Titleblock in CAD

How-to instructions for setting up a titleblock for your template. July 24, 2002

Could someone walk me through setting up a title block in LT? I am a self-taught AC user and can't quite figure out how to set one up with company name, my name, date, file name, etc.

Forum Responses
I'm not that sure with LT, but in ACAD, I set up a template file with one paper space page each setup for A size, B size and D size. Then I built a title block for each. Of course, all of the associated layer names, dimstyles, etc. are also set up. I just start a drawing with that template. Then, depending on my plotting needs, I delete the other two pages or add additional pages as I need them.

This helps force you into a given set of standards and keeps all of your drawings looking similar.

You might go poke around the Autodesk site and the forums there. There may well be some kind of downloadable templates that you can modify to suit your needs. Also check the CAD magazine web sites. I can't give you much advice on the text styles. They seem to be all over the place. Just play with it until you come up with something that suits your tastes.

Go to paper space (layout1 or layout2). Click File-> Page setup. Set the paper size you want and the plotter or printer you are going to use. Click okay. Then select and delete viewport. Draw rectangle frame right into the printable area. Draw title you want, just as you draw in model space. Use multiline text tool for creating the text you do not want to change. Then type ATT->Enter, and fill in the fields TAG, PROMPT, VALUE. From justification drop down list, choose middle center, click Pick point button and pick the point right in the center of the field you want to be editable. Click okay. Repeat as many times as you want until you fill all desirable fields. Then click Make block tool, click Select objects button, select title and text, press enter, click Pick point, pick any point, press enter, click okay. Right click any tool bar and check viewports. Viewports toolbar opens. Do not dock it because you will need to scale your drawings in the layouts. Click one of the viewport tools in the viewport toolbar and draw viewport just around frame. Do not include your title in the viewport, because when you scale you want your title to always be the same. That's it. When you want to edit your title, type ATE->Enter, and you see what to do.

I was going to describe what is stated above, but I found the prospect too daunting. Now that he’s done all the heavy lifting, let me fill in a few blanks.

First off, if you’re using A CAD 2000 or later, plotting in paper space is a very powerful tool. If you’re plotting in model space, stop. Take a few hours off, get your manual out and learn paper space - it's not that tough.

Once you’re familiar with paper space, open your master template (you do have one, right?) and create as many paper space sheets as you have paper sizes (I use D size as well as ledger size and letter size). As outlined, draw a full-scale rectangle as a border right up to the printable limits of the page. Before going any further, plot a test page to make sure you’ve got it centered where you want it.

When that's done, draw the title block. Text such as “Drawing title”, “date”, “scale”, etc. can be drawn as you normally would using D-Text. Items that will vary from sheet to sheet are handled differently. Here you are using “Attribute definitions”, as alluded to above.

Let’s use “Job location” as an example. Click on the “Draw” pull down menu, select “block” and then select “define attributes”. A “define attributes dialog box” will appear. For “Attribute tag” type in “Job_Location”. Note the underscore here. Spaces are not allowed. For “Attribute Prompt” you would type in Job Location. Spaces are okay here. It is in this dialogue box where you would define the text font, size, justification and location. Once you’ve got it right, click okay and the dialogue box will close. Continue for the other attributes until you’ve got them all.

Now you want to turn the whole thing into a block. It’s easy. From the “draw” pull down menu, select “block” and then “make”. Click “select objects”. This is important. You should individually select each attribute first, taking care to select them in the order you want them to appear later when they get edited. Once all of the attributes are selected, use a crossing window to select the entire title block as a whole. Hit enter and the “make block” dialogue box will reappear. Name the block and click okay.

Here’s the neat part. When you want to edit the title block, don't explode it. Using the “Modify ll” tool bar, click the “edit attributes” tool (it looks like a little price tag). The command line will prompt you to “select block”. Click anywhere on the title block and a dialogue box will appear containing all of the attributes you defined earlier. Make whatever changes you need and click okay. The dialogue box disappears and all of the information is updated.

If you ever want to revamp the title block (i.e. change the layout or add an attribute or two), select the block and explode it. Make the changes and recreate the block as described above.

If it seems like this is more work to set up than drawing the title block and using M-Text throughout, it is. Remember though, you only have to set it up once. From there on, editing the title block is easy as pie. Besides, this is by far the most elegant setup and one that no true Auto CAD aficionado would do without.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
To edit a block go to "tools" and scroll down to "block editor." It brings up a list of blocks in your current drawing and others used in the past. It usually defaults to a highlighted one that’s current in the drawing and more than likely the one you want to edit. (If for some reason you don't see the one you want, select "current drawing.") Once you pick the one from the list, it opens the block in what almost looks just like a regular CAD drawing session. You can do whatever you want there to the block edit, change colors, etc. Once you made your changes, select "close block editor" at the top of the workspace area. Then click yes if you want to save it and it brings you back to the drawing you were originally working on.

Tips: Make sure you use the correct layers when creating a block and have everything set to bylayer! Don't draw it all on layer 0 either!

If you use xrefs because your tb is in paperspace (where it should be) make sure everything drawn in the original drawing being xrefed is set to bylayer. This is important so you can manipulate the colors and lineweights of the exref layers within the drawing it is attached to. For example, if you want the exref pens to print lightly (typ color 8) in order to represent existing things versus proposed (should be bylayer for it to work and look good). If you don't like paperspace it's more than likely just because you’re not comfy with it, but once you utilize it you will never want to have a title block in modelspace again!