Quick Tip: Create a Tool Palette from a Drawing’s Blocks

March 21st, 2013

The DesignCenter was introduced in AutoCAD® 2000 and remains a great interface to access many of the named objects in any AutoCAD drawing.  If you have blocks in a drawing that you would like to make available to other drawings, the optimum solution would be to create a Tool Palette.

How to Create a Tool Palette of Blocks from DesignCenter

  1. Launch DesignCenter with Ctrl + 2 or from the View tab >Palettes panel >DesignCenter.  The interface looks just like Windows Explorer/My Computer.
  2. Navigate to the drawing containing blocks you would like to add to a tool palette.

  3. Expand the .DWG node to display a lengthy collection of the drawing’s Named Objects.
  4. Right-click on the Blocks node, then click Create Tool Palette.


  • If the Tool Palette window is not yet open, it will open automatically when you click Create Tool Palette.  For future reference, that’s Ctrl + 3.
  • In the above exercise, the name of the Tool Palette will be the name of the drawing from which it was created.
  • After clicking on the Block node in DesignCenter, you can select several blocks, then right-click and make a tool palette from the selection; you will be prompted for a name in this circumstance.
  • By default, all blocks on a tool palette have their ‘Prompt For Rotation’ set to <No>.  To edit them all, click in an empty spot on the Tool Palette, then use Ctrl + A to select all the blocks.  Now right-click on one of them, > Properties, then set the Prompt for Rotation to <Yes>.

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About the Author


Michael E. Beall (B. Arch.) is an Autodesk Authorized Author and the owner of CAD Trainer Guy, LLC. He has been presenting onsite CAD training around the planet for more than 30 years. Contact him at michael.beall@cadtrainer.guy or give him a call at 502.500.2267.


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