unit2-metric . dwg drawing in AutoCAD. You see the block move with the cursor. Once again, the DesignCenter has automatically scaled the block to the appropriate size, this time from English to metric.
7. Click anywhere in the drawing to place the Kitchen block.
In this example, you inserted a block from one open drawing into another drawing. If you prefer to use the Insert dialog box, you can right-click the block name in step 6 and select Insert Block. The Insert dialog box appears, allowing you to set the insertion point, scale, and rotation options.
Viewing Data in Different Ways
You can alter the way the Palette view displays its data. For example, you can view the data as a list or as a set of icons. If a block is created with a preview icon, you can view that icon from the Palette view.
1. If it isn’t selected already, click the Kitchen block in the Palette view.
2. Click the Preview tool in the DesignCenter toolbar. You see a preview image at the bottom of the Palette view.
3. Click the Description tool in the DesignCenter toolbar, A text description of the Kitchen block appears at the bottom of the Palette view .
Just as with drawings, you can see a preview icon and descriptive text for blocks. When you first created a block, you had the option to save a preview icon with the block. This is where that preview icon can be really helpful. The preview icon gives you a chance to see what the block looks like when you use the DesignCenter to browse through your drawing files. If you don’t save a preview icon, you’ll see the same block icon that was displayed in the previous Palette view.
The text description can also be added at the time that you create the block. Before saving the block, enter a description in the Description input box of the Block Definition dialog box.
If you’re updating older drawing files to be used with the DesignCenter, you can add text descriptions to blocks using the Make Block tool in the Draw toolbar. Click the Make Block tool, then in the Block Definition dialog box, select the name of a block from the Name drop-down list Enter the description you want for this block in the Description input box toward the bottom of the Block Definition dialog box. When you’re finished, click OK.
Loading Specific Files into DesignCenter
You’ve seen how you can locate files through the Tree view and Palette view. If you already know the name and location of the file you want to work with, you can use the traditional method of using a file dialog box to open files in the DesignCenter.
1. Click the Load tool in the DesignCenter toolbar. The Load the DesignCenter Palette dialog box appears.
2. Locate and select the sample Nozzle 3D. dwg that was installed from the companion CD-ROM, then click Open.
3. The Palette view shows the contents of Nozzle 3D. dwg and the Tree view shows its location in the hierarchical list.
If you want to open a file in the DesignCenter that you’ve recently opened! you can use the History tool in the toolbar.
1. Click the History tool. The Tree view closes and you see a list of the most recent files you’ve worked on.
2. Locate 12c-unit2. dwg and. double-click it. The Tree view returns, displaying the file you selected and the Palette view displays the contents of the selected file.
3. After reviewing the results of step 2, close the DesignCenter and all of the drawings you’ve opened so far in this chapter. You don’t have to save them.
The DesignCenter offers some great features that will prove invaluable to Auto-CAD users in a workgroup environment. While these examples show you how to use the DesignCenter on a stand-alone computer, you can just as easily perform the same functions across a network, or even across the Internet, provided you have password access to remote sites.
In the next part of this chapter, you’ll look at ways that you can use the Internet to share your drawings with others.