Working with BLOCK Attributes in GeoTools

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Annotation / Blocks Ribbon Panel

Annotation / Blocks Ribbon Panel

GeoTools has many features for working with annotation and blocks (INSERT) entities. Today I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce you to one of the tools found on the Blocks fly-out menu.

Blocks fly-out menu

Global Attribute Editor

As you can see, there are many tools as your disposal here but the one I have chosen to spotlight is the Global Attribute Editor.

At one time or another I am sure that you have come across attributed blocks. For example, title sheets usually have such a block with all the pertinent drawing information on.

They are very useful because you can key in all required information through a pop-up window and it will be displayed in your drawing in a consistent manner.

From time to time you might need to make some global changes to one or more attributes held within your blocks. This could become time consuming if you had a lot of blocks to modify and error prone.

This is why I have personally found this to be a useful tool in resolving some of the issues that I have encountered.

Global Attribute Editor Window

Summary of Features

This window is displayed when you start the command (you can also type GT_ATTEDIT on the command line).

Select the Block

The first thing you need to do is specify the block to process. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • You can select an existing block in the drawing.
  • You can choose a block from a list of those defined in the drawing.

Select the Attribute

Next, you need to select the attribute that you want to make changes to. In this case I have selected the DRAWN attribute. Now you are ready to tell GeoTools what changes you want performed.

Settings up the Edit Criteria

Select the Criteria

Now want to need to do is select the type of change that you want to make from those listed on the right. The various controls are enabled as required.

Let us suppose that I want to change the DRAWN attribute value to XYZ. In this case, I don’t care what value was there before, I just want to set it to this new value. So we would set up the edit criteria like this:

Click the OK button when you are ready to proceed and then you will be presented with the Build Selection Set window:

This window is already filled in with all the correct selection values. All you need to do is decide how you want to select your elements.

Build Selection Set window
Build Selection Set Window

Fine tune the options as required and then, once you have built your selection set, click Apply button.

GeoTools will now work through all of these selected blocks and for each of them it will set the DRAWN value to XYZ. Can you see how useful this command can be? Imagine fixing the date on 30 sheets automatically.

As expected, GeoTools will provided you with feedback as it performs the updates:


Be Careful!

Don’t be caught out when working with Title Sheet blocks. In most circumstances these will be in Paper Space.

Make sure you set that option correctly as it has caught me out a few times in the past.

Menu: GeoTools -> Blocks -> Global Attribute Editor
Select a BLOCK object:
Scanning drawing file…done..
Scanning drawing file…done..
Processing block objects…3
0 objects ignored.
3 objects stored in active [previous] selection set
3 objects processed.

Here is what my title sheet looks like after I performed the above operations:

Updated Title Sheer
Updated Title Sheet

Why not download the 30 day trial and give it a go? See if your company could make use of the Global Attribute Editor in GeoTools! Please don’t hesitate to use the Contact Form to get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

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