Enhanced 'Insert' interface for AutoCAD 2020

Okay, with AutoCAD 2020 here, it’s time to show another not-so-touted feature enhancement, Insert Block. The usual dialog box has given way to a palette which combines a few abilities, including multiple insert (MINSERT). This format is good in a major way. It can be visible, but collapsed, for quick access.

First, the palette is divided into 3 tabs for choosing the source location: Current Drawing, Recent, and Other Drawing. The panes only differ slightly, with common options remaining the same. Below are the different areas of each.


Current Drawing

At the top, we are given a filter for typing in the name of the block to reduce the number of preview items shown. That helps to prevent mindless scrolling through block names. The field has a pull-down  towards the right to select previously used filters. Those filters remain between drawings, so it is system-dependent.

Next to the filter is an ellipsis button to allow browsing for the block to insert. Once you have chosen the block to insert, the path is shown and the preview is the only block shown in the preview window.


Now that it is listed, click once on the preview icon and the options shown in the below options pane are implemented, while the command line prompts you for the insertion point. Without reinitializing the command, you can reinsert the same block with other parameters, such as rotation or scaling. Simply make the desired parameter changes and click the block icon again. Cool!

Right-clicking on a block icon gives you two options in this tab: Insert and Insert and Explode.

The far-right icon at the top is for the appearance of the block listing, with the default being Large Icon.


The options we are accustomed to for scale, angle, rotation, etc. are in the pane below for Insertion Options. Added here is the ability to repeat the placement of the block, which makes a nice replacement of the MINSERT command.


The main difference on this tab is the listing of recently inserted blocks. However, right-clicking on a previously used block gives a slightly different set of options. When blocks are modified, they can be redefined and inserted into the drawing or redefined only. You can also choose to remove the entry from the Recent List.


Other Drawing

This is somewhat like a function found in Design Center, where you can browse to another drawing and pull a block from its contents to insert into the current drawing. Use the ellipsis button at the top to browse for the file, click Open, and the block listing shows in the window.


In this tab, when right-clicking on a block listing, you also get the option to Insert and Redefine as before.


Overall, this is a very welcome enhancement that is sure to increase block access for others as well.

About the Author

Bryant Quinney

Civil Solutions Applications Expert

Working with clients to implement various technologies and techniques within civil engineering disciplines. With my travels, I teach/train, troubleshoot, solve, configure, and implement solutions based on client needs. Drawing on many years of experience across various types of projects, I continue to enjoy doing this type of work.

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