In proir versions of AutoCAO, the Block command was the only command available to creel blocks.Tlus is a command-line version of the Make Block tool and is still available to those use’s who are more com,fortable enterinq commands via the keyboard. .To’ use it,
you must: enter the word Block preceded by a minus sign at the command prompt, as in -Block. When you use the Block command, the objects you turn into a block autornatically disappear Auto CAO’s Block tool (Bmake) gives you the option of removing or main-
training tne block’s source objects by way of the Retain option, shown in step 10 of the previous exercise.
Understanding the Block Definition Dialog Box
The Block Definition dialog box offers several options that can help make the use of blocks easier. If you’re interested in these options, take a moment to review the BlockDefinition dialog box in step 2 of the previous exercise as yOt!read the descriptions of the dialog box options. Or if you prefer, you can continue with the tutorial and come back to this section late.
You’ve already seen how the Name option of the Block Definition dialog box, lets you enter a name for your block. AutoCAD does not let you complete the block creation until you enter a name.
You’ve also seen how to select a base point for your. block. The base point is like the handle of the block. It is the reference point you use when you insert the block back into the drawing. In the exercise, you used the Pick Point option to indicate a base point, but you also have the option to enter x, y, and z-coordinates just below the Pick Point option. In most cases, however, you will want to use the Pick Point option to indicate a base point that is on or near the set of objects you are converting to d Hock,
The Objects button group of the Block Definition dialog box lets you select the objects that make up the block. You use the Select Objects button to visually select the objects you want to include in the block you are creating. The Quick Select button to the right of the Select Objects button lets you filter out objects based on their properties. You’llleam more about this tool later.
Other options in the Objects button group allow you to determine what to do with the objects you are selecting for your block. Here is a listing of the options and what they mean:
Retain Keeps the objects you select for your block as they are,
Convert to block Converts the objects you select into the block you are defining, It then acts like a single object once you’ve completed the Block command.
Delete Deletes the objects you selected for your block. This is what
AutoCAD did in earlier versions. You might also notice. that a warning message appears at the bottom of the Objects button group. This warning tells you if you’ve selected objects for the block. Once you’ve selected objects, this warning changes to tell you how many objects you’ve selected.
The Preview Icon options let you control whether a preview image is stored with the block or not. This option is new in AutoCAD 2000 and it lets you easily locate and identify blocks in a drawing. You can, for example, peek into another drawing file without actually opening the file, and browse through the blocks that are contained in that file.
The Insert Units option lets YOll determine how the object is to be scaled when it is inserted into the drawing. By default, this value will be the same as the current drawing’s insert value.
orne Description input box lets YOll include a brief verbal description or keyword ror the block. This option is helpful when you need to find a specific block in a set of drawings. You’ll learn more about searching for blocks later in this «chapter.