Create and Use Tools from Objects and Images

You can create a tool by dragging objects from your drawing onto a tool palette. You can then use the new tool to create objects with the same properties as the object you dragged onto the tool palette.

Tool palettes are tabbed areas within the Tool Palettes window. The items you add to a tool palette are called tools. You can create a tool by dragging any of the following, one at a time, onto your tool palette:

NoteWhen you drag an object onto a tool palette, you can switch to a different tab by hovering over the tab for a few seconds.

You can then use the new tool to create objects in your drawing with the same properties as the object you dragged to the tool palette. For example, if you drag a red circle with a lineweight of .05 mm from your drawing to your tool palette, the new tool creates a red circle with a lineweight of .05 mm. If you drag a block or xref to a tool palette, the new tool inserts the block or xref with the same properties into your drawing.

When you drag a geometric object or a dimension onto a tool palette, the new tool is automatically created with an appropriate flyout. Dimension tool flyouts, for example, provide an assortment of dimension styles. Click the arrow on the right side of the tool icon on the tool palette to display the flyout. When you use a tool on a flyout, the object in the drawing will have the same properties as the original tool on the tool palette.

Insert Blocks and Attach References

For block and xref tools, you can choose to be prompted for a rotation angle (starting from 0) when you click and place the block or xref. When you select this option, the angle that is specified under Rotation in the Tool Properties dialog box is ignored. The prompt for a rotation angle is not shown if you drag the block or xref or, if, at the initial insertion command line prompt, you enter rotate.

Blocks that are placed by dragging from a tool palette must often be rotated or scaled after they are placed. You can use object snaps when dragging blocks from a tool palette; however, grid snap is suppressed during dragging. You can set an auxiliary scale for a block or a hatch tool to override the regular scale setting when the tool is used. (An auxiliary scale multiplies your current scale setting by the plot scale or the dimension scale.)

When a block is dragged from a tool palette into a drawing, it is scaled automatically according to the ratio of units defined in the block and defined in the current drawing. For example, if the current drawing uses meters as its units and a block is defined using centimeters as its units, the ratio of the units is 1 m/100 cm. When the block is dragged into the drawing, it is inserted at 1/100 scale.

NoteIn the Options dialog box, User Preferences tab, the Source Content Units and Target Drawing Units settings are used when Drag-and-Drop Scale is set to Unitless, either in the source block or target drawing.

Update Block Definitions on Tool Palettes

A block definition in your current drawing is not updated automatically when the block in the source drawing is modified. You can update a block definition in the current drawing by right-clicking the block tool on the tool palette and then clicking Redefine from the shortcut menu.

If the Redefine option is grayed out, it means that the source of the block definition is a drawing file rather than a block within a drawing file. To update a block definition that was created by inserting a drawing file, use DesignCenter. For more information, see Add Content with DesignCenter.

NoteIf the source drawing file for a block tool is moved to a different folder, you must modify the tool that references it by right-clicking the tool and, in the Tool Properties dialog box, specifying the new source file folder.
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