Creating Dynamic Viewport Scale Labels in AutoCAD 2018 dynamic autocad scale

Creating Dynamic Viewport Scale Labels in AutoCAD 2018

The AutoCAD 2018.1 update makes it easier than ever to change the scale of a viewport, but how do you ensure that change reflects across your view scale annotations? The process of managing viewport scales and view scale annotations inside AutoCAD are typically separate workflows, and ripe for falling into an asynchronous state. The good news is these two tasks do not have to remain siloed.

Leveraging AutoCAD Fields

Fields are an often overlooked but powerful function inside AutoCAD. You can insert a Field into any text in your drawing including multi-line text, block attributes, and table cells, The purpose of inserting a field into your drawing is to display a real-time string of data. That data can be anything from the current filename, the length of an entity, or as we're interested in this example - the scale of a viewport.

Dynamic Viewport Scale Label

Leveraging AutoCAD Fields, you can associate a string of text with a viewport in your drawing. The power of this association is anytime the properties of your viewport changes, so too will the text labeling it. Translated, that means you can have a piece of text that automatically displays the current viewport scale.

The process of adding Fields to your drawing isn't terribly difficult. Check out the video above to see the entire workflow in action. Do you use Fields in your drawings? Offer your suggestions for the creative ways you use Fields in the comments below.

Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports view and viewport enhancements e1514874430526

Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports

It's only been about four months since Autodesk released AutoCAD 2018, but that hasn't slowed the development team. Just last week the team introduced AutoCAD 2018.1, a mid-release update that brings with it numerous incremental updates to AutoCAD 2018. The update is free to anyone with an active subscription or maintenance agreement to AutoCAD, AutoCAD-based verticals, Design Suites, and Industry Collections.

You can read about all of the improvements introduced in AutoCAD 2018.1 on the AutoCAD Blog, but in this post, I wanted to explore one of my favorites - Views and Viewports. This selection may seem like an odd enhancement to call a favorite, but my reason for it is just how much I've seen people struggle to setup drawing sheets with views at a particular scale.  It's an everyday workflow that's clunky at best, and far from something many AutoCAD users would call intuitive.

The AutoCAD 2018.1 update aims to simplify much of the workflow associated with setting up drawing sheets at a particular scale. Achieving this, we see a new relationship between Named Views and Viewports. Viewports have long been standard operating procedure for setting up sheets, but Views are something I've seen very few AutoCAD users use. Beyond establishing a relationship between Views and Viewports, the 2018.1 update also offers a simplified workflow for creating Named Views.

Defining Views

Historically, the process of creating a Named View in AutoCAD involved navigating the (cluttered) View Manager dialog. Although that workflow still exists, we now have a direct link to create new Named Views through the New View command.

To create a new Named View in AutoCAD 2018.1:

  1. Choose the New View command from the Named Views panel of the Views Ribbon Tab. The New View/Shot Properties dialog box opens.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 New View
  2. Enter a unique name for your view and an optional View Category.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 New View Properties
  3. Choose between Current Display or Define Window as a Boundary. For more precise control, I prefer choosing the Define Window option. Selecting Define Window will temporarily close the New View/Shot Properties dialog box allowing you to select a view boundary graphically.
  4. Pick opposite corners to specify the boundary of your View graphically. Press Enter to accept the result. The New View/Shot Properties dialog box reopens.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 Define Boundary
  5. Click OK from the New View/Shot Properties dialog box to create your view. The New View/Shot Properties dialog box closes, and the NEWVIEW command ends.

Placing Views

Views have always had a loose association with Viewports, but never a direct relationship. That's the foundational improvement with Views and Viewports in AutoCAD 2018.1. There is now a direct workflow to place Named Views onto drawing sheets.

Do the following to place a Named View onto a drawing sheet/Layout:

  1. Switch to the Layout Tab you would like to place a view onto. The selected drawing sheet appears, and the contextual Layout Ribbon Tab opens in the Ribbon.
  2. Select the contextual Layout Ribbon Tab, and select the Insert View command from the Layout Viewports panel. A gallery of named views stored in the current drawing displays.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 Insert View
  3. Choose the Named View you would like to place from the gallery view. An outline of the selected View appears around the drawing window cursor.
  4. Pick the center point of the view. The Named View is placed onto your Layout/drawing sheet.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 Place View

Changing a View Scale

Historically, changing the scale of a viewport was far from a refined process. The process included unlocking the viewport, specifying a new scale, adjusting the viewport frame, using the PAN command to readjust the view composition, and finally relocking the viewport. That same process in AutoCAD 2018.1 is now a two step process:

  1. Select the view whose scale you would like to adjust. Grips for each corner, the center of the view, and a scale selector appear.
  2. Click the triangular viewport scale grip, and select the desired scale. The viewport scale and viewport frame update to reflect the selected scale.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 Change View Scale

Creating a View from a Layout Tab

Up until this point, we've talked about creating Views and Viewport as two separate processes. Because of the new relationship between Views and Viewports added to AutoCAD 2018.1, it is now possible to create both as a single process:

  1. With a Layout tab displayed, switch to the contextual Layout Ribbon Tab.
  2. Select Insert View > New View from the Layout Viewports panel of the Layout Ribbon Tab. A Model Space view with a light blue boundary opens.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 New View Layout
  3. Pick two opposite corners to define the boundary of your new view. Press Enter. The Layout tab reopens, and a view boundary displays at the drawing cursor.
    Sheet Setup Made Easy with AutoCAD 2018.1 Views and Viewports AutoCAD 2018.1 Define Layout View
  4. Pick a point on your Layout to place the new view. The new view is placed onto your drawing sheet.

See each of these workflows in action by watching the video at the top of this post, and be sure to stay tuned as we explore some of the other new features inside AutoCAD 2018.1. Curious about the practical application of one of the other new features inside 2018.1, or simply want to offer your thoughts about the View and Viewport functionality highlighted in this post, let us know in the comments below.

AutoCAD Selection Effect

Disable the Glowing Line Highlighting Effect inside AutoCAD

By default, when you select objects in AutoCAD, a blue glowing effect displays to indicate the selected state of an object. The glowing visual effect has been the default for many years now, but some AutoCAD veterans might recall the former dashed effect used to indicate when objects are selected. Although many have come to appreciate, or at least accept the glowing effect, others still prefer the dashed effect from yesteryear. The good news when using AutoCAD is that most things like this are customizable, and the selection effect is no exception. In fact, there are technically two ways to enable the dashed line effect should that be your preference.

The first is a byproduct of understanding what allows the glowing effect in the first place. AutoCAD only displays the glowing effect when running with a graphics card capable of hardware acceleration. So if you don't see the glowing effect, and never turned it off, there's a good chance the answer as to why rests with your hardware. Of course, if you see the glowing effect and would prefer to disable it, you can technically do so by disabling hardware acceleration. I say technically since, while it does enable the dashed line selection effect, it prevents you from taking advantage of the many other benefits of hardware acceleration. Put simply; this is not the method I recommend if the dashed effect is what you're after.

So what should you do if you wish to disable the glowing effect? The answer rests in the SELECTIONEFFECT system variable. The glowing effect displays when this variable is set to its default value of 1. Changing the SELECTIONEFFECT variable to 0 will disable the glowing effect, instead of displaying the dashed line effect. Best of all, the SELECTIONEFFECT variable has no effect on hardware acceleration. That means you can enable the dashed line effect while keeping all the advantages of hardware acceleration.

What is your preferred setting for the SELECTIONEFFECT system variable? Likewise, what other settings are you interested in switching inside AutoCAD? Let us know in the comments below.

A CAD Geek’s First Impression of AutoCAD 2018 AutoCAD 2018

A CAD Geek’s First Impression of AutoCAD 2018

Spring is in the air, and a new version of AutoCAD is now on the street. Today Autodesk announced the release of AutoCAD 2018, and it is one worth celebrating. Not only does it introduce some impressive new features, but it also represents the 35th-anniversary of AutoCAD. To put that milestone in perspective, MS-DOS 1.0, an operating system long succeeded by Microsoft Windows (not to mention discontinued in 2000),  turned 35 in August of 2016.

35 Years of AutoCAD

AutoCAD reaching its 35th anniversary is both an incredible accomplishment, as much as it is a liability of the platform itself. Just as we celebrate the fact AutoCAD 2018 can still open drawings from those earliest versions, it is hard not to ask whether 35 years of baggage is a good thing?

What excites me most about AutoCAD 2018 is what I believe this release represents along that 35-year timeline.  While there are certainly new features to talk about in this release, I think the biggest takeaway is the investment Autodesk has made to both modernize and innovate the AutoCAD platform itself. Opening AutoCAD 2018 for the first time you will find both tangible and intangible examples of these efforts. While there are 35 years of DNA inside AutoCAD 2018, there are not 35 years of baggage.

The Modernization of AutoCAD

In the simplest of ways, this modernization has meant restructuring the underlying code of AutoCAD to apply best computer science practices for the year 2017 – not 1982. In some cases, this means a new feature in the desktop version, but in other cases, it means Autodesk can achieve greater feature parity between the desktop and mobile versions of AutoCAD. Even if you are not (yet) among the group of people using the mobile version of AutoCAD, a more scalable codebase is a good thing for all AutoCAD users.

A CAD Geek’s First Impression of AutoCAD 2018 autocad 2018 high resolution 4k

It is for those reasons I find AutoCAD 2018 to be such a fascinating release. In my eyes, this version represents the 35-year legacy of AutoCAD as much as it does the very future of AutoCAD. The simplest example of this is the introduction of full support for high-resolution (4K) monitors. You can now run your monitor at full resolution without fear of interface elements within AutoCAD not scaling correctly. Autodesk even updated the classic toolbars to support 4K monitors.

Modernized Collaboration – External References

For those of us still waiting for our hoverboards, the future sounds great, but the fact of the matter is we are all stuck in the project-based realities of today. The bottom line is a tool like AutoCAD must, above all else, support my project collaboration needs of the present. Squarely addressing those needs are the many enhancements to external references (XREFs).

Relative path external references have been an option within AutoCAD for many years, but my experience is most users struggle to make sense of them. Currently, the second most popular search about relative paths is “AutoCAD Relative Path Cannot be Assigned.” That tells me my experience supporting AutoCAD users is not isolated. Despite being a long-standing best practice, many people simply give up on relative paths since they are too difficult to tame. Although this seems to save time at the moment, it ignores the project collaboration issues that are likely to arise later.

Although the core functionality of external references is unchanged in AutoCAD 2018, the workflow for creating references is significantly improved. The first small but significant change is the application of a relative path to all new external references. You still have the option to choose Full Path if you wish, but the out of the box default is now Relative Path.

For those with a strong knowledge about the differences between Full Paths and Relative Paths, you know you cannot set a Relative Path until you save the drawing. If Relative Path is now the default, conventional AutoCAD wisdom tells us we have a mess on our hands. That is where the second key improvement to external references comes into play. You can now specify a Relative Path reference before you save your drawing. Apart from crowning a new second-place search result, this change alone should make relative paths far more approachable for users.

Other improvements to external references include a notification to update reference paths when you save a drawing in a place that breaks an existing reference path. While it is still possible to break external reference paths, AutoCAD 2018 makes it far harder to do so. In cases where you still encounter broken reference paths, the Find Replace Path tool from the Reference Manager is now inside AutoCAD.

The external reference tools you are familiar with are still inside AutoCAD 2018; they are just better-designed for the needs of project-based collaboration now. From my experience troubleshooting issues with external references, just this improved feature set alone could be reason enough for some firms to upgrade to 2018.

Another Express Tool Grows Up – Combine Text

Over the years, many of the Express Tools (or Bonus Tools as longstanding AutoCAD veterans like to call them) have “grown up” to become full AutoCAD commands. While this promotion means little to many AutoCAD users, it can be a big deal for AutoCAD LT users.

Starting with AutoCAD 2017.1, the Convert to Mtext Express Tool is now the Combine Text tool. Unlike the Express Tool version, this new version is available for both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT users.

A Design Tool for Today – and Tomorrow

There are far more new features inside AutoCAD 2018 than outlined in this post. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as I take a more detailed look at many of those features. Before we reconnect for those posts, I do need to share one last detail about AutoCAD 2018 – the DWG file version. AutoCAD 2018 saves to a new AutoCAD 2018 DWG file format. Like previous releases of AutoCAD, you can save to previous versions of AutoCAD if needed. In my limited testing, I did not notice any compatibility issues saving 2018 drawings back to the 2013 file version.


In summary, while the new features inside AutoCAD are beneficial, I find the real benefit of 2018 to be what rests behind the user interface. In addition to being more scalable, a modern code base means AutoCAD runs even better on your current hardware. Using AutoCAD 2018 over the last several months, I have noticed increased performance with everyday tasks like opening and saving drawings. Though your mileage may vary, the incremental gains tend to add up quickly over the period of several days to a week.

Current subscribers of AutoCAD can download AutoCAD 2018 from the Autodesk Account website now. If you do not already subscribe to AutoCAD and would like to setup a chat to discuss AutoCAD 2018, I invite you to complete a quick form. If you would like to learn even more about AutoCAD 2018, read my First Look at AutoCAD 2018 on the CADD Microsystems blog.


Updating AutoCAD Block Attributes using Microsoft Excel Excel Attribute

Updating AutoCAD Block Attributes using Microsoft Excel

Block Attributes are an integral component of nearly every AutoCAD-based project I've worked on. Beyond the ubiquitous title block, Block Attributes are commonly used for Room Tags, to display calculations, and more. Whilst it isn't too difficult to update a couple of Block Attributes, when the blocks to update ventures beyond that - the task quickly becomes as tedious as it is time-consuming.

I've long wished AutoCAD had a command that would let you link a block to something like an Excel spreadsheet. Although that wish has never been granted, the next best thing exists in the form of AutoCAD's Express Tools. Two of my favorite Express Tool commands are ATTIN and ATTOUT. Put simply, the commands will export Block Attribute values to a Tab-Delimited text file (ATTOUT), and update Block Attribute values from a Tab-Delimited text file (ATTIN). In the video above I demonstrate how to use these commands in tandem with Microsoft Excel to quickly renumber the room tags in a floor plan.

Tips for Updating Attributes with Excel

Whislt the blocks can be anything you wish, there are a few tricks to using this method in production:

  1. Blocks are updated based on their Handle ID: Every object (including blocks) are assigned a unique Handle ID. No two objects in an AutoCAD drawing will have the same Handle ID, and the ID itself is designed to function as a unique identifier in the DWG database. This means you can move a block anywhere you wish in the drawing (even a different Layout tab), but you cannot erase the block. Erasing the block will change the Handle ID for the object, and thus break this method.
  2. You may combine multiple TXT files: The ATTOUT command will generate a separate TXT file each time you run the command. Especially if you're updating the same block (not to be confused with block insertion), you can combine multiple TXT files into a single TXT file if you wish. Using the example in the video, you may export the Room Tag block attribute values for each floor in your design - thus resulting in a TXT file for each floor. You can combine these TXT files into a single TXT file to simplify things a bit.
  3. Save as Tab Delimited Text File in Microsoft Excel: I will typically create an Excel spreadsheet that performs various calculations. When exporting your data from Excel, be sure to select tab delimited as the file type.
AutoCAD Classic Interface

Recreating the AutoCAD Classic Workspace

Despite several improvements to the Ribbon interface over the years, many AutoCAD users still prefer the AutoCAD Classic workspace featuring menus and toolbars. Since introducing the Ribbon interface in AutoCAD 2009, Autodesk has been nice enough to provide a classic interface to aid users transitioning from the old interface. The menu and toolbar-based AutoCAD Classic Workspace was included with the 2009-2014 versions of the software, but beginning with AutoCAD 2015 the AutoCAD Classic Workspace was retired from the default installation.

While I would encourage those still using menus & toolbars to give the Ribbon a chance, that's not the purpose of this post. Although the AutoCAD Classic interface is no longer included in the default installation of AutoCAD 2015 or AutoCAD 2016, the good news is it's not terribly difficult to recreate on your own. Watch the video above for a step-by-step look into recreating the AutoCAD Classic Workspace.

AutoCAD 2016 Splash Screen

AutoCAD 2016 SP1 Adds Support for Windows 10

Although service packs already exist for many AutoCAD 2016 verticals like Civil 3D; Autodesk released service pack 1 for "vanilla" AutoCAD this week. Whilst I recommend always paying attention to new service pack releases, this service pack is especially important for a few reasons.

Reason 1: The Service Pack Fixes Things

The basic function of service packs is to fix bugs (or what my optimist self likes to call "undocumented features") that users like you have reported to Autodesk. The best way to let Autodesk know of the problems you're having with the software? Always submit the CER report whenever AutoCAD crashes. The development teams at Autodesk use that information to identify and fix bugs in the software and thus make service packs even more beneficial for all.

Reason 2: Service Pack 1 adds Support for Windows 10

Anyone looking to upgrade (or has already upgraded) to Windows 10 will want to install this service pack immediately. Autodesk always develops their software to work with the latest operating system version being shipped to customers. Since Windows 10 was still in beta when AutoCAD 2016 was released this spring, support for Microsoft's latest operating system is only available WITH service pack 1 installed. Without AutoCAD 2016 Service Pack 1 installed, Autodesk only supports Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 with AutoCAD 2016.

Reason 3: The "Vanilla" AutoCAD Service Pack now applies to AutoCAD Verticals

As mentioned at the start of this post, Autodesk has already released service packs for many of the vertical flavors of AutoCAD. This is important to note since users of vertical flavors of AutoCAD such as AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD Civil 3D have long been trained to ignore service packs for vanilla AutoCAD. In the past, service packs for vertical flavors of AutoCAD always followed the service pack release for vanilla AutoCAD. This was because the service packs for vertical flavors of AutoCAD always included fixes for both AutoCAD and the vertical flavor like AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD Civil 3D.

With AutoCAD 2016 the acad.exe application is shared among all versions of AutoCAD you have installed on your machine. This is a very good thing for a long list of reasons, but it also now means to keep AutoCAD Civil 3D up-to-date, you will have to install two service packs. The Civil 3D service pack PLUS the vanilla AutoCAD Service Pack.

[button link="" type="big" newwindow="yes"] Download AutoCAD 2016 Service Pack 1[/button]

(via Autodesk Knowledge Network:

Converting PDFs to AutoCAD DWGs using Adobe Illustrator Illustrator

Converting PDFs to AutoCAD DWGs using Adobe Illustrator

The ubiquity of PDFs make them a great choice for collaboration when you're not sure what software a recipient is using. By sending a PDF you can rest assured whomever the recipient - they'll be able to open it. But what if you're the recipient, who has AutoCAD, and you really needs a DWG version of the PDF?

Modern versions of AutoCAD come packed with lots of great PDF functionality. Still the closest AutoCAD comes to converting PDFs into a DWG format is the PDF Underlay function. PDF Underlays do not change the original PDF in anyway, instead they create a reference to the original PDF. The functionality mirrors that of Xref's where you can snap to object, control the visibility of objects, and clip the reference.

Whilst I will typically start with the PDF Underlay functionality built into AutoCAD, sometimes I just need a DWG to work with. In those cases I typically turn to Adobe Illustrator. As an Adobe product, Illustrator does an excellent job working with PDFs. As luck would have it, Illustrator also includes the ability to export to the AutoCAD DWG file format. In the video above, I'll share how I use Adobe Illustrator to convert PDFs to AutoCAD DWGs.

AutoCAD Light Interface

Brighten up AutoCAD with a Lighter Color Scheme

Customization has long been among AutoCAD's core strengths. Even as changes are made to the program it's typically always possible to tailor the interface to your liking. One recent change that some users love, and others could do without is the graphite interface. Those who enjoy the graphite interface cite the reduced eye strain, whereas others seem to prefer the contrast of the former (lighter) interface.

Whilst I don't have a strong preference either way, I have found the light interface to work a little better for me when presenting to an audience with a projector. Given the number of presentations I do for my job at CADD Microsystems, it likely goes without saying I typically change the AutoCAD interface to its former - lighter interface. Watch the video above to learn how to make this change on your own system.

Applying Child Dimension Styles: A Geek and a dimension is born

JacksonWrapping up my sixth edition of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required; few things can top the excitement of sharing months of hard work that, as an author, I sincerely hope will help others get a footing in the industry - much as I did many years ago. I emphasize few things can top that excitement because Shaan Hurley, longtime friend and Between The Lines blogger, recently spotlighted one of those moments that even exceed the definition of excitement. My wife and I just celebrated the 1-month birthday of our first child, a baby boy, that we chose to name Jackson. Joining in the festivities (and the subject of Shaan's blog post) was the outfit my company, CADD Microsystems, had made for our little guy. The outfit that set off an incredibly geeky Facebook thread simply reads "Latest Autodesk Product." Needless to say, my wife and I couldn't be more excited to welcome Jackson into our lives, and I certainly can't wait until the day I get to begin teaching him about design.

In the spirit of children, I thought I'd share a quick tip on creating and using Child Dimension Styles. If you're not familiar with the concept, Child Dimension Styles are an absolute necessity when you need to change the appearance for different types of dimensions. As an example, many architectural plans use Architectural Ticks for linear dimensions, but an Arrow may be more appropriate for Radius dimensions. In lieu of creating a different style for Linear and Radius dimensions, Child Dimension Styles can capture both dimension types into a single (centrally managed) dimension style. Have a look at the video to learn how.


Where did the Coordinate readout in the AutoCAD status bar go? Customize Menu

Where did the Coordinate readout in the AutoCAD status bar go?

Whenever you first learned AutoCAD, there's a good chance at least some portion of the class/book included a discussion about the Cartesian coordinate system used throughout AutoCAD. I'll spare you the details, but to summarize coordinates help us identify the precise location of objects in our drawings. While I would argue coordinates are important for any design discipline, there is perhaps no discipline where coordinates are more critical than civil engineering. Since the x- and y-coordinates represent the precise Easting and Northing location on a project site, knowing where you are on a project site is a critical bit of information.

AutoCAD 2012 Coordinate

Ever since I started using AutoCAD with release 12 for MS-DOS, the coordinate readout has been in the lower-left corner of the Status Bar. In an attempt to save screen real estate, AutoCAD 2015 combined the Layout tab interface with the Status Bar interface. I'm not quite sure why, but the default composition of the interface omits the coordinate readout from the Status Bar.

AutoCAD 2015 Status Bar


While I cannot answer the question of why this was omitted from the default interface, I can answer the question of how to add it (back) to the interface. The secret is to click the Customize button (three horizontal lines) located on the far-right side of the Status Bar. Choosing that button will open a menu where you can select Coordinates.

Customize Menu

Adding the coordinate readout is as simple as that. As soon as you choose Coordinates from the Customize menu, the coordinate readout is added to the far-right side of the Status bar.

Coordinate readout

Applying Parametric Constraints to Dynamic Blocks

AutoCAD block libraries can quickly become unwieldy due in part to the need to capture multiple options of what's effectively the same item. A common example of this is a table that is offered in 6 ft, 8 ft, and 10 ft varieties. Each of these requires it's own block simply because of the differing lengths. To help combat this, AutoCAD has long had the ability to create what it calls Dynamic Blocks. You've likely encountered a few Dynamic Blocks in at least a handful of drawings. The essence of Dynamic Blocks are that you can create just one block that can "dynamically" adjust based on some parameters you define.

Although the basic idea of what a Dynamic Block is hasn't been too difficult for most AutoCAD users to understand, how to create Dynamic Blocks has proven to be a different story entirely. Typically creating Dynamic Blocks has meant learning how to combine Actions and Parameters to accomplish something (like making a table longer). While these methods still apply for some Dynamic Blocks, a lesser known feature of the Parametric Drafting tools within AutoCAD is that they can double as Dynamic Block parameters. In the video above, I take a look at a simple L-desk where the secondary desk must be half the length of the primary desk. With Parametric Constraints, creating building this intelligence into a Dynamic Block is much less difficult than you would imagine. Have a look at the video above to learn how.