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Re: AutoCAD R14 Tip

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Our systems are different, because whether I'm running R14 alone or R14 with Softdesk S8 (AEC Tools + Plans & Elevations), W runs the ordinary AutoCAD WBLOCK command.


I hadn't noticed that the "BLOCK, then WBLOCK" sequence omits the "thumbnail" (i.e., drawing preview) - thanks for pointing out that subtlety. The drawing preview is a raster image based on the current screen size, so it appears that AutoCAD is doing something like a quick screen capture to make the preview. When you run WBLOCK and choose objects, AutoCAD has the objects on the screen, so it can make the preview. When you run WBLOCK and type an existing block definition name, the objects might or might not be on the screen, so AutoCAD doesn't try to make the preview. That's my guess at how it works, anyway.

I almost never use BLOCK, then WBLOCK. If I want to create a block definition in the current drawing only, I use BLOCK. If I want to create a block definition for use in more than one drawing (including possibly the current drawing), then I use WBLOCK to make a separate drawing file. In the latter case, if I do want to use the block in the current drawing, I just run INSERT (or DDINSERT). When the block definition doesn't exist in the current drawing, AutoCAD looks for a drawing file of the same name on the disk and creates a new block definition using the geometry from the drawing file. Thus "WBLOCK, then INSERT" yields the same results as "BLOCK, then WBLOCK", plus the drawing preview.

About the only time I use "BLOCK, then WBLOCK" is when I originally create a block definition with BLOCK (thinking that I'll need the block in the current drawing only), and later realize that I wanted to use that block definition in other drawings.

- Mark Middlebrook