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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Power User DXF Secret Tip

Here’s a little tip that came to mind when responding to one of our subscriber’s problems. Amy was having problems fixing several attribute values, tags and prompts over multiple blocks. In her case, there were some misspelled words and incorrect values that were consistent from one block to the next. It reminded me of a way to use a command in ways most people have never thought of.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you have the prefix “xyzcorp-” at the beginning of 50 different block names, 75 different attribute tags and 100 different layer names. Then you find out that you need to change all references to “abccorp-“. You could change the block names using the “REN” command (one at a time), the attributes using the “-ATTEDIT” command and the layers using Layer Manager. And you could spend all day doing that.

Or you could use a little know secret….The DXF command. Many people only use this command when transferring drawings back and forth between programs other than AutoCAD. But the awesome thing about the DXF command is that it creates a text file out of your drawing.

Open your drawing and give the “SAVEAS” command. When prompted for the name, change the file type to *.DXF and save the file to a known location. Open Microsoft WordPad and change the document type to “All Documents (*.*) and open the DXF file you created. Simply do a “find and replace” (Ctrl+H) and enter “xyxcorp-” in the “find” field and “abccorp-” in the “replace” field. All occurrences, regardless of entity type, will be changed. Save the file and open it in AutoCAD and save back to DWG.

This is an extreme example to point out the power of this technique. You can now get creative on ways to put it into action to work for you. Please let me know if you are able to solve some specific problems with this tip.

If you find any of these tips helpful, please let me know. And while you are at it, let your friends and colleagues know about this site.