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Define and Use Block Attributes

May 20, 2011

        An attribute is a particular object that you can save as part of a block definition. Attributes consist of textbased data. You can use attributes to track such things as part numbers and prices. Attribute values are either fixed or variable. When you insert a block containing attributes, the program adds the fixed values to the drawing along with the block, and you are prompted to supply any variable values.

      After you insert blocks containing attributes, you can extract the attribute information to a separate file and then use that information in a spreadsheet or database to produce a parts list or bill of materials. You can also use attribute information to track the number of times a particular block is inserted into a drawing.

      Attributes can be visible or hidden. Hidden attributes are neither displayed nor printed, but the information is still stored in the drawing and written to a file when you extract it.

Define Attributes

       You add an attribute to a drawing by first defining it and then saving it as part of a block definition. To define an attribute, you specify the characteristics of the attribute, including its tag, prompt, and default text; insert coordinates and text formatting; and attribute flags (hidden, fixed, validate, and defined).


To define an attribute

  1. Choose Draw > Block > Define Attribute.

  2. In the Define Attribute dialog box, type the tag, prompt, and default text.

  3. Under Insert Coordinates, specify the location of the attribute, or click Select to select a point in the drawing.

  4. Under Attribute Flags, select the optional attribute modes.

  5. Under Text, specify the text characteristics.

  6. To add the attribute to the drawing, do one of the following:

  • Click Define to add the attribute and keep the dialog box active so you can define another attribute.

  • Click Define And Exit to add the attribute and end the command.

Command line ATTDEF

Modify Attributes

       You can edit an attribute definition before you associate it with a block and before it is saved as part of a block definition.

To edit an attribute definition

  1. On the command line, type ddedit.

  2. Select the attribute definition text to edit.

  3. Modify the attribute tag, prompt string, default text.

  4. Click OK.

Define Block Attributes

      Attributes can be attached to a block. When selecting objects to be included in the block, you can select all the attributes and then choose the block to be attached.

      The order you select attributes determines the prompts displaying when inserting blocks. If you select attributes by crossing selection or window selection, the prompts for attributes are displayed by the order of creating attributes.

Modify Block Attributes

     You can use the Block Attribute Manager to modify attributes in block definitions. For example, you can modify the following items:

  • Attributes of blocks can be displayed after modification

  • Text properties that define how attribute text is displayed in the drawing

  • Properties that define the layer that the attribute is on and the attribute line's color, weight, and type

       By default, attribute changes you make are applied to all existing block references in the current drawing. If constant attributes or nested attribute blocks are affected by your changes, use REGEN to update the display of those blocks in the drawing area.

Redefine Block Attributes

       When you modify the block definitions, system prompts to select objects that are included in block definition, you can attach the attributes to the block by adding the desired attribute to selection set. Once the attributes of block definition have been modified, the inserted block reference may be affected by the following descriptions:

  • Constant attributes with fixed value, are lost and replaced by any new constant attributes.

  • Variable attributes remain unchanged, even if no attributes are included in the new block definition.

  • New attributes do not appear in the existing block references.

To edit an attribute attached to a block

  1. On the command line, type ddatte.

  2. Select the block to edit. The Edit Block Attributes dialog box displays all the attributes attached to the block you select.

  3. Edit the attribute values as necessary.

  4. Click OK.

Extract Block Attribute Data

       Enter EATTEXT to start Extract Attributes wizard if the blocks in the drawing contain attributes. You can extract block information according to the wizard prompt and generate list so as to overview the attributes information of the blocks. You can get guide information from the wizard until you accomplish selecting drawings, blocks and block attributes.

       With the extract block attribute data function,You can easily create list using drawing data through extrating attribute information and export to external files.

Export to exterior files

       When you want to save the extracted information to exterior files, you can save the exterior file as CSV, TXT, XLS and MDB format.

      Unicode replaces characters such as period, comma or pound if written into Excel or Access files.

Commands Reference

ATTDEF: Creates an attribute definition

ATTDISP: Globally controls attribute visibility

ATTEDIT: Changes attribute information

ATTEXT: Extracts attribute data

DDATTEXT: Extracts attribute data

DDEDIT: Edits text, dimension text, attribute definitions, and feature control frames

PROPERTIES: Controls properties of existing objects

SELECT: Places selected objects in the Previous selection set

System Variables Reference

AFLAGS: Sets attribute flags for A TTDEF bitcode

ATTDIA: Controls whether the INSERT command uses a dialog box for attribute value entry

ATTMODE: Controls display of attributes

ATTREQ: Determines whether the INSERT command uses default attribute settings during insertion of blocks 

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