How Blocks Are Stored and Referenced

Every drawing file has an invisible data area called the block definition table. The block definition table stores all block definitions, which consist of all information associated with the block. It is these block definitions that are referenced when you insert blocks in your drawing.

The following illustrations are conceptual representations of three drawing files. Each rectangle represents a separate drawing file and is divided into two parts: the smaller part represents the block definition table, and the larger part represents the objects in a drawing.

When you insert a block, you are inserting a block reference. The information is not simply copied from the block definition to the drawing area. Instead, a link is established between the block reference and the block definition. Therefore, if the block definition is changed, all references are updated automatically.

To reduce the size of a drawing, you can purge unused block definitions.