The Forgotten About Design Center

A few days ago our marketing person asked if anyone had an ideal for an article in the ALACAD newsletter that we send out to our customers.  This first responds back from Keith, one of our AEs, was using the AutoCAD Design Center to create a tool palette. That got a reply back from Jason saying good idea and someone must of read his blog.  I replied with a “Hey, let’s take it a little more and extend it to include the search tool in the Design Center as well”. That got the reply back from Jason asking if I just volunteered to write. Well being a true Tennessean that I am wrote something up for the article. So for those that don’t get the ALACAD Newsletter here is the original prior to grammar checking and all that pre-editor stuff.

A Revisit to the Design Center

            The Design Center in AutoCAD was been around for a number of releases now but do you use it? Did you look at it when it was came out and say, “It’s nice but I don’t need it” or think that’s a waste of space. Take a look at it again there might be something in there that you can use to work quicker and more efficient.


            The first stop on our visit is at the tool palette creation tool. Maybe you do not use tool palettes because you never had the time to create them from scratch. With the design center you can create a tool palette from you block library with ease. With the tool palette open, follow the steps below.


1. Open Design Center by going to TOOLS > PALETTES > DESIGNCENTER

2. Once Design Center opens select the FOLDERS tab.

3. Scroll to the folder where your Blocks are stored.

4. Right Click on the folder and select “Create Tool Palette of Blocks”

5. This will create a new tab on the Tool Palette and place all the blocks on the new tab.

Now you have all your blocks on their specific tab in the tool palette.



            The next stop on our tour is at the “Search” tool inside the Design Center. The search feature is a great way to find those missing blocks, drawings or almost anything else that we created months ago but forgot where we saved them to. Have you ever created a complex block, a text style, layer, or even a linetype for one project and forgotten about it only to need it again in your current project? With the search tool you can search for a number of AutoCAD object types. Can’t remember the complete name of the block or layer? That’s OK you can use a wildcard “ * ” in your search.  Once the Design Center Search found the missing item you can right click on it from the list and either add it to you current drawing or load the drawing that contains the object into the content center of the Design Center to allow you to preview the object and the description of that object.




The last stop on today’s tour is at the “Home” folder. Like any other “Home” icon clicking on it will take you back to a specific folder or file. The default is set for the
C:\Program Files\AutoCAD 2008\ Sample\Design Center. To change the Home browsed to the folder or drawing you use most often Right-Click on the folder or drawing and Set as Home, now every time you open the Design Center it will open in that folder or drawing.





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