AutoCAD 2007/2008/2009

Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-30-2004
Message 11 of 15 (110 Views)

Re: Toggle blocks on and off

12-07-2006 06:34 AM in reply to: marc
Hi Nickha,

Thanks for your reply and thoughts, but as you point out, I'm not just looking for a layers issue resolve but a broader spectrum of flexibility with regards to multiple blocks and amending elements within them.

It very much seems like I’m on my own with this one though. Not one for the wish list after all perhaps!

Still, no harm done. That’s the reason for this forum is it not and it’s been an interesting albeit frustrating experience on this occasion.

I still think the idea has legs as nobody has given me a sound reason for it not to work yet. Perhaps you guys just haven't come across the same struggles/problems as I have in my daily grind and therefore can't see the point in such a feature. That said, I'm not King Canute and don't wish to fight against the tide, so perhaps it's best we put this one to bed.

Cheers to all for your contributions on the subject.
Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 301
Registered: ‎02-18-2004
Message 12 of 15 (110 Views)

Re: Toggle blocks on and off

12-07-2006 07:27 AM in reply to: marc
That's an interesting idea - to allow global changes to a variety of blocks all at once. A couple of quick thoughts:

- CAD Management: there would have to be a sysvar to prohibit it, similar to 'BlockEditLock' that currently exists. Because it is so powerful and has the potential to disrupt carefully configured CAD standards, instead of users of varying skill levels randomly mucking with blocks I want them to come to me to make sure there isn't a better (standard) way to do whatever they're after.

- After you've made changes and toggle it back to 'block' mode, AutoCAD has to figure out how to redefine the block to reflect the changes and therefore propagate them to the other insertions of the block. Presumably this could be done, when initially switching to non-block mode, by tagging each entity with the ID of the block definition it came from plus the block reference as inserted on the drawing, so it would know how to gather the pieces back up again. This implies that the only changes you could make would be modifying the properties of existing entities within the block, or deleting entities. I don't think you could add things - if you drew a line on the screen, how could ACAD know which block you wanted to add that line to?

Similarly, if you accidentally made different changes to two insertions of the same block, ACAD would presumably have to ignore all but the first set it encountered (or last or whatever).

I suspect this kind of tool would have to be limited to modifying the properties of entities within blocks, but that could be useful.

For the moment, I guess ACAD's CAD Standards feature comes closest, but it requires a fair bit of set up, not just immediately making changes while you're working on a drawing. Although at least you can save the changes (standards) you want and apply them to other drawings instead of having to edit each one manually.
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-30-2004
Message 13 of 15 (110 Views)

Re: Toggle blocks on and off

12-07-2006 08:42 AM in reply to: marc
Thanks Colin,

At last somebody who seems to grasp the notion of and the potential for the "Block State Toggle". To be perfectly honest I hadn't thought it all the way through when I suggested the idea and posted it on the forum. I’m not the best when it comes to the technical aspects of Autocad such as how routines are written etc. But I believe that I know a good idea when I see one. The whole idea of posting my thoughts was to generate a response in both warmth towards the idea and people perhaps finding flaws in it too. Ultimately seeing how feasible it was and how far I/we could run with the idea before somebody came up with a reason for it not to be. Thus far, most people seem to have missed the point. I’m pleased to say though Colin that you seemed to have hit the nail firmly and squarely on the head and seem to have grasped my intent for the tool. I make you right that you wouldn’t be able to add to a block by drawing an entity whilst in the exploded state (it simply wouldn’t know what block to affiliate itself with). In this case, anything you draw would simply be added to the general environment of the model space or paper space if you were working there. Now a little further down the line in this discussion, I simply see this tool being used to any great advantage with the use of various entity property commands. Even still, I believe this would be a handy devise to enable you to make sweeping property changes across the board with immediate effect, in a fashion that is currently not possible.

Anymore thoughts people?
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-25-2011
Message 14 of 15 (80 Views)

Re: Toggle blocks on and off

11-25-2011 01:54 AM in reply to: nickha

Nope that won’t help me.  Here is an example of an issue I came across yesterday.  I have say, 100 blocks; all different. They all have a layer within them called "Text", but when they were created the lineweight was overridden in the properties from Bylayer to 0.00.  I now want to change everything on layer "Text" to have to have a thickness of say, 2.00. I can't universally change the objects lineweight by amending the lineweight attributed to the layer, as the individual entities have been overridden. So, If I want them all to be at a lineweight of 2.00 I have to go into every individual block and change it manually. This will take a very long time.  If there was a block toggle, I could apply it, isolate the layer and select all the objects at once (as they are now editable/accessible) and change them to 2.00 (or to Bylayer and change the value of the lineweight attributed to the layer).  Then I unisolate the layer, toggle the Block State back to normal (i.e.. back as solid blocks) and that’s it.  Done in a few seconds.


So as to avoid confusion and potential mistakes, You would need to know exactly when you are in the "Temporarily Explode All Blocks" toggle state, the screen environment would change such as when you go into Block Editor, to make it obvious what sate you were in (although the colours would be different to Block Editor to differentiate the environment).  You would also be asked to confirm that you want to go into the "Temporarily Explode All Blocks" state.


I’m still very much hooked on the idea of a temporary toggle block off/on state.

 If somebody can find a quick way of achieving the above without a toggle, please let me know.

*Expert Elite*
Posts: 20,364
Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Message 15 of 15 (70 Views)

Re: Toggle blocks on and off

11-28-2011 05:26 AM in reply to: StarskyBuba

You appear to want to avoid using LISP customization to fix your blocks, which is the cure.


Better define your exact needs (this last post perfectly illustrates one fix you wish to implement in all blocks) then ask the folks in the customization forum for assistance writing the code (if no one here jumps in with a home-grown fix):


Don't forget to mention what exact AutoCAD version you have.

Dean Saadallah Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | PINS

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