Tool Palettes are a fantastic tool within AutoCAD. What they allow you to do is place all your Blocks on a known Palette and then utilize them in different drawings. So, let's have a look now at creating a new Tool Palette to put all of our Blocks onto. It's very easy; it's all drag-and-drop technology, which makes our life so easy in this particular case. We go to the View tab on the Ribbon, and we click on Tool Palettes here. This will open up the Tool Palette. Now as you can see there are already default Palettes available to you, as you can see, there's your Geometric Constraints and your Dimensional Constraints Ð they replicate the Parametric tab here. But we're going to create a new Tool Palette, so we right-click here on the Title Bar of the Palette, and we select New Palette, just there. Now you'll see that new Palette appear there, and I'm going to call that: Training. Because what we're doing here is training, and this is our Training Palette, with our Training Blocks. So, maybe, let's call it Training Blocks. That would be a good option, wouldn't it? You can name the Palette anything you like. So, I'm going to press Enter there now and you'll see that my Current Training Palette, here, is highlighted in the pale gray against the dark gray of the other Tool Palette tabs. Now, the trick here is to zoom into your drawing a bit now. So, we zoom in a bit and what I'm going to do, I'm going to show you how to place three or four of these Blocks onto a Tool Palette. I'll leave you to do the rest. Let's have a look at this now. There's my custom desk. I select it. Do not use the Grip for selection. So, I've clicked on it there to select it. But when you want to select it to drag, don't use the Grip. That will go into Grip Edit Mode. Get your crosshair over part of the Block, left-click and hold, and drag with your mouse over onto the Palette, and if you release the mouse button now, there's my Desk Custom 1 Block. What I'm going to do now is go with the desk here, click on the desk. Again, don't use the Grip. Left-click and hold and drag; there's my desk. There's my computer there. Click on it, left-click and drag, and it's just a drag and drop exercise. I'll go with the phone now, left-click on it, left-click and drag, that comes across and it tells me it's Dynamic with a little lightning symbol there, you'll notice. Let's do the chair and the table now. There's the chair, left-click and drag away from the grip again, and there's the chair. I'll do my table now. Again, left-click and drag away from the grip, and you can see that I've got plenty of Blocks now on my Palette. Now what I really like about this is I can actually close this drawing now. So, I'll close this drawing down, and it prompts me if I want to save the changes. In this case, Yes I will save the changes. I now go to a blank AutoCAD screen. I'm going to start up a completely new metric drawing. I'll click on New, I select Metric on the Start from Scratch option, and I click on OK. The Palette remembers that it was there and comes back again. There are all my Blocks. Now, what I'm going to do here now is I'm going to save this drawing. So, I'm going to go to the Application Menu, Save As, and I'll save this as a Block Drawing in my Drawings Folder, so I'm just going to call it Blocks. You can obviously call it what you like, but it's just a simple name so that we remember that it's our Blocks drawing. I'll click on Save now, and what I can do now is I can literally drag and drop my Block into this Drawing. Now it's a bit big, so I will need to zoom out a bit, as you can see. It's quite large there. So, maybe what I could do there is I'd do an Extents, and there it is. There's my custom desk, and let's bring a phone in. There's my phone there. Now, you'll notice it's just coming in on the Layers that it was actually created on. Isn't that clever? So you'll see there that I've got a Furniture Layer and an Equipment Layer. If I go back to my Home tab now and click on the down arrow, it's brought those Layers in with the Blocks. Isn't that fantastic? Another feature of AutoCAD 2010. So as you can see there, those Tool Palettes are extremely useful. I can move them around. More importantly, as well, though, if I right-click here and go to Customize Palettes here, what you'll find is I can now, if I want to, right-click over a Palette and I can actually Export it if I want to. I can export that Palette as an xtp file, an External Tool Palette file, someone else can then load that Palette up in AutoCAD and use those Blocks as well. So, they're very versatile, very quick, very easy. More importantly, you're reusing your content.
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