How to Insert Blocks & Drawing Files

Here is how to Insert Blocks and Drawing Files in AutoCAD

You can Insert block definitions or drawings into the active drawing.

  • select one of the defined blocks in the current drawing from the drop-down list.

you can also pick Browse to select a drawing file to insert and this will create a new block definition in the current drawing.

There are three main parameters for Insert.

  • Insertion point corresponds to the base point that was specified 
when the block was defined.
  • Scale is relative to the original objects selected when the block was defined.
  • Rotation of zero creates an insert with the same orientation as the original objects selected when the block was defined.
  • Specify On-screen
  • You can reduce the number of prompts after you pick OK in the Insert dialogue box by unchecking Specify On-screen boxes.
    1. -for example, if you know that the rotation angle is zero this can be unchecked so you are not prompted for this again.
    2. -changes made to these check boxes are retained for the current drawing session.


If you Check Explode the new objects are inserted as individual objects (not as a block insert).

  • this is like using Insert with Explode unchecked and then using Explode on the inserted block.

If you uncheck Explode when you Insert a drawing you will avoid creating a block definition in the current drawing.

When you Insert a drawing the base point is normally 0,0 but you can change the base point of a drawing file.

  • Open the desired drawing and use the Base command to specify a new base point for that drawing.

Practice: How insert blocks tutorial in AutoCAD

1- Open the T111_2.dwg drawing in your personal folder. (if you completed the more practice section in the previous exercise you can remain in that drawing file instead).

2- Drop down the Layer list in the Object Properties toolbar and select FURNITURE as the new current layer.

Layer 0 was used to create objects for BMAKE.

Now you will INSERT blocks on appropriate layers.

3- Pick Insert + Block. Select TABLE as the block Name. Make sure Specify On-screen is checked for Insertion point but unchecked for Scale & Rotation. Then pick OK then pick (by eye) near P1 for the insertion point.

The FURNITURE layer is Red (BYLAYER) and the TABLE that you just inserted on this layer is also Red.

– if you create blocks using objects on layer 0 the inserted block will inherit the properties (e.g. Color) of the current layer.

See also  How to Override Page Setups In Plots

4- Right-click on the OSNAP status bar button and select Settings from the shortcut. Uncheck Center and check Quadrant instead. Then pick OK. The OSNAP status bar button should also be On.

5- Pick Insert + Block. Select CHAIR as the Name. Check Specify On-screen for Rotation. Pick OK to continue.

6- Invoke the Quadrant osnap shown and left-click to use it as an insert point.

You unchecked Specify on-screen for Rotation so this time you are prompted for a rotation angle (other than the default of zero).

7- Verify that the POLAR status bar button is On (left-click on it if it is Off). Then invoke a 90 degree tooltip angle shown below and left-click to use this as the rotation angle.

8- Use a similar technique to insert three more CHAIR blocks as shown below.

If you left-click at the rotation angle prompt you get the orientation that is currently displayed on-screen.

– if you press <enter> at the rotation angle prompt you get the default angle of zero.

– you can also type the desired rotation angle at this prompt.

9- Pick Insert + Block. Pick the Browse button and select the drawing file T111_3.dwg in your personal folder then pick Open to return to the Insert dialogue box. Uncheck Specify on-screen for Rotation and pick OK. Pick near P1 (by eye) to place this desk block.

More practice?

10- Pick Format + Rename. Select Blocks and then select T111_3 (the block you just defined by inserting the T111_3.dwg drawing into the current drawing). Type DESK in the Rename To box, pick the Rename To button then pick OK to complete the task.

You can Rename block definitions and other named objects (e.g. Text styles) in AutoCAD.

  • -when you Insert a drawing into another drawing there is no link between the resulting block insert and the original drawing file.
  • -all information required to recreate the objects in the T111_3.dwg file is now stored in the current drawing as a block definition.
  • -you could use Explode to convert this block insert to individual objects (like those that are still stored in the T111_3.dwg file).

11- Pick Draw + Rectangle. Pick any point (by eye) near P1 for the first corner and enter @50,50 as the other corner point.

12- Pick Draw + Block + Make. Select TABLE as the Name. Pick the Select objects button & enter L to select the Last object then press <enter> to return to the dialogue box. Change the description to Square 50 inch table. Remain in this dialogue box.

See also  How to create New Layouts From Scratch

13- Pick Pick point in the Block Definition dialogue box. Left-click on the OTRACK status bar button to turn this tool

14- On (if it is Off).

15- Right-click on the OSNAP status bar button and select Settings from the shortcut. Check Midpoint and pick OK. Hold your crosshairs over the Midpoint osnap markers shown below (do NOT left-click on them) to acquire these points as tracking alignment points.

16- Invoke the tracking tooltip shown below and left-click to use this as the new base point for the new TABLE.

17- Pick OK to complete Bmake & pick Yes to re-define TABLE.

18- Drop down the Layer list in the Object Properties toolbar and select WALLS as the new current layer.

19- Pick Insert + Block. Select DOOR as the Name. Specify On-screen should be checked for Insertion point and Rotation but unchecked for Scale. Check Uniform Scale and enter 36 as the X Scale. Then pick OK to continue.

  • The DOOR block was created one unit wide.
  • – you are creating a door that is 36 inches wide so you must set 
the Scale to 36 (X and Y).
  • You will use Tracking & Direct Distance Entry to find an insertion 
point that is 4 inches from the inside corner of the wall.

20- Hold your crosshairs over the Endpoint osnap marker shown (do NOT left-click) to acquire this as a tracking alignment point.

21- Move your crosshairs upward to begin tracking. When the tracking tooltip has a 90 degree angle type 4 at the keyboard and press <enter> to supply the insertion point with direct distance entry.

22- Move your crosshairs downward to invoke a 270 degree tooltip angle and left-click to use this as the rotation angle for the block insert.

You were able to precisely locate the DOOR symbol relative to the corner of this wall by using Tracking & Direct Distance Entry.

– you only had to type the scale for the block insert and the remaining information could be picked on-screen.

23- Use Line to create wall caps on either side of the doorway.

24- Use Trim to create an opening for the doorway.

25- Save the changes to this drawing and Close the file.

Back to top button