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Defining BlockAttributes

BlockAttribute definitions let you attach variable or constant text to Blocks. When you insert a Block containing BlockAttributes, you are prompted to specify values for each BlockAttribute (unless the value is defined with a constant value).

You can define BlockAttributes as singleline or multiline objects.

You can edit BlockAttributes of Block references later with the EditBlockAttribute command. You can edit the name, request, and value with the EditAnnotation command.

To define BlockAttributes:

  1. Click Draw > Block > Define Block Attributes (or type MakeBlockAttribute).
  2. In the dialog box, under Display, type options. Characters such as blanks, underscores, and dollar signs are allowed.
    • Name. Defines the BlockAttribute name. It may have any number of characters.
    • Caption. Displays text at the command window during Block insertion. It may have up to 256 characters. You may omit the request if the Block uses a constant BlockAttribute value. For example, when you specify "Enter norm term" as a request, a typical answer would be "Schedule 40 steel pipe" as the value.
    • Default value. Displays the visible component of the BlockAttribute in the drawing. It may have up to 256 characters and may be a constant or variable.
      • If you define a singleline BlockAttribute, you can apply Fields in default value specifications.

        Click Field  to insert a Field.

      • If you define a multiline BlockAttribute, you cannot specify a default value in the input field.

        Click Open Multiline Editor  to define default text in the graphics area using the Multiline BlockAttribute Formatting pop-up toolbar. The editor settings (editing in-place or in a dialog box) specified for Notes with the NoteOptions command also apply for multiline BlockAttribute definitions.

  3. Under Text settings, set:
    • TextStyle. Sets the TextStyle. You can create new TextStyles with the TextStyle command.
    • Justification. Sets the position and alignment of the BlockAttribute text in relation to the insertion point.
    • Annotative scaling. Specifies whether annotative scaling is applied when inserting Blocks with the BlockAttribute you define. If the Block that contains the BlockAttribute is defined as an annotative entity, the BlockAttribute follows the Block orientation.
    • Height. Defines the text size. To specify the text height on screen, click Select in graphics area .
    • Rotation. Specifies the BlockAttribute insertion angle. Type a value between 0° and 360°. For a counter-clockwise rotation type a positive value, for a clockwise rotation type a negative value. To specify the rotation on screen, click Select in graphics area .
    • Width. Defines for multiline BlockAttributes the maximum width of text lines before wrapping to the next line. Set the value to 0.00 to have no restriction on the text line length. To specify the width on screen, click Select in graphics area . This option is available only if you selected the Multiline option (see below).
  4. Under Insertion point:

    Do one of the following:

    • Type X, Y, and Z coordinate values.
    • Select Specify later to specify the insertion point on screen after the dialog box closes.
    • Click Select in graphics area  to immediately specify the insertion point.
  5. Under Behavior, select:
    • Fixed. Allows you to switch between constant and variable BlockAttribute values. When selected, the text in Default value is a constant BlockAttribute value in the drawing. You cannot insert variable data. When cleared, you are prompted to insert a variable BlockAttribute value.
    • Hidden. Controls the visibility of the BlockAttribute value in Block references. When selected, the value does not display during insertion in the drawing. Use this if the BlockAttribute contains information to analyze later that does not have to be displayed on the drawing. This option is also helpful when there are so many BlockAttributes that the drawing is unclear and confusing. To temporarily display hidden BlockAttributes use the DisplayBlockAttributes command.
    • Predefined. Lets you create BlockAttributes that accept their default values. When selected, values are not requested. The option lets you edit values after insertion with the editing commands.
    • Validate. Prompts you for verification that the BlockAttribute value is correct when inserting a Block.
    • Multilines. Specifies whether the BlockAttribute is singleline or multiline. For multiline BlockAttributes, specify the maximum width of text lines (see the Width option above). You cannot specify a default value for multiline BlockAttributes (see the Default value option above).
  6. Set additional options:
    • Lock in Block. Determines whether the BlockAttribute within the Block reference is locked. When unlocked, you can move the BlockAttribute with EntityGrips.
    • Position below last definition. Lets you align the current BlockAttribute definition below the previous one.

      This option is available only if the previous BlockAttribute definition was a singleline BlockAttribute definition.


Command: MakeBlockAttribute

Menu: Draw > Block > Define Block Attributes

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