Many have discovered the power of Tool Palettes. Tool Palettes have a seemingly endless number of applications. Of the uses of Tool Palettes is the ability to categorically organize your block library. Blocks which relate to your drainage design can be put on a palette separate from those blocks relating to your utility design. By default Tool Palettes simply run a basic block insert command. A closer look at the properties of a Tool Palette will reveal some options many may not be aware of. Right-clicking a block on a Tool Palette and selecting “Properties” will open the “Tool Properties” dialogue. From here a number of options are available including the lesser-known “Auxiliary Scale”.

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Setting the Auxiliary Scale to something like Dimscale or Plot Scale will make AutoCAD automatically scale your block. Thus if your drawing scale is 1″ = 50′, it would be possible to have your blocks be scaled 50 times when inserting them from your Tool Palette. Using the Tool Palette Auxiliary Scaling option can save you from a lot of tedious work manually setting the scale of blocks, or even creating separate block definitions for each scale. AutoCAD 2008 introduces “Annotative Scaling” which applies not only to text, but blocks as well. We will look at “Annotative Scaling” in a future post.