September 17, 2005

Replace Z Value and Copy Definition and Assign Rock

I spent some time today taking a drawing from a furniture vendor where the layout was done with their own 3D/2D blocks and converting it to a simpler, 2D only layout for use as an overlay Xref in our plans. The annoyance of working at home on a weekend was partially offset by the pleasure of being able to turn on the Replace Z Value feature in ADT 2006 and know that no matter what part of the vendor's layout I snapped to while creating my simplified version, my linework would remain a Z=0.

This was an update to a previous plan, so I already had some graphics, including blocks for some of the repeated items. I was pleased to find that the Copy Definition and Assign feature, which I knew worked on ADT style-based objects, also worked on AutoCAD blocks. I had a typical office desk block set up, and there were a few that, were similar, but one worksurface was larger. I was able to place the block I had, select that instance, right click and select the Copy Block Definition and Assign from the context menu. A dialog appeared asking for a name for the new block, offereing the old name with " (2)" appended. After editing the name and clicking OK, all I had to do was REFEDIT the new block instance, stretch the worksurface and save the changes and I was done. No need to remember where the insertion point was or worry if the instance was mirrored and/or rotated. No messy explosion and reblocking under a new name.

Sometimes it is the seemingly smallest improvements which provide the greatest pleasure, particularly if they ease frequently encountered procedures or address a long-standing source of frustration.

No comments: