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ZWCAD Hot Tip: The Many Ways to Count Blocks in Drawings

September 22, 2011

 

Sometimes we need to count the number of blocks that exist in our drawings. It turns out that there are several approaches to doing this in ZWCAD. Let me share them with you.

 

Approach 1:  BCOUNT

 

Here is how to use the BCOUNT command to count all or just a selected group of blocks in drawings:

 

1. Enter the BCOUNT command.

 

2. Select the objects you want to count, and then press Enter.

 

3. Notice that the name of each block and the number of itsoccurrences appear on the command line. To see all of the details, press F2 to get to the Text window, a big version of the command prompt area. It looks something like this:

 

 

As a bonus, this method also reports the number of each kind of block in the selection set.

 

Approach 2:  BLOCKSUM

 

The BLOCKSUM command does not count the total number of blocks; rather, it is used to count how many blocks are on a specific layer, and how many have the same name.

 

The BLOCKSUM command can be accessed from ZWCAD Express menu: Express > Tools > Number of Blocks.

 

 

Follow these steps to use the BLOCKSUM command:

 

1. Enter the BLOCKSUM command, or select it from the Express menu.

 

2. Notice that it prompts you, ‘Layer/selection Set/<All>’. There are two choices, Layer, or select a specific number of objects:

 

         - Layer option counts the number of blocks on the same layer as the selected block.

 

 - selection Set option counts the number of blocks that have the same name as the selected block.

 

3. When you input L to choose the layer option, it prompts you, ‘Select an object on the layer or <exit>:’. Select a block, and then press Enter.  

 

Notice that the command line it reports, ‘[Number of] blocks on layer [layer name]’.

 

Approach 3:  Attribute Extraction

 

The BCOUNT and BLOCKSUM commands are specifically meant for counting blocks. There is also an indirect way to count them, through attribute extraction. The AttExt command extracts all kinds of data from blocks, such as attribute values and X,Y coordinates -- and it also extracts the number of blocks. The result is similar to that of BlockSum, in that it lists the names of blocks and the number of occurrences. See the figure below.

 

 

Approach 4:  QSELECT

 

ZWCAD's quick select feature is yet another indirect way to count blocks. Here is how to use the QSELECT command for this task:

 

1. Enter the QSELECT command.

 

2. In the dialog box that appears, set the following options:

 

Object type=Block Reference


Color=Bylayer (We assume that all of the block’s colors are ByLayer.)

 

3. Press the OK button. Notice that all the selected blocks are highlighted. The command line prompts us that there are X item(s) selected, so we know how many blocks are in this drawing.

 

 

In addition to these ways of counting blocks in drawings, we could use LISP programs, but I think above four methods are enough for block counting. I'm glad to have shared them with you.

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