Working With Blocks
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Working With Blocks

Apr 29, 2016
Video Length:  1:04:35
Presented By:  Jake Lott

Blocks are integral to any CAD design. Maintaining a good standard for the blocks you use is absolutely crucial, as is ensuring that your blocks are easy to adjust, navigate, and place. Join us for our next webinar, where we'll take a broad look into the role of blocks within Land F/X and how to integrate your personal set of blocks into the Land F/X system. We'll also go a bit deeper into which types of blocks you can have at your disposal and how these blocks will function with Land F/X.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • What is a Block?
  • Land F/X Block Setup
  • How Land F/X Uses Blocks
  • Types of Blocks
  • Proper Block Setup
    • What Should a Block Include?
    • What Kind of Guidelines Should You Be Following?
  • How Blocks Function Within CAD (Understanding What to Look for When Working with Blocks)
    • Cool Land F/X Tools

0:00 – 4:25: Intro/TOC

4:26 – 8:10: What is a Block?

  • A block is a collection of objects into a named object.
  • When inserted into CAD, a block is now defined in the drawing.
  • The only way to make permanent changes to that block is to edit the source block.
  • A block in a specific drawing will need to be redefined or removed completely from the project and then re-inserted.



  • The linework and objects making up a block are analogous to the ingredients of a cake.
  • Once you’ve created a block with these items, you’ve “baked them into a cake.”
  • Once you’ve defined the block, you’ve “created a recipe for the cake.”

8:11 – 10:29: Land F/X Block Setup

Sample of the default Land F/X block folder structure (8:11)



Blocks and sub-blocks are huge timesavers – especially with objects you find yourself using in your drawings repeatedly. They allow you to place the same objects over and over without having to re-create them each time.

10:30 – 18:49: How Land F/X Uses Blocks

Examples of Land F/X blocks (10:50):

  • Plant symbols
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Schedules
  • Concept Lines
  • Site blocks (including vehicles and people)
  • Lots more!


How our block system works (12:10)

Our cloud-based block system stores all the default Land F/X blocks in the cloud. They’re downloaded on demand as you place each one for the first time. The blocks are downloaded automatically into a specific folder structure. Our block dialog boxes (example: Plan Graphics) contain an organizational system that mirrors that of the corresponding folder and its subfolders.


We’re constantly updating our block libraries. You’re also able to save your own custom blocks in to our system.


Adding color to blocks using the Site Color tool (14:20)


Our blocks follow a regimented system of layer organization. Having different lines, colors, etc., on separate layers allows you to work with the blocks quickly, performing actions as turning color on and off extremely quickly. (14:35)


Our block numbering system (for easy organization) (16:20)


Our blocks folder structure, which contains blocks and the corresponding slides (17:00)


If you see old versions of our blocks in any of the blocks subfolders, you can either copy these old versions to a new location or just delete them. When you place each block again, the new version will download automatically. (17:45)

18:50 – 21:49: Types of Blocks

Standard blocks (17:10)


Dynamic blocks (19:04)


Dynamic blocks allow you to cycle through and place different versions of the same block (for example, different boulders). Each of these blocks will have a D in its name.


(Annotative and Colored blocks will be discussed later in the webinar.)

21:50 – 38:14: Proper Block Setup

What Should a Block Include?

Everything within a block should be on a block layer. Our block layer names start with the letters LK. This setup provides a much higher degree of flexibility than we’d have if everything were, for example, on Layer 0. (22:40)


By contrast, when you insert a block in regular AutoCAD, it’s inserted on the layer that’s currently active. Land F/X takes it a step further and places everything within a block onto the correct layer, allowing for easier organization. (24:00)


Selecting a block and checking its properties in the Block Definition dialog box. Note that the Block Unit setting affects the size of the block as placed in a drawing. (25:00)


How to save a block into the Land F/X system, including making a preview slide (26:10)


Different places where you can save a block into the Land F/X system (27:30)



Saving a plant block using the Save Plant Block tool (27:45)


Scaling options for saving a block (Manual, Dimscale, 1:1) (29:00)



Rotation options for saving a block (Manual, No Scale) (29:45)



Testing whether the block saved correctly (29:55)



Saving a site block using the Save Block tool (30:38)


Example of the files created by Land F/X when you save a block (DWG file of the actual block, SLD file of the preview slide, and XML file containing specific information about the saved block) (31:55)



What Kind of Guidelines Should You Be Following? (32:35)

Make sure your units are set correctly. Note that AutoCAD sets blocks to Unitless automatically. (32:35)


Setting the block’s insertion point using the INSBASE command and setting it to 0,0,0 (33:15)


Testing the insertion point of the block by drawing a polyline (34:00)


Other factors to consider: Dimension Styles (DimStyles), text styles, setting Layer 0 to active, purging and cleaning drawing (34:10)


The importance of ensuring no other block references exist in the file with the saved block (34:50)


Using the INSERT and either the PRG or PURGE command to ensure the block file is blank (note that PRG is a Land F/X command that runs PURGE several times) (35:00)


Using the MSLIDE command to retake the thumbnail preview slide of the saved block (36:20)

38:15 – 51:59: Dynamic Blocks

Saving a block as a dynamic block (40:10)


Using the Block Editor to set parameters for a dynamic block (example: rotation) (40:50)


Testing the block’s performance in the Block Editor (43:00)


Saving the dynamic block (43:40)



Attribute Blocks (45:00)

Creating text attributes for a block using the TEXT2TTRIB command (45:00)


Saving a block with attributes into the Land F/X Discipline Graphics library (46:25)


Placing a dynamic block in a drawing (example: a time stamp block) (47:20)


Correcting the scale of a block in the source file (47:45)


Assigning values to the attributes in a placed block (example: the date and name in a time stamp) (50:00)



Question: What does “LK” stand for in the Land F/X block layers? (51:00)


Answer: “L” stands for “landscape” and “K” stands for “block.”

52:00 – end: How Blocks Function Within CAD (Understanding What to Look for When Working with Blocks)

Cool Land F/X Tools (52:30)


Using Work Areas (Land F/X tool) to allow blocks and text to remain at the same size across different scales (52:30)


Adding color to plant blocks using the Color Render tool, and turning Color Render off when needed (57:20)

(note that Color Render actually swaps out plant blocks for separate color blocks, which keeps the drawing size down and prevents slow performance)


Copying a dynamic block along a line (1:00)


Adding color to site blocks using the Site Color tool (1:01)


Using the Xlist command to find out which layer a particular line within a block is on (1:01:30)

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