January 07, 2005

Updating Multi-View Blocks

“The only constant is change.” Even in the most carefully developed office or personal standard, eventually there will come a time when an established standard has to be modified. If a Multi-View Block definition – including one for a tag - is changed, you can update existing drawings that have already made use of the “old” definition. The process may not be intuitive, so I am outlining the steps here.

If you have created DesignCenter content files or a Tool Palette tool to insert your Multi-View Block, be aware that using either of those sources will not overwrite an existing definition in the target file – the local definition in the target file will be used, not the revised definition in the source file. Using the Style Manager to update a Multi-View Block definition between two files will update the definition and will copy in any view block definitions that do not exist in the target file, but will not redefine any view blocks if a block definition of the same name already exists in the target file.

In order to update changes to a view block, here is what you have to do. In the following instructions, I am assuming that there is a tag content file called DoorTag, which makes use of a Multi-View Block named Door_Tag, and that it contains a view block called Door_Tag_P. The DoorTag content file has been edited to change the Door_Tag_P view block to the new office standard. The new standard is to be used on a project which was already underway, so the changes need to be brought into a file named FloorPlan, which already has at least one instance of the Door_Tag Multi-View Block, using the previous definition. Substitute the name of your source file, Multi-View Block, view block and target file for those noted above.

Step 1
Open the DoorTag file and WBLOCK the Door_Tag_P view block definition out to a separate file [Door_Tag_P.dwg] by choosing the “Block” radio button in the Source area of the Write Block dialog and then selecting the Door_Tag_P block from the drop down list. Close the DoorTag file.

Step 2
Open FloorPlan.dwg and use the INSERT command to insert the WBLOCKed view block file by selecting the Browse… button in the View dialog and navigating to the folder to which you WBLOCKed the view block. Select the Door_Tag_P.dwg file and select the Open button. In the INSERT dialog, note that the Name edit box reads Door_Tag_P and that the folder path appears below the edit box. Select OK, and, when prompted, select Yes to indicate that you want to redefine the Door_Tag_P block. If you indicated that you wished to specify the insertion point, scale and/or rotation on-screen in the INSERT dialog, you can hit the ESC key at this point, otherwise, find the insertion of Door_Tag_P and erase it. You have now redefined the view block in FloorPlan.dwg.

Step 3
At this point, if all of the view block revisions were to graphics other than attributes, you should be seeing the changes in all existing instances of the Door_Tag Multi-View Block. If not, a REGEN, REGENALL or OBJRELUPDATE [selecting All or all of the Door_Tag Multi-View Blocks] should update the display and you are done. If you made changes to attributes, please proceed to the next step.

Step 4 [2004 & 2005]
This step will vary depending upon the version you are using. For users of Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2004 and 2005, life is good. Type MVBLOCK at the Command: prompt and press ENTER. Then activate the Update option by typing U and pressing ENTER. Select all of the Door_Tag Multi-View Blocks, press ENTER, and respond to the prompt concerning the updating of attribute text style and effects by typing Y and pressing ENTER. The existing instances of the Door_Tag Multi-View Block will update, and any added in the future will use the new view block definition.

Step 4 [3.3]
If you are using Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.3, things are a little different. If you are using Release 3 or earlier, you can try the following, but as I never used 3 and no longer have access to 2, I can not be certain it will work. As Style Manager did not exist in Release 2, you will need to adjust the editing instructions to suit.

If you had made a "substantive" change to the view block attribute[s], like renaming the attribute tag value, or adding a new attribute definition, the Update option of the MVBLOCK command, as noted in Step 4 [2004 & 2005] above, should work. But a "minor" change, like changing the text height or text style of an attribute will not be affected by this command.

To force the change, open the Style Manager to Multi-View Block definitions [from the pulldown menus, Desktop>Multi-View Blocks>Multi-View Block Definitions...]. Find the Door_Tag Multi-View Block, and double click on its name [or right click and choose Edit... from the context menu]. On the View Blocks tab, carefully note the view block[s] and the view direction[s] assigned to each Display Representation. [I suggest writing it down - your memory may be better than mine.] The redefined Door_Tag_P view block should be listed at least once, possible more than once, depending on the tag. AFTER RECORDING THE CURRENT SETTINGS AS NOTED ABOVE, select every instance of the Door_Tag view block and use the Remove button to remove it. Hit the OK button. In the Style Manager dialog, click on the Apply button [NOT OK]. This ratifies the change you just made to the drawing file [and your DoorTag Multi-View Blocks will all "disappear", if your Display Configuration was set to show the Door_Tag_P view block].

Re-edit the Multi-View Block definition, and, on the View Blocks tab, use the Add button to add the Door_Tag view block back to all of the Display Representations where it existed before, and check only the view directions that were checked for that Display Representation before.

Select OK twice to get back to the drawing, and you should see the existing instances of the DoorTag Multi-View Block now have the revised attributes.

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