How to Insert a Block in AutoCAD?

There are a number of ways to begin the process of inserting blocks, such as the -INSERT command line version, tool palettes, Design Center, drag and drop, and probably others that don’t come to mind right now. But, far and away the best way to insert blocks is via the Blocks palette.

When you insert a block reference, you specify its location, scale, and rotation. Subsequent references to that block definition can be inserted in different locations, scales, and rotation angles. When a block is inserted into a drawing, it is scaled automatically according to the ratio of units defined in the drawing to the units defined in the block. For example, if the unit of measurement is meters in the destination drawing and centimeters in the block, the block is inserted at 1/100 scale.

Although a block reference is always inserted on the current layer, the block reference preserves the properties in the block definition. This means, for example, that blocks can have multiple colors even when they are inserted on a layer set to red or some other color.

Blocks Palette

The Blocks palette takes all the advantages of various block insertion methods and gives you a single place to access them. It really is a one-stop shop for all your block needs. From the palette, you can access the current blocks in your drawing, your most recently used – even if they’re from other drawing files – or you can specify a location or file to become a library from which to choose your block.

Ribbon Gallery

On the Home tab, Blocks panel, you can click Insert to display a gallery of block definitions in the current drawing. Use the gallery when you have a small number of blocks to insert quickly by clicking and placing them in your drawing.

Tool Palettes

The Tool Palettes window is designed for when you use a large variety of blocks. Many tabs are available and you can create custom tabs for sets of related blocks and specialized tools. You can insert blocks from tool palettes by dragging the block tool into the drawing or by clicking the block tool and then specifying an insertion point. You can access the Tool Palettes window with the TOOLPALETTES command.


The DesignCenter window is designed for browsing and selecting a variety of definitions from existing drawings and drawing libraries. These definitions include blocks, layers, linetypes, and other content. DesignCenter offers a quick, visual way to drag and drop blocks within the current drawing or from another drawing. Double-click the block names to specify the precise location, rotation, and scale of the blocks. You can access the DesignCenter window with the ADCENTER command.

Drawings in Folders

Drawing files can be dragged and dropped into the current drawing from a file folder as blocks.

Try each of these tools to determine which of them is more appropriate to your environment. You can dock the palettes and DesignCenter; then turn on auto-hide for convenience and efficient use of the drawing area.

What are the Sources of Blocks?

You can insert blocks from these sources:

  • Blocks defined in the current drawing
  • Other drawing files inserted as blocks into the current drawing
  • Blocks defined in other drawing files, called block library drawings, which can be inserted into the current drawing
  • Blocks created by online vendors and services. These blocks are often associated with specific parts or products

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