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Working with the progeCAD Explorer

Working with blocks and external references

Blocks represent a special type of entity that, once saved, can be inserted and manipulated in the drawing as a single entity. A block can consist of visible entities such as lines, arcs, and circles as well as visible or invisible data called attributes. You can use attributes to track things such as part numbers and prices and to export attribute information to an external database. You can also track the number of parts by counting the number of times a block has been inserted into the drawing. Blocks are stored as part of the drawing file.

External references have similar uses to blocks. Using external references, you can attach entire drawings to your current drawing. Unlike a block, however, an external reference does not become part of the current drawing.

You can save blocks in the progeCAD Explorer. You can also use the progeCAD Explorer to manage and insert copies of blocks. The progeCAD Explorer lists the names of all blocks contained in the current drawing, along with other information about each block or external reference.

You can also rename a block, modify its insertion point, and change the path of an externally referenced drawing by single-clicking on the property and making your edits within the progeCAD Explorer.

To display blocks in the progeCAD Explorer
  1. Do one of the following:
  2. Choose Format > Explore Blocks.
  3. Choose Tools > progeCAD Explorer, and then click the Blocks element.
  4. Type expblocks and then press Enter.
  5. The Blocks element in the progeCAD Explorer defaults with images on. The Images view shows you a small image of each block or external reference.
    The Images view shows an image of each block in the selected drawing. Click an image to select it.
  8. When blocks are displayed, additional tools on the Block toolbar provide the functions described in the following table:
Additional tools on the Block toolbar



( ) Images

Displays a small image of each block.

( ) Details

Displays information about each block.

( ) Insert

Inserts a block.

( ) Insert External File Blocks

Inserts a drawing available from disk as a block.

( ) Save Block

Saves selected block as independent.dwg file.

( ) Attach Drawing

Attaches drawing as an external reference.

  1. To see more information about each block, click the Details tool (
  2. ). In the Details view, you can edit the path and the insertion point by clicking the setting and typing your changes.
    1. To display the Blocks settings, select Blocks.
    2. Lists names of blocks and external references defined in the current drawing.
    3. Displays the number of occurrences of the block in the current drawing.
    1. Displays the insertion point of the block in the current drawing.
    2. Displays the name and path for externally referenced drawings.
    3. Click any column head to sort the blocks by that property.