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Working with blocks

Usually, blocks are several entities combined into one that you can insert into a drawing and manipulate 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. Blocks are stored as part of the drawing file.

Blocks can help you better organize your work, quickly create and revise drawings, and reduce drawing file size. Using blocks, you can create a library of frequently used symbols. Then you can insert a symbol as a block rather than redraw the symbol from scratch.

After you create a block from multiple entities, you save it once, which also saves disk space. You insert only multiple references to a single block definition. You can change the block definition to quickly revise a drawing, and then update all instances of the block.

If you insert a block that contains entities originally drawn on layer 0 and assigned color and linetype BYLAYER, it is placed on the current layer and assumes the color and linetype of that layer. If you insert a block that contains entities originally drawn on other layers or with explicitly specified colors or linetypes, the block retains the original settings.

If you insert a block that contains entities originally assigned color and linetype BYBLOCK, and the block itself has the color and linetype BYLAYER, those entities adopt the color and linetype of the layer onto which they are inserted. If the block is assigned an explicit color or linetype, such as red or dashed, those entities adopt those qualities.

A procedure called nesting occurs when you include other blocks in a new block that you are creating. Nesting is useful when you want to combine and include small components, such as nuts and bolts, into a larger assembly and you need to insert multiple instances of that assembly into an even larger drawing.