September 5, 2017

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Synergis’ Application Consultant, Todd Schmoock
AutoCAD Electrical ships with tools specifically designed for the controls industry so if there is an AutoCAD Electrical tool you should use that tool before using an AutoCAD tool.  The biggest reason for this is due to drawing and project updates that are programmed into them.  However, sometimes there are tasks that do not have AutoCAD Electrical tools, or could be faster using an AutoCAD tool.  Always keep in mind that if you run an AutoCAD tool it is good practice to run an AutoCAD Electrical update tool on the drawing or project.
Working with blocks:
Once you feel more comfortable working with AutoCAD Electrical there are several AutoCAD tools you can take advantage of.  Knowing these tools will especially help when working with symbols you are making for your company, or when you are correcting the issues you may make during the initial creation.
The first AutoCAD tool is RENAME.  This tool opens a dialog box that list all of the named objects in the drawing.  It has an option to list all the block references in a drawing even if they are not visible.  One option this tool will help you with is correcting any blocks you may have named incorrectly which is important when considering AutoCAD Electrical’s naming convention.  The rename tool can also help when you are creating custom symbols.  For example, when you are making custom blocks, and are in the testing phase, you can rename the incorrect block in the drawing allowing you to insert the updated version of the block.  Since AutoCAD looks at the drawing first for any block references you would have to use the AutoCAD Electrical tool Swap/Update Block to update the various versions of the custom symbols.  Here is an example of the RENAME dialog box:

Another AutoCAD tool that can help when creating custom symbols is BURST.  Burst will explode a block, and turn any attribute with values to text.  If you have an attributed block that has the information filled in, but you just want this information in plain text you could use burst to get it.  For example, insert the attributed block that has the information you need, and fill in any additional information as required.  Now that the block is inserted showing the information you want use the burst command.  The attributed block is now exploded, and the attributes are turned into text.  Move the information to your new symbol, and use AutoCAD’s wblock command to save it to the desired location.  The burst command is an express tool so if you loaded the express tools menu you can access it from there too.
You just read about two AutoCAD tools you could use in AutoCAD Electrical when working with blocks.  Whenever you insert blocks into an AutoCAD drawing the block reference stays in the drawing even if it has been deleted, and you physically do not see it on the drawing.  In standard AutoCAD you would use the purge command to remove these block references.  In AutoCAD Electrical you should use the Utilities command to remove the blocks.  It is not recommended to use the AutoCAD purge command in AutoCAD Electrical since you could accidentally remove items that are needed in AutoCAD Electrical.  Additionally, keep in mind you should use the Delete Component in AutoCAD Electrical and not the AutoCAD erase tool.  The delete component tool has updates programmed into it which will ensure your drawing and project stay updated.
If you missed Part 1.
Stay tuned for Parts 3 & 4.