Creating Tool Palettes in AutoCAD (CAD Manager's Toolbox)

26 Feb, 2008 By: Robert Green

A simple way to quickly create tool palettes and edit their properties in bulk.

I was recently working with a client to develop some tool palettes for the client's block libraries when I shared a few tips to reduce the amount of time required for this task. In this CAD Manager's Toolbox, I will pass along some of the client's favorites. These tips work for all AutoCAD-based products.

Step 1: Get Organized
Before setting up new tool palettes for block libraries, clean house. Delete all your old blocks, update the ones you want to use, if required, and put everything in an organized directory folder structure. By the way, I highly recommend getting everything on a network drive so you can keep one library of blocks and palettes in a master location.

Step 2: Populate the Palette Pages
Using Design Center (remember Design Center?) you can quickly crank out a series of palette pages based on the directory names you used to organize your block folders. The key is to browse to the directories you'd like to create in Design Center.

Design Center's browsable interface shows you folders and blocks available for insertion.

Now right-click on your folder of choice and select the Create Tool Palette of Blocks option.

Right-click on the folder of blocks you'd like to "palettize," like this.

The palettes will be created for you and inserted into your current palette library -- all the more reason to have everything well organized and networked.

The new palette is placed at the top of the palette list.

Step 3: Edit the Palette Properties
Now you can edit palette object properties (like scale handling or layer creation) globally by using standard click and Shift+click selection methods.

Notice the *VARIES* in the Name field at top. That indicates that multiple palette objects are being edited at once.

There you have it -- a simple way to crank out palettes and edit their properties in bulk, thus saving you a ton of time whenever you need to create new palettes. Enjoy.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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