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Thread: Questions about what you want in a block manager

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    Default Questions about what you want in a block manager

    One of this year's AUGI wishlist items requested was a block manager. The description that was included for this was as follows:

    Description: I would like AutoCAD to have a BLOCK MANAGER that would let me: 1. Reload and update (redefine) a block; 2. Change all block instances to another block - inserted in all insertion points of the existing instances; 3. Purge ("detach") blocks that are not used; 4. Access the block editor.

    How Used: If the access to arranging blocks in a DWG is all in one simple block manager - it would be much easier to control block definitions and instances from one dialog box.

    I am looking for some more details on what items you are looking for. I was hoping that if you voted for this, or not but still has ideas of what you are interested in, I would love to get as much information from you as possible.

    Kathy O'Connell
    AutoCAD Product Manager

  2. #2
    Certifiable AUGI Addict ccowgill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about what you want in a block manager

    One thing I would like to see is if you redefine a block that is dynamic, and you change something that is not dynamic within it, that it will update on all the blocks that have had dynamic properties changed. Or maybe this has already been done and I dont know about it. I can see the benefit to moving all the commands for blocks under one dialog for new users that are unaware of where all the individual peices are, and those who do block management as a large part of their job. It would be nice for Replace Blocks to come out of express tools and become part of the core. But there are other things that would be a better use of R&D time; hatch boundary detection, and performance are two I can think of.

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    AUGI Addict jpaulsen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questions about what you want in a block manager

    I agree with Chris. I can think of other things I would rather see added to the software. All the functionality you described already exists in the software. The manager would just organize the commands in one location. But if you are asking the question I assume it got lots of votes from the masses and Autodesk is serious about considering this for a future release.

    I would like to see better control of attributes when updating a block. Maybe include a toggle in the manager that would allow you to sync the attributes when updating the block.

    The only new functionality I can think of is a block scaling tool. There used to be a rescale command in LDT years ago that did this. Unlike Properties that changes all blocks to the same scale, this tool would scale all the blocks a specified value relative to their current scale. For example, lets say I have two blocks: one that is scale 10 and one that is scale 15. If I use this scaling command to change the scale by 2 the blocks would be changed to a scale of 20 and 30 respectively.

    The automatic syncing of blocks should be available programmatically too. I would like to be able to insert a block and sync attributes using a CUI macro, Lisp, Script, etc. Maybe it would be a new variable.

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    Default Re: Questions about what you want in a block manager

    I wouldn't mind seeing a separate set of search paths for blocks (*NOT* just one folder, but a variable-length fall through type of list like the support paths). Yeah, I know "just add it to your support paths", but given all the other items in there, breaking this out into its own section in the Options/registry would make block management easier. It would also reduce the number of search paths required in the support paths list - with fewer folders to search this *might* give a performance improvement as well.

    Other items of concern:
    - whatever you do, do NOT have the block redefinition happen automatically on drawing open; I've seen that implemented on third-party software and "wreaking havoc" is an understatement
    - provide a straight foward means of setting up where the Manager looks for blocks; this includes programmatically through LISP or the command line, not all of us have the time to be full time .NET programmers
    - need I mention annotation scale bloating? Well, I will anyways, just as a reminder...

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