Inserting Blocks Using the Blocks Palette in AutoCAD 2022: Webcast Q&A

March 1, 2022 Renu Muthoo

Thanks to those of you who attended my webcast about how to easily locate and insert blocks and drawings into the current drawing using the enhanced Blocks palette in AutoCAD.
 Click here to view the on-demand recording.

Note that the Blocks palette was introduced in AutoCAD 2020 and replaced the old-fashioned Insert dialog box. As it is a palette, you can have the Blocks palette always open while working in the drawing. To have more working space available, you can also dock the Blocks palette to either side of the drawing window with the auto-hide option selected so that you can display it whenever you require it.

The following are some of the questions that were asked during the webcast, and I hope that the answers will explain this new palette a little further.

Question: My palette does not have a Libraries tab. Why?

Answer: The Blocks palette was introduced in AutoCAD 2020 and had 3 tabs. The Libraries tab was present, but had the name “Other Drawings”. It was renamed to “Libraries” in AutoCAD 2021, and the Favorites tab was also added to the palette.

Question: What are the fundamental differences between the Blocks palette and Tools palettes? Are there any cons to Blocks palettes?

Answer: These are two different methods of inserting blocks. The Blocks palette is used when you want fast and easy access to some frequently used blocks in a design. You can save those frequently used blocks in the Favorites tab and then locate them quickly for inserting. The Blocks palette can also be used to save the blocks on the cloud to be accessed anytime and when you are on the go. The Blocks palette is the best option when you have to use a moderate number of blocks in a drawing as you can sort and organize them in the Favorites tab. The Tools palette is used when your design needs a large variety of blocks. In the Tools palette, a huge variety of blocks are available through a large number of tabs, and you can also create custom tabs where you can save related blocks and specialized tools. So both these options have their own respective place for inserting blocks in a drawing.

Question: What are the checkboxes in front of the different options for, and when do you use them, such as Scale, Rotation, etc.?

Answer: Selecting these checkboxes allows you to explicitly enter the insertion point, scale, and rotation angle as a dynamic input on the screen. Unchecking these options allows you to preset those options before inserting the objects. For example, entering 45 in the Angle edit box brings in the object at a 45-degree angle before inserting it.

Question: How do I control the .blocksMetadata folder? It seems to pop up everywhere.

Answer: Creation of the .blocksMetadata folder is a designed behavior. This data is stored for next usage. It saves your loading time once these preview date files are created essentially when inserting big drawings/blocks.

Question: Is there a way to do a bulk replacement of blocks? For instance, if you have one block in the file, can you replace them with one in the Blocks palette?

Answer: You can do a bulk replacement of blocks using the BLOCKREPLACE command but not through the Blocks palette.

Question: How are images generated? Can custom images be substituted?

Answer: The images are generated when the blocks are created and these images are brought into the Blocks palette. Similarly, the images of the drawings are the images when the drawings are saved. You cannot substitute those images with custom images in the Blocks palette.

For further information, there is a community forum for Autodesk where you can ask questions about any topic and get answers from Autodesk employees and Autodesk experts. You can access the forum here: AutoCAD - Autodesk Community

Thanks again for attending the webcast. I tried a give you a quick overview of the Blocks palette in my webcast session, but due to time restrictions, I certainly could not go into the comparative details with the Tools palette. As noted in the webcast, all this information was pulled from our AutoCAD 2022: Fundamentals learning guide, which is available for you on Amazon as well as on our ASCENT eStore.

About the Author

Renu Muthoo

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Renu has worked with Autodesk products for the past 20 years with a main focus on design visualization software. Renu holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and started her career as an Instructional Designer/Author where she co-authored a number of Autodesk 3ds Max and AutoCAD books, some of which were translated into other languages for a wide audience reach. In her next role as a Technical Specialist at a 3D visualization company, Renu used 3ds Max in real-world scenarios on a daily basis. There, she developed customized 3D web planner solutions to create specialized 3D models with photorealistic texturing and lighting to produce high quality renderings.

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